Why Treadmills Should Fear Me

(fictionalized non-fiction)

I’d like to get one thing out in the open before we begin. I exercise for one reason and one reason only: I want to eat what I want without looking like Jabba the Hut afterward. Sure, there’s healthy body and living and blah blah blah. But seriously, I love food with an unnatural love. It’s true.

As a younger person, I played sports, exercised year round and ate everything. Then the whole “having children” thing happened and I thought three things. The first, I should lose this baby weight. The second, I’m going to have to be some kind of healthy eating role model now. The third, Oh crap.

My husband and I are on the same parenting page here. We agreed to encourage each other, to keep one another food accountable. And we do a pretty good job of it. We eat healthy. The difference between us is that he can still eat whatever he wants and not gain a pound. I, on the other hand, have the whole post-partum, woman-gone-wonky metabolism. The man will actually LOSE weight if he doesn’t work out. After a week or two of pumping iron his muscle memory kicks back in and he’s all BOOM. Ripped. It makes you sick, doesn’t it?

As a result (all by my request), he’s harder on me than I am on him. I want to be healthy, have energy, and live a long time. But I still love food. Bad food. Chips and french fries don’t really tempt me. It’s the chocolatey/peanut buttery, rich casserole type things that make me salivate. I’m a tad embarrassed at the lengths I’ve gone to eat the food I want.

The bathroom sneak. It is exactly what it sounds like. I sit down in the tub, pull the curtain to and have at it.

“Why are you coming out of the bathroom with a jar of Nutella?” My husband will ask.

“Incoherent mumbling.”

“I know what you’re doing.”

“Yup. Bite me.”

I probably do this once a week.

Then there’s the “Grazing While I Cook Dinner” move. When I sit down at the table, my plate is piled with veggies and fruits. I only put a miniscule portion of the rich pasta or meaty entrée. It is because I’ve had my fill of it while cooking.

“Quality Control,” I say aloud and take my fifth bite.

Cookie hiding. Totally do that. I don’t want my children to know that we have cookies. They will ask for one and I will have to say no because cookies are something we have “sparingly.” Result? I eat a cookie a day until the box is gone. All by myself. You are either horrified or impressed at this point. It gets better. All these secrets rendezvous with baked goods and Swedish meatballs are bound to catch up with me. They do so at the gym.

I lie to the treadmills. In the past, the machine kindly asks me to punch in my weight, height, age, mother’s maiden name, etc. I conveniently forego adding the five pounds I just gained. It is a nice deceptive experience. It was a nice deceptive experience, that is, until my most recent visit when I discovered my gym upgraded all the cardio equipment. Instead of asking me my weight, it sensed it and put it in for me.

The first time it happened, I laughed out loud rather awkwardly. “Oh, you silly treadmill. You must be mistaken. That’s not what I weigh,” I said and frantically punched at buttons trying to “correct” its mistake. The treadmill didn’t like that I called it “silly.” Two more pounds magically appeared under the digital printout under my weight category.

“Did you do that?” I asked it.

It added another pound.

I frowned and lowered my voice. “Look, I don’t know what you’re trying to pull here, but that isn’t what I weigh.” (It was totally what I weighed)

Another pound.

My fist banged on the screen.

A computerized voice announced my weight to the entire room.

Again, a nervous laugh resulted. I looked down the line at my fellow exercisers and pointed to the idiot contraption, “I’m pretty sure this thing is broken.”

It announced a two-pound weight gain.

“Stop it!”

The treadmill waited until three young men walked by and said, “She eats Nutella in her bathtub.”

I unplugged that s.o.b. and left.


  1. Hahahahaha! Love this!

    Also, I feel compelled to point out that you said your husband is hard on you.



  2. ROF,L! Oh, I'm impressed. And I had Nutella for lunch yesterday. (Seriously. I did. I think of it as a health food, because it has nuts in it.)

  3. That's awesome. And I think my treadmill must be related to yours.

  4. Remind me to not go to your gym. I would be in jail for destruction of property. ;)

  5. I put my laptop on my treadmill's dashboard. It's so I can watch movies, but it covers the weight numbers too!! This was hilarious!! Thanks for the chuckle, I think it burned some calories!!

  6. I sympathize with your husband. I hate it when I get all ripped like that, too.

    I like that you tell him to bite you once per week.

  7. I've only got one thing to say:
    Twinkies Diet

  8. This is why it's so much fun to hit 50--you can blame every ounce you gain on menopause, and never look back. I only exercise to reduce my stress level. At least that's what I keep telling myself...

  9. I enjoyed this way too much! So glad the treadmills I use are dumb. Great essay, you had me nodding and laughing at the same time.

  10. Laughing out loud at the end. You're a sexy, sexy genius, Harley May.


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