May 152012
 

Something happened at the gym recently that saddened and angered me. Let me paint the picture for you. I was working in the free weight section doing my routine and saw an overweight guy with a personal trainer. I overheard bits and pieces and it was apparently his first session. I smiled at him to be encouraging as he struggled to do a plank.

Later, I was doing my stretches on the mat and the same trainer was talking to his next client but what he was saying stopped me in my tracks. The trainer was making fun of Client #1 to Client #2. He was laughing at how the client couldn’t do a plank.

My workout was done and so I left. But as I was walking to my car, I was kicking myself for not saying something. In my mind I practiced what I SHOULD have said to the trainer, calling him out on talking smack about someone who was DOING HIS BEST.

Why do I bring this up? Because it really bothered me. You may wonder why I care. Well, I was that guy once upon a time. I was morbidly obese and totally terrified of people at the gym or pool making fun of me. I had to get my 250+ pound body in a swimsuit and walk to the pool with my thighs rubbing together, feeling self-conscious about my body, thinking that everyone in the pool was laughing at the “fat girl.”

You know what helped me? Encouragement from people. My friends and family were all supportive. My neighbor and close friend Star was enthusiastic about my progress. I also made a friend at the community center’s gym. Christian, a personal trainer there, was a true cheerleader.

Maybe I was spoiled. Christian was such an awesome trainer that I’ve compared all others to him and they have fallen short. But truly, I think he was great. For example, I worked out a few days a week in that tiny gym and every time I was there, Christian had a kind word to say. “Good job, Lisa” and “I’m seeing progress” and “Keep at it!” They may not be anything special, but that encouragement made me feel good about myself and good about what I was doing. It kept me going. It made me work harder when the scale got stuck. And you know what? I wasn’t even using Christian’s personal training services. It was over a year before I finally paid for 3 sessions with him.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad personal trainers out there. Be picky, ask questions, and if you don’t like the trainer find a new one.

Don’t ever let someone diminish your efforts. There are haters out there everywhere that are just waiting to tear you down. It could be a so-called friend, a jealous coworker, a family member; it could be an internet bully, or a complete stranger. (The event made me think of a post a blogger wrote, When People Say Mean Things.)

Discrimination against overweight people is nothing new. But it still hurts. And I may be 100 pounds lighter, but I still have the wounds of hurtful words and embarrassing memories somewhere in me.

It doesn’t matter if you have 100 pounds to lose or 10, if you are working towards your goal you should be proud of yourself and your efforts and never, ever let some jerk discourage you from trying!

QUESTION: How do you deal with the haters, the bullies, the Negative Nancys?

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Apr 302012
 

I had a really good, really busy, productive weekend. Don’t you love it when everything just falls together smoothly? Saturday morning’s workout was stellar. I feel so confident when I have a successful workout with no bumps in the road. I started out with a run on the treadmill and had to increase the speed because it felt too slow and my entire run I was completely disconnected my legs. It felt as though they were doing all the work for me and it was too easy for them! I never felt fatigued or slow, or like I needed a walk break. I ended up doing 2.80 miles in the blink of an eye.

My weight lifting was great too! No complaints here. I felt strong and also had to increase the amount of weights on several machines. I have to say that my new favorite machines are the ones that work the biceps. I think that’s because that is where I am seeing new muscles developing and it’s really encouraging to see progress!

I am sooo ready to take my running outside!

Gym Stats:

Time: 1:27
Calories Burned: 736
Mileage: 2.80

For lunch I made a quick sandwich out of a toasted bagel thin, cream cheese, Black Forest ham slices and half an avocado. I added a side of cottage cheese. Lunch was delicious and I devoured the messy sandwich; avocado tends to do that.

I spent the afternoon with my friend Sam at the mall, doing some shopping. Sam’s birthday is coming up and I offered to help her find the right outfit. I haven’t been to the store Torrid in probably 6 years. It was one of the places I liked to shop in as a plus-sized girl but back in the day the clothing style they sold was different than what I saw this weekend. Back then it was basically the plus-sized option of Hot Topic–leaning more towards the gothic type clothing that I often wore. Now it seems to be simply a plus-sized store.

While Sam was trying on the clothes, I wandered around the store. Something else had changed since the last time I had been there. They had different sizing than the standard clothing stores. Everything in Torrid was size 0-4. That means that size 0 was like 12-14, 1 was 16-18 all the way up to 4 which was I think 24 and up. At first I wondered if that vanity sizing worked; I mean, didn’t people see right through that advertising tactic? But as I was standing there, I overheard a girl with her friend comment “This is probably the only time I’ll ever be a size zero!” And I realized that Torrid was brilliant in their vanity sizing.

It was a truly strange experience being in Torrid after so long. There were several times where I grabbed something off the racks thinking “This is super cute, I should try this…” and then realized it wouldn’t fit me. It was almost as if I forgot what body I was in. Strange how I’ve swung onto the other side of the pendulum; gone are the times when I struggled for years to find clothes that were “big” enough for me.

Sam bought an adorable shirt for her birthday party and then we left the mall. I was feeling unsettled after Torrid, almost like I’d been somewhere I shouldn’t have. Part of me wondered if any of the shoppers looked at me and thought “why is SHE shopping here?” If only they knew the old me.

Saturday night Michael and I met up with another couple for dinner over on NE Alberta at a place called Branch Whiskey Bar. We had a Groupon for the place that was expiring soon.

The place was hip and cute. Their menu was fairly small, which I was surprised about, but the food ended up being a real treat. Our friends wanted to get the pate appetizer plate so we all shared that. I’d never had pate before, but was willing to try it. The tray came with pate, pickled beets and onions, sardines, an unidentifiable fruit, a spicy ground mustard, apple slices, bread, and a few other random things.

How was the pate? It was just ok. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t something that I was blown away over. It was almost like a meatloaf. I imagined pate to be a creamier texture, like a spread.

Michael ordered the Branch Burger with bacon and gruyere cheese with fries. The “bacon” turned out to be like canadian bacon, or just a big slab of ham. He didn’t like that, but he loved the burger! I also ended up ordering a burger. The Black Truffle Mac n’ Cheese sound fantastic and intriguing, but I had a ravenous craving for a burger.

I got the Alberta Burger, which was supposed to come with blue cheese but it ended up having gruyere (which is fine because I prefer it). My burger also had caramelized onions and a spicy remoulade–which is just a fancy word for special mayo I think! I got the salad instead of fries and it came with a sherry vinaigrette that was delicious and tart.

I LOVED my burger!  It was smoky and the remoulade was spicy and it all went really well with the sweetness of the caramelized onions. The burger wasn’t monstrous in size and I didn’t feel like I ate too much when I was done. It was definitely a burger done right. I do wish we’d had room for dessert, though, because their special that night was a whiskey chocolate mousse. Oh well, next time!

Sunday

Michael went out of town for a few days, leaving Sunday morning. I lazed around with the cats, went swimming, then took care of chores around the house–cleaning, laundry, etc. I also got caught up on some of my shows on the DVR (Grey’s Anatomy, SVU, NCIS).

Sunday afternoon I went to the movies with my friend, Kat. We saw “The Five Year Engagement.” I pictured it to be a typical chick flick, but it was darker than I was expecting. It was really funny and I cracked up at many parts. It was good, but don’t go expecting a warm and fuzzy movie.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I felt like I had a healthy balance this weekend and it made me feel satisfied with my life. Isn’t it nice when you feel like all aspects are clicking?

QUESTION: Tell me the highlight of your weekend. And have you seen that movie yet?

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