Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Exercise Machines Are Magic!

This past Monday we got our brand spankin' new Precor elliptical machine. Dang, is it purty! And giant. It takes up all the fresh space we made in the family room by scooting 4-foot stacks of boxes to the outer edges. This is an improvement. When I first moved here with my multitudes of belongings (most of them unnecessary) those stacks were 7 feet tall and they took up the entire room. They were stacked right up against the wall-sized window and there was no longer a view of the pool, or even of the sky. It was a messier, less airtight version of the wall in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado."

[I made a literary reference. See? I don't just spend my time watching reality shows and reading People magazine and clicking on celebrity-bashing websites. I read books. Classic things like Edgar Allen Poe short stories. As recently as junior high school.]

Just having a machine in the house that makes fitness a possibility has colored my shopping choices. For instance, today I grocery-shopped at Sprouts, the Phoenix store known for being all things healthy. Organic frozen foods, organic farm-raised stress-free libertarian chicken, "natural" canned soda, glistening fillets from happy catfish that were swimming earlier in the day with no thought of a late-morning death knell, piles of gleaming radishes that are sometimes stacked forehead-high, beautiful glowing produce in every direction. On the racks near the check-outs are magazines like Natural Health, and Yoga, and the covers of those magazines are populated with glassy-eyed gauze-skirt-wearing women who have never even been in the same room with a Hostess Ho-Ho or an Oscar Mayer hot dog, and if that horror ever did happen to them, they'd run barefoot, their long skirts flowing, to hug the nearest tree so hard that shards of bark would be embedded forever into their free-range boobs.

Even so, I was not inspired. I came home with four kinds of potato chips, 2 kinds of ice cream bars, some buy-it-by-the-scoop chocolate candy that resembles swollen, misshapen Butterfingers, and a 6-pack of Shinerbock for Scott. Oh I got other stuff, too. Veggies, fish, grainy sawdusty bread, blah blah. All those items that were actually on the list.

I am easily coaxed into believing fantasy, and that is why it feels as though I now have carte blanche when it comes to eating junk. Because I'm SO going to get on the elliptical and work all of these calories off. I mean, the machine is right there. I can jump on it 8 times a day and eat every lard/sugar grease/salt concoction in the house and I will still be Kate Moss in no time. Minus the heroin and the disconcerting Marty Feldman eyes and the pond scum boyfriend.

The problem: Once you have stayed on the elliptical for the equivalent of a angry hike from Madison, Wisconsin to the equator, you have burned the caloric equivalent of one tiny corner of a brown sugar cinnamon Poptart. Unfrosted.

This is unfortunate.

Especially because my good friend Belle just sent me a goodie box which included a bag of Caramel Creams, some Cow Tails and some Laffy Taffy. And a gift certificate to the Devil's Living Room, also known as The Cheesecake Factory. She said it's a belated wedding gift but I may never reveal its existence to Scott. He would only be unreasonable. Like, he might bring up the topic of sharing it.

Thank you, Belle.


  • At 6:25 AM, Blogger Jerry said…

    Don't shoot the messenger:

    Copy this to your browser, then read the bad news.

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…


    Have lost. Will. To live.

    Trust me, I know by now that thin doesn't happen from exercise. I've learned to settle for lower blood sugar, slightly more energy, and better tone. But a few pounds usually do drop off in the process. Funny how somewhere in the mid-40s the focus turns to health instead of being a stick.

    Thanks for the article's a good read.
    Right up until you decide to give up trying and eat 11 more Cow Tails.

  • At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps it is true that exercising doesn't make one lose weight, but don't give up hope. In basic training, I gained 8 pounds, but dropped two sizes. Plus, the more muscle you build, the better your body burns calories. At least, that's what my doctor said. And there's all of that good stuff for your heart. And, I think if you are exercising, you can afford to splurge a bit more on the foods that you really love more than you could afford to if you didn't do anything.

    I once read that in order to burn off one M&M, a person needs to walk 100 yards. I almost cried.

  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger Steve B said…

    Do they even MAKE unfrosted brown-sugar cinammon poptarts?

  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Futuresis...I have to believe I can benefit myself with this machine even if I never get skinny. I know my metabolism will get a boost.

    But why don't you come over and we'll throw caution entirely to the wind and eat a whole handful of M & M's?

