To cruise or not to cruise…

I was offered a cruise. A free one. All I had to have was spending cash. It would stop in Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Mexico. I couldn’t believe it. It all came about the day before my birthday, last week. I received a facebook message from a friend of mine asking for my number because she had an exciting and spontaneous question to ask me. Number was given and I received one of the most unexpected calls of my life. The friends had been following my weight loss journey on facebook and were so inspired that it was leading them to eat better. Not only were they inspired, they wanted to say ‘thank you’ with a free, 7 day cruise to Jamaica. I really couldn’t believe it. I was stunned to say the least. Immediately I thought of “i’m going to miss working out! but think of all the things I can photograph”. I agreed to go and even put in for the time off at work. (I rarely use my vacation time) I was definitely caught up in the excitement and unexpectedness of it all. I told work friends, personal friends, and family. Everyone was shocked and excited. I was too but also worried about being away from the gym for 7 whole days. I pushed that thought aside and started thinking about what sort of clothes I had that I could take. (not much)

My thoughts were cruise consumed. Cruising, working out, not over eating, etc. When I first told Jake he said he could come up with a program for me to follow at sea. Whew! I didn’t want to impose but that made me feel a little bit better. A couple of days later I was talking to him again about some stuff and the cruise and he told me he didn’t have a good feeling about this trip. Not like anything ominous was going to happen, just that I have this momentum going at the gym right now because for the first time since I started, all my injuries are healed and I am working out harder. I didn’t come right out and say it but I was nervous too. Gaining weight when you’re trying to lose is devastating. At least for me. I kept telling myself that I didn’t think I would overeat on the ship, but come on people. You’re at sea for 7 days and you have access to food whenever you want. Of course I have that here at home too but I think the difference for me is I wouldn’t have the accountability that I have here and at home I’m doing the cooking and cleaning. No bueno. Anyway, we talked a little more and I was going to pray and see if this is what I should be doing or not at this point in my life. I talked to Kristi about it and she agreed with Jake. Let me tell you guys, it was a rough night and day before I made my final decision. One mistake was asking everyone’s opinion. Everyone’s! Half over here said wait, don’t go now. The other half said I would be crazy if I didn’t. If you don’t know anything about me you should know I’m a people pleaser. I didn’t/don’t want to let anyone down. I felt like whatever decision I made would piss someone off. So the following day I spoke to Jake again, or more like bawled (again!) in his office while he listened. I didn’t and don’t feel like I should be going on this trip. While it is an incredibly generous and thoughtful thing to have offered, it’s not my time to go right now. I think I would have a much better experience if I were to go at a smaller size and when I’m in a better mindset about food. (whenever that happens.)

Can I tell you that once I made that decision, I was at peace with it. I was nervous telling my friends, who consequently, aren’t speaking to me right now. I get it. Sort of. I understand the hurt but would hope they would be encouraging about staying behind to continue this healthy journey of my life. It’s okay. I don’t regret the decision I made. It was the best one for me and as long as I am okay with it, that’s really all that matters.


The Beginning.

The Beginning

October 11, 2013

I am terrified of beginning this new chapter of my life. I’ve been given this opportunity by the Grace of God, literally. Here’s how it all came to be…My sister, Kristi, was a member of Balance Fitness before she moved to Prague. (Oklahoma, in the country, not The Country) Even though she was no longer a member she still followed the page on Facebook. One day, the owner of the gym, Jake, posted he felt a calling from God to help someone who is need of weight loss but didn’t necessarily have the means to work with a personal trainer and if you knew someone, contact him. Now Kristi being Kristi, she immediately thought of me. All things weight loss related lead her to think of me. I’ve always be the heavy one in my family of six kids and at this time of my life, it’s the biggest I’ve ever been. So, she calls me early Friday morning on the 11th to see if this is something I’d be interested in or even wanted to do. I’m naturally skeptical and a little put off that it’s another “weight loss” phone call. (she means well and only wants the best!) I agree to let Jake contact me and we’ll just see where this goes. Later that morning at work, she sends a text, “Jake from balance is going to call you! Woot!!!” exactly as he’s calling. I missed the call but called him back later on that day. Now, for those of you that don’t know me, I don’t really like calling people I don’t know. I was hoping for a voicemail and bingo! I got one. Now it was my turn to leave a message. Message left and it was time to wait and see what happened next. I didn’t hear back from Jake until the following Tuesday. Between Friday and Tuesday I thought he might have found someone else to help, he was no longer interested, just a number of reasons why he didn’t call me back. All negative. When he called Tuesday afternoon I was a little apprehensive to answer. Even though I said I was interested, here is someone that I don’t know, offering something that I’ve never done before – a chance to change my life. After talking with him I agreed to meet him on Thursday at 4.

