Tag Archive | G.I.Jess

Good-Bye Jess, Hellooooo Mama!

It is official.  Wednesday night was my last session with G.I Jess.   I am certainly going to miss that woman!  But I am so very excited for her new start in Atlanta and all that is going on down there that fits with her dream for a health and fitness company.  Sad for me and all her clients here in MI, but so amazing for her!

On Thursday, G.I Jess met with the new trainer that we decided on and went over everything with her.  My history, what I can do, what I have done, what has worked and what hasn’t worked,  but most importantly, the metabolic testing results and the significance of them and what it means for me going forward.

So who is this new trainer???

I met Mama Kelly last week in a group session.  Jess had been looking at a few different possible trainers for me and really liked this one for me and asked me to go to her class to check her out.   On first impression, I thought, “this woman is way too Pollyanna for me!”  Super positive, super encouraging, almost TOO nice.  Her one pitfall was offering me a balance stick while doing step ups.  Ummm no thanks!  I can DO step ups! I talked to Jess about it and realized of course I am still comparing her to Jess and if I am going to give anyone a fair chance, I have to take off the Jess filter.  She encouraged me to meet her for a 1:1 session and then decide.  I met with her last Monday and because I was a few minutes late ended up having a 20 minute session with her.  At the end, I had no valid complaints other than her workout seemed WAY easy.  But then again, at this point she didn’t know me or what I could do. The next day, I went to get out of bed and could barely walk.  My quads hurt like mad!  I told Jess if she can make my muscles hurt that bad after a 20 minute session that felt so easy, then she is hired!

Since first hearing about her, I have had several nicknames for her.  Mama Kelly is the one that is sticking so far.  There is something about her that is just “nice”.  She has a very nurturing, motherly way about her.  Perhaps it is because I know she has a teenage daughter.  She doesn’t look much older than me…so it isn’t like she could be a “Mama” to me…I really think it is just her way.  Caring, nurturing.  Anyway…

Meet Mama Kelly!

Mama Kelly doesn’t look like your average Mama!

So I met with Mama Friday morning for my first official session as her client.  This was an assessment session. I was super excited because Jess wouldn’t let me on the scale this week…and now I get to see where things are since starting to eat the right amount of food!

I got all sorts of fresh measurements taken.  I cannot even compare them to the old numbers because the two women measure in slightly different spots.  However, a scale weight is a scale weight…and that revealed another gain.

You would think I would have been devastated by this, but I kind of expected it.  Not because I ate poorly or anything like that, but because Mark at the metabolic testing center said it could take a little bit for my body to adjust and shift once it is certain that it will get the nutrition it needs.  Seriously, I have been unintentionally starving my body for over a year.  My body is not betraying me, it is simply struggling to live.  I will give it time to learn and trust that I am truly on its side and will do everything I can to help it along in its fight to live.   If after another month, I still don’t see results, Mark has a special diet that will help reset things.  It is possible, he told me that my body basically doesn’t know how to process the nutrition that way it is supposed to anymore and may not go back on its own. (my interpretation of his synopsis).  So I gained.  Big Whoop! (I can hardly believe I am saying such things!)

She also had me get on the treadmill for 12 minutes and go as far as I could.  I was quite excited to see that I was able to hold a 15 minute mile pace for the whole time.  Getting a little faster!

Then she put me on some machines to see what weights I can do.  This is where she is different.  Jess and I NEVER used the actual equipment at the gym.  Remember, she brought in Olga and Helga and Hank and Henry to play with.   It was weird to be using machines, but not bad.  I have to admit though, there is something that feels really hardcore about heaving a 50 lb sack of sand and throwing it or dragging it or lifting it repeatedly.  Or heaving a tire up a hill, all the while trying to hit Jess.  But, I will seek to see a new kind of hardcore within this way of training.   Perhaps I will come up with new names for the new toys and will learn to relish the idea of increasing the weights as a measure of hardcore.  I know…I am far more competitive than even I ever knew…and really it is all against myself.  It isn’t like I want to beat anyone else, I just want to beat myself every time.

