Shirley bovshow image on recumbent bicycle for weight loss

Shirley Bovshow’s Intro to “Blogger’s Butt Boot Camp”

by / 28 Comments / 2127 View / August 26, 2009

I’m “outing” myself regarding my recent weight gain of almost 20 pounds over the last 11 months!

Being in the public eye as a garden television personality makes it even more embarrassing for me to admit this,  but I’m compelled to share because I think some of you can relate.

Go take a look at yourself in a mirror, or better yet, try on your favorite jeans.

Have you, like me (and millions of Americans)  fallen victim to “Blogger’s Butt? ”



This photo was taken less than a year ago. I was in good shape due to my active lifestyle which included gardening regularly and going to the gym 5 days per week.

“Blogger’s Butt” is what I call the detrimental effect of sitting in front of your computer for hours on end, day after day.

Your behind starts to spread and take on the soft quality of your seat cushion.

Your circulation is compromised from the pressure on your legs from sitting- you develop vericose veins ( in more places than one) and you gain weight!

As the body slows down to adjust to it’s low calorie needs due to lack of physical activity, so does our metabolism.



Shirley at Epcot

This photo was taken a few months ago when I spoke at Walt Disney World’s “International Flower and Garden Festival” I was up 15 pounds then. More was to follow.


shirley and susan

This is me at my heaviest enjoying a visit from Susan Harris, of Garden Rant.

My career took on an exciting new  path as I dove into creating multi media platforms for gardening- ( I want to spread the “gardening love,” not my hips!).

I’m on a mission.

Video production, blogging, speaking, creating presentations, new websites, book proposals!

I spend up to 10 hours a day sitting at my computer.

I bet some of you do too.



Shirley on bike

I knew that I had to take immediate action or my 20 pounds would become 25, so I traded my desk chair for a recumbent bicycle!


Now I peddle all day long,while I’m on the computer – checking my email, blogging, doing research, even watching videos online.

I’ve been at it for 6 weeks and I’ve lost 6 pounds!


Check out my “Blogger’s Butt Boot Camp” video and see if it inspires to take control of your “expanding physical assets” as I did!

Join my “Blogger’s Butt Boot Camp” and get active at your desk while blogging!

*Check with your physician before taking on any new physical activity.


I’m a garden expert but I hope I’ve “planted a seed” for your better health!

28 Comment

  1. Hi April! Thanks for asking. The recumbent bike is fantastic (when I use it). I lost 10 lbs from the bike and have been on hold with that weight loss. I had to use my chair again lately because I have to edit video and I can’t be moving while I do it. Steady hands. When I’m not doing this kind of work, I’m spinning away. I highly recommend it!

  2. Hi just wondering where you are at now in your weight loss…and also how much you ride a day…Good job ..:)

  3. […] to Eden Makers Blog for sustainable garden design ideas, edible garden information, a little weight loss info and everything else under the […]

  4. […] to Eden Makers Blog to receive updates for new, fun and exciting posts about gardening and losing your “blogger’s butt!” SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Propagating Succulents: Kalanchoe thyrisflora ‘Flapjack’", […]

  5. Hi Tina,
    Thanks for your comment and questions.
    I came up for with the idea of “biking” at my desk after viewing videos online of people standing and walking on a treadmill at work for weight loss. I figured if you can walk all day, it may be easier to sit and peddle all day!

    I am not a fitness or nutrition expert though I will mention that I was an amateur long distance athlete before having kids. I did biathlons where I biked and ran as well as half marathons and long distance bike rides- (100 + miles per day). I trained for seven years and monitored my nutrition, exercise, strength conditioning, cardiovascular health- etc. So, I know how to take care of my body.

    This is just an idea that is working for me and I wanted to share with others like yourself, to inspire you to come up with an activity that works for you. I don’t teach classes but you can watch my weekly videos.
    I will discuss nutrition next as well as how to exercise your upper body while on the recumbent bike.

    thanks for the thumb’s up!

  6. … did you go to a particular class?

  7. I would love to know how you learned to create this as I would like to learn and am looking for classes in los angeles … thanks!!!

  8. Hi Nancy,
    I love it when you visit me! So you have a stationary peddler? Sounds like you have a great tool to keep you active in a traditionally “inactive time” in front of the computer.
    I agree that eating less is also important, along with the exercise. Growing my own food has contributed to my success in losing weight too.

    Sometimes I crave sweets, so I go outside and grab a handful of my vine ripened cherry tomatoes and I get my sugar fix! It also reminds me that I am committed to doing the “best” for my health and keeps me in line.

    Good luck with your fitness plan Nancy.

  9. This is great — Blogger’s Butt Boot Camp. 🙂 Actually, I had Blogger’s Butt long before blogs existed, but I’m working hard at getting it off. Again. My daughter gave me a stationary peddler at Christmas last year and I’m embarrassed to say that until you mentioned it in your post, I wasn’t quite sure what I should do with it. Duh. It should fit nicely in front of my chair and let me peddle while I type! (I need to add some rubber, non-slip feet.) My motto is one my doctor gave me: eat less, move more. A pretty simple equation. 😉 Good luck and I’ll keep you posted.

  10. […] On the subject of “projects,” I have a very personal one  that involves losing some weight that I gained recently. […]

  11. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I will be blogging on alternative ideas for those who can’t bike at their desk. Look for video updates.

  12. Hi! There are some swinging laptop holders that are height adjustable so that you can type right in front of you and clear the desk! Mine is on order.

