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.