Should You Hire a Personal Trainer?

Holy soreness! I am definitely feeling the effects of last night’s BodyPump session. Rolling myself out of bed was quite the task this morning, especially with Mochi plopping himself on my chest. That little stinker is quite the bed hog despite his small size 😛

I’m glad that many of you enjoyed the salsa chicken recipe! If you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a crock pot. It’s cheap (I got mine for $20 on sale), extremely easy to use, and makes excellent dishes of all sorts (including dessert). Throw it in, turn it on, and come home to a delicious meal…sounds good to me.

This is going to be a long post for a question that I get frequently in “real life” regarding personal trainers, so please read through it all if you are considering hiring one as part of your long-term fitness plan. If you are only planning on going once or twice to learn exercises, modify for physical limitations, or get acquainted with gym equipment, I would highly recommend it (most gym memberships usually include 1 free session anyway). If this is not you, I won’t be upset if you come back tomorrow 🙂


I finally hit the bottom of my almond butter container, so it was finally time for Oats in a (plastic) Jar! All the extra little bits of almond butter made today’s oatmeal more yummy than usual 😉

Oats in a Jar

For lunch, I had leftover soup from last night, but I was so hungry that I didn’t take a picture of it…oops. It was quite yummy though.

To Hire a Trainer or Not Hire a Trainer? That is the Question.

I’ve been asked this question a lot from people I know, so I thought it would be useful for all of you out there who don’t get to see me in person. Please note that I am not a personal trainer or a medical professional. I am just offering some advice and my honest opinion. For a brief recap of my journey to fitness, check my ‘About Me‘ page.

click on image for source

I hired a personal trainer for about four months this year, and I absolutely loved it. The main reason that I stopped going, point blank, is that it was getting WAY too expensive on my salary. I’ve still got personal debt from undergrad days to pay back, thanks.  With that said, I’m extremely happy that I stopped when I did because I was not ready to have a personal trainer.

“Wait, what? I thought you just said…”

That’s right. I loved my personal trainer and stopping sessions was the best decision that I’ve made in regards to my fitness. How can that possibly make sense? Easy. I wasn’t ready or willing to make the lifestyle changes necessary to fully benefit from seeing my trainer, so my money was being thrown down the drain. It had nothing to do with my trainer; he was awesome. For the sake of names, we’ll refer to him as “John”.

I truly believe that a lot of people fall into the personal trap that I fell into when I hired John. I’ve got myself a fancy personal trainer, now I’ll be in shape in no time! Yeah….kinda….no. Don’t get me wrong, in the first month alone, I lost some pounds and lots of inches from seeing John 3x a week. I was lifting heavier and feeling great about myself….when I was in the gym with John.

Back at home, I somewhat adjusted my eating habits, but not really. I never went to the gym unless I was going to the gym to meet with John. I didn’t think of it this way at the time, but I was relying John, alone, to make miracles happen, not myself. Let me tell you folks, this is definitely not sustainable in the long run. I cut back to seeing him less often to make it more affordable and guess what? I slowly started gaining it ALL back, plus some. This seems so blatantly obvious in retrospect, but hindsight (and more fitness knowledge) is 20/20.

Now, I know that this seems like I’m advocating against personal trainers, but I’m not. You just need to make an informed decision before you make up your mind so that you can gain maximum benefits and make an investment in yourself with all of that money (I wasted A LOT). So how do you know if you’re ready to hire one?

  1. You have disposable income to spend. This means income after all of your bills and living expenses are paid for (aka play money). It is not worth putting yourself in debt to get a trainer, and getting a trainer is very expensive.
  2. You are ready for a lifestyle change. This doesn’t make sense to a lot of people because it sounds very frumpy. When I say lifestyle change, you are not on a diet or Vegas/Mexico/vacation workout plan. You will see temporary results, but be prepared to say hello to your old self again as soon as you stop. A lifestyle change is making small, incremental changes to your daily life that lead to a sustainable, long term road to health and weight loss. It has taken me 9 months to lose, gain, and re-lose about 13 pounds, but they’re staying off, I have tons of energy, I am more fit, and NOT STARVING. The gain for me was after stopping my PT sessions before I got serious about change. I still slip up and enjoy my share of treats and bad eats, but I start over again at the next meal or the next day. Sh*t happens, learn to deal with it.
  3. Accountability to yourself. This is in line with #2. You must be accountable to yourself when your trainer is not there. Nobody can motivate you in the long run but yourself. I don’t always feel motivated to work out, especially after a night of drinking and late night eating, but I made a promise to myself to live a healthier life. Even the world’s strongest athletes have days when they don’t want to work out, but they do. Think of your health as an appointment to yourself; you are your most important client.
  4. Have a goal. John asked what I wanted to accomplish, and I stared at him blankly. What did he mean? I thought I would come in, and he would just work me out, simple as that. I didn’t know, so I just told him I wanted to get tone and thin. He worked with it, and I did get more tone and thin, but that was a pretty obvious outcome. It’s better to go in knowing a goal in mind. Even if it’s as simple as overall fitness, that’s okay! You can also go in needing help to train for an event, modify around your physical limitations, or get past a plateau. If you’re training for a race/event, taking other strength-based classes at the gym, or working out on your own, LET YOUR TRAINER KNOW. They need to be able to safely plan their workout with you based on your other forms of activity so that you don’t get injured or over-train specific muscle groups.
  5. Be prepared to get worked out, duh! This also seems completely obvious, but it happened to me, and I see it all the time at the gym. People go in wanting to get in a hardcore workout, and then they waste time shooting the shit with their trainer, whining, or not really giving 100%. You did not pay them to be your therapist or mom, and they did not get their certifications to watch you waste your money. It will be hard. You may want to vomit at times. You may question your sanity (and theirs). You will feel AWESOME. It’s a luxury to have a trainer, so make every.single.moment.count.
If all of these reasons are jiving well with you, then go for it! It could be exactly what you need to reach your next goal(s). I would love to hire mine again, but I’m still seeing results with what I’m doing and more aggressively paying down the before-mentioned debt. That’s my priority right now, but I know I can always find a trainer again. This time, though, I’ll be smart about it.
If you have any questions about my specific experience, types of workouts, etc, feel free to contact me directly 🙂 I’m more than happy to answer.
Be Thankful Challenge
Phew…that was a really long post! Hopefully you made it through and got some valuable information to help you make a decision. Today, I am thankful that it did not snow. We were supposed to be hit with another storm last night, and it never came (yay).

