So…hitting the gym. It sounded great until the actual day I was supposed to make my first appearance. And suddenly, all the self-doubts rushed in. It’s been so long…will I be able to even complete a workout? Will people wonder why I even try? Will I fall off the treadmill? Don’t laugh–I’m notoriously uncoordinated. I was once asked to leave a step aerobics class because my friend and I couldn’t stop laughing over the fact that I kept falling off the step bench. But seriously, it’s daunting to walk into a gym full of fit people and expose yourself. Oh, and get measured. And weighed. It’s one thing to know you are overweight,but it’s another to actually confront the number. Especially with other people present. People who haven’t taken the Hippocratic oath to never reveal your secrets.
On the drive over, I called a friend. “I can’t do this,” I whimpered pitifully. After a pep talk that basically consisted of “get your butt in there,” I headed into AnyTime Fitness at Five Points, where people of all ages, fitness levels and shapes were working out. Some going at it hard and some simply walking on the treadmill. I relaxed. Maybe I can do this.
Erica met me at the door. “You ready to get healthy?” she asked with a smile, and with that, I was on my way. First up, weight and measurements and to her credit, Erica never once cracked even the smallest smile, shook her head in dismay or showed any disappointment. I did enough of that for the both of us. Once all my base measurements were established, to include BMI, she set goals for me, which seemed almost too small for six months. Lose five percent of my body fat and about fifteen pounds overall. But, as she explained, muscle weighs more than fat, so while I should see inches come off, it may not show up on the scale, as I will be building muscle in the process.
We then went over my various health issues–herniated disc in the neck, a repetitive sports injury from much more active and younger days, knees that sound like they have sandpaper in them, a lower back that I must watch out for as I broke vertebrae and ruptured a disc in a hoola hoop injury when I was twelve. (And here I’m wondering if I should just leave you hanging or let your imaginations run wild.) No? Okay…remember using hoola hoops in gym class? We used to flip them forward with a flick of the wrist that would put a backspin on the hoop that would basically turn it into a boomerang. Well, I was in the gym, flipped it a little too hard and it went rolling toward the stairs that led to the locker rooms below. I was in socks on the polished wood floor, ran to keep it from going downstairs and was going too fast to stop at the top of the stairs. Not nearly as exciting as what you were imagining, is it?
After categorizing my various infirmities, I went through a light and manageable workout. Which was just lulling me into a false sense of security, but we’ll get to that later. Afterwards, we went over my new way of eating. Which we will get to the next time. Cuz you’re busy people and I don’t want to take up any more of your time…
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