  13. You go Anna!

  14. Congratulations Wendy, 16 lbs is a lot of weight to lose- can’t wait to get there. Your better eating habits have such a proactive affect on your weight. Of course I’m
    “avoiding” junk food. Now junk food just has to avoid me in return!

  15. Hi Lazy Gardens-
    Good idea about the swinging keyboard holder. It is on order and wasn’t ready for the video, so I didn’t mention it. Look for it on one of my updates!

  16. Hi Susan,
    your friend is on the cutting edge, I’m not surprised she is in good shape. I researched the treadmill but decided I didn’t want to stand all day if I can sit and cycle. I considered the balance ball and may still get one as an alternative. It’s supposed to be great for tightening your core and improving your balance. Thanks for bringing it up.

  17. OK, I checked with my super-fit 60-something friend who works while on the treadmill and found out that yeah, they make treadmills now that hold laptops. That’s one of her fitness methods. The other is that she rolls around on a big Pilates-type ball while sitting at her desk, as long as she isn’t typing at the time – she says typing while rolling is a no-go. I’ve heard the sitting-on-big-ball technique also is great for balance. I remember seeing the balls at my physical therapist’s office – they’re the only desk “chairs” available (so I guess they stop rolling when they have to type).

  18. Also – look into monitor arms and swing-away keyboard holders so you can type with both hands.

  19. My boy-toy uses his stair machine time to read ebooks, comics, blogs, and the news on the net.

    Good idea to use the bicycle if you can … but have you tried powering your laptop from it?

  20. Congratulations on your weight loss! The exercise while you work idea is great – and I bet it works well for you! I sit at a desk most of the day too as a high school counselor, but I don’t think kids would tell me their deepest darkest secrets if I were pedaling during our time. 🙂 I also recently lost weight – 16 pounds. The exercise was a great boost in helping me feel better, but I didn’t notice any real weight loss until I starting counting calories and making some real life changes (like no junk food while blogging! – you’re not doing THAT are you??).

  21. I LOVE this and want to figure out how to multi-task like you are, but there’s no way I could type with one hand – or want to learn – but there’s another possible solution that might work better for me – sitting on one of those round balls while working at my desk, for instance. THey may be Pilates-related. I’m a big fan of Pilates, do a bit of it regularly. I’m sending your post to a friend who uses it AND she also SOMEHOW uses her computer while she’s on her treadmill. She’s the fittest 60-something you ever saw.

  22. I know exactly what you are dealing with! I’ve been there and found my own solution with a complete lifestyle system. Had to revamp my thinking towards food, supplements, stress and exercise. I even had to figure out how to sleep better. But it was worth every minute because I can now sit for hours and still keep my life in balance with a routine that fits my lifestyle. You can check it out in my book, “Live Pain Free! 6 Steps to a Pain Free Life” at Best wishes to you as you pedal to better health! Dr. Pam

  23. Hi Amy,
    Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate an “expert” weighing in- by the way, I have your book and love it!

    You are correct in that not everyone works from home, but those that do, and those that don’t “work, but spend time on their computer all day can benefit from this.

    My Healthrider bike is not top of the line, but has a generous, comfortable seat and great lumbar support- ideal for sitting long periods. It cost me 400. new but I see that Craig’s list has many stationary bikes for under $150. There are also “stationary peddles” that people can buy for $30. at sports store.

    My point is not to exclude the golden advice of eating correctly and getting up from the chair and exercising- it is to add something beneficial to your routine.
    Most people already know that they should take a walk, go to the gym, etc. but they don’t ! Excuse, “I don’t have time, I have to work, I’m tired after work.”

    I believe in “double duty” activity in all aspects of my lifestyle.

    So you have to sit for 8 to 10 hrs like me? Move your legs! I amp up my “resting heart rate” because I’m not really resting as I’m peddling. This allows me a greater net calorie loss at the end of the day. My mind is more alert, greater energy, calories burned- I get my work done , and I feel great that I am benefiting my body at the same time that I work!

    My 2 cents. Works for me, I agree not for everyone.

  24. Great idea if you work from home and can afford a home bike, but most people are struggling with just staying afloat in this economy and the result is exercise goes by the wayside while stressful eqting increases, For a “total family approach” to better health, check out Fat Tamilies Thin Families (Ben
    Bella Books 2008). It’s developing lifelong lifestyle habits including movement and activity daily,eating food group “superstars” plus knowing the daily calorie count that’s right for you, perwsonally. Me?? I exercise everyday, early am, the same time, so “it gets done” and then I make sure I move throughout the day!!

  25. I am with you Shirley. I’m starting tomorrow by getting out and hitting pavement. I don’t have your commitments so I can walk in my neighborhood. No excuses. Gotta go get my protein, veges, and grapefruit juice. That and exercise did it for me 5 years ago. We can do Shirley—thanks for the nudge!

  26. I used to do something similar in the winter. During the summer, I don’t spend nearly as much time with the computer as you do, so it’s not a problem. I like the recumbent bike idea. That looks a lot more comfortable than trying to balance a laptop on the handlebars of a regular bike.

  27. This is a fantastic article and you’ve struck at the heart of what many of us cubicle-dwellers are faced with and/or fear. I could definitely get the recumbent bicycle for the home office- I love the idea actually. I had been researching exercise bikes for about a year.

    hmmm but most of us do not have the option of working from home or getting this kind of gear at the job- which accounts for at least 8-9 hrs a day in many cases. So we await your follow-up video addressing these concerns 🙂

    Help your fellow Web Heads out!

  28. OMG!!! You are brilliant! Now if I can just get the office to let me have one at my desk I’ll be set!

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