Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Hooked on the Stairmaster

I pre-paid a 3-month membership at the gym soon after I realized that my pants size had approached size 10 for petites.  When you are as short at I am, size 10 is pretty pudgy.  I was not happy about myself.  I felt sluggish and I didn't pay attention to what I ate.  Every morning before work I got a cup of coffee and a cheese Danish. It was either that or Noah's Bagels. Lunch time consisted of dollar Chinese Food. Dinners were mostly take out. My first day at the gym was no picnic.  I got on the stationary bike and I didn't like the uncomfortable seat.  Twenty minutes was an eternity.  I signed up for 3 months and let it go to waste.  I never returned.  I was not motivated at all.

I can't remember exactly but I signed up for yet another membership at the gym this time on the Berkeley Campus where I worked.  Since staff workers received ample discount for joining, I thought I would take advantage.  Seeing young college kids hop in and out of the cardio machines, my competitive fire was rekindled. If they can do it, so could I.  There was a 20 minute maximum time for each StairMaster machine with a long wait list to get on.  At my lunch hour I would do a 20 minute session on the machine. It got to be routine that I would be grumpy if I missed a session. Months later, the 20 minute at lunch became easy, so I came back after work to do another 20.  Soon after that I added 40 minutes after work. The pounds started to melt away and my clothes felt looser.  My double chin disappeared.  That was my sore spot. I used to have a friend who would say hello to me by pulling the skin under my chin.  That used to annoy the heck out of me...Seeing the weight come off, I became a little obsessed.  I started waking up at earlier to be at the gym at 5am, only to return at noon and after work. I was exercising 3 times a day, 5 days a week. I would come home exhausted.  Curious thing about us humans, is once we see a definitive progress, something we can measure and is tangible, the more we stick to it. I was motivated to work harder because I can see and feel my progress. 

My weight dropped to 96 pounds and I looked unhealthy.  Finally, I got a grip one day when I had a scary moment. I felt lightheaded while on the StairMaster. I lost my vision for a few moments, which seemed to last forever.  I held on to the handlebars so hard so that I wouldn't fall over.  Thankfully my vision returned and I slowly got off the machine sort of panicked.  I had nothing to eat and I had been on the machine for 1 hour. (There was the 20-minute limit that I ignored, due to my obsession.  I didn't care who was waiting.) I must have had low blood sugar, but that incident was enough for me to realize that what I was doing was not healthy.  I backed off and decided to only exercise twice a day.  I decided to venture to other cardio machines.

Next: Moving from the StairMaster to the treadmill and martial arts

1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog! Can't wait to read more.