Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My plans of going to the gym have once again been thwarted by dirty laundry. I get off of work today and I'm really excited to go to Zumba because I have my court date tomorrow for my ridiculous 'hit and run' accusation. I've got some steam to burn off. Best Friend Rachel has abandoned me because she's in a cozy mood and doesn't want to leave her house. Plus she went to the gym for spin class this morning and doesn't really feel like going back, so I'd be going by myself if I had planned ahead and washed my gym clothes.

I throw them in the wash as soon as I get home and spend the next hour and a half hoping they'll be done in time for Zumba. No such luck. Plus, I get a call from my mother who is checking on me to make sure I feel okay about tomorrow. I literally have the best mother in the world. I will fight anyone who says otherwise and I will win because I am getting ripped from my trips to the gym. So instead of going to zumba, I decide to simply do some cardio and weights.

I'm going to take a brief moment to reflect, if you'll permit me, which you will because it's my blog and you can choose to skip over this part, if you want. I find it very amusing that what started as my standard gym trip (doing cardio and lifting weights) has taken a back seat to classes, which are things I thought I would never enjoy. Speaking from personal experience, if you force yourself to do something that may not sound altogether appealing, you may find it's something that you enjoy. I was terrified to do any class and now that's my primary form of workout. And I love them.

On my way to the gym I get a call from Liz because she needs help moving her air conditioner into the basement. I graciously agree to help because I'm such a nice guy, plus it provides me with a chance to show off how strong I am. And to top it off, it's technically strength training.

After I assist with the a/c and have a brief conversation, I head to the gym. I choose to start with the elliptical. Once again, something I used to hate that I now kind of enjoy. I also just downloaded some sick tunes to keep me motivated, so I'm really excited about this.

I hop on and start with 'Diamonds' by Rihanna. I wait for the elliptical to get difficult. It doesn't during Diamonds. Then 'It's Time' by Imagine Dragons comes on. This get's me fired up so I push a little harder. I don't feel like I have to stop. Ellie Goulding comes next with 'Anything Could Happen'. Call me crazy, but sweating and muscle burning feels amazing right now. I'm close to a half mile after eight minutes so I push to finish the full half mile in just over ten minutes. And I count that as an accomplishment because it was a constantly pushing ten minutes. 

Then I do some weights and judge some people on their footwear. Honestly, who wears LOAFERS to the gym? You look like an idiot. Actually, maybe I judge too harshly. Maybe if I tried wearing loafers to the gym I would realize how amazing it is. But as of right now, I'm content to be ignorant and judge away while I work my upper body and catch myself, on more than one occasion, checking myself out in the mirrors. Holy crap I've turned into one of those gym weirdos. 

Monday, November 26, 2012


Happy whatever you celebrate, everyone! So, life has been super busy with Target and whatnot so I apologize for the lack of updates. But worry not, my updating slump is not reflective of my attitude towards working out. I'm still going strong. I just thought I would take this opportunity to share with you my victories from a holiday that traditionally features overeating and a need to wear sweatpants for a couple of days.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I'm working at Hiltz and semi-dreading working at Target later. I'm already tired and to have to go solidly from 8:00am to 12:30 is rough. But when I show up I am pleased to find out we are closing early and then setting up for Black Friday so I'll get to leave at 11:30. My day is better, but it will get worse.

After the store closes, we are setting up Black Friday displays and we have to unload some cardboard shelving off of pallets. This involves bending down. Now, my pants are fitting looser ever since I started the whole gym thing and I'm constantly having to pull them up as the night goes on. Those of you who have been my friends for a while are no stranger to my pants riding a little lower, but it's kind of gotten worse. Anyways, I'm squatting down to unload a display but I didn't hike my pants up before hand, so what happens? My pants rip. Right in the crotch. And I still have 40 minutes left of work. Great.

Also, I don't have another pair of khakis at home and I'm not going to have time to go shopping for a new pair because all the stores are closed for Thanksgiving and I'm working all day on Black Friday. I almost start crying immediately. Instead, I finish my work, periodically announcing that I ripped my pants because who wants to be that guy who has to tell someone there is a giant hole in the crotch of their pants? I want to save everyone the hassle because I'm such a nice guy.

I get home around midnight and have to start making caramel rolls for a brunch tomorrow, because the bread dough needs to rise overnight. I prep them, sleep, and then wake up for brunch. The bread dough has risen beautifully and I'm super excited to bake them over at Best Friend Rachel's and Lisa's house. Upon arrival, I toss them in the oven and the three of us begin making monkey bread. Once that is cooked, Shawn and Emma come over and we have a delightful brunch. I attempt to be conscious of how much I'm eating and what is usually a carb-loaded meal, morphs into one that is semi-balanced with fresh fruit and spinach and egg crustless mini-quiches, with a later helping of green bean casserole with fresh green beans.

At the conclusion of the meal, I return home to drive with Fit Andrew and our friend Beki to Andrew's sister and brother-in-law's apartment in Rockport for the dinner portion of the day. Sarah is an amazing cook and goes all-out for holiday meals. I'm blessed to be included. After a lovely selection of hors d'oeuvres, we sit down to meal that smells and looks so delicious that a single tear falls down my cheek and lands on the wings of an angel.

Despite an overwhelming urge to stuff my face, I remind myself to go slowly so as not to get to the point of being uncomfortably full. And it works. I have to stop before I even finish one plate because the food has had time to reach my stomach. I'm even mildly excited to go on a post-meal walk around Bearskin Neck. I'd be more excited had I not only worn my slippers.

