CrossFit has this metaphor about being pro-active in our health. It involves a swim coach and a life guard. A sedentary life and poor diet brings us into a maelstrom of metabolic disease (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.) and CrossFit can be the lifeboat to carry us safely. The problem is, most people can’t even tell their drowning until it’s far too late. We’ve cured all kinds of health issues that arise; from high blood pressure to pre-diabetes, the solution is simple, but not easy. Focus on Proper movement. Sprinkle a little intensity. Eat meat & veggies. Simple, not easy.

Physicians are lifeguards.

Trainers are swim coaches.

When you need a lifeguard, you need a lifeguard, not a swim coach. But, if you need a lifeguard, you probably needed a swim coach and didn’t get one.

Did you know we post the workouts online, for free? You can get these done wherever; even I’ll get a workout in at home or another box if I’m on the road.

The thing that I don’t get from a regular gym?

Knowledge and accountability.

Knowledge from a CrossFit Coach comes in many forms. How to move safely. When to put more weight on the bar. What to scale, if help is needed. The knowledge of a Coach is we’ve made the mistake for you, all you’ve got to do is work your tail off and listen.

Accountability is a whole nother’ subject, but it’s simply keeping you honest and getting to the gym. We actually care if you show up – cause if you don’t, we can’t get you any fitter!

So yes, we do tell people you can do this stuff for free, but trust us, it’s so much better with friends!

The health and fitness industry is littered with lies.

Fat is bad for you.

Weight training will make women bulky.

Squats are bad for your knees.

Guys have to be the size of bodybuilders and ladies, stick-figureesque.

The number on the scale is the most important thing during weight loss.

How many of you have “only” been down a few pounds, get discouraged and take your gym shoes off to watch Netflix instead?

Well we just did a Body Scan of a member. It shows exactly the value in the measurement that we track in our gym. It only shows she’s lost about 2 lbs. BUT it also shows she’s down 10.5 lbs of body fat, and built 9.7 lbs of muscle! She’s gone from 28.5% body fat to 20.5%! Way bigger difference than just two pounds huh?

These are the things that really matter.

Once you start your fitness journey, don’t focus so much on the scale number. Focus on the food you eat and the quality of your workouts! Results will follow.

You’re looking for something different.

You’re not sure what to do. Every day you tell yourself that today will be different. That you won’t hit “snooze” and instead get up and exercise. Or, on your way home from work that you won’t drive past the gym this time.

Your spouse is tired of hounding you to do something about your health. “If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your kids”, they say.

You get mad at them for bringing up the subject, so eventually they stop. “It’s not worth fighting over”. Or is it?

Do you want to make it to your kid’s high school graduation? Live to walk them down the aisle at their wedding? Would you like to be the fun grandparent that can play with the kids; or the one that gets winded after 2 minutes and can’t get down on the ground to play because you don’t know how you’ll get back up!

We have people every week contacting us because they want something different. Everyone has their own “why” they want to start. The conversation usually starts with them saying they want to look better. However, after asking “why?” a few more times, it gets down to the real reasons. Try it. Ask yourself “why?”.

No one here cares if you can do a pull up or even 10! No one cares if you haven’t done a push up in 30 years. No one here cares where you are when you get started. But everyone cares when you start. Because unlike your day to day life, here we celebrate even the smallest of successes. It’s what motivates us. And will motivate you.

Don’t look at anyone else in the gym. Just the one person you see in the mirror each morning. Be your own superhero.

A simple way to focus on better nutrition is by shopping only the perimeter of the grocery store. Think about it for a second.

Everything natural ends up on the outside at the local Sprouts. Veggies and fruits. Meats. Eggs. Milk. Nuts and seeds. The things that are good for you don’t have a food label. Everything inside the aisles has a shelf life of 25 years and more than that same number of ingredients we can’t pronounce.

Simple thing, yet hard to do. See you at the meat and veggies section!

If you want to lose weight, one of the building blocks and foundations of nutrition involves simple math. Calories in, versus calories out.

We can track your basal metabolic rate with our InBody Scanner. Your BMR is how many calories you burn at rest (not including exercise). For example let’s say you’re at 1800 calories, what we like to start people on is right at their BMR because exercise bumps it up – let’s just say it’s truly 2200.

