Jess's shirt is way better, but you get the idea.

By now you know I’m working out with personal trainer Jess Hogue, owner of Shape Plus. He lays out a road map of what to do to reach my goals, I do it, and then, I notice how much slimmer my face is, how much better my clothing looks and how much stronger I feel. I’m happier. I absolutly love it, I crave it and can tell that, without him, I would just be losing weight, not shaping my body into something awesome.

The farther I get into my 10-week period with Jess, the more I realize I don’t have to do anything. Everything is a choice–and man, he loves to give us choices, like, “Push the mean green sled or the brown one,” when we all know the green one is harder to push. Pushing the brown one might mean making someone I workout with push the mean green, and maybe she’s exhausted and doesn’t want to. Conversely, maybe I want to kick my own ass one night. And, maybe my workout partners really would prefer that, too. It’s not a big decision, but it’s a choice. Yesterday, Jess asked Alyssa and I if we’d like to jump rope an extra minute–neither of us wanted to, but Kristy was all about it. I don’t feel bad about my decision, and Jess didn’t either. Next time, I might say yes.

One of my larger, long-term goals with Jess was to hit 30 days of cardio every day for 30 minutes. It’s really not asking a lot, but I only hit 24 before I missed. I do want to mention that I missed for a terribly good reason and that I tried my best to plan around said reason, but I was derailed a few different times and, finally, I resigned to the idea that I would miss. I did 20 minutes, not 30.

I didn’t hesitate to tell Jess about this issue, I mean, why wouldn’t I? So then, when I hit “30” days and he wanted to celebrate with me, I could feel like a total schmuck? No thank you. I will take it like a woman–I knew he wouldn’t let this slide. Of all things, he happened to be wearing his “No Excuses” t-shirt when I told him about. Although I truly believe I did the best I could, I am disappointed that I didn’t meet my goal. So, now what?

You're gonna need a dictionary to look up this definition.

Negotiations. Jess loves negotiations. Since I didn’t reach  my goal, what new goal will I set? He suggested that I abstain from alcohol this coming weekend (it’s my only weekly allowance). I promptly told him I wasn’t ready for that. It makes it infinitely easier for me to say no every other time, if I can say yes once each week. I said I’d do cardio every day this week for 45 minutes instead of 30. He agreed to that, as long as I did it at Shape Plus–with the weather and previous engagements, that wasn’t going to work. Then, he suggested starting over–hitting 30 days of cardio at 30 minutes a day. I didn’t hesitate to agree. My larger goal is to do it every day for the rest of my life. What’s another 30-day streak? So, I’m on day 5 now (or 29 for 30, but, you know, who’s counting?).

Jess Hogue, my personal trainer and the owner of Shape Plus Personal Training, says:  “We are a result of our patterns. Our patterns are habits. Our minds and our bodies are a direct result of our habits. Recognize how you feel. Recognize what you are doing to make yourself feel this way. Realize that you always have a choice to feel how you want. If you screw up, don’t beat yourself up. Just recognize the mistake. Then, decide what went wrong and what your course of action will be next time. If we go back to beating ourselves up, then we fall into our old patterns. When we are focused on what is wrong, we don’t focus on what is right and what we need to do to continue on the journey of feeling amazing. Instead, we can get sucked into a vacuum of negativity instead of a whirlwind of positivity and growth. If we feel negative, then we make negative choices. If we feel positive, then we make positive choices. Stay up!”

For more information on where I’m working out, click here.

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