I didn’t mention the meeting to anyone. Kristi is really the only one I told. I didn’t want to let everyone know about it in case I chickened out and decided not to grasp this life line I was being given. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or seem like a failure. (common theme in my life) Kristi said she would attend the meeting with me and I was overjoyed. I normally don’t go places by myself and if friends and I are meeting somewhere, I usually wait until someone else shows up before walking in. Weird I know. Anyway, Thursday arrives and I’m working myself up into a frazzled ball of nerves. All day I have thoughts of what if’s – what if I’m too big to help, what if he decides not to help me, what if I decide not to do it, what if, what if, what if. I can ‘what if’ with the best. It’s finally 3:30p.m., time to leave work and make the drive north. On the drive I’m talking to Kristi to keep from turning my car around and driving home. I know this could potentially turn out to be a life changing event, but I’m petrified. The more I drive north, the worse my anxiety is becoming. 4 o’clock is looming large and my stomach is a wad of knots and fear. I pull into the parking lot, Kristi still on the phone, and I can’t open my car door. I’m about to start crying because I’m so nervous. Kristi’s urging me on the phone to “just open your car door. I’ll be there in a minute.” I wipe off my face and summon courage that I don’t feel I really have and open the car door. No turning back now. I nervously walk towards the building and make it to the door. Opening the door I feel I could throw up all over the place. Upon entering, here is this guy with a smile on his face ten miles wide. He knows who I am and immediately introduces himself. Jake. We shake hands and I’m still just scared. I look around and it’s a nice place; an intimate setting with treadmills, weights, and machines on one side and an aerobic studio on the other. He’s finishing with a client so it will be just a minute. I explain that Kristi is on her way and should be there shortly. I quietly stand by this crazy looking machine to wait for Kristi’s arrival. There’s only one other guy there working out, so I could bolt if I wanted to. When Kristi arrives it’s such a relief to have her there. Someone who knows me and the reason I’m in this place to begin with. After Jake finishes with his client we go to his office to talk. The first thing he says is “Tell me about yourself.” Poor guy. I don’t know if he was prepared for that. I can’t even say three words without crying. I tell him I’m tired of being fat. I’m the biggest person in my family out of six kids, I’ve always been heavy, I feel my siblings are embarrassed to be seen with me in public (my perception), I’m just tired of being fat. I’ll be 40 next year and I don’t want to carry this weight around anymore. I’ve been overweight, obese, all my life. I explain to him how I have let it control everything I do. I’ve missed out on a lot of things because of my weight. The constant running dialogue day in and day out of “will I fit in this chair” “do they have booths or tables” “is this seat belt going to fit”, and countless other negative thoughts. Being this heavy it plays into every single aspect of my life. I have let it play into every aspect. I’ve missed out on so much. But this meeting is changing all of that. Listening to Jake speak about God and his plan for us, not just me, everyone, is empowering. He’s speaking about God’s Grace and do I know that I have His Grace? I haven’t really felt that way. I haven’t felt worthy. That’s another theme of my life. Not being good enough. Not feeling worth it. Listening to Jake speak, I’m really hearing what he has to say. There isn’t anything more I could do on this earth that will make God love me more. He already loves me unconditionally. I just have to know it. Believe it. We are all worthy. At some point during the meeting Jake’s wife Nicole comes in and introduces herself. She has a warmth and kindness about her that is welcoming. The entire meeting I felt like this is where I should be. This is happening for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, I was still nervous, but I knew I needed to be there. I agreed to come to Jake’s ministry that he recently started at the gym on Saturday evening; another situation where I was nervous because I won’t know anyone and it’s something out of my comfort zone.