Then we talked about races.  She is in agreement with Jess on the race restriction thing.  They both would prefer I not do any more till we get my body responding, but they wont tell me a flat-out no to Girls Best Friend, because they know that one is important to me.  They both said no to Grand Rapids Half though.   With that said, Mama Kelly made me get really specific on my training plan for the next month for GBF.  While I will be training, I need to keep my heart rate in Zone 2 as much as possible to maximize my efforts for weight loss as well.

So now, to the best of my recollection.

Mon and Wed mornings are strength training with her.

Tues/Thurs/Sat are cardio days.  I will  run in the AM then swim at night or bike in the AM and swim at night.  Saturdays I will work on bike/run combo’s.

Friday is my day off.

Sundays…are easy walks…no race specific cardio.

This feels so incredibly structured to my spontaneous self, but I recall thriving on the structure of my Nashville training schedule (once I took out speed intervals).  I also know that if it ain’t working I can change it. And I have learned to recognize better when I need to back off and take a break before I melt down.  So communication with Mama and myself will be key to making sure that doesn’t happen.  Meltdowns are NOT fun for me or for anyone else who has to deal with me during them!

Food is the same.  Eat a net of 2100 cals a day.  Keep doing the meal plans and sending them to Mama Kelly now.  However, I likely won’t be planning a whole week all at once.  I will be planning a couple of days at a time.  This way, I at least have some illusion of spontaneity.  I can plan a little bit more of what I “feel” like into my meals.  Within reason of course.

And I think that covers it.

I am excited to be working with Mama Kelly now.  I am certain she will be good for me and confident that she will be able to pick up where Jess left off and take me to new places.  And there is Nashville to look forward to, where I can show off all of our work to Jess…when we run the half marathon there…plans are already in the works for shirts, with names on them (Jess says she won’t recognize me without a name by then!)


Sidelined And Bummin’

So you know that Jess has put me on race restriction until Girls Best Friend.  I can swim, bike, and run but not at race training intensity.  As long as I can keep my endurance up in all the events so I can do GBF at the end of August I am good.

Tomorrow though is the race I had signed up for on a whim for a buck before I was put in time out.   I got a couple of friends to sign up too and then had to bail.  I was ok with this decision.  I agreed to it.  I know that Jess has my best interests and my primary goal of weight loss in mind when she asked me to not do it.  I know that I am not a victim here to her decisions.  Like I said, I agreed to trust her and her expertise and her plan.  I hired her for a reason.  She knows what she is doing.   But I am realizing that as I know my friends from GR are sitting down in Monroe, getting ready for the race, SOOO close, but I won’t see them till tomorrow, I am really really disappointed that I am not with them.  I don’t get to have the pre-race panic.  The “Jitter Shits” (as Aaron calls them) will not be mine to be had in the morning.  When I look out over the swim course, I won’t be wondering if I can do it, instead I will be sad that I don’t get to tri.


I will be most excited for Jen, Virg, and Antje…3 AMAZING strong women who will do it!  While I cheer on my friends, I will choose to trust Jess and her plan and NOT do the tri anyway.

Because I can you know.  Have been tempted to do it anyway, except it is a longer swim than I have yet done…so I would be a tad scared of that…and because I promised Jess I wouldn’t.  Cuz of COURSE I told her I was wanting to do it anyway….sigh….sometimes I wish I could lie….cuz then I could have simply NOT told her what I WANTED to do and then done it and simply not have told her…except….I can’t.

Bitter Sweet

Bitter is not generally a taste we enjoy and yet Sweet brings great pleasure, does it not?

Well, I have a bit if bitter-sweet news to share that I have known about for about a month now and this news played a huge factor in why I was so upset last week when I gained again.

I think I will start with the Sweet!

