Monthly Archives: June 2012
It’s officially summer and that means that we’ll probably be seeing some scorchingly hot days coming up soon, or at least we will be in Chicago! From crazy sunburns and dehydration to heat exhaustion and just plain ol’ crankiness because it’s SO hot, make sure that you are taking the time to take care of yourself as you are headed out to play!
One of the things that it is really easy to forget as you are soaking up the sun is how much water you are losing just from hanging out all day. Once you add in working out and probably working up a pretty good sweat, forget it! Healthy water is the most important nutrient that we consume. It’s responsible for every physical function in our systems and according to GotWater.net, it only takes a loss of only 1% – 2% of your body’s ideal water content to cause dehydration, which you easily drop when you are sweating it out in the sun. This is especially true for all of the fitness lovers out there exercising in the summer heat. Make sure that you are taking breaks to drink water! 90% of people do not drink enough water and suffer from chronic dehydration, leading to a number of health problems.
Water plays a big role in how our body responds to physical activity. We sweat to regulate our body temperature. If we don’t get enough water, our body cannot sweat properly and our temperature rises putting us at a risk for heat/muscle cramps, general tiredness and a lack of coordination. Some basics to remember are:
- Drink water frequently. Your body will feel cooler if you are hydrated. Try drinking eight ounces of water at least every hour. Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing.
- Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
- Chill your pulse points by running cold water over your wrist for a minute or so each hour. Splashing water on your temples or face can produce a similar effect.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.
- Make sure that you are eating and drinking enough and taking breaks to cool off to ward off the general crankiness and moodiness that can accompany getting overheated.
Sunburns are probably tied neck and neck with not drinking enough water for problems in the summer. I know that when I was younger, I never thought anything of running around all day in the sun without sunscreen and would be miserable the next day when my previously glow-in-the-dark pale Irish skin would be lobster red and SUPER painful. L No fun. These days I don’t even go out for a jog without spraying on some SPF. And with those nifty spray sunscreens they have now, it couldn’t be easier to make sure that your skin is protected as you are outside living life! Anyone from any race can get sunburned and need protection from the sun’s rays, so everyone should be lathering up, not just the pale Irish folk like me. With skin cancer on the rise (nearly 2 million people are diagnosed annually), make sure that you are loving your body by protecting your skin!
Quick SPF fun facts from the American Association of Dermatology:
When should I use sunscreen?
- Every day! The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays year round.
- Even on cloudy days, harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.
- On a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds.
- Snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen.
- Snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays, and sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays.
Q. How much sunscreen should I use, and how often should I apply it?
- Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Ask yourself, “Will my face, ears, arms, or hands be covered by clothing?” If not, apply sunscreen.
- To be sure you use enough, follow this guideline:
- One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.
- Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.3
- Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
- Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily according to the directions on the bottle.
I LOVE hormone surges! Not. The past two weeks have been one emotional rollercoaster after another and it has left me exceedingly drained, short tempered and trying really hard to stay positive and focused. Most of it just has to do with being hormonal because it was my time of the month, but now that I am past that and it’s still lingering, I’m thinking that I may have been pushing to hard lately and am on the border of overtraining. My bouts of being insecure, doubtful, and slightly depressed have been happening more often in the past two weeks and I can’t seem to shake off the sheer exhaustion that has come over me from trying to juggle working 40 hours a week, cramming two classes into Summer I (which involves 12 hours of class on Mondays), working out like a fiend, and trying to balance the rest of my life as well.
Sometimes we all just need a break and I have been giving it to myself so that I don’t crash and burn. With the exception of training with Dan on Tuesday and the 5k we ran last night, I haven’t seriously worked out since last Friday. Which drives me a little crazy because I LOVE working out. I love everything about how it makes me feel and not going to lie, I’m in a little bit of withdrawal without it.
Now, for a long time I refused to take any breaks at all because I was pretty sure that I would just stop and not come back. However, now that I know how much I love making my body feel good, that is less and less a concern. Sometimes as beginners, you need to go to the gym, even on days you aren’t motivated to get yourself in the habit of going. Because most of the time, once you get there and get going, you will end up really enjoying your workout. Motivating yourself to get up off your booty and move when the couch/bed/hammock/chair, etc. is SO comfortable. Get up anyway! You’ll be so glad you did!
