First Day Back at the Gym


When you've spent the past 6 years binge eating and barely exercising, the first day back at the gym can be both bracing and uplifting.

I got on the scale in my doctor's office yesterday, and the verdict wasn’t good. I weighed in at 253 (GASP!) pounds. I'm not totally dejected because last year, I weighed 255, which means I lost 2 pounds for the year. I went home after my appointment, tore at my shirt, gnashed my teeth, and wailed like the collective voice of the city of Sodom. It was indeed Biblical. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. I actually didn't go right home; I went to the Y.

That's right, I christened my YMCA membership. In the locker room changing area, there is a full wall mirror, so I got a good look at myself in only a pair of shorts. I'm happy to report that I am in good shape. After all, round is a shape, too. Gone is my exceptional physique from 6 years ago. I shouldn't be surprised. Barely exercising and binge eating for years on end can have that effect. Nuts.

I proceeded to the cardio section of the gym and started running on a treadmill. It broke down after a minute, and part of me actually considered calling it a day. I shook it off and hopped on an elliptical trainer with "ski poles" to exercise the arms. After a half hour on the machine, I rewarded myself with a good sweat in the steam room.

In the steam room, I ran into a gentleman who remembered me from my fit days, and we talked a little. I told him about how my fitness level had declined since I stopped running. He asked why I had stopped, and I told him I didn't know, neglecting to mention my suspicions that my meds have sapped my drive. In any case, I’ve resolved not to use that as an excuse any longer. The man suggested I try swimming, so I suited up and hit the water for 15 minutes, using some muscles that hadn't been put to work since summer. In all, I had put in 45 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of muscle toning. Not a bad day at the gym.

My kid had swim practice, so I ran for 15 minutes and then did a light set of weight lifting. (I'm trying to tone up, not bulk up.) At the end of the day, I weighed, measured, tracked, and stayed on target with everything that went into my mouth. It felt good to be back on track. To get rolling, that is all you need. Peace.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, is not what he could be and not what he should be, but not what he was.

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