The Treadmill

Post slugAbout once or twice a decade, something compels me to join a gym. It could be any little thing: from needing an extra boost because I’ve hit a weight loss rut to finding new and different ways to set my money on fire.

My latest foray into the world of sweat-generating machinery came in February, due to a work-sponsored, month-long fitness challenge. Easy goals made up most of the challenge: logging my foods, weighing in, and eating fruit. But I also faced two difficult requirements: eating a lot more vegetables and [cue ominous music: dum, dum, dummm] exercise.

As I thought about my options, one thing became clear: I would have to join the gym. I didn’t see how just taking a stroll once or twice a day for twenty minutes total was going to help me meet my exercise requirement (specifically: burning three times my body weight in calories).

First Check

The first thing I had to do was Sign Up. This involved scheduling a fifteen minute session where they subjected me to grueling physical tests such as taking my blood pressure and checking my pulse; and answering very personal and invasive questions such as, what’s my name and check this box if you agree to the fine print.

With that out of the way, I now had free access to all sorts of equipment and machinery. On my very first day I hopped on a stair machine because: 1) I’d done that sort of thing before and always found it to be a good work out and 2) it was the only unoccupied machine.

It felt great, too. I got my heartrate up. I could feel that familiar burn in my legs. In no time at all I felt like, “Yes, that’s it. I’m back.” Sadly, though, this was just the first ninety seconds of my workout. I spent the remaining eighteen and a half minutes constantly rubbing my towel over my face, hoping that everyone else would see me wiping away sweat instead of me crying in pain and fear and humiliation.

I hopped off after twenty minutes, legs wobbly, and checked my workout statistics. Great. I’d only burned 1x of my weight in calories: 3x seemed as far out of my reach as a stroll to the moon and back.

A New Plan

I downshifted from stairs to the treadmill the next day. Ah, okay. Now that’s more my speed. This went fine for a couple days until I remembered what that thing was about the treadmill: I hated it.

Sure, I realize that exercise isn’t supposed to be entertaining; but man, just walking in place—even a brisk walk with a nice view out the window—gets really old really quickly. I had to do something. But what?

Rewind to 1982. This is the year I discovered Doctor Who. If you already know what Doctor Who is, then I don’t need to explain any further. If you don’t know, then I can’t explain it all in this blog post. Try this link and come on back.

In short, though, Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme. It originally ran from 1963 to 1989, came back for a television movie in 1996, and then got a pretty good reboot in 2005. It’s still on today.

Now, starting back in 1982 I’m pretty sure I saw every episode produced between 1970 and 1981. However, when the show was rebooted in 2005, I only watched sporadically. I kept saying to myself, “Someday, I’m gonna watch all these.” But then I would always answer myself, “Why? You’ve got books to write, music to compose, and sleep to sleep. You don’t have time for a silly television show.”

Here and there I’d watch one anyway, but I missed a large number of episodes and eventually got so far behind the mere thought of catching up became too daunting.

The Solution

Fast forward to 2015. Although we don’t have flying cars, Black and Decker Hydrators, or Mattel Hoverboards, we do have the ability to watch TV virtually anywhere. Like a bolt of lightning, the solution became incredibly obvious: catch up on Doctor Who while walking on the treadmill. If this isn’t the textbook definition of killing two birds with one stone, I don’t know what is.

Suddenly what used to be a groaning and miserable, “I have to go work out on the treadmill again,” turned into, “Oh boy! I get to go work out on the treadmill again!!!”

Forget Jillian Michaels. This is the new face of fitness:



10 Responses to “The Treadmill”

J. Balthazar Cragmeyer (New York Times Best-Selling Author of "Murder Detective, P.I.") said
on
March 30, 2015 at 9:19 am

I’m contemplating watching DOCTOR WHO on my internet device because of your suggestion(s).

Reply
    Charlie said
    on
    March 30, 2015 at 9:32 am

    As I’ve talked about before (not here), it does take a while to get up to speed. I will admit that just watching a show or two out of the blue isn’t enough to “get it.” And not every show is as good as every other show. Every series has one or two shows you wish they hadn’t made. But I would start right back at the beginning (the 2005 beginning), get past the silly mannequin opening show, then see what happens after several episodes.

    Reply
Paula said
on
March 31, 2015 at 5:16 am

I have a love, hate relationship with the treadmill. Love the idea of walking where you don’t start sweating the minute you walk out the door. South Texas is not the place to walk outside in the summer. The hate part comes in when you have walked and walked and walked and that little windows says you have only gone 1 mile. I don’t mind watching tv on the treadmill but I don’t recommend reading. It is hazard to your health. I received a black eye at the gym one day because I was really getting into a book and forgot that the treadmill was going to speed up at a certain time. The treadmill went faster and my feet did not, need I say more. :)

Reply
    Charlie said
    on
    March 31, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I really should try reading. I definitely have far more books to catch up on than television shows. I’m just not sure if it’ll work for me or not. Only one way to find out. :)

    Reply
Biz said
on
March 31, 2015 at 10:17 am

I loved this post Charlie, and how dare they ask you invasive questions like “what’s your name?!”

