Saturday, 9 February 2013

To B-fit or Not to Be Fit.



At the beginning of December, I was contemplating giving up the battle of the bulge and resorting to elasticated waistbands. In a fair world, brisk walking for a couple of hours each day should give me a figure like Kate Moss, but in reality, the spare tyre around my middle was causing a sartorial crisis. Once winter set in and I had to abandon my comfortable linen trousers, I found I couldn't get into any of my warm clothes. I'm too mean to contemplate buying a new wardrobe so something had to be done.  "Eat less" you say, and I agree with you, but I'm a bit of a foodie and get miserable the minute I restrict my calories so the only answer was to get fitter.  A quick look around the peninsula offered a plethora of fitness choices. This is very different to my first foray into keep-fit.  In the 1980s, one woman was almost exclusively responsible for femail fitness in Bodrum.  Betül Hanım, a trained gymnast, had us going for the burn a la  Jane Fonda,  then cooling down with half an hour of yoga,  (she'd end the lesson with a perfect  headstand while we'd be grateful to be horizontal).   With no dedicated sports hall,  Betül's sessions took place in the  "Public Education Building" (Halk Eğitim) in the centre of town, where we would routinely sweep away the fag ends before we started and occasionally be interrupted by groups of taxi drivers or students looking for a public health lecture or English exam.    By the early 90s,  Betül had moved to Sporium, Bodrum's first fitness centre, where we had the luxury of changing rooms and those who looked good in leotards and leg warmers could enjoy the mirror-walled exercise studio, but maybe not the attention of the five-a-side footballers who would be waiting their turn to play on the astro-turf. 

Betül and my daughter 1996



b-fit Bodrum

With these past experiences in mind, what a joy it was to walk into the spotless Bodrum Gym and Jam fitness centre in the middle of Bodrum.  I signed up for 4 months of b-fit;  a 30 minute work-out consisting of short bursts of aerobic exercise interspersed with muscle toning machines.  The bi- or tri-lingual instructors are "in the circle" constantly to give guidance and encouragement and everyone can work at their own pace.  I've just completed my first 5 weeks and I can already fit into several pairs of jeans with a bit of room to spare.  Next week I'm going to try out some of the other exercises on offer; starting with ballroom fitness. As I've got two left feet, I don't think I'm the ideal candidate for this but I'll report back, with  photos, on Tuesday.


                     
Sorry gentlemen!


21-09-2014  Update.  Unfortunately this b-fit is no longer open in the centre of Bodrum. We are awaiting news of its new venue.  There is a b-fit in Konacik. 

35 comments:

  1. I haven't been to a gym since the ten year old was a baby. It's finding some time in the day to do it that's hard. Desperate times call for desperate measures though so you are giving me pause for thought. Five weeks you say...?

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    1. It's a commitment but with 30 mins of exercise, 10 mins, stretching, and a shower, it only takes up an hour of the day and as I'm not working, I have no excuse not to do it.

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  2. I admire anyone who can stick with a fitness programme, so well done you.

    My waistline expands every winter but I give in to the elasticated waistbands I'm afraid. Roll on summer when my appetite diminishes a bit and it's back to normal size.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I eat in the summer too.

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  3. My muscles are aching just thinking about it!

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  4. You have touched a nerve! I am currently fighting an expanding waistline, which I have been trying to pass off as the shrinkage of my winter wardrobe in the wash. Sadly, I hate gyms with a passion, so I am truly in awe of your efforts and jealous of your success. I now have 72 hours to lose about 7 kilos before I appear in swimwear for my winter holiday. Yes, I've left it far too late....

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    Replies
    1. I haven't actually lost any weight, just turned fat into something less bulky.

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  5. B to B, Congratulations! Really, winter is such a challenge to lose weight, especially when rain gets in the way of getting out to walk. I also see that age slows the metabolism and makes it harder to keep one up on the good food to be found here. So glad you found a solution!

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    1. I walk even when it's raining but I think I needed to get my pulse pumping a bit more and speed up my whole cardio-vascular system.

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  6. . . it's my knees - I would be there doing all that sweaty stuff otherwise - I would, honestly!

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    1. I had a frozen shoulder but it's much better now after the exercise.

