Tag Archives: treadmill

Why do we pay good money to feel bad?

Look, you can buy your very own "Food Police" cookie jar.  Click to watch the video...

Look, you can buy your very own “Food Police” cookie jar. Click to watch the video…

Okay, I was reading through my email and I came across a wonderful new app that checks your BMI and hurls insults at you if you gain weight.  Yup, drink an extra glass of water and this wonderful app might say things like, “Greetings, chubby human,” “Smile, meatbag” and “Prepare yourself to be judged”.  Please note that there is NO WAY I’m going to link to this app or even tell you the name of this app on my blog.  The dude who created this nonsense is already getting way too much attention and I won’t add to his traffic.  But I’ll just drop off this here screen shot to give you an idea about just how awesome this thing is:

meatbagNice.  And this bozo (who conveniently places his press kit front and center on this site) is actually charging cash monies for this.  Now I recognize a good attention-grabbing publicity stunt when I see it.  And this “bad boy” has already garnered plenty of media attention.  I’m not sure that he really has any intention of helping people at all.  However, this approach to health and wellness is hardly new.  Just check out the talking “cop” cookie jar in the video above.  When you open the lid, the cookie jar says, “Stop!  Step away from the cookie jar!”  (Click the photo above to see the video).  Wow, your very own, battery-operated, food police–available 24-7 from your very own kitchen.  You can also get a pig-shaped cookie jar that oinks at you when you open it.  And now you can even buy bed linens that fat shame you.  How neat!

Yay, fat shaming while you sleep!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  As I have said, literally a gazillion times on this very blog, shame does not make us happier, healthier or thinner.  Shame makes us gain weight and engage in more dangerous behaviors.  So why do we pay for the privilege of being electronically shamed?  It’s not enough to face shame from friends, family, coworkers, medical professionals, the television shows we watch, the magazines we read, and virtually every other corner of the entire universe?

And even if we refrain from buying fat-shaming apps and cookware, are we free from paying good money for shaming ourselves?  How many of the magazines we subscribe to have fat shaming messages in them?  How many negative body images come to us each day as a result of the cable subscription?  And even if we aren’t paying for those things, how often have we purchased expensive healthy foods, extensive long-term gym contracts and overpriced and cumbersome exercise equipment with the notion that if we pay for it, we will feel guilty enough to use it?  How did that work out for you last time?  Still drying your unmentionables on the treadmill downstairs?  You’re not alone.  You almost can’t give away a used exercise bike or treadmill on Craigslist any more.

And in case, somehow the previous gazillion mentions were in some way unclear, here it is again:

Shame does not help.  Not at all.  Not even if it talks to you in a hokey electronic voice.  Not even if you pay good money for it.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

By the way, if you want to buy a fancy cookie jar, I recommend the Tardis version (because it’s bigger on the inside!)  And if you’d like a shame-free approach to fitness, may I recommend:

The Fit Fatties Virtual Events  (Early bird pricing ends soon!)\

My book, “The Fat Chick Works Out!”


My DVD  (all of which make wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts to yourself!)

And if  you book me in February, you can receive 25% off my speaking services.  W00t!


Caution: Medications May Cause Problems During Exercise

In our current western culture, it seems that many–if not most of us are taking some sort of medication.  In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the past month.  You may have thought about how these medications interact with one another.  But have you thought about how your medications may interact with exercise?  Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can have a significant effect on your workout.  Here are some of the more common medications that can change the way you experience exercise.

May Cause Drowsiness: A whole host of medications from pain killers to cold medications (especially antihistamines) to blood pressure medicines can cause drowsiness. Often the medication will have a label that states this and recommends against operating heavy machinery.  These medications may affect your balance and hand/eye coordination.  So you should use care when operating treadmills, stair steppers, doing any sort of aerobics class and especially riding a bicycle.  When trying a new medicine that “can cause drowsiness” you may want to use extra care when approaching your workout.  And it’s important to keep in mind that taking two or more medications that can cause drowsiness can really increase the side effects.

Cipro: is an antibiotic used to treat respiratory, urinary and skin infections.  This drug has also been linked (in relatively rare cases) to inflammation of the tendons in athletes.  If you are on Cipro and you experience pain in your tendons or joints, you may want to tone down or even cut out exercise altogether until the infection has passed and your course of antibiotics is over.  Remember to always follow your doctor’s directions with antibiotics and take the entire course that is prescribed to you.

Pain Killers: Keep in mind that pain killers of all sorts, from aspirin to opiates can mask some of the aches and twinges that warn you that there are problems in your body.  While taking a NSAID can make an exercise session less painful, remember that pain can play an important role–letting us know when there are problems in the body.  Don’t use pain killers to ignore pain signals that should be telling you to rest or to deal with the underlying cause of joint or muscle pain before it becomes a major injury that could sideline you for months.

Stimulants: In addition to caffeine, many medications can raise your heart rate during exercise.  In particular cold medications (especially decongestants), allergy medications and diet pills can raise your resting heart rate and make your heart pump even faster during your workout.  If you are taking one of these medications, you should monitor your heart rate during your workout and take care not to exceed the recommended maximum heart rate for your age and condition.  You can find a handy maximum heart rate calculator here.  Just please keep in mind that various conditions may change your maximum recommended heart rate.  I’m not a doctor, so you may wish to check with your physician to see if any special restrictions or recommendations for maximum  heart rate may apply to you.

Dehydration: Keep in mind that many medicines are somewhat dehydrating.  It’s a good idea to drink lots of water before, during and after exercise in any case.  But you may want to pay special attention to keeping fluid levels topped up while taking medications of any kind.

For more information about specific medications, you might want to refer to this chart.  But keep in mind that neither the aforementioned chart nor this blog post are exhaustive guides to this topic.  And as a further disclaimer, I am not a doctor. Your local pharmacist can be helpful for general information.  For specific information about how medications and your condition are affected by exercise, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

With the cautions listed above, you may be tempted to skip exercise altogether.  But please remember, that exercise is one of the best prescriptions available for good health.  With the prudent help of your medical team and a little bit of common sense, you should be able to enjoy the awesomeness of exercise for a lifetime.


The Fat Chick

P.S. Want to learn more about building a successful relationship with your doctor and creating an exercise program that’s just right for you?  Why not pick up a copy of my book: The Fat Chick Works Out! (Fitness that’s Fun and Feasible for Folks of all Ages, Shapes, Sizes and Abilities)?  It also makes a great gift!

Thursday Theater: Cats and Treadmills

Okay, here’s the reality.  I love exercise, but I don’t love every form of exercise.  I love dance classes and I love walking outside and I love cross country skiing.  But when it comes to the treadmill, I have a feeling very much like the cats pictured above. “Hit it! HIT IT!”  I hate the treadmill with a deep, abiding passion.  And for me, even five minutes on that thing can feel like torture.

That’s why it’s so important to explore different kinds of exercise before you get too deeply involved in an exercise program.  If the only exercise I ever did was on a treadmill, I would say that I hated exercise.  And if the only exercise I could ever do was on a treadmill, chances are, I would quit.  Because I HATE the treadmill.

That’s why I often say, that exercise is kinda like sex.  If you hate it, chances are, you aren’t doing it right.  You need to try different things, sometimes a LOT of different things until you find the one that is right for you.

So my little Chicklettes, be bold and adventuresome!  Try a new form of fitness in the next few weeks.  Who knows, it may become your favorite.  If not, you can always smack it like the kitties do.


The Fat Chick