I love the treadmill, watching FoodTV and making mental notes of restaurants – I did read an article that said that people who watch food networks and make the recipes on average weigh 11 pounds more than people who just watch the show for enjoyment – that can explain me being 30+ pounds overweight – ha!

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/tv-cooking-shows-may-be-making-you-fatter-by-normalizing-over-consumption-and-gratification-study/

Reply
    Charlie said
    on
    March 31, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I can see that. A lot of what you see on those shows isn’t “everyday” food, but if you’re really into that, it suddenly becomes your everyday food.

    Reply
Christine said
on
March 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Great idea! I’d like to listen to some old radio shows while walking. Wonder if those are available anywhere. Have a great day! :)

Reply
Protein Challenge and My Knee - My Bizzy Kitchen said
on
April 1, 2015 at 6:05 am

[…] have to read my brother’s latest blog post about joining the gym and using the treadmill – it’s so funny!  Go ahead, go check it out and then come back and finish reading.  […]

Reply
Kim Turner said
on
April 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

My boys (teenagers) are all about Dr. Who lately!!!
I’m a huge treadmill fan – it is one of my happy places. I catch up on all of my DVR shows while running – perfect!

Reply
Charlie said
on
April 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Yeah, I never thought “treadmill” and “happy place” would be used in the same sentence, but it’s definitely working for me. Here’s hoping I can keep it up.

Reply

Leave a Reply. All the cool kids are doing it.

Comment:

Yard Work

March 23rd, 2015

thumbnail-yard-work

In February, The Great Neverending Weight Loss Story got two much-needed boosts. First, I finally admitted that Diet #113 was dead and so started a new one. Second, I was presented with a Challenge. A Challenge? Enter the February Wellness Challenge, sponsored by my employer. The idea behind it was: hook up with three co-workers, […]

Read the full post | 17 Comments »

Wii Fit Plus

March 16th, 2015

thumbnail-wii-fit-plus

I am somehow forty-two days into Diet 115 already. Which is hard to believe because it actually feels more like forty-one days, twenty-three hours. It’s like we inexplicably lost an hour somewhere along the way. The good news is: I’m down five pounds. The bad news is: I was down five pounds thirty whole days […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

Diet 115

February 23rd, 2015

thumbnail-diet-115

It’s with mingled happiness, excitement, sorrow, and regret that I announce Diet #115 has begun. Before Back to the Fridge went off on a five-week diet soft drink adventure, I had embarked on Diet 113C. In that post I talked about how all my ambitious, post-holiday diet plans crashed and burned right out of the […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

The Soda Chronicles, Part Five

February 16th, 2015

thumbnail-the-soda-chronicles-part-5

This is final installment of my mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. Welcome to Part Five, or How I Found a Solution to the Most Trivial and Pointless Problem on the Planet. A quick recap: I switched from sugar soft drinks to diet soft drinks due to excess calories. I switched from diet soft drinks to no […]

Read the full post | 3 Comments »

The Soda Chronicles, Part Four

February 9th, 2015

thumbnail-the-soda-chronicles-part-4

Welcome to my continuing mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. This is Part Four, or Why I Switched from the Sugar Stuff to No Soft Drinks At All. So on September 30, 2014, I decided to stop drinking diet soft drinks (really, to halt my intake of artificial sweeteners completely) and switch to regular sugar sodas again. […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

The Soda Chronicles, Part Three

February 2nd, 2015

thumbnail-the-soda-chronicles-part-3

Welcome to the third part of my mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. This is Part Three, or Why I Switched from Diet Soda Pop Back to the Sugar Stuff. In our last episode, our intrepid hero Charlie had seemingly found everlasting happiness with diet soda pop. It had no calories. It tasted good. And, best of […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

The Soda Chronicles, Part Two

January 26th, 2015

thumbnail-the-soda-chronicles-part-2

Welcome to the second part of my mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. This is Part Two, or Why I Switched from Regular Soda Pop to Diet Soda Pop. Unlike last week’s semi-rhetorical question, this one is easy to answer: calories. When I realized that the drinks I was guzzling down contained levels of sugar that could […]

Read the full post | 4 Comments »

The Soda Chronicles, Part One

January 19th, 2015

thumbnail-the-soda-chronicles-part-1

Welcome to my new mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. This is Part One, or Why I Love Me Some Soda Pop. Ironically, I can’t actually answer that question because the concepts of likes and dislikes lie beyond logical definition. In short, people like what they like and they don’t like what they don’t like. Take mushrooms, […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

Just Kidding

January 12th, 2015

thumbnail

I’m not a novelist, but I play one on the internet. In my quest to become one in real life, I’ve studied a thing or two about the craft. Fortunately for you, one of the “one or two things” I’ve learned along the way can be directly applied to dieting. When it comes to starting […]

Read the full post | 5 Comments »

Diet Within a Diet Within a Diet

January 5th, 2015

thumbnail-diet-with-a-diet

A few minutes after midnight on Thursday, January 1, 2015, I had an amazing idea. A groundbreaking idea. In fact, it’s hard to believe no one has ever come up with this before. Forget about revolutionary notions like the automobile or space flight or even the Slap Chop. I’ve got something so good it’ll make […]