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  7. Congratulations!!! That's good you are sticking to this program. I was actually thinking about joining this same type of program called "Curves" here. But my knees have been acting real bad lately so I always put it off (I know I always have an excuse).
    But you are an inspiration so maybe I should re-join again, because I'd better have lots of energy coming this spring to walk for hours among the archaeological ruins in Turkey and most important the big city bazaars. :-).
    Great job!!!!

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    Replies
    1. You have to be ready to climb to the top of the theatre in Ephesus.

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    2. Oh...I can't climb up there because I don't like heights. Usually my daughter and sister in law do the trek up there......but this time I just might. I'll tell something going up that mountain road to Virgin Mary's House kills me enough and that is in a car.....and usually I'm the bold driver between me and my husband. LOL.

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  8. I think you are very brave.

    I have never been to a gym. I think I am a bit afraid of them. I know there are Pilates classes here in Selçuk and I really should do that or yoga as my physiotherapist advised. But I seem to be doing OK with just the exercises she taught me.

    I'm really lucky as I seem to do OK with just the walking (not to mention the falling over) and occasional swimming. And, despite the time to cook and the wonderful food, both of us have lost weight since moving to Turkey. We think it was the rushed lunches and meetings that included cakes and biscuits to take away the pain that did the damage (couldn't be the cake or the baklava we have here....).

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    Replies
    1. You are very lucky - my husband is the same.

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  9. You put me to shame, BtoB. I'm afraid that with advancing age I'm with Ayak in giving in to elasticated waistbands and I haven't set foot in a gym since I left school nearly 50 years ago. Perhaps it's time to change that.....

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    Replies
    1. This would be a good gym to start in - Very friendly and approachable.

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  10. Wow, good on you for getting into that. My argument for not joining a gym here is we have the great outdoors to exercise in and lots of walks we can do...except it keeps raining so we've hardly left the house and I still can't get into lots of my clothes. ;) Good luck with the ballroom stuff...

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  11. I had the same argument and still walk at least 2 hours a day even in the rain ... we should be super slim, shouldn't we.

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  12. Love the name - Gym and Jam! Am I the only one to feel rather jealous that you've been doing this for five weeks and haven't said anything before now? I feel quite annoyed even that you didn't mention it before then I could have been doing something positive with you for the past five weeks - and now MY jeans would fit! Shame on you, Annie. Selfish, I call it....


    Of course I am pleased for you (though you should see my face when I say it..!) Now I shall have to do something on my own.

    This blog caught me at a bad and bulgy time. I may be more genuinely pleased for you later this week; if I don't eat much til then and brave the weather to take Darwin for longer walks.
    Herumph.
    Axxxx

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  13. I had this post prepared a while ago but couldn't find the photo of Betül. You know the feeling when you know where something is and can't believe that it isn't there? Three times I've gone through my albums and photos - it has disappeared. In the end I found the negative and reversed it - hence the fuzz. I've got plenty of weeks left for you to join in.

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  14. Well done you, so inspiring :) loved the look b-fit and your daughter looks amazing at the gym bar : ) Gym has never attracted me - sweating is not my kind of thing :(- trying to convince myself that the school run is ample :) Love pilates though, and greatly admire your detemination - you can now enjoy food too, well deserved :)

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    1. I think I should lay off the food for a while . Easier said than done.

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  15. Have had the same problem - 10kg extra in a year!!! Came back from the UK with a Rosemary Conley FAB diet book (brilliant) and she tells us that exercise has to play an important part too and guides us in gently. I had to give in and buy a bigger bra yesterday (I would love to have been this size 20 years ago - why NOW with a matching waist line?)but its so wonderful to feel comfortable. 2 weeks into the diet and exercise and the results are showing already. Just walking up and down the mountain where I live once a day is a gentle enough start. I think starting is the hardest part. May join you at b-fit at a later date. It does look good.

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    1. Sounds like you are on track Wildflower. I'll be at Bi-fit until the end of April, by which time I hope to have gone down a dress size.

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  16. Hi Just read some of your blog and must say it is fantastic. I am going to take time to peruse over all the articles. Really congratulation. You have inspired me :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Westie. I am enjoying your blog too. Takes a great sense of humour to enjoy living here.

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  17. You are one brave cookie, yikes.... I hate strenuous activity of any form - I only lost weight when the doctor threatened my with medication if I didn't get my cholesterol level down. Result: 7 kg down and severe cold turkey for my lost companions, the Salted Peanut family :-(

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