Preparing to Take Off (Which Is and Is Not a Metaphor)


As the overarching theme for this year, I choose this as my goal: To Create a Body of Work and a Body That Works.

I want to feel good about my body
to feel like we are on the same team
to feel beautiful
and confident
and strong.
I want there to be more of me
and less of me,
at the same time.

There are several streams feeding this river (like the new face care products and regiment my daughter Alison prepared for me that I started last week), and I took care of one of them during the second week in January when I signed up for 20 sessions with a personal trainer. With the buy-10-get-1-free offer, I claimed 22 sessions with a personal trainer.

Then we left town to move Mother.

This morning I remember the fitness sessions and tell The Engineer that I am going to call and make the first two appointments. Then I set about fiddling with this and that* and become so engrossed in my fiddling that I jump when the phone rings. It is the fitness trainer from the gym, introducing herself and apologizing for not calling me before now.

She gives me her resume, then informs me that the first thing she’ll do is take a personal assessment so she can devise a plan that covers what I need. Then she’ll take my measurements. Then she’ll measure my body fat. I don’t have to weigh because she puts no stock in weight. Okay?

I take a deep breath and tell her that I only signed up for the personal fitness trainer sessions after thoroughly reading the literature and finding that the personal assessment is optional. I tell her that I simply don’t want to take the personal assessment. That I took one before many years ago, and found it demeaning and embarrassing and insulting and depressing. “I know I have things to work on,” I tell her, “that’s why I forked out for 22 sessions with you. And though you haven’t asked me what my goals are, I will tell you that I want to feel good about my body. I want to show it the appreciate it deserves for causing me so little trouble through the years. I want to feel confident again, to gain that confidence by building strength in my body, toning my body, and paring it down. Shoot, I want to feel confident enough to go to the classes at the gym – maybe even take a place in the front row . . . eventually. Plus, honestly, the personal assessment feels more like a tool for you, and I’d rather you craft a plan for me based on MY goals and desires, about what I want to get from our time together.”

I wish I had simply said “I don’t want to do the personal assessment. You can devise a plan that fits my goals after hearing them” or something similar, but the main thing is: I said it. Though it may seem decidedly inconsequential to you, dear reader, it is actually huge because, you see, the culture I grew up in dictated that all decisions about what I say, wear, and do be made based on how much it pleases Other People. And trust me when I tell you that it must please them a lot. This time I didn’t give two hoots about how much it pleased the personal trainer. I spoke up for me and what I want, and I’ve gotta’ tell you: it feels pretty darn good.

Even if I did spend too many words in the explaining.

// ::: //

*This is what I fiddled with this morning:


Knowing that embodiment being what it is and all, things tend to align themselves with each other with one thing feeding and encouraging something else, I’ve decided that I will build a body OF work by using what I already have on hand. (for the most part, anyway)
Starting with the scrap bowl.
More about that soon.


  1. Merry ME

    Yeah you!!!!

  2. Sarah

    Your healing has begun and this personal trainer is a helper. You have let her in, and that is good. If it turns out you want someone different, or even an assessment if you think it would give YOU something, well then. Congratulations on the big news – that alignment is essential and mostly does itself… If we give it a chance. Sounds like Spring growth.

  3. moonie

    And what did she say?

    • whollyjeanne

      she said “okay”! fingers crossed that she doesn’t change her mind . . .

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