REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
Almost 3 years ago, while living in North Carolina, I decided I wanted to do a show. A bikini competition. I wanted to get my body in the best shape of my life. I wanted to prove to the world and to myself that I could do it. After 3 kids, I didn’t want to let my body go. I was small. Like a skinny fat. There was no tightness. I was a small, wiggly, jiggly girl. You know the type. I was one of those girls that looked fine in clothes, but underneath it all hung wrong.
My husband enjoys weight lifting. I went to the gym with him to get started. I told him I really wanted to do this competition. I would get dressed and go to the gym with him, and I never complained. It didn’t matter how hard it was. I tried to do everything he told me to do. I always gave it my best.
My husband couldn’t keep training with me, though. He had to go away to a military school on another installation just a month after we’d started. He could see that I was serious about this, so he suggested I get a personal trainer. We went to the gym on post and I signed up with the trainers there.
I loved it! I had 3 different trainers. They each brought their individual spin to our training sessions. It was always a nice break to go do my thing, work hard, train, and really push myself. Even on days I trained on my own. I wanted to show my trainers just how serious I was about this. I wanted to show them progress. I ate better and trained better because they motivated me, and because I was accountable to them. Plus, it became our goal. They wanted me to be my best just as much as I did. That drove me to push even harder.
It was great going and training with them. They always had our workout planned. They would give me workouts to do on my own when I didn’t train with them. They always had a training program for me, and they would track my progress. In fact one trainer, in particular, documented everything. He kept a notebook with him at all times. He wrote down everything I did, whether it was difficult, easy, or in between. He wrote down everything.
My first trainer was a former NFL player and a participant in the crossfit games. We did a lot of circuit training. I’d never trained that way before I met him. It was rough at first, but now I find myself doing it on my own, by choice. My second trainer was an older Polish man. He was hardcore and very old school. He was very into form. He would stop me from finishing if my form gave out. He’s actually also the one who wrote everything down. My last trainer was a jack of all trades. He really mixed it up. We would do some classic lifting, drills outside on the bleachers, resistance bands, battle ropes, sprints at the park, and my favorite — We boxed! It was always changing. Always a surprise.
Let’s back track just a bit for a moment. While I was still training with my second trainer, my husband came down on orders for us to move. I still had a third trainer because the second one ended up leaving that particular gym, and we still had several months there before we needed to move.
As the move drew closer, my husband began suggesting that I not get a personal trainer at the new duty station. At first it was just a gentle suggestion here and there. The closer it got, the more he’d back it up with reasons. It was money we could be saving. I’d been training a good while and at this point I knew enough to workout on my own. I wasn’t planning on doing another show for awhile.
His points were all very valid. Initially, I kind of blew them off because I still had time, and I didn’t want to think about it. As the move got closer, I started to panic. It sounds really silly. I understand that. I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I’d never been solely responsible for my training before. I thought I might lose everything I’d worked for. I suppose I was like a kid learning to ride a bike. The whole time, the kid is screaming, “Dad, don’t let go!” The poor kid doesn’t have confidence in their own ability, and that’s exactly how I was. Like a baby bird afraid to spread it’s own wings.
The last trainer I had before the big move knew I was nervous to train on my own. He set me up with a really good plan to use initially. He’d written up a workout plan that I could use for 2 or 3 weeks. After that, I wrote up my own workouts based on ones I’d done with my trainers. I second guessed myself a lot in the beginning, so I would go over my workouts with my husband. That worked for awhile. I remember the first time I hit a bump where I couldn’t think of what to do. I got online and started searching different workouts.
My workouts now are just a crazy combination of things I’ve done with trainers, workouts I’ve found online or in magazines, things I see, and /or read about. I follow so many fitness pages and enthusiasts on social media, which has been extremely helpful.
Something really good that came from leaving my personal trainers, is that I learned I could do this. And I’m actually doing it really well! I’m continuing to make progress training on my own. It’s very satisfying. Will I ever have a personal trainer again? If I do another show, which I hope to do in the next year or two. In the meantime, I’m in the process of registering for my own personal trainer certification. It’s very exciting.