After the meal and a wonderful round of Mad Gab, we head home and I think about what to do with my lack of pants problem. I could stay up and just go out with the Black Friday rush just to get a pair of pants. I'm almost resigned to do this, but then I think about that pair of khakis that I do have that don't fit. Why not just try it? It won't ruin my life. So I try them on and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but pants that fit in the legs and the rear! And the waist, but I make sacrifices for clever little lines. 

Pants that did not fit me three weeks ago suddenly fit on a day when the main activity has been eating. Change can happen and it can feel amazing. I'm so excited for work tomorrow because I'm going to wear pants that fit well instead of pants that are too large. The only trick is retaining self control because Target takes good care of their team members during the holidays. There is amazing food in the break room on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thank goodness I don't have all the time in the world to sit in the break room or I may just continue eating.

So no gym over the weekend, but I love the fact that I can exercise some self control on a day traditionally filled with binge eating and that on that day I fit into some skinny pants. Celebrate the little victories or you're more likely to fail. At least that's what I've found.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Basically all weekend long I've had this awful cold that will not go away and it has made me not want to do anything. I did Pilates on Saturday but between moving a couch into the house that ended up not fitting and working at Target, I have been exhausted all weekend. And today is not different. I have made plans with Best Friend Rachel to go to Zumba, but she texts me and has to cancel because she has a date, which I take as a sign from God that I should give it a rest and focus on getting better.

I'm home from work and ready to crash when I get a text from Lisa asking if I'm going to go to Zumba. I tell her I'm going to pass on Zumba but that I'll probably be at the gym doing some lifting. I make a little dinner and as I'm eating, the skinny person inside of me screams 'Go to the gym, you lazy poop'. Skinny Me has a point. I really should just go. Plus I always enjoy Zumba and I could use a little pick-me-up. So I hop back on my phone and tell Lisa I will be at Zumba and she had better be there, too.

An hour later, I'm dressed in my gorgeous gym apparel (I've decided to embrace it, what else can I do?) waiting outside the studio, telling Lisa all about how I might pass out from oxygen deprivation. Either that or I'll be taking frequent breaks to prevent death. Either way I think I'm doing a good thing by coming to the gym despite feeling ill. 

We enter the studio and Lisa stops in the back, so I have to correct her and tell her that we dance up in front, because we're awesome.I think it's funny that after this long of consistently attending classes at the gym, I still get a tinge of nervousness before classes begin. Like suddenly the class will be completely different and I won't be able to do it, or I'll be asked to demonstrate for the entire class. That whole demonstration thing never happens, so I have no idea why I'm nervous about it, but I am.

Turns out Zumba was exactly what I needed. It's a ton of fun dancing around to songs with a good beat, learning dance moves and feeling like I'm a part of a massive choreographed impromptu dance party. It get's my heart rate going which only makes me less aware of the cold that has been plaguing me, and I don't need to break at all. Also, I think I worked my magic and dug out that ingrown toenail that had been bugging me so I have no more foot pain, either. What a wonderful Monday this has morphed into. 

After the completion of our Zumba workout, Lisa insists on using the 'women only' area to do her weightlifting and refuses to accompany me to the regular weight room. So I go by myself and do some arms and chest. Arm-Candy is back with the most ridiculous looking bun ever, balanced precariously on top of her head. Honestly it's hard not to laugh at people when they take themselves so seriously. Plus she's helping me by bringing a smile to my face, so it can't really be that bad.

I head to the grocery store after the gym because tonight is the only night I'll have available to grocery shop. This is what my life becomes when I pick up a second job and try to squeeze in gym time. I'll keep you posted on how that endeavor goes. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Looks like being caught up with the blog was a very temporary thing. But worry not, after a six day hiatus, I'm back to tell you more about my experiences being a fat person at the gym. And for the record, today is Saturday.

It has been three days since I've been to the gym and it is almost four, but the idea of leaving poor Best Friend Rachel alone during Pilates is too much for me. I have a wicked bad cold and to tell you the truth, I'm worried I may have trouble breathing and I do not want to die while I'm sweaty and in unflattering workout clothes. I'd much rather go in a full tuxedo reclining in an arm chair while people place gifts at my feet.

I get to the gym in just enough time, trying desperately not to talk more than I have to because I sound like an 80-year-old woman who has been smoking since she turned seven. I didn't see Kiki for Thursday Pilates (because I was working at Target) so we say brief hellos before the workout begins. We begin with the breathing and light bridging. This seems doable. But from here on out is where I start to struggle. Not so much with the ability to breathe thing, but more so with my muscles. I feel weaker. Now, I'm choosing to blame it on the fact that I'm sick and so my body is weaker than usual. Hopefully its not because I've digressed in my physical conditioning.

I'm happy to notice that Rachel is also struggling (I'm awful, I know). But she excels in a way I do not. She is really good at continuing despite something being difficult. I tend to give up a little sooner than needed. And I've now find my challenge for the week: go until I can literally go no more, and then go for another 3 reps or 2 minutes or whatever. Just keep going.

Rachel is also a continuous source of encouragement throughout the entire workout. She's constantly saying things like 'I'm so impressed with you' or 'you're amazing' and that gives me the extra push that I need to keep trying. By the end of the workout, I feel better than when I started, which seems contrary to what I would have expected. Apparently exercise is helping my sick body, but I don't feel confident in that enough to tell any of you that when you're sick you should workout. I'll leave that to the medical professionals. 

