Don’t you just hate when you plateau? After three years of intensive hot yoga and power walking 20K steps a day, I finally hit a wall.

Workouts were suddenly not producing the results I wanted (and needed). I decided to take a short (OK, 3 months) break from my routine. You can, of course, guess the yield of that decision. Three months off pushed back all the progress of weight loss and physical improvements I gained over three years. In other words, in a tenth of the time it took me to reach my new personal best, I slid back to square one.

Frustrated, I shook it off, vowing that I could repeat history and get back to optimal shape. Nope, not going to happen. For the next six months, I did everything I previously tried to gain success, without any. Unnerved by my reality, I continued to push harder.  The scale, that traitor, betrayed me daily.

Ready to throw in the towel, I broke down and realized it was time to recruit reinforcements. Enter the personal trainer.

I’ve never liked personal trainers. There, I’ve said it. I’ll wait for the blowback. Honestly, it never made sense to me to pay someone to tell me what I could figure out on my own—until now. Begrudgingly, I decided to investigate the options.

I found Alloy, a new personal training experience in my neighborhood. Focusing on small, strength-building exercises, the personal trainers bond education, physical composition, nutrition advice, and scheduled sessions to help clients meet their personal best.

During my initial consultation, I expressed my desire to drop 20 like it was hot (yesterday). The trainer explained to me that may not be realistic based upon my genetic makeup: dense muscular tissue on a short frame. My personal best might look like a 10-15 pound lose with a toned physique comprised of lean muscle and reduced fat. The number on the scale was less important than the health of my frame, including bone strength, coordination, flexibility, and pain reduction.

At first, I didn’t buy into it. BMI continued to scream at me, “You’re fat!” However, I recently met with my new Primary Care Physician who echoed the trainer’s message: be more concerned about the numbers on the inside than the ones staring at you externally.  Tests and health screenings suggested that I am bio-healthy “perfect” in fact. Great, no excuse to give the personal trainer the Heisman.

I’ve accepted my situation and now meet the trainer and three to four other (fitness) convicts, at 6:00 AM twice a week. The sentence? A four-pound weight loss in the first two weeks, a reduction of hangry pains, and a renewed sense of strength and ability.

I haven’t broken up with hot yoga. I go less frequently. It continues to give me a break in the strength training routine and provides me with the mental mindfulness focus I need, and my walks are still on pace at 20k but are easier to complete.

Sometimes, we have to accept what’s not working and identify what’s keeping us stuck so we can move forward to find something to drive us forward, toward our goals. Often, it’s our own mindset, upbringing, or repetitious patterns that bind us to the very thing we want to release. For me, it was letting go of the idea that I need to drop 40 pounds to be healthy and thin. Now, I see that God made me this way for a reason and my job is to embrace my design, and perfect it, as it is, in all its glory.

Work it out People!

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