For the past 3 1/2 years I’ve been working out with a trainer (and some on my own). It’s been hard work, but the results have definitely been worth it. When I first started I was coming in at around 186 pounds. At 6 feet tall (or 5 foot 12 inches as a friend used to say) I was able to carry the weight without most people noticing too much. But I noticed and it bothered me. I didn’t like the size clothes I was wearing, having a hard enough time finding things to fit right because of my height, my weight didn’t help either.
Working with a trainer has probably been one of the best things I could have done. It helps to hold me accountable, not only getting to the gym, but also because he checks in with me to see what I’m eating, if I’m doing workouts on my own, and making modifications based on how my body is responding and if there are injuries to be considered. And even after working with him for as long as I have, the workouts are never boring, never the same.
Over the past year I have also been using a program to track the cardio portion of my workouts. These are primarily my warm ups before sessions with the trainer and a couple of hours on my own during the rest of the week. What surprised me was the totals that I reviewed when I looked at my “lifetime” achievements. Since I started tracking last January I have worked out for 246 days (out of 356, give or take a day), I have completed 117 hours and 55 minutes, for a distance of 1,322.81 miles and a calorie burn of 59,266.
I have also made dietary changes, because exercise alone is not going to give me the results if I’m still consuming too much or the wrong things. Don’t get me wrong, I still have sweets on occasion, and bread (my biggest weakness) and other foods that most diets would tell you are “forbidden”. But they are in moderation along with adding a lot more of the healthy things I should be eating. And the results of all this, I have lost and kept off 25 pounds, I have gone from sizes 12/14 to sizes 6/8, I sleep better, I’m more flexible now than I’ve been in years past, and just the other day I was actually able to run sprints and not experience pain or ill effects (something doctors told me I shouldn’t do because of my knee issues). I don’t say this to brag, I just share it as an example of what can happen when you make a change and stick to it.
I’ve also learned something else important in all this. You have to find what works for you. All these crash diets, plans, and workouts that are out there are only as good as you make them. If you aren’t going to enjoy what you are doing, if you think it’s a drag or a chore, you won’t get the results you want. And until you are ready to fully commit to the change, it’s just another resolution you make at the beginning of the year that will be forgotten in just a few short months (or weeks).
And now I’m off to the gym, because now when I don’t go, I miss it.