Personal Trainer or P90X?

Monday, August 20, 2012

I want to feel like this

Or this.

No, I don't want to be Jen or Jessica. I said feel like them. I'd love their fortune, but I like being me just fine.  They are comfortable with their bodies and can just be . . . without the constraints that come with self consciousness. Their real bodies are not covered by the effects of emotional eating or stress.  They are experiencing total body freedom.

I've never been skinny. Whatever that looks like.  My mom's rich, homemade casseroles and unfortunate metabolic DNA made me a slightly chubby but active kid.  I was a size twelve when I graduated from high school.  Although not obese by any means, I was never really comfortable in my own body.

I've always felt like a skinny person inside, but a chunky monkey outside.

Prior to becoming pregnant with my son, my inner athlete came out.  I woke up naturally at 5 a.m. and starting walking several miles before work.  Then walking became jogging.  Without meaning to, I became a toned, fit size 6.  Fitness looked really good on me. To this day I don't know how much weight I lost, but it never really mattered because I felt so good.  After my son was born in May 2000, I slowly but surely lost most of the baby weight and was back down to a size 8 by that Halloween.  It helped that I worked at a YMCA.

For many years my weight yo-yoed.  My pants would get tight then I'd get it under control.  When I met my husband at 23, I was a size 10 who worked out with a friend at least three days a week. 

Lve, however, was not kind to my waistline.

I met an amazing guy who also happened to be a foodie.  He ate what he wanted, and I followed suit.  By the time we married in 2006, I was unhappily a size 16. And my weight has only gone up from there.  But I'm done.  Done with being fat.  With not looking the way I want to in clothes. Done denying my inner athlete.  I know she's in there somewhere.  The girl that desperately wanted to be an Olympic swimmer.  The one that still wants to be a runner.

I've lost weight before.  It's not rocket science.  Calories in versus calories out.  I also know that genetics are not on my side.  Neither is my hectic, often stressful life.  And entering my senior year of college will be no exception, as I'm feeling more pressure than ever to excel.  I do pretty well during the week when it's just my son and me, but things tend to fall apart on the weekends when we are out being foodies.

A friend of mine lost a considerable amount of weight a few years back, and she has always said her personal trainer made all the difference in her weight loss.  I am similar in that I need the push and accountability.  A membership to my college's gym is included in my student fees, and it is a great facility.  However, it can be hard to get a machine during the week and the "personal trainers" are actually students learning to be personal trainers.  I'm not too keen on either of those things.

So here is my dilemma:  Join a private gym and hire one of their personal trainers, or try an at-home program that will give me consistent results and keep me motivated?

I've heard snippets on Facebook touting the toughness of P90X and the muscle-exhausting nature of Insanity.  But can they really get the job done?  And can I commit that much time to it while at home where I'm surrounded by neglected laundry, a full DVR and mother's guilt at the fact that that hour isn't being spent giving Jared my undivided attention? If I'm really honest with myself, I probably won't be able to stick with them.

I'd be sooo skinny.
I'm someone who has to maintain consistency in both food and exercise.  If I'm exercising often, I eat better.  If I eat better, I exercise more often.  It's a weight loss snowball effect.  Only I look less like a snowball.

So in the end, I know I need a personal trainer.  I like the less expensive options, but unless those guys can come to my house and train me in person, the DVDs are probably going to end up collecting dust in my basement after a bit.  Buying a membership when I have a gym available to me makes me cringe.  It feels indulgent and wasteful.  But if I want to change the way I look and feel, I have to be willing to make the investment.  My husband didn't even blink at the prospect.  I'm lucky that way.

I have a gym picked out and a friend of mine recommended one of their personal trainers.  I'm hoping to talk them out of an initiation fee since we will be moving in less than two years and I will be utilizing their personal training services at an additional cost. Getting a deal would help ease my trepidation. Ultimately, I hope to discover a sustainable program that I can continue on my own indefinitely.  Teach-a-man-to-fish and all that. I will keep you updated . . .

Thoughts?  Experiences?

