Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Happy 100, everyone. Indeed it's true, this is my 100th post (technically number 101 but I don't count the post where I informed you all of changes to the site). Those of you who were kind enough to wait almost a month for a new post will hopefully not find yourselves disappointed. I will attempt to explain my lack of post with the following word: expectation.

To remain true to one of my goals with this blog of being honest, I look at this 100th post as a significant milestone. I was hoping to have it be a milestone that coincided with a fitness milestone like a post for every pound lost, but instead I was left being convinced I wouldn't have anything exciting to share. At one point or another, throughout the month of June, I broke every single bullet point of my contract. I made bad choices that led to me being convinced I had failed. I was so convinced of my failure that I let what was a significant achievement (more to come on that) be overshadowed by my bad attitude. I even yelled at Justin for scolding me about it.

In what appears to be a recurring theme of the blog, I declare my intent to not get hung up on whatever short comings I decide I have and to focus on the fact that however slowly, I am still on my way towards reaching a goal. This declaration is far easier to type than it is to practice and I will need to constantly remind myself of this intention, but I can say with absolute sincerity that I will try.

Now that that slightly depressing crap is out of the way, let me recap the last month for you. Ladies and gentlemen, in the month of June I lost 12 pounds. As of July 2nd I weigh 359 pounds which brings my total weight loss to 52 pounds. 52 pounds! Now, when I found this out I was mad because I thought it should be more. Who knows why I couldn't just realize that 12 pounds in a month is amazing. It was hard work that really ended up paying off. But brains are stupid and I spent the remainder of the session being grumpy and pissy and Justin kind of yelled at me for it. And then I cried the whole way home. Legit. Sobbed like a crazy person you occasionally see when you drive.

Since then, my gym attendance has been spotty, at best. I accidentally slept through a 6:15am training session and that ruined the entire rest of my day. I was so mad at myself because I was actually looking forward to a morning work out. But I stupidly set my alarm for 6:25 because apparently it's best to set an alarm for 10 minutes after you're supposed to be somewhere.

My new obsession when it comes to working out is Body Combat. This class apparently burns an average of over 700 calories in a 55 minute class. And let me tell you, I believe it. From my experience, it's great for back muscles and core muscles and shoulder muscles. I don't notice legs as much, but that may be because instead of hopping around like I'm supposed to do, I tend to sort of bob in place. But basically watch out for me now. I could totally kick your ass.

Which brings us to today, a day where I find myself continually re-motivated by people telling me I need to post again. A time where motivation is easier to find with encouragement from friends, peers and coworkers. A moment where I'm pleased with my progress up to this point and excited about where I will go in the future. Do I claim today or do I let it become a waste? That's my decision and I'm going to choose change my life.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Consistency is key and it is, unfortunately, not something I've been doing well. Now before there is a collective gasp, allow me to explain. I have been consistent with exercise the past week and a half. And I've been consistently making better choices when it comes to food (for lunch yesterdays I had chicken and quinoa). The part about consistency I'm struggling with is keeping up with my documentation. I guess I should be scheduling times to blog just like I schedule times to eat and times to exercise, but it's difficult when my day is so busy.

I'll take this as an opportunity to attempt to develop an actual blogging schedule and stick with it, but no promises. I can only handle so much change at once, and right now scheduling time to pre-prepare meals for the week has taken up a lot of time. Plus, the new season of Teen Wolf has started. So lets begin with a recap of the weekend and how I have succeeded.

Wednesday morning had the potential to be awful. I woke up and I was tired and I decided to go back to sleep instead of going to the gym. Eyes closed, covers up, and internal monologue begins: What are you doing? You're really going to go back to bed after you've decided to insist on going to the gym 5 days a week? What's wrong with you? This is what's going to happen. You're going to open your eyes, roll out of bed, wine for exactly three seconds, and then you're going to the gym. And it worked. I went to the gym (a little late) but I got in another day on Couch to 5K. And I felt better for it.

Thursday's personal training was successful, too. I went into it determined to enjoy myself. I refused to stall or wine and just agree to do whatever Justin told me to do. And he had me do the exact same thing we did on Tuesday. The circuit was easier this time around, though I think it was more because of my attitude than anything. After the circuit, I learned a new exercise called the inchworm. Starting in a plank position, you walk your feet up as far as you can with your hands on the ground, then you walk your hands out into a plank position, again. I went from one spot to another with push ups in between for a total of four times. It gets really tiring, though. And I think Justin has figured out a way to stop me from resting when I don't need it. He is very aware that I hate burpees and so he told me that on my last inchworm and subsequent push ups, that if I put my knees down more than once, I would have to do burpees. You'd be amazed by what you can do when the consequences of failure are what your nightmares are made of.

Friday, I convinced Fit Andrew and Lisa to join me at Zumba. I had a good time by myself the other week, but I want to enjoy the experience with friends and they are lucky enough to have been chosen. Plus Shaina is teaching which is always a good time. We get there to discover that it is, in fact, not Shaina teaching. A sub is covering, but Lisa and I think she's pretty awesome. Andrew, on the other hand, sulks and complains that he doesn't feel comfortable until about halfway through when he finally decides to enjoy himself.

Saturday, I wake up early and go to spin at 7:30 with Best Friend Rachel. It's nice to have someone so suffer with during spin. After spin, I head to CX Worx. Rachel has a wedding to get to, so she doesn't stay. But CX Worx coupled with spin and how sore my shoulders are from that stupid inchworm means I spend the rest of the day feeling exhausted, which isn't ideal when you work a double.

Now, I've learned something significant that I feel the need to share. I've found that it's my attitude to certain situations that really shapes my experience. I can whine and complain about how much I hate exercise and my experience has shown me that I'll leave that workout in a bad mood. Look at Andrew: he felt uncomfortable in Zumba. but as soon as he decided to have fun, he had fun. So I'll spend the coming week choosing to enjoy things that I may not be enjoying, and we'll see what happens. Maybe everything will not seem so miserable. I'm hopeful. I'm also going to post more pictures.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I hate exercising. There, I said it. I love the feeling afterwards, but I would be willing to do almost anything else to achieve the same results, if I could. Unless it involved snakes. No snakes. I head to the gym early after a brief visit with my wonderful sister and absolutely adorable nephew. Upon arriving, I unload my crap in the locker room, change in to my workout wear, and hop on the first treadmill I can find that is positioned in such a way that I can't see myself. And then I do my half hour of cardio.

I may have mentioned it before (it's almost scary how easy it is to forget what things I have written about), but I'm using an app called 'Couch to 5K' and it is supposed to give me sample workouts that will eventually lead up to me being able to run a 5K. This very much surpasses my goal of being able to run a mile without stopping and it keeps track of when I should be walking and when I should be running which makes it really easy. Truth be told, I enjoy the running part minus the being out of breath and getting sweaty, and when I'm rocking out to the new Selena Gomez, it's easy to ignore those things that I dislike.

After my half hour workout (a total of 2.2 miles and a mile in just over thirteen minutes) Justin takes me to the gym, where we're going to do some circuit-type training. I have to do thirty seconds of high knees, ten seconds of some weird crunch position rotation things, ten seconds of single leg crunches on both legs, and ten squats with thirty seconds of rest between the end of the squats and starting the circuit again. This is when I know I hate exercise.

