Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jackie is a tricky one, but I know enough to be scared of her

Fourth session with the lovely Jackie today. I'm starting to learn her tricks, which only makes me more nervous to head to the gym on Mondays and Thursdays.

I now know, for instance, that when she sets up a circuit of four exercises, I will be required to do the circuit three times through. ...Always in threes.

I also know that when I'm toward the end of the third round of one circuit -- sweating and straining and heart racing -- that she will start scurrying around to various corners of the weight room to retrieve items in preparation for whatever hellish circuit she has concocted next. I watch her out of the corner of my eye, ever wary of gaining any sort of comfort or confidence in regard to the props she's collecting.

For example, when she brings over a weight bench, I have learned not to think, "Yes! I get to lay down for my next group of exercises. This will be easy." Today the weight bench was used for reverse crunches, among other things, which are my arch enemy. Anyone pear shaped knows how horribly hard it is to lift your legs up and bring them toward your chest without bracing yourself in any way. I remember watching "The Biggest Loser" in previous seasons and thinking, "Really? You're really grunting like you're in labor on national TV over an abdominal crunch?" Well, today I very much sounded like I was in labor. I think that might have been the reason there were no boys in the weight room today.

The coup de grĂ¢ce, however, was the stool. Jackie brought over a stool today, like a stool so high I could comfortably sit on it and work at my computer in the office. A stool so high, an adolescent could probably sit on it and swing their legs. A stool so high, I thought, "There's no way she's going to make me step on and off that thing." (Because, in the past, you see, benches and boxes have been used to step onto and kick my legs and step off about a billion times until I could practically cough up blood.)

But, oh, indeed: In a circuit of four exercises, including sit-ups on the BOSU (after my abs were already begging for mercy), calf exercises and arm exercises, she said I had to cross my left leg over my right, step onto the top of the stool and step down, alternating the leg I use, and one time there and back equals one. Do that 10 times. ...And then do the whole circuit three times.

I was a sweaty noodle when the clock struck 8. Never was I so happy to see 8 a.m. in my entire life. But, I got through it.

And having received conflicting information on the scales in the women's locker room and the hallway by the Life Center, Jackie was kind enough to break out the Iron Man scale again so we would know for sure where I'm at. Since my very first weigh-in Jan. 3, I'm down 9 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks.

At first I wasn't sure what to think about this. I'm coming from a place where, when I want to lose weight, I cut down to 500 calories or something, don't do a lick of exercise, and watch the pounds melt away.

Jackie always reminds me: "You know how to cut calories. That's not what we're doing."
She's right. I know how to do it wrong. And wrong works! It works fast! But it DOESN'T LAST. The second you start to eat even a normal, healthy amount of calories, the weight comes back on. So, this isn't about losing 30 pounds in three weeks or something crazy like that. This is about: slow and steady wins the race.

A hard pill to swallow, but having tried Dexotrim, MetaboLife and whatever other fad pill has hit the market, I'm hoping this one will have long-term positive health affects.

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