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First appointment with a personal trainer

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Right now, as I type I am tired and my muscles ache but I'm not in pain. It's a good kind of tired, really. The kind you feel after hard, manual labor. Except for me, its because this morning I worked out with a personal trainer. Because I'm on a budget, I can only afford four sessions, which I've decided to do every other week. Since I pre-paid these sessions at my gym, any future sessions I purchase I can get at a discount.

When I met my trainer, I liked her immediately. She appeared fit and had a calm, pleasant yet professional demeanor. For the first 20 minutes she assessed my fitness level, weighed me, took my measurements with a tape measure and calculated my BMI and body fat level with some sort of small, portable device that scanned my body as I gripped it. As part of the fitness test, I had to sit down, stretch my legs on the floor in front of me and put the soles of my feet against a box with a slide rule contraption on top. Then, I had to lean in and push the bar on top of the ruler as far forward as I could manage. The results would reveal how far I can stretch. If it's possible to fail such a test, I did. She advised me to stretch more after working out.

For the cardiovascular assessment, I had to do a basic step on a step aerobics bench with two sets of risers underneath for three minutes. Once I finished, she took my pulse and then retook it after 30 seconds. Then, I had to do as many women's push ups as I could muster. I made it to 21 before I collapsed. I also had to do as many crunches as possible in one minute.

Following these assessments, she summarized my results. In a nutshell, my cardiovascular conditioning is excellent compared to other women in my age group. I also have excellent upper body strength. I need much more work on my stretching and my abdominal muscles are weak. I am "slightly overweight" with a BMI over 25 but under 30 and my body fat level is 36.6% which is above average for a woman my age. My goal to lose another 20 pounds is appropriate.

Next, we stepped into the free weights area. She handed me a 12 pound bar and made me "step up" with my left foot onto a step aerobics bench with two risers underneath and balance my body by putting my right toe against the back of the bench. After I balanced, I had to do a reverse tricep curl with the bar and then military press it overhead before lowering it. After I lowered the bar, then I could step off of the bench. This was a difficult exercise to do, because I had problems staying balanced with only one foot on the bench.

I had to do three sets of 10 steps switching between my left foot and my right foot. In between sets, I had to do 30 second intervals of ski-jumps. After we finished all of that, I did squats while leaning against a stability ball placed against a wall.

She also tweaked my gym rat workout. Instead of doing full-body work with weights twice a week, I will now train with weights on the same days I do my cardio, but focus on specific body parts. She also cut my cardio from 45 minutes to 30, suggesting I increase the intensity with intervals on the treadmill, elliptical and on the indoor track. In a nutshell, I need to alternate jogging with running like I stole something. By adjusting my regimen, I should be able to get everything done in 45 minutes to an hour. If I can get to the gym 4x a week, plus a workout or two outdoors, I will be working out at the level I will need to avoid plateauing.

Overall, I was pleased with the appointment and I learned more about how I need to be spending my time during my workouts. I also liked her demeanor. She did not have a drill sargent personality, but she still pushed me. If I was not using proper form, she was quick to point out adjustments I needed to make. She also was not touchy-feely. I don't like strangers touching me and I was concerned about that before the appointment.

I am going to break out some paper and a pen and makeover my workout regimen using the information she gave me. I am glad I invested the money. I've learned quite a bit today and I still have three more appointments.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/6/2012 3:39PM

    Thank you for posting all of this information. I have been thinking about making an appointment with a personal trainer so I appreciate hearing what your experience was like.
And emoticon emoticon

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BARBAELLEN 8/4/2012 10:20PM

    Sounds like money well spent! Sometimes I hate to admit it, but things always seem to go better when you hire a pro. After your next three sessions, you'll be much closer to being a pro yourself!
emoticon

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TACONES 8/4/2012 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Forty Pounds Gone!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

This morning, when I stepped on the scale and realized that I've lost a total of forty pounds, I was elated. Forty pounds is a lot to lose, yet somehow, here I am. I posted a status update on Facebook along with before and after photos and I am totally overwhelmed by the supportive responses I've received from friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. My hope is that maybe I can inspire another person to start their personal journey.

I've spent many times on this blog reflecting on the things I did to get here, i.e. diet and exercise strategies. However the biggest challenge has been mental. Staying positive, forgiving myself for minor slip ups and major screwups, and most of all, being patient with the process. We all know what we're supposed to be doing. That little voice inside our minds tells us. But to be successful, we have to quash that harsh inner critic. The one that plays those tape loops filled with negativity, like "you'll never succeed at losing weight," or "you were meant to be a fat person." Who says that our self-talk is always truthful? Why do we believe the bullsh!t that it feeds us? Why, because it gives us an excuse NOT to change and keeps us in our comfort zone.