Saturday was great! I ended up sitting in the front row, not my usual, and felt awkward for a while. I was introduced to the others and everyone was again nice and welcoming. The sermon was great. I still felt somewhat awkward after it was over, but that’s just me. Time to set the schedule for the upcoming workouts. “This needs to be 5 days a week.” Jake told me. “Okay.” I replied, thinking inside, 5 DAYS A WEEK?! 4p.m. was the scheduled time. Monday was to be my first day of training. Oh joy.

When I finally told people, the reaction is one of excitement for me to be successful. I’m blown away by everyone. I shouldn’t be because these are my friends and family. People who want nothing but the best for me. So this is how I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. What follows next can only be considered comedy.


So, this was the beginning of the journey that is changing my life. It hasn’t been easy and it’s been filled with joy, embarrassment, happiness, frustration, and more tears than I care to count. But it is all worth it. I’m worth it. And I think I’m finally getting that.

Moving right along.

Week 11 of training

January 7, 2014

 Goodness! I have made it over two months. I have done more in the past two months than I’ve ever done in my whole life. I am now laying flat to do sit ups, I have fewer breaks in between exercises and guess what party people? I am now exercising on the Arc Trainer. (elliptical) Was it about 3 or 4 weeks ago when I could barely do one minute on it without passing out? Now I regularly work out for 20 plus minutes at a time and the longest I’ve been on there was a solid hour. I could NOT believe it. The intensity has definitely increased. Now it’s not just about getting on there and moving. Now it’s about increasing how much I move. To the point that my legs want to revolt, and I sometimes think about throwing up. Thankfully it’s only been a thought and not a reality. How embarrassing would that be to vomit in the gym? Although I hear it’s a common occurrence, I don’t want to mark that one off the embarrassment list. I already have arm fat flapping (still) and the occasional leg fat slap, followed by the raising of my shirt to continue with my belly fat playing peek-a-boo. I certainly don’t want to add puking. No thanks!

I am still continually amazed that I show up each day. I’ve tried to pinpoint why I do and come up short. I spoke to Jake about it the other day and he said it’s Faith. It’s faith in doing the right thing and seeing where I’m actually headed. I am overjoyed with how far I’ve come in two months. I’ve lost weight and changed my mental status. No it isn’t all moonlight and roses, but it’s so much better from where I started. Looking back on the past two months and I can see ups and downs, but really mostly ups. I did okay on eating at Thanksgiving, but slipped a little at Christmas. The scale wasn’t really my friend then, but I got back on track and lost the weight plus some. The scale has never really been a good friend of mine and this time around it’s okay. I’m trying to learn to not get so wrapped up in the number that it reads and just know that I am making changes and it’s not going to happen overnight. I have come a long way. It shows in my face, in my clothes, and in my general attitude. I am blessed. So very, very much.

 4 months of training

February 27, 2014

 So I have been training for 4 months! Wow. I still can’t believe it and can’t believe that I still like it. I have now incorporated two a days. I go early in the morning and still at 4p.m. I normally arrive anywhere from 5a.m. – 5:15a.m. I’m only there for 30 minutes but I figure I need all the help I can get. I started officially going in the morning on February 14th. I was busy on the Arc Trainer when Jake suggested I join the class he was about to teach. I really have no idea what possesses me to do the things I do, but I joined in anyway. Let me tell you this party people, I did sit ups and push ups from the floor! Me, on the floor, doing push ups and sit ups. It was quite the accomplishment. The gist of the class was to do as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. In the beginning I was trying to compare myself to where everyone else was at, but then thought, WHY? I’m not on their level and I need to do the best that I can do. I managed to do three rounds. Squats, lifting weights, push ups, and sit ups. Yay me! Of course my knees were complete crap the rest of the day, but that’s just because they have so much riding on them.

In these past 4 months, my training has steadily increased. There isn’t as much rest time in between exercises and the weight amounts have definitely increased. I have also managed to lose 30 pounds! I started off weighing 484 and made it to 454. Although this past week was a bit of a mess for me and I’ve managed to pick up 4 pounds. I was pretty much in the mind set that since I’m working out twice a day I can eat a little more, or a lot, than I should. That is not the case. Maybe one day when I’m where I want to be with my weight, but I’m not there yet. I have struggled recently with feeling powerless over food. If you want to know the face of a food addict, look at me.

Days 8, 9, & 10!

