On June 4th I met for the first time with my new personal trainer. Michelle is wonderful. She’s bright, fun, and fitness minded, as a good trainer should be. But what I think I love the most after a few weeks working with her and with her program is that she listens and responds.
When I made an appointment to chat with her and we spoke on the phone for the first time, I gave her my 40+ year history with exercise, food, and injury at record pace — the best part — she was able to keep up. We had a great exchange. In a nutshell, here’s what she was taking on.
- I was super athletic as a kid but took out my right knee in a cycling accident when I was 17
- I’ve had a total of 7 knee surgeries, including the reconstruction after that accident — I have a horrible fear of blowing out my knees and if you want me to squat, you’re going to have to trick me into doing it
- I’ve had a difficult relationship with food my entire life — and had weight loss surgery four years ago. I’ve come a long way but am at a plateau
- Because of the surgery, I can only eat limited calories — working with that in a fitness program should be interesting
- I’m super competitive, but can be whiny when I’m in a mood, so sometimes I need to be pushed — and generally, I don’t respond well to being pushed
Michelle was great. She kept up, must have taken notes, and agreed to meet with me early on Friday mornings, at my house, in my home gym. Did she really know what she was getting into?
I’ve worked with trainers in the past. Like most people, I’m gung-ho when I start something new and as the newness fades, so does my dedication and excitement. That leads to my whining and general frustration when my knees won’t cooperate with my goals. And ultimately that leads to me ending the relationship.
What’s different so far? Well, so far, like I said, Michelle listened. She didn’t rebuff my statements about my bad knees – and she hasn’t let me off the hook. She’s modified every.single.movement. And you know what? I’ve been able to do things with my legs that I haven’t done in years.
- I have done sumo squats — WITH weights
- I have done reverse lunges
- I have done lateral lunges
Really, I cannot rightfully express my shock. Or my pride that I have been able to do these moves.
Now, are my knees a bit irritated. Yes, but less and less as I strengthen the muscles around them. And, I’ve discovered the wonderful inflammation fighting properties of Turmeric. I wish I would have known about that years ago. Two tablets a day, a little ice, and I’m nearly good as new.
The first week of my program the goal was that I move and watch my macros. Macro counting is new to me and I’ll talk about that some other time — I’m still getting the hang of it.
I moved — every day. I did upper body work once, upper body work once, cardio six days and core three days. I stretch every day. And at the end of week one something amazing happened.
I lost 2.5″ on my abdomen. TWO POINT FIVE. In a week.
Some of that was thanks to moving — a lot of that was thanks to clean eating and losing the bloat. Whatever caused it — I’ll take it — gladly.
For week two and three, I’ve begun a HIIT program — and quite frankly — it’s kicking my butt and then some. Aside from my heart rate soaring (which in itself is impressive — I have a low resting heart rate and to be in the high 140’s consistently is crazy for me) I’m sweating up a storm. Like literally glistening at the end of each workout.
Did I mention I don’t generally sweat when I work out. Even when I would run, nada. Dry as a bone. So many new things that I’m experiencing.
But of all these things, these milestones, these check boxes, the thing I love the most is how I feel.
I feel empowered. Like I lost a piece of myself when breast cancer came calling – I sat down and put away the strong, competitive, fit person I am – and now I feel like I’m rediscovering her. “Oh, there you are…I’ve missed you.”
Michelle has me begin every day with gratitude. Today I am thankful our paths crossed and that I was brave enough to reach out and she was brave enough to accept the challenge of working with me. I’m thankful for my body as it is and for what it is becoming. I’m excited to see what’s up ahead. And I’m thankful for the accountability training is providing me.
My next weigh/measure is next week (July 2) – can’t wait to see the results.