I’m Deconditioned But Not Decomissioned

So yesterday when I woke up I didn’t know that I’d be working out with my new trainer at the gym because I didn’t know that I was going to hire one.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve been hitting it pretty hard the past week. Fed up with my body issues and doing something about it, I’m on Nutrisystem and made a personal goal to get to the gym five times this week in addition to the ballet and ballroom stuff I normally do. So getting to Friday morning, after doing everything I’m supposed to do, and being on track with the work out goals, I was disheartened to say the least to see that my weight hasn’t budged even a tenth of a pound in the last two weeks. Why bust my chops and work so hard for no results? It’s frustrating as hell and part of why at some point I gave up. I find it so difficult in my body to get it to lose weight, it takes such discipline and attention, and after enough experiences of working hard and getting minimal results I think somewhere in my subconscious I just thought “forget about it…might as well enjoy what I enjoy (namely food and drink) and I’m not going to be a professional dancer anyways so the hell with it.”

Well, things have obviously changed since I have reconnected with my passion for dancing, and ignited my love for ballroom dancing in particular, and I am tired of tolerating a body I don’t love and not being able to do everything I believe I am capable of doing.

So anyways, I’m on a mission and working actively on it but was really upset driving home from work. There was nothing for it but to go to the gym for the 4th of my 5 days – that or go home, do nothing, drink wine, and then feel even worse the next day. Luckily I chose option one instead.

So I walked in the gym and they had some promotion that if you commit to a year you get a discount on your monthly fee. I agreed because I’m in this for the long haul. So while I was signing up for that a trainer approached and asked me how long I’d been a member at the gym.

“Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I had been coming in a spurt a few months ago and now I’m back in another spurt.”

“Did you ever take advantage of the free training session?”

“No. I wasn’t interested in it then. But today I’d be more interested.”

You see, as I was feeling so poorly in the car ride I had been praying, saying something I’ve been saying for a few months now. “Dear God. Please help. I need someone to help me with this. Someone who will understand the athlete I am underneath this all. Someone who will push and motivate me. Someone who understands my goals.”

You see, I’ve worked with trainers before. I have a degree in physiology. It isn’t about the knowledge. It’s about doing it. It’s about getting me out of my comfort zone and pushing me beyond my self-imposed limits. It’s about being supported while being challenged. It’s about accountability. And I refuse to work with just any Joe Schmo. Been there. Done that.

So anyways, I talked with this dude, knowing that he was going to give me the spiel and try to sign me up for training sessions but I was like, hey, whatever. Maybe this is the answer to my prayer. I am going to be open to the possibility.

So we talked, and measured, and I’m like 46% body fat (OMG!!! I’m half fat!), and 85% of weight loss is diet, and blah blah blah. And I basically told him, “Look. Here’s the deal. I’m an athlete. I’m a dancer. I need help to get as lean and as small as possible. I need help to improve my cardiovascular capacity so that I can do 10 minutes of full-out dancing non-stop ending with a Jive. I’ve worked with trainers before. I’m doing the right things and heading in the right direction, down 60 pounds from my highest weight, but this is over 3 years and I don’t want to wait until I’m 40 to achieve my dreams. It’s happening too slowly.”

“You are a trainer’s dream,” he replied. “You are motivated and have a purpose.  You are already althletic which will help a lot.  A lot.”

So, we’re looking at 1 to 2 pounds of fat loss weekly (why so slow AHHHH!), two training sessions weekly. He’s going to look at my Nutrisystem plan and tweak it. I’m going to come in 2 days alone. He says it will take a year but guarantees that I will change if I do what he says. That next year I could do the Tough Mudder (as if I wanted to!  No thank you!  I’d rather dance in sparkles thank you very much!) with my husband and brother and father, which I have a hard time believing but he seemed pretty sure about it. And, I got him to agree to come to a ballet class with me sometime. I’m saving it for after a particularly difficult workout that has me feeling defeated which I’m sure will happen sooner or later. At that point I’ll pull out my trump card and give myself something to look forward to – kicking my trainer’s ass doing something I’m good at and he’s not!