Day 8 of training

October 30, 2013

 Today was a good workout. I started off by walking outside, behind the building; quickly and several times back and forth. I was trying to keep up a conversation but after a few times back and forth, it was difficult to keep talking and to also concentrate on what I was saying. Haha. Nothing humiliating happened that day and no tears were involved! Score for me. Like I said earlier, it was a good workout.

 Day 9 of training

October 31, 2013

 Happy Halloween! All day long I had this feeling like Jake wasn’t going to be there that day so I wasn’t 100% surprised when I received a text from him saying just that. He had to do a funeral that day (very sad) and wouldn’t be there but to do some of the same things I’ve done in the past, plus get some boxing in, in 1 minute rounds. I have to admit I was nervous about being there and working out alone. I wasn’t going to let it deter me from going, I was just nervous. Is this nervous business ever going to go away? Anyway,

I show up at 4 and there are a couple people in there working out. I go to the aerobics side and start with 20 lifts on the sand bag. I move on to walking quickly and then lift the sand bag 20 more times. Next I move on to putting the sand bag on my neck and walk quickly again. I feel out of my element because I’m winging this stuff. I mean it’s all stuff I’ve done before but I normally have Jake telling me what to do. It’s weird to be there in a room by myself but I press on. Next up is boxing. I do my three rounds and am working up a sweat. I’m tired of being in the room alone so I go into the weight room to do knee lifts. There is another client in there working out, an older lady and she’s getting it! She said she’s lost 60 pounds since joining Balance and that she’s 66 years old. She’s been a member for 3 years and probably within the last year and a half she’s really lost. That’s amazing! She tells me to keep with it. Very encouraging words. So I work on my knee lifts and kick backs. I’m watching the clock like a hawk waiting until 4:30. I do three sets up sit ups, 20 count each. Drew shows up, and Nicole, Jake’s wife. I’m glad to see them both not just because they are nice people, but in my own twisted mind I’m like, Jake will know I was there because Nicole and Drew both saw me. Hahah. Weird I know. 4:30 comes and I’m off! Another day in the books and one day closer to the end of my second week. FYI – working out alone is boring! I told this to Jake as well. Dullsville.

Day 10 of training

November 1, 2013

 I can’t believe I’ve made it to two weeks. How amazing this all still is to me. My mood has improved, my eating is improving, just everything is on the up swing. As I’m about to leave work this day I check facebook and notice that Nicole has posted a getaway with Jake. I think to myself, If he’s not going to be there again today neither am I! Wrong again! He sent me a text saying I would have to endure another boring workout because he had to leave for Tulsa earlier than expected. I asked him if this meant I was getting a day off also and he informed me that Drew was waiting on me and would be there to help me out; no I would not be getting a day off. But I already knew that and I was going to go either way because I couldn’t end my second week without going. I show up and there isn’t anyone there. I start off with wood chops ( I think that’s what it’s called) and slam a medicine ball 20 times. Then I move on to another machine and try and adjust the weights. I cannot for the life of me figure the damn thing out. Just about that time Drew walks in and helps me. The rest of the workout is a lesson in how much you can actually do when pushed to the limits. He worked my butt off. I did all kinds of new stuff and a lot of it. 100 ball slams, some form of lunging forward while throwing a ball, etc. I was breathing heavily. Worse than Hoover ever thought. I kept it up for an hour and was thrilled when it was over. I did ask Drew if it was their mission to ruin my weekends. I was worn out! Surprisingly I was good over the weekend. My knees were tight but I can’t blame that all on working out. I mean they are carrying around a lot of weight. For now.

One week done!

