If you’ve been following me for a few months, you may remember, WAY back in January, that I mentioned I was going to take the ACE personal trainer certification exam this year.
The time has come. It’s happening on Saturday, August 13th.
I’m suddenly nervous.
I’m not so much nervous about the content. After all, aside from the studying I’ve done, I’ve had an amazing personal trainer for the past several years, and I’ve learned a lot from her.
A surprisingly sizable portion of the test covers the psychological aspects of personal training, as in how to speak with clients, interacting with the public, et cetera. Again, I have that down. I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, I work with extremely fragile college students (i.e. – freshmen), and I have many years experience working mental health. I’ve got that one.
Another portion of the test is Anatomy and Biomechanics. I’m not worried about this one, either. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this on my blog, but when I met Tina, I was actually a nursing student in nursing school. (Yep – I’ve never fully known for sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. That’s why I know have three degrees and have just started a career.) But I’ve taken anatomy and physio, microbiology, Certified Nurse Aide courses, and I spent some time in nursing school. (Side note – while I still think medicine is amazingly awesome, I have no regrets with not finishing nursing school, as my relationship with Tina would have been impossible as a nursing student AND I absolutely love where I am in my career right now at WKU.) So, to sum up, Anatomy and Biomechanics… no worries.
I know nutrition. I may not always follow it like I should, but I know it. Same with exercise physiology. I feel decently confident that I’ll pass the exam. I do wish I could have put in more study time this year, but I still feel okay about it. I also don’t have my self-esteem tied up in whether I pass or fail, so if I don’t pass, then I’ll just study more and try again later.
So I’m not even nervous about where or not I pass this exam. I hope to, and I think I will, but I’ll post on Saturday afternoon regardless of what happens.
What am I nervous about?
I truly believe I’ll be the only morbidly obese person sitting for the exam. I may be the only morbidly obese person to hold a personal trainer certification.
I googled Fat Personal Trainer to see what I could find. All I could find is a story of one Australian trainer who conducted an experiment on himself to gain weight so he could lose it to see how his clients felt.
All I can say about that is that I’ve NEVER been as thin as his fat after picture.
I hopped on twitter this morning, and several awesome people helped boost my self-esteem and told me to rock the test and hold my head up high. That’s what I’m going to do.
But I’m still a touch nervous. When I signed up for this test a year ago, I truly expected to be much closer to goal weight than I am. Instead, I’m even farther away than I was last year.
I think I’ll make an amazing personal trainer (on the side – not as my career, because I’ve already got that here), because I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to weigh over 400 pounds and drip with sweat after just climbing one flight of steps.
I just have to remember that yes, I may weigh over 360 pounds now, but it isn’t forever, the weight is coming off, and I can run, I can lift weights, I can stretch, I can make healthy food choices… At 400 pounds, my weight and my fat defined me. Today, it’s just one more thing I have to overcome, but it isn’t me.
I’ve never once, in the three plus years I’ve been a gym rat, experience fat prejudice in the gym. Ever. I’ve had guys with abs so defined you could grate cheese on them compliment me on my form and ask me to spot them. I’ve seen girls so limber they could kick me in the face from behind ask me to show them how to turn a Smith machine into a Glute Blaster (because they just saw me do the same thing because the last gym I went to didn’t have one). So I really have to acknowledge that physically fit and healthy people are nice people. It’s rare to come across a true athlete who looks down their nose at someone who is in the gym getting healthy, regardless of his or her size.
So why on Earth am I afraid to being seen as the fat guy taking the personal trainer test?
They’re going to see a guy taking the personal trainer test who still has some weight to lose. That’s all.
I’ve been pretty incommunicado lately.
Let me go ahead and warn you that this is going to be a very ramble-y blog post. I’ve got a lot to say and no coherent way to tie it all up, so this may be a James Joyce-ian stream of consciousness blog post. It will be far shorter than Ulysses, however.
Nothing bad has happened. I have been EXTREMELY busy for the past few weeks, but nothing bad is going on in my life at all.
Quite the contrary.
I still have an amazing job.
My job gives me six free hours of tuition every semester. I have decided to start my second Master’s degree, a Master’s of Science in Library Media and Educational Technology. I am currently taking a May-term class. If you don’t know what that means, imagine a regular semester-long graduate class crammed into three weeks.
Lots of homework. Lots of late night reading. Lots and lots and lots of writing and typing out various reports.
I love it. Every second of it. But I won’t deny that it’s taking up a lot of my time.
Oh, and I’m doing another three-week class in June as soon as this one ends.
In other job news, I thought things might slow down a bit when the regular Spring semester ended. After all, campus is almost completely dead now. There can’t be that much to do, right?
Wrong. Somehow, I’m finding myself even busier at work than when campus had 15,000 people on it.
I’m okay with that. I LOVE MY JOB! If I wanted another tattoo, I would get one that said something to that effect. (Given that I have wanted to remove the small tattoo I currently possess and have wanted it gone for about four years now, it really wouldn’t make that much sense to get another one when I can just show my job-love here on my blog.)
Part of my job-love is because I came from utter HELL before I landed here.
Part of my job-love is that I absolutely adore WKU. This is my alma mater. To paraphrase my boss in referring to her alma mater, I love every single brick of this place. Sometime this fall, when campus is beautiful and I can take an afternoon off, I’ll take my camera and do a virtual tour here.
I’ve also had some joyous celebration, because my wife has just graduated! She walked the line about a week ago and is the proud recipient of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology.
