By Jan Bono
So we've got another fun post from contributor Jan Bono! I'm pleased she's writing regularly for Cranky Fitness for the time being, a couple of posts a month. Her contributions and those of other generous guest writers are allowing me to steal time for a Secret Writing Project, yay! (Why so secret? It's because as patient longtime readers can attest, I've announced and abandoned so many projects over the years that I don't want to get specific until I've stuck with it a while longer and am sure it's a Real Thing.) Anyway, you can read more about Jan on our info page and don't forget to check out her funny and inspiring book, “Back from Obesity: My 252-pound Weight-Loss Journey.” Besides the print edition, it's also available on Jan's smashwords page. --Crabby
By my estimation, I wasn’t quite half way back from New York City when the odometer on my bicycle stopped functioning. Now I'll never be totally sure how long it took me to pedal coast to coast and back—this trip!
Yes, I've made the trek several times since I bought my RECUMBENT bike on January 1, 2010, making good on my multi-year resolution to never turn that particular piece of exercise equipment into an expensive clothes rack.
Friends laughed. "You won't stick to it!" they taunted. "You'll get bored pedaling every day without going anywhere." A few threatened me with "surprise inspections" to see if I'd shoved it off into a corner and thrown an afghan over it.
Far from making my bike invisible, I made it the cornerstone of my maintenance of a 252-pound weight-loss journey. It's parked prominently in my rec room, facing the television, of course, and provides me with the best seat in the house.
And I could be talking about my butt here, too!
At 60 years old, my legs and glutes are in the best shape possible. It's quite the miracle. A few decades ago, based on the fact I'd had the cartilage in my knee removed as the result of a high school long jump accident, I was told I'd be facing knee replacement surgery before I turned 50. At age 44, the pain was excruciating, but the doctor said he wouldn't risk surgery on a woman weighing 396 pounds, no matter how much I hurt.
"Every pound on your body puts four pounds of pressure on your knees," he said.
Doubting his statement, I delegated the research and Google got right on it. Damn it all! Dozens of sites confirmed the statistic. My doctor had told me the truth.
And the truth hurts—almost as much as my knees did. So through good nutrition and portion control (don't ever say DIE-it!), I brought the weight down and built the supporting muscles up. Today, wouldn't you know it, it turns out that by maintaining a healthy weight and continued exercise regime, I won't need the surgery for some time—perhaps not at all! (I reserve the right to get cortisone shots twice a year if needed, but I'm happy to do so!)
My recumbent bike is one of the best investments I've ever made. While I pedal, up to two hours some mornings, I multi-task. I catch up on the television shows I saved on DVR, make all my phone calls (House rule: on the phone, on the bike), do bicep curls with 3-pound weights, and/or have quality time with my cats.
Which begs the question: Does holding a cat on my lap while I pedal count as weight-bearing exercise? I’m pretty sure it does!