“Hey! You’re the fat chick from Yelp!”

Um, well, yeah. I used to be.

This is before I joined LA Fitness (late Oct 2012) & a few weeks ago..



(By the way, those Calvin Klein jeans are size 8 and a tad too loose. Squee!)

Allow me to back up a moment. I Yelp. As in, I provide feedback on places I frequent with my business. As with my blogging I’m not so regular about doing so. But when I take an interest I will hammer out a good (and bad) review when I feel like it. (I don’t know if you have to be logged into Yelp to see my reviews.)

Given the amount of time I spend at LA Fitness I’ve written some fairly robust Yelps.

I’ve been approached in fitness classes by women who have thanked me. Por quoi? For removing the mystery from showing up to something as cringe worthy as “Body Works + Abs”. (Hey, I was afraid. But I went with some coaching from Harold and it paid dividends. I started with the weenie 2.5 arm weights and now use, well, a lot more when in my arm workouts.)

Women in the locker room (generally newer members) have also said hello. But not exactly using the phrase I started this blog post with. That gem of a phrase has come up a few times while out at dive bars.

Now, yes, I should probably stop with the dive bars. 

Yes, yes. OK. Fine.


Yes Mike (my super awesome trainer at the 7th ave location) I can hear you. I know it’s not good for me!

But throwing booze into the equation has a tendency to remove, shall we say, some inhibition from men’s vocabulary. I find it hilarious that a guy will shout something like this across his beer but not say something while at the gym. Granted there are a lot of social rules at the gym, but, come on. If you want to give me props, do so. Don’t wait to be drunk. I’ll be less impressed by you then.

But understand this is Phoenix and everyone travels in much smaller circles. Something like this would NEVER happen back in New York. I grew up as an adult with streets of anonymity. Say / do something stupid and you could pretty leave it and start with a new stomping ground. Not so much here. People just know… Everything!

Side Note Though: If you do recognize me & you go to my gym I want to make new gym friends. Why? So I’m not living in fear of dying on the chest press.

So aaanyway … I know people read Yelp (A) because I read Yelp (B) my friends read Yelp (C) people at the gym have mentioned my reviews and (D) of the increased traffic at LA Fitness as a result of my Yelping. (Ah ha! And you’re welcome:)

And yes, this is the face of a former fat person.  


If you do it, own it. Also, that’s not my phrase. Kelly Osbourne throws it around. As much as her purple gray hair annoys me I like the phrase. But fat is a word that fat people can use on themselves. I wouldn’t casually throw it around if you’re not fat. Just a tip.

So if anyone is still reading this I want to brag.

I went in to visit Harold to be re-measured and for a fitness eval. (Harold was the head of personal training who signed me up back in October last year.)

I think I did well.

NO, I know I did well.

Fitness Tests

  • Muscular Endurance (good!): 4 Minute plank (Actually, 4:01s)
  • Lower Body Strength: 210lbs on the seated leg press, 20 reps
    (up from 190lbs, 10 reps)
  • Upper Body Strength: 70lbs, 6 reps (eh).
    But last round I was only at 55lbs, 12 reps.
  • 3 Min Step Test: 156 bpm
    (vs. “Irene is going into cardiac arrest RIGHT NOW at 188 bpm.)
  • The only thing that actually went against the curve is my flexibility. I’m at 11.5”
    (when I’ve been able to do 12 ¼” in the past) in the stretch past my toes.
    This is what happens when you skip yoga for two months. VERY BAD. Everyone should go to yoga! (But when I signed up for the gym I was at 8.5”.)

Here are my measurements 7 months out

  • Body Fat: 30% (from 39.1%)
  • Weight: 142lb (from 192) But honestly I’m up/down 4-5 pounds on a given day so eh, whatever. Still, that’s fifty pounds!
  • Neck: 13 ¼” (from 14”)
  • Chest: 38 ¼” (from 46 ¼”) The Girls. Buh, bye!
  • Shoulders: 42 3/8” (from 48.5”) My days as a line backer are over.
  • Buddha Belly Waist/ Beer Belly Gut Area:  39 ¼” (from 44 ¼”)
  • Natural Waist: 34 1/8” (I only see a measurement from March of 36.5”)
  • Hips: 41 1/8” (from 47”)
  • Bicep (R): 12 ¼” (from 14 ¼”)
  • Bicep (L): 12 ¼” (from 14 ¼”)
  • Thigh (R): 21 ¼” (from 23 ¾”)
  • Thigh (L): 20” (from 23 7/8”)
  • Calf (R): 14 ¼” (from 16.5”)
  • Calf (L): 14 ¼” (from 16.5”)
    My over priced knee high leather boots will fit comfortably!

This is a gratuitous shot of me wearing a sleeveless shirt.


Would old Irene have been so comfortable doing so?

Um, NO! The Lunch Lady / Bingo Wings (or what ever you want to call flabby arms) probably never have seen the light of day. (Ok, so I went out at night in this outfit. But you get the gist.)

I actually have muscles when I flex my arms. Ask Harold. He laughed when I flexed one arm, but then asked me to flex both arms so he could see. Heh. I miss seeing Harold every day. He’s one good egg EVEN THOUGH HE STOLE MY PEN TODAY. But I will over look this (but he has to totally give it back god dammit).

So when I started my transformation journey it was with a goal to get down to a certain size. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But my goals have changed. Fear is driving my workout program. I don’t want to fail in my quest to complete a Spartan.

As I walked into the gym I saw this.



And off I went for my second leg day of the week. (Plus some spin!)


2 thoughts on ““Hey! You’re the fat chick from Yelp!”

  1. on a mission Post author

    The other thing I found amusing today was how (seemingly) easy the stair stepping 3 minute test was. I swear I thought I was going to die the last time. My legs were complaining, I was out of breath and three minutes seemed like the longest period of my life.

    Today I made a level “7” look so relatively easy Harold hopped onto the stepper next to me to validate the effort level. HA!

  2. Pingback: Why We Do Things | Hear Me Roar

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