My new best friends

I announced last week that I, Laura Jane Standley, editor in chief of 303 Magazine, am making the change–I’m getting healthy, dammit.

Having had much anxiety about my body image, shopping, being in a bathing suit, being perceived as overweight and truly feeling heavy, I decided I needed a personal trainer–someone to really hand my ass to me. Jess Hogue of Shape Plus, a personal trainer and owner of this personal training-only gym is my guy. He suggested I meet with him three times a week for ten weeks, and I went all in. Hallelujah!

Leading up to our consultation and first session, I was extraordinarily eager. As soon as I decided to do this, I wanted to start right that second and never look back. That’s not to say I haven’t been, shall we say, agitated about a few things.

I knew from his website, that he was going to take my photo in my shorts and sports bra (an attractive look for most anyone) so that I would have a before picture. I knew he was going to check my body fat. I knew he was going to have me step on the scale. I knew he was going to tell me to stop eating so much (this is the major reason I was annoyed). These were things I wanted to remain in denial over. Honestly, the idea of him putting me in some sort of torture device for an hour seemed more desirable than any of these things. “It’s a starting point,” he said. One that I never want to start from again. He told me stories about people losing over 100 pounds with him, he told me anything’s possible, and he told me I don’t have to wait forever. I believe him. I have to believe him. Jess Hogue, my friend, you’re taking me to the top.

Our first work out was a whirlwind. Suffice it to say, bands, a tire, medicine balls of several varieties, push-ups, tricky hybrids of push-ups, pushing a sled with several 45-pound weights on it and jumping around like I’ve never done before was all part of it. It was a hurricane of activity that kept me captivated.

Pushing the sled.

But, the best part is, I’m part of a team now: Jess and my two workout partners who are the gold standard for where I want to be as soon as humanly possible–their strength compliments their femininity beautifully. I want that. I’m hungry for it. I’m going to get it. It’s that simple and that hard.

I was a sweaty mess as I left the gym and I could barely put on my coat or steer my car out of the snowy parking lot. I cried on my way home, I was so relieved. It was a gleeful, painful, happy release. I did something. I changed.

The next day, I couldn’t lift my arms above my head and you could actually see the tightness in my biceps. I wasn’t worried. “It’s just the pain leaving your body,” my dad said.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Click here for more information on where I’m working out.