If I intake less than I burn. I’ll burn the fat and lose some lbs. The trick is maintaining the muscle mass and not losing it (try eating close to your bodyweight in grams of protein). This is simple math to reach your goals, but only part of the equation.

After last nights class a girl came up to me and told me she hit a PR. (Personal Record) on her back squat. She squatted 183 lbs. She did this on accident by miscounting what was on the bar. Pair that with squatting alongside another strong girl – the perfect storm for a PR and she didn’t even know it.

This same girl also came to us a couple of months ago post-knee surgery, wanting to get stronger. But we didn’t go from knee surgery to all the weights. It was slow, we built the foundation of squatting safely. Then went further with reps and sets. Then reeled it back when it hurt during some runs. But now, now she can squat 183 lbs. Has she arrived at her goal of getting stronger?

We might say so.

Or maybe she’s going to accidentally PR again, and again, and again.

On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into The Pentagon. All 64 passengers–including six hijackers–were killed. Another 125 people in the building were killed with them. The victims’ bodies are memorialized at the Pentagon Memorial, and they live on in the hearts and minds of a nation.

But one of them left something more.

The victims of the Pentagon attack were taken to Dover Air Force Base. This is where all CIA operatives (spies) are brought before burial. Astronauts from the space shuttle Columbia, victims of the bombing of the USS Cole–they’re prepared for their final rest by the morticians at Dover.

While performing autopsies on the passengers of Flight 77, one of the morticians found the ultimate “message in a bottle”: a short note, hurriedly written, in the stomach of a passenger.

The passenger wrote a note and ate it. Stomach acids protected the note while the plane burned.

What was on the note? That’s confidential. What’s important is that the message was received.

The passenger wasn’t sure whether they’d live or die. But they wrote the note anyway, and ate it, on the very slim chance it would be discovered.

What if you were sending your OWN message in a bottle–to the next thousand people that are getting into fitness and health, or to yourself in the future?

What would you write?

Let’s say you had thirty seconds, a used napkin and room for twelve words or less.

What would you write then?

Write it to me.

Hit “reply” with your message. Type it in, and hit “send”.

I’ll publish them (anonymously) next week.

And if, five years–or five months, or five minutes–from now, you need to hear your words again, ask me for it. I’ll keep them all.

Once in a while I have a conversation with a member about authenticity. He talks about Proper and how we have a genuine care for people’s health and well-being. The cool thing is we also talk about all of our short comings.

Failed reps.

Too many beers on the weekends.

Nagging aches and pains.

But that’s the great thing about the gym, we know you’re not perfect. Kind of like that sign I saw at a church off of Main Street – “Perfect people not welcome”. We all have highs and lows. We all know what to eat, but choose a donut instead. It’s life – and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 10+ years of doing CrossFit is that we have to be authentic.

We could put up a front and tell you to eat 100% paleo, 365 days a year, but I’d rather ask you if you’re happy where you’re at, then plan from there. Regardless of your answer I think you’re doing amazing – let’s hug it out and get back to living (and some burpees).

#RelentlessAuthenticity

The other day I was grilling some BBQ up outside (the perfect steak of course, ha!) and I stubbed my toe. Pretty bad actually, we won’t get into the graphic details, but it makes squats, lunges, and Box Jumps pretty difficult right now.

Yesterday I let it stop me though. I didn’t workout. I used it as an excuse. Today I won’t though. What I should’ve done yesterday is ask one of our knowledgeable coaches on what to do. They know what’s BEST for me and how I can scale anything!

Don’t let a stubbed toe trick you into not working out.

We read a post on Facebook yesterday with a guy asking an interesting question. He asked “What’s the best way to get over a breakup?” There are over 250+ answers ranging from eat gallons of ice cream to line dancing at a cowboy bar in Norco.

Our answer? The barbell.

The barbell is an amazing teacher. It shows you patience, perseverance, and strength to name a few. The biggest thing we love about it is that it makes you vulnerable. It breaks you down to just, you. You can feel your breathe, your muscles, and more importantly you feel alive. This is the best thing for people going through a struggle – because it brings you back to the most important person in the world – you. It will build you up and make you stronger physically and mentally, guaranteed.

An amazing quote I heard once is that the barbell doesn’t care. It doesn’t care if you had a bad day at work. It doesn’t care if you just broke up with your significant other. It doesn’t care if you’re the fittest person on Earth. At the end of the day it still weights 200 lbs.

