Exercise… Me…

I’m not what you would call an ideal candidate to appear on a TV show, if there actually is one, called ‘The World’s Greatest Exercise Role Model’. When you think of such a show you would imagine it featuring perfectly toned people with fantastic bodies, clothes, hair and smiles, together with a collection of ‘before’ photos.

I have plenty of ‘before’ photos. I think some of my recent photos are now ‘before’ photos too. In fact, every photo is a before photo if it makes you want to change something about yourself.

My body is constantly changing. I’m constantly changing for that matter. Every day is a new day, and I think I’d get pretty bored trying to keep myself in the WGERM body state to ensure that I stay on the show. And to be honest, I couldn’t do it. I may have the body of a Greek God, but my hair has a mind all of its own, and it decides on how good it wants me to look.

And some days, I don’t have the body of a Greek God.

Being part of the super-hero community, you’d think that a toned, muscular physique with a rippling six-pack and bulging sinews would be easy to maintain, but believe you me, it is hard work. Convincing the mirror you look fabulous 24/7 is near impossible, and as I’m not of the exercising mind-set, it is very easy to notice the odd stone or two creep on you when you least expect it. And once the extra weight is on, it takes a while to lose it without exercise. Not that I look in the mirror too often nowadays, I am urged to add…

I may not be of the exercising mind-set, but, when needs must, I have to do it. I visualise my body looking better for the exercise I am doing. I imagine my clothes fitting as they should, and not looking as though everything has shrunk in the wash. And I see people in my mind’s eye congratulating me on how great I look once I have lost that couple of pounds (…).

However, me and exercise are like arch-enemies. I try not to ‘do’ arch-enemies, and I try not to do exercise either. So already I’m competing with myself before I even begin. Do I want to stay the same, or do I want to look good?

After this tennis match has gone on for a while, I win and start exercising. I lose the weight. I look good. I get congratulated. My clothes fit perfectly. My hair behaves (it always does when you know you look good). And my muscles do their muscly thing.

It can be done if you put in the work; however this post isn’t about the exercises needed to look good, it is about the downfalls to avoid when exercising. They don’t tell you about these things when you see that ‘must buy’ product on the shopping channels to help you lose pounds in five days, or whatever. Oh no. And I’ve tried a few things over the years.

I don’t know if these items are still available, but they probably are. I call them ‘electrocution pads’ and that really is what they are. Little pads that you strap on to certain parts of your body, and you then run an electrical current through them. This current stimulates the muscles in your stomach, chest, arms, legs or wherever else you use them, so that they contract and relax. It feels as though they are doing something, especially if you have the power on too strong, but be careful using them. I had placed them too close together on my stomach and the contracting muscles caused my skin to pinch, and I was in agony. Also, I think the pads burned me because the power was too high. And I fell asleep wearing them. Needless to say I could hardly move the next day. Luckily they come with an automatic switch off after an hour or so, otherwise I don’t know how I’d have looked the next day. Use them if you must, but be warned… I don’t think I lost weight using these. The only pounds I lost were of the spending kind.

I bought myself one of those high-tension bending bars to build up my arms, shoulders and chest, because I thought that if they looked bigger, my stomach and waist would look smaller. No, that isn’t true. I thought that I would look like the man in the shorts in the photos on the poorly translated A4 exercise manual that came with the bendy bar. I followed the instructions to the letter. I was determined that by bending this bar, my waist size would be reduced by half of it’s size by the following week (Well, I’m a dreamer!). I finished work at 2.30 in the morning, dashed home, and started a-bending. Everyone else in the house were asleep, so I had to keep all of my breathing and grunting to an absolute minimum. I also had to stifle my scream as the bar slipped out of my left hand, whacked me under the chin as it careered across the room and smashed into my wardrobe. In my numbed state, I fell backwards, and knocked my TV set off it’s stand – but luckily, I managed to catch it before it fell – just as the bendy bar came back at me like a boomerang and clobbered me in the leg. Nobody heard a thing. I never used the bendy bar again afterwards. Well, never without wearing a pair of woollen gloves… nobody was ever going to see me doing that particular exercise.

I went to a gym a few times. I couldn’t use the equipment properly as I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but tried my best. I went to this gym with my cousin, so we could encourage each other along. Usually we just laughed at each other. You pull some funny faces when weight training! One day, I was using a device for strengthening the legs. I knew the position I had to get into for this exercise. I lay on my back, and brought my feet up onto a bar above me. I had to hold the weight with my feet, and then push the weight upwards again, and repeat for three lots of twenty pushes. I couldn’t do one push. The weight was too heavy, which resulted in my knees resting on either side of my head. Luckily, the weight machine was supported, so it wouldn’t have come completely down on me, but I was still stuck. Eventually I was helped out of the machine. I used it without weights after that. Well, once more anyway…

I joined a boxing gym as well when I was younger. I was too old to actually start boxing, but the exercise is good to help with losing weight. Only I was a bit overweight for the circuit training that was involved. And being in a hot, steamy gym with a whole host of boxers all running around the place, I was soon out of breath. I couldn’t keep up. In order to continue with that exercise, I needed to lose weight before I actually began! Still, I persevered, and felt some benefits.

