Update: A Whole New Me

Before I get into this update, I would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me emails of encouragement, stopped me in the supermarket to share their weight-loss secrets and been generally supportive of my cause. You guys are awesome!

You will remember from my last post that I said I could not afford a gym membership. What I didn’t say was how much I detest going to the gym. If you recall, for many years I worked at a gym in New York, and in college,I spent tireless hours running on the treadmill and doing crunches. Sufficed to say, I believe I’ve put in enough gym time to last me for the rest of my life. The very thought of entering a gym makes my skin absolutely crawl.

Bottom-Line: if it came down to being the obese woman who’s too big to leave her house and having to run on a treadmill like a lab rat for twenty minutes every day, I’d grab a bag of double-stuffed oreos and plunk down in the middle of the couch so my hips would have enough room to spread like butter in the microwave.

Low-and-Behold, RIPT Gym turned around and offered me a 3 month membership at their Loshusan location absolutely free!

Now, why did they go and do that? At first I was flattered. How many people get offered free memberships out of the blue? Doesn’t that make me special? Then I thought, if I accept the membership, I’m going to turn into that lab rat on the treadmill! How can I let myself turn into that?

I decided to visit RIPT before committing myself to the generous offer. (After all, if I accept then I’ll really have to show some results. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to fail or disappoint people. If Kevin and Steffan wanted me to see results, I’d better produce.)

With the pressure on, I stopped by RIPT on Tuesday afternoon, to check the place out.

“This is it?” I said to Matthew skeptically. The gym had two treadmills, two bicycles and a couple machines. “I’ve seen home gyms bigger than this!”

“Well, it’s free. Why not give it a try?” Encouraged my twenty-five year old boyfriend, who eats Burger King twice a day and recently lost five pounds for no reason other than he stopped drinking Scotch.

On Wednesday I reported for duty. How bad could it be right? I figured I’d jog on the treadmill for twenty minutes like the lab-rat I am, maybe do a few sit-ups and some bicep curls, then head home. It’s just three months–I must be able to stick it out. Like I said, I’m no stranger to the gym! I know what the gym’s about!

So I began to do just that.

“Where are you going?” Asked Wayne the trainer, as I hopped on the treadmill, readying myself for a forte into my old, boring gym routine.

“To warm up,” I told him, as if it were not obvious. I mean, what else do people do on treadmills? Acrobatics? Na-duh!

“Oh no. You’re not running today. You need to shed inches on your hips. That’s where all your weight is,” reported Wayne matter-of-factly.

I stood for a moment assessing his statement. Really? Is all my weight on my hips? He pushed his measurement chart over so I could see. My measurements were clearly written:

Bust: 34.5”
Waist: 28”
Hips: 40”

“See! You have big hips,” reiterated the very muscular Wayne.

“I’m Lebanese! What do you want from me?” I protested in defense, horrified that anyone would insinuate that my body is anything short of perfection. So what if I want to lose ten pounds? I still look decent and my stomach is flat. Isn’t that all that really matters? He’s obviously critiquing my body because he’s never had sex with it! I wanted to tell him to speak to my ex-boyfriends about the size of my hips, but he stopped me in my tracks.

“Doesn’t matter if you’re Lebanese. That’s where your weight is, so that’s where we are going to target.”

Reluctantly, I stepped off the treadmill wondering what horrors awaited me.

Wayne kicked my butt for the next hour and a half. I didn’t go on the treadmill once. I didn’t do a single crunch. I did not pick up one free weight. For the remainder of my gym time I jumped over bars, did copious amounts of squats, and sweat straight through my clothes. I have never had a more full-body work-out experience in my life.

Another thing about Wayne–he does not subscribe to the numbers: 15 or 20. When he put me to do an exercise, it was do 200 of this and 200 of that. There were parts of me on fire that I never knew existed. Somewhere in the fat of my hips, something was coming to life. I could literally feel it.

I thought to myself: “Maybe I can lose inches on my hips? That’ll save me US$1500 in liposuction!”

“Oh God, Wayne, oh God!” I managed to utter on the brink of my death.

“Alright, last thing. Do fourteen minutes on the bicycle,” he instructed as I peeled myself off the inner thigh machine.

“But the bicycle hurts my tuckus!” I protested wearily. What did I ever do to make this man hate me?

“It’s not supposed to be a comfortable place to sit. It’s supposed to burn fat!” Asserted Wayne.

I want you to picture something for me right now. Do you know those infomercials of people on stationary bikes who appear to be wilting? You see them struggling to pedal, leaning over the handle bars, sweat dripping down their faces even though they are going maybe a meter every five minutes?

That was me last night. My mind told my body: cycle! cycle! But my body was not having it.

“I’ll never eat another Whopper again,” I swore to God silently, “I’ll never eat another piece of chocolate. I’ll never eat another scrap of food if you please make fourteen minutes end right now!”

At the end of my gym time, soaking wet with sweat, I headed home to squeeze the water out of my hair, totally horrified by the amount of torture just inflicted on my little-big-hipped body.

But then–By the time I got to the car, something totally weird happened. I felt great!

What the heck is that about?

Those happy endorphins that I knew so well during my gym days in New York were back at last! I never got those from speed walking around my complex or swimming in the pool. I started to remember why I enjoyed working out in the first place. These are gym endorphins! These are the things that make you come back again and again for an ass kicking.

My initial response to RIPT was echoed in my friend later that night: “That little gym?” He asked while I was making dinner and telling him about my experience.

“That little gym kicked my butt!” I reaffirmed, equally shocked. I didn’t use many machines, it was mostly my body working against it’s own weight, but my God! I have never experienced such an intense use of ninety minutes before.

I felt like Demi Moore in that movie where she shaved her head.

“So are we going back again tonight?” Matthew asked me this morning. He signed up for three months too, and he’s loving it.

“I guess we are,” I said as I left the apartment to go to work. And you know what? I’m kind of psyched about it.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ingrid Riley on September 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Hmmmm you may just have convinced me to go there. I’ve been searching for something different. Having been doing more outdoor stuff like biking, I’ve grown to dislike the inside of a gym big time even as I love working out. Thanks to my new braces that’ll help me shed the pounds until I decide. I’m gonna give them a check.


  2. I want to join RIPT now! I hate the gym too but I had an amazing trainer, Bonnie LeFrank, who is a female body builder, and she kicked my butt twice a week for months… I had to stop just short or vommiting many mornings by the end. I was dong the protein shakes and eating clean Oxygen/Tosco Reno style but told her I was never going to do cardio and she said no worries we’ll get your heart rate up higher than you ever could with cardio anyway … plus the muscle will be buring fat long after you’re session and in your sleep! Anyhow now that I don’t see her I’m lazy again and need to start P90x and cardio or something…. Would love to go back to her but she’s in Boston 😦

    Anyhow Kim Kardashian has bigger hips and looks amazing… you both have the top to balance the bottom so you really don’t have to stress it.


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