When I lived in California I used to be fit, but that was five years and two kids ago. For your reference, I am 5’4” and defined “fit” as being dress size 4/6 and weighing between 120-125 lbs. At various points I had trainers in gyms help me to tone up, but mostly it was to look nice in my wedding photos. Running was my main exercise and with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop and no children, staying in shape was doable.
Enter kids. My weight has been a constant battle ever since. Last year I just gave up completely and Henri and I had rum and (Diet) Coke and potato chips with cream cheese dip every night while we killed zombies in Dawn of the Dead II on Wii. I gained weight. Henri stayed the same size because God is a man.
A 24 Hour Fitness opened near my home last year and at first I was happy with myself for just joining. (Sometimes I believe in setting the bar low.) It has two swimming pools and a Kids Club, a jacuzzi, sauna and even a steam room! And, yeah, exercise stuff too, but I didn’t really use that part of the gym. Until I hit about 150 lbs. Did I mention I’m 5’4”?
Last Thanksgiving I was working out in the trainers’ section because that’s where they keep the stability balls. I put the ball against the wall and leaned my back against it and began doing squats. A woman trainer around my age, Chris, was watching me.
“Would you like me to show you the proper form for that exercise?”
I was doing that wrong too. Long story short I bought three training sessions with the money left over from my final unemployment check. Chris asked me if I had any fitness goals for the New Year and she told me about her own as we walked around the club.
“I’m going to kick it up a notch and train for the Texas Shredder,” she smiled broadly.
“Ooh. What’s that?” I was intrigued…
“A body building competition.” I stopped walking so I could pick up my jaw, which just dropped to the floor.
“Don’t the women look like men?” I asked. What was she thinking?
“No. There’s a bikini competition where the women just look really fit and toned,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Well, that sounds interesting. I want to do that too!” (I make up my mind fast sometimes.)
Hence, The Bikini Project was born.
I tell Henri that night I’m going to enter a bikini competition. He rolls his eyes. He’s lived through my crazy whims before.
“You’re going to bulk up and look like a man?”
“No! It’s a bikini competition where I will look like a Victoria’s Secret model. But I’ll need to get a trainer.”
Fast forward to February 2, 2012. We celebrate my birthday with ice cream cake. Henri has combined my Christmas and birthday gifts together and said I can get a ten pack of training sessions at the gym. (Do I know how to word things to get my way, or what?) He’s still not entirely sure about this female body building thing though…
Ah ha! Scary Birthday Experience #3: Approaching Lift Off…
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