TAG…You’re It

Hey Everyone! Yay for being halfway through the week 🙂

Look what I woke up to this morning…


So dark at 6am.

Mochi in snow

He likes the snow.

It was absolutely FREEEEEEZING….like 20 degrees. Brrr! Driving to work was not fun, but it didn’t take as long as I was expecting thanks to snow plows! That is what I am thankful for todays Be Thankful Challenge.


I was looking forward to my usual breakfast of oatmeal + almond butter + chia seeds, but there was a surprise addition today…


pumpkin bread! One of my coworkers brought some in for us today, so I crumbled it on top of my hot oatmeal. It was a nice treat 🙂


Today’s lunch looks just like the one from Monday. I’m finally all out of rotisserie chicken though.

Dinner @ TAG

To casually celebrate my promotion, my roomie and I decided to finally use my Google deal for Osteria Marco, one of my fave restaurants, but today just happened to be the ONE DAY that they were closed off for a private event…go figure 😦

Larimer Square

Larimer Square at night (the lights are on all year round).

Good thing there are a ton of great restaurants in Larimer Square, so we settled on TAG. A continental American/Asian “social” restaurant…whatever that means…


It’s a bit pricey of a place, and we weren’t planning on spending a ton of money (since I already bought the restaurant deal), so we stuck to their happy hour menu.

Da Bomb Sliders: Fresh Kobe Beef, Caramelized Shallots, & Bernaise Sauce……Yum!


The SMALLEST sliders ever!


Look! It's a two-bite slider and a side of chin rolls hahaha 😦

Baja Tacos: Baja Fish, Avocado, and Baja Slaw….meh

Fish Taco

Fish Tacos

Ahi Roll and Crispy Salmon Roll- served with a side of Korean kalbi sauce…yummy!


❤ Sushi

We were still a bit hungry afterwards, so we stopped by a Chinese restaurant to get some soup and lunch for tomorrow 😛 Overall, we had an enjoyable night filled with yummy foods.

We also took a stop to Petsmart to get Mochi a sweater. He’s been freezing and keeps getting snow/ice matted into his fur, so I keep having to bathe his underbelly (Mochi HATES baths).

Bath Time

Time for a bath! Save me!!!

He’s looking very handsome in his new sweater though, wouldn’t you agree? (Below photos courtesy of my fab roomie and her iPhone lol).

Dog Model

He loves me despite the forced baths.

I’m taking an off day today because I’m feeling a bit under the weather (pun intended), so it’s time to do some dishes and curl up into bed. It’s in the teens tonight, so I will be dressing extra warm 😉

Question of the Day: When was a time that you didn’t get to do something as planned?

Halloween Rest Day

Hey Everyone! What a Monday. Oh, and………

This little guy, Domo, cracks me up. Seeing this photo brought a nice smile to my face, and smiles are much needed. Today has been quite a roller coaster ride for me. I’ll say more about why in a later post, but my day was full of high highs and low lows. Every day can’t be a complete winner. At least I had this cute face waiting for me when I got home.


Dogs are just the greatest. They don’t care if you’ve left them at home all day and are ready to give you plenty of love when you finally make it back 🙂 Mochi is just the funniest little shadow that I could have asked for.

I started off my day with oats + almond butter + chia seeds as seen in my recycled photo.


Lunch and dinner were very similar to my dinner from last night since I’ve been short on time and wasn’t in the mood to cook today. Yay for leftovers 🙂 The mix included steamed veggies, leftover rotisserie chicken, and mixed whole grains. I also enjoyed a Fage yogurt to satisfy my sweet tooth.


One of our VPs purchased beer for us again since our team as a whole hit our numbers out of the park today. This was one of the more down moments of my day. There were some snags I encountered, and I didn’t finish the quarter up as well as I usually do. At least I’ll have a head start on the next quarter, right? I tried this lighter version of their classic cider, but only ended up drinking a few sips.


How much wood would a wood chuck chuck?

After this whirlwind of a day, I’ve decided to take the day off from working out so that I can relax and catch up on some reading. My right foot is feeling a bit tender today anyway, so it worked out. I hope that you all had a great Halloween and start to your week!

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite way to unwind after a rough day?