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Tuesday July 31, 2007 1:37 pm

How I Lost 5 Pounds With Blockbuster Total Access

Blockbuster DVD caseI’ve been using the Blockbuster Total Access service for about four months now, and while the convenience of exchanging movies same-day seemed efficient in the beginning, the availability of titles both in-store and online has left much to be desired.  However, in the last three weeks, I’ve begun to notice one major benefit of the service.

I live in Seattle, very close to the downtown area in a small condominium.  Because I’m tightly packed into an urban area, I don’t own a car and do most of my roaming on foot.  The nearest Blockbuster store is half a mile from my home in a neighborhood full of moderate hills and slopes — it’s not Everest, but it’s not level ground, either.  Now, I’ve been watching what I eat recently — my girlfriend and I want to look good on the beach this summer — but by no means was I expecting to start dropping pounds.

The other odd change I’ve noticed, besides the fewer calories and healthier diet, has been the number of trips I’ve taken per week to the Blockbuster store and back, sometimes averaging close to four or five times.  One might think that I just watch a lot of movies and am trying to take advantage of the service to get my money’s worth.  Well, that would only be partly true: I do watch a lot of movies, but only ones that I’ve chosen specifically for review on FilmCrunch.  This means that I have one (sometimes two) new releases to pick up every week, and I have about five or six days to get that movie and watch it.  When I’ve decided on a film, along with my friend and co-host Veronica Santiago, I quickly put it at the top of my Blockbuster queue, making sure I’ve timed the return of my mailer so that it will come quickly.  This also counts as one walk to the mailbox and back.  We all know what Blockbuster’s availability is online, so I don’t often hold out much hope.  But luckily, they send the second movie in my queue, and I can go to the store with that mailer and exchange it for an in-store DVD.  Oh, but wait — the in-store supply is all but decimated in the few weeks after a new release.  This is where I start to feel frustrated.

What happens now is at first a casual, then desperate attempt at getting my DVD before the deadline, walking to and from the store over and over, checking everyday for the new releases I require.  During this time I noticed that I felt a bit slimmer.  Sure enough, I went to my scale and saw a shortage of around three pounds.  I thought, Okay, I had planned on getting to the gym, but that didn’t work out.  What other activity could be causing this?  Then, it hit me: Because Blockbuster Total Access has such a poor selection of new-release titles, I’m burning calories with all the trips I make back and forth, attempting to take advantage of the convenience they offer.

I’ve now lost around five pounds, with a beginning high of 159 and a current, satisfying 154.  In a way, I’ve become Subway’s Jared, blending consumerism with a little exercise.  And if I’m Jared, then Blockbuster is Subway, offering a decent product at a decent price, but leaving customers wishing for the piled-high toppings and sauces that aren’t all that good for you — you know, the sandwich you like better.

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Comments:

BTW Neil—Have you considered CALLING ahead to the store before actually wasting a trip there? I luckily don’t have to walk to any of the stores, but it has saved me considerable mileage.  😊

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