The absolute most annoying advice ever given to me when I began all of this was said by this horrifically in-shape, perky gym girl who randomly came up to me mid-workout. She was not a trainer, but rather one of those delightful self-appointed fitness “experts” that gives their sage advice to that chubby girl heaving and sweating by the water fountain.
After declaring she noticed I was in the “beginning stages of my fitness journey,” (yep, seriously) she shared that the key to success was as follows:
Just find something active that you love to do!
If, at that point, I loved doing anything active, do you really think I would have been 240lbs? You know what I love (and still do)? Watching Dallas Cowboys football games while drinking beer and eating hot wings.
Now, before I’m too harsh, I know she had good intentions. I actually believe that statement now, and have found plenty of active things I love and look forward to doing. However, blast back a year and I truly hated working out. Hated it. Every minute. I was constantly winded, and my clothes would rub me wrong, making me all chafed and man was I sore. It was torture.
Not only was I uncomfortable in my own skin, but I also looked like a fool because I didn’t know what I was doing. When you start anything, you suck at it and look silly. Think about a baby learning to walk, a child learning to read, your first try at a new hobby or sport, or Chris Farley beginning his fitness journey as a Chippendale dancer. All ridiculous looking.
So what do you do when you need help? Admit it. Get some.
Working with a trainer
At this point, I have had three different personal trainers. I do not have one anymore, because my main goal was to learn fitness techniques and my way around a weight room, and I have met that. That being said, it was the best decision I have ever made to invest in one. Please, please, please don’t write off the idea! Shout out to Jackson, the man who made me take charge of my own life.
So what was this new adventure like? My first time was great! We measured my body (ok, that part was a little shocking and somewhat alarming), did a weigh-in and talked about all these fitness and nutrition goals. The very first question out of my mouth was, “But can I still drink wine?” Yes, yes I could. In my experience, trainers preach a lifestyle of moderation, so it was nice to hear I didn’t have to quit everything I enjoyed cold turkey.
I was stoked! I was hyped! I was going to be a Victoria’s Secret model in mere months! Then I went to the second session and realized that this was hard work and I hated it… but maybe not as much as I hated that damn treadmill that I’d been jogging on for months with no results.
Introductions to new activities made me feel even more out of shape and uncoordinated. Ask Jackson about how ridiculous my burpees looked at first. I think “effed up frog” was the term he used. Regardless, my trainers were all extremely encouraging and wonderful at explaining these great workouts, but working out still has a learning curve.
It was around the seventh time I decided it wasn’t the worst thing in the whole world.
This sounds terrible.
My advice? At the beginning, just KEEP GOING! Make it a point to go to the gym and do what your trainer says. You’re going to be sore, and probably whine. I know I did. God bless my roommate at the time. Then, slowly but surely, you’re going to start thinking crazy things like this:
“I feel kind of sluggish after not working out today. I think I might go to the gym.”
“I wonder what workout we are going to do this week. I kind of liked the last one.”
“Maybe I don’t want the Texas Cheese Fries AND the double bacon cheeseburger. It makes me feel kind of gross.”
“Whoa—these jeans! I can button them and they just came out of the dryer!”