If you know, the power of the barbell, you know. If you don’t know, you need to. See you in the gym.

“CrossFit is dangerous!”

“Why do you move so fast when you workout?”

“I can’t lift the wait SHE is lifting!”

No, CrossFit isn’t dangerous. Yes we move fast, intensity is how we get quicker results. You can lift more than her, after you develop a solid foundation.

We start with the Foundations because moving is a skill. It’s a skill to not hurt yourself. To move properly. To know your limits, then push past them a little bit at a time. Safety and being comfortable (with scaling, the movements, how much intensity to put into the workouts) are the two biggest things we care about.

If you have a great foundation, sky’s is the limit.

We recently bought a Traeger grill. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a meat smoker. It controls the temperature, the amount of pellets that get burned, and everything else under the sun to create an amazing meal. It’s a “set it and forget” grill that I recommend everyone to buy.

Regardless of the bells and whistles can you guess what the one thing it doesn’t come with?

Patience.

The traeger is just like your fitness. We have THE program for fitness that works. It burns fat, builds muscle, and gets people off meds with Proper Coaching. We can talk about nutrition and macronutrients, but the only thing we can’t do for you is give you the patience to reap the rewards.

This health and fitness thing is just like cooking an amazing tri-tip. Low (in your squats) and slow (patience).

Depending on when you’re reading this, International Happiness Day is today, or was yesterday. It serves as a day of awareness to remember to smile and appreciate how amazing life is. People come to CrossFit Proper for results. They want to lose weight, build muscle, train for a specific 5k run, or even because it’s their job as a serviceman/woman (LEO, Fire, Military, etc.). But that’s not what they stay for. They stay because it makes them feel good, it makes them happy.

When someone asked the inventor and owner of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, what the #1 reason CrossFit gyms fail, his answer was simple. “They’re no fun.”

From the CrossFit Games Intramural Open we’re in the middle of to silly ice-breaker questions during class, we try to take things serious, but not. Yes, we want to you to hit your goals. We also want you to know that the results on the board doesn’t matter if you aren’t having fun.

Trust us, we’ve done it both ways.  Fitness is always better when you’re having fun and happy. Good thing we’re the #HappyGym 365 days a year. 🙂

 

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

*****

OK, so last time I said I’d break down what we’re paying at Proper. My wife is really good at budgeting and numbers.

My friends were kinda giving me a hard time about the monthly rates last Saturday, but I had a feeling we were actually a bit ahead. So here are the numbers. But first, my wife is going to change from group training to the Personal Training Program until tax season is over. She’s a stress eater (we both are) and her schedule is rough until April, so she’s going with a more flexible and private program while I stick with my noon group. If you’ve ever seen her in the middle of March, it’s like she’s a totally different person. I think Personal Training is maybe 40 bucks more per month; if that helps her stay in this happy mood until the tax deadline, it’s worth it a hundred times over. God, I sound like one of those Reader’s Digest articles.

So here’s the breakdown:

Me: $125 per month (I go to group CrossFit classes now.)

Her: $199 per month starting next month (the ID program. Basically personal training and nutrition plan, but she can use the Open gym and do her workouts there.

That’s the up-front. Sounds high compared to the $19 deal that I started with, right? BUT she calculated the costs we’re actually saving.

First, she’s not buying those shakes anymore. That’s $99 per month right there. I don’t think they were working anymore anyway.

Second, I can’t believe the CRAP I used to spend money on. I said that I was going for a bagel on Saturdays with the boys, but really it was a donut almost every day. I’d go through Starbucks and grab a sour cream bagel with my coffee in the morning. So that’s over $40 per month. I don’t want to sound like a food nazi, but eating that sugar in the morning just made me feel like crap in the afternoon. I didn’t realize it until now. So usually I’d get a muffin or something off the tray in the front office for energy. Now I don’t even want to.

We also cut out the “junk budget”–all the loose change in our pockets got put in a drawer at the end of the day, and every week we’d spend it on chips and stuff. I’m still having some chips on Saturday nights, but we don’t have a cupboard full of cookies and stuff anymore. It’s just not in the house. If the kids want something, I tell them to go out and get it. So we figured out that’s another 20 bucks per week ($80 per month.) My membership’s almost paid for already. Imagine if we smoked!

