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A Personal Journey, Week 5: I Discover I’m a Cheese Filled Burger

I knew heading into this journey that I’d have to make some changes in my life in order to have a real and lifelong impact on my health and wellness. But, in order to make healthy changes you first need to know your baseline. So I decided it was time to meet with a personal trainer.

BKB has a bunch of personal trainers who specialize in training for many activities, not just climbing. The first rule is to not get intimidated by how incredibly fit these folks are. They are all genuinely wonderful human beings who do this job because they truly believe in the power of training and helping people achieve their goals. I met with Felice Lopez, a new trainer at BKB. I chose her mostly because we both frequent the karaoke night at Highland Kitchen (and I knew if I started shame crying, she’d understand).

Felice and I met, and she walked me through my current stats. We talked about everything: my normal activity per week, my diet, my family history, and what my goals are. Then she weighed me (gasp!) with a special scale that has conductive panels for your hands and feet. This scale sends a small, undetectable electric charge through your body to measure your current percentage of body fat and muscle. I won’t go into too much detail here but, needless to say, my stats aren’t… the best. Years of eating whatever was around with limited activity has taken a toll on my body. My fat percentage is way too high and my muscle percentage is way too low. I’m sorta like that delicious cheese filled burger at Shake Shack (which I’m never eating again), all gooey in the middle.

After my weigh in, Felice prescribed me a great workout plan that blended strength training, stretching, and cardio. She also offered up some great diet and nutrition advice, as well as set up weekly training sessions for us.

And then I went back to my work day. Which proved difficult.

The next few days were tough and sorta sent me into a spiral of shame. No wonder my knees are hurting all the time. No wonder I’m winded when I walk up stairs. How did I get so far in the wrong direction? I suppose at least now I knew just how far I needed to go to get healthy, but I found myself at a “make-or-break” moment. I could either say, “Oh well, too hard!” and go back to a sedentary lifestyle full of delicious, gooey cheese and quadruple bypass surgery at 60, OR I could download MyFitnessPal (a fitness tracking app), do three, 30 minute workouts a week, and eat delicious, healthy food in moderation.

So, I woke up the next day, downloaded MyFitnessPal, walked 4 miles with my extremely excited dog, logged my steps, did a kettlebell workout the next day, did yoga, ate a metric ton of quinoa, and started taking steps.

Real, honest steps toward my goal.

Oh! I didn’t mention my goal yet, did I? My goal is to dance on my 90th birthday wearing high heels. The work I do now at 39 will, hopefully, get me there. And if not, it will at least make walking up stairs in my 40s, and 50s, and beyond, much, much easier.

So, to those out there reading this, my message to you is to take a chance. Find your baseline, no matter how far you believe it might put you from your goal. Just like Freddie Mercury says, consider it a challenge.

Make a playlist of all the songs that pump you up, put your headphones in, and start walking until you can start running. Go out dancing with your friends and dance all night. MOVE. Stretch deeper. Breathe deeper. And eat a metric ton of quinoa because that shit is actually pretty delicious.

Be a champion of your own body. Become superhuman.

I believe you can do it, because I believe I can do it.

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