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January 23, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Caution: Curves Ahead!

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

So, I’m back at Curves. If I can’t say anything else about exercise right now, I can at least say I don’t feel as stressed lately. I know the experts indicate a good workout releases feel-good endorphins, and I’ve needed those for quite some time. I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight yet – my guess is not, because it’s only been two weeks. But I feel better, and perhaps that’s all I can ask for right now.

Leave Me Alone!

If I have any complaints about getting back into Curves, it’s that the coaches actually interrupt my workout with conversation. They will, for instance, ask how I’ve been or discuss food choices with me. Other women probably enjoy this, but I do not. I have to fully concentrate on accurately working the resistance machines. More than that, however, I need all of my strength to complete the workout. Talking to the coaches expends valuable air (and energy).

I realize they’re trying to be supportive, but some of the involvement they have with my workout is unwanted. They are insistent, for example, that I eat very specific foods throughout the day. I don’t yet have the heart to tell them that I can’t afford the organic produce they recommend, or that I don’t have a lot of free time right now for homemade granola. Curves also sells a line of vitamins and protein shakes the coaches also push; again, these are very costly, and it’s hard enough to pay the monthly membership fee ($34).

Let's Focus on the Issue

While I appreciate their advice and concern, I feel like my weight is my problem. I’m finally ready to do something about it, but those actions need to be my own. While I’m on the circuit at Curves, it’s not unusual for one of the coaches to say something like, “See, Jeany! Susie over there did Curves Complete, and she was really successful on the program. If she can do it, so can you.” I don’t want to hear this mantra.

The problem is that Susie (who is a real person) gained weight as soon as she came off of Curves Complete. This is a fairly intense program that involves electronic monitoring of your workout progress, a diet prescribed for you by Curves (based on your food preferences and weight loss goals), and daily walking. While all of this sounds both valuable and wonderful, I don’t think the intensity could be sustained for any real duration of time. Curves obviously realizes this, too, as the program lasts for only six months. Upon completion, you simply go back to a normal workout and resume eating a more traditional but presumably low-fat diet.

A Work (Out) in Progress

I don’t want to temporarily lose weight. My plan is to get back into shape for the rest of my life, so I don’t ever have to feel like this again. So subscribing to a fad or short-term solution isn’t ideal for me. So I've sought out exercises that I feel that i get the most out of. I think the resistance machines at Curves, if done properly, are absolutely fantastic. They’re low-impact but genuinely work the muscle group they say they will.

As for walking, I know I need to do that anyway, so my goal is to soon start the couch-to-5K program with my best friend. I know I need to get into better shape first, though, before starting a walking/running program, or I’ll just give up.

My diet, on the other hand, is something about which I’m a little less certain. Rather than falling into a temporary, six-month-long focus, I’m pretty sure this will be a work-in-progress for the rest of my life (I really love chocolate!).

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