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“You may be a little sore tomorrow…”

January 11, 2010

Getting my nutrition in line hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been a huge challenge either.  It took some getting used to, but with my motivation to make a change, things began to fall into place.  I still struggle or have lapses every now and then, but I’m doing pretty well overall.  Exercise, on the other hand…

Exercise hasn’t come nearly as easy to me.  The reason is simple really.  I hate it.

I’m not a morning person, so exercise in the morning is out of the question.  I’m doing good to wake up on time, dress myself, have breakfast, and get out the door to work.  Adding a couple of miles on the treadmill or a strength training session to this morning routine is about as appealing as reading the twitter feed of a d-list reality show “star.”

So that leaves the evenings, and to be honest, there’s nothing stopping me from exercising then except the aforementioned hatred of it.  So after a couple of months of trying to motivate myself to do some cardio – my nutritionist finally convinced me by explaining how I may be losing plenty of weight, but if I didn’t exercise, I was losing both fat and muscle, which would lead to a plateau more quickly, with a greater chance of gaining the weight back in the future.  Well – that thought scared the crap out of me.  I’m not doing all this work with nutrition just to gain the weight back because I’d rather browse the bookstore or watch CNN after work instead of getting myself moving for a little while.

Knowing my distaste for exercise, though, I knew the likelihood I’d stick to this on my own was little to none.  I needed accountability, direction, and someone to kick my tail.  Enter my trainer.

I had my first session with her a little over a week ago.  My awesome nutritionist recommended her, and called her an exercise physiologist.  To me this sounded very clinical, so I thought I’d go in and we’d talk and I’d leave with a plan for working out.  I went for my appointment dressed in jeans and a dress shirt (idiot, I know), having no idea that exercise physiologist is actually code for personal trainer who is going to kick your ass.

We did start by talking.  First about my exercise history (that was easy – forced PE in high school, a week with a cheap piece of exercise equipment I bought here and there), and then she started asking me some questions.  “Do you live in a swim/tennis community?  Does your community have a gym?  Do you have stairs in your house?  Do you have dumbbells at home?  Do you have a balance ball?”  With each successive “Yes” answer from me, she got a bigger glimmer in her eye as she realized all the tools that would allow her to create a routine that would leave me getting cozy with a tube of Ben-Gay and a bottle of Motrin were at my disposal.  As the questions went on, I seriously contemplated lying and telling her that I lived in a tiny studio with no room for equipment, didn’t feel safe to go out walking in my neighborhood, and had no stairs in a five-mile radius.  I could see where this was headed.

And then she asked if I was ready to exercise.  As I regretted my ignorant choice to wear jeans and unsteadily sat on the balance ball, I had a brief moment where I seriously thought, what if I were her first client to burst the damn ball.  Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake?  Relieved, the ball supported me, and she led me through forty-five minutes or so of a strength training routine that I could recreate at home in between monthly visits with her.  Crunches, chest flys, push-ups, squats, bicep curls, something called the superman, a couple of other exercises, and the proverbial pièce de résistance of the routine, a purely evil exercise she called criss-cross abs.

Criss-cross abs involves lifting this massive seventy-five centimeter balance ball between my short, stocky, inflexible legs, while I meet the ball with an abdominal crunch.  Sounds pretty innocuous, right?  To me, criss-cross abs is the devil.  The trainer asked me how it felt – being nothing if not honest, I responded that it was very hard.  Her response, in a tone that struck me as humorously reminiscent of one of the trainers on those weight loss tv shows, “SO WHAT???  GIMME TWO MORE!”

As it turns out, I really think the trainer is just what I need.  Putting me on a strict schedule, and being accountable to her to live up to it.  But I have to say, I was so ready to get out of there that day, I nearly forgot to pay.  Her last words to me, “You may be a little sore tomorrow.”

Well, the next day, I woke up and realized my whole body ached.  Head to toe.  I laid in bed for a full hour, staring at the ceiling, checking e-mail on my iPhone, until the dog sarcastically looked at me with more than a little canine contempt for not pulling myself out of bed a little more quickly to take her outside.

And then I realized, straight on the treadmill I had to go.  Much to my surprise, it made me feel…better!  So I’ve been sticking to my exercise routine for a week now, and it’s not easy.  Still hesitantly making myself do it, but doing it nonetheless.  I’m hoping this becomes easier over time, while I’m stocking up on Ben-Gay and Motrin.

  1. January 18, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Enjoyable read! My workouts started at night (good) on a bike (good), but for the past month and a half I’ve been waking at 5am (ouch) and allowing 3 hrs to food prep / breakfast / workout (gaa). It’s a long story. Just gotta make it “the new lifestyle”, ya know. Beats being on the FAT track.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    I used to hate exercise with a passion when I was larger but sticking with it definitely pays off and you do learn to enjoy it.

    • Chad
      January 21, 2010 at 11:00 PM

      I am hoping it does pay off – I feel like it may still be affecting my weight loss a little bit (keeping me from losing quite as much) – but I know it’s the right thing to do long term. And I am starting to enjoy it a little!

  1. January 31, 2010 at 1:02 AM
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