Monday, November 25, 2013

"I've found a love for working out."

Exhibit A
It's one month until Christmas and my friend Whitney has more to celebrate than usual. See Exhibit A above - a small mountain of clothes that are now so big and loose that she's finally letting them go. She's now four months into her training and happier than ever. Don't believe me? Read her testimonial below and get it straight from the source.


There are some things I can do now that I felt I couldn't before I started training with Jenn. One was to simply go into a gym and feel comfortable. I've also found that I have much more stamina and confidence going into my workouts. For example, when we started, I struggled to just get through the 10-minute dynamic warm-ups.  Now I I can get through it without feeling out of breath and having the overwhelming desire to give up before I even start. 

On the physical side, I have been able to lift more weight, complete more reps and have seen the length of time I can train without rest increase - and I move through our strength circuits faster as well. I am able to - and need to - wear my under armor shirt (from college) under my clothes since my workout T-shirts have begun to look like "Moo-moos," as Jenn calls them.  [Jenn: Hopefully some of those shirts are in the pile above...]

I have also found that the benefits of training go even further than looser clothing and better cardiovascular conditioning. Recently I was able to play in my college Alumni soccer game which I haven't participated in for a couple years because I felt that i couldn't play and didn't want to embarrass myself. This year I played in the game and did pretty well. In addition, all of my friends noticed that I seem happier and healthier. 

Moving forward, a couple things I want to tackle and look forward to is possibly completing a mud-run/short walk/run. I know that these are future goals because, right now, I'm taking it slow which is better for me. More immediate goals I'm focusing on is doing every exercise that Jenn tells me to do and to increase my reps within the time allotted. I also want to continue to lose weight by exercising and by incorporating healthy choices into my lifestyle - which I have been doing, but is always hard. 

I mentioned to Jenn that I stand taller now because that's how I feel (haha). Basically, when you have a stomach on you i feel like you naturally hunch a bit to try and disguise it. But now that I've working out and gaining confidence, I stand taller because I'm proud of myself. My 9-year old nephew, Jack, swears that I've gotten taller every time I see him. Even though I explain to him I haven't grown in years he still tells me, "Aunt Whitney, you got taller, don't lie to me". 

Through this experience, I am learning about the right types of exercise I should be doing for my goals, my weight, my limitations and how to complete them correctly so that I do not hurt myself which is very important. I've also learned that keeping a food journal is so helpful due to the simple fact that you forget what and how much you eat in a day. If it's there on your phone or a piece of paper you realize, WOW, I really should not have an extra snack right now. Also the staff at All Star Sports Academy and my coach, Jenn, have never made me feel like i couldn't finish an exercise or walked away and left me to try stuff on my own. Every time I work out, I have support from the other small group session attendees and/or the staff to keep me going. Now when I miss an exercise day I feel like crap and I can't wait to workout - even if my body doesn't feel like doing anything I always get in there and then I don't want to leave. 

I agreed to work with Jenn because I have been lazy for such a long time. I played three sports in high school and then college soccer and, through it all, I was told what to do and when to exercise. When i graduated college i just wanted to RELAX. Well, relaxing did not help me in any which way because I realize that it wasn't so much relaxing as it was being lazy. So I told myself that if an opportunity came up I had to take it because, if not, I would be an idiot. Jenn presented personal training at All Star Sports Academy to me on the off chance I would say yes and it was the best decision I have ever made. Now I've found a love for working out because I have seen improvement in myself and have overwhelming support from my family, co-workers and friends. I workout now for myself; not to please a team or a coach - just for myself. I have gained such an education on the body, food, calories, and exercises through this time spent training with Jenn that it has made a great improvement in my lifestyle. And, as the famous Carpenters sang, "We've only just begun...".

Jenn: Way to go, Whitney! Keep up the amazing work and we'll be in that mud run together next spring!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn,

I'm not writing this to do an I-told-you-so, really I'm not, but, and I'm sure you don't remember this, I sent you a note warning you about this two years ago. I had just come off of my own 1-2 years stretch of destroying my metabolism through ridiculous fasting and unreasonable exercise and felt like I should share my terrible experience with you since you seemed to be going down the same path. We have very similar body types and thyroid issues, so believe me when I tell you that I know what I'm talking about here.
Here's what I've learned since:
1) It takes a very long time to recover from this kind of metabolic destruction. It took me two long years, and I took all the same supplements, etc..
Do you know what worked? Eating whenever I was hungry and -- this is the most important thing -- eating until I actually felt full. This was tough in the beginning because I had completely lost my way and I had no idea whether I was really hungry or not. Also, carbs, carbs, carbs. Tons of them. Don't be afraid anymore. It's garbage, it really is. It's part of why your cortisol is through the ceiling and why your progesterone is in the toilet. That's a fact. Just keeping feeding yourself. Your poor brain thinks it's going through a terrible famine. :)
2) Stop exercising. Seriously. It's the other part of your hormonal problem. You're exhausted. You won't realize it until you stop, but you are exhausted. Being strong is something we're brainwashed with in this disordered eating society we live in, but it is better to be healthy than "strong", whatever that means anyway. Your cortisol will drop like a safe when you stop exercising. It'll be quite an adjustment, and you will suffer from some edema (water weight) , which will be uncomfortable, but it will go away. I know you don't want to, but it will be the best thing you ever do for yourself. You'll see. Just walk away.
3) Doctors are caught up in the same disordered thinking that a lot of the rest of our society is caught up in. Lipo? For real? What an idiot.
4) Calories are bullshit. Don't listen to the health magazines or health gurus who have their own eating disorders.You are gaining weight because your metabolism is shot and it won't change.
And the good news:
I didn't really gain a significant amount of weight. Really, I didn't. Some edema, yes, but it went away fairly quickly, but not anymore body fat than i started out with. And that's the key, you know. The body just wants to hit its own personal set point and it doesn't care about strength goals or skinny jeans or the fact that people sometimes called us chubby when we weren't. There was nothing wrong with you before you started -- it's where your body wants to be and it will make you gain weight until you get back there. When you eat and rest, your body will do what it needs to do.
All of my hormones and thyroid numbers went back to normal after I hit my set weight. In fact, I was able to get pregnant at the advanced age of 42! And I'm almost 7 months along now! It can be fixed!
Take care of yourself -- you don't have a thyroid and you need to. I'm not trying to be mean, you seem like a nice person, and I just want to help. It's a tough road, but it will be worth it. You won't believe how much better you feel.
Good Luck!

Jenn said...

Dear Anonymous, thanks for your concern. It's been a long journey, but I think I have found the root cause of my problem - and you may be shocked to find out it has nothing to do with my diet, or exercise, how I was eating or fasting. Bottom line - thanks to about 20 years on birth control pills, I seem to have entered early menopause. Yay. I have the progesterone (or lack thereof) of a woman more than a decade my senior. I stopped taking BCP about 6-8 months before the weight started coming back on... I'm going to write a new post on my issue, but I wanted to address you directly. Oh, and btw, your comments would hold a lot more weight if they were not anonymous. Thanks for your support and I'm glad you've been able to cure your metabolic issues.

Leigh McCarraher said...

Would really like your input on this as i want to start LG yet my thyroid is sightly under-active. I'm 42 and not in early menopause yet. Thanks for a brilliant blog x

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