Forty Four and Flabby

I’ve been buying workout videos since the 1980s (Jane Fonda, I’m looking at you) and this is the first one I’ve ever seen that had captioning.  I’ve gone for the burn with Jane, I’ve Jazzercised, I’ve done dance routines with Cher, pregnancy workouts with Denise Austin, I’ve done step aerobics, worked out with Kathy Smith, done yoga and Tae Bo.  I’ve never seen captioning on a workout routine until I rented the “30 Day Shred” DVD this week.

This DVD came highly recommended…one girl excitedly mentioned that she now has muscles in her armpits thanks to this DVD.  I would simply be happy if my armpits didn’t loll over the edge of my bra, thank you very much.

I like the fact that it’s 20 minutes long.  My big thing these days is to try to convince myself I don’t have time to exercise.  Who wants to spend an hour doing the same workout routine?!  But 15-20 minutes…I can do that.  Right now I have two DVDs I rotate through – Walk Away the Pounds (a one mile walk that’s done in 15 minutes) and I Want That Body, with 15 minute segments that work your arms, thighs or abs.  I am not a hardcore exercise freak.  Actually, I loathe exercise.  If I could lose weight by sitting at the computer or sitting around reading, I would be in heaven.

Unfortunately, life is not fair.  As a teen and in my early 20s, people always told me that “it would catch up with me”….”it” being my metabolism, I guess.  I was skinny in high school, freaking out if the scale went over 100.  I blimped out to a horrifying 115 in my 20s, but finally accepted it since getting under that weight became nearly impossible.  Being short (5’2”) doesn’t help matters – a weight gain of 5 pounds looks like 20 pounds on me.

So I went and had kids…gaining about 35 pounds with each pregnancy and taking a year or two to get the weight off.  I headed into my 30s a little heavier but not terribly so.  It was easy to take off that extra 5 or 10 pounds simply by cutting back on snacking or being more careful with the types of food I ate.

Then I passed 35.  Oh my God.  My body rebelled, my metabolism shut completely down, and I gained weight hand over fist.  I was pissed, you guys.  I hadn’t changed my eating habits or exercise habits (of which I had…none).  I just got older.  The weight piled on and now I am officially obese according to BMI charts.  Come on, man!  When I look at myself, “obese” is not the term I’d use to describe my figure.  I’m no fool and I know I’m overweight but geez.

Have I mentioned that it isn’t fair?  You see hugely overweight people in movies and on TV that are stuffing their faces with donuts, cake, candy, fast food.  It’s always implied that if you’re overweight, that’s how you’re eating.  Well, I’m here to say hell no.  I eat like a normal person.  The only candy I have is a mini candy bar snuck here and there when we have leftover Halloween candy.  I eat a piece of cake at birthdays but no, I don’t chow down on a whole cake by myself.  I don’t binge.  I don’t eat late at night.  I just eat my regular food, and I get fat.

So I decided I needed to increase my physical activity to raise my metabolism.  I know the mechanics of how you lose weight.  I have read all the books, tried all the diets.  I’ve tried Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers.  For some reason I actually gain weight when I exercise, and I’m not fool enough to think it’s because I’m gaining muscle.  I don’t work out that hard.

It took up til now for me to decide to not obsess so much about the number on the scale.  Eat healthy and exercise.  Exercising makes me feel better, even if it makes me gain weight.  I think I look better.  So I work out.

I was exercising regularly before my CI surgery, and only just this past week got back to it.  I read the great reviews on this DVD and added it to our Netflix queue.  It came in yesterday and last night I casually told Dave, “I think I’m just going to pop this workout DVD in for a bit…I just want to see what it’s like.”

The instructor, Jillian Michaels, comes on and talks for a while.  No captioning, but I didn’t expect it.  Then you choose your workout level (1, 2 or 3).  Of course, I pick Level 1.  I’ve heard chilling things about levels 2 and 3.  Level 1 begins and the first thing I see is [upbeat music].  It’s captioned!

Now I’m completely fascinated.  It starts off with a simple warm-up so I follow along…it feels silly to just stand there watching the DVD.  Then there’s jumping jacks.  Okay.  I’m a little concerned that I’m going to knock the TV off the stand from the vibration of me jumping on the floor, but I gamely keep up.  I can feel my processors lifting up and settling back down on my ears with each hop.  I’d like to hold them to my ears but you can’t do jumping jacks with your hands against your head.