After Pilates, I go for a meeting with Ryann to see what she, as a nutritionist, can recommend for me. She asks what my goal is and I tell her I don't want to feel like a lazy slob. She also asks what I have been doing and I tell her I've been doing my best to eat healthier, including more fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet and watching my caloric intake, but that I could do better. I tend to make bad decisions when I'm sitting at home because in the past, food was something I ate when I was bored.

She gives me a list of foods that should comprise my diet, and I'm pleased to see normal foods on it. To tell you the truth, I had been nervous that she would require me to eat a lot of bizarre foods that are hard to find and are really expensive, but thankfully Ryann is awesome and I won't have to swap too many foods. I will have to be more strict about my calorie counting. In the past when I've tried, I've used an app that keeps track, but I always forget to log dinner and therefore make awful decisions for dinner. It's especially difficult when dinner is a meal out. Hopefully I'll learn better ways to watch my calorie intake when I dine out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


After all of that craziness of falling behind, I am finally caught up and the blog will resume as normal. For those of you who are confused, the following took place on November 13, 2012. Ooo fancy. It's like the start of a crime drama or something. But worry not, the only murder that takes place in this post is the murder of every single muscle in my body.

It's Dynamic Core Tuesday. Yesterday I didn't get to go to Zumba because I just started my part-time gig at Target and had my first official day. So I'm glad when Rachel texts me to see if I want to go to the gym tonight. I get to the gym and greet all of my wonderful friends. Honestly, I'm a celebrity and it feels awesome.Validation win. I run downstairs and change and bound back up to Rachel. Rachel has brought a friend that she works with and the three of us are planning on kicking butt, tonight.

Class seems a little busy, tonight, but we have learned to be aggressive enough to get some good spots. We stretch it out a little bit Kiki starts class. We start with some breathing and stretching and lead into a whole series of squats. Apparently we will be doing a lot of squats, tonight. Oh goody. And some lunging, too. Perfect. A lot of these have a flexibility component that while difficult, feel like they're doing their job. And my butt is still sore from sitting on that bike seat for 50 minutes. I don't know how anyone can feel comfortable on a bike seat, so it must be worse for a fat person. Anyway, the lunging, squatting, and stretching sets my glutes and thighs ablaze and we enter the part of the workout where I want to quit.

Little breaks but no quitting, that's my philosophy as I continue to push through the pain. I know it makes me sound amazing but I guarantee you I look like an idiot. I flush and I'm sweaty and my hair is all matted and my stomach keeps peeking out from below my shirt. Trust me, exercise isn't pretty. My shoulders and arms burn as we move to weighted curls and presses and lifts. Thank god Rachel is next to me and is a wonderful source of encouragement. I'd hate to cry when I don't have a bike to cry behind.

We move to planks and then onto burpees. Honestly the worst exercise invented. You plant your hands on the ground, kick out your feet into a plank position, jump your feet back up to your hands and stand up. And we did these for probably 2 minutes. Then we added a squat and a push-up to the mix. Kiki is so mean.

After this we move to abs. Crunches and oblique twists when on the ground. I always feel like it's a break when I get to lay on the ground but it's not. It's just as hard. I think I hear my abs literally curse at me throughout the workout. Then we do some bridging and really work the glutes some more. The only reason I can keep going is a combination of encouragement from Rachel and Kiki, and a great remix of Gangnam Style. 

At the end of class, there's a madhouse of people. I want to escape this room and everyone coming in for Body Pump (or maybe it's body combat) and super pumped to get going, apparently. Take it down a notch. Don't be too excited for the whole fitness thing. Though maybe I'll do this class one day and I will realize how exciting it really is. I won't knock it until I've tried it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


It's 7AM and I hate the world. Who wants to wake up at 7 on a Saturday? Not this guy. I'm exhausted from the night before and I want nothing more than to wrap my self up like a burrito (from Chipotle... delicious) and go back to bed until the more normal hour of 11. But alas, it is not meant to be. I force myself up because today is my first time attending a spin class. Ryann convinced me it would be a good idea and so I set my alarm leaving enough time to wake up, get dressed and speed down to the gym before class starts at 7:30. 

Now, why have I been so hesitant to try out a spin class? Let me tell you. The equipment scared the crap out of me. As a fat person, I have broken my share of furniture. Just ask Fit Andrew's sister Sarah. That poor chair. I am terrified that this bike, while made for the purpose of exercise, will not be able to support me. Believe it or not, you can be too fat to use a piece of exercise equipment (thanks for nothing, Wii Fit). Who's to say this bike won't crumble when I sit down or when I'm supposed to stand on the bike and pedal like I'm going uphill? Unless you're the manufacturer, that person is not you, so don't get too excited.

I enter the room of death (that's how I will be referring to the spin room for the remainder of the post) and do not recognize anyone other than Ryann. I honestly don't even know where to start. Forget the old colloquialism of 'it's like riding a bike' because it's riding a bike that's not meant to go anywhere. It's a completely different thing.

Thankfully, Ryann is helping someone else who's new (I love you, other new person) and I don't have to worry about being the only first-timer. She teaches us the gear-shifting and where our seats and handle bars should be and then we get started. Okay, this should be fine. If I need to, I can pretend (thanks to my acting training) to shift to a harder gear.

