Getting Started

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 • Rockville, MD 20853-3508

Hi there! I hope you are having a great day. My goal through these posts is to share my journey and knoweldge to help motivate you in reaching your goals. I've never written one of these before so here we go!

I want to ask you…do you look in the mirror and dislike what you see? Do you get frustrated with not being able to be as physically active as you want? Are you winded just taking a walk? You might be asking yourself how do I go about changing how I feel? There are so many articles on weight loss and training programs out there such as lose 30 lbs in a month, do this training program to get a great butt, this is the best diet out there…etc.. But how do you pinpoint where to start between all this conflicting data? Does science support these claims? Just thinking about all of this makes even my head spin. But I want to help you break things down to the easiest way to get started.

So to answer the question I posed to you, two years ago I looked in the mirror and I was not happy. Physically, I was 50 lbs overweight on my tiny 5’2’’ frame. I felt terrible about how I looked and moving around just felt awful. Mentally, I was a disaster between work, friends, relationships, etc. I spent years of working without time off as I went through my PhD program followed by my first postdoctoral fellowship. Financially, I was struggling to live in an expensive city and felt like I couldn’t afford to join a gym. I was not in a good place. I will go into more detail regarding my mental health and why I gained all the weight in a future post. But on June 27, 2015, I happened to find an article online talking about benefits of health insurance that no one knows about. In that article, I found out that my health insurance carrier offered a program for discount gym memberships! Who knew they did that?! After investigating whether there were gyms in network where I frequently traveled, I made the decision to join. It was $25 to sign up and $25/month. I could cancel after 3 months if I didn’t like it. I really liked this because I had no idea where I would be living in 6 months or a year. This was my step 1. I made the decision to join the gym. It was a small step, but a big one.

Upon entering the gym that same day I was practically ambushed by the sales staff trying to sell me personal training plans. Now keep in mind…poor postdoc here. I explained to the sales guy that I couldn’t afford training. With my knowledge at the time, I figured some cardio would help me and I knew a little about the machines. This was my plan and I could afford my plan. After a semi-lengthy discussion, the training manager wore me down to a plan that I could semi-afford...2 personal trainer sessions a month. This was step 2 and I must say in hindsight, this was the best decision I could have ever made….even if it was more than I could afford at the time.

So my observation for today is that you are already looking for ways to reach your goals and that is the first step in getting started. You are looking for a trainer to help you. You should be proud of yourself for getting this far as some people get so frustrated they stop. Don’t stop. Look for economical ways to get a gym membership. Get a trainer who comes to your house if you have a busy schedule and hate gyms. But just don’t give up. Try and look through all the BS out there in magazines and on the internet and remember if it sounds too good to be true it really is. Set a goal and let's get moving! So until next time…

Up next: How I ended up 50 lbs overweight with an eating disorder.