Day 7 of training

October 29, 2013

 I’m still feeling terrible because I am focusing on all the wrong things. I can’t believe______________. Blah, blah, blah. The day before Jake mentioned he’d like me to do hydrostatic testing because it’s the true measure of weight I would be losing. He explained that the scale won’t always reflect an accurate number of pounds lost because as I’m losing fat, I’m also building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, but is denser than fat. Makes sense to me. I received a call from Mercy Fitness about the testing and the lady on the phone informed me she wouldn’t be able to help because their chair only went to 200 pounds. Or 200 and something. In the back of my mind I was thinking, well then who could do the test? I politely thanked her for calling me, hung up, and let it get to me. Here’s another thing to add to my sadness about being as big as I am. Really I just let the day before and this phone call completely ruin my day. Tearing up at work, watery phone calls with my sisters, you name it, I was a mess. I was even embarrassed about going to the gym that day. I couldn’t seem to get out of my own head. Oh! I was also going to my Dr’s office to weigh that afternoon. I was nervous but really wanted to see where I was. I left work early, drove to the office, and got on a scale. This scale wasn’t the ‘normal’ one I usually use and when I stepped on it, it gave me the exact same number from three months before! What??! My feet weren’t fitting all the way on there so I got off of it and asked to use the one I have always used. Stepped right up, numbers calculated, and viola! I now weigh 484 pounds. This is great news! I started this year not even being able to get an accurate weight because the scale only goes to 500 pounds. Now here I am and I can weigh. It’s not a great number, but I’ll take it! I drive to the gym not really feeling jazzy because I’m worried about my fat making more noise. I walk in trying to put a smile on my face but it’s not really working. Drew and Jake are there and me. Drew is on his way out when I get there and Jake looks at me and asks what’s wrong. I tell him I don’t want to say because I’ll just start crying and I’m tired of always crying in front of him. He says, “Well let’s cry. Tell me what’s going on.” Naturally the water works start. I tell him about the phone call from Mercy and how it just seems like one more thing with this damn weight. I also tell him it’s more my mental weight that was bothering me that day than physical weight. I can’t get out of my own head. I didn’t want to, but I also told him about the day before. I told him I was so embarrassed to even bring it up but he told me I should never be embarrassed around him. Then, Jake being the nice guy he is, tells me it isn’t always going to be like this. The weight is going to go away and that I need to picture myself thinner. I need to focus on the bigger picture and see myself how I’m going to look when I’ve reached my goal and not even just then. Picture how I’m going to look 6 months to a year from now. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to look pretty spectacular! He really is a great trainer. Not just physically but mentally as well. I’m sure he’s been there before with other clients. Can I tell you all how thankful I really am that God has put me in this place in my life? I am exactly where I need to be. Not just need, but want. God is great. The rest of the workout is amazing and even though I am winded and stretched to my limits physically, my mood has completely changed by the time I leave for the day. I’m back to my old self of feeling accomplished and knowing that I’m doing the right thing. I know it’s probably going to get harder, but for right now, I’ll take it. I just have to keep in mind that I have an army of support out there who wants nothing more than to see me succeed. 


Day 5 of training

October 25, 2013

 One week down! My first week. I can’t believe I’ve done it. I showed up each day and each day I got my butt kicked. I never in my life thought I’d look forward to working out. I’m sure at some point the honeymoon phase will fade (I hope it doesn’t) and I’ll have to summon the energy to go, but right now I’ll take whatever I have. I really have to thank my lucky stars for even having the opportunity to do this. If it wasn’t for Jake and Kristi none of this would be happening. I have God to thank for that. He truly knows your wants and desires. On this day 5 of training nothing humiliating happened. What?!?! I guess the most I could say is that I had to take a picture. We’ll call it my before picture. Jake and I. Each flexing in this photo. I haven’t seen it yet, and not that I want to right now, but someday I will and I won’t believe how far I’ve actually come. That’s the day I’m looking forward to. I will say this about day 5. I did a lot of work with my arms. OMG! Lifting, pulling, pushing, you name it, I’m pretty sure I did it all with my arms. I was exhausted when I was finished but it was a good exhausted.