  • At 7:42 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Steve, Yes, they do. I know, it's perverse. But they do.

    And I'm married to someone who PREFERS the unfrosted ones. It kills a little part of my soul every day.

  • At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We are poptart people and the unfrosted ones are gross. Sorry, husband of Candy. Have you tried the lowfat brown sugar ones? They are ok.

    You are welcome for the candy and stuff, Candy.

  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Lo Fat? Wasn't that a bad guy on "Hawaii Five-O?"

    I just ate some caramel creams, Belle. They were my hors d'oeuvres before dinner.

  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pop Tarts always look like they will be good, and sometimes they sound like they'll be a good snack....but then about halfway through one I feel sick and realize that Pop Tarts are not really very good after all. But I think I am the only person that feels this way. Everyone seems to love Pop Tarts. I must have defective taste buds.

    However, I will join you for a handful of M&Ms. Perhaps we could each have our own "Fun Size" bag! (I think we have already discussed the absurdity of naming the tiny bags "Fun Size," haven't we?) But if I do indulge in an entire "Fun Size" bag, could I please use your elliptical machine for three straight hours?

  • At 9:40 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Futuresis, Pop Tarts AREN'T very good. They are so filled with space-age polymers and unknown substances that they leave a telltale coating on your tongue that could shellac an entire set of Precious Moments Nativity figurines, including the sheep standing off in the corner. Which is exactly WHY they are so good. And that sick feeling is part of the experience. Enjoy!

    Oh, and, yes, of course, come over and have 4 M & M's. Our machine is your machine.

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What do you call a midlife crisis girlfriend? Pop Tart.

  • At 10:13 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Ha! And I am IN one. Fire up da toaster.

  • At 6:35 AM, Blogger Jerry said…

    This tread could be a commercial for PopTarts.

    Futuresis is right about the benefits of exercise. A female friend of mine used to run 6 miles a day and work out with weights for 30 minutes each day so that she could eat anything she wanted and stay thin--and it worked.

    Although our genetics program our longevity, exercise can ensure that we can be active and mobile right up until the trip across the Styx. Plus, exercise increases our energy level,cellular and systemic efficiency; it makes us a more efficient machine.

    Resistance work (weights, machines), particularly squats and leg presses, bench presses, military presses work the major muscles which in turn increase the natural production of growth hormone. Growth hormone control metabolism, fat storage, and muscle hypertrophy.

    The more muscle, the more calories you burn, the more efficient your machine and the less estrogen production from fat cells.

    Finally, exercise makes you feel better. So, although exercise without calorie restriction is not going to make you thin, it is going to boost your mood (exercise increases the production of mood boosting biochemicals, like endorphins), give you energy, and increase your mobility.

    Then there is Yoga for flexibility, but that's a story for another day...

  • At 7:21 AM, Blogger prairie biker said…

    Speaking of flowing haired, free range boobied hippie chicks, I'm wondering what the drag co-efficient of all that leg hair is?

  • At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I feel sick after eating Pop Tarts too especially when I break into my daughter's Barbie ones. Have you seen them? Pictures show up on them after they are toasted-of Barbie as a mermaid or whatever.

    I agree with Candy that the sickness is part of the novelty.

    Next you have to describe how caramel creams numb your tongue!

  • At 11:16 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I want me some endorphins, Jerry. Why can't they make Pop Tarts stuffed with endorphin filling?

    I did yoga for a year or two. I swore I would never NOT do yoga, but here I am, a stiff-muscled slacker.

    Ewww, PB, leg hair drag. Ack.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Belle, I cannot believe they make Pop Tarts that reveal pictures of Barbie. I'm stunned. That is SO incredibly lame and yet I want to get some. Today.

    They remind me of those "coloring" books where you painted with water and the colors showed up.

  • At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Barbie Pop Tarts? I shall not ever let my daughters know of these.

    We have some of those cookies and cream Pop Tarts on the shelf in the pantry....I refuse to allow those to be eaten for breakfast. They look very good, but something tells me that they will taste nothing like Oreos, and I will only regret the caloric intake as I lay nauseated, in the fetal position, after eating one. So I have held back.

    You know what would probably be a really great seller for Kellogg's? Britney Spears Pop Tarts. And don't tell me that Britney Spears isn't what first comes to mind when you hear "pop tart."