We were also getting pizza at least once every week until now, and we’d get takeout almost every night during tax season. This is the first time we added all that up. It’s over $100 per month, and we definitely don’t miss that stuff now. You don’t really know that you don’t feel good until you DO feel good; now we don’t want to feel like garbage anymore. That’s seriously how I feel after eating pizza. I handle gluten just fine and stuff, but all the carbs made me want to sleep.

The big expense, really, is coming from buying clothes and going on dates. Someone else can tell my wife that stuff’s too expensive, because there’s no way I’m going to.

 

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

*****

What kinda gym IS this, anyway?!

Last night our “gym family” got together for carne asada, grilled veggies, and beer. Yes, beer.

There’s a CrossFit competition starting at the end of February. I’m nowhere near ready to do CrossFit competitions, and probably never will be. Nor will I want to. But we got invited to this gym party, so we went. The Coaches of the gym split up into two teams and picked randomly everyone who wanted to participate.

I recognized a couple of people who were put on my team – they go to noon group. Now they’re planning to dress up for the themed events. So I went on the CrossFit Games site and registered my wife and I to do this competition. Seriously, it feels crazy just saying that. But we’re doing all the workouts already, and I guess these are just harder ones. The coach on Thursday said we’ll just modify them the same way we modify every workout, and it’s only 20 bucks, and there are some pretty fun themes “dress like a Coach” is my favorite one. If you’d asked me last month, I would have said, “I don’t need more friends”–that’s not why I joined a gym–but you can’t help liking these people. One lady named Flo hugs me every time she sees me. I had to miss happy hour to go to workout, but it was better anyway.

My wife’s schedule always gets crazy at work before tax season, so she had to stop coming to noon group. She’s going to try going to the 6am class, but honestly I don’t think that’s going to work. If it doesn’t, I’m not sure what she’s going to do. She has to have her CrossFit. I’m still fine to make noon groups about 3 times a week.

If you looked in our window on Thursday nights, you’d probably get a good laugh. There we are, Mr. and Mrs. Fitness, watching our CrossFit videos on a laptop and stretching. My coach told me to stretch again on Saturday while I was watching people exercise, good grief! So there I was: rolling around on a lacrosse ball to loosen up my hips.

I’m struggling a bit to eat all the vegetables I’m supposed to be eating. And meeting the boys for a donut on Saturday is starting to give me a bit of stress. I’ll ask a Coach about it next time; I’m working pretty hard and I don’t want to keep going backward. The other hard part is drinking a glass of water every time I have a coffee; that’s a LOT of water. But no one’s selling me supplements or anything (I was totally on the lookout for that) so our food bill hasn’t gone up at all.  I think I’ll ask my wife to figure out how much we’re actually paying and post that on the next blog.

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

*******

Well, I know my month is up at my “old” gym, because they’re calling me to sign up. Funny how they’re all over me when the bills come due. I’m just ignoring their calls.

I finally got on the scale at Proper (I can’t remember the name, but it looks like a rocket ship) and it said I have — well, more fat than I thought. My wife won’t even show me her printout. I guess it’s a starting point.

When I started writing down the changes I’ve made, I thought I had maybe two new things to report. But now that I think about it, I have a list: I started adding a vegetable to almost every meal. We have fruit for dessert. I keep water on my desk (it’s just in a plastic cup from Starbucks, not a fancy bottle, but my wife got a bottle at Target. And I went to a group class. I’ll talk about that in a minute.

The first thing is that I feel good. Underline “Good” there. What I thought was “feeling good” before was really just “feeling okay”–I thought that was normal. But I get up before my alarm in the morning now, I don’t dread work, and coffee seems to have a much greater effect on me than it did before. My coach told me I could take a nap in the afternoon, but some days I don’t even feel like it. Here’s the funny part: I actually get — not excited, exactly, but I’m happy to go to the gym. I actually look forward to it.

We’re doing a bunch of different stuff now. When I go to do my workouts with the coach, we do something different every time. Still haven’t done a bench press at Proper, but I did power cleans and push presses the other night, and those were rough. My back was stiff the next day–but like a muscle soreness, like I worked hard. I usually only get that from moving boxes at home.

Part of our homework this week was to try a group class. Same kind of workouts we’ve been doing with our coach: we learn, we practice something, and then we sweat. But a group is way different. Our coach recommended the noon group, which was a bit tight time-wise, but we made it on Wednesday. Good crew. Turns out our son played football with the son of one of the other guys. I swear Corona has one degree of separation: if I don’t know you, I know someone who knows you. And not just at City Hall, ha.

