Going back to Planet Fitness

planet fitness

We had to stop going to the gym last month because both of us got really sick. When I say we or us, I am referring to myself and my partner. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and then upgraded to AIDS in 1994, so when I get sick, I’m not just sick with a 24 to 48 hour bug, when I get sick, I’m down for a month or longer. I literally have no immune system. My viral load has been undetectable for years and my t-cells have been pretty high in the 900’s for awhile now, but I still suffer when I get sick.

The virus from my cold is long gone, but I’m still coughing. I was coughing up and blowing mucus out of my nose even though I had no nasal or chest congestion at all. That first couple of days when we first got sick last month we just so happened to have a doctor’s appointment and the doctor checked my lungs by listening to my back while making me breathe in and out, in and out, in and out… He didn’t hear anything, so he told me I would be fine. I asked him for antibiotics or at least cough syrup, and he refused to give me anything. He didn’t want to give me medicine for something I don’t have. Well, that’s fine and dandy if I was only going to be sick for a couple days, but I was literally sick for a month.

So we could have gone back to the gym a couple of weeks ago, but we wanted to wait until it was fully out of my system. I would hate to give anyone else my germs and then get them sick.

Going back to the gym after being absent for a month is basically like starting over from scratch. Whatever exercises we did today will probably hurt in the morning and for the next couple of days. I mean, I don’t feel anything now, but then again we just came home from the gym about an hour ago, so who knows what may happen later tonight or when I wake up tomorrow. We’ll see.

The surgeon who operated on my broken leg in December told me to do leg exercises at the gym, and of course take my time and not try to force myself to bend my leg on the leg machines and then hurt myself. My leg is in agony, so I will have to be very careful when I do the leg exercises. I haven’t spoken to a trainer, but I already know which machines I want to start using… all of them! LOL No, but seriously, I will have to make an appointment so she can write down our day 3 exercises for leg day. She gave us 2 days for our upper body, and my partner only wants to go 3 days a week, so legs will all have to be done on the last day of the week.

I’m not expecting to lose any weight, I just want to exercise to feel healthy. You see, I have a feeling it’s when you stop trying is when you will actually lose weight. I say that because just about every time I try to lose weight, I end up gaining weight. So I’m using reverse psychology… on myself lol. Hey, whatever works right?

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Planet Fitness for Weight Loss

planet fitness

It’s been 5 weeks since we started going to Planet Fitness since I broke my leg in December. I haven’t seen any weight loss on the scale, but then again I am building muscle, and I do see a significant difference in my face. It’s not as fat as it was, and I can even see where the fat is disappearing. I also see that my chest, shoulder and my arms are getting bigger from building muscle.

We go 3 days a week because it’s a bit of a drive, and that costs gas which as you know isn’t free. I’d love to go more often, but my partner doesn’t. He only wants to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although that depends on our week. The last couple weeks we’ve gone on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I only have 2 days worth of exercises anyway since they didn’t give me any leg exercises because I can’t really do those because of my leg issues. When the surgeon says I can do leg exercises, I will start doing them.

We do incline chest press, chest press, pectoral fly, shoulder press and tricep press on day 1. Day 2 it’s lat pull down, row, rear deltoid and bicep curls. My partner feels like those aren’t enough, and because he’s not really on the same exercise plan I am on because they didn’t give him a plan since he’s my guest, he doesn’t really have to do what I do, he can do what he wants.

After we do upper body, we walk over to the lower body section. I discovered there are exercises over there that I can do, like they have a machine for abs, it’s like crunches, and another one where you sit on it with your knees and your body twists to do the side abs. It does hurt my right leg to sit on my knees, but it doesn’t hurt for long. I do my usual 15 reps, rest, 15 more, rest, 15 more and done. I actually love that machine, and I can’t wait to see how ripped my stomach will be once the fat disappears from my stomach lol. My partner does the other leg machines. There is also a machine for the lower back and butt, which I need to do because the last time I lost weight, I noticed that my ass was as flat as a board. I need all the help I can get for my butt. I can’t do squats because of my leg, so this will have to do for now.

Last night I was looking at Instagram, and I came across a post from Planet Fitness. I don’t normally read the comments because there seem to be a lot of people who hate Planet Fitness. I never could understand the hatred, but it became clear to me why they hate them so much. They have Pizza nights and bagels mornings. This guy said that Planet Fitness doesn’t give a crap about you losing weight and they just want your money. Well, um… what does that have to do with anything? Of course they want your money, they are a business and that’s what businesses do. They lure you in with a great price like $5 down and $10 a month and they give you perks like 1 night a MONTH you get pizza and one day a MONTH they give you bagels. I’ve never actually gotten those perks, but even if I did, that’s on me, not on them. I’ve eaten pizza at home more than I’ve eaten it at the gym, which is never, so who is trying to sabotage me now? ME! I am in control of what I put in my mouth whether they are feeding it to me or not. Planet Fitness IS a gym because they have free weights, kettle bells, rope on beams, they have tons of machines that target all of your muscle groups, and they have tons of machines that allow you to do your cardio.

