If I researched my family tree I have a feeling that it would be a pear tree. I come from a long line of pear-shaped women – this includes both sides of my family. So I could be classified as a “super pear” shape. This is not a flattering shape to have unless you are 18 and still have the metabolism of an espresso drinking chipmunk. Certainly not a flattering shape at age 40 and after sitting in a chair for the better part of your life staring at computers thereby causing your metabolism to slow down roughly to the speed of a 3 toed sloth with 4 broken legs.
The only way to combat this problem is Diet & Exercise. Both of which should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Although I have gotten a much better handle on the diet part by finding foods I like that fit into my daily allowance of calories – I hate exercise. I know I should feel so much better about myself after walking 3 miles (uphill both ways – no really you can do that on a treadmill) or after finishing most/some/part of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred but all I feel is out of breath and the need for ibuprofen. Unfortunately exercise is tethered to diet in some kind of weird and inseparable relationship like peanut butter and jelly or peas and carrots.
So aside from needing an inhaler and the Sam’s Club size Tylenol why else do I hate to exercise? Well……. Jillian Michaels would be a topper on the list. If I wanted to work out like a Marine ….. I would have joined the Marines. And since most of her motivation revolves around showing off her abs and saying “if you want abs like these you gotta push it harder.” Here’s a tip Jillian – I have never had abs like yours even when I was skinny and since having children leaves a permanent layer of marshmallow fluff just below your belly button I’m guessing I never will have abs like that even if I do 1000 sit ups a day. Since I detest the Jillian workout so much I found the Denise Austin Cardio Party DVD and thought I would give that a whirl. Cardio and Party are two words which should never be used together – which should have been my first clue not to buy it. About 1/3 of the way through it I was begging my daughter to get me water. At 3/4 of the way through it I wasn’t entirely sure the food I ate 2 hours before wasn’t going to come back up. But Denise was cheery and smiley and upbeat and positive the whole way through. I’m not sure who I hate more the Drill Sergeant or the Cheerleader – I think it might be a tie.
Then there’s going to the gym. Or in my case the community recreation center. It’s not fun to be passed on the walking/running track by an 80-year-old man three times in a row. Granted he looks like he’s been running marathons his entire life, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s 80 years old. I have also noticed that I’m not very exercise fashion conscious. I do not own several spandex bra-shirt things with matching yoga pants – I feel lucky to find a clean sports bra, t-shirt and sweatpants or shorts. If they actually match in some way it’s a fluke. Then comes the calorie counter. The treadmill display likes to taunt you with how many calories you have burned. Uphill (both ways) for 35 minutes at about 3 mph will burn maybe 250 calories. The caloric equivalent of a candy bar. Calories are tricky little things because you have to “burn” them off. Unfortunately they have the flammability rating (how easily something will burn) roughly the same as flood damaged bricks. So if you eat 2 candy bars – you have to walk on a treadmill over an hour to burn them off. I think it’s just a mind trick myself – but I fall into the trap because I don’t want to walk for over an hour just to enjoy a package of m&m’s or Milky Way. Unfortunately I will skip eating real food for breakfast and spend 30 minutes on a treadmill to have a small McCafe Carmel Frappe.
I’m thinking if I could come up with a way for calories to burn quicker — say if they had the flammability rating of something like gasoline– I’d solve the obesity problem in our nation. I mean think of how great it would be if to burn 250 calories you only had to walk 5 minutes on the treadmill instead of 35. Unfortunately I think that is biologically impossible – and if it’s chemically possible I’m not the person to discover it because I barely got a C in high school chemistry.
So for now I will still cuss at the TV while attempting to keep up with Jillian and Denise, and spend 35 minutes walking (uphill both ways) on the treadmill in my dreadfully unmatched t-shirt and shorts because I did enjoy buying some smaller sized shorts recently. And I did get to laugh hysterically as I was leaving the rec center the other day. I passed one of the exercise classes where the girls were all trying to do side leg lifts while balancing on giant bouncy balls and the instructor was counting off “1 and 2 and 3 and 4.” Suddenly an image of the little Minions from Despicable Me doing an exercise class popped into my head. They all had their little matching outfits and matching bouncy balls and were following along “1 and 2 and 3 and 4.” Maybe we’re all just little Minions……….