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For a confessed gym rat, exercis-aholic, this is pure torture.
For a confessed gym rat, exercis-aholic, this is pure torture.

Exercise exile

Part of my professional life has been spent as a personal trainer, yoga teacher and spin instructor. Working out is part of my world, an essential activity in my everyday schedule. I don't miss days unless they are scheduled.

I am one of those strange beings that truly loves and enjoys working out. I point this out because being in the industry, most of my clients don't innately have the same affection for sweat that I do. Which is fine – it's my job to make them swoon over cardio or drill them for an hour and force them to move.

I try everything. I love group fitness, home fitness, gym fitness, workin' on my fitness (thank you, Fergie) whatever gets me moving, sweating and pursuing physical health and wellness.

Until I got vertigo three weeks ago.

My doc calls it vestibular neuritis and because of my learned athletic ability I am compensating incredibly well. (Note: I do not possess, in any way, any God-given physical talent. Any sportsman-like behavior has been diligently worked on and specifically honed – just ask my dance and gym teachers.)

I basically get dizzy whenever I move the position of my head up and down or side to side. This is exacerbated when lying down, which makes for a fun spin when going to sleep.

They don't really know what is causing this and the meds they offer are for symptoms only, which doesn't jive for me. If I quell the symptoms – I'm just going to think I'm fine and then do a headstand or pop in an "Insanity" tape (I mean DVD – I can't believe how I date myself with the VHS reflex) and probably do some real damage.

In any case, I have been put on doctor's orders to not workout, so as not to tax my neurological system any further. I'm supposed to be doing nothing. They want me to lay down and sleep. Well, that is not happening in this lifetime or universe. Having me shut down is like 24 Hour Fitness slam their doors. Totally impossible. This could last four weeks or longer!

I'm on Day 22.

For a confessed gym rat, exercis-aholic, this is pure torture.

The only thing worse would be to take bacon away from me. Which, on a three year vegan stint, I experienced and would not recommend. (Totally no offense to any veggie peeps – I completely respect your decision, so hold the calls to PETA.)

Here is the weird part: I'm kind of liking this new no-workout lifestyle.

I have an extra 60-90 minutes a day to do something else. And let me tell you, I've been getting sh*t done.

I also don't have to wash my hair everyday, which for a curly haired Russian Jew is totally awesome, especially when I flat iron my hair straight. I was never a weekly blowout sympathizer but, I completely understand paying for a blowout at a salon now – because it lasts more than one day!

I also sympathize with people who tell me they "don't have time to exercise." Now, that I don't either and I've replaced that window of time with other constructive activities, I don't think I could squeeze it in! I mean, I already get up before 6 a.m., where am I supposed to jam the Stairmaster in now?

It's also made me relate to my clients who really need to change the way they eat to see results. I did so much activity in the past that what I ate really didn't even matter – even though quality and health of 90 percent of the food I consume is really important to me. But, I certainly didn't count calories. Now that my resting metabolic rate is slowing, I have to cut the food to look and feel the same way as before. Not easy for someone who likes food (like bacon) a lot. I get it now.

I guess this is what the Nike feels like on the other foot. 


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