Friday, May 8, 2009

Ok, Maybe It's Not About the Bathing Suit, It's About ME...

One week ago I announced I was ready to wear a swimsuit this summer. I also admitted it's been quite sometime and several excuses since I've faced the reality of actually wearing a swimsuit. Funny enough the truth is, it's not really about the bathing suit. The bathing suit, the pool, the lounging, and splashing pool side aren't the obstacles. Would everyone at the swimming pool stop and stare when I disrobed, umm no. Deep down, do I really think people would judge me? I don't. It's just another mental obstacle I've created.

Facing myself is the problem.

I haven't quite come to terms with the body I envision myself living in. I just know how I want to feel. I long to slip jeans over my hips with out a little extra tug at my upper thigh and to be able to button them with ease. I hate having to figure out which t-shirt is going to be long enough to cover over the waist of my jeans by a few inches. Lately I just haven't felt comfortable in my skin. Maybe it's an extra unexpected jiggle here, a shirt that's not long enough, or pant legs that are a bit snug in the thighs. But I am recognizing what I need to do, working on the mental obstacles and the physical ones.

And most importantly, one week ago, I walked into my local 24 Hour Fitness. My eyes initially bulged out of my head a bit as I took in the surroundings. I smelled the fear and felt my heart beating a little faster. I was truly out of my comfort zone. The first day, I put on my headphones, found a cardio machine, and did a thirty minute work out. As I worked out during what felt like the longest thirty minutes ever, I started to see people I never noticed at the gym before. Most of them were average people, on the same path as me. They had flaws and I could tell from their eyes and a few smiles that they also had goals. I walked out the door that day, feeling less intimated and a bit more confident in myself.

Over the next few days I ran into some obstacles at the gym. I had a couple of personal trainers cancel on me, just shortly before my appointments with them. After the second cancellation I walked into the gym and said, "Here I am, find me a trainer". And they did. I've met with the trainer twice the past week. The trainer helped me become familiar with the equipment and has helped me build my confidence in a place where I have never felt like I belong.

The personal trainer also helped me look at myself straight in the eye. We did measurements of my arms, legs, torso. He took a four point body fat analysis. Gulp. He punched numbers into a formula gave me the facts. My body fat percentage, my weight (with shoes on, Double GASP!), my resting heart rate and target heart rate. My BMI has always put me in the normal range, so seeing all those other numbers helped me face reality. The reality is my diet isn't really the problem, but needs some adjusting. Living a sedentary lifestyle isn't working for me, working out is the link. Wanting to achieve my goals is going to take work.

Through the past week, I've visited the gym six times, even twice in one day! I attended a yoga class at the gym as well. I enjoyed the class (hello overcome obstacle #1,0001) and embraced the opportunity to allow my racing mind to free some thoughts and just be grounded in my body. I am already feeling stronger. I did a work out dvd one day and went for a run last night, just a short one. The run also included some brisk walking when I felt the need. Most importantly, even though I didn't get to the gym everyday I felt the need to be active in some way. Those small mental changes are guiding me on the path to a more healthier body. With that, maybe even a swimsuit come June.

By the way, thank you for your comments and for your honesty last week. I've had email exchanges with some of you that just made me realize we need support to help us achieve our goals. I know this momentum is just growing, hopefully the inspiration will spread to others. Speaking of inspiration, I just have to say, best of luck to Tara on the Biggest Loser as the finale coming up this week, she deserves the win! You know what, so do we. Maybe this week, you can find a time to go for a walk or walk into your local gym for a trial membership. It just takes one step to make the change.

Until next Friday...


11 comments:

  1. As a gal with a lifetime of struggling with love/hate relationship with body, food, exercise, I can only offer one mantra that I've tried to adopt the last few years. "Start wherever we are...wherever we are is just perfect. Not perfect, but good enough and a perfect place to start."

    I try to tell myself this when I look and wonder where my marathon body is. (Uh, it's so five years ago. :>) But, for some reason, just being okay with starting wherever I am makes me feel a little better.

    Not saying this would make anyone else feel good, but I just hope that we can all find our own little personal mantra that lets us set goals and try to get in better shape, etc. while not feeling bad about our bodies.

    Okay, enough of my pollyana bliss. Now, what the hell is up with that trainer weighing you with shoes? I thought there was some sort of law that you couldn't weigh with shoes on!

    Looking forward to the weekly updates. I'm also on my new happy Colorado summer workout path.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm SO proud and happy for you!!! Yay! Yes, you are right about the other people in the gym. They all have their own goals/stories too. Keep up the good work and I am telling you, your life will change and how you see yourself is the best reward of this whole challenge. Hopefully more people will realize that exercise is the remedy for all aches/pains and ailments because it kicks those endorphins in. Can't wait to hear more about your progress. Remember to try and focus on how you're body is FEELING rather than the time you're on the machine. Think about what it's able to do, how strong you are and getting rid of all the negative energy. It helps me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yay! I'm so glad you finally got a trainer to help you out, and you realized that almost everyone at the gym is in the same boat you are. Oh - also I wanted to tell you we decided on Winter Park for our vacation. We got a really great rate on a condo and a family friend lives there so he's going to show us around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good for you. I've been struggling this week finding time to exercise and eating right. I just need to make that commitment to myself and get moving.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great job overcoming the trainer-cancellation problem! That would be enough to keep most people (okay, me) out of the gym...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Crawling out of the woodwork to say hello... I've dipped into your blog from time to time and the last couple of things I've read make me feel like I've found a kindred blogging spirit.

    Good on you for getting to the gym and sticking with it thus far (and by the way, I love that bathing suit from a few posts back...). My 42 year old frame is also in need of more consistent healthy goals so I can get into a nifty little suit this summer.

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post!! I'm glad that you finally found a trainer that worked with you. Remember numbers never lie. I have been working my butt off and just recently am in the normal BMI range which is a great feeling. Now I just want to move down a bit in it. I think it is great that you are being consistent with working out and enjoy the honesty in your post. Keep up the great work!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad you took the plunge, and that you finally got a trainer. It can be hard hearing those numbers, we are so different and all with different body types, it can be so hard finding the thing that works for "you". I hope this path you are taking works out and brings back some of your confidence, maybe after my trip in June we can meet up for some yoga classes?!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm bummed that those trainers canceled on you, but it sounds like you didn't let it stop you! You go, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish that I had read this before we had breakfast on Saturday! I feel the same way...getting healthy is a priority for me and exercise is going to be a huge part of this!

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good job! Isn't being active great? For me it's all about getting started...it gets "easier" as it becomes a habit. I'm nearly two weeks into Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred...it's only a 20 minute workout and I can feel my body changing. I'm seriously impressed that you are so diligent about getting to the gym, that's awesome! Keep it up! :)

    ReplyDelete

I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!