So we start doing a warmup, and by the end I’m already tired. The coach sent us over to get a barbell from the rack, and this guy shakes my hand (actually most of them did) and hands me a bar. I set up on a wooden platform behind him and went through the coach’s instructions. She tells us exactly what to do, and I was also watching this other guy. We lifted some weights and chatted between sets–lots of middle-aged guys in that group, and I also used to work with the father of one of the guys. It was easy to fit in. No muscle-heads or any of the crazy CrossFit guys we saw on TV.

So then the coach tells us “time for the workout” and I was thinking, “Uh, wasn’t THAT the workout?” She sets us up for pull-ups (I knew how to do a substitute from our one-on-one sessions) and thrusters, where you squat with the bar on your chest and then press it overhead. I just used the bar, but the other guys used different weights. Some used less, but a big guy named Matt did some monster weight–definitely over a hundred pounds.

The coach started a clock, and we had to do 21 thrusters, then 21 pull-ups. Then you don’t get a break, and you have to do 15 of each, and then 9 of each, and then look at the clock and record your time. Mine was around 5:00. I wrote it on the whiteboard. I beat some of the guys (but they were using more weight and doing real pull-ups) including the one who handed me the barbell. Get this: turns out he owns the place! I joked to my wife later that I was already crushing the owner, and I was going to go to the CrossFit Games next year probably.

She said I’m “drinking the kool-aid”, a term she found on some website. There’s a big joke that CrossFit is a cult. I’m already hearing it a bit from the guys at work. I told them they should come and do it with me. That just leads to more cult jokes.

Next step: we’re buying shorts this weekend.

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

*********

I took a day off yesterday. I was really sore. Made the mistake of getting on the scale. I know I shouldn’t expect to see results so soon, but…nothing. I’m not discouraged, but was kinda hoping for a miracle.

My wife is pumped, though. She went to do a workout with her friend at another gym. She came home and said, “Jimmy, you’d LOVE it. Lots of guys your age lifting weights.”

So I asked her what the difference was. I thought it was going to be like a step class or something. She texted me a postcard. The headline: “The Happy Gym”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’m not trying to get happy or make friends or any of that stuff. I’m just trying to drop a few pounds.

I’m happy enough. At least, I’m not unhappy. Great, I’m going to be thinking about that my whole shift.

I have friends at pickup hockey–or I did. I haven’t gone for a couple of years. Maybe I should get back into that, but I’ll get back in shape first. Plus I probably gained more weight from the beer after than I lost from playing anyway.

My wife is going back to Proper tomorrow to have a meeting. They’ll probably give her a sales pitch. I don’t know why they charge like double what I’m paying at this gym, but she’s excited so I’m not going to bring it up. There’s worse things she could be spending the money on, trust me.

**********

OK, my wife signed up at Proper. She’s doing some 1:1 training to get going. She’s really excited about it, and brought home this piece of paper to show me her body fat, water volume, muscle weight and stuff. It tells you how many calories you’d burn in a day if you were just watching Netflix on the couch. She told me I should go do the test too. I’d be scared to know, haha.

But seriously, they told her I could come to the first session with her. So I’m torn: I don’t want to look dumb in front of her (cause I’m THE MAN, right?) On the other hand, if she’s going to start this Proper stuff, I probably don’t want to let her get way ahead of me. If I’m going to try it, now’s the time.

And I’ve got to admit something here: since we both started working out a couple of weeks ago, things are better between us. We talk about our workouts. We went grocery shopping together on Sunday. I didn’t really see it before, but I had my guard up about some stuff, and talking about fitness has really made us both open up a bit. Man, if you can’t be vulnerable with your wife, who CAN you be vulnerable with?

Valentine’s Day is coming. I know that doing stuff with her is better than buying her chocolates or flowers. So I’ll probably go with her and see what they do. I’ve been pretty consistent for three weeks, so I don’t think they’re going to kill me.

***********

Well, we’ve done TWO sessions at Proper. There’s this private gym where you go in with your coach, so it was just him and us.  We had to do squats (way harder than you think, I can’t walk today) and then this little seven-minute challenge. No joke, we were in and out in about 50 minutes.

