My wife busted me checking the calories on a box of Girl Scouts’ Thin Mint cookies. She has no idea. No idea the depths to which ex-wrestlers are capable of slipping when it comes to the game of weight loss.
There is a fine line between “getting in shape” and the game of “watch how much weight I can lose how quickly”. More than 20 years later, I can still take twisted pleasure in seeing the scale dip below where it was the day before. I’ve avoided the scale for the past year, in part because I didn’t want to obsess (but also because it always said the same thing: older and out of shape).
At the beginning of this year I started working out hard, with an eye towards getting into good cardiovascular shape for work. My business partner has lost over 60 pounds in the last year and was in better shape than I was, and I found inspiration (and competition) in that.
But two months into it I injured my shoulder, and couldn’t swim any more. So I jumped on the stationary bike – which has an addictive digital readout built-in. It gives me everything I never knew I needed in working out: miles ridden, RPM, time spent in the saddle, heart rate, and even calories burned. It’s like a video game I play every day, where the high score is getting in shape. And weight loss.
So now I’m trying not to take pleasure in the fact that I’m as light as I’ve been since college. Trying not to calculate what my hour-long spin on the bike today means for anything other than my sense of well-being.
As for the Girl Scout cookies: it’s 160 calories for 4 cookies – or 15 minutes on the bike at 17.8mph.