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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Working out on the cheap


I'm obese. And I'm tired of it. My doctor says that once I hit menopause it will be very difficult to lose the weight.

I'm in better health than I have a right to be. I have a thyroid condition. My triglycerides are high. My joints creak. My knees hurt. I have plantar faciitis. I have rosacea. I'm depressed. But other than that, my body is holding up pretty well. And probably every one of my minor complaints could be helped by losing weight. (Well, maybe not the rosacea.)

So I'm going to do it now. But how?

I need to get some exercise. I'm a desk jockey, who loves to read, knit, and play the piano. None of these things are getting my heart rate up. I'm lucky I live in a three-story house with the laundry in the basement, or I'd never move at all.

I can't go back to the local Y. I wish I could, because they recently remodeled, have great pools, new equipment, and an environment where I don't think people would point and laugh. But for a single person, the fee is $57. A month. Yeah, I don't have that. And that doesn't include the rest of the family...it would be even more for a family membership.

Ah, you say, but Ys have financial aid. Yes, they do. And I might consider applying. Except that during the dark days, the Y was one of the bills I couldn't pay. The way it works is that they suck the money out of your checking account every month. And I had no money in my checking account for months. And so I was in debt. To the Y. Mind you, I wasn't actually using the facilities. But what I learned was you can't just stop paying. You have to call them and quit. So they referred me to collections. Whoops. And I didn't pay it, because in the grand scheme of things (hmmm, mortgage, or gym membership I'm not using) it didn't seem like a high priority to pay it. So, I can never go back there.

Well, what are my alternatives? Other clubs are as expensive. There's Curves. Less--$35 ish a month, but no pool. Walking? Yes, but it's cold outside. And I'm afraid to fall on the ice.

But, we do have a stationery bike that we bought during a past fit of good intentions. Originally I put it in the living room. The idea was no TV watching without getting on the bike. Yeah, except that didn't work. It was just a piece of ugly gym equipment in my living room. So we exiled it to the porch. Where it didn't get used.

Fabulous Mr. Poorhouse and I wrestled the confounded thing (hey, it's heavy) upstairs to the guest room a few weeks ago. And I've been using it.

My routine is I get up when Prissy the middleschooler is getting ready for school. I'm close enough that I can hear that she's making progress on getting dressed, making her lunch, etc. And I can send her out the door on time.

How am I motivating myself? I'm watching The Biggest Loser while I'm on the bike. OK, so I have some reservations about the health of people losing 30 lbs a week. But it gets my legs going faster.

I'm not doing weights. I'm not building muscle. I'm doing repetitive motions. But hey, I'm moving. When it warms up outside, I'll add walking, hiking, or real biking to the mix.

And it is costing me very little (OK, I paid for past seasons of the show on iTunes.)

So far, I'm five pounds down. 75 to go. It's just like digging out of debt. No end in sight.

What cheapo ways have you found to work out?

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