Oh my goodness. That’s a polite way of saying what I really want to say…holy f*&%. Today was session 4 with Travis, our personal trainer, and wow did I hit a wall. Before I get ahead of myself though, let’s backtrack to go over the events of the past week:
My last blog talked about Travis, and how in our first session he did what any good trainer would do and let me work at my speed and ability level. Well apparently that has been thrown out the window, and I’m now learning that GOOD trainers (Travis included) push you just past your speed and ability level. Not so far as to permanently injure you, but far enough that your muscles make sure you remember what you did to them for a couple of days afterwards. I guess that’s how you make progress, but frankly, it hurts…a lot.
Session two – Tuesday - was relatively ok…we worked hard, but I didn’t have the same wobbly feeling leaving the gym, and really felt pretty alright that night and even the next day. Could it be I was making progress?
Session three was two days later for me thanks to a chivalrous move by Ron who took back to back sessions Tuesday and Wednesday. We knew that 2 days in a row would be a lot for Ron to handle, but I don’t think we estimated how tough it would really be. Seeing the look on his face when he got home Wednesday night…watching him collapse on the bed and not move for what seemed like forever…hearing moans that sounded a lot like sobs being held back…I was frightened for what Thursday was going to bring for me. I think a large part of the hell Ron went through had to do with his body not having time to recover from the day prior, because my Thursday session again went pretty decently. We worked hard while I was there, and Travis showed little mercy when I batted my eyelashes and said I couldn’t do any more reps. (I found out later that this is because my dear sweet husband told Travis he needed to watch me because I was figuring out how to ‘play’ him. Very nice sweetie…very nice.)
Thursday was also reality check day as we did weight, body fat percentage and measurements. While I’m sure it would be super motivating to share the numbers here, and I admire those who are open with theirs (such as Tyler from www.344pounds.com, one of my inspirations), I just cannot bring myself to type them. Once I’m where I want to be, I’m sure I’ll be excited to share how far I’ve come and all those numbers will be out there, but today I’m just not ready to open myself up that much. Travis asked me what my goal weight is, or if I have another particular goal in mind. I told him what I told Ron and all of you when I started this. I don’t care what the number on the scale says…the day I walk into Aeropostale or Abercrombie & Fitch or Jacob or Garage and look at something, think ‘that’s cute’ and find my size hanging on the rack…on that day, I will feel like I have reached my goal. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop working hard and trying to lose more. Ideally I would love to be in the proper BMI range and know that my body fat percentage is a healthy one…but the motivation and reward I will feel knowing that I am not limited to 6 clothing stores in North America will be quite enough for me to make all this pain worth it.
So that brings us to today – Saturday – and my fourth training session. I went to bed last night feeling exhausted mentally and physically and hoped that a good night’s sleep would give me the energy I needed to get through today’s torture … I mean, training. No such luck. I went into the gym ready to give this workout my all. Knowing I had the remainder of today and all of tomorrow to rest my weary body, I was prepared to work hard and push myself to my limit. Turns out my limit was pretty low today…my body just refused to work the way it has on my last two visits. Thinking back now, I think there were only 2 machines that I managed to get through my 2 sets of 12 reps. on. Typically there are only 2 machines I CAN’T finish. Today was not to be a powerful moving forward day. I just couldn’t do it.
Travis could clearly see the pain in my face, and didn’t fight me when I said I couldn’t do anymore. In fact, he helped me more today than he ever has by practically moving the weights by himself as my legs or arms followed along. He said the important thing was that even though I was tired, I was there…and really, that’s what it comes down to. I only hope that once I don’t have Travis to check in with 3 times a week, I can still push myself to do my best through the pain.
Food wise, we’re doing pretty well at eating healthy, keeping our calories down and drinking our water (some of us are more diligent than others). We’ve noticed ourselves being a little – ok a lot – snippy with each other at times and realized that it happens when we’re hungry and our blood sugar takes a nosedive. Hopefully that passes quickly because I’m not sure how many arguments about nothing we really want to go through. On Wednesday we broke down and went out for dinner and, voila, snippiness gone…we just needed to have a ‘real’ meal. Today when it happened we had half a mini-bagel to hold us over until dinner was ready. Have to say, not quite as effective as Wednesday’s fries and it wasn’t until dinner finished that I felt somewhat civil again. This is a big change for us, so I think it’s normal to expect some rough days, but we know it will be worth it in the end when we look back and see how far we’ve come.
So that’s this week in my life…it’s a struggle…I’ll admit. There have been moments where I’ve wanted nothing more than to crack open a bag of potato chips, sit back and mindlessly munch away instead of counting how many calories were in my spinach salad. I don’t know if those feelings will ever really end, but I’m learning to control them more than I have in the past. All I have to do is remember the hell I went through at the gym that day, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to waste all that progress for some salt and vinegar chips…or buttery popcorn…or cheesy nachos….oh god… honey, your turn to talk while I go whimper in the corner.
I can't say this past week has been easy on either of us. It's been hard - damn hard. What I'm starting to realize is that this whole process is not just hard once in a while. It's hard all day, everyday. It just has not let up. I mean I am enjoying losing weight (10 pounds so far!!!), and I love that I have to keep setting the treadmill faster and higher to get my heart rate in the correct zone. After all, those are sure signs that progress is being made. The biggest surprise to me in this process is how many times I have to make the same decision over and over. Every time I feel hungry, every time I see a commercial for pizza, when I smell what my co-workers are heating up at lunch - I have to decide to stick with it. When everyone decides to go out for ice-cream - I have to decide to stick with it. I have to make that same decision a dozen times a day, and it's hard.
Now, there is some reward in all this. Every time we stick with our diet, every time we go to the gym and bust our butts, we win. Not the war, but the daily, constant struggle. We win one more battle in the war for our health. They're small victories, the kind that a lot of people would think nothing of and brush off but for us, it's huge.
This last week I was really tested. Kathy mentioned Wednesday being hard for me. It was the first time I've ever exercised to the point of being nauseous! And to be honest, I felt like crying several times during my workout. Yeah, it was a tough one to be sure. But I lived, and this morning I almost ran into the gym, and I plowed through everything Travis could through at me.
Today I won another battle.