Monday, September 29, 2008

My personal trainer

The most serious I've ever been about losing weight (before now) was in May of 2007. I visited my doctor for my annual exam, and I was appalled at the number on the scale when I got weighed. It had been 18 months since the birth of my second child, and I was about 14 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. I set my mind toward losing those 14 pounds, at least.

For about two months, I worked out on my own at least 3 days a week. I tried to watch what I ate, but truth be told, I didn't change my eating habits or limit my caloric intake at all. I'm one of those people who fall into the trap of "I worked out today, I can eat whatever I want." So, I didn't lose any significant weight, but I was encouraged by some signs that I was toning up.

In June of 2007, I read an article about a new company of personal trainers who made house calls. The rates seemed reasonable enough, so I called the number in the paper. When I hung up the phone, I had an appointment with a personal trainer for the following week. After doing the intial assessment, we agreed that I needed to work out at least 4 days a week. Two days a week the personal trainer would come to my house at 6:00 am, and the other two days a week I'd be on my own. The trainer put together a little routine for me to follow on his off days, and I was pretty diligent about doing it.

The best thing about having the personal trainer, for me, was that he really taught me how to work out. He taught me how to push myself, and he made me realize that I was strong and could get stronger. He showed me new exercises, ones I never would have tried on my own. He started me off with 2 pound weights, but he had me doing most exercises with 10 pound weights in no time.

Unfortunately, I did not see the results I was looking for. I was expecting the weight to "melt" off me given all the lean muscle mass I was building. In three months of intense working out, I lost about nine pounds and several inches. My trainer also expressed dismay at my lack of weight loss. He suggested that perhaps my metabolism was "off" and urged me to get my thyroid checked. When my blood work came back "normal," I decided to let the trainer go because I could not justify the $125 a week for what I considered sub-par results.

It was around this time that I discovered Jari Love and her Get Ripped 1000 workout. This is the DVD that alternates between segments of cardio bursts and strength training. I never would have considered this video prior to working out with the trainer, I never would have had the confidence in my ability to do the moves. But after working with the trainer, I knew I could do it.

Unfortunately, at the end of October 2007, our family was struck with a sudden and major tragedy, and my desire and will to work out ended abruptly. It took me until July 2008 to get motivated again to lose weight. I did work out sporadically during the winter months, but I was nowhere near as serious as I had been.

When I went back to my doctor for my annual exam for 2008, I weighed exactly what I weighed the year before. Ironically, the doctor actually commended me for not gaining any weight over the course of the year. I then had to admit to him that I had actually lost and then gained about 9 pounds.

Today, I'm actually a pound or two less than I was when I was working out with the personal trainer. I'm not satisfied, I will keep going. I can't think about where I might be if I had kept going. I just know that I have a goal, and I have motivation. I have a series of incentives, and I think I've given myself a realistic time frame to lose the weight I want to lose. With Weight Watchers' help, I've changed my eating habits. I'm not a perfect dieter by any means, I still cheat, and I "overeat" my points on occasion. But I think, if I keep plugging away, I can get to where I want to be.

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