Note: Due to my shunning of the camera this part will not have as many pictures of my progress.
Before I returned to the gym in March of this year where I met Janice and Deb, I should note that I did in fact originally enroll at a wonderful place called Silverdale/Kingston Fitness back in August of 2008
At the time I was about 190 and a size 14 and David was starting preschool two days a week at the Kingston Co-op.
My plan was simple: exercise at the Kingston location while David was in preschool and Silverdale (where there is childcare) once or twice a week.
Yeah not so much.
I had taken on the task of Fundraising Coordinator for KCP, which being a Co-Op, the school depends on to help cover the cost of day-to-day operations. I was a brand new parent and no clue what I was getting myself into.
What a lot of work!
Before I took the position I didn't factor in that Robert would at at sea for two of the bigger fundraisers during the year. Not having a second parent at home, I inevitably used the time David was in school to work on fundraising. Let's not even talk about finding time for Moose Threads.
Add in that I committed a HUGE no-no by forgetting to keep up with my medication for Hashimotos - 250 micrograms of synthroid - and I was a disaster waiting to happen.
I tried to hide how depressed I really was, but I know I wasn't 100 percent effective at it. This was right before I started seeing my therapist.
I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of supportive women at KCP. They may not have all known about my battle with depression but they were sure as hell willing to help Cindy (my co-fundraising chair) and I with this fundraising gig.
But despite all their efforts, I couldn't help but feel I didn't fit in or that I was doing a very good job.
In September of 2008, for my 29th birthday, my husband purchased 10 personal training sessions for me.
Now before you whip out the duct tape and fire ants in horror of a husband purchasing such a gift for his wife - I need to clarify - that it had nothing to do with his opinion of how I looked.
During this entire weight-loss roller coaster my husband - who swims daily and remains a slim 160 pounds - has not once ever commented on my changing body. Even on my most frumpalicious days he always told me I was beautiful.
(Georgia, Tara, Shelley.... you trained him well)
The personal training sessions were his way of giving me support while he was at sea. Being a fellow swimmer he knew that the thought of free weights and fitness classes scared me more than seeing Joan Rivers in a bikini.
And so my journey to Janice and Deb began.
Originally I was paired with a trainer who I'll call Rebecca 1.
Rebecca 1 was someone who I felt understood what I was dealing with. She had lost 80 pounds herself and was a Navy Spouse.
We spoke on the phone and scheduled our first session, but faster than Lindsey Lohan can make a crap movie , she called and cancelled.
All she said was that she suddenly had to move back east and that someone at the front desk would reassign me a trainer. In fact I never really spoke to her - she left a message on my voicemail.
Well, I was assigned a trainer in the form of someone I'll call Rebecca 2 (yep both had the same name)
Rebecca 2 seemed promising. She seemed to get what I was going through emotionally and what I was looking for in terms of learning to exercise sans pool. This was early October of 2008.
Over the course of two months we met a total of 2 times. Making a training date with Rebecca 2 was worse than trying to teach Jessica Simpson how to read. No matter how far in advance we scheduled a session, inevitably she would call and cancel a mere half hour before I was to leave the house.
Not exactly motivating.
Feeling a bit lost I slowly started finding excused not to go to the gym.
However,I wanted to give her one last chance and so Rebecca 2 asked if we could meet outside of the gym to talk.
When I arrived at the mall (her choice) to meet her, Rebecca 2 had an older woman with her.
Warning bells softly ringing.
Well, over the course of an hour (what can I say I had too many manners drilled into me) Rebecca 2 and this woman - who happened to be a supplement direct sales person, tried to convince me that the only thing that will help my weight loss was by taking a $100 per month concoction of crap.
The woman even went as far as to claim that her own personal doctor used the supplements and that they'd cure my Hashimotos etc.
Warning bells definitely louder now...
The final straw was when Rebecca 2 pulled the I-know-how-busy-with-the-preschool-and Robert-gone-and-your-business-for-you-to-workout-consistently-so-this-is-your-ONLY-option card.
To which the supplement lady promptly adds "Wow you're really busy. What you don't know how to say no?"
By this time my alarm bells had turned into sirens louder that a Gorilla having his butt waxed.
I never saw Rebecca 2 again.
From November 2008 to Feb 2009 I didn't go to the gym at all. I felt guilty considering we were spending the money on the gym each month, I had an unused childcare card and 8 personal training session left to go, but my encounter with Rebecca 2 and the supplement nut left me confused and untrusting.
During this time I gained 30 pounds as I battled my depression (how I had reached 220), and it only seemed worse during the gloomy Western Washington weather.
But after my encounter with my "so very supportive relative" I decided to try and return to working out.
I have never been so nervouse as the day I went back to the gym that February.
I was scared as hell to run into Rebecca 2 and I was so self-conscious that for the first few weeks I wouldn't take off my huge bulky sweatshirt and baseball cap.
In the past, whenever I had joined a gym, the staff was either high and mighty or just plain rude.
Boy did I have nothing to worry about.
Gary at the front desk immediatly recognized me and asked how I'd been and how I was doing.
Melanie, who also worked the front desk, asked if my husband was back from sea and said it was great to see me.
Alissa and Tina in childcare were thrilled to see David and asked me how potty training was going.
It was like I'd been going there for years.
Finally after about a week of using the elliptical I got up the courage to appraoch Melanie about those remaning personal training sessions.
I had no idea if they were still good or if I had to continue with Rebecca 2 in order to use them.
Janice is the Personal Training Manager for Silverdale Fitness and though she's just a little thing I've never met someone with such an immense positive presence.
I stumbled through my question regarding my training sessions. I mean, it's not easy to tell someone basically "Hey your trainer sucks monkey butt and I want a do-over."
I then learned that Rebecca 2 no longer worked for the gym and my less than stellar impression of her wasn't just my depression influcing my feelings.
Janice offered to personally help match me with a new trainer, or, if I'd like she'd train me herself.
I'm not sure why, but there was an energy about Janice that was like finding that coveted onion ring amid an order of french fries - it felt meant to be and so I decided to attempt this personal trianing thing for the third and last time.
I didn't know what to expect my first session with Janice.
With Rebecca 2 it was a pretty mundane combination of free weights and the treadmill. Not really my style.
Well I was in for a treat.
The only way I can describe Janice during a training session is to have you imagine if Hello Kitty and Seargeant Slaughter had a child together. She is the perfect combination of sweet, sassy and brute strength.
She pushes me just hard enough to challenge myself, but never fails to crack a joke just at the point I am about to give up.
Her training style is more than just free weights and boring cardio and each session she appraoches me like you would a 1000 piece puzzle.
At first I was a big jumble of rough pieces and undefined shapes.
She first started with the simple edges, giving me an easy frame to work within.
Each session she added a more challenging piece until slowly a picture began to emerge and I could finally see myself again.
I've learned to look at paper plates in a whole new light, love the Bosu Ball and loathe wall pushups. Just when I think I've mastered something, she turns up the difficulty.
And then there was Deb....