Late Night Work Outs

gym selfie

Look at me, two weeks in a row (pats self on the back-winces in pain because yesterday was “arms day” and they still hurt to move). I don’t really have much to tell you.  Not a lot has changed in the last week.  I’m still fat.  I still don’t want to exercise. I am still exercising anyway. I want to eat every bad thing I see and I resist the urge almost solely based on the fact that I don’t want to write another confessional post.

Two days a week, I go to the gym following my swing shift at work.  This shift runs from 5pm to 3 am.  The absolute hardest part of working out at this time is getting out of my car. Especially recently as the weather has turned colder (I use that term loosely as “cold” here is when the temperature hits the 40’s at night). I get in my car to drive over to the gym and turn on the heater to defrost my windshield.  By the time I can see and drive over to the gym, I’m cozy warm and I am loath to get out. It seems that each night gets harder and harder but eventually I work up the (let’s be honest) guilt (over having to write about not going in this post) and go inside.

This is one of my favorite times to go to the gym.  Surprisingly enough there is barely anyone there.  Although it’s been said that “misery loves company,” I prefer to be alone during my work out sessions.  I don’t want to make friends and be forced to carry on conversations between desperate gasps for air. It is usually just a handful of people.  Last night there was one other person (the employee) in the gym when I finally dragged myself from the car.

There is a long row of roughly 20 exercise bikes. I usually go the last one on the end-that way I can guarantee at least one side of solitude.  Last night my favorite bike was waiting for me like a silent, non-judgmental old friend.  I began working out.  About 3 minutes into my workout (or about 3 minutes after I wanted to stop), an older guy came in and walked straight to the bike on my right.  Not to “a” bike on my right, but to “the” bike on my right. Mind you this facility is enormous.  Even if he had only wanted to bike he could have chosen any of the other 19 or so.  Instead he chose to sit roughly 2 feet from me.

I did my best to ignore him and focus on my exercise or more accurately zone-in on my distraction of choice-Doctor Who. I believe he may have tried to say something to me but I had my ear buds in and didn’t respond. If he did attempt to chat me up he quickly abandoned his efforts and focused on his workout.  I continued pedaling with the added motivation of pretending I was racing away from the awkward situation.

Then the noises started. At first it seemed like a casual grunt one would expect from physical exertion. But I quickly realized this was not a normal situation.  He was breathing loudly on the inhale as well as the exhale.  Each exhale began with pursed lips drawn tightly so that the air had to build up pressure before it could escape.  Once a sufficient amount of pressure had amassed it began slipping out in short bursts that made a staccato sound not dissimilar to flatulence.  When he finished his exhale he began a crescendo of sucking the air back in through his teeth so that it made a wet hissing noise just barely below a whistle. Even now as I reenact it to more aptly describe it to you, I find myself out of breath-leading me to believe that it is not only annoying but incredibly anti-conducive to exercise.

Fortunately, he only lasted ten minutes (I was sure he would have hyperventilated after five minutes) before moving on, mercifully, to the other side of the gym.  I could still hear his odd breathing noises as he grunted with each rep on the weight machines.  I finished up my own regimen (infinitely more silently) and exited the gym.

As I said before, I prefer to exercise in misery alone. But if I am forced to exercise with other people present then may they all be such productive blog fodder.

New Year; Fresh Start

Hello Media.

I know.  It’s been three weeks since my last post.  Not only have I failed at making this a habit (not giving up on that), but I also want to offer up many excuses (some legitimate) as to why I haven’t posted the last few weeks.  The cold hard truth is that I haven’t wanted to sit down at the computer and write out the post.  Honestly, how lazy am I that I don’t want to do a task that requires me to sit and only move my fingers?  It’s not like I don’t have good things to update.  It’s not like I have bad things to tell you. I just didn’t want to type.  For that I apologize.  When I started out I made the commitment to lose weight and communicate that journey.  I can’t be faithful to one and neglect the other.  So please forgive my laziness.  I will endeavor to be more consistent with my responsibilities moving forward.

That was how I started the last entry I posted to my blog.  These last few weeks since then have been a great big fail.  Not only was I not “more consistent with my responsibilities” but I failed in so many other ways.

I have never really felt the holiday crush when it comes to trying to eat right and exercise faithfully. The reason for that is due mostly to the fact that I haven’t really cared before.  I wasn’t trying to eat right, I just ate.  I wasn’t trying to exercise faithfully I just did what I wanted to do (which more often than not consisted of doing nothing). This year was different.  I was committed to eating right and exercising but when it came down to it, I was no match for the onslaught of holiday activities–most of which include minimal activity and lots of eating spectacularly not good for you food.

I struggled most with the eating right part.  That statement alone could aptly sum up my life let alone the last 6 weeks.  It could be on my tombstone:  Here lies Jared.  He was a nice guy, thought he was way funnier than he was but mostly he struggled with the eating right part.  I know I don’t have to remind you about all the fantastic food one is enticed to eat in the holiday season.  Just suffice it to say that when the opportunity presented itself I more often than not accepted the challenge to eat as much as I could rather than politely decline.

Exercising faithfully was not as big of a problem but I still consider it a fail.  Through this time I still went to the gym regularly with the exception of the week of Christmas and the following week.  I used the hectic nature of my work at Christmas (and it was stupid crazy) and the fact that I had been faithful to that point as an excuse to take a couple of weeks off.  But really I would have jumped at any excuse I could to take a break.

The thing that I feel was my most miserable failure though was this blog.  The other day I got an email from a fitness app I had years ago.  One article was about the #1 habit all weight loss programs should have.  A cross fit trainer got all his fitness buddies to write out their most common fitness habits.  They narrowed the list down to 167.  That was obviously too many for a successful blog post (who is going to open a post called “167 Essential Fitness Habits”). So the cross fit trainer decided to define “habit”.  He came to the conclusion that a habit was something you did almost subconsciously. That definition eliminated their entire list.  If they were aware of their habits enough to write out 167 of them then they weren’t as subconscious as they thought.  As he discussed this with his fitness buddies, he realized that the most essential thing to effective weight loss was what he was doing at that moment: Sharing the journey.

The not so old adage goes: If someone works out and doesn’t post it to social media, did it really happen? We’ve all seen the countless images on Instagram and Facebook of people working out (I enjoy the fails the most). Most of them admittedly are doing it out of vanity and pride.  But a few are endeavoring to attain an element of accountability.  I decided I need to start doing this.  Truth is I can’t sit down and bang out a blog post every couple of days.  But I can keep a stream of information flowing through other means.

I have several social media accounts set up to which I will be posting daily updates of my  journey including things I’ve eaten (or things I’ve not eaten but wanted to), exercise times and accomplishments and general information I found useful.  So basically I’ll be using social media to post pictures of food and myself (original, I know) but this time it will be for a purpose.  If you do not already follow me on these networks I will list how to find me below. If social media isn’t really your thing I will continue to post weekly to the blog.  Not only will this allow me to communicate more openly with you but you can more easily communicate with me as well.  If you want to encourage me, share a tip or just call me out on general laziness I welcome it.

Thank you for your patience and sticking with me so far.  I hope to be more consistent and faithful going forward on this journey.  But if I start to slack off just say something. After all, that’s what I need from you the most.

Facebook: Jared Burkholder

Twitter: @myfatskinnyguy

Instagram: jaredburk02 or just search #myfatskinnyguy