All exercise makes me do is realize my limitations. I can't run this long or far, I can't move this fast, I can't lift this much, I'm not strong enough to do this or that. Exercise can ruin your self esteem. For me it's like I'm constantly being told (by non-actual voices) that I can't do something. I know not a single person who would enjoy that. Instead of the much healthier 'look at all that I can do' way of looking at it, I can't ignore my inabilities. And it's hard to keep pushing myself with that knowledge.

I don't hide my displeasure from Justin, who does his best to be encouraging by telling me I did a really good job at the end. I'm willing to admit that I did a good job because I finished, but if you put me in a line up with a random selection of other gym goers, I'd be at the bottom. Plus it didn't feel great. Feeling tired and hot and out of breath sucks.

Next I have to do squats and presses with a kettle bell. Have I mentioned I hate exercise? And then, I have to do bicep curls and oblique twists. Keep in mind, this is only a half hour session that we're squeezing this all in. But a half hour walk/jog combined with a half hour training session means an hour total of exercise. That's more than nothing and that's good.

Just so all of you readers know, I never feel good immediately after exercising. In fact, I often feel awful. Depending on how hard I've worked I can sometimes feel nauseated and dizzy. The more time that passes, the better I feel. If anyone else is starting to exercise, I guess I just don't want you to get discouraged because you don't instantly feel great. And it is difficult to remain positive when you can't necessarily see the change. At least that's how I feel. But back I'll go for another day. At 6:00am. Because I work tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Oh how quickly motivation dies. I really was super excited about this whole contract thing and then my stupid laziness trumped everything. Exactly what I said shouldn't happen. I did not go to the gym on Saturday  morning. Or Sunday. Or Monday. I didn't even exercise at all. Why? I have no real grasp on the answer to that question. I just didn't. I didn't feel ill. I wasn't depressed about anything. I didn't have something better to do. I just didn't exercise. I slept in on Saturday morning and spent the evening hanging out with friends. On Sunday I slept in and then spent the evening folding laundry and watching The Real World. And I worked both days.

This seems to be a recurring issue. My follow through, or lack thereof. I was even feeling really good because measurements happened on Thursday and I've lost a total of 40 lbs. But that joy is not as wonderful as it could be because I allowed myself to not care. And that is awful. Sure I can declare my intentions but when it comes to actually sticking with this thirty day challenge, I'm like a gun filled with blanks: all talk and no walk.

I'm awful, boo hoo, I think we all get the point. I do have to share my victory, however. Despite ignoring the articles in my own constitution about exercise, I crazy adhered to the ones about food. And it was incredibly challenging. I worked at Target on both Saturday and Sunday and Monday and each time was incredibly tempted to get pizza and breadsticks. Did the carbs win? No. I won. Instead I had salads and bananas and yogurt and a peach and an apple. And did I drink any soda? No sirs and madams. I drank nothing but water. 

Ultimately, I'll call the weekend a victory, albeit a small one. Despite my failure in one area, I continued to succeed in another. My failure, which was large, didn't lead me to decide the whole weekend was a wash. I absolutely need to do better in the future, but or now, I'll skip beating myself up and look at what I can continue to do in the coming days.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the contract that I will be adhering to for the next thirty days. Feel free to take on the same or similar challenge (in fact, tell me about it if you do, because that could be fun) but I expect all of you to support me through this endeavor. If you are around me and see me making a bad decision, yell at me. I will not be upset. Thanks.

My intent is to be more deliberate about exercise and to really make use of the next thirty days. Complaining about not doing as well as I would like (plus the extra push from Justin) has made me decide to actually change my plan going forward. We'll call this a jumping off point, not the only way I will live for the rest of my life.

The purpose of including a "to the best of my ability" is not to give myself an out. It's to make legitimate space for a legitimate distraction, i.e. a family member dying. It's for things that are out of my control, not for things like laziness.

Personal Contract

For the next thirty days (ending July 6, 2013) I commit to uphold the rules outlined below to the best of my ability:

I.                    Food
a.       No food shall be consumed between the hours of 8:00pm and 7:00am. Meals shall be eaten during regular meal hours.
b.      Two snacks are permissible during the day, in between meals (one in the morning, one in the afternoon).
c.       The only acceptable place to consume meals is at a table. Food may not be consumed at a desk, on a couch, or in a bed.
d.      A maximum of one meal per week may be consumed at a restaurant.
e.      Food choices will be at least remotely healthy and unprocessed, and no more than one bread item may be consumed, including any sort of bun or roll in any given meal, including at restaurants.
f.        The only snacks that may be consumed are those which have been grown and occur naturally in nature.
g.       The only beverages that may be consumed are water and milk. Soda, coffee, and alcohol are not to be consumed.
II.                  Exercise
a.       Exercise is to occur seven days a week with at least a half hour of exercise performed each day.
b.      Of the pre-established seven days of exercise, a minimum of five days must occur at the gym and should factor in two scheduled personal training sessions and three classes.
c.       Exercise outside of the gym can include walks, tennis, beach volleyball, bike rides, swimming, rowing, gymnastics, etc.
d.      Work must not interfere with the gym. If work is scheduled during the evening, the gym must happen in the morning.

e.      If watching television, exercise must be performed during commercial breaks.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I've decided to get a semi-headstart on this whole 'challenge' thing because I'm an impulsive person and don't really excel when it comes to patience. So all day I plan on going to Zumba and then CX Worx. Two classes in a row. I've done it before (though not literally back to back. I've usually had about a half hour of down time) so I'm not too worried. Here's the problem, though. I'm a social person and I enjoy being with people I know, especially when I have to sit through something that I expect to be even remotely miserable. Every single person I texted (a grand total of two) had already gone to the gym or were going to be busy.

This is where I start to lose steam. I can have a plan, but if the people I assume will be participating aren't available, I lose all motivation. Unless I say it outloud, for some reason. If I make my plans known to anyone verbally (like Fit Andrew, for example) it makes me feel an obligation to follow through. After my declaration of intent, I grab my gym bag and hustle out the door because I am very close to being late. So close, in fact, that I am late by about a minute and a half. But I spoke my plan into existence and I can't turn back now. Into the room I go and fall into a place in the back.

I have not been to Zumba in a very long time. Shaina stopped teaching on Monday nights and I have been busy with Target (an excuse that will no longer fly). It is painfully obvious that I am out of practice. I'm typically really good when it comes to dancing and that's not just me bragging. Ask anyone. My natural talent has apparently abandoned me because I find it incredibly difficult to keep up. Most of the songs are brand new to me, so I don't even have the luxury of slowly remembering. By halfway through the class, I am sporting quite the wreath of sweat from all of this physical activity. Is anyone else sweating? No.

I'll attribute my sweat to actually trying. If you aren't sweating during Zumba, you're not doing it right. It's quick movements and fancy footwork that should bring a little bit of perspiration. Unless you are dehydrated. The second half of the class is really where I start to lose it and I spend a good amount of time simply laughing at my feeble attempts to follow along. Thankfully those around me are not taken out by my flailing arms, or I would feel absolutely awful. As we're doing the final stretch song, I briefly entertain the idea of leaving before CX Worx starts, because I am beat. But Justin is teaching and for some reason I feel the need to let presence be a big 'ha, I'm starting early' after he told me not to make a decision until Thursday.

