The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 205 to 207 – Limping Along 4 September 2008

Oh … my … god.  I am in pain!  I went to my personal training session on Tuesday morning, all keen and full of beans.  My trainer is a lovely Australian guy who’s athletic enough to show that he knows what he’s doing but not one of those ridiculously over-pumped muscle types.  That suits me just fine.  He’d told me that the first couple of sessions would be all about assessing my fitness and working out a suitable programme.  In his words, ‘you’re going to feel a bit like a lab rat’.  Again, fine.  To be honest, I’ve been weighed, measured, poked and prodded so much over the last few months that I’m quite used to it.

So the lab-ratting began with some squats and lunges and things while he peered at me and wrote notes down in his brand new ‘Joanne’s fitness plan’ notebook (pink and from Paperchase, I noticed … nice touch!).  We discovered that my left side is weaker than my right, so despite my best efforts to lunge like a pro I kept veering comically to one side like some malcoordinated toddler.  When I’d finished making myself look stupid I did a fitness test on a bike, and was delighted when he told me that I’m fitter than I give myself credit for.  I’m holding on to that thought, I can tell you.  In fact, when I first met him he seemed to be genuinely surprised that a lifetime of being overweight hasn’t given me a catalogue of slipped discs, back problems and knackered joints.  There’s still time …

Then the real fun began with the free weights and resistance machines.  Picture me – a slightly flabby and red-faced blonde chick – surrounded by enormous men with muscles bulging out of tight vests, lying on a bench trying desperately not to drop twenty kilos onto my face.  I can’t say it was my finest moment.  And, of course, my dear trainer was trying to see how strong I was so kept piling on the weights until I thought my arms were going to drop off.  And I can’t even begin to tell you about the machine where you have to push heavy weights in the air with your feet … all I can say is that it took all of my willpower to keep my legs from buckling completely when I climbed off of the damn thing.

Since then I’ve been shuffling around in absolute agony.  I was warned by the trainer that the first couple of sessions would be hard and that I’d really feel it afterwards.  He omitted to point out that for the last three days a one-legged octagenarian could easily have beaten me in a run for a bus.  I’m having to take stairs sideways, for goodness’ sake.

And I paid for this … 🙂

But, undeterred, I was back in the gym this morning.  The absolute truth is that I need to show those muscles who’s boss (er … they are, at the moment) so I creaked out of bed while it was still dark and managed a very respectable 20 minutes on the cross trainer and the same again on the rowing machine.  So the regime is most definitely on track, and I will be meeting the torture-monger … sorry, trainer,at 7am on Monday for session number two.

Food-wise I’ve been up and down.  The main revelation is that good old lighter life shakes make a great breakfast if you mix them with a banana, some strawberries and a broken up peanut food bar.  That will be my staple post-gym energy boost in the morning to stop me from reaching for the dreaded snacks before lunchtime.  I’m due at my counselling session this afternoon and I’m 99% certain that the scales have gone in the wrong direction, but I’m not too bothered about that.  For me it’s all about getting the balance right … reasonably healthy eating and regular exercise.  When I’m comfortable with that routine, and safe in the knowledge that I’ll stick to it, then I’ll consider that I’m at the end of lighter life.

I now have to leave my desk and go to a meeting.  Standing up will only take me about three and a half minutes, so here goes …

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