G.I Jess is an amazing trainer.  One who is committed to my success almost as much as I am.  I think she would not be as good if she was MORE committed than me, but that is another story.  She challenges me always.  She believes I can do anything and she is always raising the bar.  It helps too that our personalities are similar.  Besides all of these things, one of the things I love most about her is that she has a HUGE vision for her life and where she wants to take her personal training company to.   She has goals and is focused.  I also make-up, based on the fact that she is human, that she also has times of doubt and fear and uncertainty.  Who doesn’t??  However, her vision and her passion to help people live fit and healthy lives is far greater than any of those possible fears, doubts and uncertainties.  This same vision and passion is what drives her to plan her sessions for her clients and to put so many hours into each person, outside of their paid session.

Sweet, eh?  Who wouldn’t want a trainer like this?

Now for the Bitter.

She is leaving.  Those same dreams and visions and passions are taking her to Atlanta where she has an amazing opportunity to continue pursuing her dream and to turn her vision into reality.   I am super excited for her and what this means for her.  I wish her the best of luck and plan on stalking her to know how things are coming and should she ever come back to MI, I will drop whatever trainer I have, to have her back on my payroll…and yet…I am sad too.

I am losing my trainer.  The one I KNOW I got really lucky with in the first place…fortunately, she plans on helping me find her replacement.  Unfortunately for whoever that is, they now have a really high bar to hurdle.

On the upside, we plan on meeting in Nashville next year for the half marathon.  Yep, I talked Ms. Strength herself, into a long distance run all so she can SEE my progress!

So you can see why I was extra upset about last weeks weigh in.  It seemed to me at the time that we STILL hadn’t figured out my body yet and now she was going to be gone. (She leaves sometime in August)  FOrtunately, I am not as worried about that anymore, I got my test results, which I will be sharing soon…now I am more just sad that the trainer I REALLY like, is leaving.

Bitter.  Sweet.

G.I.Jess AKA The Trainer

Any readers in the Atlanta area need an amazing trainer??  I will give you her contact info for just a small management/broker fee!  Just kidding.  Seriously, though, if you live out there and need a trainer….the best is coming your way!

She Broke My Pinkie!

So, I have a little time, so I figured I should catch up on some blog writing from the fairly recent past.  This story comes sometime between Nashville and now, but closer to Nashville.

I had decided to go to Jess’s Boot Camp Class on this particular evening.  Part of the workout included hauling Olga while running backwards for a set distance then picking her up and running back to the start point with her.

The first time we did this, Jess timed us to see how fast we could do it.  Then we had to keep doing it until we could beat our first and fastest time.

Well, on my second attempt, I was attempting to pick Olga up( I really need to get a picture of all of these characters that play a role in this journey of mine) and I am not sure what I did, but in the picking up, my pinkie started to hurt.  Perhaps I jammed it into this sand bag perhaps I strained it, I don’t know.  All I know is it hurt and was turning purple and swelling up.

But I kept going. Of course my time was slower than my first.  After one more round I finally told Jess that I think I hurt my finger.

She just looked at me and said, “Kimberly, that is such a sad story…” and basically told me that we are continuing to do this until we beat the fastest time.

OK….well let me just say between sets of these runs we had to do jumping jacks and push ups.  I was careful with my hand/finger, but it only REALLY hurt when I tried to pick Olga up.

When I would come back from a haul/run attempt, slower than ever she asked me, “Kimberly, that time you were slower, do you know why?”

Yep, I do.  I was being careful and hesitated in picking Olga up.

That’s right, you hesitated.


Well….the next day….my finger was quite swollen and I kept banging it.  Trying to type with it was obnoxiously painful.   Soooo…..this is what I did.

Doing what I gotta do...

Duct tape fixes everything.  Even cheap duct tape.

Jess laughed at me when I came to my next workout with this thing on.  No mercy or compassion from her.

I still don’t know what I did but it is only been in the recent couple weeks that it has not been slightly swollen.

Oh and I only wore the splint for about a week.

For this, I blame Jess, She broke my pinkie! HAHAHAHA

The not so sad part of this story, is…I am kinda proud of this injury.  Real athlete’s get injured from time to time…and work through it anyway.

More proof that I AM an athlete!

