If Only Thoughts Burned Calories

Today was the first day in 8 weeks that I broke even the tiniest sweat doing something remotely close to a real workout. I rode a stationary recumbent bike for (don’t laugh) 10 minutes.

Yes, I’ve ridden my stationary recumbent bike at home for a few weeks, but this one’s different. It’s the bike at physical therapy. It’s fancier, has more resistance AND…people – namely my PT – are everywhere, they could see me, and a guy was riding a bike next to me. An older guy. At least 10 years older than me.

Competitive (and vain) me was all over that, and within a few seconds I was matching him stride for stride, even though my thighs were burning.

It was the longest 10 minutes of my life. OK, maybe giving birth was harder. But still…

It’s not my legs that have forgotten to work. God knows I’ve been doing enough lower body PT these last six weeks. It’s my overall endurance – particularly in the cardio department – that has me by huffing and puffing right now. How quickly the lungs forget!

While I biked, my thinking was all over the place. From shopping lists to-do lists to “Is it over yet? God a minute feels like forever!” I couldn’t turn my mind off. I remembered something I’d written a few years ago about my thoughts while working out on an arc trainer. When I got home I looked it up and read it and realized that while the way my body works has changed significantly, the way my mind works hasn’t changed one bit. The random thoughts from then were pretty close to the ones I had today on the bike. I wonder if any of them are familiar to you.

From April 2008: Random Thoughts On An Arc Trainer

“I can do this, no problem.

I’m bored. Music? No, wait, I haven’t listened to ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me’ yet. That’ll distract me.

I’m not going to work out very hard. Nope. Gonna go easy. OK, it’s 10 minutes to 8:00. I’ll be done a little after 8:30. Increase to 30. Yeah, that’s it. No problem.

The chick next to you is bouncing around at only 20. What a wimp! She can’t be more than 19 years old and she can’t take more than a 20 intensity? Wait, maybe she’s sick or is just getting back into exercise. What a bitch you’re being, Lynn. But crank it up anyway. 45. Yeah. 45. You want to sweat, Lynn. Show her. Come on, show her what you can do.

OK, back off to 40. I can’t breathe.

How many more minutes left? 35? Ugh. Everyone in here is so young and thin. Stop it, Lynn. You’re not old. I feel old. I’m sweating finally. Did my knee just pop?

This is going to take FOREVER. Why am I doing this? Because you want to stay thin. What if I just stopped now? 20 minutes is enough. No. It’s not. What should I make for dinner? I have to go to the grocery store.

Music. I need music. No, not that song. Not that song. I need to update this iPod. Not that song. There, ‘Back in Black’. That’ll work. I’m half done, thank god.

Hmmm….he’s kind of cute. Don’t stare, Lynn. He’s young enough to be your son. Shut your eyes. Listen to the music. Concentrate for a minute.

Crank it back up to 45. There, that’s good. My butt doesn’t feel too bad. How many more minutes? 18. I’ll do 45 for 2 minutes then 40 for a few then back to 45. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do.

The sun’s shining. Maybe I’ll take a walk today. I need mulch. Maybe I’ll go to Wal-Mart. Did I leave the stove on? Crap, I think I did. I need to vacuum. And call the groomer. And pick up Cooper’s doggie medicine. I have to write a blog. What will I say?

How many more minutes? This is taking forever. What time is it? 8:27. Good. Almost done. Is that girl getting on the stepper now? Man, she just did a half hour on the elliptical. I wish I had that stamina. Wait, she’s not sweating. I’m dripping like I just got out of the shower. Does that mean she’s not working as hard as me or that I’m just prone to sweating? Is my underwear showing?

Oh no, I forgot deodorant. Try to keep your arms down. Man, you smell, Lynn! Will there be a bench available in the weight room when I’m done? Or do I want to do my abs at home? No, do them here. Wait, do them at home. No, because if I decide to do them at home I’ll get distracted and busy and not do them at all. Do them here.

Two minutes to go. Cool down. No, one more minute at 45, then a 1-minute cool down. That’s all you need.

I feel pretty good. I don’t have to do this again for 24 hours. Maybe I’ll like it tomorrow. Maybe I’ll want to do it tomorrow. At least I did it today. What’s for breakfast?”

Wouldn’t it be GREAT if thoughts burned calories? There would be no need for diets because we’d all be thin as rails!

Congrats to Dayna C who won my drawing for the book, “Women, Food and God”! Thanks all of you for throwing your name in the hat. I just wish I had a book for everyone.

4 thoughts on “If Only Thoughts Burned Calories

  1. that is monkey mind

    in yoga we keep our mind clear and when the thoughts creep in, we acknowledge they are there, picture them as little clouds and then blow them gently away.

    Yes, in the beginning, there is a lot of mental huffing and puffing.

  2. That's just what my brain sounded before I started listening to books on my ipod. I get lost in the books and sometimes forget to stop when I finish my planned time. Not too often, tho' or my muscles start to scream at me!

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