Give them a chance because they are a good gym. I have self control. I wouldn’t drink beer in a AA meeting, so I’m not going to eat pizza at the gym. I go there and do my exercises and leave. I’m on disability, and I am going to go to Planet Fitness since it’s the only gym I can afford. It’s too bad my health insurance doesn’t pay for it since the doctor is the one who insisted that I go.

Exercise at Planet Fitness

We started going to Planet Fitness a couple of weeks ago to help lose weight. I’m more interested in going to a gym than my partner is because I have more weight to lose than he does. We both have a gut, but he doesn’t have the huge fatty neck and face like I do. He also doesn’t eat as much as I do. He is always “fasting” because he thinks it will help him lose weight, which I’ve told him does the opposite. He has type 2 diabetes, and during his “fasting” he has forgotten to check his blood sugar, and he recently bought some new test strips and is quickly finding out that fasting is causing more trouble for him than he thought since his blood sugar is too low. Last night it was 34. Yikes! He won’t listen to me though.

We go to the gym and at first he didn’t want to participate. The first day that we went, I did all the exercises that the trainer gave me, and he sat at the table by the door. That first day was brutal, and trust me, I was using the least amount of weight, but I was in pain for 3 days. The next time we went he surprised me by bringing a sweat towel for himself. He’s been doing the same exercises that I have been doing, although, not as many as I do. I do 3 sets of 15 of each machine, and he might do 1 entire set, or half lol. When he’s finished, he goes to the chair and gets on his cell phone to text, read email or whatever it is that he does on his cell phone while I’m on the elliptical machine or the bicycle.

I said in the last paragraph that the first time we went, I was in pain for 3 days. The next few trips I was doing fine, but the last 2 trips I’ve been in a bit of pain because I’ve added more weight to all of the machines. I start with a low weight because I don’t want to overdo it, then if it’s too light I will add more weight. If I do an entire set and it starts to become too much for me, then I will lower the weight so I can finish the next 2 sets.

When I saw the trainer, I only requested upper body because of my broken leg. I mean, it’s not broken anymore, it’s completely healed, but the doctor told me not to put any pressure on it at the gym, to only focus on upper body. So I only have 2 days worth of exercises. My partner only wants to go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so one week on Monday I will do day 1, Wednesday day 2, Friday day 1, then the next Monday I will do day 2, then Wednesday day 1 then Friday day 2. If the doctor said I could do legs, then I will tell the trainer that we’re only going 3 days a week, so give me all leg exercises for Fridays. I would love to go 4 days a week, but I’m really pushing my luck with 3 lol.

I haven’t been using the Total Body Enhancement machine because of my partner wanting to participate, but I used it on my last visit and then again today. One of the concerns that I had was will this hurt my leg? I have a metal bar with metal screws screwed into my shin. I’m sure the screws aren’t going to vibrate so much that they unscrew… wait, that won’t happen, will it? I’m sure nothing like that will happen. I didn’t have any pain in my leg at all, so I’m not too concerned, although I should probably ask my doctor just in case. I will see the doctor in 2 weeks. I walked the dog and as soon as I opened the door the pain came. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so the pain told me it will probably rain.

Of course after only 2 weeks I haven’t really seen any loss on the scale because I’m building muscle. I haven’t built enough muscle to notice a difference, but I do see that my face is starting to thin out a tiny bit. If I am consistent, the fat will melt away and I will be happy. That’s all that matters. I know that what matters the most is my health and not my happiness, but screw that, I just want to be happy, and I will be most happy when I can breathe while bending over to tie my shoes, and when I can actually see my junk without having to look in the mirror.

Schwinn Meridian 3-Wheel Tricycle

trike with 4 locks

I wanted to ride my new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle to the store. I bought it a month ago and it’s been sitting in our back yard ever since. I haven’t been allowed to ride it because my partner is afraid I will hurt my leg, or perhaps get into another accident and break something else. I insisted on going to the store on the trike because I wanted to buy him a anniversary gift, and I really wanted to ride it. It’s like giving a child a cookie, but saying you can’t eat it, although in this case, I bought it and I’m being told I can’t ride it. He isn’t wrong for worrying because I’ve broken 2 bones so far on my bike.

The new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle is very difficult to ride at first. I was on the right side of the street and I was quickly heading towards the sidewalk. I thought I was going straight, and in fact I held the handlebars like I was going straight, but for some reason I was actually going to the right. I had to quickly hit the brakes before I hit the sidewalk and the back of a car. That thing stops on a dime. I mean, literally, I squeezed the handlebars and it stopped so fast that I nearly fell off. I did actually, but I landed on both feet, thank goodness. I discovered that I have to veer to the left to go straight, which makes me think the handlebars aren’t on right, but they are. I even triple checked, and they are on straight.

I think that it will take time to learn the quirks of that bike so I will be comfortable enough to ride it when I need/want to. I reassured my partner that I won’t be riding that bike as fast as I normally would ride my old bike. I said I wouldn’t be racing, and he said YOU’VE BEEN RACING? I laughed and said no, I mean I won’t be going 10-12mph, instead I’ll go slow like 7 or 8 mph like an old man. When I cross streets I will walk it instead of riding it, which you are supposed to do anyway. I’ll also only ride it in residential neighborhoods instead of busy streets. Even streets with a bike lane have cars parked in them, so I end up with a very tiny amount of road. I prefer neighborhoods anyway.

