Friday, July 23, 2010

A Bum Deal

I must tell you about a real milestone I hit at the gym tonight. I started off on the elliptical trainer, on the "fat burner" setting for my age and weight. I did that at level 16 (out of 20) for 33 minutes. After that, I rowed for 15 minutes on the rowing machine while I kept my eyes open for a treadmill machine that I could snag to finish my workout with a one-mile jog. It was a particularly popular night for treadmills.

At the gym I go to, there are approximately 16 treadmill machines that line the room in an L shape. Six of them are in the front of the room, right in front of the front window. The remaining 10 treadmills line the side of the room so the walkers'/joggers' rear ends face the wall.

Immediately behind the six window-facing, on-display-for-all-to-see treadmills is a line of two recumbant bikes and four elliptical trainers. Behind those are a slew of exercise bikes, rowing machines, stairmasters and some elliptical-looking machines that I have never tried, but seem to involve a hybrid of running and cross-country skiing.

Whenever I'm on the elliptical trainer, my favorite machine, I can't help but notice the backsides of all of the walkers and joggers on those six treadmills in the front of the room. After all, there isn't much to look at, except for the television screens displaying one of many barbecue cookoffs on the Food Network or the KFC World Cup Women's softball game.

There's the little old lady that is dressed in her street clothes walking on low speed at no incline. And the  40-something-year-old guy who runs super fast in his short shorts. There are moms like me trying to shed some extra weight walking at a fast pace on an incline in their capri workout pants and a long t-shirt to cover their somewhat jiggly bum. And, of course, there's the 20-something-aged girl with her blond hair in a ponytail, iPod strapped to her arm, jogging away with just a hint of a glow and not an ounce of fat on her perfectly taut body. Boy, do I hate her!

I always wondered why anyone would ever choose one of those treadmill machines in the front row. The only redeeming quality of their location is they are immediately behind the television screens so you can read the closed captioning better if you don't have a headset that can tune into a radio frequency to hear the audio.

Needless to say, since starting to work out at the gym four months ago, I have done absolutely everything I can to avoid ever being in the front row of treadmills. So as I was rowing on the rowing machine this evening, I was praying and praying that one of the other treadmills on the side of the room would open up so I could jog without anyone seeing my rear. Don't get me wrong, it's much better than it used to be. There was a time when I would jog and it would literally take my bum a few strides to catch up with the rest of me! Now, it seems to "hold its own" and keep up with my other body parts, which is definitely progress.

After I finished my 15 minutes of rowing, the only open treadmills were in the front of the gym. I had to make a big decision. Do I stick with my plan to jog a mile, or do I chicken out and go home 10 minutes early?

This would be a really lame blog post if I chickened out, and I knew it. So, I stepped right onto the second treadmill from the left in the front of the room, right next to the 40-something-year-old man running in his short shorts. I pushed start, and 5.0 for speed and ran. I worried about my backside being on display, but I tried to keep my focus on my iPod tunes and keeping in stride with mister short-shorts. I jogged for 12 minutes, exactly a mile. And I didn't die. And nobody laughed. At least not that I saw.

Just as exciting as my exercise breakthrough, I lost 1.5 pounds this week! This brings my total weight loss to 28 pounds. I've got 12 more to go to reach my goal.

Here's this week's picture:

And since I haven't posted it in a while, here's my pre-diet photo, taken at a Project Linus event on February 20th of this year. I feel like an entirely different person!

We are taking the kids to Disneyland next week, so my next blog post will be in two weeks. Hopefully I'll have double the results!

Until then,


  1. Too funny! You actually look like a different person! and it's a good thing food is sooo expensive at Disneyland. I will be a good incentive to stay on your path to greatness! Have fun!

  2. Jen, I think you are absolutely AMAZING and look gorgeous. Way to go! Love you, Nikki