Debi Farber Bush: Lessons Learned After 12 Weeks Of Fit Club – April 18, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

As I write this, I am starting a new phase in my journey to better health. This is because the Health Sport/Cher Ae Heights VIP Fit-Club contest that originally inspired all of this is coming to an end. Thinking about this reminds me of how far I have come and the great experiences I have had over the past 12 weeks. This program took me places I would have never gone otherwise, including a plunge into the Humboldt Bay!

It all started at my first appointment with Heather Vina (our Fit Club Coach). She laid out the tools that would be used to track my progress and explained how the program would work. My attention was immediately drawn to what I call the “fat pincher.” The first whispers of “why, why why?” crept into my brain then and there.

It is one thing to get on a scale, I can do that. Having someone actually use a tool to measure the fat on parts of my body was another matter. “Why is it necessary to pinch my fat?” I wonder, “we can all tell it’s there.” Heather had the sense to just ignore me and went on to explain the program, the point system, and the goals and expectations. I left the meeting with my Gold Membership and a whole new sense of what I was in for.

I was super-excited to size up my competition and see what the other 12 participants were all about (after all, we were playing for prizes), what I didn’t expect was that I instantly bonded with the strangers in my group! We were all on this journey for the same reason, held each other accountable for our actions and together week after week, we were challenged to move outside of our comfort zone, taught to make better choices regarding nutrition and as a group we lost a ton of weight.

We learned to Spin, use the TRX straps, do Zumba, Circut, and managed to find our way around the gym. We also shared stories, sweat and recipes.

Because Fit Club is part of a contest, it drew some media attention. During one of our many public interviews – I had a little “Fit-Club Fit.” No surprise; every once in a while I’ve had some fits!

The interviewer was new and didn’t totally understand what Fit Club was about but said he had three questions: 1. Name, easy enough 2. Age OK, but none of your business and 3. “How did you get that way.” Are you effing kidding me?

Now, I’m positive that it wasn’t his intention to offend me with a question like “that” however, it was my intention to need calorification! “Do you mean: how did my hair get so curly?” “Or how did I get so short, or how did I get to be such an extrovert…” Because Dude, you couldn’t have possibly meant to ask how did I get fat? “Go on dates much?” I thought as my blood began to boil. Needless to say, Interview over!

I started going to this totally awesome woman who works with energy (not in the same way as Michael Winkler though). She actually talks to my energy and “it” tells her “stuff.” I’m not really sure how it works but believe me, it works for her.

Unfortunately, I’m now having a personal battle with my energy because it seems as though my taste buds and my energies are at odds. I love to eat chicken but she says my energy prefers turkey. Really, who knew! A Jew who can’t eat chicken? My people have enough rules already. So now I’m “in the closet” with my preference for chicken.

I eat the other foods my energies love, which I call my new best friends: spinach, quinoa and grapefruit (not to ever replace Briar, Kitty or Todd). These foods bring me happiness beyond words, not because they’re good (although I’ve found some pretty awesome recipes) but because you can pretty much eat unlimited amounts of them. They are stomach fillers, and, when you’re following a diet program there’s nothing more important!

When I was told I could eat Quinoa I had no idea what it was! I had to call my foodie friend Michael Weiss for help. He guided me through Wildberries on my cell phone to describe what it looked like and where it could be found. When I got there my heart sank, it’s freakin’ bird food! What am I supposed do do with bird food?

Quinoa actually tastes pretty good but cooking it for the first time was a challenge. The recipe said to rinse it so (without thinking) I poured it in a colander only to watch it pour right through the holes and down the drain. Ugh! Eventually I got it down and have grown to love it. As far as spinach and grapefruit, they’re OK, I’m not sure that I actually like these foods but I know that they’re good for me and I like the result!

I have a pain in my ass, literally, and everywhere else too as soreness has quickly taken over my body! The pain is like a really bad flu which has made me thankful for my hair, teeth and nails – these body parts don’t hurt at all!

The planks, the push-ups, the bridges, the crunches, the squats and let’s not forget the ever-so-important cardio have become my frienemies!

I’ve resorted to sleeping on top of my electric blanket now because I have yet to find a full body heating pad! As soon as my quads stop hurting the pain moves to my shoulders and so on and on and on.

Our illustrious councilwoman Alex Stillman lives right behind my office and has taken a keen interest in my progress, in fact, I think she wants my clothing. Every day or so she stops by with a word of encouragement, but I can’t help but feel like she has another motive. She is always checking out my clothes and remarking about how they fit. My jaded boss Plumley thinks she wants them to donate to one the many charities she supports. God knows they won’t fit on her skinny frame!

In any case I love the support. She also always takes a moment to rearrange the furniture, straighten the rugs and let us know about any strange odors in the building. Who says Arcata government doesn’t work for you?

I’ve become sooo smart since the New Year, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter if you have to lose 10 lbs. or 100 lbs., the process is still the same, calories in, calories burned.

The weight loss industry has caused a tremendous disservice to those of us who struggle with fitness by shoving easy-fix methods in our faces daily. From late-night info-mercials to drugs that are not safe and from surgeries to fasting. If I’ve learned anything from all of this it is that hard work and dedication can and will pay off in the end.

It’s true that there isn’t a day that goes by when my muscles aren’t burning somewhere, and yes, Mr. Hooooover, I still love candy but I find it necessary to stay away from the Three Musketeers (at least for a while), because guess what? I can walk from the Plaza to Wildberries at a fast pace without breathing hard.

The contest is over, and although I didn’t win the Grand Prize, I’ve made some awesome friends along the way, lost weight, feel good, and have actually inspired peeps to go to the gym. Round two Fit Club starts this week, new team, new coach named Daniel and hopefully the same continued success. If you’ve been thinking about a different kind of weight loss program, I highly recommend Fit Club by HealthSPORT!

Next up: the REAL meaning of Planks; a conversation with my friend, Personal Trainer and Fitness & Wellness Coach Andy Salatnay.

The ever more-lissome and yet quinoa-engorged Debi Farber Bush has struck a nerve, with this column garnering the most comment and feedback of any in recent memory.


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