I follow along half-heartedly through other segments – push ups (uh, yea…I think I’ll do mine against the wall, thank you), simulating jump rope (again with the bouncing processors and precarious bouncing of the TV as I hop).  Hand weight workouts and lunges are fine and I actually do all of those.  Then it’s sit ups.  I don’t mind sit ups…I can usually do them with no struggle.  It’s the yoga-based ab exercises where you hold your weight on your hands/wrists that I can’t do, because of my carpal tunnel problems.  Sit ups, though…bring ‘em on.  Except…don’t.  I can’t do sit ups wearing my CI’s.  My hands behind my head knock my headpieces off.  My processors are sliding back and off my ears.  I’m trying to look at the TV at the same time, to see what we’re supposed to be doing.  Finally, I give up and sit out the sit up section.

It’s back to jumping jacks.  I try, and then stop the DVD.  Gasping and wheezing, I tell Dave, “I don’t think I’m going to buy this DVD.”  He’s shocked, because I’d been really looking forward to trying it.  “Why not?!”, he asks.

Well, I tell him, I can’t do these exercises with my CI’s.  All the workouts I’ve been doing up til now are done standing up – walking, weight lifting.  I hadn’t done any floor work at all.  I just can’t do sit ups or jumping jacks and keep the processors on my head.

In the end, though, he talked me into giving the DVD another chance.  I’m going to try it without my CI’s on.  Since it’s captioned (yahoo!) I can follow along even if I can’t hear.

I think I’m going to wait another day or so to try.  Even with just a few minutes of half-hearted following along, I’m in pain today.  I feel like crying every time I lower myself into a sitting position.

As they say … no pain, no gain!


About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on August 31, 2008, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Observations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Loved this post! I’m anxious how you feel about trying them without your CI’s. I’m looking for something to do during the freezing Maryland winters when I can’t walk! Give us an update please!



  2. Same here…i’m going through the same thing you are…I just turned 30. So yeah…it’s catching up to me as well.

    The Biggest Loser DVD is captioned! I hate the lunges though.

    I am doing Wii Fit now hopefully I can lose at least 10 pound before Christmas. I know it doesn’t seem much, but it just seem like I have a much harder time losing weight.



  3. “If I could lose weight by sitting at the computer or sitting around reading, I would be in heaven.”

    I’m with you on that one, Wendi!

    Amanda and I have been looking for Wii Fit and can’t find it in stock anywhere!



  4. Wii Fit can be found online many places including which I highly recommend. I bought my Wii and several others as gifts from Good luck with your weight loss plans 🙂


  5. You crack me up. I will be 40 this year and my body has caught up with me many years ago. I have had balance issues for years and I can’t do the acro exercise without falling down. We did join the YMCA so I can use the treadmill and bike. I finally got into the weights, but still nothing shows for it.

    Caption???? Might have to Netflex it.


  6. An interesting post. Have you ever tried to do a yoga CD?!! It’s hard to watch and meditate at the same time!

    I’ve been exercising and trying to lose weight for the last six months. . . and haven’t lost a pound! But, I do feel better. Maybe I need to quit looking at the scale and just do it.

    I use Handy Tack from the office supply store or school supply aisle to keep my processors on my head when I exercise. You might want to try that.

    I have Netflix, too. Never thought about getting my exercise CD’s from them. . .will give that a try, too!


  7. There are captioned exercise DVDs? Captioned?

    I am always constantly watching the exercise trainer as I exercised and waiting for the next exercise segment or swtiching sides. Yoga. Can you imagine going upside down and pop goes the CI? When I lay down on the floor to do sit ups, the CI slides off. Yeah, the pounds are creeping on this forty-one year old, too. I never had a real weight issue until I turned 38. Doing homework on the computer and blogging, and emailing, and just becoming more sedenary piled on the inches I don’t want. I was standing on my feet all day at work, lifting and packing dishes all day at the factory and then running around at home…I didn’t really have a lot of “me” time as I do now. I was just busier then.

    Will have to check out the DVD. Funny, because I was just checking out more DVDs like 10 minute trainer and no crunch abs, bender ball, etc. So many out there.



  8. Wow… I just stumbled across your blog… congratulations on your CIs… what an amazing technology!


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