Was it a good idea? For sure, because it's exercise. Did this really end up being a big 'stick it' to Justin? No. Because it was difficult and I was probably very obvious in my struggling. Especially coming right off of Zumba. It's strength training instead of cardio, but every leg exercise kills. Squats are my worst enemy and forget stepping on that friggin' tube thingy. And while on the subject of the tube, there needs to be a tube for tall people. At 6'4", I put significantly more tension on that thing by holding the handles at my chest. It's far more difficult for me than these 5'6" women who are making me look incredibly weak. Not that it bothers me at all.

At the end of my workout I feel like I accomplished a lot. Two classes in a row and lots of sweat. Sweat makes me feel accomplished. Any good feelings quickly vanish when I look at my phone and see that I have a text saying I was supposed to be working at Target. Thankfully I still have time to change and speed to work and only be two hours late. Only. Ha.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Considering I didn't make it to the gym over the weekend and neglected to do the same on Monday night (though I did do some exercise at home, including a 1.75 mile walk) I really feel the need to make up for lost work out time. Plus it's been a million and a half years since I swam (that's not even a slight exaggeration) and with all the hot weather lately, I've had a hankering to get in the pool. Side note: what the heck kind of word is 'hankering'?

I head over about forty five minutes before my scheduled training session, knowing that time will be sucked up by changing into and out of my swimsuit and what not. Apparently there's a water aerobics class that is about to start because there are old people as far as the eye can see. That and the number of available lanes have been cut down to three and I have to wait because all three are filled. I don't know if I left enough time in my schedule to wait for a lane to become available. It's made even worse by the face that one of the lanes is taken up by a man who has no business swimming because he is awful at it.

So I sit and I sulk. I've become very good at sulking, lately. I like to think it makes me look intimidating and I will maybe scare someone out of one of the lanes if I look angry enough. The problem is I can never maintain my sulkiness because a wonderful pleasant woman (after making three laps in the pool) asks if I'm waiting for a lane. I am, I reply, my scowl instantly morphing into a giant smile. She offers me her lane because all she has left to do is stretch on the stairs in the pool and her lane melds with the stairs. Thank you so much! That's so kind of you.Truthfully, I am a giant softy at heart. There's no way I can actually continue to be mean.

I should probably even take back that nasty thing I said about the gentleman who can't swim, because I didn't exactly look like an expert my first time back in the pool in several months. Eventually I find my rhythm and can at least survive. I even lap the other two that are in the pool, making me feel like an exceptionally good swimmer.

Let me tell you why swimming is annoying and why I have so much respect for swimmers. Swimming is, near as I can tell, the only form of exercise where you are actively holding your breath while you are exerting energy. In all of my now vast experience with exercise, breathing is a huge part of it. There is a rhythm to breathing in swimming, but it's not as simple as breath in during eccentric movements and exhale during concentric movements (yes, I had to look that up, so what?). 

After the pool, I head to the cardio room to do my session and wait for Justin to retrieve me. We do more bench presses, and step ups (a first for my sessions) and I have to do all my hovering from the floor. During the rotation, I find myself getting into an argument with Justin about him being kind of sneaky. It all starts because he has swapped our Tuesday time to 7:00 instead of 6:30. Not a big deal, but I made an offhand comment about it and he got a little defensive. Then, when I'm doing the bench pressing he is several numbers ahead of me in reps. I only counted seven and he thinks I'm on eight. That, to me, sounds like a ploy to make me think I'm doing better than I actually am. Is this a thing? Do trainer's do this? Does he also pretend I've been planking for a minute when it's only been thirty seconds and that's why I have such a hard time planking for a full minute when I'm at home?! It's a conspiracy, similar to what happens whenever I take art classes. I always think I'm doing an amazing job when I'm in the art room, but if I take it home, it's like my talent was not aware that it was supposed to come with me.

Somehow, after our debate about this issue and me insisting that I get a full half hour I end up on Justin's "Drop-kick list" which actually exists. Go ahead and try to lift me up and drop kick me. I would be quite impressed. We end with curl presses and side hovers (which are more awful than regular hovers) and Justin challenging me to give him one full month where I go to the gym five days a week between sessions and classes. He seems to think it will be my best month ever. We'll see how that actually turns out. By the way, Thursday is a measurement day.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


For some unknown reason, I have committed to attend a 5:45am workout class taught by Taylor. The class in question? Body Pump. During this class, you apparently do as much as 800 reps during a single hour-long class. And that's what I have foolishly decided to try at 5:45 in the morning. Apparently I felt like I needed to be punished for some unknown mistake that I made during the preceding week.

I did have to clear my decision with Justin the night before, as I would have training that night, as well. I didn't know if I was even going to be allowed to do such a thing. But he said that was fine and so here I am, at 5:30 in the morning, on my way to the gym, wondering aloud, 'What on earth is wrong with me?' I don't come up with an answer before I walk in to the studio, which is insanely crowded.

Thank goodness Taylor is here for my first time at Body Pump. I have no idea what I need or what weights to use, but thankfully she grabs it all and puts the weights on and tells me to have fun. Fun. Yeah, right. The hour long workout is full of bicep curls, dead lifts, overhead presses, tricep dips, push ups, and crunches. And it hurts. The push ups and the tricep dips are the most difficult for me. By the end of the workout, however, I do actually think I enjoyed myself. At least enough to go back and try it again.

I have to say, I feel pretty good for the rest of the day. Just the right amount of sore to make me feel like I really did something that is effective. It carries me all the way through to my personal training session with Justin. And then talk about feeling fit. I do more push ups, jumping jacks, squats, crunches, planking, and kettle bell swings. Though it takes me a little bit of practice to actually be able to do the kettle bell swings correctly. I have this awful tendency to use my lower back instead of my butt.

I've complained about it before and I'll complain about it again. Our bodies should naturally do things that right way. I shouldn't be able to lift with my back instead of my legs. I should naturally do kettle bell swings using my butt! My core should naturally automatically be engaged! These are now the things that I must make my habits.

Also, I gave Joe the opportunity to redeem himself for the watery smoothie he made me on Tuesday. Success. It was the perfect consistency. So great job, Joe! And check out the Photo Progress section of the blog. You should be just as pleased as I am with what you find.

Friday, May 31, 2013


For those of you who closely follow along, you may notice that I am re-using a blog title. While technically true, it's not the same because I used actual numbers instead of spelling it out. And you'll understand why momentarily.

So my last post was a little depressing. I don't apologize because that was how I was feeling and you should never apologize for feeling a certain way. Unless you take it out inappropriately on those around you. Then you should apologize with flowers and chocolate. But after the gym, I had some cool off time and now I'm ready to get back into it. Tonight's visit proves to be a bit more abbreviated than is typical, but I still think I do a good job.

I skip cardio altogether because my shins have started to hurt and I want to give them a day of rest in hopes that I don't develop shin splints. It's my attempt to be responsible. I do my standard warm up though, and I can see why people swear by elliptical machines. Talk about low impact. My shins don't feel a thing.

