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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Negative Ninny Strikes Again.

This past week, I had my first session with my personal trainer, Christi. As I mentioned in a previous blog, my goal for training was to work on my upper body: chest ,shoulders, arms and upper back as that is where I am the weakest and can use the most toning. My goal for this year is to decrease body fat and improve overall muscle mass. I’m motivated to make changes and I was excited to try something different and challenging.

I signed up a few weeks ago and had an initial session with Christi explaining what I was looking to accomplish. Christi is one of the RPM instructors at my gym and knows about my weight loss journey and what I’ve already accomplished. She’s also a personal trainer and when I decided to go down this route i made it clear that didn’t want her to go easy on me.

Based on my goals, she put together a training program that was excellent. It focused on the areas of my body that I wanted it to, and it was challenging. VERY CHALLENGING, which is exactly what I asked for. Now, here’s the thing…I thought I was in much better shape than I was because the exercises that she prepared for me were not difficult in concept, but with the weights she chose and the reps we did, I was exhausted.

About 20 minutes into the session I started to lose confidence. I’m not sure why I felt the way I did, but once my confidence started to falter, so did my motivation to continue. About 40 minutes into the session I told Christi that I had had enough and that I needed to rest.

The person who lost her resolve, who wanted to quit was the old me. I was shocked and embarrassed by my reaction and I felt like I wanted to run out of the training room and just go home. I didn’t share this with Christi, likely because in that moment I didn’t even connect to my feelings. All I know is that I was anxious and wanted to stop. In hindsight, it’s much easier to process these feelings and own them.

I’ve been thinking about why I allowed myself to go backwards and start to feel like the shy, insecure young woman that I was years ago. I think that it’s because I was AFRAID TO FAIL.

I’ll try to explain. I purchased an individual training session where the focus was solely on me and my skills. My usual method of exercise is in a group setting where I can disappear in the crowd, work hard and compare my progress against others in the room.. In this situation, being the center of attention made me feel very self conscious. I was judging myself and my skills too harshly. I expected that after all of the progress I’ve made with weight loss and exercise, that I would have been stronger, more capable, less awkward. I really thought that I would have performed better and that I would have had more stamina. As I was challenged, I told myself continuously that I was failing, when I was actually doing fairly well. It was this negative self talk - also known as my “Negative Ninny” that completely sabotaged my session despite EVERYTHING Christi tried to do keep me motivated, focused and engaged in the moment.

It was this same voice that kept me ‘stuck’ at 300 lbs all those years. I gave her too much power back then and I won’t allow her to have that power over me now.

So this is what I learned:

  1. I need to be more patient with myself. This isn’t something that I’m good at, but I have to keep at it.

  2. Remember that perfection is unattainable.

  3. There are plenty of people in this world who are more than happy to be critical of me. I don’t have to do that to myself. Instead, I will treat myself with the kindness and heart that I treat my friends and loved ones.

Will this happen overnight? Unlikely, but realizing that these are opportunities is a step in the right direction.

I'm going to give it another shot. I'm going to sign up for a few more sessions so I can gain confidence and know that I've done my best.

Bee healthy. Bee happy.

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