As much as I love it though, I want to KEEP loving it and sometimes that means backing off a bit and getting some rest so that you can keep pushing. So for the rest of the month (which is all of 8 days… haha) I am limiting myself to absolutely no twice a day workouts and taking at least 2 days a week off. Maybe three if I can really convince myself to take it easy for a bit. And then I’ll be able to start July with a bang at my 5k obstacle mud run and dig back into training hard!
Remember to take care of yourselves! Mind AND Body!
So I was all set to write about something else today, since I figured it had been a hot minute since I posted an entry… (oops! Life’s been a little crazy!), but I came across a comment on one of my old posts that really got me thinking about a subject that I think is SO super important and usually super neglected: BODY LOVIN’!
This is such a hard thing for all of us to acheive, men and women alike. I know that I struggle with it all the time. But here is what I have figured out. This body is the only one I have, so I am going to love it and take care of it like it’s completely priceless. Because it is. Along my journey, I had to give up some serious vices in favor of loving my body and some I miss more than others. Smoking, cutting back on drinking, getting rid of a lot of unhealthy processed foods, just to name a few. And donuts. God, I love donuts. But if it comes to a choice between any of those and my working to be healthy body, I pick my body hands down. But even when I slip up and pick donuts instead, I refuse to beat myself up and go on a guilt trip.
Want to know why? Because I’m human. I mess up…. All the time. But I am trying every day and every day, I get better and steps closer to where I want to be. Not because I’m determined to fit society’s picture of how I should look or how skinny I need to be, but because I LOVE my body and I LOVE feeling like I’m getting healthier every day. It makes me feel confidant and powerful and strong to know that I can do things now that I couldn’t 6 months ago. It makes me fall in love with my body even more.
When I first started all of this, I was like pretty much everyone else. I had a goal weight in mind, I was desperate to reach it and to shed all of the extra pounds I was carrying around because I wanted to feel pretty and thin and all of those other things that we as women are told we should be in order to be attractive and lovable. Since I am pretty much a pain in the ass, I pretty quickly dropped all that BS (which turned out to be the BEST thing I could have done for myself!) and decided that I didn’t have a goal weight. I don’t have a specific size I want to be; I couldn’t begin to tell you someone famous that you know that I want to look like. Because I don’t have one. I want to look like me. A fit, healthy, happy me and since no one else looks quite like me, why would I use them to set my goals. Why would you? Love yourself and your body now, exactly where you’re at, because hating it isn’t going to make it happen any faster and will be a harder habit to break later on.
Not that any of those are bad things or bad goals to set. They’re great because they are really measureable. But you are more than that number on the scale or the size of your jeans. You’re more than a rockin’ set of abs or a really great ass. You’re BEAUTIFUL. Exactly where you’re at. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. And if working towards a specific weight or size helps you stay on track and keeps you motivated, awesome! Grab it with both hands and run with it!
When I really thought about it, I decided that I really wanted to TRULY love my body wherever it was at and that focusing on the number on a scale or what size my clothes were wasn’t going to be a way for me to do that. That being disappointed with where I might be at was too easy to shift into working out as a punishment for not doing better instead of being a way to love and reward my body. So I shifted my thinking. Now I get on a scale every couple of weeks and focus more on how my body feels. I love how amazing I feel after lifting heavy or a really energetic dance class, so I let loose and bust out on the floor, because it reminds me of how fantastic my body is. I still get excited when I have to go buy new clothes because my old ones don’t fit anymore and I still have a body fat percentage that I am trying to work my way down to, but I refuse to beat myself up over it.
Love yourself and your body now, exactly where you’re at, because hating it isn’t going to make it happen any faster and will be a harder habit to break later on. All you need to be beautiful is a smile on your face!
I am so ridiculously sick of seeing pages that supposedly support health and fitness posting pictures of people and asking their followers to rate how hot they are on a scale of 1 to 10. Not is it just degrading because 90% of the women in the pictures are mostly naked, but they all pretty much fit the same mold of super skinny women. How is this hot? Shouldn’t we be promoting that all bodies types are beautiful and can be attractive or that healthy and strong is beautiful and sexy? What a concept, that people in the fitness community should be setting a good example of how to love your body!
One of the things that I have realized in the past few months is that I can’t stand the word ‘hot’ being used to describe people. I hate that we use it to describe people, I hate that it objectifies anyone that it is used in conjunction with and implies that you are only as good as you look. That kind of mentality tells people that they are only there to be looked at and that it doesn’t really matter what kind of personality you have as long as you are attractive. Because let’s face it, you’re obviously only a sex object, right?
