Getting personal: Time to focus on fitness and weight loss

Personal TrainerRecently, I had to have an MRI on my abdomen. For those of you who have survived breast cancer and, more than likely, several MRI’s – you are my hero. This MRI was my first and it wasn’t fun. Afterward, they gave me a CD of my images and when I saw them, I nearly fell out of my chair. I’ve never seen anything so scientific that was of my own body (well, there is that x-ray of my ankle after fracture repair surgery; the one showing the nine screws…) but this was different. Why? Because there was this light colored stuff all around where my organs live, which I soon realized was…fat. I don’t know why this surprised me…did I think my fat would be invisible on an MRI? Because it wasn’t.

One of the reasons why I had the MRI was because of significant pain going on in the organ neighborhood and we just can’t seem to pinpoint the one that’s having the party. Because of this, I’ve already cut back on portions and fat intake and have lost about 7 pounds over the last month. I often joke that I was overweight in the womb, so dealing with my weight is something I’ve lived with my entire life. It is who I am. But now my fat and I were looking at each other face to face and it freaked me out a little.

So now I’m thinking about getting a personal trainer.

Many of you are probably familiar with the online (and free!) weight loss program Spark People. The site has a handy “Do You Need A Personal Trainer?” quiz…which I took. My results came back as “Think twice before you decide.” But the quiz didn’t see the fat. I know hiring a personal trainer is a commitment of both time and money, but if I do decide to get one, Spark People does give great advice on what to look for in a personal trainer.

Because I’m not looking for Jillian Michaels.

That would be too much. I mean, if my fat might kill me, then why would I let my personal trainer kill me first? But seriously, for me it comes down to motivation and accountability and that is something a personal trainer can provide. One of the main reasons why diets and fitness programs fail is because no one is keeping you accountable. Yet, if I make an appointment to meet someone for a workout–and money is involved–then I’m more likely to keep that appointment, and stay focused on my fitness and weight loss goals.

And then, of course, there’s the topic of food.

Next week, I’m going to start a food diary (besides Spark People, there’s FitDay that offers great fitness and food diary online tools). I actually feel like I eat pretty well. For the last several years, my husband and I have followed a mostly vegetarian diet with little meat (except fish), but other things do creep in like too much cheese and too many carbs and going out to eat too much. A food diary should help me see all that I put in my mouth, because I bet I’m putting in more than I think I do!

For now, the MRI image of my fat is going up on the fridge. I know that may seem a bit morbid to some (it’s a cross-section of my body for heaven’s sake!), but it’s an incredibly powerful image that I’m hoping will catapult me into making some serious changes.

In the meantime, if you have any advice about personal trainers, let me know!

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3 Responses to Getting personal: Time to focus on fitness and weight loss

  1. I detest a Food Diary or as Weight Watchers says Tracking. HOWEVER, it really helps. Goes along with the accountability you mention. I find knowing that I must record what I’m about to eat can be a deterrent. Also, being honest about portions is a reality check.

    Shall check the websites you mentioned. Looks like good sources of information! I go to the Y and find their “Coach Approach” helpful but I believe a personal trainer would provide the jump start to get off on the right track. While you’re looking for the right fit, try a pedometer with the goal of 10,000 steps! I check mine throughout the day as a gentle reminder to get moving.

    Thanks for sharing your challenge and I shall follow your progress!

  2. Shan says:

    Thanks for the tips, Serena! You’re always such a good cheerleader!

  3. Lee says:

    I’m here for support, too! Let’s get out those charming old Leslie Sansone DVDs. Woo!

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