After my warm up, I semi-pathetically attempt to do some lifting by myself. I refuse to do bench pressing without a spotter because (and feel free to call me crazy for this) I am terrified of death. Or at least death at the gym under some piece of equipment. And if you aren't, something is wrong with you. I do some tricep pulls or pushes or whatever (I still don't know what they are called) and some extensions to work my core. I voluntarily (yes, voluntarily) do some wall sits, and I even get in some awesome rowing. Side note: I am extremely please at my ability to use the row machine. It's a little known fact that I wanted to be a part of a rowing crew when I entered college.

There's a new guy who works at the front desk and his name is Joe. I preface my smoothie order by telling Joe that I am quite judgmental when it comes to the consistency of my smoothie. I hate it when they are super watery, but too thick isn't good either. So Joe makes my smoothie, and Joe fails. It's too thick, and I ruin his night by telling him. But you know? Constructive criticism builds character. I told Marlee her smoothies were too watery and I got a free replacement smoothie that she made quite well. Maybe Joe will aspire to be better. The only two people who have gotten the smoothie right every time are Ellie and Carla.

I leave the gym and head to Target because I need to grab a couple of things, including some groceries. Now the weather is getting warmer and I don't really have too many pairs of shorts so I think I'll head over to the clothing department and just see what they have. It is very difficult to find the sizes that I need at clothing stores so my hopes are not too high. I see a lovely red pair of shorts that I really wish I could fit into, but alas, they do not have my size. Against all reason I decide to try them on anyways. I also grab a v-neck for good measure. Maybe I'll luck out and have a brand new outfit.

Dressing rooms can be a scary place for a fat person. They are places that ruin self esteem and make people feel like failures. Ladies and gentlemen, today is not one of those days. I fit into a size 40 waist pair of shorts. This is down from the 44 that I used to wear back in the day (before the gym) and down from the 42 I wore in January. Down a whole size! Celebration ensues. They are a little tight, but the point is I was able to button them and not look completely ridiculous. It is a good day. And I may even be taking a picture of myself in them and posting it on here so that all of you can tell me how amazing I look. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Memorial Day happened. And I made some awful decisions that led to a less than successful Tuesday night workout. Basically I spent most of the day on Monday eating. And I was eating things that I should not have been eating. I ate Dominos. Like a lot of Dominos. Because despite paying monthly for a gym membership, I still don't care enough to eat healthily. Not to mention I didn't even work out on Monday. I sabotaged myself. I caved in to the promise of greasy delicious pizza and let that trump my desire to be what I've never been: skinny.

Despite walking/jogging later in the evening with Liz (Best Friend Rachel's roommate) all I could think about was how I had failed and succumbed to weakness. I don't know if it's as hard for everyone else to resist as it is for me, but it seems incredibly difficult. And ridiculous. For example, if I get it in my head that I want Dominos, I find myself being incredibly sad until I actually order it. Once I place my order and know it's coming, I'm ecstatic. That is until I consume the entire pizza and a sandwich. Then I feel disgusting and awful because I'm a horrible person.

I'm a slave to food. I never learned to eat in a healthy way and I find the self discipline to learn now impossible. Did I make awful decisions on Tuesday? You bet. I had twinkies as a snack. I knew I shouldn't have, but I wanted them and why should I deny myself a temporary joy that will only lead to self loathing?

Justin adjusted the time of our training session to later than usual so I do some yoga when I get home, and then head to the gym to do my cardio workout before the training session. I downloaded a 'Couch to 5K' app because for some reason I have been enjoying jogging. It's hard and I sweat a lot. I also make a huge mistake and pick a treadmill in front of a mirror.

I do not recommend this. It's upsetting to see what my body does when I'm trying to better myself through exercise. Every time I run for a minute all I see is my bouncing mass and I get mad, frustrated, depressed, embarrassed. I did this to myself. I did it for my entire life up until this point, and even now, I'm not doing all I can. How can I simultaneously want something so much and not care enough to do it? It doesn't seem fair.

Unfortunately for Justin, my mood follows me into the personal training session. We're in the functional training room for the session and either because I'm very transparent or Justin is very good at reading people he asks me what's wrong? 'Nothing. I just want to do this.' Only a partial lie. I really do want to do this. As proved by my Saturday workout, anger can be a great motivator for me. So to start I do a minute of wall sits, thirty seconds of jumping jacks, and a minute hover. I cycle through that three or four times. I can't really remember.

Justin is his usual cheerful encouraging self, even singing about how many seconds I have left along with Flo Rida. And it does help, especially during the hovers. We move on to some presses from the floor and some step back lunges. While I'm doing the lunges Justin says 'Come on, stay with me.' For some reason this ticks me off. And apparently I make a face because Justin asks what it's for. 'I don't want to leave, just so you know.' He asks what I mean. 'I'm doing it, how the hell am I not with you?' Conversation stops at that point. I finish up the rest of the session with side hovers added to the lunges and presses.

Ultimately the thing that frustrates me is that my best isn't good enough. I thought I was doing well and for some reason, a comment that is often said during the session rubs me the wrong way. I wasn't even close to giving up but apparently looked like it. I'm pushing myself and decided that Justin's comment meant that he didn't think I was doing a good enough job. That's not what he said. He was attempting to keep me focused on the exercise and to ignore any sort of muscle exhaustion. Perfectly reasonable.

What is really going through my head is that my best isn't good enough for me. I hate that I didn't do this a long time ago. I should be better at this stuff and I'm not. My best is constantly not good enough for me and maybe that's because I secretly know it's not my best. If I had been trying my best since I started I would be significantly farther than being down only thirty five pounds. I should be down sixty or one hundred pounds. I should have to self control to say no to Dominos. I should have to drive to get out of bed each morning and exercise to change what I hate about myself. I should want to be pushing myself daily. Instead I use what I do accomplish as an excuse to make bad decisions.

My hope is that forcing myself to do that which I detest at times, will lead to me embracing the sweat. It will lead to me looking at a body that I hate and thinking about where I'm going instead of how I got to where I am. It will motivate me to not go backwards and fall into old habits. It will lead to a better life that I enjoy.


Given the amount of traffic on my last post, I've decided to constantly hit you with my vulnerability. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I'm using my vulnerability as a weapon. Which makes me sound awful but all I really mean to say is that if my most popular posts are ones that I am convinced will be embarrassing and they are the ones that people appreciate the most, maybe I need to suck it up and take a few risks. We'll see how that manifests itself in the coming days.

Thursday night was a generally successful training session. At least as far as I can remember. That's the downside to waiting to post until the day after (or sometimes six days after) a session: I tend to forget what actually happened. I do remember doing my first ever real bench presses, however. So cross that off of my bucket list. Interesting that it took me eight months to work up to what I consider to be a very standard exercise to do at the gym. Maybe this is reflective of my procrastinating nature, but I can't take all the blame. Justin had sixteen sessions prior to this one to have me do some bench pressing and he chose not too. Maybe I was not mentally prepared for the challenge of bench pressing. Who knows.

I also remember that I went to CX Works again. Only this time I dragged Fit Andrew along. Thank goodness he was willing to go with me because Best Friend Rachel was not. Let me preface the following with this statement: I am proud of all the work that I have done. That statement does not make it easier to sit through a half hour class where I mentally convince myself that I can't physically do some of the things required. I'm choosing to phrase it that way because Justin is constantly telling me that the reason I can't do things like wall sits or hovers is more a result of my brain not thinking I can rather than my body actually being unable to do it. 

