From the front lines of Chub Reduction: February 2013

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life84 Comments


Warning: In this post I will talk about both exercising and Breaking Bad. There will be no spoilers on either topic. Thank you.

Holy crap, you guys! Did you know you can combine exercise with television? Did you? Anyone? How did I miss this memo? 

Maybe it's because my basement, though it contains a television, isn't exactly set up for treadmill-based viewability. Maybe it's because I've been so gung ho about running that I never considered not listening to music while on the 'mill.

Whatever the case, I decided a few weeks ago to give my ailing foot a rest from the run, and set out to walk every day in an effort to keep this old bod moving on a daily basis.

Then, I signed up for Netflix and figured out how to use my iPad on the treadmill.

Let me just say this: I have logged over 140,000 steps during the past two weeks and I owe it all to Mr. White.

Someone once told me I would probably like Breaking Bad. But you know how it is: there are only so many hours in the day to start watching a new TV show, and honestly, I don't have a lot of loyalty so many shows. I watch The Walking Dead, Glee, American Horror Story and New Girl. Anything else I manage to catch is gravy.

Until now.

I knocked back all four seasons of Breaking Bad in two weeks, much of it while walking and logging steps with my FitBit

I'm not going to say anything about the show to spoil it (and I have yet to start the first half of Season 5, so please no spoilers) but I'm sort of in love with this show.

Though it has me shaking my head in disbelief and actually shouting at the iPad: Walter? What the HELL? I really think it's a brilliant little bit of television. 

I always wondered why the show and its actors kept winning Emmy's. Now I know why.

But the best part is that I combined the ultimate time suck (TV) with exercise, and both me and my foot are very thankful for the past two weeks.

Granted, I won't say it's made me notably thinner, but it has given me a little peek into a crazy world that I find fascinating and simultaneously sad and repulsive. 

Still, let's be honest here: Jesse Pinkman is kind of hot.

So my question for you today, how many of you find ways to combine a little exercise with something you love? Be it TV, or music, or whatever?

This year, one of my goals is to continue to find sustainable ways to move more. If I can't run because something's amiss with a body part, well, what can I do instead? Another goal is to not be so hard core in my efforts. Meaning, I'm trying to just be realistic and balance my life with family, food, work and play.

Breaking Bad certainly fills part of the play bill, so to speak.


To learn more about Move More, Eat Well 2.0, click on the image below. You can join at any time in 2013. A new classroom just went up for the month of February.We'd love to have you join our community of people who are working to Move More and Eat Well in 2013.







Cathy ZielskeFrom the front lines of Chub Reduction: February 2013

84 Comments on “From the front lines of Chub Reduction: February 2013”

  1. #1

    I have logged hundreds of miles on the treadmill with the help of entire seasons of Celebrity Apprentice, the Biggest Loser, Shameless and Weeds, shows that my husband won’t watch that happily help me pass the time while I’m running. Currently watching the brilliant “Girls”. I can’t even imagine running on the treadmill without the tv.

  2. #2

    TV absolutely! I’ve (re)watched Sex and the City, Friends and Mad Men. right now, I’ve got Mad Men season 5 on the DVR.

  3. #3

    I’ve been hooked on podcasts. Listen to a bunch of scrap ones, business & newsy ones but my LOL one is Jillian Michaels. Her producer/co-host is hilarious, plus there’s a lot of good info.

  4. #4

    i don’t have the luxury of the ipad but i do use my ipod touch to watch music videos netflix and tap into hbo to go. it gives me something to look at other than the time or the distance i have gone.

  5. #5

    WEEDS! Thats also on Netflix. I watched the first season years ago when I had showtime. Now, I think Ive got my next show! p.s. Love Girls too!

  6. #6
    Sarah MacKenzie

    Watching TV while walking on the treadmill is definitely my go-to for keeping me motivated to get on it every day. I can’t justify wasting time sitting around watching 2 hour reality shows like Biggest Loser, Survivor and The Bachelor however I don’t have any problem giving myself permission to watch them if I am on the treadmill. It serves two purposes – one it gets me on the treadmill everyday and two – it saves my hour or so of TV time in the evenings for something my husband and I will watch together. I have been planning to add Breaking Bad to my list of to watch shows once this season of reality TV is over as my sister in law has been raving about it to me.

  7. #7

    Treadmill or elliptical + TV (movies, shows) or Ipad makes me a VERY happy exerciser! The time passes so much quicker. In fact, I’ve found myself (more than once) logging extra time exercising just so I can finish the program I’m watching. I even listen to “movie” (transferred to my itouch) when I walk/run outside alone. I do, however, only put one earphone in so I can also pay some attention to the world around me (inconsiderate drivers and pet owners who let their animals roam free). Anyway, so happy to hear you’ve found a new “happy place” Cathy. Welcome to the world of video + exercise = great time management!