Song starts, we start pedaling. Wow, it's a smooth ride. I try shifting up and down to see how things change. Nice. Not too scary. Until the song really gets going. Pedaling with the beat would be causing so much chafing that I might need to be hospitalized. So I go as fast as I can while preserving my thigh skin. And it's still really fast. Within minutes, my legs burn. And here comes a 'push it' section where we're supposed to stand. Holy crap, this bike is going to tip over and I'm going to be decapitated and everyone in this room will be so traumatized that they'll never exercise again, but no. The bike incredibly remains upright. Cool.

Now spin class is very repetitive, so allow me to pull out some highlights for you. First, about twenty minutes into the fifty minute workout, I start to regret my decision to not bring water or a towel. Not only is my sweat flying, but I am thirsty to the point where I actual think I could be in danger. I know that sounds serious, and it is because hydration is important, but keep in mind that I tend to exaggerate. So I make to the decision at the end of the song to go to the locker room and grab the empty water bottle I brought (honestly, I was really stupid) fill it up, and grab the extra shirt I brought to use as a towel. I then head back into the room of death. Hopefully Ryann didn't worry about me leaving and didn't think I was quitting. Don't care too much and don't care too little. It's a fine line.

Towards the end of the workout, we're on our second to last song and it's a really tough one. It's got a lot of gear changes and a lot of standing and sitting and pedaling really fast. Now, I in no way fault Ryann for what happens next; she's doing exactly what she's supposed to do. In order to get us to push hard, she simply utters this sentence: "Come on push it, we're all here for a reason." In my vulnerable state (I have been on a bike for essentially 40 minutes at this point) I let that statement sink in. I think, 'Yeah, I am here for a reason. I'm sick of being a fat person and of feeling like I'm missing out on life. I'm sick of not going to the beach because I don't want to take my shirt off. I'm sick of not playing sports because I don't think I can run. I waited until I turned 26 to take my life back and that was the dumbest thing I could have done.' 

So I start crying. And this is not an exaggeration. I'm not full on uncontrollably weeping, but tears are coming and I can't look up because I don't want other people to see. I'm keeping my head down and crying because I'm mad that I didn't care about myself enough to do this sooner. I'm mad because I was for some reason okay with not living my life to the fullest. And I have no one to blame but myself. Dammit now Coldplay comes on so I start crying more. On a spin bike is not necessarily the most ideal time to have an epiphany of such a caliber.

Class is over and immediately I look back and think my situation is hilarious. I was just crying on a bike in a spin class. And it's okay if you want to laugh, too. It's a funny picture. But my actual thoughts are sticking with me and this is becoming about more than just a thing I do to blog about. I'm telling you, exercise does amazing things to not just your body, but to your mind. Also, a guy from the spin class tells me he's read my blog and likes it, so feeling like a celebrity is a pretty decent side effect of all this.

Monday, November 12, 2012


So I'm on Facebook at work (because I'm now in charge of social media) and I happen to see that there's a beginner mat class that's not on the schedule. Curiosity gets the better of me so I email Kiki to ask her if this is a class at the gym or if it's actually in her studio. Her answer is two-fold and demonstrates how amazing she is. It is a studio class and she has signed me up for it. So I now have a specific plan when I go to the gym.

Now, because I have been in classes the last few days, I have no clean gym clothes and the class tonight starts right at five so I don't have time to get home and do laundry. So I do my best begging and call up Fit Andrew to try and convince him to throw my darks in the wash. Sometimes I feel like I'm awful. But out of the kindness of his heart, he decides to help me out. Bless you, Fit Andrew.

I get to the gym with just enough time to spare to get changed and run upstairs. There are only two other people in the class plus the teacher. I have to say it's kind of amazing to be in such a small class. It really gets me individual attention and in a class that's intended to help me understand the basics of Pilates and work on proper form, that's a huge blessing. And a curse, because now I'm painfully aware of how I've been doing certain things wrong and I can't hide behind 15 other attendees.

But Stephanie is super nice and thankfully not as snarky as I am. She was very helpful and an hour long Pilates workout went by really fast. I did feel stupid when I had to keep asking which muscle groups I should be using or even what certain words meant in the context of Pilates (like implant yourself, for example). It's honestly like learning a new language only it's a lot easier to fake like you know what you're talking about while you could be agreeing to something that you will regret.

After class is over, I stop in to say hi to the nutritionist who has an office at the gym. Kiki recommended I say hi and Ryann proves to be full of energy and really friendly. Honestly, everyone who works at this gym is amazing. We chat a little bit about a variety of things (including my blog) and she tells me I should consider coming to her spin class tomorrow morning. I tell her I will strongly consider it because I have an appointment at 10 am and can't go to the normal Pilates class. Except that her class starts at 7:30. Kill me. But I tell her I'll consider it.

All in all it was a super relaxing class to fulfill my Friday night workout and to make my current gym record 16 days in a row. Thank you, thank you, I know I'm amazing, but you can be too. Just head to the gym.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Two posts in one day? I know it's crazy, but I need to catch up and I have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon. But remember, we're magically being transported back to Thursday, because that's how this blog works. Magically.

I've come to look forward to Thursdays so much because it means Pilates day at the gym. I'm anxious to see who will be in class and I'm excited to work my butt off. Actually, I want to whip my butt into shape and actually get one, but you know what I mean so stop it. I arrive and who should be there but Nadine the Liar. I'm so happy she's back. Classes are made by the energetic people who attend and I can always count on Nadine to be full of energy and happiness (its possible to know that after meeting someone once, trust me). I come to find out she's read the blog and learned of her nickname. I have to reassure her that it's a term of endearment. We decide to be neighbors during Pilates as long as she promises not to laugh when I decide I've done enough of a particular exercise.