I’m not sure if other campus do this or allow it, but at WKU, many graduates decorate their mortar board. Tina’s was one of the best. And I’m not just being biased because she’s my wife. When the graduation was aired on WKU’s news channel, the camera crew selected her mortar board as the one to talk about live and on the air.
Of course, she made it with glitter, and glitter is the herpes of the craft world. In other words, once you get glitter, even if you think you’re clear, you really aren’t. Even our cat had glitter on him at one point during this craft process.
So that took up a little time.
There have been a lot of celebrations.
There has been a lot of laziness.
I went to the gym on Monday morning before work.
Yeah, that was pretty much the last time I went.
My weight has crept up.
Sometimes when I gain weight, I truly have to shrug and say, “I have no idea what happened!”
I can’t do that this time. I know EXACTLY why my weight has crept up. I’ve been eating too much and not moving enough.
Tina and I are about to start a little detox. We’re going to cut WAY back on processed foods for the next few days, and then, starting on Tuesday, we’re going to go a week without processed foods. Not forever, just for a while. Just to jump start our motivation.
Babies are in our future. We want to start our family. I don’t want to be a fat dad. Tina doesn’t want to be one of those women who could be fat or could be pregnant. She wants to clearly be pregnant with no ambiguity. The good side of this is that Tina is very close to goal weight. She isn’t far off at all. In fact, I expect Tina to be at goal weight before we go run from Zombies on October 22nd. I won’t be, but I plan to be on my way.
So… that’s kinda why I haven’t had a weigh-in lately. I truly believe that if someone doesn’t weigh in at least two weeks in a row, it’s because they’ve gained weight.
Stay tuned. I want to turn this train around. I don’t want to merely say, “I’ve got this,” over and over and never do.
Actions speaker louder than words. Right?
Let me first share with you a fun little tip I just discovered. Don’t go to Google Images and search for well-oiled machine without expecting a LOT of interesting images turn up. Hoo boy. However, I did find a suitable image for this blog post, and here it is.
So why is this a Well-Oiled Machine Weigh-In?
Because that’s what I am right now. I’m a well-oiled machine. I’m doing what works, I’m counting my points, I’m working out like a fiend, and I am making progress! And that’s going to be even more important in the next six weeks, which I’ll explain in just a moment.
May 10, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 359.8
Today’s Weight: 357.7
Change from All-Time High: -45.1 pounds
Change from Last Week: -2.1 pounds
I lost 2.1 pounds! Woo hoo! Nothing new, really. I just counted all of my points, stayed away from my trigger foods, and I hit the gym daily. Okay, that’s not entirely true. One day’s workout consisted of an hour and a half of sweat-drenched work out in our new garden (post on that coming soon), but I’m considering that a good workout.
Anyway, I have my routine down finally, and I just hope that sticking to this will keep the pounds coming off. I’ll happily and joyfully take two pounds a week. After all, that’s 104 pounds in a year.
So why is it now especially important that I have my routine?
I’m starting work on my second Master’s Degree!
I’ve shared here many times before that I work at WKU, my alma mater. One of the perks of being an employee of WKU is that you get 18 hours of free tuition every year, six in the spring, six in the summer, and six in the fall. For someone like me who ADORES school, that’s a dream come true. I can’t believe I waited until now, ¾ of the way through my first year to begin.
I desperately want to start work on my doctoral degree, but for as badly as I want to do that, I can tell that now is not the right time. For one thing, the doctoral degree I want (the one that will advance my career) is not available here at WKU but would require a 90 minute commute to the University of Louisville on at least once a week (and probably two days a week at some points during my coursework). The commute doesn’t scare me. Lots of people here in Bowling Green commute to Louisville to work on their doctorate while maintaining a full time job at WKU. It can be done.
However, I’m just not in the right place for that at the moment, and I have three reasons.
The first is financial. Tina and I are still newlyweds. She’s graduating on Saturday. Frankly, we’re kinda poor. While there would be a tuition break for going to an in-state school, I can’t afford tuition OR the commute at the moment. And I’m not sure my car would like it, either. (In fact, our next big purchase is going to be a new car, because my 2002 Mustang with 194,000 miles would like to retire.)
The second is family related. Tina and I want to have babies in the foreseeable future. I don’t want to spend a lot of their infancy and toddlerhood working on my doctorate. While I know a Master’s is a lot of work, too, I can only imagine how much more a doctorate is. Plus, since I would be doing my doctorate part time, it would take even longer. Right now, I picture me starting a doctorate when our yet-to-be-born kid is around 4 or so. Maybe not; I don’t know. I might wait ‘til they are teenagers. Who knows? I just know that the time is not right at this particular moment.
The third is health related. Other than a slight case of morbid obesity, my health is fine, but I want to get this obesity under control. I’ve got several years of hard work ahead of me in losing weight. I don’t want to have to fight to lose my weight while doing 700-level coursework. Plus, and this may be a pipe dream, but I want to be crazy fit, like six-pack ab fit, when I become Dr. Logsdon.
I’m basing a lot of my decisions on the fact that there will be a combined three hour commute for every day I had to go to Louisville’s campus, as well as the added rigor of doctoral coursework. At the moment, I am not ready.
But as I said, I am ready to start back to school, so I’ve decided to at least get a leg up by working on my second Master’s. My first is in Secondary Education (which is funny, as I no longer teach high school. However, I do teach college freshman, and really, they aren’t that much different). My next Master’s will be in Library Media and Educational Technology.
I’m in a fantastic position to grow my career and vita now with Master’s coursework and career experiences, so that when I do begin my doctoral work (in the next five to seven years, I hope), I’ll be physically fit and ready to impress the academic world with my amazing dissertation on the use of popular culture to help teach literacy.