 Saturday and Sunday I missed working out. Each day I had a purpose after work. I mean I always have a purpose, but I had something to look forward to. What was I going to do that day, etc. Jake said it’s important to have a day of rest and I chose Saturday. It actually chose me. My arms, legs, and stomach muscles were screaming at me. Loudly. It worked out because the day was overcast and a perfect stay at home day. I did make it to the 6:30 bible study. I was actually 10 minutes early. You know what I did? I drove around the block. I’m such a dork. I left the house a little early to stop and get a bottle of water and because I wanted a seat in the back this time. When I drove up to the gym I was the first one there. So I drove around the block. Laughing at myself the whole time. Even circling the block I was still the first person there. I got my seat in the back and had a minute to chat with Jake and Nicole. He asked how I was feeling that day and I told him everything ached. Everything. The sermon that night was good. Well good except the public speaking part. They had “I AM…” written on a dry erase board. Nicole wanted everyone to come up and write down what they were. This is a huge fear of mine; talking in front of people. I don’t like the attention and I’m always worried I’m not going to say the right thing. Thankfully Jake starts writing the words down for everyone as I’m guessing the others don’t really want to walk up there either. I’ve been having the word ‘learning’ running through my mind the whole night. It fits perfect for my situation. I’m learning about myself and God. I’m finding that I am stronger than I think I am. I’m learning the value of myself in my place in this world. I am learning I am not the names that people called me. I am learning that I am worthy of God’s grace. That’s a tough one for me. To be loved simply because I’m alive. I know my family loves me but to have unconditional love? Mind blowing. Jake and Nicole came aound to each person and prayed over them. Jake gets to me and places his hand on my shoulder and says that I am not the names people said I was, etc. Exactly the thing I’m trying to learn for myself. Of course I start crying! Not a hard cry, but eyes welling up with tears and enough that I need a tissue. Good grief. Am I ever going to stop crying in front of this guy? I still felt awkward after it was over. I don’t really know anyone that was there and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Do I just leave quietly or do I hang around, what? It will come to me one day. Of this I know for sure.


Day 6 of training

October 28, 2013

Humiliation day. It started off innocently enough. Warming up, working out, doing different things to work my entire body. The usual stuff. Then I had to do kick backs; lean over a bar, hold on and kick your leg back. Well, I’m large, I have all this excess fat hanging around. I start to do kick backs with my right leg and I hear the tell tale sign of fat slapping together. I’m mortified because it’s really noticeable. I mean it’s not like you can’t tell I have all this extra weight by looking at me. I’m overweight, it’s noticeable. It shouldn’t be a surprise really that it moves and makes all this noise. It’s time to do the kick backs with my left leg, the side that Jake is standing on. I start doing the exercise and there are small noises to start off and then BAM!, one rather loud slap. I would have probably laughed it off, but Jake said, “Wow was that your knee?” He didn’t have any idea and I was so embarrassed. You have no idea. I lied and said “Yeah, but it’s okay.” I tried to joke it off saying I have Rice Krispie knees, but I was dying inside. I don’t know why this time it was so much worse than it was the week before. Probably because I knew this time he heard it and also commented. Of course his comment was probably out of concern that I wasn’t hurting my knee. It didn’t matter at the time. When my workout was done for the day, I got in my car, called Kristi and started crying. I was so embarrassed. I can’t believe I’ve let myself get into this situation in the first place and then to be humiliated with all the noises this large body makes when it’s exercising. She reminds me that it’s not always going to be this way and I’m doing something about it. You would think that would make me feel better. Wrong! I go home and immediately go to my room. I’m pretty much a sob fest the rest of the night. I try and read encouraging words from the Bible, but I’m feeling so down on myself with my pity party, nothing is working. Mom comes in and tries her hand at reassuring me, but I just feel so awful. I can’t see past it and look at the bigger picture. Pity, party of one! It’s going to get better right?

Days 3 & 4.

Third day of training

Balance Fitness

October 23, 2013

 I was excited on my way to work out today. I’ve actually been in a really happy mood and that’s tremendous because I haven’t felt truly happy in a while. I think I’m happy because I’m doing something good for myself and even though it works my guts out, I’m enjoying it. I had a little bit of a bonus too. When I arrived Jake was with a client, so he wanted me to get started with the side steps ( I have to learn what they are really called) and walking knee lifts. The workout room was busy with other clients so he suggested using the aerobics room because it was empty and would be for another 10 minutes. I gladly went over there and immediately started doing side steps. This time I was only slightly horrified because the dreaded fat slaps were back. (I can’t wait until they permanently move away!) Step, slap, step, slap. I even wore different pants today! The good news in all of this is that I was in there by myself so it was only me listening to the echo of belly fat greeting my leg fat. Woo Hoo! I know one day this isn’t going to be an issue and it’s going to take some time but can’t a girl wish there was some magic something to speed up the process? The rest of the workout was great. Sit ups, push ups, pull ups, etc. I’m not looking forward to the day when these are all done laying on the floor. I did something new – holding onto the bar, sideways, and lifting my leg out. Holy aching butt muscles Batman! It really doesn’t sound like it would be difficult and truly it’s not, but when you haven’t worked out in oh, ever, it’s torture. Not only is the leg you’re lifting burning, but the leg you are standing on wants to give out. I guess the good thing for this one is I didn’t fart or do anything equally embarrassing. Thank you God. It was a tiring workout but I felt great afterward. Even if I still can’t believe people pay good money to be tortured like that. This whole process is amazing to me.