P. S. After writing this post, I came across this picture:

It speaks the truth.  My motivation to improve the way I look and feel stems from self love.  Self loathing would keep me where I'm at.  We all have phases in our lives . . . and this is just one of mine.  Now it is time for a new one.

I will look back on this as a learning experience, one that made me more compassionate of others while paving the path to self awareness. 


  1. Hi! I'm a new follower from the blog hop! Come over and visit me whenever you get a chance! :)

    My hubby has been saying "babe let's do the P90X together!" and then sometimes he's like no! "Let's do Insanity!" Haha, but I have no idea when we'll start, he's been working so much lately.

    Best wishes for your journey girl! I'm SURE that you'll have great results if you keep at it. I hope that you find an awesome PT!

    xoxo ♥ Shar

  2. Those infomercials really suck you in, no? Sometimes I wonder if there is anything I won't be tempted to buy once they work their late night magic on me. :)

    I will definitely check out your blog! Thanks for the encouragement!


  3. Oh, the battle with bodies is a hard one. Have you ever thought about CrossFit? A friend of mine recommended it to me and as someone who was never physically active before CrossFit (weights, what?), I love it now! It's basically group personal training and it comes with a strong community of people who will literally call you up on the phone if you don't show up to class, which is brilliant to keep you going back!

    CrossFit has had mixed reviews about it, but here's a post I wrote about why I go to CrossFit:

    Either way, just pick something and do it! You totally can :)

    1. One of my husband's friends/coworkers does CrossFit ("she's ripped!") and Bob Harper is always posting about it, but I never really knew what it was about. Thanks for the info! It sounds right up my alley. I'm checking out your post right now.

  4. I have some family members that have done P90X but it just seems to hard for me, I don't know if I could stick to it! like you, I need an actual human being pushing me on. If I had the money to get a personal trainer I SO would. I've wanted one for so long! Hopefully you can get out of the initiation fee and kick some butt!

  5. Hi Sarah!
    So happy you linked up and excited to have you join our fitness journeys! I love that Steff (comment above) found you already too! Anyways, my mom got a personal trainer and he helped her lose a LOT of weight in a healthy way. I have yet to try one myself but I can definitely say they produce results. I have a really hard time spending money on my "health and fitness" but at the end of the day, that's the BEST investment we can make in our future. You're worth it! :) Excited to follow along your journey and hope you continue to link up! It'd be great if you included a link to the link up or the button so that others could find it too! Also don't forget to visit the 2 blogs above yours and comment! :) (Sorry about the link up problems earlier!)


  6. Hiring a personal trainer can seem wasteful, but it's a good investment! I've never hired one, but if I had the money I would. I've heard good things about p90x and insanity too. I'm sure whatever one you choose will help! Good luck in your journey!

  7. Sayin Hi from the Link Up.

    Girl, I'm like you. Yesterday I spent hours on the internet looking those P90x and Insanity work-out. Debate debate! To get or not to get. I've worked with people who've been doing the P90x and Insanity and they do look really good.

    But my love is always yoga. I just really need to spend some time for myself to work on my work-out habit! Woo.

  8. I definitely recommend finding a personal trainer or a more affordable solution: finding a group of friends to take a trainer. I've done this about a year and a half ago and I'm in my best shape ever since. :) not to mention how much better I feel about my body and mind. ;)
    I've also done one month of p90x a few years ago. I lost my motivation afterwards because I didn't like the high protein diet. I did get in shape pretty fast, but lost it even faster. :)

  9. I'm a new follower... I just want to say, I think you're completely right about the desire to transform yourself stemming from self love and not self loathing. Because I want the best life and health I can have, I'm working on myself. I do the Beachbody stuff, and I just wanted to recommend another source of personal accountability and moral support: team beachbody challenge groups. I'm starting one of my own where I will be coaching because I got a lot of out doing it and I want to give back. It'll be called Fitness Code 3--message me if you want to join. In a challenge group, you have other people working on themselves and sharing advice about what foods to eat, how to do the workouts, etc. It's awesome. Best of luck to you on your fitness journey!

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