Let me say this: it's become quite common for people to approach me at the gym and say how much they enjoy reading my blog and I would love for this to keep happening. Please don't be scared away by my celebrity or feel unworthy to approach me. You may indeed be unworthy but you will never hear about it from me.

Kiki comes in, also full of energy and greets the class. I guess some people haven't been in a while so she gives a few specific hellos before we begin. She also talks about tequila, and gives some great tips of kinds to try. I may have to do that, later. Today is a class where we focus on performing each exercise correctly and so while it's not a particularly fast paced class, it still give me quite a workout.

I tend to get cramped up on certain exercises so I try to really focus on relaxing those particular parts of my body. I especially get cramped in the arch of my foot when I point. It kills.I would venture to say it's worth than a charlie horse because I know that pointing my toe is going to cause a cramp and yet I do it anyway. Isn't that the definition of insanity? Or something? I swear I've heard that before.

When it comes time to plank and do push-ups, I know class is almost over. That's almost always how we end things. I usually automatically start with my knees down because I'm convinced I can't do any better. But this time, I decide to challenge myself and try a full on plank. Miraculously, I complete the whole plank and lower down into push-ups. This I do need to lower my knees for, but where I used to struggle to do one, I can now do three or four before I really start to struggle. I know, I incredible. Feel free to say so in the comment section.

After class, I talk to Kiki about how awesome class was and she tells me that she's so glad that I keep coming. To know that I started off thinking Pilates was awful to it being one of my favorite times of the week proves that it's awesome. And if you don't think so, I challenge you to take three Pilates classes and tell me you don't enjoy it by the third class. If you happen to be on the North Shore or anywhere near the Beverly Athletic Club, check out the Facebook page for Kiki Pilates here. You will not regret it.


Holy crap am I feeling it today. My butt is wicked sore, my hamstrings are wicked sore, and the last thing I want to do today is exercise. I moan and groan all day at work (sorry Megan) but talk about how I'm going to go to spin and CX Works. Yeah, my first spin class ever. As the day progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that that is not what will be happening.

I get home from work with every intention of skipping the gym. I even announce it when I get home. 'I'm not going to the gym today. I'm too sore. Don't you dare judge me.' Thankfully (because he's scared of the damage I'll do) Fit Andrew chooses not to mock me. Thanks for being kind.

Andrew goes off to rehearsal and I have nothing to do so I watch some TV. As soon as my episode of The Cleveland Show is over, I think to myself, 'I really should go. I don't want to break my streak on Foursquare.' So, I put my stuff together and head to the gym. I've still got a little time until CX Works which will give me plenty of time to decide where my body is and if going to the class would be a good decision. 

I start off on the elliptical, determined to do at least ten minutes. I do a pretty good job keeping pace and am pleased to notice that with greater resistance, my heart rate isn't increasing as much as it has in the past. In a good way. My heart rate goes up, but it's not too high. Tangible evidence of a greater level of fitness. I do drop my iPhone once, which causes quite a spike, but it comes back down when I see the phone is not broken.

When my ten minutes is up, it's the moment of truth. Do I do CX Works or do I take it a little easy and do weights? My butt and hamstrings are convincing enough and I head to the weight room for some quick sets with weights. Believe it or not, I've started to feel comfortable enough in the weight room that I've stopped paying attention to the people around me. Good in terms of my self esteem and confidence, but bad when it comes to being entertaining. I have failed you and I'm sorry. Please forgive me. There's really nothing left to report.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I have convinced best friend Rachel to join me for Dynamic Core, this evening. And boy is she in for a treat. I offer to pick her up about twenty minutes before class and head over to her house. I call when I pull up and she graciously informs me that class is not in twenty minutes. It is, in fact, in just under an hour. Well then. I guess we have some time to waste. So I help her bake some bars for a friend's birthday.

Rachel has been slightly nervous for this class since I convinced her to go, so I spend some of our down time telling her how much fun it is and how she's going to have a really good time. Let's face it, one of my greatest strengths is making people feel comfortable in stressful situations, something I am making great use of, right now. I have to tell her that even though she is sore from Zumba (side note: I am not sore and do not get sore very often, anymore. I miss feeling like a really worked my muscles) she'll push through the pain because I will be doing the same thing and she's not allowed to be a bad friend.

When we get to the gym, a line has started forming outside the studio. We head towards the door and remove our shoes and then I prep Rachel on what's going to happen. 'People are going to be aggressive so as soon as people start leaving this class, we have to bolt in and claim the good spots. I'm not getting stuck right in front of the door again.' And it's true. People aggressively cut in line in order to get a good spot. And the seemingly demure little old ladies are the worst. If I were as small as Rachel I would probably risk getting backhanded in order to throw me off. Good thing I'm a fat person at the gym and no one messes with me.

We grab our equipment and wait for Kiki to kick our butts. And boy does she kick our butts. She starts with squats and we do a pretty good job keeping up. We then move to weight plates and this is where numerous people in the class suffer. Many people (myself and Rachel included) have to drop our plates and simply to the actions without any added weight because our shoulders and arms are killing us. Kiki's really giving it to us, tonight. And everytime she encourages us to keep it going is the exact moment that I have chosen to take a break, so I have the added pressure of not wanting to be a disappointment.

