July 01, 2008
Just over a year ago, as I approached the age of 39, I was already looking ahead to the fact that in a year and a few short months I would be 40. I looked at myself in the mirror every morning on the way into the shower and hated what I saw. The scale, on some mornings, would reduce me to tears. Climbing up the thirteen stairs to my bedroom left me out of breath. This was no way to live. Something had to give. I decided that for a year I was going to try to lose weight "one more time." Once again, I would give it my all in an attempt to lose more than five pounds before I gave up and found my way back to the couch. I had done it before. In my early twenties, I lost fifty pounds on a steady diet of coffee, cigarettes and step aerobics, but I doubted that I could really do it the right way--with a proper diet and exercise. Even as I started to try, the voice in my head told me that wasn't really possible.
Nonetheless, I joined Weight Watchers and a gym and I walked on the treadmill and used the elliptical trainer three times a week. The weight began to come off slowly. While I walked I would watch the trainer at the gym working with her clients. This woman was very interesting to me. She had an intense gaze focused on her clients. She worked them hard. She laughed with them. Her energy was infectious. I was amazed when, one day, she had a woman in her fifties doing handstand push-ups. Deep down, I knew that if I was really going to lose weight and get fit, I needed to do more than walk on a treadmill, and I somehow felt that she was the person who could teach me how to really work out hard. After working up the courage to approach her, I was hugely disappointed to find out that she was leaving the gym to strike out on her own. She said, "Shoot me an e-mail and we'll figure something out." I took her card and we parted ways.
That was the moment when everything changed.