I’m Not Rocky Balboa

You know that scene in one of the Rocky movies when he’s training? He runs through the streets of Philly as his fans cheer him on, then he runs up those stairs and throws his arms in the air in victory as the then-inspiring but now nauseating “Gonna Fly Now” song blares in the background. Remember?


I had a Rocky Balboa moment on Sunday. Well…I thought I did.

When I first bought my elliptical trainer, I could only do 5 minutes before I was jumping off in a sweaty, oozy heap. I hated clunking along on the damn thing, feeling like a hippo stuck in quicksand. It wasn’t very motivating.

Since I don’t normally enjoy feeling like a hippo stuck in quicksand, I avoided the elliptical trainer frequently. Because naturally what you should do if you’re trying to get healthy is avoid exercise, am I right? And then when I was done avoiding exercise I made sure to give myself a very healthy dose of guilt…because who doesn’t love guilt, right? It’s so good for morale, really. It perks you right up. This is the kind of misguided thinking that got me to gain 220 pounds in the first place…trust me.

It took a few weeks, but I finally came around to realizing that sitting on the couch and mentally berating myself for avoiding the elliptical trainer wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be. In fact, after I hit the sacred 45 pound mark I was eager to get to 50…so I made a deal with myself last week that I would just give it a shot. I promised myself that I would get on the elliptical every day last week for at least 10 minutes and see where that got me.

Bad Ass Couch copy

Monday came and I did 10 minutes of stuck-in-the-mud hippo leg pumping. I started hurling mental crap at myself for not being able to do more. (Because that’s helpful, right?) I actually had to tell myself to shut it. And I did. I focused my attention back on what I could do.

Tuesday came…10 minutes. Wednesday came. I begrudgingly tried 15 minutes. I’m pleased to inform y’all that I did not, in fact, die. I was just fine. Thursday came. I dropped a pound and did 15 minutes. Friday came and I set the timer thingy for 15 minutes…but as my 15 minutes were coming to an end, I realized that I felt just fine. I knew I could do more.

I finished Friday with 25 minutes…and for the first time, I felt a little glimmer of pride. I was also really sweating for the first time since I’d started this experiment. Don’t get me wrong, 10 minutes of leg-pumping hippo cardio is great…but I wasn’t left feeling particularly productive at the end of it. I wasn’t even really sweating. All I had to show for it was sort of a pasty, sticky feeling…much like what I’d get if I accidentally got too close to a Kardashian, I imagine.

Saturday I woke up, stepped onto the bathroom scale, and discovered that I was 1 pound away from hitting 50 pounds lost. Holy shit…1 more pound. This is where it started to get away from me. Just a tad.

That morning I climbed onto my new BFF, aka the elliptical trainer, confident that I could hold my own for a respectable 25 minutes…and I did. I went about the rest of my day with a saucy little spring in my step. I was no longer Sit-On-The-Couch-And-Feel-Guilty Dianne…I was becoming Badass-Who-Works-Out Dianne. And I liked it.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I piddled around a bit but I was eager to see my BFF again. What a change from Monday, right? It wasn’t too long before I tucked my ear buds in and was ready to go. The hippo was gone. I wasn’t gracefully gliding away like the 120 pound beauties I used to see at the gym, but I was pumping away with new found confidence. It felt really good.

As I went about the rest of my day, I kept thinking about the fact that I’d lost 49 pounds. One more pound to go to my first major goal. I was proud of myself – and that’s extraordinary for me. I’m used to telling myself I can’t…I won’t…I shouldn’t. I’ve got 20 years of negativity under my belt…so what happens when I suddenly start to feel a little confidence? A little positivity? A little moxy?

I think I’m Rocky Balboa.


Suddenly I wasn’t content to bask in the glory of my 25 minutes on the elliptical. Nooooo. I wanted to push the envelope. Feel the burn. Poke the angry badger. Well, I’m not too sure if that last one is an actual saying…but you get the drift. I wanted more of this feeling-good-about-myself stuff. I decided to do another 25 minutes on the elliptical. Hell YEAH!!!!

