Thursday, April 14, 2011

'Thank you' to Jackie just isn't enough

I only have three more sessions left with Jackie, at least for a while.

I debated for a long time about whether I should come up with another $500 for 20 sessions to continue our weight-loss journey together. But with summer coming, I’ll be down to only one job. (I’ve been an adjunct at Minnesota State University during the school year.) I’ve also got a trip to New York planned with my baby sister, the first time we’re traveling together, actually. So the $500 would have to go on my credit card, and after hitting the big 3-0 in December, I’ve been trying to be more fiscally responsible.

There are other reasons, as well. When I weigh-in for the final time with Jackie the morning of the 25th, I will have been on this journey for 16 weeks, with her guiding me in many ways the whole way. At some point, this little chick has to learn to fly on her own, right? I have to prove to myself that the lifestyle she and I have tailored for me during the past four months is something that I am capable of sustaining for the rest of my life.

So, this bird’s leaving the nest.

Thinking about it makes me a little emotional, actually. Jackie and I only met for an hour twice a week, but we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, and I’m not sure how I will be able to express to her what she’s done for me.

Now, granted, a trainer can only get you so far. If I had worked out with Jackie two hours a week and not exercised at all on my own the other five days, or if I had eaten whatever I wanted, I wouldn’t have lost weight. So self-discipline has been a major component of my success.

But she has provided so much more than just an hour-long butt-kicking on Mondays and Thursdays.

For one, she’s given me the right tools -- more information than I ever thought I would know about calorie deficits, metabolism, the importance of strength-training, the amount of cardio recommended for weight loss. She taught me proper form and technique, what a lunge and a bicep curl and a shoulder press feels like when I’m doing them correctly.

She’s been my cheerleader and confidante. No one else knows my starting weight or goal weight, and despite having the perfect body herself, she never made me feel like mine was anything to be ashamed of, not even on day one. Every step of the way -- every pushup I’ve snarled at and every reverse crunch I didn’t think I could do -- she was there telling me I was strong and that I could finish.

Most importantly, she’s been someone to whom I feel accountable. When I do badly, I feel like I’ve let us both down (even though she never sees it that way). And when I’ve done well, it’s been an enormous motivator to see how proud she is.

For all of these reasons and more, I will always be grateful to you, Jackie. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me. I hope, when I weigh-in on the 25th, we’ll be able to celebrate a 50-pound weight loss together.

And when I get to the final few pounds before I hit my goal weight, I’ll sign up for a few more sessions, and we’ll cross the finish line together, girl.

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