Pride (?) of Ownership

I have once again ventured into the land of Personal Training (receiving end). This is the third time and I hope it works like a charm, as the first one I worked with 4 years ago seemed disinterested (possibly a reflection of my attitude of “I’m paying you so my work is done here”), the second one found all the things I didn’t like and increased them in proportion (I hate kettle bells).

Up until now my ventures into physical activity consisted of the following process:

  1. I need to lose weight.
  2. I don’t make time for the gym.
  3. Unless I have paid for an event.
  4. If I’m going to pay for an event it should be a “big” thing.
  5. Which event has enough credibility and pressure?
    1. Half Marathon
    2. 200 mile bike ride
  6. Register for event.
  7. Feel pumped about event.
  8. Figure training schedule for event.
  9. Skip some days but don’t worry I’ll make it up.
  10. Train in earnest.
  11. Injure myself during training because I didn’t ramp properly.
  12. Ignore or marginalize injury because I’m in denial.
  13. Do event. Maybe whine a lot. Maybe get a little irrational.
  14. Injure myself during event and/or exacerbate injury from training.
  15. Go to Physical Therapy. Go Directly to Physical Therapy.
  16. Have PT person:
    1. Shake head
    2. Remind me of the last time We Were Together, Ask if I’ve Been Doing My Exercises
    3. Hand me New Exercises
    4. Graduate me 2-3 months later
    5. We both know we’ll see each other again.
  17. Celebrate my newfound physical wellness by “taking a break”.
  18. Gain weight. Go back to #1.

The part of this cycle I’m trying to break is numbers 2, 9, 12, and 17.  Hence, Personal Trainer.

My Personal Trainer’s name is Dave. Dave is a former Marine Corps Drill Instructor and acts like it, which is good, but he’s also pretty cheerful at points and is sensitive to the random pains that come with arthritic knees. Dave managed to work me out so hard the first two days that I was actually sore in my armpits. Did you know you have muscles there? I did not… until they were sore. Or there was the time I coughed and my stomach muscles hurt…

This process started about three weeks ago and it’s fairly predictable – while I’m using MyFitnessPal to log all of my food (for the most part honestly), I’m typically tracking more calories than I ought to have, and usually due to the end-of-day meal. I’m also (theoretically) increasing my muscle mass, and since muscle weighs more than fat, my weight hasn’t gone down materially. *

The part that I’m proud of though is that, for more than 21 days (23 as of yesterday) I have made it to the gym 6 days out of each week – at least 3 runs and at least 3 weight workouts. My knees have managed to make it through 32 minutes of running with one, 1-minute break; there’s only minimal swelling and it’s gone at end of day. I’ve also noticed if I don’t run or work out (e.g., that 7th day) I’m a bit of a princess crankypants. I am taking all of these as good signs and hoping the adage that “21 days  makes a habit” is true.

And I haven’t signed up for any events, thank you.

*Actually muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than a pound of gold weighs more than a pound of feathers, because a pound is a pound is a pound. However, the DENSITY of muscle is higher than that of fat, so the VOLUME required to make 1 pound of muscle is smaller than the VOLUME required to make 1 pound of fat – which is how come the inches go away long before the scale registers anything.

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