I had a conversation with a friend of mine earlier this year where at one point he asked me why all the hot girls were so mean, not having a clue about what was about to rain down on him. I lit into him about why are guys only attracted to the hot girls, instead of the nice girls or the smart girls or the funny ones or the pretty ones. That it sends a message that to be loved you have to be hot and if you spent your life hating yourself because you were trying so hard to fit into that mold, that you would probably be angry and mean too. So that maybe, if he wanted a quality woman, that he should start looking for one whose personality blew him away because the looks will come and go and in the end, aren’t the most important part.
It makes me sad for our society that many people will judge you based on your appearance, whether it is because you are skinny or fat, tattooed or have piercings, based on how you dress, etc. The sad fact that we teach our children to hate themselves for how they look and that no matter what, they will never be as ‘hot’ as they could be. Ask even the prettiest girl in the room, I guarantee you that there is something that she would change about herself. And don’t be fooled into believing that women are the only people affected by this kind of mentality. Men have it just as bad; it’s just not as widely publicized. We need to learn to stop hating our bodies and LOVE them, no matter what stage they are at.
I would so much rather be called pretty or attractive or beautiful than ‘hot’, if you even have to comment on my looks at all. I’m angry at society for being so shallow that many people will completely write you off without ever getting to know you based on how you look and that we continue to support these industries and the poisonous messages that they send. I’m angry because how is it fair to send the message that no one wanted to love me and be with me when I was myself, but fat, but if all the sudden I get fit and strong (which would make me smaller than I was to begin with), that BINGO! That’s the ticket to be wanted? How much bullshit is that? And here I am, getting angry with people who are looked up to by their fans/followers, etc. for setting what I consider to be a bad example. And getting irrationally angry with someone I haven’t even met yet because they weren’t here to love me when I was bigger. Makes total sense, right?
Check out BeautyRedefined.Net, Fit Villains, and Fit Mama Training on Facebook for amazingly positive messages about loving your body wherever it’s at! I know that I have found them all massively inspirational!
I am pretty upfront about the fact that I really don’t like messages about fitness that say things like “Unless you’re ready to puke, pass out, or die, keep going.” (Thank you Jillian Michaels for that ridiculous bit of wisdom….) You know your own body and if you are on the verge of any of those things, it is fairly screaming at you to slow down a bit.
Now those of you who know me and how I workout might laugh a bit at the fact that I am saying that because I tend to go hard almost all the time, maybe more than I should. I have a really hard time taking days off or even slowing down and doing lower intensity workouts. If you ask Dan, he’d tell you that I have a hard time letting go of the idea that if I don’t hurt the next day, then it probably wasn’t as good of a workout as it could have been. It’s one of the things that I am constantly trying to work on because if you are pushing hard on your “easy” days, then when you get to your “hard” days, you won’t have the energy to push yourself to go farther. In the end, everybody loses because you just end up with multiple so-so intensity workouts and are diminishing the gains you could be seeing by not giving yourself time to recover.
So, in the midst of my learning when to pace myself vs when to push myself, I have had a couple days where I just push too hard and too far for too long and it ends up biting me in the ass. I always blew off the advice that sometimes I needed to slow down or I’d risk overtraining or hurting myself or getting burned out. I figured that I knew my body and its cues better than anyone else and if I was feeling good and working hard, who was anyone else to tell me to stop. They didn’t know. Now, I wasn’t to the point of being completely obsessed or addicted, but I was definitely edging that way when I got a nice big wake up call.
In the middle of a long streak of two a day workouts, I decided to go lift in the morning. So I worked legs and back and then left to start the rest of my day. I just happened to have personal training with Dan after work, so I zipped back to the gym only to find out that we were also lifting that day. (Note: Usually, I try really hard to plan my lifting for days when I know I won’t be with Dan. Lifting twice in a day is not a good idea and so I usually do cardio instead.) We worked upper body and a little bit of legs and I was feeling great. Since it was a Tuesday during Lifetime’s 90 Day Challenge, they had a Try It Tuesday class for Team Fitness, which was something I had been wanting to try for a while. Dan was the one teaching the class and tried to tell me that it might not be a good idea to go, but me being me, I ignored him. What a terrible idea. I don’t know what made me think that if my trainer was telling me no that I would know better, I can’t tell you. What I can tell you is that by halfway through the class (which was fortunately just me, Dan and another client), that I was struggling, sore, and feeling vaguely nauseous. I finished out the class and immediately went to the bathroom figuring that if I was going to be sick, that would be the best place to hang out. :-\ I was fine and after having a little water and walking around a bit, I felt better, but by then, I had gotten the message loud and clear that I had pushed myself WAY too hard that day and was being an idiot about it.
