My first day at the gym was exactly what I was expecting. Tiring, painful and depressing. I started on the elliptical. I noticed people around me bouncing around on them and they weren’t out of breath, I jump on and put it on a setting where my legs felt like they were going up hill and went until I couldn’t. I made sure my heart rate was between 155-160. Burning calories. I would only last about 20 minutes. From then I would hit the recumbent bike. It was easier on my knees and back. I don’t know about anyone else but from the weight I was pulling my joints were stressed! I would ride for miles usually 4. Sounds like a lot but it was more time than anything else. It was a starting point. Eventually I would do 3 miles on the elliptical and 4-5 on the recumbent. This worked well for me for about 4-5 months. I eventually worked in the row machine, it really helped with core and upper body strength. I didn’t know that then, I just did it because I could get my heart rate up and it told me how many calories I was burning. That’s all I cared about was the calorie burns. You have burn up some of of what you put in.

One day a lady stopped me, I had noticed her before, she had come over to introduce herself and told me her story. She had recently lost 100lbs. I was impressed. She said she had noticed me in everyday and watching how hard I was working. She said I would soon be able to accomplish what she had. That was my goal. She is an employee now, inspiring others. She is also the one who talked me into taking a group class. Which for me was very nerve racking. I can be a introvert in group settings. I am great one on one, but because of the self esteem weight issues bring, this wasn’t my cup. Anyway I sucked it up, I went to the class with her. The trainer that teaches the class was extremely motivating. It was tough to keep up, but I was determined because I just wanted to do it. The class was a cardio/weight class. A lot of core, weight lifting, abs and squats! I was sore for three days after. But I was amazed I made it through that class. The feeling was addicting! Really showed me how far I had come. At this point I believe I was down about 80-90lbs. I was plateauing and frustrated. I stuck with the class, had an amazing time and lost a lot more every week. I then worked in a second class, so I did the same class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kept up with my gym workouts. At this point my schedule was:

Mondays- elliptical or stepper 3-4 miles, row machine weight in weight room. Total work out time 1 hour
Tuesday-Weight training class (my gym calls it Pump)
Wednesday- same as Monday though I worked different body parts with the weights
Friday-same as Mon/Tues
Saturday/Sunday-Some times I took time off, sometimes I went in and did whatever wasn’t sore, lol.

The more classes I took the more comfortable I felt and met more people. Keeping this schedule has been instrumental in the weight loss. A year and half it took to lose 150lbs. I have been working on strength training, spinning and running for the last 5 months roughly. I actually started running on our family vacation last summer because the hotel weight room only had a recumbent bike (which the seat on the back of it was broken) and a treadmill. So I decided well, lets try! I was in there by myself so if I fell or looked stupid only I would see. So I set off! It was not too bad! I tried to make it to a mile and I did it. I glanced over to the mirror on the side of me and realized I didn’t look stupid! I was actually running. So that started my running off. I run about 1 to 1.5 miles 3 times a week now. It isn’t much but it’s what I can do, I am slowly building up. I am not a great runner but it does great things for my body!

A friend of my liked to spin, so I decided I would try it. First class was so fun! I loved the music, it was loud and just like the other classes the trainer was extremely motivating. I was extremely tired, but looked down at my monitor, I biked 28 miles in an hour! I couldn’t believe it! I starting spinning once a week, now doing Monday and Fridays. When you first start out it is an adjustment, just like everything else it gets better. I am so glad I started. It’s tightened up my legs, it’s helped with running because it gives you endurance with breathing. You even get the muscles in your back and abs worked so you have better posture. Also, meeting more people and being motivated by the best trainers!

So my current gym schedule:
Tues- 1-1 1/2 mile run, stepper 3 miles, weights (my Y no longer does pump on tues, huge bummer)
Weds-Cardio Dance
Thurs- Pump

With all of things classes and meeting people has brought me here. This journey all started at my local YMCA. I did not get on a scale. In fact it was a good two months before I got on the scale. I was afraid that number would define the future for me. If it was high I would feel defeat before I started. Instead I just told myself we are just going to do this for one year. One year as many times a week as I could stand! I wouldn’t recommend this method, haha. I was afraid of failure I understand that but it would be nice to know where the heaviest I started at was instead of the having two months of weight loss missing.

So now you know how my workouts went. Let me tell you how I deal with the emotions in the gym.

Being a man or a women there are things we think about while we are at the gym. Everyone is guilty of I think, so far. Because every time I bring it up to someone their like “Yep.” We would be lieing if we didn’t say we didn’t notice what other people are thinking when we are running, jumping etc. People who are in the gym trying to get weight off look different that people who are fit. This is a touchy subject. The way I dealt with it, I just did what I wanted to do. I had to, I had a goal. If anyone was noticing me it was because I was working hard and they needed to keep up! I realized I am responsible for my results, I put this weight on all by myself. I had to get it off too! I can’t control other peoples reactions or feelings. That’s their responsibility. So there’s that excuse checked off. Don’t be embarrassed about being in the gym.
I was tired a lot of days, if I wasn’t nursing a pulled muscle or broken appendage my butt was going. I would schedule conferences, doctor appointments etc around my gym time! I know crazy, but I eventually worked up to not being able to deal with missing things. It started with the year promise, but it’s a lifeline now. I tried really hard to tell myself I could do everything. Did I have bad days? Yes. Many more good days than bad. I trained my brain to forget the negative and focus on what I was doing. I was a lot better off doing something in the gym that at home on the couch.
I worried about the present day, not tomorrow. Tomorrow would come tomorrow. I threw that daunting thought of never ending workouts/diet foods excuse out! I had to have this as a lifestyle change or it was too much stress to keep holding if worried about every minute on every single day.

Can’t afford gym memberships. Good excuse but don’t let it stop you finding a way to do it at home or out at park walking. Also there are gym popping up all over with ten dollar a month memberships. I exercised on vacation! I was never like that before! It was important to me, so did it.

I have not had the luxury of using work as excuse, because I so would have at some point, haha. Tons of gyms have after work hours. Even classes are held. Can’t make classes, hire a trainer at your gym or Y. Yes you are tired, but you’re going to be tired anyway. Just be a little more tired, not hard to do. Go workout. Excuse over.
You’re too sore. Depending on the class or what you did to make yourself sore, don’t do that day. Still go to the gym. Work a different muscle or walk. It loosens everything up. The soreness is temporary. The pain from the gym and the tiredness is temporary. Being hungry is temporary.

You can do this.

If I haven’t touched on excuse you’re using, sorry.

One thing I want to end this post with. I have mentioned people in this blog, not by name, because I didn’t know if they would approve. But these people have helped me so selflessly. They are there for me every week! Yes it’s their job, but they challenge, encourage and motivate. Not easy job when you’re not on everyday. I admire them and hope to pay it back someday, but I think it’s too heavy of a debt for me. Thank you ladies, I hope you know who you are! You’re always in my mind and now my heart because I won’t forget everything you’ve done!

Next post I am will be going through my lowest point and a little on my family because they are important! It’s an emotional one, not proud of it but it was what it was.