If you'd like to write a guest post for me, I'd be thrilled. You can email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this post. It's a great way for my readers to have a change of pace, and for you to expose yourself to a new audience. I'd also love to write a guest post for your blog. Maybe we could do a "guest post exchange." I like that. Anyone want to make a snappy "guest post exchange" graphic for me?
Without further ado, I present the first guest post on 100 Pounds in a Year. This post was written by my very good friend, Liza, from Exposition of an Admin about her experiences with a personal trainer.
Personal Training: A transition to acceptance.
Ok-I am going to dedicate 12 weeks of my life to my personal fitness. In these twelve weeks, if I work hard enough, enough to outlast and out lose my peers I can win some awesome prizes…
“Yeah, whatever! I really doubt I’m going to ‘out lose’ the 300 lb. lady that is also competing for the same prize.”
I embarked on my first adventure with personal training last fall. I learned a lot about my body, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Even though the fitness challenge was designed to have a winner at the end of it, I knew I had no chance of winning. I knew that if I lost any weight at all, it wouldn’t be much more than 10 pounds. But my goal wasn’t to lose weight, it was to lose inches. I wanted to come out at the end of 12 weeks with a body that I could maintain and be proud of.
Personal Training seems like such a waste of money for so many people-and to others, it is a treat to appreciate and milk as much out of it as a person can. I wanted personal training to be a learning experience for me-my history of fitness doesn’t go very far and has little depth. I know that if I’m active and watch what I eat I will be ‘skinny’. Now that word makes me cringe. What is skinny? Am I skinny? Is skinny good? To me, skinny is impossible. I know that nobody feels skinny-and those that do, don’t feel it for very long and probably aren’t very healthy. I want to talk about the different things I’ve learned about training, eating and how my personal training embarked me on a journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance.
I always thought that weight training was easy, and boring. After a good weight training session at volleyball practice, I didn’t feel like I worked out. Personal Training opened my eyes to the possibility of weight training. After the first session of lunges and squats I had sweat more than I ever had on the treadmill! I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to walk up the stairs to take a shower later that evening. The next day, it was impossible to sit down without the assistance of my arms to ‘gently’ lower myself. But that was the worst session. After a few weeks, I discovered that I don’t need to work myself sore in order to build muscle, but I needed to tire my current muscles out. Most of my weight training was surrounded by circuit training; doing two or three different muscles with some sort of cardio in between to keep my heart rate up. It was a lot of work-and I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could.
At the beginning of my training, I couldn’t do any push-ups. This is mostly because I’ve been struggling with tendinitis for 3 years, but by the end of my training I could do about seven before I fell. That alone made me feel so accomplished and positive in my goal for health! There were many other small accomplishments during my sessions, I think this is the most positive and uplifting accomplishment I had.
For someone who isn’t looking to lose a lot of weight, weight training can be an internal struggle. I noticed that my legs and arms looked toned and amazing, but my jeans were still snug. When I would do my measurements, it was obvious I was losing body fat, but the scale went up 6 pounds, my thigh and hip measurements weren’t budging and I was feeling like I was never going to have the skinny body I wanted. For a while I thought maybe it was what I was eating, so I relied on my personal trainer to work out a positive eating plan.
Eating. Everyone does it-no one can quit eating. It is also one of the biggest problems relating to weight management. I, personally, love to eat. I enjoy cooking. At first I thought my trainer was going to tell me to stop eating half the food I eat. Instead, he told me to eat more often, and to bump up my protein and lower my sugar intake. I didn’t think that I could eat every 3-4 hours and still reach my fitness goal. I honestly thought that I was going to either stay the same, or gain ‘weight’ (aka fat). But I trusted him. And so I followed his eating plan. A few weeks later, I was surprised that I had made progress. And the best part was that I didn’t have to starve myself to reach this goal. The key to this eating plan was related to eating the right foods and knowing how much your body can metabolize in one sitting. So my maximum for eating is about 400 calories per meal. By doing this, my body doesn’t overtake any food, and it keeps my metabolism up, which helps my body to create more muscle and burn more fat. Eating was key to reaching my fitness goals.
I know I’ve mentioned that I went on a personal journey during my personal training. And I did. Before I started personal training I weighed myself every day. I told myself I was fat. Every day. When I didn’t go to the gym for a day, or if I decided to eat more than I probably should have, I told myself every negative connotation I could about myself. I thought that if I reminded myself all of the time that I wasn’t happy with my body that it would change. In the end, I just beat myself up over the little things and obsessed over everything. I wasn’t happy with this. I didn’t love myself the way I should have.
One of the ‘goals’ I gave myself during personal training was that I wasn’t going to weigh myself unless I was doing measurements with my trainer. Any negative, beat myself up thoughts I had disappeared. I accepted that if my pants didn’t fit me the way I wanted them to, it wasn’t because of what the scale said, it was because I was currently a work in progress and that I would do something about it instead of call myself names. Since September, I have weighed myself only seven times. And every time I get off the scale, I don’t say anything-mostly because I’m content with what it says, but even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t say anything.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my weight number isn’t going to determine my self-acceptance. I know that as I grow my body will change, I know that I do not have a supermodel body and I’m happy with that. One of the other ‘issues’ I had with my body was my hips and thighs. During the entire 12 weeks their measurements didn’t change at all. Any fat that I burned off was replaced by muscle. And even though my thighs are tight in my pants, my waist isn’t. I struggled with this because I wanted to have the cute little thighs and cute little butt that I see in Victoria’s Secret every month. But the honest truth is that my body wasn’t made to be that small-I have hips! I can’t compare myself to people who don’t even have my body type! I would never reach those goals! Instead I’ve accepted that my hips are here to stay, and they actually have health benefits to them.
Overall, personal training showed me that if I work hard and stay focused on my goal, I can reach it. My goal for personal training was to have a healthy body I could maintain and be proud of. I now know how to help my body to help me. I can walk into a gym and do my own routine without thinking if I really belong there. Personal Training taught me more about my body then I ever thought I would learn. I never thought I would also gain self-acceptance and confidence through my desire to be healthy.