And this is why I hate Fit Andrew, on occasion. He can basically do anything. I've come to CX Works a couple of times and while I have seen improvement, a lot of the time I'm simply collapsed in a heap on the floor rather than actually exercising. And he struts in having never taken the class before and mildly breaks a sweat on one exercise. It's not fair for me to hold that against him; he's put in the work in the past. But that doesn't make it any easier to be the person sitting next to him who can only do two leg extensions before having to take a break.

Here's the problem I continually come up against: despite knowing that there is no point in comparing myself to someone who is leaps and bounds ahead of where I am in the great world of physical fitness, I do it anyways. Who is going to feel successful when comparing accomplishments against someone with a very obvious advantage. I can't even run a mile so why on earth would I compare myself to a person who runs marathons. They can do twenty six more miles than I can. No duh. Because they've trained. They didn't start out running twenty six miles. But I still get mad that I can't do that! I'm telling you, it makes no logical sense.

Fortunately or unfortunately logic doesn't really come into play at the gym. By all logic I would not want to try lifting 150 or 200 lbs just for the sake of proving I can. At the gym people do it constantly. Other animals simply get there exercise by going about living. Humans run with no purpose other than to burn calories. That is not logical by the laws of nature. There is no physical destination that we are running towards. Just the promise of a healthier body.

On Saturday, I make every attempt to start my day off as healthily as possible. This three day weekend promises to feature a lot of food and I feel the need to preemptively burn calories. I try to wake up by 7:00 to get to the gym for a class at 7:30. Not only do I wake up a mere fifteen minutes before the class starts, but by the time I get there and see that I have no clue who the teacher is, I psych myself out and can't make myself go into the studio. My trip is almost in vain except that I force myself to do some seated rows and bicep curls. A grand total of fifteen minutes of exercise when it should have been an hour.

I go home and waste some time. I still have plans to go to spin at 10:00 after I get my oil changed. I head to Jiffy Lube with what I think is enough time to get my oil changed and have time to spare, but apparently everyone and there mother (literally, there was a mother/daughter pair) wanted their oil changed. So I make it to the gym several minutes after spin starts. I am not one to enter late to anything, so I decide to just do the treadmill and then leave.

Apparently anger is a great motivator (though I'll also attribute some of it to the wonderful music of Robyn). I start off by jogging for three solid minutes. Three minutes! I take a two minute walk break and then jog for two minutes! A two minute walk break and then one minute of jogging! Then I stick to one minute increments because I'm tired. But with all of that motivation I do a mile in just over twelve minutes. Now that's an accomplishment I can be proud of.

I don't quite make two miles by the end of my walk/run because I walk for the last ten minutes of my thirty minutes. I leave the gym proud of my accomplishment, though still disappointed in the lack of success based on my intended plan for the day. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and fit in whatever exercise you can. So there are my wise words for the day. Take it or leave it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


In less than four months I will have been trying to do this whole gym weight loss thing for a year. A full year. It's very momentous. I have never been able to stick with something for this long. It's also very easy to look at the past 8 months as time wasted. Not because I haven't made progress, because I have. But because I haven't made enough progress, in my opinion. So the following entry is a selfish one. It's a reminder to myself why I am doing this and it's helpful for me to write it down so I can occasionally check back in and remind myself of my reasons for doing this, however trivial they may seem to those of you who are reading.

Two weeks ago I visited my parents in Minnesota. It was an awesome time and I was really happy to be back, but on my inevitably uncomfortable three-hour plane rides, I had a lot of time to think. Thinking is a dangerous thing because it leads to ideas and for me, often leads to being self-critical. Let me just say that if you've never been fat, you have no idea how awful it is for a fat person to be on an airplane. No one wants to sit next to you. You enter the plane and as you walk past aisles of people who are already seated (I have never had the privilege of being the first person on an airplane) you can almost hear people thinking "please don't be seated next to me". Not that I blame them. Airplanes are already small and claustrophobic so who would want to sit next to the biggest person on the plane? I hope no one else has to be the cause of the look on someone's face when they realize that I am sharing their aisle on a plane. So that's reason number 1. I want to fly without being embarrassed.

I started this thing in the fall and continued it through the winter. Now as spring is almost over and summer is fast approaching, all I can think about is how I don't ever go to the beach. That sucks. The beach sounds like it would be fun, in theory, but it's scary to take off your shirt knowing that people will stare, comment behind your back, maybe even make fun of you to your face. Because people can be mean. I would love to play frisbee with my shirt off or heaven forbid get a tan! Reason number 2: beach activities.

I love roller coasters and I want to be able to wait in line and sit in the front row without the fear that the harness won't come down enough for me to safely ride. I don't want to be a headline in a newspaper reading 'fat person dies after being thrown from roller coaster'. May seem a little morbid, but I won't apologize for what I don't want. I want to be able to spend a day in a water park. I want to go to a backyard BBQ and sit in a chair without it sinking all the way into the ground. I want to be invited to play a pickup game of soccer or football (not that I like either, but I am in no physical shape to do so). I want to go boating and water skiing without stressing out a motor. I want go to family reunions without people commenting on how big I am. I want to fit comfortably in the back seat of a car (width wise, anyways). I want to be able to confidently ask for a phone number. I want to be able to go clothes shopping at a regular clothing store. I want to scuba dive. I want to skydive. I want to run a marathon (I really do). I want to compete on The Amazing Race. I want to compete on Wipeout. I want to be a platform diver. I want to be a hip hop dancer.

I can claim that it's because I want to be healthy and it is, but it's because I want to enjoy everything I possibly can and I don't think I can do that with my physical state being where it is. That is why I'm doing this. And that's why I woke up at 5:45am to go to the gym TWICE last week. That's why I continue to go. That's why I subject myself to awful (and yet awesome) half hour training sessions. That's why I've started jogging (and oh my gosh do I hate it). That's why I try to make good choices about what I eat, even though I often cave and eat bad things in massive quantities.

In my training sessions tonight, Justin told me I need to stop being afraid of success. I may have already written about him saying this (he does repeat it quite frequently) but he is right, to an extent. I can want all of the things that I listed, but there is an element of fear when it comes to success. I don't want to succeed only to fail at maintaining my weight. I don't want to succeed and have my ideas about what skinny is like to not be true. It's far easier to avoid disappointment if I never get to the my goal where those expectations have a chance of not being met. Maybe that's why I never actually finished a single book I started writing. It was far easier to think I had a great book buried somewhere in my brain but choose not to write it down than to write one and find out that in actuality it was quite awful. 

Today is the day I stop being afraid of success. Who knows what I'll achieve as a result, but it will be spectacular, if to no one else but myself. Maybe I'll even become a motivational speaker or a personal trainer.

Friday, May 17, 2013


I wake up this morning incredibly sore, especially my inner and outer thighs. I know yesterday was my leg day but this isn't usually how I feel when I wake up. I'll take that as an encouragement that I'm doing something right. Oddly enough, soreness is encouragement. Though please don't misunderstand me and think that I'm saying soreness is pleasant. It is far from pleasant. My entire day is spent hobbling from location to location and trying to move as little as possible because my muscles hurt so bad.

