Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Consider yourselves lucky as I've been really inspired to post recently. Hopefully that means a brief respite from monotony as you read my incredibly witty and inspiring posts. Speaking of feeling inspired, I'm so inspired after work that I go to the gym a full 45 minutes before Dynamic Core starts. I stop and say hi to Taylor and complain about all the new staff members they have at the gym and how I don't like it. I don't want to spend time to get to know these new people, which sounds awful, I know, but it's true.

With my extra time I decide to do cardio. Dynamic Core is practically exclusively muscle training so this really should be a habit, but often times I feel lazy after work. I opt for the same elliptical that I used yesterday when I kicked butt. I hop on and start doing that thing. After a minute and I half I start to notice this we're squeaking and clicking noise over the sound of my jams. I take out my headphones to find the source of this annoying sound.

Lo and behold, it's coming from my elliptical machine. And then I start to second guess the stability of the machine and I begin to think that I may die if I remain on this machine. So I get off and swap to a different one, which is much better. During my time on the machine, I see Christine and through my powers of persuasion, convince her to come to Dynamic Core with Best Friend Rachel and me.

After my twenty minutes on the elliptical (yes, you read that right, twenty whole minutes!) we head upstairs and prepare for the death that is Dynamic Core. I don't think Best Friend Rachel and I do a good job of encouraging Christine because all we keep saying is that it's really hard and there are a lot of squats and push ups. I wouldn't want to try it after that recommendation. I at least occasionally interject a "But you'll have fun" so I have to get some credit for kind of trying.

It's a busy night, with all the older women determined to be first into the room. Honestly ladies, let's settle down. It's boring for me to explain each and every thing we do, so just imagine a lot of work with weights and the aforementioned push ups and squats. Oh, and Kiki throws this gem at us. We all are instructed to get an exercise ball (ranging from 2-6 lbs) and to stand next to the bar if we think we'll need it. And then we are instructed to stand (yes, stand) on the exercise ball. A ball. A round thing that we have to keep balanced or literal concussions may happen. 

Honestly I felt like a circus elephant, only not supporting other elephants

So, we're in this precarious position and we have to additional squats. I actually do surprise myself with my ability to balance pretty well, but I'm convinced it's because I've practically flattened the ball. I am still a fat person, keep in mind. Other members of the class are much more impressive with their balancing.

Thankfully no concussions happen and class ends with everyone feeling incredibly successful. As Kiki encourages us to say, we are all fabulous. And it's hard not to feel that way when I was just BALANCING ON A FRIGGIN BALL. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I have made a decision. Earth shattering news, I know, but I have made one. My tax return is being invested in my health and I will be buying some personal training sessions. I've talked with Justin (whom I can now officially call my trainer) and settled on sixteen half-hour sessions. Holy crap what am I getting in to?

Ever since Fit Andrew joined the gym, we tend to go at the same time. It's nice to have extra motivation in the form of a buddy, even if we do nothing together while at the gym. When we enter tonight, Skinny Matt is in the office. I stop in and chat for few minutes because I haven't seen him in weeks and we fondly reminisce about when I first joined.

When I enter the cardio room, Grant is wrapping up a training session with Justin. I pop over, say hi, and then get up on the elliptical. Believe it or not (but believe it, because I'm telling you) there is quite a degree of variance between elliptical machines. The machines I usually use are both occupied so I have to make do with this new one. This machine has my arms moving similarly to jogging, with alternating arm and leg swings (left with right; natural movement, basically). I don't know what's going on but I am overcome with a wave of motivation and I kick it into high gear. Quite possibly it's listening to Imagine Dragons that has me ferociously ellipting (yes, I'm still trying to figure it out) away. Grant joins me near the halfway point of my fifteen minutes and we chat. By the end of my fifteen minutes, I've gone a full mile. This usually takes me twenty minutes.

Grant decides he'll join me for a swim, which is a wonderful way to end the workout. I stick mostly to freestyle, really digging the new pair of goggles I bought yesterday. At the conclusion of the swim, we head to the steam room. Honestly, this has become my favorite post-workout ritual. Yes, steam rooms are weird and you should still be careful when searching for images of a steam room, but they are also amazingly relaxing. And Grant brags about how long he can stay in the steam room. I can only manage five minutes before I need to leave, but he's convinced he can stay for ten or fifteen. We discover that he can't.

Upstairs, the amazing Carla makes us some delicious protein shakes. This isn't something I get often, but it's pleasantly cold and tastes really good with the frozen fruit. Makes for a good meal replacement. The problem is, I tend to be a guzzler and drink it way too fast. 

