Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Elliptical Drop Out

When I told Tommy I was going to start working out, he laughed.


Then he went, “But you hate that. Didn't you say working out was akin to being friends with Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey?"

Okay. So he didn't say that last part. (It's still true though.)

But he was right about the first part.

I hate working out.

But I’d like lean legs again. And to not have to grunt to pull my pants up. It’s not attractive. Sometimes I’ll be doing that and Natalie will overhear me and shout, “Say excuse me, Mommy,” because she thinks I’ve farted.

It also doesn’t help that there is a mother at Natalie’s PreK class who is skinny as a stick. Plus, she recently had a baby. The last baby I had was 4 years ago. Why don’t I have genetics that allow me to drop all the weight after I’ve given birth? (It could be my love for chocolate too…)

I decided to check out the gym on base when both kids were in school. Forcing myself to go to a gym is not easy. And, I didn’t even know what I should wear. I almost walked out of the house in flip flops. FLIP FLOPS! Then I realized as I sat behind the wheel that you can’t work out in flip flops. So I came back in and pulled on some sneakers.

I felt awkward at the gym as though everyone could tell I didn’t belong.

“She hasn’t worked out in years!” I imagined the buff guy lifting weights shouting.

“She looks lost,” the girl on the elliptical would chime in. Totally not out of breath. I always marvel at the people who can speak normally while working out. My voice comes out in puffs. "I'm.........go.....gonn......gonna.....d....d....die..."

I felt lost. Should I do the elliptical? Or the bike? If I got on the bike, I’d be able to sit. But then my legs would feel like they might break off. The elliptical burns more calories. But what if I get so tired that I fall off?

I chose the elliptical. Mainly because I felt ridiculous just standing there. Most people who go to the gym have a purpose.

“Hello,” I said to the guy beside me.

He didn’t respond.


Then I realized he had earphones in his ears and he was listening to music.


I forgot music.

Oh well. I’d focus on other things. Like non-jiggly thighs.

Five minutes into the work out I felt like I wanted to die. Sweat was dripping off my forehead. I gazed around the room in astonishment. Why didn’t anyone else look like they were about to keel over?

Then I realized I forgot my water.

My mouth got dry. I worried I was going to pass out in the middle of the floor. Would people help? Or would they not even notice because they were busy listening to music? Would people just be like, “Oh, sweet, a free elliptical,” and calmly step over me?

I did the elliptical for ten minutes. I couldn’t go any longer than that. Then I found a water fountain and slurped at it in a very unladylike manner. I felt like a horse. A woman walked past me and did a double take as water dripped from the lower half of my face.

I left after that.

I mean, I had no music.

No water.

And my legs already felt like they wanted to break off.

“I’ll get better,” I mumbled to myself. “The first day is always the worst.”

Please tell me it gets better.


  1. IT GETS BETTER - but only if you remember music and water!! :)

  2. It definitely gets better. If you can take water, music and maybe a magazine to look at while you elliptical the 10 minutes will slowly grow until you can do it longer because you're distracted (and you'll get stronger/increase your stamina). Be sure to stretch before and your legs will feel like they're going to break off a little less. Good luck!

  3. YES it gets better! (says the girl who has a gym membership, but has NEVER stepped foot in that particular gym!!) But when I was going to the gym, it did get better... you're doing it right, go for little increments at a time, but always increase those times.. like 10mins the first day, then 15mins the next and 20min the next.. etc...

    I miss my "all women" gym. My husband got us a membership at a co-ed, and I've yet to get the courage to go.. KUDOS to you!!

  4. It does get better...slowly...I can do 12 Whole minutes on the elliptical after several months! yeah for me. still can't job more than 5 though. not sure if my stubborn attitude is what keeps me returning...might be all the young men lifting weights around me. just might be.

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  6. Yep. It gets better. For me it's a mental thing. I try to envision myself less jiggly and fitting into my pre-prego clothes again. Le sigh. I'm still working on it. But at least I've made progress. Like I'm not still wearing my maternity jeans. But those things are comfy...Just sayin.
    Anywho, it'll get better the more you go and the longer you workout. Bring that music, water, and maybe a panty liner if you're prone to peeing your pants while doing strenuous exercise. (like I am.) ;)

    August 24, 2011 8:10 AM

  7. It DOES get better. I can't go without my music and my water. Just do as much as you can and keep going. It will get easier.

  8. It get's better! Of course I found Zumba and work out at home now and I absolutely LOVE it (and I lost 11 pounds in 5 weeks!). I feel really uncomfortable at the gym plus it's boring, imho.

  9. It'll get better. I just started going again too. I signed up to start with a personal trainer on Monday (2 days a week) so now I have no excuses. I'm scared. :)

  10. It gets better! My BIL said you have to just keep pushing through that "OMG I WANT TO DIE" wall before NOT working out feels strange.

