Like millions of Americans, I’ve dashed off to join a gym on New Year’s Day with the gusto of a prison inmate on a one-day pass during my thirty-eight-year battle of the bulge, no doubt, carelessly renewing my share of “lifetime memberships” along the way.
As a group, Americans have long been influenced by powers of persuasion—as evidenced by a thriving $60 billion-a-year Advertising and Marketing Services Industry. Perhaps this is why we think the foolproof way to rock-hard abs and lean thighs involves spending a lot of hard-earned time and money at the gym. I don’t know about you, but for me, the experience of being at the gym is nothing short of harrowing. Quite frankly, I still shrink in humiliation at the mere remembrance of my sweaty, shaking frame straining to complete a single step during what would prove a very short-lived attempt at the Stair Master.
For me, getting in shape is a long and arduous process, n’air my fait d’accompli, which works best in the privacy of my own home. Ever since the Martians invaded my body (which interestingly, coincided with the onset of puberty), I have suffered through a seemingly endless stream of yo-yo dieting.
My most recent accomplishment was a thirty-pound weight gain at age thirty-five, when my rock-star-quality haze of drinking and smoking peaked, and I threw final caution to the wind by abandoning any shred of healthy eating habits I had painstakingly gained through years of meticulous Points® counting at Weight Watchers.
Today, I have settled into a comfortable routine of Leslie Sansone videos from her Walking Away the Pounds! series that provide a challenging mix of cardio and toning, along with Leslie’s unique brand of personal support and inspiration.
Aside from the obvious financial concerns (How many lifetime gym memberships does it take to get a fleshy girl into shape?), exercising at home makes good sense for many reasons. Perhaps the most convincing evidence for a sincere, but not-too-savvy exercise crusader like me has been the freedom to workout at my own pace, without fear of ridicule (See Stair Master Incident of ’92, above).
Here are a few more reasons:
- I don’t have to look good in my exercise outfit … after all, isn’t “looking good” the goal?
- I can shuffle laundry from washer to dryer between exercise segments.
- My dogs do not at all seem to mind my lack of coordination.
- I can wear the same exercise socks for two days without fear of reprisal from friends.
Lastly, but certainly not least, my mind is relieved of the heavy burden of not breaking wind during strenuous exercise. For those of us broccoli-nibbling constant dieters, a fear of flatulence can really keep you down.