Due to family commitments my Daughter and I hadn't been to VVV health club since before Christmas. We knew that the ladies gym was being moved and last we heard it was moving into the big gym and we weren't too keen on the idea, imagining just a screened off area and having to walk through the big gym to get to it. Finally, we managed to get to the club and we found that the ladies gym has moved to the room that was the toning table room and thus it now has a delightful sea view. Some of the equipment has been removed, my favourite leg extension machine and the seated leg curl machine have gone, to be replaced by the leg press. I suppose I will have to brave the big gym if I want to use them. At first glance it looks as if the new ladies gym does not have air conditioning but I might be wrong. It does sport a TV, something that the old gym lacked, but most of the equipment is arranged to face the TV and not the spectacular view. If you bag the right treadmill or cross trainer you can admire the view but you have to look past other people facing towards you.
There's a new gym opening in town soon, JJB Fitness which will probably do very well, being more central and, as far as I can tell, cheaper but I think they'll find it hard to beat the atmosphere at VVV.
I went shopping for new clothes recently and was not too surprised to find that I have actually gone up a size in some brands; which is very galling when I think of all the things I have “given up”, including alcohol, caffeine and most processed foods.
I spent about £200 on clothes and vowed that this will be my "larger size" wardrobe for the summer and I will gradually shrink out of them.
I cannot allow myself to go up another dress size. I used to kid myself that I was fat but fit but now I’m just fat. This morning, while I was making my cup of naturally caffeine free rooibus tea it hit me that I had also “given up” the very thing that that I need to lose weight – weight training. I haven’t picked up a weight for at least six months and I haven’t trained as seriously as I used to for a number of years. It became blidingly obvious that I have fallen into the trap of reduced physical activity, increased caloric intake of sweet things, and a slowdown in metabolism due to a loss of muscle. Muscle is metabolically active and burns calories just to maintain itself. A pound of muscle requires 5 to 15 calories per day to maintain itself. A loss of 15 pounds of muscle means 75 to 150 fewer calories per day. Over time, this leads to a slowly creeping weight gain. There is quite a bit of controversy over just how many calories muscle burns, ranging from just 2 to 50. I think 5 to 15 sounds reasonable. When I stopped weight training I stopped building muscle and gradually lost what I had built – and gained fat because it’s not as if I systematically slashed my calorie intake to compensate. Oh no indeedy, giving up alcohol gives you a sweet tooth that wasn’t noticable before, because the sugar in the alcohol was satisfying it. It’s very easy to give yourself licence to eat a bag of revels at the time you usually “relaxed” with a drink.
Next question to ask myself is why did I stop weight training? There are so many differing opinions out there as to the best form of exercise, the best way to lose fat, the best way to get fit I think I became paralysed by procrastinating over creating a plan and sticking to it. I know that in the past, four days a week weight training and a bit of cardio and yoga worked for me and I don’t need to carry on this ridiculous search for a magic bullet. I know what the magic bullet is, I just need the motivation to fire it.
I was peddling away in the ladies gym this teatime when my friend appeared, she doesn't usually come to the gym on a Friday so it was a nice surprise. She had brought two pairs of headphones with her and declared that we were going to venture into "The Big Gym" where you can watch TV. We hopped on a treadmill each and I walked my second mile of the day whilst watching somebody doing something to a bowl of spinach. I will certainly walk or cycle for longer with the TV and music channels to watch but I toddled back to the ladies gym to use the weight machines rather than try and figure out how to use the unfamiliar ones in "The Big Gym". My friend stayed there as she was doing her cardio routine but later she pointed out that "The big gym is full of big sweaty blokes!" It makes me giggle every time I picture it. Of course we ladies don't sweat, we just glow. I was still "glowing" quite a bit when I called in for petrol on the way home. Darling Daughter was with me as she had been to Funky Fitness; she waited until I had been in and paid for the petrol before pointing out that my hair was wet and stuck up on end.
I came across this on a the Men's Health site and it made me smile.
Don't stare. So what if the guy next to you prefers to warm up by juggling three miniature poodles. You're there to work out, not to enjoy the show.
I was on the site because I followed a link to a discussion about a book by Jillian Michaels. The discussion thread gets pretty heated at times and some of the arguments were enough to convince me that I can live without her book. So often I am tempted by new, exercise related, books only to find that they are just a rehash of long established principles. There really is no need to be looking for something new, I just need to get on with it. There is no magic bullet, I know how to weight train, I just need to do the work.