Today I am starting a new routine with a personal trainer. I’ve never really had a personal trainer before so I’m not sure what to expect. It conjures up all sorts of gruesome images of drill sergeants screaming at new recruits. (In fact, she’s already told me some of her recruits, er… clients, call her drill sergeant.)
Years ago, my boyfriend was a die hard gym rat. He lifted weights, took supplements and compared muscles with other gym rats. Unfortunately, he didn’t keep this obsession/hobby to himself. He wanted me to be “fit” (Read: SKINNY), too. Over time, I realized that his hobby was a bit unhealthy and completely unrealistic for me. I’ve never been a size two and I’ll never be a size two. I’m built bigger. For my then boyfriend, that was not a reasonable answer. I had to strive for that size two (or, even better in his eyes, size zero.)
Instead of, “How was your day honey?” I got, “Did you go to the gym today?” If I had, the next question was often, “For how long? What did you do? Did you break a sweat?” I began to dread his arrival home from work each day. My workouts were never enough for him. I ate like a bird around him and pigged out on candy and snacks when he wasn’t around. I began to hide food. He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight. Once, he even went out for wings with friends and left me behind because I “didn’t need to eat unhealthy foods.”
The gym became a war zone for me. I loathed every person there – associated them, even if I didn’t know them – with my boyfriend. I considered them all fanatics, haters of fat people,and judgmental Judy’s of the gym.
When I met my now husband, we discussed going to the gym. I agreed, knowing he is much different than my gym-loving boyfriend. The first time I went… the smell of sweat and testosterone stirred up a wicked range of emotions. I almost didn’t stay to even step on the treadmill. When I heard the grunts of the weight-lifters, I cringed. Changing in the locker room set off my low self-esteem indicators and I kept my eyes on the floor the entire time – making it very hard to change into my gym clothes. A trip to the gym often resulted in more depression than success for me. (Why does everyone look like they don’t NEED to be at the gym? Where are all the fat people? I felt like the only one on most days.)
But as time as moved on, it did not become easier, so I quit going to the gym. I opted to try Zumba classes and my own workouts instead to try and stay fit. It’s worked for the most part, but I’ve slacked off some and need that push from someone else. So I’m trying the trainer. I’ve already warned her I’m skittish so I pray she’ll go a bit easy on me at first, but for years I’ve been an unhealthy weight and I want to change. My hips hurt. My feet ache. Pants don’t fit. It’s been 42 years of the same. My dad’s heart surgery really pushed me to make this decision. Almost everyone on his side of the family has died of heart attacks. I don’t want that. I want to live. I do need this trainer to push me, to give me a routine that works, but also to do it in a caring way – something my boyfriend never did.
So, here I go. On another adventure. I don’t think there will be an “lunks” at this gym, God has directed me to a Christian trainer so I pray we’ll be able to avoid the stress that I remember about workouts. I want to be thinner, to be healthier, and to get some pretty new clothes that fit! Wish me luck and come back often to see my progress!