  8. #8
    angie urbon

    One of my all-time favorite motivational quotes, “Don’t let what you CAN’T do, interfere with what you CAN do.” -John Wooden (I think)
    I have to pull that one out regularly when the ‘ol body is sayin “Nooooo please don’t do that”! Keep moving Cathy, however you’re able!

  9. #9

    first off- LOVE breaking bad. i was riding my bike (indoors) watching the final episode of season 4 on my ipad, and i was yelling at it. totally get what you’re saying. i’ve always combined something with exercise, reading, music, tv. i’m an avid knitter, so if i could somehow ride my bike and knit i’d totally do that too. until i can get my hands on season 5 of BB i’ve downloaded some video podcasts to watch, one is a series about faulkner, hemingway, and fitzgerald, and the other medieval europe. 45 minutes each and that means 2 per riding sesion-double win for me! keep on moving.

  10. #10
    Sara Mangan

    My walking buddy was in Mexico last week. I live in MN too and as you know it has been either freezing cold or really icy the last few weeks so I made myself walk on the treadmill. Mine too is in the basement. I had a book I was reading and would only read it while I walked. I actually looked forward to getting up and walking just so I could read some more!
    I did miss the fresh air though.

  11. #11

    We just ordered a Nordictrack two wks ago. My hubby walks am and pm on the mill and is watching all eps of Shameless on his kindle fire. I’m walking or running and watching Netflix on my ipad. Ours has a special holder for the ipad or device. Apparently the actual mill has a web browser too, but that’s too hard to walk and do that t the same time!

  12. #15

    Lydia, did you know you can buy the first 8 episodes of Season 5 on Amazon, and download the Amazon video app and watch that way?

    Just did my treadmill workout this morning and watched Episode 1. Worth it!

  13. #17

    Good for you, CZ! πŸ™‚
    I totally agree. Find something to keep you moving while your foot heals. Make it as enjoyable as possible and you’ll be able to stick with it.

    I haven’t been able to run or play tennis regularly for months. Been trying to get back on the ‘mill at the gym while my kids are on court training, but it’s not 100% yet. I’ve been spinning for cardio and trying to get back into weight training. I could use a little of your “doesn’t have to be hardcore” attitude, so thanks for the reminder.

    Happy Monday! Happy TV watching! Happy new MMEW month!

  14. #18
    Cricket Rawlins

    When I started using my elliptical years back I had an iPod that you could watch videos on, LOST got me through my hour of workout! These days it’s a Kindle Fire and Downton Abbey, Modern Family and The Walking Dead!


  15. #19

    I can’t get through a treadmill workout without my ipad and Netflix! My current obsession is Friday Night Lights. It makes the time fly by and Coach Taylor seems to give a pep talk right about the time I need one.

  16. #20
    Bec Kilgore

    Now, I just need a treadmill. I had to stop watching Breaking Bad although I thought the whole thing – character development, writing and so forth – was brillant. Started to bother me too much. I hope THAT isn’t a spoiler.

  17. #21
    Tracy Lee

    I too use teh iPad when I walk/run on the treadmill or use the elliptical. I usually read books on the iPad – love that i can make the text larger so its easier to read while running! I also watch netflix movies or tv shows that my hubs won’t watch with me!

    I have found that exercise is more of a game with my head – I have to distract it so it doesn’t have time to think “I can’t do this!”

  18. #26
    ~ alli ~

    I am a MN transplant in Albuquerque, NM and I LOVE Breaking Bad! LOVE! More like obsessed fan. AND I got to be an extra for two days last week. A dream come true!!! As a scrapbooker, it KILLED ME not to take pictures, but I would have been fired if I had. So I guess I’ll have to print some pictures I find online and journaling all the stories to commemorate my experience.
    P.S. Bryan and Aaron are truly nice guys. πŸ™‚

  19. #28

    So what I want to know is where you all put your ipad when you are on the treadmill? I am so scared of it falling…

  20. #30
    Megan Anderson

    I love that idea! Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts when I run. It’s easier for me if I don’t keep track of how much time I’ve been running and measure by distance instead, so listening to podcasts, which are much longer than songs and are harder to break up into time segments, really helps me!