I won’t be going to the gym until April 15th, so I still have a few weeks to heal, even though the doctor told me I was completely healed. I really look forward to going to the gym, even though I’m terrified to go on any bike now. I guess if I fear breaking another bone in my body, then I will be even more careful than I normally am, and so I shouldn’t worry about it. My commitment to Planet Fitness ends in September, that is if they didn’t add those months that I had my account frozen, if that’s the case then probably December. I really hope I make a big difference and lose a lot of weight by then.

Did you notice the picture above? I took a picture of it after I put all the locks on it when I got to the store. There is the U shaped lock that attaches to the handicapped sign with the steel coil attached to the front wheel. Then of course a coil cable attached from the seat to the frame, that way I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my seat. Trust me, it’s an issue lol. Then 2 more coiled cables attached to each back wheel. You think it’s paranoia, but if you think that, you’ve never come back to your bike minus a wheel or the seat. It happens more than you think. Trust me, it’s happened to me.

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HRIt finally happened. I was finally able to buy a Fitbit Charge HR. I bought the extra large because I didn’t trust that the large one would fit my fat wrist lol. I also didn’t trust that the band on the large would keep it on. I prefer a regular watch band.

I wanted to buy something like this a couple of years ago, but these are so expensive, and I just didn’t have the money. I bought The Spark from SparkPeople, which is a great product, but it’s glitchy. When I am riding my bike, it logs it as “General exercise” which means if I really burn like say 300 calories, it logs it as 94 or something. I don’t like that. I also didn’t like that it didn’t work with the bluetooth to connect to my phone, and this does.

When I lost 70lbs a couple of years ago, I used the Noom app, and to tell the truth I’ve been using it ever since, I just haven’t lost any weight because once my motivation goes away, I don’t lose weight, so whatever I am using doesn’t do any good. I have a new gadget, and I have some motivation to lose weight again, so I really hope I get my moneys worth with this new watch lol.

Of course I won’t be able to put it to good use for another month. My gym membership is frozen until April 15th, so on that date I will ride my new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle to Planet Fitness. The physical therapist said I can use the exercise bike and the elliptical machine and to do some of the exercises I did at Physical Therapy. Until then, I will use the Fitbit watch and the Fitbit app to track my sleep and my steps and log my food. I’ve already walked 3,070 steps since I got it this morning. It wants me to walk 10,000 steps per day, and I’ve already walked a quarter of that so far. The day isn’t over.

I was going to wait until next month to buy it, but I was just dying to have it now. I’m impatient lol.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and¬†simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

Weight Loss at Planet Fitness

planetfitness1I have been going to Planet Fitness 4 days a week for a month now and I am already starting to see results. Not scale results, but I can see results in my face, my double chin is getting smaller and so is my stomach. The scale results haven’t changed because I’ve been building muscle. I don’t expect to see much difference on the scale, so I’m not stressing over it.

I am a little confused about something that I’ve been seeing on the interwebs. I went to search for the Planet Fitness logo, and I see images like these.

planetfitness_judgementzone 44073962 e18byg1 Judgement-Free-Zone-Judged-for-being-fitWhen I first started going to Planet Fitness, there was a guy in the locker room with his teenage son. I was getting ready to leave, and he was getting ready to exercise. There was a Planet Fitness commercial on the TV and I wasn’t really paying much attention, but it was one of the usual ones that play over and over with a drill sergeant. It’s this one.

He told me “You know what they are saying in that commercial? They are saying they don’t want you to exercise here. They are telling you that you can come here and hang out and take selfies if you want to.” Really? Because the message that I got was that they aren’t pressuring you to kill yourself at the gym. Hence the “No Gymtimidation” quote all over the place.

I think people are getting the wrong impression of Planet Fitness. You know what I see? I see people come in and exercise at their own pace for as long or short as they want. I see people who are happy who do whatever the heck they want without anyone yelling at them, like in that commercial.

You know what I do? I ride my bike there, which is about 25 to 30 minute ride, then get in the Total Body Enhancement for 12 minutes, walk on the treadmill for 50 minutes to an hour, get a massage, then ride home on the bike which is another 25 to 30 minutes. That’s the extent of my exercise. I see people who are using the machines and they have big muscles and no one is telling them they are in too good of shape to continue going to Planet Fitness. The day before yesterday they set off the lunk alarm because there was some obnoxious person dropping the weights and making loud noises. That’s the first time I heard the lunk alarm in the month that I’ve been going there.

For those saying Planet Fitness doesn’t let you build muscle, you’re wrong. For those saying Planet Fitness isn’t a real gym, you’re wrong. So I think if you don’t like the message Planet Fitness is sending in their commercials, go to another gym. Life is too short to act like babies. I’m serious about my weight loss. If you are serious about being a jackass, go somewhere else.