So that was a couple months ago and I have being much more careful about not overdoing it and listening to my body since then. However, last night, my sister and I went to go to my regular Thursday night Zumba class and then my Street Vybe class. 2-2.5 hours of hard core cardio dance classes where I totally cut loose and have an AMAZING time! I always make sure to be smart and eat dinner during the hour break between and usually I plan to eat a lot of extra food all day, knowing that I’ll be burning off crazy amounts of calories while I’m dancin’ like a fool (usually I burn more calories that I typically eat in a day!) Apparently I didn’t do that quite well enough yesterday because today I am super sore, super tired, and have killer cases of nausea and headaches. :-\ No fun because it means that today has to be a complete rest day or really really light (I’m leaning towards just taking a stroll for my workout today. No running, no high heart rates, no lifting. Sad day.) and it means that I am also eat what feels like a boatload of food to try and balance it out.
Moral of the story: Everybody needs a reminder every once in a while to listen to your body so you don’t go WAY overboard in your training. I obviously need to fine tune my listening skills so I don’t have this yucky day afters going on anymore.
A woman at work today commented on how she was dreading having to go meet with her personal trainer today and that she just wanted to finish out her sessions so she could be done with it. My first thought was, “How sad. Everyone should be able to LOVE going to their trainer, the same way I LOVE seeing mine.” But after that, I thought about how many other women I know that have personal trainers that they aren’t particularly fond of, but keep seeing. Now, if you are getting results and they are keeping your motivated, then awesome, you don’t necessarily have to be best friends with them, but if you can’t stand meeting with them and you aren’t getting what you wanted, maybe it is time for a change.
From what I’ve seen, WAY too many women stay with the first trainer that is ever scheduled with them. Some of it is because it is new and scary to have to meet with several different trainers to find one who is a good fit for you. Some of it is a misplaced sense of obligation or that you’ll be hurting their feelings if you decide to work with someone else. So they stay with a trainer that isn’t right for them and either hate it or eventually start cancelling all the time to avoid sessions. But here’s the thing: it’s totally okay to find a trainer who is a great fit for you. It’s your money and your time, so it’s okay to say that it’s just not working out and to try meeting with someone new. Plus, most trainers, while they appreciate your business, would rather have a client that is enthusiastic and ready to work in their sessions to get results, not just one who shows up because they have too. Trainers are sales people in some respects and they recognize that it’s not a one size fits all game, so for the most part, none of them are going to be too upset or insulted if you let them know that you appreciate their hard work, but you just don’t feel like it is a good fit for you.
Finding a trainer who is a perfect fit for you is rather like finding the perfect pair of shoes. You have to try on a bunch and walk around to test out how they feel. See how they complement what you’re already working with and if they make you feel like a total rockstar who CAN achieve what your goals. If you aren’t feeling that synchrony with your current trainer, try to change it up and find one that really appeals to you. The best fit is going to be someone that clicks with you on a personal and a fitness level as you’re going to spending a fairly decent amount of time with them and they will end up being an educator, motivator, cheerleader, mentor, and hopefully friend as you travel through your fitness journey.
Now personally, I ADORE my trainer, Dan. He’s like this awesome combination of friend, cheerleader, mentor, younger brother, and puppy. lol. I’m sure he’d love that description…. Anyway, while he sometime drives me crazy and we don’t always see eye to eye on everything, he keeps me super motivated and I don’t think that I would be anywhere near where I am now if it wasn’t for him challenging me to reach higher and try harder than I ever thought I could.
So set that misplaced sense of obligation aside and jump into finding a trainer who will help you get fired up to work hard and get that rockin’ body that we all know you’re dying to have!
“Your abs are just right there and it’s a little distracting.” That will be the most memorable phrase from the first time that I met Dan. It was also a lie.
So it turns out that Mike, the yummy trainer that I had done my metabolic tests with wasn’t available to train with me since I was so anti-morning. But he said he had someone in mind that he thought I’d really enjoy working with. My only question had been if they would be able to handle me giving them a hard time and poking fun because otherwise I was pretty sure this just wasn’t going to work.