How was this time different? I shredded my tapes of negative self-talk one food choice and one workout at a time. Suddenly, the evidence that I COULD be thinner and healthier silenced my inner critic and I started to believe. After that, it was a matter of being consistent, working my plan and planning my work.

Like the absolutely inspiring Nike commercial that premiered during the Olympics (a must see--the link is below), it's a matter of finding your greatness.

Onward and downward.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsXRj89cWa0&
feature=relmfu

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFEDSTUFF-- 8/3/2012 6:07PM

  Cling to the greatness and celebrate the beauty of all that you are

~BuffedStuff~ emoticon

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DIBANANA 8/3/2012 9:36AM

  Forty pounds is a lot to lose! You should be so proud. I know you struggle occasionally but you always pick yourself up and move forward. The inner you is a thin healthy person.

You look wonderful
Diana

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JAZZEJR 8/2/2012 11:19AM

    emoticon emoticon So PROUD of you! emoticon Now you know...you can do anything you set your mind to! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/2/2012 11:20:06 AM

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SONYALATRECE 8/2/2012 10:36AM

    Wonderful accomplishment! emoticon
~Sonya

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FLEURGARDEN 8/2/2012 10:36AM

    Woo Hoo! I'm doing the happy dance for you!

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RUSSELLORAMA 8/2/2012 12:58AM

    Congrats! That's so awesome!

emoticon

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RANDOM00B 8/1/2012 9:55PM

    Congratulations!!

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MOBYCARP 8/1/2012 8:50PM

    emoticon with the 40 lbs.!

Isn't it a great feeling to look back and see that all those small changes that weren't a big deal added up to something significant?

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TACONES 8/1/2012 7:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRIMSONJEWEL 8/1/2012 4:06PM

    emoticon! What an amazing accomplishment! You should be very proud of yourself. I love the positive tone of your blog. It is truly inspirational.

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BLKLILY 8/1/2012 3:11PM

    emoticon on your 40lbs gone!!!

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MDWSTRNR 8/1/2012 2:59PM

    emoticon

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ANNEMAC5 8/1/2012 2:27PM

    congratulations 40lbs is fantastic emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYANN84 8/1/2012 2:08PM

    Congrats!!! emoticon emoticon

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MISSB8604 8/1/2012 2:05PM

    Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

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03BFISCHER 8/1/2012 2:02PM

    emoticon You did great and look great!!! emoticon

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NANAW12001 8/1/2012 2:00PM

  Wow this is great success for you. emoticon
emoticon

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Investing in a personal trainer

Monday, July 30, 2012

In August, I'm finally going to take the plunge and invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer. I've been exercising consistently since January and although I try to mix it up on my own, I am not sure if my workouts are as efficient as they could be. I put together my current exercise regimen using an assortment of books and magazine articles. Although it's been okay so far, I know that I will need to kick it up a notch to avoid another plateau. Since I work for a non-profit organization, investing in a personal trainer is a huge commitment because I am on a tight budget. Although I can't afford a trainer 3x a week, I can afford twice a month for about 90 days, so I'm going with that.

I have a total of 28 pounds to lose before I hit my goal weight. I believe that investing in a personal trainer will help me stay motivated to see this through. Today, I met with them to fill out forms, discuss my medical history and my training/weight loss goals. I've never worked with a trainer before so I'm looking forward to the experience.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 7/31/2012 9:13PM

    If you have the right trainer and the right attitude, you will reach your goals!!! Good luck Soror!

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FLEURGARDEN 7/31/2012 8:49PM

    I met with a personal trainer once just to set up a strength training plan and to review the cardio I was doing. I really liked having an objective opinion and having a strength training program tailored to where I am currently at in my journey. One day I'll have another session with her just to review where I'm at and to probably kick things up a notch again. Good luck!

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MOBYCARP 7/31/2012 7:07PM

    I've never gone with a personal trainer because of a) cost, and b) time commitment. When I felt I had the money, it was tough to commit to a regular schedule; and when I had the time, it always sounded like too much money.

It should be interesting to read about what benefits you find from hiring a trainer on a limited budget.

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BLKLILY 7/31/2012 10:53AM

    Please share your experience. Personal trainers make me uncomfortable.

