• talks about her Confessions


    In college, I had a personal trainer I adored.  It was a love/hate relationship at first.  She was beautiful, lean & muscular, and incredibly strong.  I wasn’t sure she’d be able to relate to me at all seeing as she weighed about 100 pounds & I was much larger.  And much more self conscious.  In our first session, she had me try assisted pull ups.  I knew I wasn’t even close to being able to do a pull up on my own, but I thought with 20 or 40 pounds of assist, I could do it.  Umm, no.  I was sorely mistaken.  Turns out, it was much harder for me.  I was weaker than I’d realized.  I had to use ALL of the assist to do my 12 reps.  Totally humiliating.

    Of course she made me feel like it happens all the time and it was no big deal.  And, she promised me if I was consistent and worked hard, I would continue to make progress and eventually not need as much assistance.  {figuratively and literally}

    She taught me something else, though.  One day she chatted with me after an especially grueling upper body session where I was surrounded by full length mirrors on all sides.  She asked if she could come check out my closet of clothes.  We had become pretty close friends at this point-I tend to do that with people-and I told her {a little confusedly} that she could.  She came over and started throwing baggy workout clothes in a pile.  She had me try on different jeans & if they were too baggy she threw them in the pile, as well.  She laid down the law & the law was this: I was not to wear baggy workout clothes to the gym anymore.  I couldn’t wear the ugly old sweats/tshirts/sweatshirts I had been wearing to hide the body I was kind of ashamed of.  I was also not to wear the baggy jeans & sweaters all the time.

    She pulled two of the clothing items I kept in my “dream pile.”  You all know what I’m talking about, right?  That pile of clothes we’ll “Someday” fit into.  The too small jeans/skirts/dress/shirt, etc.  I had a bunch.  I had a pair of goal jeans & a pair of goal yoga pants.  I had not even attempted trying these items on.  She made me.  They were tight.  They were a bit uncomfortable.  The yoga pants horrified me and the jeans were able to be buttoned, but left an unattractive muffin top at the waist area & were definitely too tight to sit for long.

    I wasn’t sure what her point was, but she insisted I wear those jeans almost daily for a couple weeks and the yoga pants & a tank top to our workout sessions.  I trusted her judgement enough to do what she said and I learned a valuable lesson.

    I worked dang hard to fit into those clothes because I saw them every day.  In two weeks, the jeans were fitting a bit better & I was starting to own how I looked in fitted workout clothing.  I even liked it because I could see the tiniest changes my body was making at all times.  Since then I’ve tried to remember that discomfort isn’t always a bad thing.  It can be a very motivating driver & an indicator that something needs to change.  And I’ve always kept a pair of the next goal size around to try on & wear around the house frequently.

    {picture taken 11.9.11}

    So each time I wake up thinking I want to wear scroungy sweat pants & an oversized sweatshirt, I remember that when I do that I feel less accountable for what I put into my body, what kind of workout I do, and just how I feel about myself in general.  The times I’ve cheated on my program have most always been times I’ve not gotten fixed up & dressed for the day.  The days I value myself less.  Because you never feel really uncomfortable in a baggy pair of sweatpants.

    I’m grateful for that lesson from a wise trainer 5 years ago.  I haven’t always heeded her advice, but when I do, I see results much more quickly and am less likely to self sabotage.


10 Responses to a wise trainer

  • Janet wrote on November 14, 2011 at 8:20 // Reply

    That’s really good advice. A couple months after my husband died I threw out all my sweat pants and cleared my ratty clothes out of the closet. It was the same weekend I went through and cleared out all of his clothes. I needed the discipline of getting up and getting ready to face the day- every day. It’s amazing how much more capable you are when you dress for success. Just looking the part helps you make wiser choices- and it makes you feel better in general.

    • karlicleaver wrote on November 14, 2011 at 2:54 // Reply

      Janet, so sorry about your husband. Good for you for getting rid of the yucky stuff & purging your closet and your soul to help you find a bit of peace. It’s so true that if you dress up for the day you just treat yourself better. Thanks for your comment!

  • Rhonda Harris wrote on November 14, 2011 at 8:45 // Reply

    You are amazing! I love this post! It is so true! And you look beautiful! Way to go!

  • amber fischer wrote on November 14, 2011 at 10:05 // Reply

    Whoa, great post K.

  • alisa wrote on November 14, 2011 at 12:35 // Reply

    I sooooo love this post….I totally get the baggy sweatshirt thing and since losing 30lbs I’ve been sitting on the fence about my work out clothes. Looks like this mama’s going shopping. Pants are the hardest for me to wear I have large legs and feel like everyone is staring at me but in reality they’re just as worried about themselves. This week i will not wear my baggy clothes…wish me luck :)

    • karlicleaver wrote on November 14, 2011 at 2:53 // Reply

      Hey Alisa, thanks for the comment! I love that you can relate. I am a LOVER of baggy pants-but they just make us look bigger, you know? I am proud of you for losing your weight! Go girl! Can’t wait to see pics of you in your tighter clothes. (: Stick with your goal!

  • Cheryl Sweeney wrote on November 14, 2011 at 1:38 // Reply

    Really good thoughts, Karli.

    • karlicleaver wrote on November 14, 2011 at 2:53 // Reply

      Thanks Cheryl! I haven’t forgotten about you!

  • Meredith wrote on November 14, 2011 at 6:47 // Reply

    love it.

  • Leanne Joly wrote on November 16, 2011 at 11:36 // Reply

    Thanks for this post. This came at a great time. You have motivated me to pull out the smaller sweats!


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