Those words were like a slap to the face.

It was my first day training and it was horrific. The extra weight that I had gained over the last year was even more disappointing than I thought. Not only did I hate how my face gets round and fat or the feeling of the waistband of my pants digging in, cutting into my skin, but now, I had an audience to my poor shape. I was winded, felt like I was going to pass out and hoped that if I did, I wouldn’t throw up first and land in it. This was not what one would call a ‘proud moment.’ How did I get this out of shape? The extra pounds felt like they had snuck up on me.

I felt so defeated and embarrassed at that moment.

There I was, early 30s, being told by some 23-year-old perky girl to, basically, stop being a lazy slob. No, she didn’t say that, but that was how I felt. What happened to me? I used to be her! Humiliated, disgusted and frustrated with myself I wanted to go home and hide. But, hiding wasn’t going to lose the weight. Hiding wasn’t going to make me feel great next to the other women whose bodies I quietly envied. So, I womaned up, got off the ground and kept walking. I know, nothing spectacular, but it was the first step.

The next step was finding a workout program that worked for me. I tried going to the gym before and it was a bust. I didn’t fit in or feel like I belonged there at all. I was intimidated to try new weight machines, afraid that I would do it wrong and look stupid. I felt like a hamster running on the treadmills and I swear that elliptical machine is a deceitful liar! How can I burn that many calories in 30 minutes and still not lose weight? I am calling shenanigans elliptical people! I didn’t feel confident in my own skin by myself, let alone next to all of the gym bunnies. And the cost of a personal trainer in those big box gyms?! I may as well take on a second car not for crying out loud!

I found an outdoor fitness center called Body Therapeutix which sounded intriguing.

They were different and were nothing like those big box gyms. I swallowed my fear of another disheartening gym experience and gave it a try. Wow what a difference! I felt like I belonged. Everyone was so nice and many of the other members were in the same boat as me. Sharing words of encouragement. Sharing their stories of progress, fat lost and lean muscle built. The personal trainers were there every step of the way to explain each workout, how it worked, what it worked and to make sure that I was training at my very best. Working out in the sunshine and fresh air vs a dreary, stinky gym was also bonus. Not only was I burning extra calories with an outdoor workout, but I was also getting some much needed vitamin D after being cooped up in an office building all day.

I wish I could say that the day after I joined that I quickly became a lean, mean workout machine. That if you looked up “beast mode” you would see a picture of me. That was not the case. It took me over a year to put on 20 lbs. and get so out of shape. Why did I expect it to reverse overnight? Hence the phrase ‘wishful thinking!’ The workouts were hard at first, but they are supposed to be. No pain, no gain right! Each workout got a little easier. I began to get stronger and my body started to lean down.

I was losing the weight and was feeling fantastic.

About two months in, I noticed that I was starting to plateau. Why?? I had been working so hard. I never missed a day. I had been minding what I eat. Disappointed, I spoke with one of the trainers. She asked me to start tracking my food and within a few days I learned that I wasn’t eating enough. Crazy!! Eating too much is what got me there in the first place. In short, I wasn’t eating enough to build more lean muscle. My body was going into survival mode to keep me from burning more fat. So, nervously, I made a few changes and sure enough, the weight started to come off again!

Now I am a lean, mean workout machine.

Those 20 lbs I gained are gone! I have been able to push myself more than I ever imagined. I love my body. The confidence that I have in myself is amazing. Before I used to work out because I hated me. Now I work out because I love me and I want to be strong, confident and healthy.

So…. “Come on girl! Don’t just sit there, get up and do something!”

Pass this article along to a friend by sharing. Everyone deserves to look and feel their best. Together we can help all women feel empowered enough to know they too can join the fitness revolution.

Written by: Jennifer T – Body Therapeutix member