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Kickin' it old school

Letter: Apparently the Pink Flamingo Challenge really works. If you're not a slacker.

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Editor, the Gauntlet,

[Re: "Pink Flamingo Challenge," Dec. 7, 2006.]

Okay, you Gauntlet slackers. Despite being over twice your ages and not having exercised in years, I did manage to stick it out for the whole 10 weeks of the Pink Flamingo Fitness Challenge. And believe it or not, there were noticeable results achieved using the old school regimen in this short amount of time.

In addition to the tested categories, I was able to double the number of sit ups I was doing. I also reduced the overall thickness on my skinfolds test by over six per cent and reduced my heart rate on the stationary bike test. The only strangely negative result was that my grip strength rating went from excellent to very good.

So the moral of the story is, old school works. The key is, you have to actually do it! So let me tell you what I did and did not do. I did stick strictly to the old school routine. Since my aerobic results were so poor in the initial testing, I asked "Sarge" Dowler if I could increase my aerobic sessions to three times per week, and with her blessing, I did. With my own blessing I trashed some of the exercises I hated and doubled up on others. Since some of the exercises were demotivating for me I figured getting rid of them was better than throwing in the towel completely. And since they were mostly aerobic-type exercises using the legs I felt okay, as I had taken on the additional aerobic exercises which used the legs.

What I didn't do very well was follow the old school diet. Jane Rose, the Trym Gym nutritionist, was hesitant to put me on this diet in the first place. Since Jane includes potatoes and corn as grains and my grain intake was severely limited, I found I had usually used up most of my grain portions by breakfast. I would then have to monitor everything I ate during the day and figure out what I had left to eat at supper time. I stuck with this for about a month, then took the lessons I had learned from it and just went back to a sensible eating routine. I probably could have lost more weight had I stuck to the diet, but such strict control wasn't working for me. I feel it's better to educate yourself about foods and then just don't overdo too much.

So for me, anyway, the Pink Flamingo Challenge was a complete success. If any of you out there intend to sign up for the next session in January, it does work! Modify it a little if you have to, but don't quit. Those pink t-shirts are your badge of honour. Don't be a disgrace to them like those Gauntlet slackers! Flamingos rule!

Brenda Cosens

Old School Guinea Pig for the Pink Flamingo Challenge

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