Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How I overcame food temptation (this time)

Part of the lure of so-called reality TV shows is the fun of imagining how we would act if we faced the contest challenges.  (I’m not using the royal we here; I’m pretty sure I speak for more than myself.) 

“If I were on that island, I’d absolutely eat that cup of ground-up bugs!”

“Jumping off this building will get me around the world faster?  Hook me up!”

“Put me in a room full of candy bars and pizza, and I wouldn’t even touch ‘em.”

Hit the brakes. 

What was that? 

If I were on a reality TV show, and my object was to overcome the temptation of favorite foods which I didn’t really need, I’d have the strength to pass ‘em up?

“Well now, Missy,” I say to myself, “you happen to be not on a reality TV show, but in actual reality.  Every day you get to put your sanctimonious self through the temptation.  How’s that been going for you?“

Thanks to that little epiphany of yesterday, I’ve got finally some success under my belt!  (Go ahead, applaud!)  Tired from potty training my youngest, then listening to first day of school news, then going to a meeting, rather than drown my fatigue in sugary comfort, I simply felt the fatigue.  After dinner, when I had to buy more school supplies, I pictured the store's candy aisle as the temptation room on The Biggest Loser.  And at the end of the day, when I was plum tuckered out, on the couch and thinking of food, I pictured myself in TBL’s temptation room again.  “If I was on the show, I wouldn’t eat it.”

My strength isn’t confined to a rectangular screen of moving images.  My strength lives within me.  I just needed to learn how to tap into it.


Monday, August 22, 2011

My new love

The first time I heard of an arc trainer was this winter while watching The Biggest Loser.  I couldn’t tell exactly what the contraption was or what it did, but it looked like fun.  Several months later, my Euclid Y now has two brand new Cybex lower body arc trainers!

I’ve gotta tell you: it was love at first sight.  The design had me at hello.  Naturally, since I’d never seen one in person before and had not the first clue of how to properly use it, I jumped right on. (Disclaimer: you should probably seek instruction before trying new equipment.) 

Here are some of my impressions of the arc trainer:

1.     Arms don’t move.  At first I thought this was a drawback, but I've changed my mind.  The model at the Y has four hand/arm positions: way out in front of and above my head; bicep level; hip level; and, my favorite, bent elbow push-up position.
2.    The heart rate display is pretty – it scans through a rainbow of colors in a heart-shaped light – but it doesn’t display actual heart rate.  Instead, it indicates a range in which your heart rate falls.
3.    The leg motion is similar to that used on an elliptical machine, but with less knee pressure.  Plus there’s no need for forward and backward modes: you’re working quads and hams the entire time!  Woohoo!

Since trying the arc trainer, it’s the only cardio equipment I use at the Y.  Maybe it’s the honeymoon period, but I’m in love with the arc trainer.  This morning I spent 30 minutes on it and burned more than 400 calories.  I kept my core engaged and my arms in push-up position for muscular endurance.  Plus, with my arms there in front of me, I could watch them get all shiny with sweat.  J

The changing resistance (which simulates a course of hills and flats), the leg and hip motion, and the arm position all contributed to my fantasy that I was out on the open road in French wine country, crouched low over bicycle bars. 

Vive l’Arc Trainer!