By the time 6:00 rolls around and Fit Andrew and I leave for the gym, my muscles have loosened up and it doesn't take too much effort to walk. Though the stairs at the gym still give me a bit of a workout. The thing I'm dreading the most is the warm up. The cross trainer is a terror on your legs, in terms of the burning and working of muscles. And on sore muscles? I can only imagine what that's like and it looks something like the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan (cheesy joke alert post cheesy joke).

I have to start out slow, unfortunately. Though, truth be told, that's the whole point of a warm up. You gradually work up to where you need to be for the subsequent workout (boy I sound like a fitness genius right now). It is slower than usual, however; a sign of my fatigue. I get through two songs that puts my warm up right at eight minutes. After a quick wipe down of the machine, WHICH EVERYONE SHOULD DO, I run into Justin on his way to retrieve me.

We start with pull downs, tricep pushes and one minute hovers. The hovers are really killing me, today. My abs are sore and I start to feel like I'm losing control of my muscles. That proves that they work. If you ever doubted, shame on you. You should have to do hovers as a punishment.

Here's my one complaint about weight lifting: The whole business of have to consciously use the muscles you're supposed to use is bogus. The moves should just automatically work the correct muscles. I don't like it when Justin has to tell me to be sure to pull my shoulder blades together as I do the pull downs. Shouldn't that just be what happens? I think it should.

We move on to a machine in the cardio room and try to do another pull down exercise, but I am too tall. I had no idea you could be too tall to do an exercise. But I guess at six foot four, it really is quite possible. So instead I have to do a half squat row. Squats are not nice to do when your quads are in pain to begin with. It is especially not nice when you have to maintain a half squat while doing a row. My back feels tight, my legs hurt, my neck starts to get a little sore, it's a generally awful experience. But I have been doing a great job, if I do say so myself, of not voicing those complaints during the training session. Apart from the intial "you're awful", "I hate you", or, "you're so mean."

We end with single tricep pushes (I guess it's an arm heavy day) and Justin then makes me go to a half hour CX Works class. This class is an intense half hour of strength exercise and core exercise and squatting and lunging and planking and hovering and it's awful and wonderful all at the same time. When you do this class it is very apparent from minute one that you are working your muscles. Basically it extended my personal training session by half an hour and amped up the intensity by about fifty. Simply because it's so fast paced.

It really does feel good to be getting back into the habit of making it to the gym. We'll see if I say the same thing tomorrow, considering I will yet again be to the gym at 6:00am, but I have a feeling that I will. It just feels good to know that I'm doing something that's good for me, regardless of how I feel in the moment. That's why I hope that Justin or Kiki or any other instructor doesn't only take my 'during' reaction as how I really feel. I love it all.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


People who consistently wake up by 6AM should be given awards annually. They really are a special type of person. Unless they're old, in which case it's natural. I would not be given an award because I do not have the drive to consistently wake up at 6AM. My alarm goes off this morning and while I do have it set to play the lovely song 'Elegy', I still would not be opposed to punching the first person I see in the face. Dragging myself out of bed and down from the nook that is my loft has never felt more difficult. But I promised Justin I would go and it's about time I actually followed through, not just for Justin, but for myself. 26 years is long enough.

Thankfully I prepped everything the night before because I would not have been willing to dig around for workout clothes. When I get to the gym, some guy is at the desk whom I've never seen before. And I don't even get a good morning. But it's probably because he can tell that I am not opposed to punching people in the face this early. And maybe he's in the same boat. So all is forgiven, mystery stranger at the front desk.

I change and do a quick warm up on the elliptical and then I amuse myself in the weight room for half an hour, throwing different exercises together haphazardly. Don't worry, they're all things I've done before like leg presses, rows, and arm extensions, but I have no idea if they should be done together or not. We'll pretend it's fine. Either way it's exercise.

I went in to my workout today assuming I would be by myself, for the most part, but I'm kind of surprised how busy the gym is this early in the morning. I guess other people want to fit it in, to. And there is no shortage of people who make me feel inadequate. The two middle-aged, bordering on elderly women in the weight room make me think I am accomplishing nothing compared to them. While I'm sweating and straining to do my sets of leg presses they are hopping from machine to machine like crazy people, only they're exercising. Ladies, settle down. You're making me look bad.

While I am self conscious about some things, there are other things that I have become shameless about. I used to be so embarrassed about sweat: not anymore. I used to fear making awkward faces while I struggle to lift or press or maintain a plank: fear gone. I used to be nervous that I'd exert so much that I would pass gas: that one is still there. So when it happens, I want to die. Thankfully I don't think anyone heard me.

After my time with the weights is over, I head back to a treadmill to start my cardio. I'm feeling adventurous so I do the same workout as yesterday with the two minutes of walking but for my minute of exertion I jog THE ENTIRE TIME. I didn't even know I could jog for a minute, let alone for a total of five minutes. I even add on an extra cool-down minute so my total cardio workout is twenty one minutes long. I can't say how exciting it is to be able to tangibly tell that the work you've been doing has really created a shift in what your body can do. Or at least in what you feel capable doing. It is really quite exciting.

At the request of a follower/reader (I don't know if I would call her avid because I don't know if she waits for posts with bated breath) I have decided to grace all of you with the playlist that I walked/jogged with today. Maybe these songs will work for you, as well. I don't really know the best way to list them, so I'll just do it numerically, which may seem boring but deal. I'm doing you a favor.
1. Out Alive - Ke$ha
2. Wings - Little Mix
3. We Found Love (feat. Calvlin Harris) - Rihanna
4. I Love It - Icona Pop
5. Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko) - Rihanna
6. U Make Me Wanna (Original Extended Mix) - Eddie Amador and Kimberly Cole

After my workout I change and head upstairs to get a smoothie. Mystery front desk man is apparently more cheerful because he responds positively to my request for a smoothie. I stop in to Justin's office to prove that I did, in fact, show up this morning and because I apparently need validation from others even if I know I'm doing something that is really good for myself. My brain is funny like that. With my workout done and my smoothie made, I drive home ready to conquer the day. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I thought I knew what stress felt like. I've done live theatre, what could be more stressful than that? Apparently resuming personal training is. I get home from work and begin to put together my gym bag (I bought a real one!) with my workout gear and headphones and my heart rate quickens ever so slightly. I get in the car with Andrew and drive to the gym, but we get stopped by a train. My heart rate goes up a lot and I start to feel panicky. Finally, I'm walking up the stairs to the gym and I feel like I could pass out.

It's not like Justin is super mean. I have no idea why I'm crazy freaking out, today, but the idea of doing personal training is causing me to feel so anxious. Unnaturally anxious. Ke$ha doesn't even make me feel better during my warm up, which is really strange. After seven and a half minutes, I head out to find Justin and I'm having an out of body experience. So, in an effort to be honest, I let him know that I am terrified of the session, today.

His response is amazing and this is why everyone if they're anyone should come to the BAC and hire Justin. He says, "I'm not going to kick your ass on your first day back." It's only slightly encouraging, but it does enough to make me try hard for the next half hour. He has me do standing presses and wall sits (which I fail miserably at) and shoulder presses and hovers, which make me unhealthily angry. I hate you, you are so mean. Yeah, this guy who I was just saying was so incredibly nice quickly made me shift my opinion quite rapidly by having me do hovers. Hovers are awful. Clearly we as human beings are not meant to hover.

