You’ll never guess what I did today. I bought an elliptical trainer – for my house. That would be my warm and toasty house that is not crowded with strangers and is not a 20 minute car ride from me. I’ve been agonizing about this forever and have been trying to figure out whether it would be the best decision I ever made or one of the most guilt inducing ones. My thoughts kept going back to the Nordic Track machine I bought in 1995 and used probably 10 times until I sold it 3 years later. Or the home gym Mr. CC has in our basement that I haven’t used once in the year that we have lived together. I kept hearing this voice that said ‘What’s the point, you are so inconsistent you never stick to anything – it’s just going to become a very large and expensive coat hanger.’ And then there was the fact that I’m still paying off debt – should I really be making such a large and sort of unnecessary purchase.

Then I decided that it wasn’t unnecessary. There is nothing as important as my health and getting regular aerobic workouts is definitely necessary to maintaining my health. In the last 5 years, I have gained about 50 lbs and I believe that is very likely due to the fact that I have not had a gym that is convenient to either my home or place of work. For about a year I lived in an apartment that was 5 minutes from my gym and I was the fittest (and thinnest) I have been in the last 5 years. When I was in graduate school, I used the university gym in the mornings. I had my own locker and get this, laundry service (that cost me$36 for the entire year)!! So, all I had to do was show up at the gym and there were clean gym clothes and a locker full of supplies to get changed and showered. No schlepping huge bags around. I was at lowest weight ever in my life.

In the last 5 years I have never had a gym close by so my choices were to work out on my way to work or on my way back. I have a rather, um, involved morning routine. To give you an idea of the intricacies of The Shower TM lets just say that washing my hair involves two types of shampoos and apple cider vinegar (don’t ask). Carrying all this into a gym and making sure that I was dressed in professional attire in the morning was too hard – now that I’m working and not a graduate student I cannot go into work sans underwear or wearing mismatched socks. Come to think of it I probably shouldn’t have done it grad school either. Unfortunately, what they say about working out in the morning being the only way to be consistent is true and my evening workout gets derailed at least twice a week. The end result of this logistical nightmare has been that I have gained 50 lbs in 5 years so I thought it time to invest in fixing the problem instead of beating myself up for not being more organized.

I also decided that I was going to learn from my past mistakes instead of just using them to castigate myself. I didn’t use the Nordic Track Ski machine because I hated it. I bought it at a time when I had just started getting into fitness, had never used one, and had just spent one night too many watching that damn infomercial. This time around I was only going to buy a machine I knew I liked and would use regularly. Hence the Elliptical – it’s the only machine I have used consistently in the last 10 years. Treadmills are good too, but I can’t always run (bad back, knees, ankles) so it’s tough to get my heart rate up with just walking. Not only did I get an elliptical, I got a Precor – that’s the one I gravitate towards in the gym, that’s what I enjoy doing and what doesn’t hurt any part of me. I got the cheapest Precor – the Precor EFX 5.17i – no heart rate, no fancy programs (I tend to make up my own HIIT programs anyway), no moving arms.

Second, I don’t use the gym in the basement because it involves climbing down stairs that are full of crap and working out in a cold, damp, messy room. I hate it – yes, one day, we’ll have cleaned up the basement but we have so much other stuff to do around the house that I don’t see it happening for at least a year or two. Instead of placing the elliptical in some out of the way corner of the house I am putting it in the TV/family room where we spend the majority of our time. Is it going to look strange? Probably. Do I care? Nope, my house, my life, my health.

We’ll see how this works out.