So anyways, we did a work out right then and there. I was going to do upper body weights anyways so we did that together instead. All I will say is thank God I have worked with trainers before and have done a plank in the past because if I hadn’t yesterday would have been a rude awakening, maybe even involving tears. I worked hard, to the point of muscle fatigue, and he made me do this thing where I had to punch an exercise ball from the plank position which sucked. But I was smiling the entire time. I was able to do it, and I  wasn’t really sure I would be. And it pushed me harder than I would have pushed myself. And, even better, with as hard as it was yesterday, and as fatigued as my arms were after the workout, I totally thought I would be way more sore than I am and have a difficult time moving my arms today. But I’m not!  And he did a good job being attuned to how my body was responding, when I was reaching my limits, assisting in the last two reps when needed.  Other trainers I’ve worked with haven’t been quite that responsive so I appreciated it.

So anyways, I’m still huge, and I still get winded going up two flights of stairs at work. I asked him about how that is possible when I can do the stair stepper for 45 minutes (going at a slow pace, of course) and dance. He said, “Well you are just so deconditioned.”

I never thought about it like that but it’s true. But it made me think, “Well, I may be deconditioned, but I’m not decommissioned. Not yet.”


Richardkiwi from nl [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “I’m Deconditioned But Not Decomissioned

  1. Christine aka Dancingkatz says:

    Stephanie, you really inspired me with this post. I like the phrase “de conditioned not decommissioned”. I’m going to keep it in mind as I continue working on my own dancing and losing the 35 pounds I put on while I was stuck in a wheelchair with the broken foot for 12 weeks last summer. The good news is that I was finally allowed to dance American Smooth and International Standard again last month when I had my final check in with the foot specialist. I still have 3 months to go before I can do any rhythm dances. Hopefully, I can lose some of the weight by then. My job at the university is starting a wellness program for employees and allowing us to use the gym for free so I’m going to take advantage of it.

    I know you’re going to succeed!

    Keep on dancing!

    (P.S. Today I competed at the Arnold 50+ Dancesport Challenge in Columbus, OH. My partner & I danced American Smooth and got 4 first places in freestyles and a third place in the 3-dance championship. We also did bronze and pre-silver International Viennese waltz and quickstep and got 4 firsts. Not bad after more than 6 months on the sidelines!)

    • loveablestef says:

      Hi Christine! I’m curious – why are you called dancingkatz?! Do you have a blog or is there a story behind that nickname?

      I can’t imagine having an injury like you mentioned with your foot. That is really tough. I’m so glad you’ve gotten clearance to dance again, and it sounds like you are making an excellent comeback! Congratulations on all your accomplishments at the Arnold 50+ Dancesport Challenge! You did great – I’d say excellent anytime and especially after 6 months on the sidelines!

      I hope to hear more from you as you work toward your goals, dance, and compete. Thanks for stopping by the blog and for the encouragement!


      • Christine aka Dancingkatz says:

        Hi, Stef. I picked Dancingkatz as my online screen name back in 2003 when I started taking lessons at the Dayton Ballroom Dance Club. It was sort of a joke because my one teacher told me to think of the tango basic as “sneak, sneak, catch-the-mouse” and I responded with, “So when we do tango we are really dancing cats?”. Since my family background is German, I used Katz instead of cats. >^..^<

        Also, I'm owned by 2 cats (bailey and Roh) who are very tolerant of my practicing steps in the living room.

      • loveablestef says:

        Love it! Thanks for feeding my curiosity ( which killed the cat!) lol. And I understand being owned by cats….was owned before I married my husband who is very allergic! Great nickname 😉

  2. Alaina says:

    I give you all my blessings as you continue to work to lose weight.


  3. AJ (dance-shoe buddy) says:

    You are an inspiration! Keep that smile on your face!

  4. Jenny says:

    What an awesome development. It’s great that you found a trainer that gets where you’re coming from. It seems like having someone at the gym who is on your side will only help make going to the gym more fun and productive.

  5. Nena Tignini says:

    Hi Stefanie,
    Came across you after perusing through all your “platforms” (twitter, fb, blogspot) by first friending Ivan on FB. Saw one of your lovely pics and read this story and admired your writing, goals, humor, and mostly your love of dancing. It seems we both had instruction from the wonderful Glenda Folk and her daughter Tricia! I just entered the ballroom dancing world in September fueled by the desire to learn an Argentine Tango. Had absolutely zero idea of what I was getting into. Now I am worried about my obsession. I have to remember that I do have other things I must think about and do doing the day! I don’t know Ivan and Marieta well, but see them most every time I dance at DanceStarz. They are simply exhilarating to watch! Would love to meet you or exercise together or one day dance on the same dance floor. I have never been one to do much communicating through these platforms, but being part of the dance world now I am learning quickly! Email is always best for me. Looking forward to following you (that sounds a little strange) throughout your journey.

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