  21. #31

    I’m training for a half Ironman triathlon. I live in WA State and can’t ride my bike outside right now. So on Friday I put my bike on my trainer in front of the TV for 3.5 HOURS. Yes, I watched a movie, the SAG awards, Africa (a nature show) and then switched it off and turned on some Pandora. It’s a great guilt free way to watch a lot of TV/movies. πŸ˜‰

  22. #32
    jen s

    I too combine both TV & treadmill – I watch Gilmore Girls while I schlep myself along. It’s a happy/upbeat show with quick dialogue, so you can’t help but walk faster when you watch it! It also helps the time go by more quickly – I watch one episode, so I’m on the treadmill for just shy of 50 minutes. Not bad for a 40 year old broad. πŸ™‚

  23. #34

    I am probably the oddball here, but I cannot treadmill or elliptical without reading. I use my Kindle and it is perfect. An exciting book can make the time fly.

    My home treadmill can’t hold my Kindle close enough so I can read it so I resort to the iPad/Netflix/DVR. My only rule is that exercise TV has to guilty pleasure TV!

    Either way, the motivation to continue a book or to see the next episode usually is enough to get me on the equipment!

  24. #35

    I felt the same way about “Homeland”. I kept thinking “Why are you winning so many awards? Aren’t you some boring show about the Middle East and terrorism?” (neither of which are boring, might I add!) It is FAB!!!!! I logged so much treadmill time just watching Homeland. The only bad thing is you can only get it on Showtime. But it’s AMAZE!

  25. #36
    Jessica B

    I don’t ever watch anything the night it is on TV. I catch everything online while I am on the treadmill. I am not ‘aloud’ to watch anything unless my feet are moving. It is a great motivator to stay on top of my workouts.

  26. #37

    Breaking Bad is awesome! I just finished watching all four seasons in two weeks ago too—sans exercise though! I think AMC will be showing season 5 repeats again ( Feb 10th?) and then leading right into the last 8 episodes. Season 5 has 18 episodes and the series will end. So well done—-acting, character development, writing. Nothing is wasted on that show. and I love the symbolism too. It’s literary TV at its finest ( like Mad Men). On a lighter note, I love Shameless which is an excellent combination of comedy and drama in one. Bu it is not for the faint of heart.

  27. #38

    Man, I wish our YMCA had WIFI so I could do the same! Instead I resort to my next guilty pleasure which is reading. Some books I get SO wrapped up in, that I look forward to my workout so I can jump back into reading.

  28. #39

    What I love is thinking about nothing and letting my subconscious sort out whatever problem I’m trying not to think about . . . if that makes any sense. I walk outside (as one older gentleman told me once, in a downpour, ‘theres no such thing as bad weather, there’s only being inappropriately dressed for English weather’) and love just thinking about the scenery, the birdsong, the miles I’m logging (38 this past weekend.) I often come home and sit at my desk and realised that, yes – yay! – I have a solution to a problem my inner brain was mulling over.

    All that said, I watch the iplayer while I’m ironing – The Wire is the only reason my husband ever has nicely ironed clothes to wear to work! I think I was the last person over here to discover The Wire – but love, love LOVE it.

  29. #40

    Yup. This is my sole reason for Netflix streaming. Have you invested in a pair of wireless headphones yet? They make it the bestest. Not only can I get my run on, but I can do my weight routines too without worrying about the silly cord.

    Once Upon a Time, Downton Abby, Suits, Mad Men, various and sundry old movies I’ve missed, heck recent movies I’ve missed. Netflix makes the ‘mill less miserable. (Not quite enjoyable, but less miserable.)

    Welcome to the club! πŸ™‚

  30. #41
    Kirsten Juenke

    Ok. You just made a lightbulb turn on in my head. Duh! when the Seattle drizzle gets to be too much for me, I go to the gym (it’s really tiny, with 2 treadmills…at our golf course) and walk on the treadmill there. And there is always some guy (usually my husband…) watching Sports Center on the tv. HOW did I not think of this?!?!? I could totally take my Ipad and plug in my headphones. Game. Changer.

    And I like to walk outside and breath real air…only ever listen to books on Players I get at the library. A good book, and I will walk 5 miles easy.

  31. #43
    Tammy B

    I have to have music when I’m at the gym or I would go totally mental! I can’t watch TV or read while I’m doing cardio though. I just do intervals with my music. I have a friend who was so obsessed with the Lord of the Rings when it first came out that she would run on her treadmill for the length of the whole movie!! She couldn’t justify sitting down to watch it when she could be doing something useful with her time!

  32. #45

    I’m still doing my dance/jogging exercises in front of my computer while I check email, blogs, facebook… all my online connections. I enlarge the images on my computer screen, then with mouse in hand & exercise music playing, I start moving! Have been doing this daily as much as I can for a couple of years now. It works for me!

