old clockI couldn’t put it off any more; I couldn’t avoid my personal trainer any further.

I was successful in staving him off until the middle of January, which is a fairly long time considering I’m pretty sure my trainer sees my love handles as his child’s college tuition (my flabby arms are most likely a second home at the lake).

I blame my friend Pajama Jeans (not her real name) for the return the gym. I was perfectly content getting fatter each day, stuffing my face with Peanut M&Ms and any kind of sour cream based dip. But skinny Pajama Jeans had to throw a wrench in my plan, and a vegetable in my dip.

She texted me last week and asked when I wanted to return to the trainer. As you know, we train together with Marbie, our personal trainer. She is the star pupil and I’m the fat kid in the back throwing spit wads and farting loudly. Seriously. I get gassy when I do squats.

We took a bit of a break over the holidays because we are so important and had several holiday engagements. Since the holidays were over, I wanted to ease back into working with the trainer.

free weightIn my world, “ease back into it” means ignoring all mention of working out and faking a fever when my husband suggests going to the gym. Downtown Christy Brown (DTCB) was agreeable to my suggested course of action. I know this because we discussed it over dessert.

So when Pajama Jeans texted me about when I wanted to return to the gym, I considered telling her I would return to the gym when she stopped looking so adorable in her workout gear. She doesn’t sweat at the gym. She glistens.

I considered telling her I couldn’t return to the gym because I had been diagnosed with a rare condition called phatomothigh (pronounced “fat on my thigh”) but she’s savvy and I was fearful she would bitch slap me and tell me to return to the gym. She has a mean right hook.

So I reluctantly told her I could return to the gym, but not until Saturday. I figured that would give me a good several days of freedom and binging before returning to the torture chamber that is known as the local gym.

We agreed to meet with Marbie for our first return session on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. I liked the time because it would allow me time to sleep in and stuff my face full of donuts before the workout.

What I didn’t think about was the fact that the late morning workout had the opposite effect. It loomed over my head with every step I took that morning, which was basically just a few steps to the refrigerator and back. But still.

As the morning dragged on, I became more and more nervous about my return to the gym. Would I be able to do any of the workouts Marbie assigned? Deep down I knew the answer was no, but then again, I couldn’t do them before I stopped going either.

I also wondered if Marbie would pick up where we left off with the grueling work outs. Would he realize I hadn’t been to the gym in over a month? I was guessing the spare tire around my mid-section would tip him off to that, so I decided to wear a loose fitting shirt.

The dreaded moment arrived and since I couldn’t think of a viable excuse not to go, I grabbed my workout shake and headed to the gym. I was also disappointed in myself a bit, as I was already letting myself down.

blurry treadmillOne of my new year’s resolutions was to be more creative with excuses for not going to the gym, and that morning the only excuse I could come up with was diarrhea, which for me, is just a typical Saturday morning consequence of horrible eating and poor liquor choices.

I got to the gym early and jumped on an elliptical machine to warm up. Okay, I didn’t so much “jump” on it as drag myself onto it ever-so-slowly, secretly hoping I would injure myself in the process.

I realize it sounds strange that I would get to the gym early and begin a workout before my training session, but I had strong reasoning to support it. Since Marbie believes in torturing me, I like to try to control the kind of torture if I can.

I figure if I do some cardio before the workout begins, he will be less likely to make me do sprints and run on the treadmill, both of which result in crying and calling him the devil. So far this tactic has proved successful.

I hit the “quick start” button on the machine and began moving my legs. Um, ow. Within 30 seconds my thighs were burning and I looked down at the settings to see what gym rat had this machine set to previously.

Obviously the machine was on a high setting, which was the cause of my misery. Not so much. When I looked down I noticed the machine was on a normal setting, although I could only assume it was shorting out.

The guy next to me was probably present during World War I and he was running at a speed 3 levels higher than my machine, which was further evidence my machine was broken, and that guy was clearly a robot.

fan blowing streamersAfter a few minutes of elliptical riding, my heart rate was elevated and my spirit was broken.  My breathing pattern was also elevated and I swore I felt heart palpitations.

I was sweating profusely, which was pretty embarrassing considering the scrawny eighth grader on the bike in front of me seemed to be riding for his life without even breaking a sweat.

Judging by his glasses and E=MC2 t-shirt, I suspected the biking was a training regimen to help him outrun the bullies…and puberty.

Although I was bummed about being worn out, I was happy to see that my sweat had begun seeping through my t-shirt so it was visible.  I’d never been so happy for pit stains in my life.  Whew!

This would be proof for Marbie that I was engaging in cardio before my training session (or at least more than the normal cardio I do…which is running to the door from the parking lot because I’m late).

As I fist pumped my good fortune in the sweating department, I noticed Pajama Jeans walk in and head toward the machine next to me.  She looked adorable and I resisted the urge to smack her when she stepped on the elliptical next to mine.

She pointed out green circular stains on her machine, and we both concluded they were vomit from someone’s previous session with Marbie.  We agreed we wouldn’t fall victim to his cardio workout again.  We dug deep and kept going.

Pajama Jeans wanted to chat since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.  Although I was happy to see her, I knew if I spoke too much I would cut off oxygen to my brain and would soon find myself plastered on the floor next to the puke stains.  I focused on my breathing and listened to her talk about what she’d had for breakfast.  It was eggs and sausage on a croissant.  I wanted to kill her.

When it was time to start the training, we got off the machines and headed over to the training area to accept our punishment.  We saw Marbie, who looked surprisingly happy to see us.

girl with ballI assumed we would be greeted with condescension for succumbing to the holiday food temptations, but he seemed genuinely glad to have us back.  This just furthered my belief that he suffers from dementia.

He told us since we hadn’t trained in a while, he would give us a “back to basics” training session.  Woo hoo!  It really was Christmas all over again.  Fine with me.

He told us to grab some weights and we would get started.  We got to pick which weights to use?  Sucka!!!!

I was going to go easy on myself for this first session.  I grabbed 10 pound weights and said a quick thank you under my breath.  The session was going to be cake.

We walked back to meet Marbie, our heads filled with visions of cake and frosting. I also cursed myself for thinking the workout would be cake.  Why couldn’t the saying be something like “the workout will be kale”?

Marbie saw us walking slowly and told us to pick up the pace and start with 15 squat presses.  What?!

devilWhat happened to the easy workout?  I assumed that would entail some walking and maybe a bicep curl or two.  But squat presses?  I suddenly remembered why I referred to him as “diablo” under my breath.

It only got worse from there.  From push ups to ab work to arms, his back to basics training was more of a “make Lisa cry” training.  It worked.  I felt dizzy and exhausted and I definitely regretted the all you can eat buffet that I indulged in for a full week on vacation.

Who am I kidding?  No I didn’t.

By the end of the workout I was drenched in sweat and wanted nothing more than to pass out on the cool gym floor.  I didn’t even care if it was next to the dried puke stain.

As I left the gym, hobbling and dreaming of Bengay, I wondered why I put myself through this torture.

Why didn’t I just eat healthier and then I wouldn’t have to work so hard at getting rid of the extra pounds?

And then I remembered why; because M&Ms and Skittles taste a lot better than lettuce and radishes.