  11. I'm not going with all the others, it's crap, oh wait you can't tell I'm kiddin. I certainly hope it gets better for you. Baby steps baby


  12. It gets better. but not quick enough

  13. Harumph. It NEVER got better for me. Ever. I even got an elipictal for my HOUSE at one point, because I always felt so uncomfortable with all those people around. I mean. . . I was raised to believe that if you're doing something that makes you grunt and sweat you should do it in the privacy of your own home! But yeah. It STILL never got better. People who LIKE to run frighten me. I think there must be something wrong with them.

  14. It totally gets better. Remember water and music though. Definitely helps to pass the time.

  15. It gets better!! I agree with what some others have said... work yourself up in 5 minute increments and bring stuff to distract you like music, a magazine, or a podcast. I get really bored if I don't have something to distract me :)

  16. Hmmm...would love to tell you that it gets better (and I'm sure it does) but my hate of the gym is the same as I can't adequately attest to anything gym related. Good luck on your jiggle-free quest!!


  17. Anecdotally I'll tell you it gets better, even though I have never been able to work out enough times in a row to know for sure.

  18. Anecdotally I'll tell you it gets better, even though I have never been able to work out enough times in a row to know for sure.

  19. Sorry, I can't tell you it gets better since I couldn't past the first day.

  20. It does get better. I got an elliptical and do it while watching TV after the kids go to bed. That works so much better with the kids and work and all. Definately remember your water, though. Good luck and I'm cheering you on!!

  21. It does get better!! Bring your music, water bottle, and sweat towel next time. You're not there to win a beauty contest so who cares!!! Try the treadmill--they're the easiest to figure out (when did it get so hard to turn on a dang machine?) and use the incline if you want. Those elipiticals scare me--I don't have enough gross motor skills to make if off one of those alive.....

  22. Fortunately, I am allergic to exercise.

    (I do hear you, though, and will pray. Pray a piano falls on anyone who give you a hard time at the gym.)

  23. At least you made it there for 10 minutes. Next time go for 15:)

  24. I used to use the elliptical (way, way, WAY back when. Before I got way, way, WAY lazy) and it is an evil and vile torture machine. BUT it does burn the most calories so just take it in baby steps. And don't forget the music and water.

    And the bike? Forget it. Unless you are using it in a "spin" class (stay FAR away from them) they don't burn nearly enough calories.

  25. it does get better! just slowly. I'm right there with you. the first time back on the elliptical after having the new bebe I did 7 minutes and then died. well it felt like I did at least! I'm now up to 25 minutes- woohoo! but it's been sloooow going.

  26. Sure, it gets better. When I start out on an elliptical - several times I've started out! - I start out with 5 minutes and add a minute each time I go. My body seems to cooperate that way.

  27. Sure it gets better, but as I say every time I leave the gym, "I wish this were fun." Oh well, it does help!

  28. Congratulations, you have just become my strength. I'm planning on gettin my jiggly ass in gear too, so I will be looking to you for motivation! Hang in there it does get better!!

  29. It gets better. I totally miss my gym membership. The elliptical is by far my favorite. Being a completely and totally uncoordinated person, it requires surprisingly little dexterity and grace. Just remember that water. And music. And a towel. Much better than mopping yourself up with your shirt. Trust me here.

  30. It gets better! Bring music and water next time. And possibly some light reading material. After a while, it stops feeling like working out and starts feeling like almost-enjoyable "me time."

  31. I am getting hooked on the PS3 Move and a work-out, all at once.


  32. Oh yeah, it gets better. I applaud you for going to the gym, I can not do that too much for me. I started out walking at first I could only get to the end of the block before I was sweating like a piglet, now I can do 2-3 miles a day. I told my self everyday just a bit farther. I love to walk now I have lost 32 lbs. ! I have an iphone so i got on of thiose walking apps/ pedometers it tells you how many steps, calories burnt and more. It is good to see wow I walked 7488 steps and burnt 652 really helps to see it. I tell myself you have to walk 30 minutes everyday, Blessings and good luck on your new adventure !

  33. It gets better!! ...And it's usually the hardest GETTING there... once you there.. it's easy... well, easier.. :)
    Good job! And good luck!

  34. It'll get better, but I won't lie, it's going to take a few weeks! You're waking your muscles up after a long sleep so to speak. You're going to be sore and it's going to suck, but keep at it and you'll see results :) Don't forget your music next time; gym time goes faster with it!

  35. Music or a audio book or a podcast to listen to is absolutely a must; takes your mind somewhat off your misery; let's face it, machines are boring.

    I finally found exercises classes at our local Y that I like, amazingly. I actually enjoy the exercise. And if you keep at it, it does make you feel better (took me 40 years to figure that out!!


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