  33. #46

    I listen to Paperclipping Round Table and the Digi Show during my runs as well as Dishing up Nutrition (thanks for that podcast tip). I would love to hear you as a guest on each of those scrapbooking shows. Noelle and Steph should be able to find plenty of topics for which you’d be a great guest.

  34. #47

    I’m gonna hijack re: wireless headphones!!

    We got hubby a pair of these because he works nights and stays up overnights on his days off (clear as mud?). On those nights I kept emerging, bleary-eyed, from the bedroom: “Will you *please* turn that TV down?”

    Enter wireless headphones. Approx. $40 at “The Walmart” and worth every penny. You’ll be amazed at the things you’re NOT hearing once you wear them, and you can wear them as you wander

    throughout the house doing mundane tasks like laundry, dishes, sitting on the loo…. d’oh!! πŸ˜‰

    They’re kinda bulky, but such is the price for luxury.

  35. #48

    Oh, Cathy, that’s one more thing we have in common! I LOVE Walter and Jessie.
    My husband decided on his own to sign up for Netflix then promptly started Breaking Bad. I was like “meh” not my thing. Then I was like “Oh heck yes, another episode, even though we watched 4 already, you betcha!” We watched it all in a short amount of time, then we realized season 5 started on tv so we watched that too. “I am the danger.” Love it!
    And when The Walking Dead starts again on Sunday, I will be in my glory.
    I have been walking and watching all the tv that’s on late at night. I work at 5 am. so I miss a lot of the shows I used to watch. Now I walk like crazy while Dr. Reed and friends solve the mysteries of Criminal Minds, I sweat to New Girl, The Office, and Modern Family. It’s been great!

  36. #50
    Lauren Hershey

    You need to check out Suits sometime on Thursday night. Gabriel Macht is not only gorgeous but his character is brilliant. We don’t miss it. And I don’t even watch anything except HGTV! But I watch Suits!

  37. #51
    Amy H.

    My husband went through Breaking Bad almost as quickly as you. I just wish he had also done it from the treadmill. I also agree with the previous post about Suits. I think you would also enjoy Psych. I think you would totally love the humor. I found the series last year and shot through the back seasons so fast. I can’t wait for the new one to start at the end of the month.

  38. #52

    I don’t have a TV near my treadmill so I’ve been thinking about building a tower (one piece of furniture on top of another) to put my laptop on so I could watch Netflix! The whole thing makes me nervous so I haven’t tried it yet. Instead I listen to The Moth podcasts and LOVE them. Real people telling real stories – sad or funny or both – to a live audience. Most are 10-15 minutes so I listen to several at a time and it keeps me totally entertained. So far in 2013 I’ve walked two miles a day every single day. Wahoo!

  39. #53
    Sandi D

    Yesterday when I read your post I had a long bike ride planned on my spin bike (75 minutes).
    Since I have Netflix and my TV is near my spin bike I decided to start with episode 1 and 2. Well I can tell you it made the time go by pretty quick and now I am hooked.
    Thanks for the good idea.

  40. #54

    Love Breaking Bad, love Walter, Jesse and I even love Hank!
    BB creator Vince Gilligan also does a podcast about the show each week. I used to listen to that working in the garden, mopping floors, etc. You should be able to find it on iTunes.
    Good suggestions from you and other commenters on other shows to put in my queue. Thanks!

  41. #59
    Pilbara Pink

    Oh how we love Gilmore Girls in our household! Have you seen Bunheads? It’s by the same team and one of the leads is the actress who plays Emily Gilmore. We have just started watching it here in Australia.

  42. #62
    Karina K

    I just wish my gym offered free wifi because I can last so much longer on the elliptical when I’m watching netflix on my iPhone. Without it I get so so bored.

  43. #63

    So glad you found Breaking Bad. It’s amazing how many conversations it has spurred in our household. Walter drives me crazy, I guess I love to hate him. And I think Jesse is the true nice guy on the show, hidden by his bad habits. And since I already told you that I let my 2 teen boys watch it, I already repeat after every show, “oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive”, lol. Yes, my kids are so sick of hearing it.

  44. #64

    I didn’t realize you could walk on the treadmill WITHOUT watching TV. I have walked longer than I planned just so I could get through an episode. I’m still in season one of Breaking Bad, but my oldest loves it and is constantly reminding me of how BB’s metacritic rating keeps going up with each season – a sure sign of superior viewing.


  45. #66

    I love Breaking Bad! I devoured it in a few weeks recently as well. I agree Jesse is hot and such a sad boy. AND every time I see a Pontiac Aztec I think of Walt πŸ™‚ Season 5 is on Amazon instant stream:)

  46. #67

    funny post…i just suffered through a 6 mile treadmill run (it was crazy rainy outside) watching Downton Abbey. that’s my new obsession. i started glee last year when i was doing rides on my trainer (cycling) and it made a dreaded task very bearable. just keep moving.

