Thursday, May 5, 2011

Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood

Disclaimer: The following post has NOTHING to do with sex. There, I warned you.

I recently had an interesting and wonderful experience. Jay and I finally made the decision to join a health club. It’s a very nice one too…open 24/7, a resort-like swimming pool (indoor and outdoor), every imaginable class and piece of exercise equipment, spa, summer daycamps for our daughter. We are very excited about having finally joined.

When you go in to take a tour with a representative and actually join, they set you up with a “free” session with a personal trainer. I attended my “free” session on Sunday. I went in with the expectation that I would tell him or her that I have my aerobic exercise taken care of with running, tell them the areas of my body I would like to focus on toning, and he or she would direct me to and demonstrate the equipment that would best help me achieve those goals. Ah, but this was not to be, dear reader, as I soon discovered.

My assigned trainer whom we shall refer to as "Rick" immediately sat me down at a desk and had me fill out paperwork about my top three fitness goals which were as follows VERBATIM on my sheet(this will become important later):

1.Tone
2.Strengthen
3.Perhaps some weight loss (not my main goal)

This sheet went on to ask me to list what I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on a typical day. That seemed a bit much, but I went with it. For the most part I eat pretty well most days so I listed a typical day, and omitted a day when I might eat say a half a bag of Reese’s miniatures or 6 chocolate chip cookies or a bowl and a half of ice cream. Really that’s my business, not his. Rick read over the list carefully and finding little he could critique, went for the evil granola bars. “Boy you really like granola bars, don’t you? They are full of sugar. Get rid of them. Eat a protein bar instead.” When I protested that protein bars taste awful, Rick offers,” Ah well not all of them. We’ve got some great ones downstairs in the café. Check them out.” It was at this point that I began to realize this “free” personal training session was not going to be what I had hoped for.

Eventually Rick did get up and lead me into the workout area, my hopes increased that maybe now I could get what I wanted from him. Instead he led me right to his little evaluation station where he proceeded to ask me to get up on the scale to take my weight. I have quite recently made the decision that I will no longer weigh myself. I know what I weighed about 3 weeks ago, and I can tell from my clothing if I have lost, gained or maintained that weight. I no longer want to be deeply depressed or wildly ecstatic over a number on a piece of machinery. Again being the submissive sort of gal that I am, I complied with Rick’s wishes and figured he could take his number and I just wouldn’t look at it. I stood on the scale until he told me I could get down. As I did so, he gestured his head towards his computer with a very serious look obviously wanting me to take a look at the number as well. I am a human being, I couldn’t help but look. What I saw didn’t surprise me at all. I felt a bit of mild embarrassment that this total stranger (male no less) now also knew what I weighed, but I wasn’t as horrified by it as I think he wanted me to be.

We moved on from there taking various tests and measurements including the dreaded BMI. When he had determined this for me, he turned to me in his most serious of expresions and reported his findings of .35. “What does that mean?” I asked. In an even more somber delivery he replied, “This means your body is made up of 35% fat.” Again, it didn’t shock or concern me as much as it seemed to concern him.

When Rick had finished all his measurements and computations, I was handed a sheet of his findings which told me I was overweight. Really Einstein? I am shocked! I had no idea before I walked in here today that I was... dare I say the word... overweight. Remember those goals I listed at the beginning? The ones that said weight loss was not a main goal for me? Rick apparently skipped right over that part as he went on to the real purpose of our “free” personal training session which was to push his weight loss training classes and eating plan which cost quite a hefty sum over and above the monthly membership fee. I know I am not a (deep serious voice here) “personal trainer” but I am thinking that if I am running, and I desire to come in to the gym to work on my goals of toning and strengthening I just might lose a little weight as a side effect of all that.

I tell this story for a reason, dear reader. As recently as a few months ago I would have left that meeting deeply shamed and embarrassed. I would have beaten myself up as mercilessly as a Catholic nun on her period. I likely would have never returned there to work out with the “thin” people. I would have dieted and restricted myself in guilt and fear until I could stand it no longer and then binged for days or weeks until I had gained back every ounce I had managed to drop, and hated myself even more than when I began. But that didn’t happen. Other than some mild annoyance that this guy had wasted over an hour of my time I could have been spending with my daughter at the pool, I felt nothing. I left there with my self worth, confident that it wasn’t tied to a number on a scale or a BMI reading. I left there knowing that I am an attractive, sexy, lovable woman. I left with the same plan I came with... continue to run because I love it, add in some toning exercise, eat what I want when I am hungry because to do anything else makes me a crazy woman, and I just might lose some weight in the midst of all that. Would I like to lose weight? Yes. Am I about 25-30 pounds from what I consider to be a comfortable weight for myself? Yes. Will I die if I never see that weight again? No.

This shift in thought and mindset represents a huge milestone for me. It comes with decades of struggle and pain that I know many women can identify with. I no longer feel the need to nail myself to the cross because my body isn’t the right shape or size. It is such a relief and such a joyful feeling that I just can’t keep it to myself!

6 comments:

Malcolm said...

You did well. Never be over-awed or browbeaten by "experts". Don't fall for upselling techniques. Live your own life, not someone else's.

bigd44 said...

Congratulation Mimi, do what you want, don't let some salesman disguised as a trainer suck you into things you don't need! Maybe being a submissive has given you the strength and innerconfidence to not worry about what other people think, and to just be yourself!

Mimi said...

Malcolm...Well said, and thank you!

Big D...Being a submissive and learning what that really means is indeed opening up a whole new world for me.

beingaisha said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so glad you're not taken in by that crap our society tries to lay on us.

aisha

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Get-off thy Holy Cross? No thnx. Apparently, you're following the whorizontal, not the vertical which leads to life and few are they that find life. Why deviate? --- fact is, I’ll croak. You’ll croak. All of U.S. will croak someday, someway @ sometime. Don’t get so caught-up in this passing-world you lose your immortal soul. I gave-up my hard-won, black belt to fight for Heaven (I had a promising career in aikido/karate). What R you gonna give-up to rise-up? --- I'd so love to nekk with you in Heaven, girl, and ‘closenmyeyes’ is how I'd love to serve you. God bless you.

Mimi said...

Beingeisha...thank you for your kind comment. It does feel wonderful to be a strong woman free of all the BS!

Kold... Not quite sure what in the post prompted the rant. Thanks for looking out for my soul, but I have a very well developed spiritual life and relationship with my Higher Power. The cross is a metaphor for all the ways we cruicify ourselves with negative thoughts and actions.