I was just starting to get to that point again where walking up and down the stairs in my own house would put me completely out of breath, when I saw a Facebook post advertising some trial personal training program at a reduced price. Still, at $500, I knew I was really going to have to commit. It ended up that it was a 7 week program, complete with what I’ll politely call “fat pinching” to determine my body composition at the beginning and at the end. None of it was glamourous, you can imagine, as I have a lot of fat for the pinching.
All jokes aside, I knew I had a very real, and very uphill battle to fight. My whole adult life, I have been overweight, yet still very active. As I begin to approach forty (yikes, how does that even happen???) I realize it’s not so easy for me to remain at my longtime and stagnant current weight.
I sent a message.
I signed up.
Then I had a moment wondering, “what have I done?”
Fast forward a few days and I’m standing in Hangar 76 in Black Diamond, in front of someone I’ve never met before, who is now pinching/measuring my fat in 14 different sites. Somehow it didn’t feel nearly as weird and uncomfortable as I’d expected. In fact, this Brian Hardy, who is the owner/operator and resident personal trainer, made me almost feel comfortable. We determined that my body composition was 40% fat, which is not very healthy, but likely not the WORST of anyone out there, so I vowed I would work hard to reduce that through a combination of exercise and making healthier food choices.
When you are doing any workout program, the biggest thing, and the reason you’ll have some “stick to it-ness,” is your “why.” I knew early on that I could spout off all kinds of partial and non-truths like, “I want to be healthier,” “I want to live to be 100,” “I want to be a fitness model,” “I want to be admired by everyone for my exceptional lean figure.” The real honest to goodness truth though, is that I want to be able to have an easier time hiking and running (I know, I’m so weird, but this is really why). I never turn down a challenge hiking at this point in my life, but the truth is if I’m stronger and I am able to drop a few pounds of fat or at least replace it with lean muscle, it’s going to be a lot easier on my body.
So far, in four weeks my experience has been nothing short of shocking. As someone who ran for two years, nearly every day, including three half marathons and multiple 10km races, it felt nearly impossible to lose weight/fat and gain muscle. In just four weeks, I’ve dropped 7lbs, almost half of what I did in two years as a runner. I am no longer feeling pain from my carpal tunnel surgery site in my right hand, and I’m having less symptoms in my left wrist (which has not received surgery). Other shocking improvements have been decreased PMS symptoms – up until the month prior to starting this program, I would battle nausea, stomach aches, back pain, and emotional ups and downs that I know my family won’t miss. Those were almost entirely gone! This has also come along with fewer breakouts. Finally feels like I have my adult skin instead of my teenager skin. #adulting
I immediately found that my water consumption needed to increase to match my exercise levels, and I quickly cut out coffee entirely and drastically cut back on alcohol consumption to 1-2 glasses of wine per week (sometimes I even have NONE – GASP!). I have found that I am not missing it either. This has also transferred over to a desire to eat better, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but at least I’m constantly considering my choices in a much more aware manner than before. Veggies are my friends.
I have also had another epiphany over the weekend while doing my favorite thing – if you guessed hiking, you’re following along nicely. I went out to Grotto Canyon, and for the first time, I felt like my leg muscles could outdo my cardio. I have never experienced this before! Always, my legs have been way past done long before my cardio was worn out, making long hikes and half marathons unenjoyable at around the 12th – 15th kilometer. Imagine the unstoppable force of good cardio and strong legs??!!!! I had no idea this was even a thing. Running is going to change drastically for me this year.
I feel like I could go on and on about this incredible program I’m doing at Hangar 76, but I won’t. I’ll just encourage you, if you feel like you are falling short of your goals, to consider strength training. It made the kind of difference I could only have dreamt of, in just four short weeks.
I just keep picturing myself on mountain peaks, feeling like my legs still have something left to give.
I have to send out my immense gratitude to Brian Hardy of Hangar 76 for finally making me see that this isn’t just a dream, but a soon to be achieved reality.
*Remember to consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program.
**Brian Hardy of Hangar 76 can be contacted for more information on his life changing fitness programming, via his Facebook page, click here.