I once had curves…. a long time ago. Pregnancy was a great excuse to over indulge and have a dessert with every meal but the time has now come for me to wriggle into my pre-pregnancy wardrobe ( I had some nice outfits!) and so I decided to give a workout institution a try. I’ve never belonged to a gym so I was skeptical but decided I had nothing to lose except my weight by trying out a month at Curves. The appeal was that this was a safe haven filled with women, not sweaty, stinky grunting men. And women there were! All shapes, all sizes . Those with Hijabs and those with skinny pants; The college student with her stories of all-nighters to the eighty year old grandmother telling me of her trip to Sri Lanka. Each of them supportive and encouraging. Hey, this seemed like a great community!
My first week was daunting; there were strength training machines and “recovery” stations all in a circular formation, a ring of torture. The fact that it would only take thirty minutes three times a week to rediscover my curves had me motivated and I made it five times that week. Under the watchful eye of the coach I attacked each machine, slowly mastering the form. Correct form I was told was important, but so was the number of reps. What? I’m supposed to do it properly AND fast? EESH! I admit, I wanted to grunt a couple times! Luckily the tunes were cranked and they went unnoticed (I hope!). The thirty minute circuit comprises of 30 seconds of strength training alternated by 30 seconds on the recovery stations. These recovery stations kick my butt more than anything!
Sumo squats. Hula Hoops. Lunges. Boxing. Yes the list goes on but all of these were supposed to get my heart racing for twenty solid minutes (the extra ten minutes are for warm up, cool down and stretches). When I started my active pulse was equivalent to a resting 80 year old. I KNOW- SAD. Not to worry I managed to work my way up to a mildly active 60 year old at the end of the first week. Each and every day that first week I felt the burn, long into the wee hours of the night. It was a good burn though, unlike the ones caused by a 6-month-old’s piercing cries.
In addition to the circuit there’s also boot camp Wednesday (VERY intense recovery stations) along with fun classes sprinkled throughout the week to get your body shaking. This helps mix things up and ensures that certain ladies, myself included, don’t get bored too easily. My clubbing days are long gone and so my dance moves are saved for weddings and for classes like Zumba and Bollywood. Yes I dance my heart out to Aaja Nachele! It’s a great change to the circuit. My moves aren’t perfect but the laughter and camaraderie make up for the pain from head to toe the following day. Those Bollywood moves sure make you feel muscles you never knew existed!
It’s a slow journey but I’ve been diligent in sneaking out for my thirty minute routine while the little one naps. Those painful thirty minutes are almost as blissful as curling up with a cup of chai and a good book. The fact that I can drop in at any time between 6:30 a.m. and 8 :00p.m means that each day I can work around the family’s schedule and once I reenter the workforce, I can sneak in during lunch! I plan to continue my search for my long lost curves. Anyone else planning to do the same?
FREE TRIAL: For those Masalamomma’s living or working in downtown Toronto we’ve got a great excuse for you to break a sweat! The downtown Toronto Curves will provide you with a free week of Curves Complete. This package not only includes access to the circuit, but also includes online coaching, a tailored diet plan (that makes room for the Mutton Curry!) and motivational sessions with a coach. I know I’m excited to give this program a try! All you have to do is mention Masalamommas when you visit t the Queens Park Curves this April or May. Please note that this offer is only available at this particular location.