I’ve gone back to Curves.
It was a little bit of a tough decision, because I wasn’t sure my right foot could handle it. Yes, my chiropractor has been adjusting it, and my plantar fasciitis has been soooooo much better. But I still had reservations about whether all that progress would be for naught when I went back to the workout. On the other hand… I’ve been stuck at my weight of 183 for a couple of months. Dropping my caloric intake wasn’t enough. I needed to go back to getting regular exercise.
If you’ve never heard of Curves, here’s an informational video, before I go on.
So why Curves, instead of another type of gym or swimming or the treadmill?
Okay, there’s a dynamic involved here. First, Curves is exclusively for women; there’s no testosterone in the room, and it just seems to create an atmosphere that is more companionable. Sorry guys – we love you dearly, but you are a distraction in the gym. It’s hard for us to feel comfortable in working out when you are around.
Second, the Curves workout is something that can be done by all women of any size, any age, and any state of muscle tone. At my club, we have an average age of 50. There are a few younger women in their 20′s, and a few grandmas in their 80′s. It’s a low-impact workout if you need it to be, so even if you’re 86, you CAN do it. Curves Smart customizes the workout to where you are at. Everyone does the same exercises – it’s just the intensity that changes.
Third, there’s an intentional social atmosphere to Curves. The workout machines are stationed in a loop, and you work your way twice around the loop in a 30 minute period. If you’re going to Curves fairly frequently, you’re gonna get introduced to the same people. You’re gonna develop relationships. People are gonna ask you about your life and share about theirs in return. And yet you’re all doing this around a circuit of resistance training machines.
I find this the most fascinating part about Curves.
Yes, you could bring in your Ipod and just tune everyone out, if you aren’t socially inclined. People will quickly get the message and not bother you. But otherwise, you’ll get to know the women you work out with and you will encourage one another. You’ll get to talking and that 30 minutes will go by so fast. It almost doesn’t seem like you’re working hard.
The third thing about Curves that is different than your run-of-the-mill athletic center is the way the workout is conducted. There’s music playing – if you’re old enough, you’ll remember “Hooked On Classics” . Classical music was re-arranged and sped up to near Disco beat. It was a novelty that exposed people to the beauty that is Classical music. Curves does something similar, but they take pop songs from the music charts and increases the beat a little bit. You’ll hear rock-and-roll from the 1950′s through the 1980′s, songs that were on the top 10 in their era. Interspersed with the music is a feminine voice, that says “Change station now” about every 30 seconds. At first, that might be a little disconcerting, especially when you’re not used to it. But at the same time, it makes the workout go really fast, because you aren’t worried about how long to work a machine, or how many repetitions… you just listen to the music and it guides you along.
(Unless you’re having such a good time and you get to talking and don’t hear the woman on the music tell you to change station and there are people behind you on the circuit wanting to move to the next machine but you are still on it. Um. Yess, well that never happened to me, of course. But I thought I’d mention it anyway.)
So personal testimonial here: I’m wearing a size 16 in clothes. My optimal size is a size 12. I’m 5’8″ and have fairly big bones. I haven’t worked out since I quit going to Curves, and that was three years ago. I was using my treadmill, but not very much – it makes me slightly dizzy, and my podiatrist said it wasn’t a really good option for my foot. So that meant I was doing some stretching but aside from that, no exercise at all.
When I went back to Curves, I was concerned that I’d be a little overwhelmed (and a little sore, muscle-wise). But you know what? I was able to jump right back into it, no problems with my foot whatsoever, and I’m absolutely loving it. No muscle soreness, either. What I have noticed, though, is my energy level and my alertness mid-afternoon. Even after only one week, I’m finding a definite change for the better in both those areas.
Ladies, if you’re wanting to know about the cost: My Curves location is $39 a month. You can find one near you, I’m pretty sure. These are franchises, so your local cost may vary. They’re generally open 6 days a week and you can work out as many times as you want. I’m going daily right now, to see if I can handle that, though it may change to 3x a week if I’m feeling like it’s too much. So far, it isn’t.
When you sign up, you get not only weighed but also measured: bust, upper arm, waist, thigh. Why? Because the changes will most often be seen in your muscles before they are seen on the scale. And really, when you think about it – isn’t that the better way to go? What your muscles say is way more important than what any old scale says. So once a month you get re-measured. I guarantee that if you’re eating healthy and go consistently 3x a week, you will see a difference in your measurements even in the first month.
I am proof of that. It took me 9 months, but between Weight Watchers and Curves, I had gone from a size 20 to a size 12. (That was back in 2004-2005) I’d slowly put that weight back on over the last 6 years because I’d stopped my WW and Curves routine. But I know it works, so I have absolute confidence that I’m going to have success this time around, too.
If you wanna talk about it, please do leave a comment! I love comments and I’ll always reply. If you’re curious to learn more about the Curves workout, go to the Curves website. Check it out. If you want more personal input, I’ll be glad to answer questions if I can. (I’m knowledgeable enough about it, with the exception of Zumba. That was new to me. But the Curves Smart program, I’m familiar with.) And if you’re already a Curves member, gimme a hollar! I’d love to have your encouragement here, for other women to read. We all need that, and personal testimony is the best way to do it.