I showed up for my personal training session and was immediately confronted with this cute little blonde guy who I was pretty sure had just graduated 8th grade. Turns out this was Dan. But I’m a sport, so we start up and it turns out that Mike refused to tell him anything about me, just that we’d have fun. Lol. That is probably the nicest way of saying, “This might be a total trainwreck, but we’re going to see how it goes,” that I have ever heard. Now Dan is pretty in shape and is a little more of a pretty guy that I usually am into, but he’s making me laugh and we’re having fun and so I’m kind of checking him out a bit. Why not, right? But as we are moving into working at the chest press machine, he’s standing right in front of me and I realize that at the height that I’m sitting, I’m pretty much staring at his junk. Awesomely awkward realization right there. Since we just met, I’m trying to temper the fantastically inappropriate part of myself to not totally run him off, and end up staring off at the wall instead. Because what else am I supposed to do? I can’t just keep staring at him; that would be super weird to be caught doing. Of course, this course of action isn’t any LESS inconspicuous and Dan asks if I’m bored since I’m just staring at the wall.
“Ummmm, no. I’m not bored. It’s just that where you’re standing, all I can do is stare at your abs. I mean, your abs are just right there and it’s a little distracting.” Smooth Casey, really smooth. Of course, being the nice and totally clueless guy he is, he says, “Oh, well, that’s alright, it’s not a big deal if you look at me.”
Bahaha, great, now I’m struggling not to stare AND not to crack up laughing because this poor kid has no idea that when I say I’m staring at your abs, I really mean about 8 inches farther south. And he’s giving me permission to do so. Haha. Fantastic.
Seeing that I was still uncomfortable, he ended up moving and then crouching down in front of me, which was awfully nice of him to do.
Now the best part of this story isn’t even that it happened. The best part is that 6 weeks later, we’re sitting in the café at Lifetime talking to a mutual friend and he brings it up to tell her the story, thinking it’s kind of funny and still not having any clue that wasn’t the real story. So I start trying not to laugh at him and finally have to just cut in and say, “Well….. that’s not EXACTLY what happened…..” at which point I proceed to spill the beans about the real story and Dan’s face has this expression like he can’t believe that he’s just figuring this out and Karen and I are cracking up about how clueless he can be.
I hate masks. I never really thought about it until I was forced to wear one for these metabolic tests that I took at Lifetime, but I absolutely hate them. The idea of putting something that constricting on my face just completely turns me off.
Now I was lucky (or maybe unlucky? Haha) enough to have both of metabolic assessments scheduled with the charming and witty Michael B. Ladies, let me tell you, I’m pretty sure this guy could charm the panties off a nun. Maybe that was just my impression. But more on that later.
From what I hear, I didn’t really have a typical start to this whole process, so mine is a little wonky compared to most members. I guess, you normally start off doing your FitPoint assessment, which is this free appointment with a personal trainer where they do a couple basic fitness tests and measurements and talk about your goals, how you’re planning on attaining them, blah blah blah. Mine did NOT go that way. I met with Pam, who had a million and two certifications for every possible fitness thing you could think of and was intimidating as all get out. And all we did was talk about my goals. And how I should quit smoking (her idea, not mine). And some other stuff that I really don’t remember. The gist of it was this – I started at Lifetime with the following mental attitudes in place:
1. I HATE exercise, but it’s a necessary evil
2. I HATE mornings and will never be a morning workout person. Let me just hit it late at night, preferably when there is really no one around
3. I am a smoker. That’s not going to change, so please don’t bother to try and convince me of all the reasons I should quit. My mom’s a nurse, I already know them, so just save your breath
Great attitude, right? Totally the kind that will change your life….. NOT. So Pam talked to me about these metabolic tests that she thought would be really helpful as to her it sounded like when I did workout, I pushed WAY too hard and that I wasn’t giving my body nearly the nutrition it needed. Lifetime Fitness offers this wide variety of Life something or other (Gotta love that it’s all branded Life something since it’s for Lifetime. Lol.) tests that you can have done to measure various health and fitness components. The two that are pretty common for most beginners are what they call a CaloriePoint and a CardioPoint.
