About two years ago, I joined Curves. It was around the corner (literally, a 3-minute walk) from my house, and I got a few of my fellow Berkeley Rep interns to join with me. My roommate Kristen and I would go, generally three times a week, and I felt good. Granted, I was walking ~4 miles a day, almost every day (to and from work), but I liked the vibe at Curves. It's a friendly place, and very different atmosphere from a normal gym. Sure, the general age of the clientele is approximately twice that of my own, but I like it. The music is fun, the machines are easy to use, and the staff (and other members!) make me want to push myself. Overall, it's a very supportive environment, and I really like that.
Yes, I know that there has been some controversy surrounding Curves because of the owner's pro-life beliefs. Reportedly, he has donated a ton of money to anti-abortion agencies, and people are upset that the money he makes from his pro-woman Curves franchises supports something that by many is considered to be very anti-woman. This makes people upset. I'll admit that this makes me upset. However, it is his right to use his money how he chooses. The women who own these franchises (and many, if not all - I can't find the data - of the franchise-owners are women) have a right to support organizations that are pro-choice, pro-life, or not to support any organizations at all. So do the members. Yes, I feel conflicted at times, knowing that a small percentage of my membership fees are going towards pro-life groups. But then again, I can always counter that with a donation or volunteer work. I can continue to support pro-choice organizations on my own. Check out this website for more information about this whole thing.
Wow. That was a lot more Curves-Controversy talk than I was planning on writing. The whole point of this post was supposed to be telling you all how excited I am about my new Fitness & Weight Management Plan! I recently joined Curves in Rockridge through their $30 for 30 Days Trial Plan. It includes 3 days a week with a trainer (though you can go as many days a week as you want), and evaluations, and a 30 day free trial with Curves Complete. Today, I picked up the Curves Fitness & Weight Management Plan book, which comes with a ton of recipes for use with the Plan. I plan on starting the plan (ha. ha. ha.) next week. Basically, it works in 3 phases, with different caloric intakes for each phase, to train your body and trick it into thinking you're not dieting. Phase 1 is 7 days, Phase 2 is 23 days, and Phase 3 is 2-4 weeks. You do the 30 day cycle (Phases 1-2), and then (in theory) you stick to Phase 3 for the rest of your life, until you gain 3+ pounds, and then you go back to Phase 1 for 2-3 days.
Sounds more complicated than it is. For more information, click here. They provide a lot of food options; it's really a wide-ranging menu. The meals look good. It looks pretty easy. I mean, I will have to commit to it, and it won't be easy to resist my standard treats, but if I just follow the recipes (and figure out their substitution tables for when I want to eat something that's not on the list), I should be ok. My goal weight (that I pulled out of nowhere) is 130 lbs. I currently weigh 154 lbs. My trainer says she can help me drop 20 lbs in 3 months pretty easily if I follow the diet and come in 3 times a week (and Curves recommends walking 30 min a day most days as well). My BMI (ratio of muscle to fat) is a little higher than it should be, but that should come down too. My plan is to come in 5-6 times a week, so that plus my occasional hikes/walks and walks to the grocery store, in addition to the "diet," should put me in a pretty good position.
I have never actively tried to lose weight before, so this should be interesting. I've started a new label called SuperFit to keep track of my blog posts on the subject, and yes, I plan to blog this whole experience. I'll take pictures of food sometimes, and report what's going on with my weight loss and such.
I'm sure it won't be SuperEasy, but I like the support system that Curves provides. The trainers who work there take an active interest in your life, and many have gone through the diet and exercise programs as well, and can offer tips and personal stories about how they lost weight. They motivate you and cheer you on while you work out, and they push you to work harder.
So, I have high hopes. Now is the time to start something like this - while I have a lot of time on my hands, and the desire to stop spending my days eating and watching TV (two months was enough!). This weekend, I am going to go through the Phase 1 recipes and menus, make a shopping list (cottage cheese! vegetables! egg substitute!), and get psyched up. Most of the things on the menu are things I already eat...I have a feeling my portions are just going to get smaller. Oh, portion control... :-)
Wish me luck, and feel free to share any diet/exercise tips you have!