We end the session with tricep curls, which I am overly confident in my ability to perform. We start with some pitiful weight of around twelve pounds. Ridiculous. Justin admits that it could be too light. I usually do eighty. False. He one hundred percent doubts me but when I insist he puts the weight at eighty. I do not usually do eighty, I realize. Boom, blow to the ego. We bring it down to a much more manageable twentyish pounds and I do three reps of fifteen. While I do this, we map out my workout plan for the week, which includes a trip to the gym at 6AM tomorrow morning. I hate 6AM, but that's the only time I can do, tomorrow and I'm not making the same mistake as last time by not supplementing my training sessions with my own workouts. 

I end my workout with a twenty minute treadmill time. Best Friend Rachel emerges from her class and I convince her to walk with me. I walk for two minutes at a leisurely pace and kick it up, in both speed and incline for the following minute, all the way to the nineteen minute mark. Then, I jog for the last minute. I jog at 6.1 miles per hour. And I live. I'm truly an inspiration to myself. I'm also truly disgusting to myself. No, really. I smell awful at this point. Thank goodness I get to go home and shower after this.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


To be completely honest, I have found it very difficult to get back into the swing of things ever since my personal training sessions ended. Maybe it's because I have no obligatory appointment to make and it now rests solely on my shoulders to make it to the gym, but I just haven't been as thrilled about exercise, lately. And this makes what I am about to tell you that much more amazing.

This morning I randomly began the day with $20 in my pocket. I never carry cash because it's so easy for me to spend. I know the whatever I do with the cash I have on hand won't directly affect my bank account and so I often make foolish decisions with that cash. This morning is no exception. On my way out the door I decide to go to the convenience store that is next door to my house and purchase two $10 scratch cards. What did I tell you? I make foolish decisions with my cash.

I drive to work with these tickets sitting in my front seat, listening to the radio and contemplating the day I have ahead of me. I tend to get very reflective when I'm driving by myself. I pull in to the parking lot and enter the office, tickets in hand. I spend a few minutes busying myself with checking voicemails and emails, sorting through some paperwork, and wishing I was still back in bed asleep before I finally decide to see what I didn't win. And this is what I find:

That's ten $50 wins, baby

I am so stunned, I can hardly believe it. Please note that I am in NO WAY ADVOCATING lottery tickets. They are a huge waste of money and you will rarely win anything. That being said, occasionally luck is on your side and you win $500. Oh what I could do with this money! And then I realize what I must do. I must purchase additional personal training sessions. And that's exactly what I do. After work I go to the gym and use that $500 towards the purchase of sixteen additional personal training sessions with Justin. And then I go to Target and edit my availability so that I always have Tuesdays and Thursdays off to do my personal training for the next eight weeks, because I am not going to do what I did last time and not take full advantage of this opportunity to be trained. I can't have a blog about losing weight and working out if I only work out once a week.

I also do yoga when I get home, because now that I'm re-committing myself to exercise (for what seems like the eighth or ninth time) I'm going to recommit myself in every facet of my life. It's an exciting twenty minute yoga workout because: I do my 'runner's lunge' without my knee on the ground,  I do my planks on my toes instead of my knees, and I am actually able to lower myself to the ground slowly instead of simply dropping face down to the floor like a buttered piece of toast.

I even grocery shop and buy Tupperware so that I can make myself some salads to bring to work instead of eating unhealthy food off of the food truck, and I buy new gym shoes. Guys, life is awesome. I'm so excited about what will happen during the next two months, provided I can keep this motivation up. I hope you'll enjoy reading about it as much as I'll enjoy telling you about it. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Let me begin by saying I did not forget about you, nor did I fall off the wagon. Though, if I did fall off, my hope is that my family would press on because heaven's knows I'd end up getting diphtheria or typhoid fever and we wouldn't make it to Oregon. At any rate, the past several days have been incredibly busy and my blogging about my experiences took a back seat. But I'm back up and ready to go.

My not so triumphant return to Pilates was Thursday the 11th. Having not been to Pilates since January, I expected things to be completely miserable the entire time. I was surprised to find that it was only about half the time. We begin with planking and are shown a four minute routine that is really easy to do at home. Honestly, it's only four minutes long and I think I can convince myself to suffer through four minutes a day. Maybe I'll actually do it. It's fun to see some people I haven't seen in a while, almost like a Pilates homecoming. 

The joy stops there. I'm instantly thrown back into the hectic Pilates workout and this particular workout features many moves that are incredibly difficult. And many of these moves feature the dreaded Pilates ring. That resistance ring that is placed either between your thighs or your ankles and makes the world seem like an awful place. The tragedy of the whole situation is that a lot of the moves we do with the ring are the same move we normally do. The ring simply makes them more difficult (which is the point, I guess). That doesn't make it any easier.

After Pilates class on Thursday, I have Saturday Pilates to look forward to. Ashley, a friend of mine I met while in college (she designed costumes for two shows that I was in) will be joining me and I am really excited. I have also decided that I will be attending the spin class at 7:30 on Saturday. Surprisingly, when my alarm goes off at 6:45, I'm ready to go and enthusiastically get my stuff together. I have mildly forced Fit Andrew to come with me to spin class I'm excited to have someone to suffer through class with me. Friends make it easier.

Spin is tough, but good. It's a class that I definitely enjoy more each time I go. Andrew isn't all to jazzed about it, but what can I do about that? I have to run him home before Pilates class starts (because carpooling seemed to be a great idea). I get the start time of Pilates wrong and end up having to waste some time doing nothing but playing games on my iPhone for twenty minutes.

Ashley arrives and I, being the wonderful person that I am, make her sit in the very front row. She's a trooper during the entire class (which somehow seems more difficult than Thursday's). More than once we laugh about the things we have to do, which I choose to take as a sign that she's enjoying herself. There are also two other gentlemen taking the class and it's a nice change of pace to not be the only male in class.

After class (which Ashley totally did enjoy) I head home because I have plans to go into Boston and see Jurassic Park in 3D. Which is amazing. I spend the rest of the day feeling really awesome because I not only spent some time with friends seeing an awesome movie, but I went to two classes in one day. I am a machine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I guess everything ends at some point. Whether it's good or bad, nothing lasts forever, unless it's a Nokia phone. And I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at dealing with change. Sure I cried like a baby when I "graduated" from middle school, but that sadness lasted for only 15 minutes post ceremony. For some reason, the knowledge that I'm headed to my last personal training session feels equal parts terrifying and sad. Will I be able to push myself now that I won't have Justin encouraging me throughout the entire workout? Will I even feel the need to go to the gym without a scheduled appointment making me go?

I guess these are questions that only time can answer. Right now, I have to change and warm up. It's kind of busy tonight, and I'm forced to warm up next to a young woman who is really booking it on that cross trainer. My only hope is that I look half as intense as she does. While I'm confident that I have graduated beyond being somebody that people are amused to watch on any exercise machine, I'm a far cry from being someone that people look at with admiration. Seven and a half minutes, one Rihanna song and one Imagine Dragons song later, I am warmed up and ready for whatever Justin has to throw at me.

Or so I think. Instead of heading to any of our usual zones to workout, we go right back to the cardio machines and hop on a treadmill. Tabata has returned. For those of you who are unaware, Tabata is apparently one of the most effective ways to burn fat. It's a method of training that is comprised of longer high-intensity intervals with short periods of rest in between. For example, we start on the treadmill with the incline at max (15) and the speed at 3.5 mph. Twenty seconds on, ten seconds standing still. I repeat this eight times. In case you were wondering, yes, my life is awful.

