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Conversations at the fitness center
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

Now that the holiday brouhaha is over, we hopefully all will get back into the swing of things, right? Throw out the candy! (not) ... well, maybe the candy I really didn’t like to begin with ... And hit the gym. 

I am at the local gym, riding the recumbent bicycle. And I am engaged in any kind of motivational scheme I can think of. I am listening to motivational music, eyeing the television above my head, and visiting with other suffering women sitting next to me. We are all fat and fluffy!

Pedal, pedal. Watching the time. Trying not to think about this process. Telling myself, this will pay off. You will feel so good about yourself. You will be able to fit into all your clothes, maybe even the small sizes! Optimistic. Focus. Focus. 

In the meantime, a younger, much younger woman is flying fast on the step machine, smiling while she is pumping. Smiling! Can you believe it?

I comment to the gal next to me. She is “about” my age. She comes often, except when she doesn’t come at all, and then has to re-calibrate her motivational purpose.

“How long do you pedal?” 

“35 minutes! But it doesn’t matter how long I ride the bike” She laughs. “It won’t make up for what I packed away today!”

“You too? I know. I find myself nibbling all the time! It’s ridiculous. I am eating leftover candy corn from Halloween, and I don’t even like candy corn.”

She replied, “If it’s there, I eat it. If I can’t leave it alone, I stick it in the freezer to get it out of my sight, but then, I find I like it frozen just as much  So, I tell myself, oh just eat the rest of it and get it out of the way!” 

“It isn’t that I don’t know better. I know how to eat correctly. I know all the rules. I could teach the class,” she adds with a chuckle.

Pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal.

Across the room comment: “I was moaning to a friend that I’m gaining weight again. My friend answered, “Lucy, that’s what we do! We gain and we lose, then we gain, and we lose.”  

At least we are trying. And we are sooooo typically female with our spotty discipline. The men? They have other issues.

Holiday candy land is finally over. Done. Why do they do this to us? Follow the money. It’s dangerous, poisonous, and definitely habit forming. Sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, disguised in rich holiday desserts, ornate Christmas cookies, candy tins, and the like. And then, there’s the “fun packs.” 

What the heck are “fun packs” anyway? I didn’t have much fun ... well ... I did really ... but NOW? It’s not. 

OK. So onward and upward! Go for it. Pedal. Pay the price. It pays! What’s an hour out of the day? 

There are several younger guys at the gym who are obese and obese-obese. Big dudes. But they are losing weight and firming up. I heard their comments too ... as my friend and I were yakking about candy corn.

Do you know what they were saying, these guys?  “UUUUUUUUUGGGGH. OOOOOOF. GRUNT.” I could hear the suffering. They were sweating, and working out with head phones. I suspect that they have found a new addiction away from sugar. Exercise.

And they are making no excuses, like us.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at or juditabler@awomansview.