Donald Shankle

The Trainer at Work

Not long ago, I started working out with a personal trainer. I’ve been physically active throughout my life, but I’ve never worked in close association with a professional, and he has put me through quite a few changes.

My trainer is a guy named Donny, and he is very good at what he does. He’s a former Marine who has done professional weightlifting. He practices what he preaches, too. What he’s had me doing, he does himself, and it shows.
Arm curls, back-squats, and heavy exercises. He is what I call a two-towel & two shirt trainer.

But there have been some sacrifices, too. To date, I have given up soda, gluten (which means bread and pasta), processed sugar, and dairy products. Yeah, it’s been a hard road, but the results speak for themselves: I’ve lost 20 pounds! My muscle mass is up, and the ladies are starting to take more notice at my health club. An ego boost!

Grocery shopping has gotten harder and longer. When buying juices, for example, I’m examining ingredients labels, and if I run across the words, “high fructose corn syrup”, the item goes back on the shelf. I’m avoiding most processe3d foods, too, as there are usually additives like gluten and sugar as filler. I’ve gotten good at recognizing key ingredients, and it’s really surprising what goes into some things on the supermarket shelves. Some of the so-called energy drinks have up to three different kinds of caffeine in them! I turn my back on those things, and drink green tea instead.

To make up for the loss in calcium from milk, I’m eating a lot of spinach, and last night used my crock pot to create a rice gruel with spinach, brown rice, beef, chicken, carrots, and several different kinds of spices. It’s not as fun as eating a bowl of Count Chocula in the morning, I’ll grant you, but it is a lot more healthy.

As I harden my body, I can see others around me going to flab. I spotted a friend from my high school class last week, and I shuddered. That poor guy was 40-50 pounds overweight; he’s preceded by his belly when he walks. I hate to think what his backache is like!

Is this an easy life? No, but once you start thinking about what goes into your body, it’s hard to become a thoughtless eater again. As I was shopping today, I spotted a 2-gallon drum of Hershey’s Hot Fudge for sale: $7.99. The sort of snack food that Homer Simpson would drool over! Me, too. I love fudge, and the prospect of having a huge tub of the stuff is pretty tempting, especially when you consider that right next to it there was big display case of ice cream for sale. What creative marketing! As I looked at it, though, I thought about how much pain and sweat goe s into building muscle and burning calories. I shook my head, and instead bought two containers of strawberries. I can slice them up and put them on my oatmeal in the morning, and not feel guilty.

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2 Responses to Training

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