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.