We move to abs, and I'm a little more able to keep up. here. I have to share my excitement with actually being able to do sit ups, because I haven't been able to do a true sit up in probably five years. There are still ab moves that are really difficult for me to do, but I'm pleased with my progress.

After abs, we move to balls. As in exercising with a ball as our equipment. I take a six-pound ball, thinking I'll be fine with that. I really should have gone for a two-pounder. We bounce it, kettle bell swing it, do oblique rotations with it. I honestly haven't felt this worked in a long time. And to end the class we do push ups with one hand on the ball. Correction: The rest of the class does push ups with one hand on the ball. I can only squeak out two before I collapse.

When we're officially done with the workout, I'm as happy as can be because it's over. But boy, am I going to feel this in the morning. Rachel is worried about her ability to care for patients, tomorrow. We hobble to the car and go back to Rachel's house where we make chili and process what we just went through. It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, but it hurts in a way that reminds me I've just done something great for my body.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Best Friend Rachel and I have decided to be workout buddies this week because she works days at the hospital instead of random evenings and tonight is Zumba. I'm really excited to go because I haven't been since before Sandy caused all classes to be cancelled. Although immediately after I get home, I realize it would be much more enjoyable to sit at home and watch TV for most or all of the night. So I text Rachel and attempt to convince her that Zumba is not actually what we want to do. Fortunately or unfortunately, Rachel can not be swayed and insists we do Zumba.

I pack my bag and drag myself to my car to drive to the gym, all the while cursing the fact that I'm not home watching HGTV at this present moment. Even if that couple had ridiculous demands and no budget for their first home and be incredibly entertaining. I get to the gym and say hi to Carla.

While in the locker room, I have a conversation with myself and it goes something like this. "Suck it up. You may not want to be here but you know you should be." "Yeah, maybe I should be but I'm really grumpy about it." "Grumpy people piss me off and I don't want to be pissed off when I start Zumba." "Well I can't help it." "Yes you can. You can choose to be grumpy or you can choose to have the best time you can. And you better choose the latter because it can't be fun if you won't let it." "Wow. I'm really smart. Thanks for helping me adjust my attitude, me." "Anytime."

I have conversations like that with myself on a semi-frequent basis and I am not ashamed. So I meet Rachel upstairs and tell her thanks for making me come because I totally didn't want to. We take our regular place towards the front of the room and high five each other for the awesome workout we're about to experience.

A third of the way in I get the all too familiar cramp in the right side of my stomach. I hate this part. But I know from experience that I can work through this pain and I'm not actually suffering from something serious like appendicitis. And sure enough, after 2 more songs, the pain is gone and I'm still having a blast.

Here's my complaint with Zumba, though. It is so focused on feet movement and my legs get tired and be arches of my feet KILL before class is over. No, I don't want to move my foot really fast right now. I'd rather do squats than kick ball change. And that's saying something because I hate squats, as all of you know.

By the end of class we've done some new dances, we've done some old dances, and I have greatly increased my club dance repertoire. Watch out for me next weekend, Boston. I'll wipe the floor with you. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I should really just stop trusting people. I make a plan to go to yoga at the gym this morning because I think it will be a great way to start my Sunday. My coworker Megan tells me about how she used to go all the time and had a really good time and it was really easy. Great. I don't really feel like going crazy hard today, anyway. 

I show up at the gym and it's a mostly older crowd. How hard can this really be if people who could be my grandma can do it? Plus, I've done some yoga at home so I assume I'm going to be amazing. Not the case, ladies and gentlemen. The class starts out normal enough with some gentle stretching, nothing too crazy going on, but we very rapidly move into territory that I am so unfamiliar with that I'm tempted to fake a low blood sugar so I can excuse myself with what looks like an actual reason.

One particular women who is among the oldest in the class is the most flexible woman I have ever seen. One of the stretches we are supposed to do involves reaching one hand behind our backs and grasping our other hand that is coming from in between our legs. Yeah, not gonna happen. 

And then there's the planking. That awful planking where we are supposed to lift one hand and lift a foot and bake a casserole all while in a plank position. It's a good day if I can do a plank on my knees for thirty seconds and this teacher is asking me to do something that I can only liken to throwing a football fifty yards after mere hours of training. And truth be told, I don't know if that's an accurate representation because I know next to nothing about football. Is that even difficult?

The point is, this yoga workout is really hard. And my hamstrings are super tight from who knows what. This is honestly going to be the hardest thing about working out for me. The idea that it will always be hard if you're truly challenging yourself. You should never be doing something without breaking a sweat. The same exact workout may be easier, but if you want results, you have to increase the difficulty. 

After class is over, I give Megan a piece of my mind, but I do it very kindly with some sarcasm thrown in there because, truth be told, I feel awesome. My muscles are awake and I feel limber and flexible. So I decide I'm going to go for a swim. Tragically I forgot my goggles when I left this morning so I edit my swim down to a quarter mile given the circumstances. 

Monday, November 5, 2012


It's Saturday Pilates day. Kiki isn't here this morning so Diane is stepping in. Diane was the first Pilates teacher I ever had so I'm excited to see how much I've progressed since she first saw me. It quickly becomes apparent that this isn't going to be easy to compare because before class begins she has everyone grab a Pilates circle. Basically its a circle that is designed to simulate the position a woman is in when she is in labor. Now I know I've compared Pilates to birthing before, but today the similarities are even more severe.

