When I was in high school, I never really thought of myself as a bean pole, but after digging through old photos of myself with big hair and metal-studded cowboy boots, I was a stick. I was also like most people, not really caring about health or exercise. For the most part, I skipped gym classes to go to pottery lab. But 20 years later the "I should'ves" are creeping up to haunt me.
As a child, I was very active, taking the typical ballet, tap and gymnastics classes. But after four years of jazz dancing, I tried out for freshman drill team and didn't get picked. I felt so rejected and hurt, I mean I thought I was a great dancer after all that time at jazz class. (That bad-80's-spiral-perm-big-haired-skinny-assed-bitch Redskinette didn't know what she was doing when she didn't pick me for the team!) So I turned in my leotard for heavy metal t-shirts and left school grounds to go smoke, (which I constantly got suspended for).
I grew up in a household where my parents never took us for fast food, my mom cooked healthy meals and I (occasionally) joined my mom at her Jazzercise classes. So my bad eating habits evolved on my own. Sure I was a stick, but I always said when I got my own place I would eat nothing but chocolate chip cookie dough...with a spoon.
I once read in a magazine (not sure which one), you gain and may lose weight during the holidays, but typically one pound always lingers. That doesn't sound like much, but after 20 years, I'm definitely about 20 pounds heavier than I was in high school. My bad eating habits didn't help, I would skip breakfast only to grab a mid-morning, vending-machine candy bar at work because I was starving. And I either didn't have money for lunch, or I forgot to pack one (which was usually mac and cheese or something like that).
Throughout the years however, I would see those hot, toned ladies either in magazines or on the street or wherever. I'm not talking the skinny anorexic-meth-smoking models you see in fashion magazines, but the toned, healthy, six-packed Madonna-armed women on the covers of fitness magazines, and I secretly always wanted to look like that.
Jessica Putnam Courtesy FitnessRX for Women Magazine
So about two years ago I joined Fitness Works. I religiously went to a yoga class and a Body Pump class (weight training) every week. I also went at least two more times to work on the weight machines and the elliptical. All with no-results. In retrospect it was because I hadn't changed my diet at all.
Finally one day I saw a new trainer, Kimberly, working there and she looked exactly the way I wanted to look. I walked up to her (during one of her training sessions...oops), and asked her if she would provide one of those free physical assessments that the gym provided. She said yes and she would come talk to me after she was done with her client. She was very nice and we talked about exactly what my goals were. She told me about a new Group Personal Training class that was being taught and gave me a pass for a free week.
Meanwhile, I subscribed to FitnessRX Magazine for Women and I joined their forum. I met a lot of wonderful women who were either getting ready for competitions, or women who were just like me. There were also some women who once had the body, and were trying to get it back. I got a lot of encouragement, tips and suggestions, and there were even posts of everyone's work out.
My first Group Personal Training class, (GPT), was the hardest workout I had done since, well...ever. It was loaded with kettle bell swings, plyometrics, cardio and resistance strength training. It's very comparable to bootcamps, if you've ever done those. I couldn't finish the last section of kettle bell swings, so I sat down and caught my breath. (I cried in the car later, I was shaking so bad at what I just put my body through.) Kimberly taught me that day that the reason I couldn't do it anymore was because my body hit that muscle-failure stage. It wasn't that I was weak, or out of shape...just that my body did everything it could do. That stuck with me, and now whenever I do train, I work for that failure, just pushing myself a little more each time.
Fast forward 8 months later, and I was going to GPT classes 3 times a week, (kicking ass), and going two more days a week doing weight training. I trained with Kimberly several times 1 on 1, and she had given me a diet plan to use. It sucked at first, a carb-cycling diet eating TONS of food. I literally had to re-teach myself everything I thought I knew about diet and weight loss. Basically, eat more, exercise more, lose more. You just have to know what you're doing, and Kimberly and other GPT coaches taught me how to do just that. I was in the best shape of my life.
Then there was a death in the family.
I don't really know how it all happened, but after the estate was settled, 3 months later I had stopped the gym, stopped my diet and MOST of my weight had come back on. 8 months to take off, three months to put back on. It's not fair. Again with the " I should'ves'. I couldn't get to the gym like I wanted to, I should've gone when I could, but I stopped all together. I stopped my diet, I should've been more conscious of what I was eating. I even stopped going to the forum that had helped me so much.
One day (recently), I stepped on the scale. I had been in denial that anything bad was happening to my body. It was a shock. And the prospect of starting all over, working so hard all over again, made me not want to do it all over again. I trekked myself to the gym and there was the other blow...all my trainers, including Kimberly, weren't working there any more. I think I stayed in the gym for 15 minutes that day.
But looking at myself in the mirror and seeing myself in pictures, compared to 4 months ago, I'm more determined to do it than ever. I know what to do, I was taught that. I started writing on the forum again and decided to post my journey on my blog. This is that Journey, to see if I can do this over again, all on my own. Theoretically I know what to do, but could I, the most undisciplined person I know, get there again?
My goal is to have the weight off by April. At least 10 pounds by then. I will chronicle my journey by posting my eats and process at the gym. With determination and support, I'm sure I can get there again!