Ms. Fitness is Made not Born
I kept these eating habits from that point
forward, and then one Christmas
my husband gave me a set of "smart
bells," dumbbells for women.
I was in my late 20's and had
never enjoyed any form of exercise
in my life. I used the little
booklet that came with the "Smart Bells"
and started an exercise routine
on the floor of our spare bedroom.
I don't know what spark that lit,
but it was the catalyst for my
interest in weight training. I
soon outgrew my little routine
and wanted to learn more so I
bought a book called Getting
Built by Dr. Lynne Pirie.
The photo on the cover inspired
me to consider weight training.
This woman was a physician, she
showed photos of herself in her
teens and another in her 30's
and though she was thin in her
teens, I preferred the older photo.
Her body had shape and definition
such as I'd never seen. She was
beautiful. I wanted to look like
EFT Weight Loss in a Weekend: Private Hands-on EFT, Plus 8-Week Ending Emotional Eating Course
Mar 29-30, 2008I visited several gyms looking for just
the right one to join. I visited those with
every feature you could imagine, and finally
settled on the most unlikely spot: A tennis
club. I didn't play tennis and had no interest
in tennis but they also had a little used
weight room. It was small, and it was not
busy the way some of the clubs had been
packed with people. I wanted somewhere I
could privately try new things.
I started going three days a week at 6:00
AM when it first opened. I had
the place all to myself. I'd followed
the beginning "program"
from Getting Built, and
I got started. The first thing
the "program" recommended
was riding the stationary bike
before the workout to get warmed
up. They recommended 15 minutes
I barely lasted for five.
I slowly worked my way up to six,
then 10, then 15, and eventually
I was riding an hour a day, nearly
every day. (Today I ride 47 minutes
six or more days a week, working
my way up to 50 minutes).
My Bike -- The $2.55
Eventually I was riding for a long enough
time that my workouts were starting to take
too long in the gym, so I decided to purchase
a home exercise bicycle. I shopped around
and visited many exercise shops (I met a
bodybuilder who became my training partner
at one of these shops). I chose the Schwinn
Air Dyne, primarily because it had a large,
tractor style seat which I thought would
be comfortable. Much of what I'd heard about
home exercise equipment was that if you
buy "cheap" you'll find it uncomfortable
and most likely not use it.
AirDyne bike total cost $2.18
per mo ( purchased in 1984)
Buy quality equipment. It's
my bike. Best money I ever
spent. I finally had to
toss that old gray leotard
though. It had just too
many miles on it, and was
so stretched out it became
a little sad looking.
Another excellent feature
on my Schwinn are the handlebars
which move back and forth
as you pedal, giving the
added benefit of some upper
body work while you exercise
your lower body. I read
while I'm on the bike, so
I hold my book in one hand,
while moving the handlebar
with the other. When it's
time to turn the page, I
just switch hands.
I paid $550 for my bike back
in about 1984. By my estimation,
that bike's investment has worked
out to about $2.18 per month.
Not bad. My bike has a nice layer
of dust on the spokes, but it
still runs perfectly, and it has
traveled the globe with me, moving
from Oregon to Ohio to California
and finally to Washington State
where I now live. I ride now 49
minutes a day, six or seven days
a week. Why 49 minutes? That's
just the number I've worked up
to and I don't know that I'll
go any further. It gets difficult
to carve out much more than 45
minutes at a time -- at least
I've rolled over the 9,999 mile speedometer
at least four times (I finally
quit counting) so I figure I have
at least 40,000 miles on that
bike and I'm still going strong.
Strength Training for
Strength Training for Beauty
featuring Gladys Portugues.
The magazine that started
it all for me.
The magazine, Strength
Training for Beauty, was
what did it for me. Once
I saw this photo I knew
how to get into the shape
I wanted to be. I eventually
became a body builder and
developed a rather nice
physique. I trained at 5:30
AM with my workout partner
(whom I'd met while shopping
for bikes), took Tai Kwan
Do once a week, rode my
bike for an hour a day,
six days a week and ate
a low fat/high complex carbohydrate
diet. At that point I had
14% body fat. I looked and
felt great, although I'll
be honest, I was never 100%
satisfied. I guess perfect
just doesn't really exist.
With all that exercise and activity
by the time I finished all my
workouts, showered, ate and dressed
it was noon. That's a pretty tough
schedule if you have a 9-5 job,
so obviously I don't train like
that today. In those days I was
young, had no kids, and ran my
own business, a health food type
store called Bushel & Peck
Produce Co., so I could keep any
scheduled I wanted.
An injury curtailed the
intensity of my workouts,
but I never stopped training
or riding my bike. I did
give up the Tai Kw an Do
-- my back couldn't take
it. Now I take Pilates classes
instead and my back's feeling
Has an 80 lb Baby
I started to gain weight from
the day I conceived and found
myself at 218 lbs. when my son
was born. We hadn't had any mirrors,
except a small bathroom medicine
cabinet, so the day I used my
doctor's restroom and saw myself
in their full length mirrors was
quite a shock. (I wonder why on
earth they'd have a floor to ceiling
mirror at an obstetricians' office?).