 Day 4 of training

Balance Fitness

October 24, 2013

 To say today was a humiliating day would be an understatement. I started my ‘warm ups’ by boxing. Awkward! I’m sure I’ll get the stance down, but I definitely felt like a fish out of water. It’s the whole pivot with your left foot and jab into it, working from your foot up. You’re basically twisting your body and punching a bag at the same time. Of course once I get the hang of it, it won’t be any big deal. What was a big deal was the arm fat slapping. I thought I was given a reprieve from the belly/leg fat high fives, but nope. As I’m jabbing the punching bag, or boxing if you want to be technical, I hear the tell tale slap of fat hitting fat. OMG! I realize it’s my chicken fat from arm slapping into my boob. Great! I don’t really know which one is worse? I should probably go with the leg fat high fives because at least with the arm chicken fat you can’t hear too much due to punching a bag. Although I can hear it! Slap, slap, slap. It definitely makes for a great story when I make my after training phone calls to Kristi. I’m also here to tell you if you think boxing is easy, you are WRONG. I was again sucking wind like a Hoover and was so winded I was having a hard time drinking my water. I know it’s going to get easier only for something harder to take its place. The rest of the workout was full of slamming medicine balls, quickly walking the length of the gym, and pulling my trainer behind me. He saved the best for last. Sit ups. There is a stack of mats that I had to sit on, lay flat on my back, and raise up. Flat on my back people!! The first one was murder and a struggle to pull all this weight up into a sitting position. Jake hands me a smaller medicine ball and says if I throw it forward it will give me momentum to sit up. I question it, he assures me it will work so I lay back with my ball, start to raise forward and launch the damn thing like I’m in the shot put at the Olympics. Right into Jake’s leg!! I am horrified! It nails him in the shin/knee area and falls with a thud to the ground. I am falling all over myself with “I’m sorry”. Profusely apologizing to him for what I hope is not a leg injury. He says it caught him off guard more than anything. I cannot believe I did that. I took him literally about throwing it and man did it sail. When I get nervous or uncomfortable, or do something stupid, I make a joke. So in this instance I said, “Oh you meant to hold on to the ball!” I’ve probably laughed at this whole incident more than I should, but damn! It was/is hilarious. Needless to say he stood to the side for the rest of my sit ups. I’m a little embarrassed to see what Day 5 of training brings. This is only my first week and it’s been this funny? I can’t wait to see what more training brings. Hopefully I’ll be keeping my ball to myself.

First and Second day of training.

Here is more of what I wrote back when I first started working out. I can still remember how nervous I was to begin doing this and just really unsure of the entire process. At the time I didn’t have anything to worry about, something I definitely know now.

First day of training

Balance Fitness

October 21, 2013

 I arrive at Balance at 4 on the dot. I’ve worn what I hope is the longest shirt I own because, hello belly fat!, and my grey knit pants. I’ve never realized how unattractive they are until you’re working out in front of mirrors. Yikes! Jake starts me out on the treadmill which to my horror moves slower than a turtle in reverse. I don’t have the heart to ask if I weigh too much to be on it. He makes a comment about needing to lubricate the belts (bless his heart) and I walk on it for maybe 5 minutes. It’s a mortifying ordeal because if I remove my hands from the grab bars, the damn belt stops cold. As if to say, you ain’t going anywhere with me honey. Thankfully I’m rescued from that misery only to do arm workouts with a medicine ball. If you don’t know what that is, think of a thick rubber ball filled with wet sand, heavy wet sand. I have to do these arm lifts where you start at your waist and raise your arms in an arc to the opposite shoulder. Seems easy enough and it actually wasn’t terrible. After 15 reps on each side, I move to a machine that has padding underneath. I’m supposed to lay my hands flat on top and raise me knees up to the pads underneath. Okay, I got this. Sometimes a little too much because I whack the padding, loudly, and more than a few times. Still, so far so good. It wasn’t until I move over to another machine that has this metal bar in the middle. I’m supposed to grip the bar, lean back a ways, and pull myself towards the bar. Logically I know this apparatus isn’t going anywhere, internally I’m thinking, holy crap, I’m going to pull this whole thing over. I get a case of nervous giggles and kept asking Jake, “are you sure this isn’t going to go anywhere?” He’s a constant stream of reassurance. I’m pretty sure the thing is bolted to the ground. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. But here I am 490/500 pounds and I’m pulling my weight towards a bar. I thought for sure I was going down. But Jake knows his stuff. I was fine, winded, but fine. I managed to make it through my first workout with minimal embarrassment and feeling pretty good. I did it! Day 1 in the books.

