This is supposed to represent me waiting for a train that I'm driving.

So, I’m still sweating, still trekking, still really loving everything about Sweating Hot. I like the funny people I meet. One woman and I are now the Gut Check Girls (a girl gang who plans to make pink letter jackets and recruit others…). The random bits of awesomeness that come out of the personal trainers‘ mouths are like flecks of gold. And, honestly, I love physicality. I like to be involved in a fitness program and I like that I don’t huff and puff all the time while I’m doing it (except for yesterday, when I couldn’t catch my breath). But, I’m also processing. Like that nasty computer that’s in the 303 offices that just cycles through all these noises and doesn’t produce a thing.

Here’s what I mean. There’s absolutely a reason why Matt D’Amico, Head Lifestyle Engineer at The BodyLab and the man who sees me most often, says that this is a four-year process. My whole life, I’ve been weird with my weight. And, it’s not straight forward, especially for “creative” people like me who can literally talk herself into and out of everything with “good reason.” I can make myself believe a bunch of things–like I’ve earned something or that I’ve worked hard enough that eating this or that isn’t bad. I can also try my damnedest to be the best lil BodyLabber ever, and grossly miscalculate. Or, I can be awesome for an entire day and kill it by deciding to get drunk (and it’s not the booze that’s a problem but the ol’ throw-caution-to-the-wind mentality that I have when I’m drunk). Other times, I’ve thought of nothing but my health and fitness–been so concerned about every detail, labored over every choice, exhausted myself with all of my past sins and feared the future ones and then gained five pounds. What I’m saying is, if being fat equals death, there are a million ways to die–choose one (do I quote rappers too often? That was Tupac). I’ve gained and lost weight in sort of extremes. I prefer being thin with my whole heart, so how the fuck did that caramel find its way into my mouth?

Here’s the deal. You can’t explain this shit. It just is what is. It’s me. It’s all me. I’m the only thing making this thing difficult and the only one who can make it easy. And, despite my great expectations, it’s like I’m waiting for a train that I’m actually driving. Does that make sense? It’s like I’m the conductor and the passenger. I’m just sitting here at the station, eating caramels and nuts wondering when the train to Skinnyville gets in. But, I’m the driver, so all I have to do is put some coal in the fire and off we go (that’s me and me, if you’re following this analogy). Why won’t I do it? I’m just treading water, just keeping pace. Going up, going down but not moving forward. I feel like if someone could make a drug specifically intended for extreme focus, they’d be rich (wait a minute, Adderall already exists.).

Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for departure.

I’ve been coddled by people–like my dad, who says, “Don’t worry, you’ll just drop it.” I’ve been tough-loved–like my mom, who says, “You know what to do, baby. So do it.” And, then, there’s Matt. He basically says if he watches my progress for four years, he might see some extremes. But, if the overall trend is moving downward and the spikes get smaller over time, I’m on the right path. His is a different brand of care–more brass tacks than anything else. Despite the fact that I know this is all on me, I feel like the only thing keeping me from drowning right now is The Lab. The Lab is my orange floatie at the moment, ’cause I really do not know how to swim (and that’s actually true, both in and outside the analogy)… Yet.

Tyler Corbett, Lifestyle Engineer

NEED I REMIND YOU THAT WE’RE GIVING AWAY A FREE WEEK? See below for the first lady smart enough to get smarter. What did she do to become smarter, you ask? She simply asked Tyler Corbett a question (email him at [email protected] if you want in on this sweet, sweet action). See how she was able to be smarter in two ways? 1. She got her question answered. And, 2. She got a free week at Ye Ol’ BodyLab. Here are other people who are also becoming geniuses.

Q: What exactly is the glycemic index that everyone always refers to? – Phillip Frye
A: The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while a food with a high GI may cause our blood glucose level to increase above the optimal level.

Q: Should I work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening? What is better for you? – Fred Williamson
A: There are so many different schools of thought surrounding this debate, but it really all comes down to one thing: When do you feel best working out? If you like getting up early and running, then do it. If you like to sleep in until noon, perhaps an afternoon or evening workout is better suited for you. Either way, working out in the morning or at night is better than not working out at all.

Q: When is the best time to do cardio? -Darcy Opperman
A: Metabolically, you will burn the most calories directly following a workout. Get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. I don’t like wasting my time in the gym not getting the most out of my cardio sessions and workouts, so that is the best. However, if you don’t like it directly following the workout, then do cardio whenever you will actually do it.

Lauren Smiley. Reppin' The Lab and 303. That's a pretty official sign.

And it wouldn’t be a proper blog without AWESOME THINGS I HEARD AT THE LAB SINCE LAST POST

“As I look at my five-month-old’s cute, little, pudgy, toddler arm, I notice more and more the similarities it has with the arms of many corporate mammals I see. Soft, pale, no real joints to speak of.  These people be lookin’ like huge infants–it’s fucked up, you know, to see a grown man with a toddler-style arm.” – Matt D’Amico

“Next week, I’m bringing in life-size hamster wheels and crawling tubes for the workout. We’re getting a couple thousand pounds of cedar chips brought in, too, and you know ol’ Zach’ll be over there in the corner trying to burrow underneath that shit and hide.” – Matt D’Amico

Laura Standley has been the editor in chief of 303 Magazine since 2007. She’s been blogging about fitness since January 2011. Click here to read her previous blogs.