As I’m sure you’re very aware by now, my body isn’t something I’m particularly proud of. I’ve tried for years to lose a few kilograms but my lack of self discipline and fear of restricting food usually means a diet/new lifestyle never last more than a week. My addition to sugar has also hinders my efforts as I turn into a horrible uncooperative bitch as soon as the withdrawal kicks in. The headaches aren’t worth it either. It’s a cycle I find really hard to break and training yourself to eat different foods when you had an eating disorder is equally challenging. Nothing scares me more than falling back into that dark hole yet I’ve only ever lost weight in an unhealthy manner.
During one of my many health kicks, I decided to hire a personal trainer. This isn’t something I’ve ever really considered before, mainly because they are expensive and I can think of a million other way to spending £££ instead of being shouted at when I’m hot and sweaty. Hiring a Personal Trainer is something I’d always associated with celebrities but over the few years, more and more of my friends have hired them. On my irregular trips to the gym, I’d noticed the massive notice bored littered with different flyers and business cards from desperate PT’s begging for someone to adopt them and be physically improve.
So how did I go from being someone who occasionally went to the gym to someone who had a personal trainer? My inability to say “No”, that’s how. I’d just finished a Body Pump class that was far too advanced for my athletic ability. Panting, gripping my knees and trying hard not to vomit, my instructor approached. Seeing pound signs in my direction, he was a poacher singling out the weak and helpless. I was nothing more than a prized lion. A very unfit lion… Or perhaps a very rare sloth.
“Have you ever had a PT?” He asked. I shook my head in between gasps of breath. I thought he was coming over to offer me some advice. “I think it would benefit you, this class is a bit advanced for newbies. I can offer you a free session if you like?”
Side note time: If you didn’t know, I am an absolute sucker for free stuff or stuff labeled as ‘free’ even though you know deep down that there’s a sub-charge somewhere. This stems for my father repeatedly tell me that nothing in life is free. Well guess who has over 50+ free pens?! This guy! Who’s laughing now!
So there I was, red faced, chugging water and being offered a free PT session which is a freebie I’ve never been offered before. I explained to this poacher that I wasn’t in a financially stable place to pay for regular sessions post freebie and he seemed to accept that but still encouraged me to try it. Which I did. A week later I was being coached through moves I’d never hear of: Skaters, Wall sits, Single arm dumbbell overhead tricep extensions… boy was I exhausted by the end. But surprisingly, I enjoyed it. After our hour was up, Mr PT asked if I would like to have further sessions at a ‘discounted’ rate (who knows if they were really discounted) and advised we had 2 sessions per week that suited my awkward shift pattern.
Damn it! Sucked in by the free session. Who’d have guessed… I went religiously for six months and it did work. I was getting fitter despite the lack of change to my diet, my mental health seemed better and I was losing inches (not so much pounds). I learnt so much about nutrition, different muscles groups and how to exercise without fear of what other people thought. I loved to endorphins and even the burn that came the next day. I honestly felt pretty good but it came at a cost. Two sessions was equalling £55 per week and I just couldn’t keep up that kind of expenditure. Eventually I decided I wanted to take driving lessons (which had a more practical outcome than the benefits I’d experienced at the gym) and as they both cost the same amount, I reluctantly had to say goodbye to Mr PT and his favourite set of dumbbells.
This was just over a year ago and I haven’t been in a position to hire another trainer but I think it is something I’d do again. While it was gruelling and painful, it was nice to have a gym buddy of sorts. I would often ask Mr PT to do the exercises with me for the added motivation. This would also result in a lot of challenges like who could do the most sit up (I never won but it was fun to try). Until next time, the dumbbells will just have to wait.