Once I was home from the hospital,
I knew I had a long road ahead
to take off the extra weight.
I wasn't too worried since I'd
been in great shape prior to the
The real surprise was that I'd gained that
much weight at all. I should have been more
aware, but I was blissfully unaware, thinking
I could still eat the same amounts I had
when I was a very active bodybuilder. One
of the best things about doing a lot of
physical exercise is getting to eat a lot
of food along with it, but a person has
to realize if their activity level drastically
changes, so to must their intake.
I did exercise during my pregnancy, weight
lifting and riding my bike, but the last
couple of months were increasingly difficult
as my energy was low. I'd come home from
work and go straight to bed.
How'd I gain so much weight? Maybe it was
because I'd eat Chinese food every day during
the week for lunch. If you ever go to an
American Chinese restaurant the first thing
you'll notice is the gigantic portions.
They are suited to a family of three, but
here are served to one person. I noticed
most people had a "to go" carry
out when they left, but not me. I ate every
last morsel, every day. Some days, while
waddling back to my office, I'd stop by
and buy a cookie for dessert. Not a small
palm sized cookie, but one of those giant
cookies. This is America let's Super
So, I ate my usual hearty breakfast, huge
lunch and my husband would serve me a wholesome
dinner in bed. And I slowly gained 80 lbs.
How I Lost the Pregnancy
My weight loss graph shows 167 lbs as the
starting weight, so that's when I started
to pay attention. I began by exercising
again, similar to the manner in which I
started in the first place. I rode my bike
for 10 minutes to start, gradually working
back up to 45 minutes or more a day, most
days. I trained with weights four days a
week. Upper body one day, lower body the
next, and then a day of rest in between.
This was done at home with some crappy weight
training equipment I bought, and my faithful
On weekends I didn't weight train, and
only rode the bike if I felt like it. Food
wise, I ate whatever I wanted, but tried
to eat healthfully. I was breast feeding
my baby, and didn't drink any alcohol. My
husband was a heath nut and we didn't eat
much in the way of prepared foods, fast
foods, or refined flours.
Off came the weight. It wasn't difficult
at all, and it took about eight months to
lose the extra 80 lbs. I have the pictures
to prove it.
Husband - emotional
control who decides?
Here we go again. My husband started to
interfere in my eating habits though. He
was a fanatic about certain foods, which
he would not eat under any circumstances.
Pork, shellfish. He would go insane if he
accidentally got something with pork, such
as a baked good that used lard. He once
acted like I was trying to poison him because
I accidentally bought some baked goods that
used lard. He'd call the store and ask about
ingredients. It got so I hated to go out
to eat with him because he'd always grill
the waiter about ingredients, like it was
life or death.
He didn't want me to eat these foods either,
and while I tried to go along with his wishes,
as a good wife and all, I didn't appreciate
being told what I could or could not eat.
It was none of his business. This set me
up for some rebellion, which I grasped eventually
with a strong side of myself that should
never have gotten involved. Now it was war
and I was again at the helm of my own ship.
I'd do what I wanted, even if it meant changing
what I wanted, just to not be controlled
by someone else. How stupid this was. I
could have kept my healthy habits and just
ignored his wishes, but no. I had to go
overboard and I decided I'd eat what I wanted,
and that was that. Suddenly I found myself
wanting to eat less healthily, and that
was the new path I chose.
Changed Habits = Changed
Body & Health
After our divorce I moved back home, settling
in Vancouver, Washington where much of my
family lived. I started buying sugared cereals,
eating hamburgers and french fries on a
regular basis, eating candy, ice cream,
whatever, but not because that was my best
effort at staying healthy, but because no
one was going to tell me what to do.
My ex-husband and I agreed that for our
son, he'll eat whatever I choose when he's
with me, and whatever his father chose when
he's with him. After all, no divorced husband
of mine was going to control me from afar,
that was for sure. We never discussed it
again. Slowly I gained again.
Full circle - best
Now I've come full circle. I'm back to
choosing healthy habits. No one controls
me, and that includes my losing my path
thinking it is because someone is trying
to force good habits on me.
I eat healthfully most days. I generally
crave good foods, vegetables, fruits. I
still eat cheeseburgers, but not very often.
I still go out to eat, and choose whether
to eat what they serve by what I want, not
by its ingredients. I eat chocolates and
prefer to get the best quality I can. I
eat shortbread cookies that I buy by the
case because I can't find any stores that
carry them. They come individually wrapped
and while I used to eat one for a meal,
now I'll choose a healthier lunch, and perhaps
a cookie later, if I still want it.
The interesting thing is I don't find myself
hungry enough to eat most of the treats
I buy, so they sit, uneaten. Sometimes for
weeks or months. Sometimes I'm forced to
throw some chocolate out because I didn't
eat it and it's gone bad. That's pretty
weird. Sometimes ice cream freezes over
and gets icy, so out it goes. I throw away
a lot of good food too, but so what? I eat
what I want. Why should I treat myself like
a human garbage can? I bought it, and I
can now do whatever I want with it. That
isn't wasteful, it's smart.