FIT CHALLENGE: Wessels never thought he would be labeled a 'gym rat'

Feb 28, 2012


Carla, Derek and I met with Brandi on Friday for our third set of monthly photos and interviews.  It was great to hear how well things have been going for the two of them, as well as hearing that they are working to overcome the challenges that they have faced.

I guess it is a bit of a relief to know that I’m not the only one having to face challenges.  It was wonderful to see that all three of us are progressing in our travels to a healthier life.

Having been heavy for most of my life, it is no secret that I’ve been called all sorts of different names related to my girth (Check the 1981 SHS Fram for just a short list).  Most have been good-natured, and I’ve even embraced a few of them over the years.  But on Friday, Brandi called me a name that I never thought I’d ever be called.  She said that she had heard I had become a “gym rat,” as I’ve been getting to the gym six days a week since we started FIT Challenge.

Six little letters, but holy mackerel, they stunned me.  I can honestly say that I would have never thought of myself as becoming a gym rat, but it stuck with me the whole drive home.  “Maybe I am.  Everyone keeps telling me how impressed they are with how hard I’m working.”  I know that I felt “guilty” about taking last Friday night off (one in 10 days).  Maybe this is one of those “milestones” that I needed to reach to ensure that I have fully embraced what it is that I am doing.  Come to think of it, I guess Brandi might have heard right.  I guess I have become a gym rat.

It’s Monday after school, and I’m ready to start another week at the gym.  I’ve got a doc appointment before I can get downstairs.  Last week was a pretty good week at the gym, as I “traveled” my longest distance on the bike (20 miles).  I’ve also begun trying to do three sets of my weight circuit every day, rather than two.  I’ve had some success, but I’ve come to the realization that there are a couple of stations where I need to ratchet down the weight a tad in order to get through the third set.

Sunday was my day to work with my personal trainer Patrick Carmean, and he kept me VERY busy.  It was a circuit day, so I spent the hour shifting quickly between several dumbbell exercises and pushups.  We ended the day with a “one-man” relay race, in which I was stationed at one end of the gym and had to sprint to the other end and back, carrying one of four different weights/medicine balls back to the other end.  I did it three times, and it was the closest I’ve come to really “sprinting” since I was coaching football.

I’ve found a handful of healthy snacks that I have begun to enjoy, but I have to become conscious of the fact that I need to limit many of them as well.  I’ve developed quite a fondness for almonds, but I do need to keep in mind that they aren’t something that I can abuse.  This may be one of my biggest flaws as of right now, as I have taken the time to measure them out, but I’ve got to continually remind myself that just because they are much healthier than what I used to eat, I still can’t just eat all of them that I want.

My son had his birthday this past week, and I must tell you that I was very well-behaved.  We took him to dinner at Chili’s (his choice) and I took the time to research the menu online, so I knew what meal I could enjoy (chicken fajitas NO guacamole or sour cream).  When we arrived home, we found the birthday cake that his mom made.  I helped to light the candles, but I had a granola bar instead of having any of the cake.  It looked great, but I’m a bit worried that if I have just a small piece I won’t be able to stop.
Based upon my weigh-in yesterday, I’m down a bit more than 28 pounds.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around that number.  I’m working hard, and it is beginning to pay off.  I can assure you that I am going to continue my hard work.  I guess I have to now.  I’m a gym rat:)
Thanks again to all of you who have shown your support, whether in person or via email.  It truly does mean more than you can possibly know.