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Futuresis, please, let me help you. Send those horrible icky Pop Tarts here to the desert. I will bury them alongside Lizzie.

  • At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I am sorry. No matter how many space-age polymers and other unknown chemicals a Pop Tart contains, they cannot bring Lizzie back to life. Stop decomposition, yes. But back to life? No.

    But, since you are so kind as to allow me the use of your elliptical machine after our big M&M binge, I will send them to you. Be checking the mail!

    Oh. Also, I am short on funds and will not be able to send them first class, but I am sure that they will be just as good by the time they arrive.

  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I just thought it'd be nice to give Lizzie a bountiful send-off into the afterlife. You know, like the Egyptians did when they buried guys with their (living) wives.

    I'm sure if you sent those Pop Tarts in a decade, they'd still be just as "fresh."

  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was just thinking how funny it would be if you made one of those time capsule things and somebody dug it in about 200 years....a brittle lizard corpse and a box of cookies and cream Pop Tarts....and let's see....what else?

    The Jermaine Jackson CD?

  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Oh my God. That's a great idea. I could totally misrepresent the year 2007. I could put in a corset and some foot binding material too. And a butter churn. And a little dress for Lizzie.

  • At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And you could also put in an 8-track player, some parachute pants, a doll make out of straw, and some Mickey Mouse ears!

  • At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    made, not make. need coffee.

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    8 tracks. I love 8 tracks. The first one we had was the soundtrack to "Man of LaMancha." How lame is that?

  • At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My first car was a 1979 Pinto with an 8-track player. This was in the early 90's. My friends would say things like, "What is this? A VCR or something?" (I never said my high school friends were particularly smart.) However, I had a big box of 8-tracks that sat on the front seat beside me and I had an awesome 8-track collection. I had Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Ted Nugent, Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Journey, Boston....all kinds of good ones, inherited from my uncles. And I liked the 8-tracks better than cassettes because I could just skip right to the next track. Of course, when it switched tracks in the middle of a song, there was that pause and the big loud "clunk" sound.

  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Man, you were rockin! At our house it was tame. Barry Manilow, the Carpenters, Seals and Crofts. Which explains why I grew up to be so calm and peaceful.

    You are a rotten head-banger. Repent.

  • At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, you are so calm and peaceful. That is what we have in common.

    OK. Now I am going to have to fall out of my chair and laugh until I can barely breathe.

  • At 12:05 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Well, well. That was some sarcasm wasn't it? Well I AM peaceful and calm. Like a frickin snowfall in the woods. Or a gentle ocean wave lapping at the beach.
    I'm peaceful.
    And if you don't think so, maybe I can come there and we could drink herbal tea and then maybe I could rip out your lungs with an Electrolux.

    And then we could have more tea.

  • At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sarcasm? What do you mean? I don't think that paranoia is a symptom of a calm person. But I could be wrong.

    That sounds fabulous. I don't need lungs to drink tea. That is how peaceful I am! I don't even have to breathe, I am so calm! And all of these exclamation points just drive that point across further!!!!

  • At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am very tempted to send you some Barbie poptarts. They may be hard to find. Next care package!

  • At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No Barbie tarts left on the shelf. Now I wonder if they were real.

    I love chocolate vanilla pop tarts. They are my absolute favorite. Here we go, Candy-writing on the post when everyone is done looking at it! Fun!

  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I'm not sure I could've stood seeing Barbie Pop Tarts anyway. It may have freaked me out to watch Barbie "appear." Sounds like it's of the debbul!

  • At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm writing on this old post for some privacy.

    You are going to be here in IN again. Dang-when will we ever meet up again. Hope you are able to finish your dog book on the plane. Let me know what you think. Can you imagine living with that kind of disability? A husband who wasn't your husband anymore. The author sounds so patient and so refined but I still liked her. Someone who wears LL Bean clothes and has fresh flowers in her house all of the time. Guess I should have used real e-mail. You are probably flying now anyway and not even going to read this. Boy, I am rambling.

    Last night I dreamt of TW. Is that better than dreaming of runon sentences? I'm not sure. Bye, Candy!

  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Jinserai said…

    Free-range boobs. I think I'm going to fall out of my chair.
    ASPCB-approved strippers with organically grown, free-range boobs.

  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Jinserai, Surely you've seen some of these in Beantown!!! They would be just below the face that screams double-digit I.Q.


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