Maybe you know me . . . or someone like me. I was always the one picked last for the games at recess. Unlike most grammar school kids, gym was my least favorite subject as I was always considered a total liability.
Volleyball hurt my wrists, the balance beam was totally out of the question, and when the Presidential Physical Fitness Test presented itself every year, I managed to either be sick or begrudgingly walk/run that 30-minute mile. Needless to say. I deplored exercise and never received encouragement to keep trying – especially not from my gym teachers.
I had given up at an early age and was content to lead an inactive lifestyle. Every once in awhile during the past 45 years, I’d take a walk, go to my tap dance class, or play duck-duck- goose — just so I could sound like I was “active”. But there was nothing consistent.
As I grew older and my diabetes and high cholesterol kicked in and my weight had reached an all-time high of 185 pounds (I’m 5’1”)– I had to face the reality that if I did not make some positive lifestyle changes (which I had tried many times before), I wasn’t going to be around for long.
I fought the voices in my head telling me to get moving and seek out professional help. So many times I told myself, “I can do it on my own. I don’t need anybody to tell me what to do.” Through the grace of God and the wonderful friends He sent to me . . . I have been able to make slow, positive changes this past year.
I met Jamie Bailey who is my life coach and nutrition expert. It’s not fun talking with Jamie when we meet. I don’t like reporting in that I slipped and ate the BAG of cookies, half container of ice cream, or the jar of peanut butter. But in her gentle approach, she sticks with me and teaches me how eat healthy. Yo-Yo dieting has been my forte, but for the first time in my life, I am eating better, losing weight, and keeping it off.
The other God-sends in my life have been my Personal Trainers Ellen Yates and Michelle Boulay of N2SHAPE. Me – Personal Trainers? No way. What do I need them for – why would I pay good money to have someone watch me exercise? I don’t even want to watch me exercise.
Why? Because I can’t and won’t do it myself. Remember the gym teachers? I’m the type of person that if I don’t report in and hold myself accountable to someone else, the job is not going to get done.
So what do they do for me? Ellen and Michelle also monitor my food choices. They teach me proper form to lift weights as one of my goals is to firm up the bra, back, and jiggly arm fat. They encourage me – something the gym teachers never took time to do. They truly care about my success – sometimes even more than I do.
They keep me on track making sure I attend my weight training and spin classes.
Learning to LIKE exercise has not been easy for me. But I can’t imagine a day without moving now. I take spin classes at least four times a week and weight training twice. I see results – but I don’t expect to see them overnight. I learned that it doesn’t work that way. I make mistakes but get back on track as soon as I can. I am consistent and committed.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to the other friends I’ve made at N2SHAPE – people just like me. They have their own personal struggles; they don’t want to get up for 6am spin class; they rather have that bag of cookies instead of just a bite. We help encourage each other. I couldn’t do it without them.
Realistically, I still know I won’t be the first choice on anyone’s sports team and I still know that I will most likely run/walk that 30-minute mile. But I do now know that I need you and am in a better place because of all of you.