Yesterday, I was not in a good place. I was frustrated from my lack of exercise (due to an ongoing respiratory illness, which unfortunately turned into pleurisy, lasting 6-8 weeks). Once I stopped purposefully exercising, I began eating more, then not caring what I looked like, then not even wanting to go for evening strolls with my husband and son (which I used to LOVE to do!) because I was tired and wanted ice cream! I began seeing my entire personality change: I was irritable, grumpy, blaming others for my weight gain, exhausted, low energy and just plain miserable.
So, last night, during one of my nightly "pouting sessions", I decided that I needed help. I called my local YMCA that I just recently joined and made an appointment for SIX AM this morning to meet with a personal trainer. The cost through a community-type fitness facility is typically cheaper than the large-chain gyms (it only cost $90 for 4 sessions with a personal trainer, compared to $90 for one session at a large gym!).
I am not looking for miracles, just someone else to hold me accountable to exercising until exercising becomes a natural habit and part of my regular lifestyle.
So, I went to bed very early last night, and woke up before even the sun was up this morning. I actually felt good at 6am when I arrived for my appointment (truthfully---I felt downright self-righteous, as though I was up before any other human being... ha ha).
I've got to tell you---this was the best $90 I've spent!
At 6am, I met with Dawn, who was wonderful. She was not too-perky at 6am, not dressed in all-cute matching teeny-weeny workout clothes. She was nice, approachable, and knowledgeable. I got "lucky" being paired with her, but this trainer-exerciser relationship is so important, it might be good to do some prior research and ask about the trainer profiles to find a good match.
We started with an equipment orientation, which I (ignorantly) said I did not need, as I "know how the machines work". Well, the equipment orientation was more than that---we went through a 30-minute circuit with the top 9 machines I should use with limited time to exercise and hit all the major muscle groups. We wrote down the machine numbers, how many "reps" and "sets" I need to do, as well as the starting weight on each machine. Next time I go, I will be able to go right to the machine, know the weight and settings, and not have to "think" about much more than getting through my 30 minutes.
Dawn then went over a few handouts with me, in order to learn more about my barriers to exercise, how to overcome those barriers, and what my ultimate goals are. I was able to talk about what my setbacks have been (both internal and external), and she actually cared about my previous attempts at working out, my current hectic life, and "brainstormed" with me on how to fit physical activity into my routine. It was wonderful to think out loud about how I can actually be successful in maintaining a new workout program.
We discussed my barriers that included: little/no time (external barrier), no motivation (internal barrier), lack of energy, and my not enjoying exercise in general. I further explained that if I workout in the evening (when I have more time), then I easily talk myself out of working out, and am exhausted from my day of chasing a toddler (why doesn't that count as exercise?!).
Our collective solution to try for 3 weeks: workout twice/week in the morning (6 am class, no less!), and then once on the weekend whenever I wake up. Dawn will be there Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I am to say "hi" to her on my way to class, as a easy way to stay accountable to someone else. What a great idea! Then, on my Saturday workout, I can just come in for 30 minutes and go through my pre-determined machine workout. Additional evening walks I get in during the week with my hubby and son are bonus!
My motivation for working out in the wee hours are: my workout clothes are already set out from the night before, and are easier to put on then "real" clothes. I can't talk myself out of working out as easily at 6am, because I'm not alert enough to do any significant self-talking or re-negotiating with myself!. Hopefully, the rest of the day I will most likely eat better, be happier that I did something for myself...and eventually, will gain more energy. Dawn was helpful in telling me it will be difficult at first, but to stick with it and I will see these rewards. Those are very motivating factors for me, as well as the possibility of losing some extra pounds/inches!
So, I workout for the next 3 weeks (9 times total, sounds doable) on my own, and then check in with Dawn during week 4 for a second appointment. The accountability each day with her, as well as knowing I have another appointment to track my progress and tweak areas that need improvement, are the exact tools I need to help me on the path to wellness.
I'll keep you posted on my progress! Thanks for listening!
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