18 months ago and today.
There is no way I am getting a personal trainer.
Personal trainers are for Hollywood movie stars or Real Housewives.
Not for me. And anyway, I had my dancing for exercise.
I’ve always loved to dance. I have an early childhood memory of skipping around our 1970’s deep orange wooden dining table, as the record player blared Nana Mouskouri. When I was five years old my mum sent me to ballet and tap classes and I’ve been dancing ever since. Dance has been a constant through all stages of my life. I even danced my way through pregnancy – right up to the week before giving birth.
Dance has always been a constant in my life. Even as an 8 year old brunette.
So, when my young, buff and exceptionally fit Latin dance instructor, who also doubled as a personal trainer, approached me to train with him, I politely smiled and privately balked.
A nice little side effect of cutting back on sugar (see - Saved By Sugar) was that I had lost a few kilos. My dance teacher noticed and suggested he could easily and quickly further my progress by training me, if I wanted to. Of course I wanted to, but I couldn’t imagine completely exposing all my body flaws to someone who didn’t appear to have any.
My ideal personal trainer.
My ideal personal trainer would answer to the job description: experienced female drill sergeant in the twilight of her career, looking for one last hurrah. Ability to yell gut wrenching verbal abuse essential. Ability to accept excuses – zero.
Not the Latino Ryan Gosling.
No caption required.
Besides I had always thought having a personal trainer was an expensive extravagance.
But there was something niggling at me – something about Mary in fact.
Mary was glowing.
Mary trained with the Latino Ryan Gosling whose actual name is Daniel Jaime, and swore by it. She said it was the most beneficial exercise she had ever done. Not only had she lost weight but she had toned up and felt healthier. It really showed, she looked fantastic.
Ryan Gosling aka Daniel Jaime.
A few nights later I was sitting on the couch in front of the tv, where I make all my big decisions. I was scrolling through Facebook when a post advertising a special promotion to train with Daniel appeared. I had been thinking about it a lot. I wanted to improve my physique and the idea of having something to commit to was appealing. Although after three kids I was unsure how much I could achieve.
I’m not someone who has endured a life long struggle with their weight. There had been a few periods in my 20s where I gained some ‘loved up’ handles, but nothing significant. For the most part I was slender.
That all changed after I met my husband and had children. Even though I exercised regularly and intensely, my weight fluctuated. I accepted that weight gain was a natural part of ageing and being a mum and figured my slender days were behind me. In retrospect I think I was in denial about how much sugar I was consuming through drinks and carbohydrate rich foods like rice and savory biscuits.
About to meet my first born.
With young children to care for my mind was less on myself than it had ever been. I didn’t particularly like the weight gain and would dress to conceal the parts of my body I was sensitive about. But when it came to actually doing something about losing weight, I would describe myself as apathetic. My passionate weight loss ideas were usually conceived on a Sunday night, on the couch of course, and forgotten over a large fruit juice and buttery vegemite toast Monday morning.
Back to the couch… Always a fan of using a special offer to justify my decisions, I drafted an email to Daniel suggesting I was ready to give training a go. I closed my eyes, winced wildly and hit send.
The next day a message arrived. A start date and time. Talk of a weigh in. A. WEIGH. IN. OMG it was really happening. I had officially exercised my birthright to change my mind. I had a personal trainer.
I committed to giving it my absolute best. If I was going to spend the time and the dollars training, I would completely give myself over to the process, apply all the advice and work as hard as I could.
I remember the first session. I even remember what I wore because it was so significant for me.
Off to dance class wearing the infamous mesh top.
I’ve mentioned before I tend to carry weight in my face. I also tend to carry it in my arms. Thanks to a few insensitive remarks I had a major hang up about my arms. I always covered them. Even in the height of summer I would dance at full throttle wearing a long sleeve mesh top.
In the spirit of my newfound commitment I put on a black tank top.
My white doughy arms in full view.
I kept regarding myself from all angles in my bedroom mirror. I felt extremely self-conscious. I took a selfie and sent it to my sister. What did she think? How bad did I look? My sister and I had danced together since we were children. She knew my allegiance to that ratty mesh top.
So why the sudden change? I knew it was time to dress in appropriate exercise clothes. It was one thing to be in a dance class where I could blend into the background. Wearing long sleeves when vigorously exercising is a hot affair. Boiling. Sweaty. Itchy. I didn’t fancy such an existence one on one.
After some reassuring words from the middle sister, I decided to do it. It would be a while before I bared my arms in a dance class, but I left the house that day wearing a tank top. A big mental milestone for me.
Can you relate? Do you have any body hang ups?
Want to know what happened next? Read How I lost 15kgs in 12 weeks -Part 2
Trailer - How I lost 15kgs in 12 weeks - Part 2