Second day of training

Balance Fitness

October 22, 2013.

 I am again punctual. Still wearing my grey pants, but opted for a red shirt this time. Looking back, I think that shirt was a little shorter in length than the previous day’s shirt. Nothing like doing arm lifts with a weight bar and your stomach wants to play peek-a-boo, in front of a guy. Actually in front of anyone would be awful, but come on! I’m sure he’s used to all kinds of stuff, but this is my first rodeo with working out. Try balancing a weight bar in one hand so you can pull your shirt down with the other. Good times! I withstand that humiliation and if I had known what was going to happen later, that wouldn’t have seemed like anything. Jake shows me new things to do that will work my arms and my core (yay!) and it doesn’t seem so bad. Now, I’m sucking wind like a Hoover vacuum, but I’m still conscious and upright. Next come the side steps. This is where you turn sideways and walk the length of the room, side to side. Doesn’t sound so bad does it? Now remember that I am a pretty large person and have all this extra fat hanging around. I start off okay, step, step, step. That’s when I hear a little slap. As in my fat is slapping together when I am taking a step. Holy shit! I’m trying to hide my humiliation and keep going. There it is again. Slap! Oh my goodness is that my fat high fiving each other? Meeting in the middle saying, “Hey, how are you?” I am dying. Not literally but I was wishing the floor would swallow me. This room is quiet. It’s just Jake and myself with me breathing like it’s my last breath and my fat slapping together. To me it sounded like a cannon going off. Whether Jake heard it or not, who knows? He’s too gracious I’m sure to make a comment or face. Thank you Jake! It would be nice to say that was the only time that happened, but I have to walk back down the length of the room. Really? Is there any way I could possible pull my pants up a little to put some cloth in between the fat high fives? I tried. It didn’t really work. And how easy is it really to try and hike up your pants without being noticed and walking sideways? At least I didn’t trip and it only made me walk faster. Well, fast enough to where the fat slapping didn’t turn into a music beat. I had to do arm lifts again and but this time, correctly. Arms straight over my head, not pushed up and out. It’s humbling to have to tell your trainer that you were doing them that way because your shirt was raising up and you’re too self conscious about your gut hanging out for an afternoon breeze. Said trainer really is a standup guy because he’s going to stand behind you while you lift the bar the correct way. The rest of the workout was good. Grueling and had me wishing there was more oxygen in the room, but again, I was conscious and upright. Day 2 was done! I’m on a roll here people. 

How it all started…

This blog is a story of how I make my way on this journey of losing weight and finding God. For me it goes together. A little something about me – At this time last year I weighed over 500 pounds. I don’t know how far over, but does that really matter? All I know is that I weighed more than the doctor’s scale and it’s max was 500. I was on a downward spiral of overeating that would probably have lead to me eating myself into an early grave. I’ve dieted before and have even had gastric banding surgery. Last March I was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic. I was dashed. I had been told by my doctor that if I didn’t lose weight I could become diabetic. I didn’t really think it could happen and there I was, getting that phone call saying what he said would happen. So I started eating a little better and with that, started losing a little weight. My next visit showed I was 498, and then in Septemeber I was 492. Not great numbers but considering where I started, it was good for me. October 2013 is when my life changed for the better. Better isn’t even the right word to use. Amazing, maginificent, glorious…take your pick. When I started this miraculous journey I started writing about it. What follows is what I wrote back then to document everything.


How I came about picking a name for this blog…well Lauren did, but I love it. And since my name is Sara, the spelling was changed. Finding myself and the life I was meant to live.

noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities
  1. 1.
    the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
    “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”