The best exercise I find that helps me to lose weight is swimming. I love swimming, I love water. The weight literally drops off me as I really push myself when I go. I think that if you really enjoy doing something it isn’t a chore, and you can do it all the more.

It’s a pity that I don’t find losing weight as enjoyable during the process. The end result is fantastic. The compliments are a great boost to the ego. And the money you have to spend on thin clothes isn’t going to be mentioned. Not in this post anyway. But feeling good after it all is well worth it.

However, I’d really like to try to avoid the bruises and things… should I ever do it again, that is…

26 Comments on “Exercise… Me…

  1. I’m sticking to my diet and it’s sloooowly working! 🙂

    I’m now down to 105Kg and looking good! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and comment Tom! 🙂

    Just to let you know I sent the third book to Red a few minutes ago.

    It looks finished, but Red has to decide if it’s good enough.

    Fingers crossed!!! 🙂

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

    Like

    • Good for you with your diet, and sticking to it, Prenin!
      I’m going to start one soon. Not yet though…
      And great news with your book once again!

      Like

  2. Oh, I can so relate to this story! I have had several toys for exercising and all of them broke while in use causing much pain. I have yet to find anything enjoyable about exercising, but I do walk down the long drive to my mailbox and back and because my brain isn’t working as well anymore, I make about 30 trips up and down my steep circular staircase everyday to retrieve whatever it is I have forgotten on the floor below. I do the exercise to keep my muscles working so they don’t atrophy but as for my weight, well, I have learned to love me the way I am. It is what it is and I’m not going to get hung up in the misnomers the Corporate world has created about how we SHOULD look just so it sells their products. Nope, not falling for that garbage. So I do what I do, look how I look for that moment and all is well. That bendy bar sounds lethal, stay away from it T…
    Sending Blessings your way….VK

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    • I agree VK, we should just live for ourselves and not what others say we should be. I, however, do need to tone up (only slightly!) because the clothes ‘they’ make don’t reach around my shape at present. Properly, I mean. They fit. Just… Oh, and yes. The bendy bar WAS lethal. 😯

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  3. You’re right, Tom – stick with swimming if it’s what you love (no surprise, since you’re Piscean and all). Those bendy bars are just scary. I always thought they looked like a good way to get your teeth (or yourself) knocked out.

    I’m a freak – I actually enjoy exercise most of the time. And I love kickboxing, but it doesn’t love me back. My 48-year-old body is too old for it, but my childish brain won’t give up. I only get a few hits in before I’m out of breath, I have to wear wrist braces because I’ve damaged cartilage and ligaments in both wrists, and today my elbow is missing a chunk of skin after a badly-executed elbow strike.

    Anybody with a grain of sense would quit.

    So, um… how’s the weather over there…?

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    • My bendy bar almost took my head off, Diane, so that may have loosened a tooth or two… I don’t think it’s freaky to enjoy exercise if you enjoy it… I don’t that’s all. I love swimming, but have to be really bothered to actually go…
      I used to go boxing (normal boxing, that is) back when the days were in black and white… one of my sparring partners was a semi professional kick boxer who really knew what she was doing. Me… I was hopeless as usual. I once burned my mouth moulding my boiling hot gum-shield into place…
      Still, Diane… we should do what we enjoy and why should age stop us?!

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    • Kate, I’d say try them just for the experience of trying them. They feel like unreal involuntary stomach cramps, oddly pleasant but mostly odd. Mine sizzled, which I’m not sure they were meant to do… oh, and they did nothing for my six pack.

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      • As your exercise guru, I urge you to start slow and light and increase your level gradually so you don’t suffer severe pain in every muscle in your entire being.

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        • LA, even the thought of starting slow and light is bringing on cramps!
          Could you suggest something a little easier? I quite like this having an exercise guru!

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            • I’m sure that our orbits have crossed over the past few months, LA, but I’m around there now, listening to some of the music on his celebratory post! I, coincidentally, stay fit by dancing. Golf is a little too relaxed for me, I’m afraid. And I use the extremely relaxed version of ‘dancing’ … wobbling gently is more like it!

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                    • Funny! Coincidentally, LA, I’ve just watched another dancing dog on a clip, doing the Merengue… and that brought memories of Walpole flooding back in! However, I had to watch the poodle with my magnifying glass the comment box has shrunk the viewer so much, but I could see it, and that is all that matters!!!

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                    • I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen that Merengue-dancing dog Tom! Another fun time sponge! If you get another cat, you might want to consider naming that one Walpole.

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  4. Pingback: Reminiscing – Beyond the Sphere

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