This is the first blog post from a newer female client. We’ll call her “Mary” (not her real name), and she’s the wife of Jim, whose story has been published here.

    Same as Jim, Mary didn’t want to share at first. Now she’s allowing me to tell the story through their eyes.

    Jim thinks he’s a big shot. But I started before he did.

    Here’s the story. It’s boring, so I’ll skip the 20 years of “diets” and home video workouts and stuff. Late in the fall, I was going for my lunch-hour walk downtown. This has been my exercise for the last year, and it almost always turns into window shopping. I know that’s not exercise. But I also know that I’m too hard on myself.

    I get into these funks and I think, “I need to snap out of this.” So I join a gym or buy a shake or get some new piece of equipment in my basement. You should see all the stuff collecting dust down there: a treadmill, some kind of strider, and enough ab equipment to outfit a gym. I should be a model by now, I have so much stuff. And diets? I’ve done them all. One coach told me about the Zone Diet on one of my first days, and I almost said, “Oh honey, I was Zone Perfect before you were born.”

    I did Pilates for a while and liked it for my back, but then my partner moved and I didn’t want to go alone. I’m one step away from doing laps at the LimeRidge Mall.

    Anyway, I have this friend at work. Every day she’s super excited to get done with work and head off to her gym. I thought it a little crazy at first but she’s stuck with it for a while now. And it shows: I’ve never seen her look this good. Her husband was complaining about her clothing budget (he obviously hasn’t seen MY clothing budget) because she dropped a lot of weight. So she’s been wearing clothes that are too big for her, just in case she gains the weight back. Trust me, I know all about hedging your miracles, because that’s always what happens.

    My friend didn’t do most of the weight-loss tricks that I did. She didn’t do the Shakes last year (that sounds like a dance workout). I was so into that, but then I gained all the weight back. After that, I got a bit depressed. I didn’t quit trying, but I stopped looking. So when I asked my friend “where are you going for lunch?” I was mostly just making conversation.

    She said, “Outlaw. Come with me.”

    I immediately started to look for a way out. I don’t know much about CrossFit, honestly, but I definitely knew that their workouts were way too hard for me. She must have seen the look on my face, because she said, “What if I get Jill to go too?” I thought, well, if we all go together, that won’t be so bad, and since Jim is joining that other gym, I need to do something. I don’t want to pay for a personal trainer, but that’s really my next step. So I went on the website: prices higher than a gym but much lower than a personal trainer. I just hoped we weren’t going to get some rah-rah teenaged cheerleader, because I know I can go to spin class for about 1/6 that amount if I want to be cheered on.

    So we went on Friday night. I touched up my face a bit before we went, and put on a new outfit that I bought on my lunchtime “walk” exercise.

    First impression: this gym is empty. And big. Where’s all the stuff?

    There were about a dozen people there, and surprisingly, they were mostly women. I tried to figure out how we were all going to share the rowing machines or where we were supposed to get our mats. I was nervous, but Jill looked terrified.

    Anyway, the coach started the group at exactly 5:30. We stood in a circle. She told us to squat. I did two, and she asked me to squat lower. So I got right down on my haunches, and didn’t think I would get back up. Then we did about 40,000 more of them until I couldn’t move. I was sweating, my makeup was starting to run, and I’m sure my face was 3 shades of pink.

    Then she says: “Time to start the workout!”

    Uh, that wasn’t the workout?!?

    They partnered me up with another lady. I didn’t know it, but she’s incredible. She was lifting her feet over her head and kicking the pull-up bar while I rowed. The coach started a big clock, told us what to do and then said “3,2,1 go!”

    I’ve never been an athlete in my life, but I suddenly felt bad for yelling at my kids at their hockey game. Yowza. I didn’t walk down stairs for 3 days. I wanted to show Jimmy the squat I learned but literally couldn’t do one. It was hard. The coach called to ask how I was doing on Tuesday, and I signed up for the my intro sessions and some personal training to get me ready to do more classes. I called Jill to sign up with me, but she said she didn’t want to commit yet.

    Next time, I’ll tell you about the InBody. You can’t really get a sense of how scary that thing is until you’ve done it.

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