I’ve taken a bit of a break from our blog. It happens sometimes, when I feel like I’ve exhausted the well and need to refresh. The inspiration this time has come from one of our private training clients. When we read Amy’s testimonial, we both got choked up because this sums up the whole reason why we started a fitness business! Something like this makes all the sacrifice we’ve put into Limitless worth it and more! If you’ve EVER felt like you weren’t fit enough, thin enough, or ANYTHING enough to go to a gym or achieve your health and fitness goals, this is for you! Thanks, Amy…you ARE the spirit of Limitless!!
For most of my life, I have viewed exercise as punishment for being fat. The “bikini body” obsessed media conditioned me into believing that I needed to sweat and strain and push my body to the furthest limits in order to pay penance for the number on my scale; that I should be ashamed of my body and do whatever it took to make it smaller. I dealt with an eating disorder, and even went to the extreme of having weight loss surgery, which in the end, caused more health problems than it solved, and the weight came back.
After several years of working intensely on letting go of the idea of reaching the “holy grail” of thinness, I decided to focus on improving how I felt about myself—I gave up dieting and learned to show my body love and acceptance in whatever ways I could.
Still, I couldn’t find the motivation to exercise, hung up on the notion of “punishment.” I was so heavy, so out of shape, so unfit, I was afraid to go to a gym—afraid of being body shamed, as I had been so many times before; afraid of not being able to keep up with a group exercise class, which would only make me feel worse. But I was tired of not moving, and not being able to do the things I wanted to do with ease. I wanted what I knew was healthy for my body, so I looked into hiring a personal trainer, hoping that if I had appointments to keep, and someone to be accountable to and who would cheer for me, I might actually be able to stick to it.
Luckily, I met Tony Maldonado at Limitless Fitness. In our first meeting, I shared all of my insecurities with him about my body and working out. I told him my goal was to be stronger, not smaller. I told him I couldn’t be weighed or measured or even exercise in front of a mirror for fear of it triggering old feelings of self-loathing. I told him I was scared and tired of feeling ashamed. I worried that he might roll his eyes and think I was being overly dramatic. But he was nothing but enthusiastic and supportive. He told me that a client focused on health and capability instead of weight loss was a client he would love to work with. For him, working out is all about getting stronger and more capable, not how “hot” you look in a swimsuit.
I won’t lie to you. In the beginning it was hard. I cried several times during our first few weeks of appointments—not out of pain, but more out of my own frustration with how out of shape I really was, how little I felt like I could do. My body hurt. My muscles screamed at me for letting them atrophy. And yet, I kept showing up. I made myself concentrate on Tony’s constant, encouraging words in my ear as he led me through my work outs. He told me I could do it. He said I was getting stronger. He pointed out how flexible I was; how my form was strong. He became the positive voice inside my head I’d never had.
Three months later, that voice has become my own. I am stronger and more capable than I ever been. I tell myself I can do it. I work out with Tony three days a week, and do more on my own because I want to—because I like the way it makes me feel after having done it. And I’m not going to quit because I never want to have to start over, again.
Yes, I’ve lost some weight (I still don’t get on a scale, but I’ve gone down a pant size), but that’s not the point. The point is that I no longer view exercise and punishment. I see it as a way to honor my body, something that reflects the scope of my inner strength no matter what size I am, and I never would have reached this mindset without Tony. I can’t speak highly enough about his ability to inspire, support, and teach. My husband has been so inspired by how far I’ve come in just 90 days, he has joined Limitless Fitness, as well.
If you’re scared of gyms, if you’re worried you’ll be chastised or mocked, give one of Tony’s classes a try. Talk with him. Talk with his other clients. You’ll see that he only inspires a positive, supportive environment. He’s the trainer you’ve been looking for, a partner in helping you become the best “you” you can be.