Keep an eye out for my first personal training post. It'll hopefully be up in a week. And with it will come my pre-training measurements with a promise of post-training updated measurements! And probably photos. And everyone should check out the Imagine Dragons album. It's pretty awesome.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Despite my best efforts (okay, not my best efforts, but semi-decent) the plan I laid out for the weekend morphed into something different. Friday night is great. I show up ready for spin and even get about fifteen minutes of pre-riding in. Justin is teaching this class and pops over before it starts to tell me that everything I'm doing is wrong. My seat is at the wrong height and my handle bars are too close. Riding a bike is hard.

After my lesson in bike riding, Justin heads up to the front to start class. I'm wary after my first spin experience. Heavens knows I don't need to spend another Friday night crying. But this seems like an energetic class, which should prevent me from becoming over-emotional. 

Justin is an interesting spin instructor. He did tell me before my first experience that regardless of how I felt afterwards, I had to give his class a try because his were always fun. Fun may be a slight overstatement because really, how fun could an hour on a stationary bike be? It's not exactly at the top of my list for birthday party ideas. But I do find myself entertained and motivated enough to last the entire hour-long class.

Throughout the class, Justin keeps referencing some woman (I'm assuming as a motivational tool) who is constantly either just ahead of us or gaining on us or any other action that could possibly be considered threatening. By the end of class, I hate this imaginary woman. She has got to be the rudest woman ever. I would throw a stick in her spokes if I could. By the end of the hour, I have ridden 25 miles. My butt is as sore as can be from that stupid bike seat, but I feel pretty proud of myself.

After the biking, because I'm a glutton for punishment (and a glutton in general) I decide I'm going to swim. I neglected to bring goggles and so water keeps getting in my eyes and I keep choking on water because I'm trying to keep my head above water the whole time. I probably look like Fit Andrew trying to swim. It's awful. So I stop after not too long and call it a night.

Saturday we'll call a rest day. My alarm goes off at 6:45 and I want to die because my butt hurts so bad. Two days in a row on a bike seat for an hour? I think not. So I go back to bed and wake up after Pilates. I decide that I'm going to do some yoga, but I can't find the videos. I swear to you, exercise sabotage is a thing and I am a victim.

Sunday I wake up and I'm super pumped about the gym. The problem is, I can't find either pair of my hot pink headphones. I said it once and I'll say it again. Sabotage. But Andrew ever so politely reminds me that I tend to lose things and that it's not sabotage. Fine Andrew, we could have had a ton of fun solving the mystery of the missing headphones but we'll just cop it up to me being slightly scatterbrained. Boring.

We head over to the gym and I and start with fifteen minutes on the elliptical. Is there a term for ellipticalling? Whatever it is, I do it, and I do it well. After I elliptical I timidly enter the weight room. It's literally been over a month since I've been in the weight room. And it seems like they rearrange everything constantly. Where are my usual machines?! Oh, right there. I apologize for being overly dramatic.

After the weights I swim. Yeah, it's a lot for one day, but it's necessary. I enter the pool area right at the end of family swim and pick my lane. Let me tell you there is nothing better than watching a bunch of children leave the pool you are about to use. It's a sign that literal calm waters await and you won't have to listen to any annoying crying or screaming or laughing. I get in a couple of laps, definitely more than on Friday, but I don't go too crazy because this is not my only exercise today.

Side note: Every time I go to the gym I check in on foursquare and if you're mayor, my gym rewards you. I had been mayor for 2 months before some new lady came in and stole it from me. And now I think she works there. Totally not fair, if you ask me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Shame is a funny thing. Often times the things people feel shameful about are the things that make them relatable and human. Many of you may think of me as some sort of workout-god given my outrageous fitness prowess and so the following confession may shock you. I fell off the horse. The horse in this metaphor represents exercise; I didn't actually fall off a horse. That would really hurt.

After the joy of my physical I did not go to the gym all week. That is my shameful confession. It wasn't that I thought I didn't need to go, I know I should have, but I was too easily swayed by my laziness and the promise of social gatherings. I've said it before and I'll say it again: exercise needs to be a priority. This means I need to make difficult decisions like not going out to eat a pasta and bread filled dinner and instead force myself to use that stupid elliptical and blast my arms and legs with weight machines.

The tragedy of all tragedies (not to belittle actual tragedies) is that I had planned on going to the gym every night I wasn't working, which would have been four nights. I missed out on four nights of the gym because I convinced myself that it was okay if I skipped because I had this huge accomplishment under my shrinking belt.

