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Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Health editor Janice Kerr has invited a guest blogger today to speak about working out. Danae Matthews is a young graphic designer working and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves to cook, be creative, run around with her friends and most of all lead the happiest life she can. For more great tips and info check out her company’s website Women’s Health Base. -- AP


Recently I was lucky enough to land a full-time job. Lucky because I can pay rent, not lucky that my social life is non-existent, but that’s not the point. In my first few days on the job I learned about all the benefits my company had to offer, notable was a majorly discounted membership package to one of the best gyms in the city. I signed up and learned as a new member one of my “perks” was a personal training session with one of the premier trainers at the club. “AWESOME!” I thought. I had been trying so hard to maintain my weight, go to the gym diligently and now it seemed that working 40 hours wasn’t going to impede my process. I was on a high.  

The session started with some forms, some jokes back and forth, a tour and then a healthy dose of scrutiny. The PT and I went through every detail of what I ate, how I worked out and how and why all of it was bad. Then he brought out the Body Fat Analyzer and told me to hold it in between my two outstretched hands. Thirty seconds and one beep later my PT was pointing to a chart on the wall gesturing towards the scary red zone that read “obese.”

Obese who? Me, obese? When? Now? How? I didn’t feel, gulp, obese.  I looked at him like he had just told me he was an alien from planet “sh** you don’t say to women.” I could feel the air escape from the room and my heart sink. Here I was so pumped about getting back into my gym routine and in an instant I felt like I was standing at the base of a very steep hill looking straight up. It took me a week and several bottles of Cabernet to recover.

But then.

I did what every reasonable, smart, independent and confident woman would do in my situation, I called my mother. She told me how a few years ago she had the exact same experience with an all-women’s gym chain and how it turned her off, not from working out, but from that particular place. She told me that for her being fit is 1/3 the way she looks and 3/4 the way she feels. That was all I needed to hear to snap me back to reality. I plucked my obese ass up by my 34D bra straps, and I went back to that gym with the best personal trainer I know: myself. Because me, myself and I have gotten Me pretty far in the last couple of years. If I can trust Me with life decisions, like Argentinian guy at the pub who bought me a pint, then why can’t I trust Me with my fitness routine?

I realized then that I was getting too worked up about working out. The Nike campaign really had something going with their “Just Do It” campaign. All I needed to do was make a plan and execute that plan as much as possible. I had to accept the fact that summer is over and I never got into my itty-bitty tiny bikini, that working after work sucks, that I’m not going to run any marathons any time soon and that that is OKAY. I am eating better than ever before, I am more active than I ever have been and I don’t get tired when I climb the stairs to my apartment. So obese or not (although I’d say not), I know for a fact that I am on the right path. 

Thanks, Danae! That's great advice. Readers, do you work out? What do you do to stay fit? Post a comment to enter the drawing for a book from our Friday guest author. -- AP

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. I work out, use weights, walk on the treadmill and try to stay healthy. Since I am small it is important to keep up my bone strength and continue to be active. Anne.