(Still have to write about  my toenail! Even more proof coming!)

Rising Again-A Scale Tale

I had my weigh in and assessment yesterday.  My plan to NOT see the scale number until I met with Jess fell through since they were incredibly busy at my Dr.’s office.  I ended up weighing myself and seeing the results first thing in the morning.

I currently weigh 303.2

Yes, that is a 4 lb gain from a month and a half ago, despite a change in eating plan and increased workouts with Jess and of course triathlon training kicking into high gear.

Needless to say, I was upset.  I cried all day long, barely holding it together at work.  I was angry, I was confused and I was scared.  I asked myself a ton of questions all day.  COuld I have done anything different?  Did I cheat more than I thought?  Were my not so good days more impactful or worse than I thought?  Perhaps I shouldn’t have skipped that workout or 2??  Am I just repeating history?  Am I just going back the way I always have in the past just at an even slower pace than ever before?  How have I sabotaged my results?  Why is this number so freaking important to me?  Do I just need a break from all this?  What MORE can I do?  What am I doing?  How much more can I take?

In the end, there were no clear answers except this:  I worked hard.  I have accomplished alot.  This number does not accurately reflect what I have done.  This number is not about what I didn’t do, because I did the work.  If the math is correct, I should have lost 12 lbs in the last 12 weeks.  But I didn’t so what ELSE is going on.

After crying through the day I went and met with Jess.  We talked for almost 2 hours and NEVER actually worked out.  The first 45 minutes I just cried my frustrations and fears and concerns and anger and all of it.  She said lots of good things, but more than that she made me say out loud and recognize what I have done in the last couple of weeks,  Such as my lack of floatability, and my lack of wardrobe, 1800 calorie burn days, 24 minute 1/2 mile swims…things like that.  She made me recognize AGAIN the measurements that matter, the ones that are the true evidence of a life changed.   But even better than all that, she listened.  She let me simply be upset.

Soon though I was sick of crying and was ready to find out the rest of the numbers.  If the scale was gonna be awful, at least I could have something positive to take from this assessment, right?  ummmm sorta.

I lost a 1/4 inch in my thighs and another 1/4 inch in my neck.

ok…she showed me the page with all my numbers listed and asked me what I thought.

I don’t know what I am supposed to think.  Should it could it have been better?  Measurements are a new thing for me.  I know with the scale, 2 lbs a week is healthy and attainable and reasonable.  But these, are foreign to me.  I suppose I would have liked to see more inches gone.  I suppose I would have liked to have seen my hips change, since they have not changed at all since we started taking measurements.  But regardless of all that I suppose, this is what I got and it will have to be what it is, for now.

We continued to talk about all sorts of things, mostly a plan of attack and theories on what is happening.  Here is what is boils down to.

  1. She has been figuring my caloric intake based on a mathematical equation.  The equation works for many people, however in others it can be pretty off track.  She is thinking that it is the latter for me, which means, I am likely STILL not eating enough calories, especially considering what I am burning during workouts.
  2. My workouts that I do outside of her training sessions may be too intense.  Because I am always in training for something, I am always pushing myself in speed, or distance or time.  Therefore, my heart rate is always being pushed out of the ideal fat burning aerobic zone.  While I do a TON of cardio in my swimming, biking, running, it is no longer effective for my weight loss goals because of the intensity.  Also, because I am always in training mode, she has no days/times that she can work in cardio for me to work in that ideal zone.  Her suggested solution was to lay off the races for a while.  I am allowed to do Bostwick this weekend and my August one (Girls Best Friend) but I am NOT allowed to sign up for any more triathlons or races.  I didn’t ask but I am assuming 5K’s are ok, because I run a 5k all the time.  It doesn’t take extra training for me to do that.  This also means the GR Half Marathon in October is temporarily off the table.  I may be allowed later to do it, bit for now…no.

Sooo basically, I have been working my A$$ off and shooting myself in the foot in terms of actual weight lost.   This however does not negate all the positive things/changes that have occurred.  It just means that I am not maximizing the results I want.

The solution.