After finishing some more housework, I updated the status on my Facebook fan page to let everyone know I was going for it…and I climbed onto the elliptical and started up. And y’all cheered me on…just like the screaming fans that chased Rocky down that street (except we’re all much more attractive and would never be seen in public in crappy gray sweats or pleather pants).

I finished my second round of 25 minutes, although honestly I spent the last 10 minutes of it wondering what the hell I thought I was doing. I was sweating in places I didn’t know I had. And muscles…they hurt. At least I think that’s what they were. I haven’t used them in a very long time. Do humans have muscles in their asses? Because I just thought I had two lumps of memory foam with a crack down the middle, but wow…even my ass muscles hurt when I was done.

I posted my victory on Facebook which, in this scenario, is the virtual equivalent of Rocky thrusting his fists up in the air as the city of Philadelphia cheered around him. Screw that piddly first 25 minutes I did that morning…now I’d really accomplished something, right?

I half-collapsed onto Hot Mess Hubby’s chair (with him in it) for a few minutes. He gave me a reassuring hug, chuckled, and said in an I-told-you-so tone “Yeah, I thought you were crazy…”

He was right. He speaks from experience. Because when I’m super motivated to do anything, I instantly turn into Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Vacation movies.


You know Clark. He overdoes everything…and so do I. By the time Downton Abbey started, I was waddling around the house like a 90 year old rodeo queen. Didn’t sleep too well either. Every time I rolled over or…took a frigg’in breath…my muscles screamed in pain. And the next morning? Yeah, I couldn’t put on my pants. That’s probably not a good sign.

So…lesson learned. I promise to remember that I’m more Clark Griswold than Rocky Balboa (and that’s really okay because Rocky couldn’t enunciate for shit and I can’t hang with talking like I’ve got a sock in my mouth). Plus when it all comes down to it, I’d rather be guilty of a little too much enthusiasm.

I declared Monday a rest day. Enthusiastically. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Oh and I lost 3 pounds during my experiment. I also eventually got into my pants.

Tonight’s goal is 30 minutes. I’ve got this…and, hopefully sometime this week, I’ll be able to tell you that I’ve lost my first 50 pounds.

Have you ever overdone it? Don’t leave me hanging out on a limb here…share your story and make me smile.

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12 thoughts on “I’m Not Rocky Balboa

  1. haha I know the pain of going overboard sometimes 🙂 I get all gung ho and on a mission and then BAM. So, I have to remind myself that its ok to take a rest day regularly 🙂

  2. Been there, done that, wish I could have voiced it as well as you have in this blog post. I’m convinced that Biofreeze is the best friend of all the Clark Griswolds of the world.

  3. I’m glad that you are feeling so gung-ho. I’ve been seeing your updates and cheering for you all the way. If there’s one thing you’re learning here, if a little painfully, it’s moderation.

    I tend to be the opposite; I naturally hold back and end up having to drag myself to get into things. Of course, then I’m proud of my accomplishments and end up wondering why I ever held back.

  4. Don’t forget to make Epsom Salt your friend. And excedrin work better than Tylenol or Motrin. I promise, I know from whence I speak. Now…go get em!

  5. “Poke the angry badger”….well, if it wasn’t a saying before, it is now! I plan to use it often 🙂

  6. Sometimes being sore is so gratifying, though! It means you worked hard enough to change your body! Just don’t overdo it to the point where you’re discouraged from getting back ON the elliptical.

    I’ve been begrudgingly riding my bike to and from school lately (on the nice days when I can), and I’m going to start playing that Rocky music in my head whenever I truck up a really tough hill. Thanks for that. 😉

  7. way to go!! Don’t give up! i over did it at the gym before and after a day if lungesi was stuck on the toilet!!

  8. Amazing – you keep turning these corners – and finding so much spunk and energy. Where in the world will you be in 6 months? I still think it would be fun to do a HMP fan club trip to celebrate. Your journey has changed people. Honesty with humor.

  9. Completed my first 5k 2 weeks ago and even though I trained and trained I was HURTING for two days after! From my nose to my toes! I was an Achey Breaky Badass though!

  10. way to go so happy for you what kind of machine do you have i need something to get me off the chair keep rocking on my friend

  11. Don’t let your experience put you off HMP. Remember it’s not all about the pounds but fitness too. Your body will thank you for it. X

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