Things I’ve learned from Cori


Today’s post isn’t a video, since I’ve been so crazy busy during the evenings the past two weeks.  I have been wanting to post for a long time about my PT, but I feel like my weight loss has taken center stage for some time on the blog.  I’m sure you want me to get back to other things like owls, things I love that are totally frivolous, and the whole reason why I started the blog…me getting my act in gear and getting healthy.

I’m not going to stop the video posts and I’m not going to stop doing the diet posts.  I need that accountability.

What I want to do today is give a shout out to Cori, my PT goddess.  I realized this week how much I’ve changed since seeing her and I think it’s important to write this down so I can remind myself of the important things.

So without further ado, this is what I’ve learned from Cori.

  •  It’s about progression, not perfection.  I’ve learned that I need to be patient and not hyper control my wellness and recovery.  I’ve learned to be patient with myself and patient with the process.  The neurologist telling me this would take a LONG time to fix was right on, but I wasn’t ready to hear that.  I thought Cori would be disappointed in me, but in reality, I was disappointed with myself.  If I can’t do something one day and am able the next, I celebrate it, but I don’t get disappointed anymore when it isn’t happening two days later.
  • It’s okay to try and fail, as long as you are giving it 100%.  In the past, I would get frustrated with myself if tried something and failed repeatedly.  Now, I know that I can have a sense of humor about it and know that I shouldn’t beat myself up over it if I am really trying 100%.  I’d like to think I do that every time I see Cori, but of course, we all have our off days.  If I’m in it 100% mentally, it’s okay if I don’t have 100% physical output.

        The important thing is to try the right way, the best way, 100 percent, with the body you have today.
        –  Bikram Choudry

  • Use others as inspiration, not fuel for unhappiness.  I mentioned before that it was very difficult for me to train at the gym, surrounded by young, able-bodied, people.  This was really difficult for me for a month or so.  It made me unhappy and frustrated with my loss of ability.  I didn’t really bring it up a lot with Cori, but when I did, she would be quick to assure me that those people didn’t matter and would point out what things they were doing that were unsafe or unhealthy.  This change in perspective helped.  Beyond that though, I have found peers at the gym in classes that inspire me to do better and younger students who remind me that I’m not THAT much older and there is no reason that I can’t be at that point again someday.  Rather than envying someone, I now look at that person as a reminder of why I’m there and it inspires me to keep going.
  • There is no reason NOT to kick butt…even if your butt is spasming.  Before, I would avoid pushing myself because I was afraid of hurting myself.  It took me months to be able to distinguish between pain of injury and good old fashioned pushing yourself.  Working with Cori has forced me to stop babying my body and kick butt in my own (ehem, modified) way.  Repeat injuries makes for a gun-shy exerciser.  I am no longer scared to push myself.
  • Weights are just as important as cardio.  We all hear how important weights are for overall bone density and metabolism, but it’s very easy to get caught in the cardio tunnel when you’re trying to lose weight.  I haven’t lifted weights probably in at least 15 years (no joke, people!).  When I started working with Cori, I was terrified that I would gain weight and get rounder from lifting/pushing/pulling.  Happily, I have learned that lifting weights has helped me shape my body.  Now, when I’m in class and I see a female student reach for the 3 pound weights, I automatically think to myself, “she should really try 5 or 8 pounds”.  I’ve come a long way with this mentality.  Plus, I’m convinced now that this is the difference between being skinny and being skinny fat.  I see girls on treadmills and elliptical machines ALL THE TIME and they just look sickly.  I’m convinced now it’s because there is no actual muscle tone under that skin.
  • There’s no excuse.  Granted, my body is a medical mystery, but I’ve learned that there is no excuse for being lazy.  I’ve learned how to modify, change the process, come up with another way, choose something different.  Last week, the group fitness schedule changed and Cori isn’t teaching at night.  I tried Zumba and another instructor’s class.  Neither were good for me and where I’m at.  Rather than saying, “oh, I’ll just go home and walk around the lake since that didn’t work out” (which is what I would have done 6 months ago), I immediately made a plan to do some sort of cardio for 30 minutes and 30 minutes of weights/abs on Monday and Wednesdays.  
  • I still have a very skewed body image.  This is probably something that I’ll have to work on for some time.  I didn’t start recognizing that I looked skinnier until I hit 15 pounds lost.  I think after I lost 9 or 10, Cori was saying that I was smaller.  I honestly don’t see it.  I didn’t realize until she was the only one REALLY excited about my weight loss that I was still dissatisfied, even when a mechanical device was telling me that I was being successful with the diet.  I couldn’t believe it, can’t believe it still, that I’m smaller.  I still see fat. 
  • None of this is going to work out unless I keep working at it.  This goes without saying, but I have learned in the past two months that I’m in this for the long haul.  I don’t mean with the PT, which goes without saying based on a revelation above, but more about fitness in general.  It has to be a priority for any human being to spend time focusing on keeping one’s self physically fit.  The eating is important, but I’ve learned several times during my time with Cori (mainly during holiday breaks) what happens when you aren’t consistent with exercise.  I think, and this is just my opinion, that the human body wants to move.  We are made to move.  However, once we learn how to be sedentary, it’s very difficult to keep to a routine.  It’s too easy to slack off.  I’m like an addict for lethargy.  It’s something I’ll probably struggle with the rest of my life.  I have to make an effort and it needs to be a priority.  Side lesson: life doesn’t fall apart with the people around me when I make myself a priority.
  • Working at it doesn’t mean it has to be torture.  I grew up an active child.  I danced for 15 years three days a week, swam in lakes and our pool in the backyard, and played soccer (hello, injuries) in high school.  What happened when I went to college and decided that exercising was torture?  Was it from reading popular magazines that talked about putting the time in at the gym was the only way to be gorgeous, sliding in a message that it was like punishment?  Was it from adults in my life who would say, “oh you wait, you’ll have to start going to the gym to work that off”?  I’m not sure when it happened, but my viewpoint of exercise changed along the way.  It wasn’t until I went to Cori’s group fitness classes that I remembered why I like exercising.  I looked forward to going.  It made me forget about my injury and just TRY.  All of a sudden, one day I woke up and wasn’t dreading PT or fitness class.  I changed my relationship with exercise.  It wasn’t about being skinny or punishing myself for what I ate the weekend prior, it was about going and having a good time. Sure, there are exercises everyone has that they dread, but you look at it as a challenge and glean a sense of accomplishment when you have pushed through it.


So there you go.  Things I’ve learned from Cori.  She’s not just my PT goddess, but a friend.  Maybe that’s why I don’t feel the need to kick her face in like I did with Heather.

Thank you, Cori.