I’m thirty-eight-and-a-half years old, so I made a very short list of my personal goals before I hit the big 4-0. This is what I came up with, so far:
- Learn how to drive.
- Learn how to bake (cookies, cakes and cupcakes).
- Get absolutely fabulous abs!
Look, I’m a very realistic person. I know for certain that nothing’s ever going to happen with that list. I just love making lists, that’s all. But it so happens that our sports club — of which my husband has been a member for over 20 years — has added a new gym facility and I thought I should take advantage of it. So one day, I went there on my bicycle and started working out. That should take care of item number 3 on my list.
Day 1: Seeing Stars
(Starting weight: about 50 kg.) For my warm-up exercise, I went cycling around our village for about half an hour. When I got to the gym, the 2 treadmill machines were occupied, so I mounted the stationary bike and set the timer for 10 minutes. Less than 3 minutes on the equipment and I was already sweating like crazy. Also, I felt very light-headed and started seeing stars swirling around me, just like in cartoon shows. I began questioning myself: Why? Why am I doing this? What the heck for? But once I kept going, it became easier to hurdle the 10-minute mark. After that I used another machine (I don’t know what it’s called) and then lifted some weights. My main problem areas are my big, flabby arms so I’d love to tone them and, hopefully, prevent them from getting any bigger. I think I only spent about 30 minutes in the gym, and another 30 minutes on my bicycle. It was a good start. Glad I was able to get home without passing out.
Day 2: Hello, Muscle Pains!
Arrgh. It’s like I’ve been beaten up by a couple of goons the previous day. I could hardly move my arms, but I still went to the gym anyway. (As the saying goes, no pain, no gain — or loss.) I went there right after I dropped Bea off at her classmate’s house (they carpool) in the morning, so I was at the gym at around 6:40 a.m. I discovered that this was the perfect time to go because there was only one other person who was exercising then. Everyone else arrived after 7:15. I spent some time on the machines, all the while panting and feeling faint. The only things that kept me going were visions of food in my head and the fact that I was going to see American Idol Phillip Phillips in the flesh that night. That’s how I made it through. I walked all the way home this time, which is another good 10 to 15 minutes of exercise. I sipped oolong tea at home, for the extra weight-loss effect.
Day 3: Soooo Lazy
It’s been raining and that made it so hard for me to get out of bed and drag my massive butt into the gym. But I managed to get there and do my “routine”. The TV was on, and somehow, it was a good distraction because it took my mind off the machine timer. But then it was tuned in to Rachael Ray‘s program on the Lifestyle Network, and they were decorating several cakes on the show. Cakes! *Drool* After my workout, I was hungry for a big tapsilog meal, but our freezer had run out of beef tapa so I just fixed myself a plate of instant seafood chow mein. With real prawns. And quail eggs. Yum.
Day 4: Not Counted
It’s a Saturday so I took my Bea for a dip in the swimming pool at the sports club in the afternoon. My plan was to use the gym while Bea eats a pizza just outside the gym. I went straight for the treadmill and began exercising. Bea watched me and couldn’t stop laughing at me, so after 2 minutes on the treadmill, I quit. That little girl is totally nuts.
Day 5: Burn, Baby, Burn!
Monday. I was a little late for the gym because I took Bea to school. Got in the gym at 8:00 a.m. I was delighted to discover that I wasn’t panting like I used to during the first 3 days, I didn’t feel faint, and there’s no more body pain at all. Wow. I felt great! So this is what it feels like. Forty-five minutes went by so fast. I walked back home, but on the way, I stopped by a neighborhood eatery. I decided to have a hearty breakfast of rice, chorizo macau and fried egg. Life is so good.
People who know me personally always see me munching on something — potato chips, fishballs, yema, chocolate candy bars, etc. If eating were a sport, I’d be training for the Olympics by now. But I realize that, at my age, I can’t keep eating the way I do without exerting a little effort to balance things out. I’m aware that my metabolism is not like it was when I was much younger. That’s why I resolve to go to the gym at least 3 times a week from now on, so that I can still enjoy my food. Having fun at the gym is just a bonus.