Follow-up: On Meeting Naomi
I had been trying (and failing) at weight loss for so many months when I met Naomi. I was near one of the heaviest weights I’d ever been at, due largely to the stress of graduate school and self-loathing. I tried Jenny Craig because I needed somebody else to hold me accountable, which, in my mind means to motivate me out of the fear that somebody else will judge me if I fail/gain. (Not correct, I know, but an accurate representation of my thoughts.)
It was with this mentality that I arrived at JC, crying to the tall, thin, overly nice blond who did my initial assessment. She told me to come back next week, and I would be paired with Naomi, someone near my age who might connect with me.
I remember my first meeting with Naomi. I’ve never told her this, but I left feeling like this wasn’t going to work with her. Who was she, this sassy, matter-of-fact girl a year younger than me talking to me like she knows me, talking so frankly about my weight issues when I didn’t feel comfortable talking about them? Where did she come off? Bitch, please.
Then, about the third time I went, we were talking about exercise, and Naomi introduced me to the heart rate monitor. I knew exercise and had been doing it (with varying levels of commitment) for years, but this was new: a device that told you how hard you were working and recorded more accurate calorie expenditure?! Of course, this is how it went down: Naomi showed me her watch, then explained that there was a chest band that rested right on your heart, circling around the bra line. “Here, let me show you.” Then this person I barely knew proceeded to lift her shirt to show me the band that she was wearing, bearing stomach and bra with no apparent shame. Who was this person?! I’m pretty sure flashing your clients is not endorsed by JC.
Thinking about it now – my initial impression, the “reveal” – makes me laugh because Naomi is one of the people I trust most in the world and a true friend who motivates and cares for me. The transition from counselor-client relationship to friendship was almost imperceptible – we started walking together in the park, and one day she surprisingly invited me to her birthday party. But I guess from all of this, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: don’t write somebody off just because they try to flash you at their workplace.
Follow-up: The HR Monitor
I love my heart rate monitor with a somewhat alarming passion. I have a Polar model, which is great because it usually integrates with the cardio machines when I use them. It has become an essential part of my workout wardrobe. If I forget the watch or forget to press “start” (which has happened on several occasions), I almost feel like I haven’t worked out at all.
I love it for two reasons. One, it tells me how hard I’m really working. You can do an hour on the elliptical, but if you’re at resistance 0 and 4.0 mph, how much are you really doing? I usually give myself a calorie goal instead of a time goal in order to push myself harder. However, it’s also a fantastic regulator: my heart rate when I run is abnormally high, I think, even when I feel comfortable. But seeing how fast my heart is pumping gives me incentive to slow down a little bit and to be ok with a slower pace because I know that’s healthier for a long distance.
Follow-up: Workout Wardrobe
I wrote about my frustration with athletic apparel some time ago in my Proposal for New Workout Gear, but I have a new frustration to add. I’ve decided that after two years of wearing my athletic shoes, after nearly daily use, after frayed liners, after turning their original white to an indiscriminate gray, I think it’s time for new shoes. I have extraordinarily wide feet, so I need the extra width. I like the Brooks shoes that I have, that I had fitted for me at a running store, so I figured the easiest thing would be to go online and order the same shoe.
I spent several searches and asked for several second opinions on the color. I decided on the black with the hot pink and green at the bottom – won’t get too dirty but has a “look at me; I’m flashy!” flair. But when I went to put it in my online basket…I am only permitted – in my width – to get the fully black (orthopedic) shoes, or the boring white with neutral, boring blue. And this in one of only about four lines that actually carry the size I need for a high-impact athletic shoe. Why can’t I have pretty colors, too, dammit?
Boring white and blue it is.