Patch Takes It Off: Week One Down
Where our hero craves potato chips, walks off calories and encounters a personal trainer,
My eyes hurt.
I am so sore from Friday's visit to my new gym. Literally everything hurts. Including my eyes.
But I am going back tomorrow. And if you don't mind my saying so, this girl is going to kick butt.
Early in the week, my get-up-and-at-'em activity was limited to walking: Walking around the track at Parsippany Hills High. Parking at the far ends of lots to maximize my walk into buildings. Walking around the pond near my home. Walking up and down the island of Manhattan (well, between Bleecker and West 72 streets and back) and every flight of stairs I could find.
Learned something: I simply don't have that kind of time. So it was time to move on to what was inevitable: serious "Biggest Loser"-kinda pain in the gym.
My base workout place is Anytime Fitness in the Morris Plains section of Parsippany, which is helping out with the Patch Takes It Off campaign. The owners, Eric and Dodi Skovronek are darling. (You may recognize Eric as one of Patch's bloggers).
Dodi gave me a tour of everything from the various machines (complete with televisions and iPod stations) to the changing rooms. She encouraged me, offering reassurance that her gym was a judgement-free zone.
Best of all, she introduced me to my trainer, Justin Melendez.
The man knows his stuff. I was a believer from his first word.
Before I even changed into my gym clothes, Justin sat me down for a talk.
He asked about my life, my goals, the reasons I wanted to lose weight. He listened to what I said, offered support , asked what I was eating.
I've been avoiding carbs, and he told me to start eating them--and healthy fats--to provide the energy necessary to work out. Counterintuitive concept, but I believe him. Suddenly, the thought of potato chips appears in my mind. I push the image away. Clearly that is not what Justin is endorsing.
I promise, readers, a forthcoming PTIO segment soon will involve a nutritionist.
After changing clothes, the workout began. Justin started by putting me to work with foam rolls. One is supposed to roll various body parts over these 6-inch-wide cylinders of hard styrofoam.
So I tried it. Turned out foam rolling felt like pre-exercise massage. The pain was exhilarating, truth be told.
I officially began doing five minutes on an elliptical machine. That wasn't fun. I admit that.
We moved on to do assorted exercises using dumbbells. Justin told me that contrary to popular opinion, lifting weight does not create bulkiness in and of itself.
"You need to do some work with weights to build muscle," he said.
Boy, did I. At one point, he had me lifting very light weights over head after rising from a sitting to a standing position. And lifting what I think was 45 pounds from my knees to my bosom. And doing resistance-based exercises on a weight machine.
When he finally told me I was finished, relief coursed through my veins, but I felt good too.
"This produces endorphins, doesn't it?" I asked him.
The look he gave me communicated that my question was a stupid one. Yes, exercise can give one an emotional rush.
After cooling down by walk-jogging for five minutes on a treadmill, I went to change. Justin reminded me to take a hot shower and to stretch my muscles.
"You're going to be sore tomorrow," he warned.
Tomorrow, feh. I was sore then. And who are we kidding? I have no doubt Justin took it easy on me for the first day.
But despite the pain, I knew everything was going to be okay.
And the next day and those following, I realize that Justin wasn't kidding. As said before, my eyes hurt.
But it's okay. As of today, I am down two pounds from the July 4 start (after losing 15 in the two weeks prior). So I'll be back at the gym tomorrow to try it on my own. Because when this is over, I am going to look and feel great. Justin believes it and so do I.
The plan is to hit Anytime Fitness at a minimum of each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In the meantime, as part of Patch Takes It Off, we'll explore other ways to get fit and discuss dieting (yes, with a nutritionist and perhaps also with a cookbook author). Because part of my goal is to run in the New York City Susan G. Komen 5K breast cancer fund raiser, running will have to be part of the exercise mix too.
Some of it I dread, some I am excited about, but on the whole, I know this will good for me.
Do something good for you. Take the Patch Takes It Off challenge. There's no competition or judgement here, only sharing stories, tips, friendship and support as we tackle one of life's most difficult challenges losing weight.
It's never too late for you to jump on board the communal fitness train. Make a commitment to yourself to get healthy and send me email so you can blog about your weight loss adventures on Patch.