Thursday, August 7, 2008

Weight loss doesn’t have to be a solitary struggle

I had a tantrum yesterday. I’m not proud of it, but firmly maintain it was justifiable.

I have been working out hard and watching every mouthful for three weeks. Would it be too much to expect for the scale to cooperate a little?

Yes, apparently it was too much to expect.

Luckily, I had my tantrum in Fauquier Health’s L.I.F.E. Center, within earshot of some sympathetic listeners.

“I’ve been doing everything right for three weeks! How could I not have lost any weight! It’s not fair!” I ranted petulantly.

John Ferguson, who was working the L.I.F.E. Center floor at the time, talked soothingly to me, making “be calm” motions with his hands. John is a minister as well as a fitness expert, so I was in the right place.

“How often are you doing cardio?” “Are you drinking enough water?” “Are you doing any weight training?”
John successfully talked me off the ledge, but just barely.

Obviously, there are further steps I need to take to lose weight, but once I calmed down, I realized there was something very basic missing in my regimen – support.

I have been trying to do this all on my own, and that makes it a lot harder.

Talking to John made me see that having someone to talk to who understands what you are going through is an important part of the process. At least for me, it is.

I went back to the L.I.F.E. Center today to apologize for my tantrum, and John dismissed my “sorrys” with a wave. Then he called over exercise physiologist Amy Moore and said, “Talk to Amy. She’s great.”

Amy understood my frustrations and offered several avenues to try:

• Mix up your routine. Your body gets used to doing certain exercises in a certain order and becomes more efficient at them, thereby using fewer calories. Try different exercises and change the order.

• Try increasing the intensity of some parts of your workout. Sometimes pushing just a little harder can burn a lot more calories.

• Are you a morning person? Too tired after a long day to face the treadmill? The L.I.F.E. Center is open at 6 a.m. for those who want to sweat before work.

• The L.I.F.E. Center is now offering spinning classes. A lot of the participants haven’t been on a bicycle for years, so it’s not “too hard.” One of the classes, which will be scheduled mid-August, is going to be a 6:30 a.m. class.

I felt better after talking to Amy. Was it her words, practical and doable, or was it her obvious empathy and caring? Probably both.

Now that I feel supported by the L.I.F.E. Center staff, I thought I’d enlist some more help. After all, through this blog I have lots of sympathetic ears at my disposal.

How ‘bout this?

• If the folks at Carousel Ice Cream in Warrenton could put up a closed sign whenever they see me, that would help.

• The Fauquier Health security department could erect “No parking, Robin” signs everywhere on Hospital Hill, so I would have to park a mile away and walk to work.

• Anywhere that sells French fries should have crime scene tape across the entrance.

• My children could jump up and down and beg for broccoli for dinner.

• Perhaps Ben and Jerry’s could stop production for a while.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village to lose a few pounds.

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