Starting out on this weight loss journey, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I knew I had to eat healthier, and exercise more, but where to start? Did I immediately have to start shopping at Whole Foods or the organic section of my local grocery store? Did I have to hit the gym every day? Just cardio? Cardio and weight training? And how much of my time should be dedicated to cardio? How much should be dedicated to weight training? I had all of these questions, and no where to turn.
It’s hard when you’re starting a weight loss journey because you feel as though you have information coming at you from all areas. You have someone who really wants you to pay attention to your different kinds of fats, and thinks that you shouldn’t eat grapes. You have someone who thinks you need to try your calf raise a little differently from the way you’re currently doing it. You have someone who judges you because your meal prep might not be as flavourful as they would have made theirs. Everyone around you has an opinion. And realistically, this isn’t just for a weight loss journey. This is always. People always have an opinion. But I knew that I couldn’t listen to everyone.
So I chose one person. Not a person by name, or personality, or opinion. I emailed the fitness supervisor of my local community centre and said “Hey, I need some help.” Okay, it was probably a little more detailed than that, but I let her know where I was coming from, and what I was trying to do. Basically, I needed someone to assist me in figuring out what the hell I was doing at the gym. I’m not a gym go-er. I’ve gone probably no more times in my life than I can count on my fingers and toes at this point. And all those times I’ve gone? All I’ve done is cardio. And even then – probably not in the way that I should be.
This lovely lady, who’s name is Regina, got me scheduled in for an introductory training session with one of their personal trainers. This trainer, Colin, introduced me to all the basics of the machines during our first session. At the end of our first session, I committed to four more sessions with him, once a week. He had now become the person I would listen to in regards to anything work-out related.
Last night I completed the last of four sessions, and felt really positive leaving the gym. When I haven’t been working out with Colin, I’ve been working out on my own trying to master (my level of master, not necessarily yours) the equipment that he taught me every week. And every week he introduced something a little different into my life. Into my gym life. Not only would he teach me something new, but he would push me.
Now, I know I push myself when I’m at the gym. But it’s entirely different when you put your gym routine in the hands of someone else. Let them control what weight you’re pressing, or lifting, or whatever. With Colin, he literally would tell me what to do. Now, if I told myself to do some of these things, I’d probably laugh at myself. But he was there. Training me. Guiding me. Spotting me. Everything that I needed – in one person.
Instead of listening to all the different people around me, I opted to listen to one person and let him teach me. Now, we didn’t get into diets and what to eat/what not to eat. He told me the generic – that I have to eat better. Better than I am. And so with the knowledge I gained in college (thank you Nutrition class, I knew you’d come in handy) I’ve been able to self-teach eating better. I’m not saying that I’m the perfect eater, but what everyone around me has to understand is that I’m new and I’m learning and at the end of the day it’s my journey.
And it’s your journey. You can do it as you please. But my main advice for you and your journey – pick one person. I’m not saying it has to be a personal trainer – but that was probably the best decision I made for this journey. But pick one person. It’s not fun when you’re dealing with listening to the opinions of a million different people. Because as it stands, everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks they know what’s best for you. And they will usually tell you without you asking for their opinion. But this person can assist. They can guide you, and advise you, but generally – with a personal trainer – they know that at the end of the day it is your life.
So pick one person. It’s your journey. It’s your life. Don’t let everyone around you tell you who you should be, and what you should eat. Do you. And be happy doing it.