After the treadmill (keep in mind, I've just been walking and I am already really sweaty) we move on to squat thrusts. The thrusting part is surprisingly challenging, even with only ten or fifteen pound weights. Truthfully I have no idea how heavy they are. All I can think about is how I would like to punch Justin in the face. My arms are the worst and all the while I'm on the verge of tears, all Justin says is, 'Don't stop, no resting. Get ready. Don't quit. You can't quit." There's a difference between quitting and feeling like my arms will fall off if I do one more thrust.

But maybe his goal was to make me mad because my rage fuels my muscles and I go through the whole way. It may be slow, but I make it through all eight sets. Then we move on to rowing. Twenty seconds on, ten off. My shirt keeps getting caught on the back of the row machine while I row, and it's really obnoxious. My lower back starts to feel it on the second set, and I have six more sets that I have to do. Awesome.

I make it through (truth be told, I kind of enjoy rowing) and we move on to the bike. The stupid exercise bike. I notice that I am sporting a sweat bra in the mirror. I have sweated through in apparently all the right places to perfectly outline my breasts. Yippee. 

See it? Terrible.

I have to decide not to care because I have this biking thing to do. I am on the bike simulator that has an actual course that mandates that I steer while I ride. I've heard the expression about muscles screaming but this is the first time I have actually experienced it. My thighs hurt so badly. Each pedal motion feels like it could be my last. I don't want to die on an exercise bike with a sweat bra. What an unglamorous way to go. Once again, I want gifts at my feet. Thankfully, I finish the mile long course in seven sets instead of eight and don't have to do another one.

For the final exercise of the evening, we head to the training room to do the ropes. I've never done eight sets on the ropes before and every time I've done the ropes it hasn't been after twenty five minutes of intense working out. This could be bad. Every set is comprised of slamming both arms at the same time. I feel it in my back, I feel it in my arms, I feel it in my legs, I feel it everywhere. I'm not personally bothered by cursing, but the amount of expletives going through my head seem excessive, even to me. Thanks Justin. Way to make my last session completely awful.

Sixteen sessions have been completed. I now have experience with personal training. Would I do it again? Absolutely. However awful I feel during a workout pales in comparison to the way I feel afterwards. The sense of accomplishment and the feeling of sore muscles are totally worth whatever pain or frustration I feel in the moment. I'm going to do more sessions and if you feel like you're lacking motivation, I highly recommend it. I have to resume finding and maintaining my motivation outside of these mandatory training sessions if I want to succeed (which, to be clear, I do).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The expiration of my training sessions is drawing closer and closer. It's been quite an experience, let me tell you. Full of ups and downs and experiences and knowledge. Much like life. Earth shattering comparison, I know. For my second to last training session, I'm as pumped as ever. Justin is running a little bit behind schedule, but I have no where super important to be, so I'm not bothered. And let me take this opportunity to say that Justin is amazingly punctual. This is the first time I have had to wait in my entire 16 sessions. I really appreciate a person who is respectful enough to be on time.

It ends up working for my benefit as I was a little detained doing what every body has to do at some point. At least I know I'm eating enough fiber. I take my extra time and get a full warm up in before we begin the workout. First up is a weighted squat. I've never done these before. A part of me is terrified that I'm going to collapse and be crushed by this bar that I have over my shoulders. I complete fifteen reps without much to complain about, except that my shoulders somewhat hurt from the hyperextension. I alternate with push ups.

But here's where things get a bit exciting. There is no bar involved in these push ups. No sir (or ma'am). These are on the floor girly push ups with my knees on the ground. Before we go further, yes, I understand that what I have just said is sexist. I fully believe that women can do push ups just as well as men. In fact, I complain to Justin about that fact the I'm so excited to be able to do girly push ups and he tells me that most of his male clients do them from the knees and most of his female clients do them from their toes. Slap that stereotype right in the face. It's simply a tool to describe the form that I use with my push ups. Get over it. But I do twelve of them, and it's an accomplishment that I am determined to celebrate.

Before I can finish my weighted squats, I go through two modifications so that I am as comfortable as I can be (we settle on holding a kettlebell at my sternum) while I'm doing squats. Each set of push ups is difficult, but I get it done, because I can not be stopped. After I do three sets for each, we head in to the gym for the next exercise. I'm entering the very room where I almost died the week before. And you know what I have to do? The same thing. Well, an edited version. Instead of going back and forth twice, I only have to go once. And I have 90 seconds for each time. Whatever is leftover I get to use as a break. I push that thing four times and each time I get it done in right around 15 seconds. That's 75 seconds of rest, which feels incredibly necessary.

It's very satisfying to redeem myself by succeeding at something that seemed impossible the week before. Incredibly thrilling, even. And that high remains as I do my core exercises and end with twenty solid minutes on the cross trainer. I feel successful at the end and that is a feeling that makes me want to keep going. I conquered something that was hard. I struggled but I finished. The outlook is very grim when you struggle and fail, but to finish is to keep clinging to the motivation that I have. Tomorrow I have a follow up doctor's appointment and I am excited to share my progress with my doctor. It gives me a chance to brag, which I clearly love to do.

Monday, April 8, 2013


It's measurement day. Measurement day is always an intimidating day. So there was this one time I bought a bathroom scale because I thought it would encourage me to be more healthy because I'd constantly want to weigh myself. I would like to ask if there is a single person existing in the world who wants to weigh themselves, because if there is, they are probably a body builder or a wrestler. No one enjoys forcing themselves to step on a scale; this little thing that can literally shatter someone's self confident in a matter of seconds. Curse you, scale. Curse you.

Walking in to the gym, I see Matt and stop to say hi and show off my new piercing that makes me feel super bad-ass. I literally am arriving to the gym fresh from the piercing place. Because that's how I roll. I get a needle shoved into my ear and then I go workout because pain doesn't faze me. I'm one tough dude. I also may be kind of a loser. To avoid the wrath of Justin, I keep my small talk to a minimum and change quickly, dash back upstairs and prepare myself for utter humiliation.

Tragus piercing. Like a boss.

I'm terrified to look at the results of my weigh in and insist that Justin not tell me. March has been a bad month for me. The exercise hasn't been consistent and I have been eating terribly. It sucks because this March was a full month of personal training and I should have been excited by the prospect of making real progress enough to actually monitor what I'm consuming. We move to the computer to do the rest of the measurements and he asks if I really don't want to know because he has to type in the results. I decide to suck it up and deal with it. And ladies and gentlemen, in the entire month of March, I lost one pound.

A whole pound. And I am choosing to be excited by this. That is one pound that I will never again carry. One pound can still be significant because of what it represents. And this one pound represents the direction in which I'm moving, but is also a reminder that I will only achieve what I try to achieve. It's a good motivator to push harder with what I've learned from Justin and proof that just because you exercise doesn't mean you're doing all you need to do. It really is a lifestyle change.

Most of what I do during my half hour workout involves squatting. Squats, squat rows, squat cartwheels (just kidding; as far as I know there is no such thing) and by the end of my workout, I am sufficiently exhausted.