I think part of my problem is that my mind is convinced I've already succeeded and that things can therefore go back to how they were. I somehow have to convince my brain that while I have had success, I am not yet finished. I have a long ways to go. 26 pounds, while great, does not bring me into a healthy weight bracket. Stupid brain, stop making me feel things I don't need to feel!

So this is my oath, in front of all of the internet: I will go to Spin class and swim on Friday night and spin class and Pilates on Saturday morning. I will then swim and do weights on Sunday. This is my workout plan and I will stick with it. Even if I am too warm in my house and in my bed and a really great episode of Downton Abbey is waiting on my DVR. It will still be there when I get back.

Tell me your weekend workout plans and I will be with you in misery, though you may be far away. I maybe you'll enjoy yourself and I'll be the only one in misery. Either way we'll be exercising and that will be amazing. 

Monday, January 14, 2013


Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, four months ago I began this journey of bettering (not buttering) myself by becoming more healthy and I can say, with much pride, that four months ago I was 26 lbs heavier. That is an average of one and a quarter pounds a week. That was also over two holidays where one of the main purposes is to consume ridiculous amounts of food.

Do I wish it was more? Yes. Am I discouraged? Get off the internet if you think I'm discouraged. This is awesome. I set a goal and for four months I have been working towards it and this proves that I am successful. So take that, stupid people who scoff when I tell them I go to the gym. When was the last time you lost 26 pounds? 

This is the more slender face of someone who is pretty darn pleased with themselves

And I've worked hard for it. Just ask Best Friend Rachel who endured Dynamic Core with me on Tuesday. During class we do a total of probably around 200 lunges in various directions and probably a good 75 squats. The next day, it's painful to sit down on a couch so I can be lazy. Like really painful. But I've come to enjoy the soreness that comes from workouts. It means changes are happening. 

Thankfully, I recover by Thursday, or at least recover enough to do Pilates. The only problem is that I'm feeling a little gassy. Good thing I'm a trained actor so I can pretend that I'm taking breaks because I'm sore instead of taking breaks to avoid breaking wind. I do it for you, ladies of Pilates, because I'm such a nice guy.

With the break after the Christmas season at Target, I've had much more time to kick it in to high gear once again, so expect big changes in the coming months. Also, I vow to do better with the whole photo progress portion and seeing as I've decided to stop making empty promises, you know it's really going to happen.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I don't believe in resolutions. Or at least I don't believe in only making them at the start of a new year. I mean look at me. I started in September with my resolution to do better, more healthy things for myself and I've done fine. So well, in fact, that when I bought new pants, every pair of pants I brought in to the fitting room were able to be buttoned with ease. In all my years that has never happened. Inevitably at least one pair has been too small. But no longer, my friends.

Seeing as it's been a million years (maybe not exaggerating should be my resolution for the new year) since I posted last, I have quite a bit to update you on. I was sick over Christmas. Yes sick, ladies and gentlemen. It is awful. But the healing power of the gym is what carried me through. I go the day after Christmas and do a full 20 minutes on the elliptical. It's difficult to breathe because of my cough and I still have a trace of the shakes from my fever, but Best-Friend Rachel and Sister Miriam (she's not a nun, she's my actual sister) are a wonderful encouragement and I plug through.

After my workout, I decide a nice time in the steam room is necessary. If you are sick, you should try it. It feels great to breathe deeply and really helps with congestion. After my whole gym thing, I feel great. My body is doing it's thing and fighting infection. Amazing how that works.

The following day, I take Miriam back for Pilates with Kiki. She is such a trooper and tries everything despite not really knowing what's going on. And despite a lower back issue, which isn't always advisable. Forty-five minutes later I'm really sweaty and Miriam is complaining of sore abs. Oh honey, wait until tomorrow. 

During Miriam's visit, she was able to meet some of the recurring characters of my blog, and that was a ton of fun for me. I love to brag about my sister and introduce her to people. I also love being able to show her how adored I am at the gym. People love me. 

Back to the whole New Year's thing, I made sure that one of the first things I did in 2013 was a sit-up. That's right, I started the year off with exercise. The whole purpose of that is to serve as my reminder of what my life is now. My life is comprised of me making good choices with health and nutrition and exercise. I've had a good time so far, and it can only get better from here.

(Cheesy inspirational music fades in) If I have inspired you, I want to know about it. If you too have started exercising and feel like you are out of your element, let me know. I can be a great encourager because I know what's it's like to be at that end of things. And I know how exciting it is when things start changing for you. And I want another $5 off my membership fees! Leave me a comment, or contact me through email, whatever works. Actually, I don't know if you can contact me through email. I'll look in to getting that on here. But comments definitely work.