Wednesday, November 27, 2013
This question is out of order for the blog a day challenge because I wanted to have some actual experience in order to write about it.
Have you ever worked with a physical trainer? One on one? Small group? What skills or talents did the trainer have that helped you? What didn't help?
My husband and I joined a gym last May, but didn't take advantage of the "free" two day personal trainer sessions until last week. We used the pool, I took a couple of classes, and Pete enjoyed spinning. However, we finally stopped procrastinating and scheduled our workouts. The first time I met with Tracey, who spent an hour setting up my program and introducing me to machines and the stretching cage. She questioned me about my health history, general level of fitness, and showed me how to get the most out of the fancy, computer-connected treadmill as a warm up.
Several days later I met with Cheryl. She corrected my form, changed a machine and made me adjust the weights and settings myself. She also gave me a print out of the 7 machines I should start with, explaining which machines worked which muscles. I worked with her for an hour and left feeling like I maybe could do this!
When I returned to the gym Monday, I was on my own, although Cheryl did check in with me. I was confused about which machines to use, even though I had a list, and spent time locating the right machines and figuring out how to adjust the settings. I only did 2 sets, instead of 3, and couldn't remember how to do some of the cage stretches. Yes, there are pictures, but I was still confused.
When I got home, I realized that I had forgotten to work out on one of the 7 machines.
So today I wrote the machine numbers on my wrist, had a plan which worked pretty well so I alternated legs, arms, and Ab work, and did 3 sets on each machine! Afterwards I did some of my yoga stretches. Fourth visit and I finally have a bit more confidence. Because the gym wasn't as crowded as usual, I didn't have to wait for a machine. I also knocked off a mile on the treadmill pretty quickly to warm up.
Reflecting on the two different trainer styles, what was most helpful was Cheryl making me adjust the weights and settings on each machine myself. Like many, I learn best by doing. She also gave me tips on body position and form that I remembered to use today. Looking back, what was least helpful was being introduced to cardio, strength training, and stretches all in the first session. After the third machine I was totally lost. Tracey moved me around, selecting the machine settings, and just having me do 2 or 3 reps to make sure her settings would work. It was pretty much a whirlwind.
At some point I am going to pay for a series of private training lessons, after I spend a month or two getting more comfortable with what I have set up now. I've learned that I have to ask more questions, do things for myself, and request the trainer to demonstrate again, if necessary. And as soon as I get comfortable, we're going to change things up!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Another entry in the blog a day challenge:
Think of the person who loves you the most. How would they describe you?
My husband and I have been married for almost 28 years - second marriages for both of us. He loves me and probably knows me better than my kids do, but I also have a childhood friend who's been like a sister since we were kids. Like sisters, we've had good times and not so good times together, but I suspect she knows me even better than my husband does at times. She certainly knows where all of the bodies are buried!
My husband would describe me as organized, energetic, a planner, and probably a control freak. He admires my dedication to our family and is proud of my commitment to improving my health. On some rare, very rare days, he might describe me as argumentative.
My childhood friend would agree with those attributes, but would add loyal, stubborn, at times insecure, and a follow the rules kind of gal. She had spent 40 years trying to get me to loosen up, and be more spontaneous, as someone said in a previous blog comment. I would hope both of them would notice my efforts at being more patient and tolerant, both of myself and others.
A great conversation starter, but only if I am wearing my thick skin!
Monday, November 18, 2013
In my continuing quest to complete the blog a day challenge, which is turning out to be a blog when I can challenge
One word that best describes me. Elaborate.
Focused. Whatever I'm working on at the time, I tend to give all of my attention to that activity. When I read a book, I want to keep reading to the end - reading a chapter a day doesn't work for me. Sometimes that causes problems and lack of sleep. Working on a glass project - no stopping - so again, I am careful to allow plenty of time cause I get irritable if interrupted!
The positive thing about this attribute: I can focus on healthy eating, logging nutrition, and dedicating myself to a particular exercise until the next interest derails me. Hmm, maybe not such a good thing? Perhaps I need to work on Balance...
One word that least describes me. Elaborate.
Impulsive. Most of my life I've wished I could be more devil-may-care, toss aside whatever I'm involved in, and fly off to Tahiti, for example. I am probably the least impulsive person I know! All major decisions have to be thought out and reviewed, ad nauseum. I keep binders for house sale, home improvements, major purchases. I have TWO calendars and use them. Just writing this makes me want to toss some control and lighten up!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
More blog a day challenge questions - doing two in an effort to catch up.
True or false: I feel good about myself. Elaborate.
True, today! Usually I try to find the positive in this health journey, but there are occasional days where I berate myself for my failures - not enough exercise, not enough effort, poor nutrition choices. When I was dieting, even in the years I was with Weight Watchers, those days were fairly frequent.
However, since I found SparkPeople, I have lots more days where I feel good about myself. The change is because I've committed to a healthy lifestyle, not a diet, and have learned to forgive myself for my slips. Instead of quitting, as I would in the past, I start over the next day, tracking food and exercise, reaching out to Spark friends, and not wallowing in self-disappointment. Getting outside for a brisk walk usually lifts my spirits; keeping healthy food in the house and avoiding junk helps me conquer destructive binges.
I've kept 40 pounds off and am still wearing my size 10-12 clothes; more importantly I've improved my health and energy levels.
If I could change one thing about myself, it would be _______. How and why would you make that change?
When I was younger I would have said my weight, because I equated a "normal" weight with a happy life. Older and wiser, I now want to be a kinder , patient, and more tolerant person. The people I admire have those qualities. It may be trite but life is indeed too short to waste time on negative and self-destructive emotions. My light bulb moment occurred a few years ago when my young niece died suddenly at the same time my mother had a major stroke. Without going into detail, I had to re-examine my life and the kind of person I wanted to be when I "grew up."
So now I try to practice patience and tolerance, give others the benefit of the doubt, and take time to think instead of rushing to judgement. Do I fail sometimes? Sure! Yet I keep on, because at this point in my life quitting on my goals is not an option.
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