Circuit Train My Brain

The fight with my weight has been a life long battle. I have been on and off of diets since age 7 and gained and lost the same 50+ pounds 900 times.

Okay... I may be exaggerating with the 900 times part but, maybe not. It's been a lot of times. You get the idea.

I decided that come January 2015 it was time, once again, to get back into some form of exercise, seeing that I had not exercised for real in about a year.

I tried to justify a walk to the grocery store counting as exercise. Or going up and down the stairs a few more times than usual meant that I had gotten in some decent cardio. But when you can't button your pants anymore, it's kind of a sign that going to the copier machine several times a day doesn't really count as a workout.

And food? I had been giving myself freedom to eat what I wanted over the past year -- something I hadn't done in quite a while. I wasn't really being mindful of anything and like I said, my pants didn't fit anymore.

My good friend Kristen and I have done boot camp classes together before and she is a great motivator for me. She had been going to some new classes and encouraged me to come check it out with her. So I did.

I ended up signing up and let me just tell you, this is by far the most challenging exercise routine I have ever put myself through.

It's one hour of cardio and weights but the kind of cardio and weights where you think you might die. But you don't. This morning I think I did, but then I came back. I'm okay now.

You see, I've never taken a class where I've thrown medicine balls, boxed, whipped heavy ropes up and down in a frenzy or flipped giant truck tires over and over again. This shit is hard.


And I'm not going to lie and tell you that I love exercising because I don't.

The first week of my new program I met with a coach there, a trainer who was going to measure and weigh me, show me how to count calories and talk about my goals. He was really nice, and intense, and asked me about my history with food/diets and why I was there.

I explained that my pants didn't fit anymore. Then I told him about dieting since I was little. He asked me why this time would be different and for some reason, I felt I could be honest with this person I had just met.


I told him the truth. "I don't know."

I could have lied, put on my actor face and told him how motivated and excited I was to try something new (again) start eating healthy (again) and change my life (again) but I didn't.

What would make this experience different? Why would this stick when nothing else really has? I kind of turned the tables and asked him.

He said something about all of the dieting that I had done in the past. He told me, "Lori, you have to forgive yourself and move on."

He had me say it out loud and it felt like a punch in the gut. And not one from the 900 sit ups I had done the day before while holding a kettle bell, but one from that deep down-hurty place when you are speaking the truth.

You have to forgive yourself and move on.

He told me to say this everyday, out loud and in my head. To write it down. To kind of deprogram my brain from a lot of things -- from being so mean to myself, all of the negative talk, the noise. From starving then binging, from Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers to hot dog and grapefruit diets.

I envisioned some very scientific looking blob with waves of long ribbons that was at first very tight, starting to loosen up -- like going through a car wash, where you're in the dark under the ribbons of sponge and they're moving all around you and you come out into the light.

You have to forgive yourself and move on.

I'm a few weeks in and I'm saying this several times a day, every day. I think it will take a long time for me to forgive myself and move on. Like, years. I can tell by how tight my chest gets sometimes from saying the words.

I had no idea that signing up for this ass-kicking boot camp would be good for my brain, as well as my bod.

I have no idea how this will end up. Can I forgive myself and move on? I don't know. I'm taking it a day at a time.

Today I feel good. I feel strong, yet emotional. Like, this morning I got a little teary while punching a bag when the chorus of "Firework" by Katy Perry came on.

But I think this is just where I'm supposed to be right now. And that feels pretty good.


Lori's website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 5 year old draws the greatest music hits of the 1980's. Her blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about her obsessions with beauty products, food and Mick Jagger.