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Published May 16, 2013, 11:30 PM

Holt: The decision to end personal training

If money were no object, I’d gladly pay for personal training sessions for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, it is, so I canceled my contract this month to cut down on expenses.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

If money were no object, I’d gladly pay for personal training sessions for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, it is, so I canceled my contract this month to cut down on expenses.

In the past three years, I’ve worked with about 10 different trainers – half men and half women. I bonded with some more than others, but I learned from every one of them.

The trainers who still work at my gym occasionally check in with me, and I know they’d be willing to help if I asked them a question.

But from now on, at least for the near future, I’m on my own.

It’s not that I need personal training to succeed. I don’t. There’s always more to learn, but I know what I’m doing.

What I’ll miss most is not having to put much thought into strength training.

I’d show up and, to the best of my ability, do what my trainer told me to. All my mental energy went into the task at hand.

I didn’t have to think about what exercises to do, with how much weight, for how many reps, and in what order.

Sometimes I didn’t even need to count. Most trainers can keep count while setting up equipment or carrying on a conversation.

Plus, a trainer can push you harder than you can push yourself.

I laughed when my last trainer, Estee, said she’d have me doing 1-minute planks in no time. Although I had to strain and grunt to get through them, she was right.

I delighted in surprising myself and impressing my trainers, but there were plenty of times when I came up short.

Even with modifications, I found certain moves to be especially difficult, although at times I think I mistook embarrassment for difficulty.

During an early session with my first trainer, Lacey, I broke down in tears because I felt ridiculous hopping around at nearly 300 pounds in the parking lot outside of the gym.

More recently, it was “mountain climbers” that sent me over the edge.

There’s nothing sexy about throwing your legs toward your belly with your butt sticking up in the air, sweat dripping down onto the mat.

But no matter how much I struggled, I always left with a sense of accomplishment.

My trainers helped me gain confidence inside and outside the gym. Some might not appreciate it, but trainers become therapists.

When you’re releasing stress physically, you tend to open up emotionally.

Brian and Eric were more like brothers to me than trainers. We’d talk movies, music and girl problems.

I remember one afternoon when Brian and I were about to start a pre-planned workout. We looked at each other, said, “Nah,” and spent the next 45 minutes boxing.

Trainers also provide accountability. When you schedule an appointment with someone, you’re more likely to keep it. It’s much easier to cancel on yourself.

I only canceled when I was too sick or stuck late at work. I tried to do everything they asked me to without too much whining.

I think I’ll make more progress if I treat Meredith like I treated Lacey, Brian, Eric, Estee and everyone else who put me through the paces.


Forum reporter Meredith Holt lost over 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.

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