Read the full post | 1 Comment »

The Year in Review

December 31st, 2014

thumbnail-the-year-in-review-2014

As a species, we talk a lot about how fast time moves, but in all reality it doesn’t. That sense of speed is, more or less, an illusion. A year “flies by” only because we do not have the ability to recall, minute-for-minute, the entire time span. It’s like a good night’s sleep or a […]

Read the full post | 8 Comments »

Day 9000

December 20th, 2014

thumbnail-day-9000

Today we once again touch on a difficult topic: the passage of time. Each of us is acutely aware of the fact that the older we get the faster time moves. Up until the sixth grade or so, we generally experience time moving forward at the expected rate of one second per second. By the […]

Read the full post | 5 Comments »

Little One

October 20th, 2014

thumbnail-litteone

I knew that inserting a baby into the marriage would change things. How could it not? Think about it: suddenly you have a new member of the species, barely out of the shrink wrap, now wholly under your care. Imagine the responsibility.Gone were the days where at a moment’s notice we could pack an overnight […]

Read the full post | 16 Comments »

Diet Within a Diet

October 13th, 2014

thumbnail-diet-with-a-diet

I’ve essentially been on one straight diet for over twenty-four years now. However, from time to time, I “go on a diet,” as they say, just to mix things up a bit. I define this diet within a diet like so: adopt a specific methodology, aiming at a specific target weight, for a specific purpose. […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

It’s All Relative

September 29th, 2014

thumbnail-its-all-relative

When I decided to get this blog going again in July, I made a conscious decision to steer it away from the usual (read: boring) Weight Loss Journey topics and more towards the things that truly matter in life, like Toast and Ramen Noodles. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t ever talk about the weight […]

Read the full post | 8 Comments »

Happy Birthday Mom!

September 23rd, 2014

thumbnail-happy-birthday-mom

Dear Mom, Every year I get you something different for your birthday. Sometimes it’s a Hallmark card and other times it’s a different Hallmark card. Often the birthday card is accompanied by a gift of some sort. Like, one year I got you those socks you’d had her eye on for months. And then on […]

Read the full post | 12 Comments »

My Story

September 15th, 2014

thumbnail-my-story

“I should write a book.” That’s what I thought to myself back in April of 1993. “A real book,” I added, as I had, at the time, just finished writing a four-hundred page technical manual. I had never really thought about writing before that moment. But something about watching the printer disgorge copies of that […]

Read the full post | 6 Comments »

Fan Mail

September 8th, 2014

thumbnail-fan-mail

As a world-famous blogger, I receive thousands of letters from fans each week. Unfortunately, as a word-famous blogger, I don’t have time to answer all of them. Any of them, in fact. This is wrong of me. I understand this now. As a world-famous blogger, I have an obligation–nay, a duty–to acknowledge my fans. After […]

Read the full post | 11 Comments »

Ramen Noodles

September 1st, 2014

thumbnail-ramen

I don’t understand why prepackaged, dehydrated ramen noodles get such a bad rap. They’re quick, convenient, and taste as awesome as you’d expect from something providing your weekly recommended allowance of sodium. All I can think of is that their rock-bottom reputation is solely related to their rock-bottom price. Yes, they’re cheap. (You’d be hard […]

Read the full post | 9 Comments »

Keeping a Promise

August 25th, 2014

thumbnail-keeping-a-promise

Cancer treatment, to put it mildly, is a bit of an inconvenience. It prevents you from going to work every day. It gives you a fresh, new perspective on life. It helps you lose those last twenty pounds . . . Wait a second. That doesn’t sound inconvenient at all. That sounds awesome. Let me […]

Read the full post | 3 Comments »

Best Blog Post Ever

August 11th, 2014

thumbnail-best-blog-post-ever

So the other day I was in the shower or driving to work or taking my giraffe for a walk when I had an idea for a blog post. In fact, not just any blog post, but a good one. In fact, not just a good one, but maybe the best one ever. It would […]

Read the full post | 10 Comments »

I’m Getting Deported

August 4th, 2014

thumbnail-im-getting-deported

Back in 1998, my sister Biz decided to join Team in Training and walk the Chicago Marathon. I remember the day she called me up and told me all about it. After a few moments of silent disbelief, I said something like, “You know how long that is, right?” She confirmed that she did. After […]

Read the full post | 13 Comments »

Raise a Glass to…

July 28th, 2014

thumbnail-raise-a-glass-to

Way back in the 1990s, a couple of my coworkers belonged to an organization called Toastmasters. I had no idea what it was, but I did know one thing: I sure liked toast. And if there was an entire organization out there devoted to becoming a master of toast, then that was the club for […]

Read the full post | 12 Comments »

Ponderings

July 21st, 2014

thumbnail-ponderings

I started this blog way back in 2008 for three reasons. First, as a promotional tool for my “diet” book. Second, as a public outlet for my writing. Third, as a way for rich people to find me and send me large bags of money on a regular basis. The astute reader will recognize the […]

Read the full post | 8 Comments »