Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gym Rat

So I worked out yesterday as I always do in the afternoons. I usually workout for an hour and a half to two hours—hour on the bike, lift weights general muscles, and then abs.

Yesterday was different. I was a personal trainer in training. I was different. I was a girl who would have courage to be her size and be a trainer too. When I told Jaime, the personal trainer I know there, he smiled but I could see surprise in his eyes. Perhaps it was my own sensitivity but I swear I saw the thought “you?” pass by his eyes. I think the personal training industry is as snobby as the fashion industry. Either you’re in or you’re out.

I have a feeling I’m out.

To gather more information for my belly article, I asked Jaime what his workout was. This is what I’m talking about. PTs are not normal! He’s training for a windsurfing competition so I guess I understand, but he runs for an hour, bikes for an hour and then teaches a spinning class in the evening. He does this five days a week. 15 workout hours per week.

Then I asked Raul PT#2 what his workout was. Raul has no body fat. He’s the most dedicated dude there and a professor in physical education. He’s the one stare at all the time. The guy is built. I wish I liked the soft, pudgy guy (well, actually, I like them too) but I’m certainly not immune to a physically pristine man.

I decided I would tell him about being a personal trainer and was blindsided by his answer. “You’re missing a lot of exercises—you need exercises for the waist down.” I still don't know whether he understood that I wanted to become a personal trainer, not get personal training. But maybe the reaction would have been the same either way.

I didn’t know what to say. I thought about it for a moment and decided in some way he was right…and I was terribly offended. I just said, “Si” and slinked away.

I sulked as I worked my pectoral muscles. I was pissed off and coming up with incredible comebacks I would never mutter:

“Oh yeah, skinny man…”

“These hips are made for kicking your ass…”

“Kiss my unexercised ass…”

“Oh yeah, skinny man…”

Note to self: never, ever be a debater

I suddenly understood how difficult being the calm in the fitness storm is going to be. This is a big choice to accept my body as is. To not strive for perfection goes against my very A-type personality.

It also made me realize how important it is to be sensitive about a client’s weight. They may be coming to me to lose weight and get fit, but they still won’t want to hear that they’re missing a lot of exercises from the waist down. It’s just another way of saying you’re still fat there.

I whispered to myself as I did my ab exercises. “I must have courage.”

What I meant was I need to be brave in the face of the gym rats. To not sell people some size that they can only maintain by working out three hours a day. To encourage them to go out and enjoy the world.

I can. I will.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Humble Beginnings

Here I am, at the beginning of my journey to become an expert on fitness and health and happy living...and man am I overwhelmed!

I wanted to write an article on the belly (my current obsession). I went to and looked at a lot of bellies. I considered posting my own.

I read that the larger we get as a general population, the thinner our models get.

And during eras when women gained rights (voting, reproductive control, economic control), the popular women's dress deemphasized women's ability to reproduce--chao child-bearing hips! chao breasts! Weird, huh.

My article on the belly is a mess! And I'm getting hungry.

Before I stumble out of my writing cave (aka my bedroom) and reach for the tomotoes and goat cheese (my two new favorite foods!), I've got a couple of things I wanted to work out with you, my imaginary and (hopefully eventually) real readers.

My head is spinning. More than ever, I understand that I want to do this job really well, not for me, but for all of you, for every woman who has ever felt too fat. I have lived with enough women to know that we all feel too fat, except for the few who feel too thin. No one I have ever met has been happy and satisfied with their bodies. There's something wrong with our society when every woman is unhappy in it.

I'd like to be part of a solution to fix what's wrong.

This blog is for every woman who has ever thrown a critical glance at her reflection in the window. For every woman suffering from an eating disorder. For the women facing criticism from others every day for not being thin enough.

As I begin to present ideas to you in this blog, I'm going to promise a few things. If I break these promises, please remind me:
  • I will not lose myself to the hype of losing weight--no "how to be a size __" on this blog--just real info about good food and fun exercises (yes, there is such a thing)
  • I will take complicated information from a variety of sources and make it easy to understand
  • I will listen to you
  • I will make this blog interesting and fun and humorous (except for today's serious mission statement)
  • I will be honest about my own struggles with my weight and body image
  • I will never, ever bash thin people because they're in the same boat--we're all told by someone or something that we're just not good enough
Maybe together, we can quit the ideal, hug our bellies and bust out the good food and good living!

From the first of many FunFitFoodies