The circle goes in between my knees and the whole purpose is resistance to squeeze against. Basically it's like using a Thigh Master while on your back with your legs in tabletop position. It feels like a really compromising position to be in and I am super uncomfortable. Like super wicked uncomfortable. And I am gassy today, so I feel the need to apologize to all the ladies in the class.

We do several different exercise with this demon circle including some side leg raises and corkscrews (you probably don't know what those look like, but just imagine awkward things with a sixteen-inch hula hoop in between your legs or around your ankles). Diane makes class difficult. Good for you Diane, still making me work really hard.

Though I will say, I'm getting really good at some stuff. My core is definitely stronger and I have a lot more stamina than I did on that very first day of Pilates. Thank goodness one of the things I'm supposed to be doing throughout the workout is engaging muscles like I'm about to pass gas but I don't want to. Honestly, that is verbatim what Kiki tells us almost every time.

After class I don't swim because I swam yesterday evening and I'm tired. I had home and have a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs and wheat toast while I wait for the arrival of my dear friend Shawn, with whom I will be spending the rest of my day. Also, cool news: Today marks 10 days in a row at the Beverly Athletic Club. A new record, according to FourSquare. Bam.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week because it's a Pilates day. But I can't find my yoga mat and paranoia is reawakened deep down inside. I'm convinced someone is trying to sabotage any sort of progress I'm making by causing me to forget to do laundry and to misplace critical pieces of exercise equipment. Although does a mat count as a piece of equipment? I must admit I always though of equipment as a way to describe something that has a mechanical component. Enough engineering talk. Back to to exercise.

I speed home after work in order to put my workout stuff together. I hate feeling rushed but what do I expect when I wasted my morning sleeping instead of prepping for the day? I make it with time to spare so I get primo selection of spots. Front and center because I rock at everything. I do a little bit of stretching to warm up. If I had really wanted to warm up, I would have spent fifteen minutes on the elliptical before class, but who has time for that?

Side note: flexibility is really something I want to maintain and increase. I have to express frustration that I haven't noticed a giant change in my flexibility since I started doing yoga and Pilates. Flexibility is something that seems to be a key component of Pilates. If I can't reach my ankle when I have one foot in the air, how can I correctly do the drill? 

Regardless, Kiki comes in and welcomes the class and then, because she is so awesome, announces to the entire class that they should check out my blog. She has linked it on the page of her Pilates studio. I feel like a celebrity. Hopefully everyone else feels the same way.

Throughout class, my blog occasionally makes an appearance. True, most of the time it's because Kiki's telling me what I'm not allowed to put in the blog, but it really does make me feel awesome. She tells me I'm not allowed to include how she encourages us to adjust ourselves to spread our butt cheeks wider so we can feel more connected to the floor. Don't worry, Kiki, I won't put that in.

After class I head to Best Friend Rachel's house and we watch The Princess Bride and eat popcorn and peaches. Then I go to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate a friend's birthday. Now, I know I have mentioned before that I love getting compliments, and tonight I get a bunch. Everyone is telling me I look great and that my butt looks awesome and it's like all is as it should be. I should be getting compliments. 

Everyone should be getting compliments because it makes you feel awesome. So you, reading this, you are awesome. And I don't care where you are in your day, if you just woke up or if you just exercised, but you look amazing. There. Take my compliment and go into the world feeling awesome about yourself. And compliment someone else and make their day. Pay it forward.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


People. Don't ever let me fall behind again. It's incredibly tough to try and recall enough specifics to make my posts remotely enjoyable for you. Also, follow the stinking thing. Click over to the left. You'll make me feel special.

So today is a CX Works day (Wednesday, for those of you trying to keep track), the class Justin has been harping on me to come to. The one he gave me a ton of flack for missing last week. When he made me cry, remember? He didn't actually make me cry. I hope you all know that. Anyways, I see him when I enter the gym and I can't resist poking fun so I go over and say, "Guess what I'm not going to, tonight? CX Works. I want to take it easy." He buys it, because I am such a phenomenal actor. Except I can't lie for more than 2 seconds about it before I reassure him that I'm actually here for the class.

I go downstairs and change and head back up to the studio. I feel like a pro because I know exactly what equipment to grab. I find my spot and prepare for the worst. Because it's Halloween, Justin and Sarah are dressed up. Sarah looks like a referee, and Justin is the epitome of an 80's workout video. And they throw some 80's music into the mix. It truly is a magical workout experience.

Justin is on the right, Richard Simmons is on the left

Let me take this opportunity to say something that is not at all groundbreaking but it is really encouraging to a fat person who has spent the last month and a half going to the gym: You really do get stronger as you continue. I can hold planks for longer, I'm willing to try something that looks incredibly difficult, I'm able to actually push through the pain (sometimes) and I feel awesome because of it. And holy crap, my confidence in my everyday life is through the roof, now.

It really is an insane change from the days when I used to be convinced that everyone was looking at me and judging me for being out of shape. Some people were even bold enough to say something or make jokes about it. Not anymore. I stand taller, feel better about myself; it's like therapy. And I love therapy. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a basket case, but who isn't. 

At the end of class, Justin and Sarah give the standard 'No weight training but do cardio' routine. I feel like an idiot, but I double check that swimming falls into the category of cardio, because I am head to the pool after this. So not only do a half hour of intense CX Works, but then I go down to the pool and swim a half mile. A half mile has become my standard.

