Soooooo….this week I had my first set of measurements. 5 weeks in, and I was so excited! I was actually looking forward to stepping on the machine and getting my measurements taken. I was consistent, committed, working hard, and I could see results. People around me were noticing I was changing! (This should be the first sign that my ego is driving this train right now.)
I picked the lightest workout gear I had for that day and stripped off my socks and hat and without hesitation jumped on the scale. It did it’s buzzing and whirring and here’s what I got:
Fat loss: 5 lbs; % of Body fat lost: 5%; Inches lost: 7; Muscle gained: 0.
Muscle gained: 0
Muscle gained: 0
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?
I was devastated. I actually started to cry. I was so mad, so sad, so disappointed. For the past 5 weeks, I worked my ass off. I stuck to my diet, hit every single workout, and stayed on point. My poor trainer, Evven, keep trying to reassure me to focus on my successes. Fat loss! Inches! Body fat! I was being such a brat I literally said to her : “Finish this shit so I can go home.” She wouldn’t let me go home, and kept me there to do my workout for the day. I pouted through it. I pouted all day. And I pouted all the way in to the evening.
Something she said stuck out to me and kept reverberating through my brain: “Be kind to yourself. Look at what we do to our bodies. It takes time.” I WAS looking at what I did to my body. I worked out. Stuck to my diet. Did all my cardio. For 5 WHOLE WEEKS! How could I be getting stronger, lifting bigger weights, and not have gained muscle?!?! (OK, even I was starting to see how ridiculous I was being.). I started to think about what she said, and I thought about what I had done to my body over the past 49 years. Here’s what I came up with. Actually, here’s what I remember and I’m ashamed:
First time I remember thinking I needed to lose weight was the summer before 8th grade, 1979. I was 12 years old and that was the summer I got boobs. It was ridiculous. I knew I was unhappy with my body but wasn’t really sure what to do about it. Nutrition at my house usually consisted of cereal for breakfast and me making rigatoni with Ragu spaghetti sauce for me and my brothers for dinner. I don’t think I knew what a vegetable was. So it was a thought, an end goal with no idea how to get there.
Next time I remember being aware of wanting to make changes, I was 14 years old. MTV had just hit the airwaves. I remember laying in my rec room watching Duran Duran videos doing sit-ups. Like a million of them. We had a dance that fall, and my mom had this weird green vest that I was finally able to button and feel comfortable in so the sit-ups were a success! (We were still eating rigatoni and pork chops with cream of mushroom soup.)
In the thirty five years since then I have engaged the following diets/fads. Some I did several times, and I did at least one almost annually in some form or another: mild case of bulimia in my early 20’s; Metabolife; Phen Fen; Atkins diet; South beach Diet; More diet pills; Laxative tea; HCG; Jenny Craig; Hollywood Diet; Weight Watchers; Master Cleanse; Paleo; etc. etc. etc. I thought about all of the money I spent and the books I read and the magazines I bought. And I was ashamed. Again.
I thought “Holy crap! Evven is right!” Look what I’d done to my body. No wonder my metabolism was in the toilet when I started this, and I expected to correct 35 years of abuse in 5 weeks?!?!? Half of the crap I put in my body has been taken off the damn market! I didn’t need a number in the “muscle gain” category….what I needed was a fucking reality check. Everyone said this is a process. Be patient. And here I was, pouting and about to quit at the first sign of adversity. I thought “What advice would I give a friend in this position?” And it was exactly the advice I was given: Look at the wins, be patient, and be kind to yourself.
So that’s what I decided to do. I have 16 weeks, and I’m going to continue to trust the women who are training me. I’m going to keep doing the work. And you know what else I’m going to do? I AM going to quit. All of the crap, and fad, and yo-yo snake oil tricks I’d put myself through for the last 3 decades. I’m going to quit expecting a quick fix to a lifelong struggle. And I’m going to quit treating myself the way I would not treat anyone else on this planet.
And I want my money back….all of it. I think I’ll buy a small island.