Orange Theory: Month 1

After gaining a substantial amount of weight (FOR ME) over the course of this year, I finally reached my breaking point in October. It was after one of those dreaded moments in your closet when you’re trying to get dressed and realize, piece after piece, that the clothes you could’ve sworn fit you last week suddenly don’t zip, button, or latch. It was that moment that made me snap out of my hazy denial and admit to myself that 2018 has not been my best year in terms of health. Sure, I was still working out but sporadically. Yeah, I was trying to eat well but those attempts were smothered in all the beer, queso, pizza, and all other delicious things that come with getting into a new relationship, getting comfortable, and losing some of that motivation to try a bit harder.

I had been going strong with BBG since 2015 and, when I was truly committed, I was in the best shape of my life. But can you blame me for getting burnt the fuck out after three years of essentially the same gym routine? I tried this entire year to push through it, but I was coming up short (and heavier) because that essential bit of magic motivation one needs to push themselves was getting further and further away from me. I took a minute to throw myself a pity party about my self-inflicted unwillingness to change my situation then, one day in October, I decided to figure it out.

One of my best friends had done Orange Theory for a long stint a few years ago and loved it. She always asked us if we’d like to join her (since your first class is free) and even tried to make it a group activity, but we always rejected her request because we’re assholes. Sometimes people just have to figure shit out for themselves on their own time, though, which is exactly what happened with me and Orange Theory toward the end of October. I saw a comedian I follow on Instagram do an #ad for it (@ashhess), and I guess it was influence at its finest because suddenly I was googling everything I could find about OT.

Something to note about me: I have group sport performance anxiety. It started from a young age with the realization that I’m not very good at sports, so the pressure of being on a team that was depending on me for something was my nightmare. I tried soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, even track, but failed miserably at each and ended up in theatre and dance (I know — shocking). Since, my anxiety about group sport hasn’t gotten any better. You’ll never know me on an adult softball, dodge ball, or kick ball team. I just can’t handle performing athletically in front of groups. I also don’t like people telling me what to do, so it makes sense that I’ve always worked out on my own. I’ve never joined a studio, signed up for classes, or bought a membership to anything other than just a plain ol’ gym — until Orange Theory. I realized part of my problem was that I had grown lonely and bored with BBG and working out alone. Sure, it was convenient since you set your own schedule and aren’t being held accountable for making it to “class” on time, but that was the missing piece for me. The accountability. Just posting about my solo workouts to IG wasn’t cutting it anymore in terms of making me feel liable. I needed a bigger push.

So, without thinking about it too hard, I signed up for Orange Theory. With a studio less than 5 minutes from my house with class times that fit perfectly into my morning routine, I said fuck it and took advantage of a moment of pure motivation and interest and walked in that Saturday, signed up for my first class, and that was that.

It’s been a little over a month now, and I fucking love it. I love the studio, I love the workouts, I love how it’s pushing me in a way I’d never push myself alone in a tiny gym, I love how I can literally schedule out my entire month of workouts (OCD BONER), I love/hate that I’m charged $12 if I don’t cancel a class 8 hours ahead of time or just skip it. I love the leaderboard and seeing my stats, I love when people in the class who barely know each other fist bump after a particularly hard workout, I even love the random partner workouts that will creep in every once in a blue moon and challenge me to do better for their benefit — I LOVE IT ALL. And I know that posting about a new workout routine barely a month into it is overzealous, but this is a journey I want to give you guys the option of taking with me (ACCOUNTABILITY). The thing is — my results and how it benefits my life won’t be very noticeable. It’s all relative, but I really am only aiming to lose 10 or so pounds and just get back to feeling as fit as I did in my BBG prime. So my befores and afters probably won’t ever be anything earth-shattering, but I know I’m not alone in what I’m trying to accomplish for me, so why not share my progress?


First thing’s first: hand to GOD that I will never, ever touch up my progress photos. Ever. I stand there, take the picture, and deal with what I see on the screen as is. So here I see the SLIGHTEST DIFFERENCE between these two pictures (L: Before OT, R: 1 Month OT), and that’s truly enough for me to keep going. Again, because I don’t have what I’d call “a lot” of weight to lose, my results won’t be nearly as impressive as some, but I’m seeing things and that makes it all worthwhile for me. One thing I learned from all my years doing BBG was to ALWAYS TAKE BODY SELFIES. When the scale isn’t moving or if it’s mind fucking you, progress pictures won’t lie. I don’t care how awkward you feel, take them and store them. You don’t have to post them on the Internet like me (but, like, who cares? It’s a body. You’ve seen bras and underwear 1083927545 times in your life), but you will thank yourself later. I haven’t seen the scale or measuring tape move, but I can see tiny things happening in the mirror and seeing is believing.

Do I wish I could see more already? Of course. But if I’m being honest with myself, I have been in denial about the whole “80% is diet and 20% is exercise” thing and haven’t been nearly as mindful about what goes in my mouth to crunch and munch on literally until this past week. I have newfound motivation to maintain a balanced eating lifestyle (fuck the D word), so I know that change will help my OT results moving forward.

They say it takes 4 weeks for YOU to see progress, 8 weeks for your family/friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the outside world. I have to constantly remind myself about what I learned during my time doing BBG: That getting in shape isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. That slow and steady always wins the race (i.e. the slower the pounds/inches come off, the longer lasting it’ll be). And that this isn’t a temporary thing — it’s a lifestyle. It takes focused consistency to see change and quitting just because you aren’t seeing what you want yet does nothing but set you back even further. The more you quit, the more you have to start over so why not just keep going?

So far, Orange Theory has provided me with the types of workouts I thrive at (HIIT), is challenging to me come out of my comfort zone with power walking and graduate to jogging (which, for a non-runner like myself is HARD and also you can 100% power walk on the treadmill all day every day at OT! Common misconception that it’s purely running or nothing), and get more out of the time I put in, and for those reasons I am loving it. I’m pumped for what comes next and can’t wait to keep going!

If you have any questions, comments, whatever, PLEASE leave a comment on this post! I love comments.

See you out there,