I am having some metabolic testing done.  I just got it scheduled today, for July 13th.  These tests will figure out without a shadow of a doubt what my calorie intake needs to be based on my true Resting Metabolic Rate as well as how my body uses oxygen and energy at different heart rate levels.  This information will in turn tell me what range my HR needs to be at to burn the most fat.  With those two very accurate numbers, I should begin to see the lbs melting off.

I am excited for these tests!  Until then, the plan is to kinda relax a bit.  Eat responsibly, healthily and frequently, but without killing myself to count every calorie and to exercise but NOT in a training mode.  Swim or Bike or Run or work with Jess, but not back to back in the same day.

So while Monday was awful, it was also SOOO good to feel every bit of the emotion tied to it all.  It was also awesome to realize how quickly I rebounded.  By Tuesday morning I was hopeful again and ready to keep going.  Not once did the thought of quitting enter my mind.  It wasn’t even an option.  And now, I am good.  Excited to get some scientific answers to why my body isn’t conforming to my expectations.

The Day Of Reckoning

It has been over a month since I have weighed in or had measurements taken.

The day has been set for tomorrow.  In the morning, I will go to my Dr.’s office in as little clothing as possible and without any water or food in me yet and I will weigh in and see if the blasted scale has decided to start moving.

I know I will not be able to handle it if it doesn’t and I have to work all day before I see Jess, so what WE have decided I would do is have someone at the office look at the scale, write the number down and put it in an envelope and seal it.  I will then give that to Jess and we will look at that number together when I see her at 6.

I have to admit, I am highly tempted to not eat today or drink either…but I know that would NOT help my body in the least.  I am just desperate for that number to move and catch up with the others.   I have been studying my body like crazy searching for changes, of any kind. One minute I see something, the next I don’t.

Yep folks, I think I have flipped to the OTHER SIDE of crazy.

Not doing so hot on my plan for balance right now.

More Disordered Thoughts

You all know it took me a little while to get used to not looking at a scale every week and only weighing myself when Jess did her full assessments.   You know how I cheated a couple of times and looked at the scale just to see where things were at.

Well, I am a week and a half away from my 3rd assessment with her.  She doesn’t really do them on a set schedule or anything…because this one is about a month and a half since the last one.   She wants to do it before the triathlon so that I can celebrate without a looming weigh in hanging over my head.  Well ain’t she just so nice!

Well, I am getting nervous folks.  What if that blasted scale doesn’t move again?  Worse, what if that blasted scale shows me a number back in the 300’s?  I really don’t think I can handle that!  Not for a second.

SO along with the nerves and anxiety come all sorts of really disordered thoughts about how I can either help it along or at least have a reason for whatever it is going to say.  Yep  I said it.

I have actually consciously thought about 1. pulling out my scale that has been packed up and cheating just to see where I am at and 2. if it shows me an unfavorable number, eating a bunch of crap so I can at least justify it.

When I realized how CRAZY that was…I began thinking about how I could help it along.  You know, perhaps it is time for one of those crazy 10 day cleanse things…or something like that, that would appear to be about my health but really the motivator is about moving that darn scale.

The good thing folks is that I told Jess about these thoughts immediately.  I know they are crazy and NO I am not going to do any of them.   However, it was important to get them out of my head so that they don’t consume me or take over.

Jess assures me that things will change and are changing.  She assures me that she can see changes, that I am disappearing before her very eyes.  My crazy brain says that is too subjective and can be just an illusion.  At the same time, I see changes all the time.  One day I see a new muscle, the next it seems to have disappeared.  One day my jeans feel looser, the next I can barely get them zipped.

This process feels so crazy at times.  I know I won’t ever give up, but seriously, something has got to give.   I am glad I am recognizing the crazy wacked out thoughts BEFORE I act on them.  Doesn’t make me feel any less crazy though.

Guess I just need to trust the process and Jess and her knowledge…she does have 2 degrees in sports/exercise stuff plus 2 national certifications to be doing what she is doing…




(do you believe me yet?)