I want everyone to know that I’ve lost 25 pounds … so far. And, I want everyone to know that I did so without running a step!

How many of you think that in order to truly lose weight you have to jog or run? How many of you have been told by trainers or friends that the excess weight you’re carrying won’t really come off unless you’re running a few miles a day? How many of them pooh-pooh anything but their running regiment? Well, I’m here to say they are wrong and I am the proof.

I will tell you straight up, right now, that I like just about everything and I hate running. I find it to be the most boring, tedious waste of time since reality television graced our airwaves and loathe the fact that there’s never a restroom around when I most desperately need one. No, I am not an “outdoorsy gal.” My idea of roughing it is a hotel without a concierge. So the gym, and all its accoutrements, suits me just fine.

So how did I achieve weight loss success — and let me say I’ve still got another 25 pounds to go — without the use of a treadmill?

I used the seated bike. This was actually on the advice of my trainer, Keith Sims. He first put me on the bike because he didn’t want to stress out my knees. As I dropped weight, we walked the stairs, and then moved up to the step mill. Now I’m not going to lie here. You must break a sweat in order to get your heart rate up and burn calories. But I can tell you how grateful I am that I don’t have to run. It is one of the things that have kept me motivated during this conditioning process.

We all need motivation to get to the gym and workout. We all get motivated for different reasons. For some it may come when trying to impress a guy or a girl, for others it may be the thrill of competition.

Whatever inspires you to break a sweat is a good thing. And, if you’re into competitions, Burn Fitness is running a two month Weight Loss Challenge. It runs Aug. 15 — Oct. 15.

“The challenge is based on points of body fat,” says Kejo Thomas, a lovely gal who helms the front desk. “So whoever loses the most body fat points wins.”

The way it works is members sign up, weigh in, record their measurements and get their body fat calibration. Thomas says, “We typically have between 15 and 20 members competing.”

For someone like me, who now only needs to lose 25 pounds the challenge sounds like a great way to inspire motivation. Some members have trainers and some train by themselves. If you don’t have a trainer and you’re not feeling like you’re going to be able to motivate by working out alone, a great way to continue gaining ground is to find a workout buddy. This can be as simple as setting a time commitment so you get your butt to the gym to do cardio — which by the way, is a fabulous way to make new friends while you insure you’re staying fit — or as complex as partnering up with someone while the two of you take turns lifting weights. I recently made a pact with a member to meet in the a.m. for cardio on days I don’t train with Sims. Though we do our own thing once we arrive — she does the treadmill and I do the step mill — the idea that we’re are beholden to each other to show up on time is a good way to help us meet our respective fitness goals.

With respect to the Weight Loss Challenge, the winner receives a one-year free membership. Second place is a three months paid membership and third place is a Burn Fitness T-shirt and water bottle. If you want to join and become a member you can do so and sign up for the Weight Loss Challenge.

I’m sending out my own personal challenge to my readers. If you have been putting off losing weight or ignoring your health, it’s time to stop the excuses. It’s time to take care of YOU! It’s time to step up to the step mill.

This program has changed my life. In less than four months, I have gained more confidence, feel like I’m getting back to my true self, have said “goodbye” to size 31 jeans, started dating again and reconnected with a guy who rocks my world … and all this without running!

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

By the numbers

Starting Weight: 182

Pounds Lost: 21.5

Current Weight: 160.5

Goal Weight: 135

Pounds to Lose to Goal: 25.5

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