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TACONES 7/31/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Random reflections on staying motivated

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I have written ad nauseum about how hard it is for me to stay motivated for the long haul. I am constantly tweaking my routine to keep it fresh. Still, for me, it's a daily struggle. Some days I just don't "feel" like doing much of anything. One day, it occurred to me that it makes no sense to wait until I "feel" like eating healthier foods or exercising. Do I skip brushing my teeth because I don't "feel" like it? Once I realized that dropping weight is about routine habits and not some magical mystery tour, I just settled into doing what I'm supposed to do.

Today, I just want to stay on the couch, watch the Olympics and not do anything. Rather than beat myself up about it, I asked myself, 'what CAN you do today to get closer to your goal?' I decided to try a new recipe and prepare the food I need to eat for next week. When it's 105 degrees outside, you don't want to do much cooking, so I settled on a recipe that didn't require turning on the oven.

One recipe I tried was a black bean, corn and quinoa salad, which was really delicious. I also bought fresh fruit, cut it up and stored in the freezer for my morning smoothies. In the midst of preparing my foods, I found my motivation picking up a bit. True, I didn't get a workout in today, but I did go to a one-hour zumba class yesterday and worked out most days last week.

One other thing I did to stay motivated was to take more pictures. I compared my new photos to a few I took in May, and there's a clear difference. I'm just smaller all over. The most noticeable change is that my face is thinner and the ring of fat around my neck is almost gone. I've even got collar bones again.

The important lesson I've learned? There is always, something--SOMETHING out there that I can focus on to stay on track. It might not get me back to the rah-rah motivation I felt when I started out in January, but it helps me feel good about what I'm doing.

Onward and Downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYO_CASEY 7/30/2012 3:53PM

    I love picture comparisons!

Good for you on getting yourself going!

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BLKLILY 7/30/2012 10:21AM

    Your blog alone is motivating... emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 7/30/2012 3:08AM

    Congrats to your progress!
Seeing my collar bones again was a great moment for me too : )
emoticon

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MPLANE37 7/29/2012 8:41PM

    It is great that you found your motivation. My motivation is that I can't really think of an alternative to being fit at a healthy weight. Every other option leads to darkness. The only light is in getting fit and reaching a healthy weight.

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TACONES 7/29/2012 5:23PM

    You are doing a great job and YES, you can see the difference of all your hard work in your pictures. emoticon

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WQUEST 7/29/2012 4:17PM

    That's why my little exercise cycle is under my desk, I can not help but put my feet on it and pedal! 90% of my day is at this desk.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 7/29/2012 3:41PM

    one day at a time do something just 4 you that is different! you can do it!

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Another pound gone

Friday, July 27, 2012

I had a so-so week and am grateful that I still lost weight. I have now lost a total of 39 pounds. I am also 3 pounds away from my goal #2, which is to lose a total of 42 pounds by August.

Goal #3 is to lose a total of 57 pounds by the end of the year. That's 15 pounds between August and December. The holidays will be a tough time to lose weight, so I am planning to supplement SP with Weight Watchers meetings starting around October. Once I meet goal #3, I will only be 10 pounds from my final goal weight, which I don't plan to reach until March 2013. That's pretty exciting.

Staying on track with healthier habits can be tough on some days, but I know the alternative is to quit, gain weight and become diabetic. I can't allow that to happen so I carry on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 7/28/2012 8:58PM

    You are rocking this journey...congratulations on all of your success!!!

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ANNEMAC5 7/28/2012 12:31AM

    emoticon emoticongreat planning

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DIBANANA 7/27/2012 6:13PM

  You are on track. Congrats.



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BARBAELLEN 7/27/2012 4:58PM

    You forgot!!!! Onward and downward! :)

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LILSHINE 7/27/2012 2:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BLKLILY 7/27/2012 1:32PM

    emoticon emoticon what an emoticon job!

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MISSB8604 7/27/2012 12:31PM

    Amazing!

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SONYALATRECE 7/27/2012 10:12AM

    Carry on!
That is exciting news!

~Soror Sonya

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JUDYAMK 7/27/2012 8:11AM

    I like how you broke down everything in increments. I started tracking my food again,that is a big plus for me. I must add I have got to get into a routine of working out . I am going to do Nicole's work outs in the videos shown on the fitness section. That is emoticon about your weight loss emoticon emoticon emoticon
Take care
Judy

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SRBSRB26 7/27/2012 8:07AM

    emoticon

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RIDLEYRIDER 7/27/2012 8:06AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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