Sometimes a lot of effort seems daunting, but in the long run it'll probably turn out to be the best.
Carolyn drove by the gym several times, not ready to expose herself to a roomful of buff, mostly male, bodies. She took a deep breath, and said out loud, to no one in particular, “Screw it, if they don’t like what they see they can turn away.”
The gym was huge, one of those ‘SuperSport’ places. She chose it because of the facilities and that it was open 24 hours a day.
A rather perky girl greeted her when she walked up to the counter. She handed over the membership card she’d received in the mail. The girl swiped her card and handed it back and looked at her computer screen.
“Hi, Carolyn. Since this is your first time here, I suggest you take advantage of our three day personal trainer session. You’ll be introduced to all of the options here and the trainer will develop an exercise plan tailored to what you want. This is a benefit included with your membership.”
Carolyn shrugged her shoulders. “Okay, that sounds good.”
“Would you prefer a guy or a girl to be your trainer?”
“Oh, a girl, please.”
After the tour, which took over half an hour, her personal trainer Lora took her to one of the offices and they sat down.
“What are your objectives, Carolyn?”
“Lose weight, which should be obvious. I’m on a diet now, and sticking to it. I’ve lost almost fifteen pounds. But it’s not coming off where I want to lose the weight. That’s my hips, my behind, and my thighs.”
They went through the options that Lora recommended, and Lora handed her the printout of the exercise sequence, time, and reps.
“I recommend that you plan on three days a week. Will that work with your schedule?”
“Yes, I work from home so my schedule is very flexible.”
“Okay, let’s start our two additional sessions tomorrow. I’m available at eleven o’clock, does that work for you?”
“Yes, it does.”
The story about working from home was a stretch. Carolyn had lost her job at the Perfect Fit dress shop “because she no longer fit their image.” She’d loved that job, but she understood their need to have saleswomen who had the right image. So her work at home consisted of filling out online employment applications.
At first her gym sessions were excruciating. Even worse, she didn’t see any improvement, and she’d be famished and would cheat on her diet. By the third week she had less pain after each session and she’d thrown out all of the junk food and sweets at home and got back on her diet. She lost weight, but hadn’t achieved any of the lower body sculpting she’d hoped.
By her fourth week one of her job applications resulted in a real job working from home, as an editor and fact checker for an online magazine.
By the seventh week she could see real results. She weighed 176, down from 192, her waist size had gone down five inches, and her clothes felt very loose. She decided to put off buying anything new until she achieved her goals of reducing her weight to 115 and losing all of the flab.
At the start of her sixteenth week she signed up for a review session with Lora. While there were big improvements she couldn’t seem to get her weight below 135, far from her 115 pound goal.
“Carolyn, you’re body isn’t a 115 pound body anymore,” Lora told her.
“But that’s what I weighed when I graduated from high school. I’m the same height, five-seven, so I don’t see why you say I don’t have a 115 pound body.”
“Come with me, and I’ll show you.” Lora walked her to the weight training area, a part of the gym she’d avoided. She handed Carolyn a 25 pound dumbbell.
“That’s pretty heavy!” Carolyn said.
“I don’t think you could have held it with one hand when you first came here. The upper body exercises you’ve been doing have improved your strength. And not just upper body, your entire body, shoulders, arms, back, glutes, thighs, and calves. Muscle mass weighs more than fat. As you’ve lost fat you’ve gained muscle mass. You’ve changed your 115 pound high school girl’s body to a 135 pound adult woman’s body. Remember that set of pictures that I insisted on taking when you started?”
Carolyn laughed. “Yes. I also remember that made me think about walking right out of here and never coming back.”
“Well, I want to take another set today, right now.”
Lora showed her the pictures on her tablet.
“Look at your improvement!” she enthused.
“Yeah, I look good. But what about my goal?”
“Your goal has to change. You’re five foot seven and 135 pounds and you have a BMI of 21.1. That’s perfect for you.”
“What’s a BMI?”
“That your body mass index. It’s a rough gauge of body mass versus height. It’s imprecise but still gives us a good idea about your fitness. You’re fit, Carolyn. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. And be sure to continue coming here to keep yourself fit.”
“So you don’t think I’ll lose any more weight? My body size won’t change?”
“No, you are where you should be. From now on you’ll do maintenance exercises, including the treadmill and the pool.”
Carolyn smiled. “Okay. Then I guess it’s time to go out on a shopping spree.”
“You deserve it, girl. Go for it!”
Coleen knew exactly where her first stop in the mall would be. The store manager saw her come in.
“Carolyn? Is that you?”
“Yes, Rebecca, this is me.”
“Oh my god, you look great! What did you do?”
“I went to the gym three times a week and exercised and I stuck to a healthy diet.”
Rebecca surprised Carolyn by hugging her. “Can I steal you away from wherever you’re working?”
“You know, I loved working here. I’ve been working from home, so I’d say yes, you can steal me away. When can I start?”
“Tell you what, how about right now?”
“That works for me. Now that I’m an employee, can I buy some clothes and get my employee discount?”
“First, welcome back. Second, let’s go select some outfits for you. Third, you will get your employee discount. That way you can tell customers that what you’re wearing is a Perfect Fit.”
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