Anyone who knows me knows that I do not exercise. I have not ever exercised nor did I think I ever would exercise. That was BB, Before Bariatrics. There are many things that I have learned so far that have changed the way I think -- the need for exercise is but one of those.
I was told before surgery of the importance of exercise as our bodies began shrinking. It was important for a variety of reasons. I listened and I nodded in agreement. I understand the importance of a body that can move around well. I had just never had one and while overweight I tired easily and just didn’t have the desire to put the effort into it. “Yes,” I thought, “as I begin to lose weight, I am sure I will begin to walk and to get other activities into my routine.” Riiiight!
The first few months ticked off and I was losing weight. The weather would improve and I would begin walking. I was busy so I would begin walking next week. I was going to start going to the gym next week. I had only had the membership for three years. Beginning next month, I would really take advantage of that facility. And on and on the dialogue with myself went.
When I went to the six-month check after my surgery, I was told bluntly that if I had not started exercising, I needed to if I wanted to continue to lose weight and get to my goal. My body was adjusting and without exercise my weight loss would slow down and the added expenditure of energy would keep it going.
I decided I needed to find a trainer that would stand and make me exercise. It was while I was having coffee with a new friend, finding out that her husband was a trainer, that I saw my “sign.” I called her husband and had a consultation. He would come to the house and there would no longer be any excuses. That was just what I needed.
I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew that I had to get moving. I had told my new trainer that I did not want
to get muscles that would make me look athletic. He gave me a strange questioning look and I tried to explain. I didn’t want to see a bunch of muscles on my arm. I just wanted to do exercises that would help me burn fat off as quickly as possible.
He patiently explained to me that I would not build up muscles like bodybuilders. I would not get over developed muscles regardless of what I did at this stage of the game. He explained and I listened. I still did not understand fully what he was talking about. I wanted to burn fat. I did not want muscles. I had never had muscles and I did not want to see any on my body. I just wanted to be able to fit into clothes that I liked shopping for and wearing, clothes that made me look good and that made me feel good.
Then it happened. He got out these bright pink girly boxing gloves and we began boxing. He had me doing bicep curls and shoulder presses. He introduced me to exercises that would strengthen my lower back. We would begin our sessions with boxing. Now, I will be honest here, I was okay with the bicep curls, but those shoulder presses and I were never going to be friends. We continued and I found that I simply loved the boxing. I looked forward to it and I even endured the shoulder presses for a chance to box.
We had been working together for about a month and I was in the bathroom one morning getting dressed. I looked up and reached over to get something and that was when I saw it. I cringed. It was a muscle. There! On my arm. How did that happen? I know, it was those bicep curls. They had actually worked and now, for the first time in my life, I had a muscle in my arm. Yes, in BOTH arms!
I was not a happy camper when the trainer arrived that day. I showed him the muscle and he seemed pleased. I explained to him that was exactly what I had not wanted to happen. He began laughing. I saw nothing funny about it. I think I would have fired him except for one thing. If he was gone, then so was my boxing. We worked out that day and as the bicep curls became easier and the shoulder presses were less difficult, I began to make friends with that muscle.
The sessions continue. I had the first measurement taken to see the results of my efforts and when I saw that there were eighteen less inches of me, even including the muscle, I realized that this guy knew what he was talking about. He knew that the muscle was necessary for me to gain strength. He told me that as we improve our strength, we add years - good years - to our lives. I listened and I learned.
Something To Ponder