  47. #68

    Yep. I only ever watch Glee on Netflix while I am on my elliptical machine. No exercise, no Glee for me. Watching a 45 minute show makes the time zip by instead of counting down the minutes while listening to music. Enjoy!

  48. #69
    Nihao, Cupcake! by Margie

    My gym has TVs on 75% of the cardio equipment. It makes the time go much faster. The other things are listening to podcasts (when no access to TV) or BPC class audio or video that I can manage to get on my iTouch (now iPad). Sometimes you can do that sometimes not. I’m not sure they’ve converted all class materials by now. Also chatting with a friend makes the time go very fast but usually I don’t work out as hard.

  49. #70

    Several years ago, after we first got our treadmill, I would watch tv while walking – but it seemed like it would take me forever to find a program to watch – especially in the early morning hours when I would normally walk. Fast forward a few years and add a portable DVD player and a netflix subscription and I am hooked. Now I find myself looking forward to my treadmill time and I’m always on the lookout for new TV series to watch.

  50. #71
    Nicole Russell Willis

    Aaron Paul is from a small town right outside of Boise, where I live. He was a high school friend of my sister and was at our house all the time. Around Christmas time here was here and shopping at the mall. I got a kick out of watching all the girls at Dillard’s freaking out over “Jessie from Breaking Bad” being in the store!!
    Big Love may be another good one to watch!

  51. #72

    How come I dont remember him on Big Love? I watched every season. What character did he play?
    (Love that hes from your town!)

  52. #73

    Okay, I already liked you, Cathy. But now I REALLY like you! My husband and I discovered Breaking Bad back in October and, like you, knocked out all four seasons in a 2-3 week period. It is such a sickening show, but oh so awesome! A guilty pleasure, if you will. I was in a state of depression when season 4 came to a close and the reality sunk in that we’d be waiting until season 5 was available on Netflix. I’ve since discovered that I will survive the wait. πŸ˜‰ Anyhoo, you are awesome. So is Breaking Bad. Love following your blog. Love your videos. Love your cheerful, lovely voice, which always brings a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing your inspiring talent with the rest of us! πŸ˜‰

  53. #74

    yesterday I hit 2000 miles on my treadmill. AND managed to finally get through season 1 of true blood. it is honestly the only time i watch TV. IN 2008 while training for a marathon I made it through all seven seasons of the West Wing. It gets fun to judge your exercise time by how many episodes you can get in. I did figure out though that some shows were just too dialog heavy for treadmill running. The Office? perfect.

  54. #75

    Great ideas…..finished my book while using a stationery cycle the one like an office chair!! (LOL) 20km later finished book, finished exercise.
    Question ?
    how do you safely attached/rest your ipad so it doesnt fall of the treadmill ?

  55. #77

    I love my iPod. Love it. And the ONLY time I get to listen to it is during my time on the treadmill. There are some days that I don’t want to go to the gym at all, but I’m dying to listen to some music …. so off I go to the gym. I did 75 minutes today! And rocked out the whole time! Woo Hoo!

  56. #79

    Do you like your fitbit? Do you track your calories on mfp to get the whole picture of you’re day?

  57. #81
    amy tangerine

    MY FAVORITE SHOW!! YES I AM SHOUTING because I am THRILLED that you are hooked on it. I probably could have used a treadmill in front of the tv when I watched the first 3 seasons in a matter of months myself. But alas I was on my butt on the sofa. Good for you!!

    Also, Homeland is pretty rad too if you don’t already watch it. Justified is fun as well.

  58. #82

    I knew I liked you! : )

    Im obsessed. And now Im caught up so I have to wait until the final 8 shows this summer. I should check out both of what you mentioned! : )

  59. #83

    My gym has a “cardio cinema” with a new movie everyday…I’m hooked! time “flies” πŸ™‚

  60. #84

    dude! i just assumed that you did it watching tv as well. silly me. i LOVE working out with a tv (running purists… it’s truly fun, try it). i will run/walk faster during commercials- or a scene if i’ve seen it before and i can mentally ‘guess’ how long it will last. if i am watching something (ahem, new girl) on DVR- then i will speed it up for the fast forward through the commercials. sometimes i’ll do the incline higher for the first 1/2 of the show (until that crazy long commercial break) and then bring it down.

    just don’t run watching something that might make you cry. (*for me- that was the movie courageous for some reason…) it’s really hard to breath properly whilst running and crying. some advice… since you know.. you’re new. πŸ˜‰

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