Saturday, 28 March 2015

20 Pounds Down with the Personal Trainer

My work with Mr. Fitness continues to pay dividends.  In all honesty, getting a personal trainer has been the second-best fitness decision I have ever made, second only to my initial decision to start exercising in the first place. 

Last month I felt a bit like I was treading water in that although I was confident that my hard work would eventually pay off and I was losing weight, it was coming off in dribs and drabs.  I suspected that I was in for a major loss after I passed that little plateau and I was right - - this month has seen some dramatic losses.

All in all I have lost 20 pounds under Mr. Fitness' tutelage since the beginning of the year, which is just amazing.  My body fat has come down as well, directionally.
Consider how far I have come - - when I started working out my BMI was a whopping 49.3.  Think about that for a moment.  It took me months of working out to lose 63 pounds which lowered my weight just enough that my BMI would even register on most charts, which typically only go up to 40 BMI.  Now my BMI is under 28, and on the way to a normal 25, eventually.

As you can see from this chart, above, this is the third time that I have reached this weight zone since I began to get fit back in 2012.  The first time was in the summer and fall of 2013, and then again in November 2014 and now again, just recently.  That zone from 193-203 has proven to be my achilles heel, time and time and time again.

This is a very dangerous place for me because I am getting close enough to my goal that it is within reach, but I am still far enough away that it will take a lot of work to get there.  In the past I have found ways to sabotage myself, mostly by giving myself permission to rest on my laurels and break discipline for a day or two...which turns into a week or two...which turns into 20 or 30 pounds.  After all, it's just so damn easy to say "I've done so well this week and lost so much, I deserve a treat day"...  Trust me when I say that as a professional binge eater* [*retired], I can undo in one day of massive eating what has taken literally weeks of work to accomplish.  Talk about demoralizing.

This week had the potential to set me off on that bad path again.  A project at work was facing some challenges that required me to devote most of my week to putting out fires, with a lot of meetings with senior management and stressful conversations.  Lots of work that completely derailed my usual load of work, in other words, so it has been a week that almost made me flashback to the days at the old law firm, when I would not leave until 9-10 pm at night on a regular basis. 

At one point on Tuesday after yet another issue popped up on this project I caught myself eyeing the candy machine in my office with malice aforethought.  I was seconds away from letting loose when I decided to look at my weight loss progress graph (the one you see above).  It was like having a bucket of cold water dumped on my head - - I immediately stopped craving chocolate because I didn't want to undo all of that progress I had worked so hard for.  This in itself was a major win.

Mr. Fitness came over to kick my ass on Tuesday as well, so it was the perfect end to a stressful day - - we lifted things and put them down and I balanced more than I previously had and I bench pressed 90 pounds (a new record for me) and I sweated out all those negative feelings.  I don't know if I got any endorphins out of my training session, but I sure as hell felt better afterwards.  And the best thing was that I was seriously looking forward to working out with Mr. Fitness, because a hard workout was exactly what I needed to help me deal with the stress of that week.  And I was right - - it was just what the doctor ordered.

Which was important, because Wednesday I found out that I was getting a new boss, someone who up to that day had been my nominal peer.  This lawyer is senior to me in the company, having joined about 4 years ago, and he is slightly senior to me in legal experience as well - - he was the year ahead of me in law school.  He is a bright and extremely competent lawyer with excellent judgment and a solid skill set, and he has earned the respect of the bottling organization with whom he does the bulk of his work.  I have no doubt that he has the ability to succeed as the new VP and General Counsel of the pop factory here in Canada.

But... I am mourning the fact that I am losing (in a way) the best boss that I have ever had.  I had such an immediate and easy rapport with my boss that it made not only my job easier, but was a large measure of why I enjoyed coming to work every day.  Suffice it to say that I do not have the same easy rapport with my new boss, who is as unlike me in every way as my old boss was similar.

To be clear, my old boss is not being fired or retiring - - he is moving back to the mother ship in Atlanta and he will still be available to counsel and mentor me from there, just as he has done here in Toronto.  That fact alone is helping to keep me positive through this transition, which will be difficult enough.

The biggest challenge is that I will need to discover, together with my new boss, how we communicate and work together as boss-direct report where previously we had been peer-peer.  There will be some changes, for sure, but lots of opportunity for me, so I am looking forward to it, in a way.

But still, it rocked my world for a couple of days, and definitely set me back on my heels.  It would have been so completely easy - and understandable - for me to go out, get drunk, and eat all the food.  But I didn't.  I indulged in a little retail therapy, which in a way helped keep me on track because I bought a dress and a suit in a slightly smaller size - - I can't eat all the nachos and still fit into that nice size 12 dress, nosir!

So it's been a busy week just chock full of stress.  Next week is shaping up just as challenging, as I will be travelling to Atlanta for the first time to meet with the senior legal team down there - - people who are important to impress, in other words.  No stress there, nope!  I am totally bringing my workout clothes with me so that I can work out in the hotel gym, that's for damn sure.

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