After a rather uneventful swim (I won't bore you by trying to elaborate on what it's like to think you may actually drown in 3 feet of water) I allow myself a quick steam. My friend Jessi, who shares my apprehension for steam rooms would be glad to know that this too, get's better and easier to stand. It's actually become enjoyable. So stick with the steam room, Jessi. Someday you can be successful at it, like me.

As I exit, I can't help but notice some old guy who is sitting in the hot tub in the nude. Sir the fact that the hot tub is in the gym locker room doesn't make what you're doing something other than skinny dipping. You're like a high school kid only it's lame cause you're by yourself. Put some trunks on.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Grant has convinced me to go to a class called Dynamic Core. If he had told me I should go to this class not 2 months ago, I would have smacked him and told him to stop mocking me because it's mean. Now, I don't even hesitate. It helps that the class is taught by the Fabulous Kiki. 

I get to the gym cutting it a little close, but with enough time to change and find a spot in the back of the room. It's a barefoot class (honestly, every class should be a barefoot class), but everyone else has mats and tubing and plates, too. Ah, so this is an equipment class and a barefoot class. I grab one of each, as does Grant.

We start with a series of exercises that involve squats to the side and the seemingly impossible squats on tiptoes. But I have to say, as much as I'd love to punch some people in the face and storm out of this class because my muscles hurt so bad, I'm actually having a good time. I'm moving to the music and finding joy in my inability to do some of the exercises. Truth be told, I'm probably hysterical to watch. Anything with a side plank is outrageously hard and I probably look like an idiot even attempting it, but you know, if my feeble attempts amuse you, so be it. At least I'm trying.

At one point, we do a cross lunge where we take our foot back and when we stand up, we kick that foot into the air to our outstretched hand. I'm worried that I may unintentionally kill someone with my insanely muscular legs. But, I reassure myself that if it's that person's time to go, it's their time to go.

We move to some floor exercises and the poor woman in front of me accidentally hits my foot with her hand. Now, you'd think that I would have cause to be upset, but I simply feel bad because she probably was really grossed out to reach back and come into contact with my nasty sweaty foot. She had no idea that was going to happen.

At the end of class, I am nearly dying. I am so sweaty and so warm but I feel so awesome. As I'm putting my stuff together in the locker room, one of the guys who was in the class is commenting on the fact that tonight was really hard. 'Really? What hope do I have if you've been coming for a while and you're still warn out?' Honestly, people. Think about what you say in the locker room or you may cause a fat person to quit the gym.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Father in heaven I need to get caught up. So this post is combining Sunday and Monday. Hopefully all of you devoted readers are smart enough to figure that out.

After my depressing journey to the gym last Sunday only to find that the gym was closed, I'm determined to actually get a workout in. So I wake up and run some errands, one of which includes buying a new swimsuit because my old swimsuit has ripped and I'm not in the business of exposing myself. The problem? Target isn't carrying swimsuits currently. That means I have to go over to Dick's Sporting Goods and pay a whopping $30 for a swimsuit (on-sale from $45). But I look at it as a swimsuit that will be lasting me for a while, which helps me stomach the price.

I head to the gym and go right for the pool. Surprisingly, there are people in the pool. I would have thought that people would be out shopping for supplies in case this whole Sandy thing actually hits us. Oh well, at least my regular lane is open. I hop in and start with my standard half-mile swim.

Really nothing exciting happens. Some guy comes in about halfway through my swim and pick the lane next to me. This guy is ridiculous. He does one length of basically every style of swimming there is. And the problem is, he's not good at them. So he's flopping all over the place, splashing me and churning the waters, making it hard for me to swim in a straight line. This guy is almost worse than the children. Though it is kind of amusing. And in a weird way, inspiring. He just keeps going.

After a brief steam and a conversation with a brave man who is headed to Market Basket, I head home. When I get there, I realize I have forgotten to ask if the gym will even be open tomorrow. Sandy has closed my office for tomorrow, so it stands to reason that she could mess up my chance to do Zumba tomorrow. But when I call, the guy says classes are planned to go as scheduled. Hurricanes can't stop fitness.

(Passage of time...)

So I wake up jazzed cause it's a Monday and I don't have work. Thank you nature. This three day weekend is awesome. I putz around the house for most of the morning before going out to lunch with Fit Andrew to China Buffet (aka Heaven). I've always had a weakness for buffets. It combines my two favorite things: eating until I have to unbutton my pants and chinese food. And it's been a really long time since I've gone to China Buffet.

I find that there has been a change in me that is combination depressing and exciting. While I used to be able to pack away two and a half plates no problem, I find myself feeling full after not even a full plate. I mean that's awesome because I'm used to smaller portions, but I am a tiny bit sad that I can't eat as much.

But that's a really weird thing to be sad about and perfectly explains the problem I've had my entire life. It's not like it doesn't taste as good if I don't eat a ton of it. I just like the idea of eating. It's fun. It's what I used to do when I was bored because it passed the time.

After my meal, I head over to a friend's house and we watch some movies while the storm rages on. And by 'rages on' I mean the wind occasionally blows strong and it drizzles. Sandy's really not turning into much. I also find out that all classes have been cancelled by the storm. Screw you, Sandy! This will be five days in a row at the gym and I am going! So I drive over to the gym.

CJ is at the desk when I arrive and he informs me that they're closing at 6:00 tonight. So be it. 15 minutes on the weights is better than nothing at all. And I make those fifteen minutes count. Thank goodness the gym is back to the normal schedule tomorrow.