We went back the next day. I was pretty sore, but we did other stuff. I was pretty good at the deadlift and got to show off a bit, which was great. Another super short workout, but it’s HARD. Like harder than 90 minutes doing weight machines and cardio at the gym. I already see that there’s a huge difference between what I was doing and whatever this is called. It’s not cheap, but I get it now. It’s like personal training plus a bunch of homework to do between workouts.

Today my “homework” was to watch a video on nutrition and clean out our cupboards. Seems pretty easy. I’m bringing some boxes home from work and we’ll do that after dinner. Woooo, big plans for midweek! Better than watching Netflix, I guess.

I also got this funny “badge” in my emails for logging in to the website and watching a video. I guess you have to reward old guys for pressing buttons, haha. I stopped learning when I threw out my Betamax.

*********

Well, we cleaned out our cupboards. I have a truckload of stuff for the Soup Kitchen today. I guess we’re lucky to be able to afford all this stuff that we don’t actually need. Cupboards are pretty empty. But we had fun doing it: we had a glass of wine and started talking about the gym. Then–this is the REALLY funny part–we went to Netflix and saw a documentary about CrossFit. It’s like I’m in a cult and I can’t escape it anywhere.

Homework today is to go into the gym and do a little workout on our own. My wife and I are on different schedules today, so I have to go alone. I’m going to try and go right at noon, because I know there’s a big noon group. I can get in and out without drawing any attention to myself. It’s a CrossFit group, and if they’re doing anything like what I saw on Netflix, I’m staying far away. Those people are NUTS!

Hoping I can kinda watch them while I do my own workout today. Actually, I’m just hoping I can figure out how to turn the clock on by myself without the coach.

The best news, though: I’m not exhausted at night. I used to collapse after dinner and wake up after an hour. Last night I was totally alert and we had a few laughs while we put cereal boxes away. We actually had a conversation. That’s something they should put on the website.

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. Missed the first one? Start here.

**********

Alright, I joined a gym. It wasn’t that bad.

I went the first day and did a bunch of the machines. I kinda just watched what everyone else was doing and copied them when they left. Some of it even came back to me.

On the second day, I did some bench press. I used to do pretty good at bench press–there were a bunch of guys who went to LA Fitness off Hamner, and I went with them once. I don’t know any of those guys anymore, but I still remember how to bench. Then I did some leg presses. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do those things together or not, but everything sure hurts today.

The really painful part was signing up. Man, they want you to buy that contract, don’t they? But I insisted on paying for one month to try it. It cost me three times as much, but no way I’m paying for something that I’m not going to use. And it’s already obvious that most people drop out pretty quick.

My wife is trying not to push too hard, but I can tell she’s excited. She’s going to go to a workout with one of the girls from work at lunchtime. She’s nervous about it, but I told her “If I can go to the gym, you can go to a new gym.” So we’re kinda supporting each other here.

I’m going to need to get a program sooner or later. There are personal trainers at this gym–they’re all kids. I see them walking around with their shaker bottles and looking at themselves in the mirror. I guess I’ll probably ask one of them for a program to follow. Do they charge extra for that? Probably.

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.

This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. If you missed Part One, read it here.

********

What the hell was I thinking?

I got my diet book in the mail. There are some ripped dudes on the front. And a chick in a bikini–you know, the same cover as every diet book. She’s holding an apple.

I hate apples.

Men don’t go on diets. My mom goes on diets.

I don’t even know how I’d keep a salad fresh at work. I guess there’s a fridge out front, but I’ve never seen any of the guys use it.

I actually left the diet book in my truck, because I don’t know how to bring it up to my wife. She’ll be all for it, I know. I just don’t want her to get too excited, know what I mean? I might just chuck the book and join a gym. At least that’s easier to explain. I can say, “Yeah, I used to like the gym” to my wife instead of “I want to lose weight because all the guys you work with are young and fit.” Or even because “My arm keeps going numb when I’m stressed at work.” No way. Gym it is.

Same deal: I’m going to find the cheapest one, try it for a month, and then see if I’m using the membership. I should have done this when I worked at the Plant, because I think they paid for my membership. Obviously that didn’t work though.

What will I do when I show up? I need a program that will make me WANT to go to the gym. And I probably need some sweat pants. My wife will buy those for me. She’ll get behind this.

Last hurdle: how do I tell her that I want to do this alone, because I can’t stand to be embarrassed in front of her?