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...