For anyone who doesn’t know, a CaloriePoint is a metabolic test where you basically sit, very relaxed, and breathe through the masks mentioned above. Based on putting your CO2 and oxygen levels into some nifty magic algorithm, it calculates what your Resting Metabolic Rate is, or what you need to eat just to maintain your weight if you did nothing but lay around all day. Add in some more math based on your current lifestyle/job and if you want to lose, gain or maintain weight, and they are able to give you a pretty accurate count on how many calories you should be eating per day. Sounds easy, right?
Nope. Of course not. So after fasting for 12 hours (yeah, that’s part of the requirements for this test too) with no cigarettes, alcohol, or exercise for 24 hours, I showed up to Lifetime before work one morning. The test is only supposed to take 15 or so minutes, so no big deal…. Except I get a phone call that the trainer running my tests is running late because of traffic…. On his way in from Wrigleyville…. Awesome. But okay. So he gets there, we get all set up and I’m wearing this god awful mask, sitting in the dark with this guy I don’t know at all and sounds gross because you have to breathe through your mouth the entire time. We wait and we wait and then just for fun, we wait some more, because for whatever reason the machine is STILL going like 35 minutes after we start and it hasn’t finished collecting whatever it collects. Whew. Finally done and I run out the door because now I’m late for work too.
A couple days later I go back for my CardioPoint, which basically means wearing the mask while walking on the treadmill as it continuously inclines so we can find out my VO2 max, or what levels my cardiovascular system is at. This one, of course, takes place on the main workout floor, so not only do you get to wear the creepy mask that looks like it’s straight out of a bondage movie, but everyone who comes up and down the stairs gets to walk right by you. Have I mentioned I don’t really like attracting attention? Lol. So much for that. So Mike and I are running this test and he asks how the mask feels…. I, being the inappropriately funny kind of girl I am, respond that bondage masks aren’t really my thing, but otherwise I’m fine. After trading some smart ass comments back and forth, I’m starting to think that even though Mike is engaged that he is one yummy piece of man and that yummy could be a pretty good motivator to workout harder… Totally shallow but true.
In case you ever had any misconception that smoking doesn’t totally fuck you up, let me enlighten you. Once I finished my test, Mike took one look at my results and said, “You’re a smoker, AREN’T YOU?!” Yep, that obvious, just by look at how lame ass my cardiovascular was. Kind of scary, when you think about it. So we went over my results and damn, if I felt pathetic before, now I just felt worse about how ridiculously out of shape I was. Most people’s cardiovascular and fat burning look like they are basically fairly even all the way across and then taper off towards the end. Mine: Starts high, plummets immediately…..
Hmmm, I think I see a difference here…..
So we started talking about options, one of which was personal training. Talk about hefty expenses. At Lifetime, there are three levels of trainer costs: $79, $89, and $99. Every hour. But hell, I’m already committed and I get a few free sessions, so why not give it a crack? And heck, if I can work with a hot, in shape guy, who can handle my sense of humor AND get me in shape? Shit, sign me up, right?? Who wouldn’t be up for that?
April 9, 2012
“Hi, my name is Casey and I am a New Year’s Resolutioner.” Gasp! Yes, I admit it! I was one of those folks right after New Years that swarm the gym with all the promises that “this year” was going to be different. You know exactly who I am talking about. The annoying hordes of people that flock in at key points during the year with these awesome fitness goals and then 4-6 weeks later, you never see them again. Yep, I was one of them. But this time it was different. Because I was different.
When I was almost 26, I had one of those rare moments of clarity when you look at your life and you can see where it has gone off from the path you had intended. Now that in itself is not always a bad thing, sometimes you find miraculous parts of yourself in those detours. This was not one of those times. I saw myself – 25 years old, almost 300 pounds, smoking about ½ a pack of cigarettes a day, drinking every weekend with my friends, trying to make up for my lack of self-love with people, mostly guys, who didn’t love or value me. And it hit me that if I kept it up, it was going to kill me. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even next week or next month, but eventually the nosedive I was in was going to end in a big fiery crash.
Now I’ve had some people who hear that and think “Oh my god, that must have been such a scary thing to realize. I’m sure you were scared into making a change.” Ummm, no. I didn’t think it was scary. I actually thought it was pretty damned pathetic and decided that I was sick of living my life that way. I had too much pride to see my existence going to waste that way. So I started looking into gyms and when I found one that was open 24 hours a day, I went over to check it out.
It sounds so god-awful corny, but walking into Lifetime that day changed my life. It started me on an adventure towards becoming the person I was supposed to be.