My transformation would not have happened without some key supporters. Amanda is my second cousin through Angela’s mom’s side of the family. She started her weight loss journey in June 2011, a few months after having baby #2, Addie. That Christmas when all the family got together, everyone gushed over her dramatic changes. After getting together for that family Christmas, I decided to facebook her about the changes she had made. It was through a series of emails, phone calls, and visits to San Antonio that we discussed how she made her lifestyle changes. I was so incredibly thankful for her openness and vulnerability in sharing her journey. She offered to be my encourager and person I could look to for support. After a semester into grad school and with a major supporter right down the road from me, I decided to take the leap and follow Amanda’s lead. You can read more about my transformation here. She and I continue to be supporters for each other. Our relationship has changed from being counsins who see each other once a year at Christmas, to more like sisters who can share in the struggles and celebrate the wins.
Lisa Terkeurst describes this type of friendship in Made to Crave:
My friend served as a voice of reason and stability, assuring me that my new lifestyle choices would be worth it and get easier. Plus, I hated the thought of having to admit that I hadn’t persevered when she asked. If she could press through her hard days, then so could I.
While I cannot expect anyone else to make my decisions for me, it was motivating to know that someone else cared about my struggles. We encouraged each other with this motto, “If it’s not part of our plan, we don’t put it in our mouths.”
By mid-July, I had lost 50 pounds and rewarded myself by getting a trainer. Little did I know what friends we would become. Allison became my next supporter. She is earning her second bachelors degree in nutrition. I was only expecting to get pointers on exercising when I signed up for a trainer. She went out of her way to give me resources, check in about what I was eating, and make suggestions when I plateaued or got discouraged. Allison is no longer my trainer, but she still checks in with me about my nutrition and listens to my endless workout stories. Better than that, we have become such close and good friends.
Here’s my first workout with Allison. Back then I journaled and wrote down each workout. It’s pretty amazing to see how I’ve progressed since then.7/24 – Reflection All day I’ve been reminding myself to write down my thoughts. Today was my first training session with Allison. After my assessment, I was left feeling vulnerable, excited, and nervous. Allison is 26, an Aggie and very kind. That doesn’t mean she is a pushover – oh no. Because of both of our schedules, 6 am workouts seem to be the only time that worked. I’ll see her Tuesdays and Thursdays indefinitely. My goals are to decrease fat mass, increase muscle mass, and learn more about free weights. Today was a day of MANY first. My 5 am alarm wasn’t too bad since I purposefully went to bed early the night before. I made sure to eat breakfast and drink some water prior to meeting her at the rec. Six am rolled around and I was definitely feeling anxious. She started me on the treadmill to warm up with some walking and then jogging. Once my heart rate was elevated, we started in on the weights. I did forward and backward lunges the width of the gym using a weighted bar. She was pretty impressed with my forward lunges, but my backward lunges were definitely burning half way through. Then we moved on to a cable pull to work my triceps – not too bad. It was at this point that she pointed out to breathe on the movements. This was just the start of my breathing problems. I went back and did skater lunges which involve twisting the leg to the side into a lunge with the weight bar. These were difficult to get the right form. We moved on to some biceps curls where I did 3 sets at 10-5-5. I was surprised that I couldn’t lift more weight while keeping proper form…I will get there! I did some bench presses with free weights next at I think 10-5-5 again. We moved back over to the cables to do oblique twists working the core. Allison didn’t think I would like them, but they weren’t too bad. More than anything, it was learning how to grip the pull correctly. I did some pull downs with the cables again at 20-17.5-17.5. Then started the circuit – oh my! I did these curls where I pulled an exercise ball in to my butt while lifting my butt – this was all about working the core. Then I was supposed to do 15 jumps on the box, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I have the irrational fear about even attempting the jump on the box. I ended up jumping on a step aerobics step which was less than half the height of the box. I ended the circuit with leg lifts on the bosu ball. Repeat and then I was almost done. Allison had me show her my squat form and then she modified it – shoulders back, chest up, butt out. I did maybe 15 or 20 squats. She wanted me to do toe touch sit ups, but I reminded her that I can’t do sit ups without help from my arms. We did crunches instead facing each side and forward. Finally I was ALL done and worn out. She wanted to know what my least favorite exercise was, but I couldn’t think of a least favorite. Thinking back now, they were probably the bosu ball leg lifts. It was really difficult to balance the bosu. I left the rec just starting to feel like jello and by the time I made it to my apartment I was ready to crawl up the stairs. Luckily after laying on the floor and drinking some water, I hopped in the shower in hopes to feel less jelloy. I felt much better after my shower but anticipated soreness throughout the day. My face was still all red and stayed that way until about 8:30. Looking back I was most frustrated at my lack of control of my breathing. I seemed to hold my breath instead breathing with the movements. I also want to conquer the box jump. It is totally mind over matter and I want to practice jumping around my apartment. I think about jumping off a 40 ft telephone pole and think why can’t I jump on an 18” box. I am amazed I did everything I did in the workout. My body definitely felt much more sore afterwards then during the workout (probably a good thing). My legs hurt more than anything (especially getting up and down stairs). Also, the back of my neck really hurts from the bar I think. I’m wondering how I’ll feel tomorrow. I thought I would have to be convinced of early morning workouts, but I kind of like them. I felt great for the rest of the day and didn’t have to think about going to the rec after working at the hospital. I’m excited at the possibilities of my body’s abilities. I never imagined how strong I could be. Allison is educating, motivating, and creating accountability for me. She is exactly what I need. I can only hope that future workouts lead to less sore muscles (as I get use to weights) and more results (and endorphins!). Such a good day. Lots of sweat, lots of water (14 – 16 oz cups), and lots of calories burned. Oh yeah and I have some cheerleaders. Megan, Sierra, and Amanda know about the personal training and are so encouraging. Lauren knows about early morning workouts and gave a little cheer too. I am relishing the possibilities behind losing weight and working out. This is totally my new lifestyle and norm. Workout: 10 min warm up – walk/jog
12 forward lunges
12 backward lunges
30 tricep pulls
20 skater lunges
30 bicep curls
30 bench presses
30 oblique twists
30 pull downs
10 exercise ball curls
15 jumps on the step aerobics step
20 bosu leg lifts
God had more planned than I could even imagine for my relationships with these two women. They are blessings and sources of joy to me and everyone around them. I will always be grateful for the influence they had on my journey. Love you, Amanda and Allison.