almost 2 years in. a story of getting fit. ish.

I’ve told the story of how i started working with a trainer a few times. but I’ll reiterate. after a pretty devastating break up in Jan. of ’12, my sister bought me 6 weeks (12 sessions) with her trainer as a way to keep my head out of the oven. also with the idea that “skinny is the best revenge”. what i didnt know then, was that gift, would change my life. my health. AND my body.

 i was training with my sister and her friend. my sis had been training for about 6 months. her friend is a triathlete.  i’m a former gymnast, but i hadn’t done any real exercising other than the occasional fad DVD that I’d do 6 times and quit, in 20 years . . . . to say i was soft was an understatement. and i don’t just mean in the extra weight i had accumulated. but i had ZERO muscle mass. 

the first few sessions were miserable and humiliating. as a former athlete to barely be able to crank out 12 girl push-ups was a huge slap in the face. i left each session on legs so wobbly i was sure i was going to fall down the steps. i’d be sore for days, sometimes barely being able to walk down my steps, or brush my teeth without wincing. it was both awesome and awful. after the 6 weeks was up i quit going. and then Jason, my trainer, got ahold of me. wanting to know why i quit. well, it wasn’t in my budget. at all. so we talked and worked out an arrangement that would allow me to go back and train with the girls some more. so the first year i went with “some” consistency.  maybe 6 days a month is fair to say. on my down time i wasn’t doing much. i wasn’t eating great. i was still enjoying too many good beers. jason didnt judge, but quietly encouraged me to keep going.  most frustrating for me, as a chronic dieter most of my life . .the scale wasn’t MOVING. in fact, it was going UP.  so it went for the rest of 2012. I was noticing small changes. but nothing life changing. the scale held steady. but i kept going. mostly because it was a really hard year, and going to work out twice a week was helping my mental state. but i’ll admit. i was frustrated with my perceived lack of progress.

year two. as i turned the corner into 2013 life handed me another serious blow and taking care of myself wasn’t high on my list. simply surviving was. so my fitness goals didn’t get much attention. i was still going, with some consistency, but not taking it all very seriously.  as spring turned to summer i decided to start doing some running in addition to my workouts. i cut back on my good beer consumption. planted my garden. started focusing more on what i was eating.  jason had moved me to solo workouts at the new location on Broadway. the combination of these things started to make some things happen. i was moving more. consuming less. and paying closer attention. i also started feeling the effects of the last year of work. my legs and arms were leaner. i was way stronger. for my 43rd birthday jason made me do 43 pushups (the real kind) and i did it. i was still carrying weight around my middle. this is my worst area. still is. but i was noticing everywhere else i was getting leaner. 

one of the things that jason had been telling me from day one was this: you have to build your big muscles. most of our work is legs and arms. thousands of lunges. lots of weights. and you get lean from the outside in. you see it first in places like your wrists. my face. my legs. 

as i round out the year and head into celebrating 2 full years of working out, i finally have progress on the scale. i KNOW i’m not supposed to look at numbers. old habits die hard. but as of this last 2 weeks. i’m officially down 10 lbs. yes. two years of working out and i’m down only 10 lbs. BUT. I AM leaner. i’m WAY stronger. the chronic back pain i’ve suffered for years is down to about 10% of the time. my knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders that have hurt for years as a result of that gymnastics training, are all in way better shape. in fact, very rarely do any of them bother me anymore. I sometimes forget that daily pain was something i had become accustomed to.  

as i head into year 3, i have new goals. i’d like to get the rest of the body fat off. its not easy. I still need to work on my eating habits which really still blow. i need to drink less tasty beer. I need to be moving every single day. I have 10 more lbs. to go. and i’d like to be quite a bit more defined. my muscles are still covered by a layer of body fat that I’d like to go away. 

if i could say anything to anyone who wants to travel down this road it would be this: its not easy. it takes time. it takes commitment.  it takes being able to get frustrated and having someone who will champion you through the hard times. this is why i love my trainer. he doesnt judge. he just keeps encouraging me. he’s gotten me to to things i never thought i’d be able to. he has faith in me. and he pushes me to the max of my ability. every. single. time.  and to know that at this point, i’m healthier, happier, in WAY less chronic pain than i was two years ago? thats really priceless. 



shit storms.

my dad said a really cool grace at thanksgiving about being thankful for when life sucks. and i’ve had a few rounds of life really sucking hard and it was a good point to be made. because through life sucking, if you do it right, you come out the other side of the suck with a better understanding. new lessons. all the crap i post about on here. growing. changing. adapting. learning. blah blah blah.

ok. so i was thinking about social media. i mean i think about it a lot. how it changes how we perceive the world we live in. it expands our knowledge. it gives us greater access to a large number of people. and i like that part.  i’ve met a lot of really cool people on here. people i don’t know in real life. people who don’t know ME in real life. and even the people who know me in real life, have a perception of me based on what or who i am via social media. because it is controllable. i can chose to be positive. or negative. i chose what i share. we all do. and i think in general people try to be positive. we post pictures of life when its happy. we document the good times. we tend to leave the dark crevice of our lives tucked away. 

actually. thats not even a social media thing. thats a life thing. its simply heightened by social media.

this month marks the 12th anniversary of when my ex husband and i sat down and had a real talk about our marriage. harrison had just barely turned a year old and all the dr. phil books in the world weren’t turning the tides. i think thats part of what makes this month so brutal for me every year. this is when shit got real. and it got real hard and real awful for a long time before it got better, before it got to where it is now. 

and i remember the night i told my girlfriends that steve and i were splitting up. and there was genuine shock. because i didnt talk a lot about being unhappy. i talked a lot about what a great provider he was. what a good cook he was. how good he was with our kids. i didnt talk about the other stuff. the loneliness. the emotional void. the plethora of issues i kept sweeping under the rug. besides, marriage is supposed to be hard. but i didnt want to admit it was FAILING. but we were. we were failing. 

i can see now, it was ok to let go. steve and i are good. we just weren’t a forever fit. we served our purpose for one another and we were due to move on.  – this post got sideways, this wasn’t the direction i meant to go.

anyway. so this morning my tree crashed to the ground. thats what woke me up. and its not like i don’t know that noise. one year i tied the tree to the wall and held the hook in place with hot glue (i’m not even a little bit kidding. that was the most evil tree ever)  and i was thinking about all the pics i posted of my pretty trees and my pretty kids and even my pretty if not insane dog and i thought you know what? no one posts pics of the tree when it crashed to the floor. and if that isn’t a metaphor for pretty much everything i don’t know what is. and i didnt take a picture. in fact. i went back up to bed and went back to sleep. i pulled the covers up over my head and spent an hour pretending i didnt have to deal with it.  “Scarlett: I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” – i do so love scarlett . . .

but then i came down, and stepped over the tree and made breakfast for the boys. and i braced myself and on my third try i got that stupid tree back up and straight and secure without having to tie it to anything. 

and next year i’ll do a better job of making sure the tree is solid before we decorate. maybe this will be the year i learn that lesson fully. make sure you are solid before you put the pretty lights on. thats a pretty good metaphor too. but thats a whole ‘nother blog post.