Skip to Content

My arms are a little like jello. But so is my stomach, so we’re cool

Last night before I went to bed (after 11:00–Go to bed early FAIL) I found a pair of yoga pants (not hard to find) and a sports bra (also not hard to find) and a t-shirt (hard to find) and put them next to my nightstand. Along with a pair of socks and shoes.  I was prepared. I was ready. I was going to the gym.

I rushed out of the house carrying my change of clothes pressed against my chest (because I actually lack a bag to carry these things in, if you can believe that) and I grabbed up my coffee mugs and threw everything into the car (except the coffee, which was placed gingerly into the cupholders).  The clothes were with me. I was going.

All day long, I played out different scenarios in my head of what the trip to the gym would be like.

Would the trainer be some kind of muscle-y HeBeast with unrealistic expectations? God, I hoped not.

Would he seem to not care because I wasn’t a private-paying client? Again, I hoped not.

And then?  After lunch I was hit with a bout of…in the interest of full disclosure…gas.  Like, WHOA, gas, both loud and a bit noxious. And then my mind flashed back to the evaluation room I’d been shown yesterday and the pictures of the fitness test hanging on the wall.  A guy was doing sit-ups.  The trainer was holding his feet.

I imagined myself in that guy’s spot, with this trainer holding my feet.  And then I imagined what would happen as I started trying to do sit-ups.


In my mind it was about as awkward and awful and embarrassing as you think it would be.  Mortifying, really.  Enough for me to lose the $35 of the Groupon and never go back in there again.

But that didn’t happen.  Thank the sweet baby Jesus.  In fact, sit-ups didn’t even happen.  Thank the sweet baby Jesus AND his mama.

I got there and the trainer had “just stepped out to go to the bank.” Alright…I get it. I was 3 minutes late. (Somewhere between my bedroom, car, classroom, and the bathroom, I lost my socks and had to scramble and put back on my wet, gross socks that I’d been wearing all day. But I did it. And it made me run late. But I went. So that counts for something.)

He comes rolling in a couple minutes later and seems…normal.  Average.  Maybe late 30’s. Not much taller than me.  Definitely not a HeBeast like I’d imagined. 

He introduces himself and I introduce myself and we go into the Fitness Evaluation room. And my palms start sweating like I don’t even know what. I am all nervous and clammy and trying to keep it together but on the inside I am freaking out.  And he’s missing two sheets of paper he needs to get me started.  So I have to wait and see posters hanging up that are displaying numbers and appropriate BLTs and PBJs and BMIs and the picture of the guy doing sit-ups.

And I’m still freaking out and mentally double checking to see if I can talk myself out of farting the same way I can talk myself out of vomming.

He finally makes it back and starts asking me the questions.

Name-age-birthdate-address.  He saw I was wearing a UGA shirt so we chitchatted football and college life.  Then, once he thinks he’s got me sufficiently comfortable, he asks me to get on the scale.  So I do.  201. (I blame the shoes.) And then has me stand up and extend my arms straight out in front of me and he puts this thing in my hands. I have no idea what this thing is. But I hold it for a few seconds and then it beeps and spits out some numbers and he says–ready for it?–

He says “Well, that’s not as bad as I thought.”


Great. Awesome.  So I asked what those numbers were and he told me that the top was my muscle tone (30something%…and the number I guess he was shocked by?) and the bottom was my body something or other but not BMI and was the percentage of weight I need to lose to be at the healthy weight for my height and age (which sounds like BMI, right? I have no idea.)

Anyway, that percentage?  37.  I need to lose 37 percent of my weight to be considered healthy by whatever cracked-out weight chart people are using these days.  (If I lost 70 pounds, I’d look like I was cracked out of my head!)

He didn’t talk numbers. I figured those out in my head thanks to a Mama who taught me how to calculate percentages while shopping for deals. I was thankful for that.

Instead, we talked through the questions on his little sheet of paper, which is way more comfortable for me.

What are my goals?

“I think I’d like to run a 5K by March 19th.”<–I said those words. He said “you think?” And I said “Well, yeah. I think.” And he says “Let’s say You WILL.” Uh, okay. I will.

So y’all, I’m doing the Dawg Trot on March 19th, six days after my 29th birthday.

What’s kept you from coming to the gym in the past?

“I’m fat? I don’t know how this stuff works? Oh, and I’m fat?” Him “nervous chuckle.”  Me: “No, I’m serious. This is scary for me right now. My palms are all sweaty” ::palms out and down so he can see the gross::

What’s the biggest obstacle you have to working out?

“Time. I’m very busy.” True. There was little he could say in rebuttal to that (though he did try to tell me about their childcare, which I’m aware of and plan to use if I need to…)

What do you think will be the difference this time?

“Uh, you’re supposed to be the difference, right?” (as I look at him with expectant eyes like maybe I’ve just given the right answer and now I can have a gold star and a cookie or 5.)  Him “Yes! You’re going to have people keeping you motivated and accountable here.  People who will check up on you when they haven’t seen you in a few days.”

How many times a week would you commit to working out?

“Uh…2 to 3?” He goes “2 TO 3??” Me “Uh…3?” Him “Yes, 3 times a week. That’s a great start.”


I felt like I’d just sold my soul to the Devil or something!

But, I’m going to do this.  I will work out 3 times a week.  Even though there were students (past and present…and one I busted for dipping in the courtyard) working out there, too.  I won’t let them deter me from getting healthy. 

He took me through every weight machine and made me do enough reps on each to feel comfortable. I will not feel comfortable tomorrow or Thursday, I can guarantee you that.  One of the arm machines (at the LOWEST weight setting) almost killed me. I swear he was standing behind me holding down the bar. I could NOT lift that thing up.

(Please explain to me how I lug around a 30+ toddler ALL THE FREAKING TIME and have NO triceps strength.  Please. That is not fair!)

And then I did 10 minutes on the elliptical machine, five of which I did backwards without realizing in until he came back to check on me and said “Did you know you’re going backwards?” Uh, no. I spent the whole time trying to figure out if my boobs and mama pooch were bouncing around as much on the outside as they felt like they were bouncing on the inside.  (Which was a great way to kill 10 minutes…)

I left feeling sweaty and tingly and warm, with plans to return on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning WITH THE TODDLER for the Mommy & Me class to round out my three visits this week

Now? Bed. Exercise is supposed to help you sleep, right?  I hope that’s at least ONE side-effect I manage to get from all of this.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.