Me? The Gym? PFFFTTTT Yeah Right!!!!

I have recently set out on a venture towards personal health and well being.
My weight has consistently been an issue for me, as I have always been “a bigger girl”. But, I have never felt as unhealthy as I do right now. It is time for some serious action!!!

A few weeks ago I began looking more closely at the foods I was consuming. I have cut out additional fats and oils, but have replaced them with important “essential fats, more specifically, . I have also increased the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. White rice has been replaced with brown and my pasta is now whole wheat. The nutritional aspect of my new lifestyle is a work in progress.
To go along with my new food choices I plunged into a DVD exercise program that could be completed in the comfort of my own home. I enjoyed the routines because they were fairly easy, quick, and I could do them in my living room, at any time of the day. I felt that I was getting a good workout, it was kicking up my heart rate and making me sweat!!! It’s true…..girls do, in fact, sweat.

Although I loved the program, I knew that I would grow tired of it. There was definatly not enough variation to keep me interested and I believed that I would quickly plateau or just quit all together. ( I know myself WAAAY too well)

I quickly wanted to get into an actual fitness center, with a trainer if possible. I had a few reasons for this:
1. The gym will provide more variety than have here at home, no question. I feel that the areas I wish to work on would be better suited for the gym.
2. Being in the gym would allow me to be surrounded by people that posess the “fitness attitude”. I like to see strength and dedication first hand, it motivates me.
3. Working out at home makes it easier to miss a workout or two…or three. No one but me will know if I skip out and I actually want to be held accountable by someone other than myself!!!
4. I lack motivation and need to be pushed. It won’t be like that forever, but for now I need someone to drive me into the ground.

So why didn’t I just start at the gym, you ask?

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Hmmmmmm good question…..

I could ponder for a moment and then spout out things like…”It costs too much money” or “I don’t have the time” or “It’s too far away” or “I wouldn’t feel comforatable”
Feel free to add any classic excuse to my list, I have probably used most of them.

Truth is, I was absolutely terrified of the gym.
I had actually never been inside of one….not even once. The picture in my mind looked like this:
A bunch of extremely fit people jumping around, patting each other on the backs for being gorgeous. Some “fat chick” walks into their little “club” and all of a sudden all you hear is crickets.

I was frightened of the possible dissapproving looks, or the barely audible negative chatter that would accompany my entrance. I felt as if I would be absolutely lost in a gym, surrounded by equipment, all by myself, with NO idea of where to begin.

Although I was scared I KNEW that if I wanted great results I would have to “suck it up” and at least look around at my options in regards to fitness facilities. I began on the internet, searching different facilities, and even personal trainers that had their own studios. At first I thought that having a trainer with a studio would be the right route for me (one day it might) , but it proved to be way out of my budget.
It was going to have to be the gym.

EEEEEEEEEKKK!!!

I went on a “field trip”. That is how I had to look at it to calm myself. If I pictured it to be something fun and exciting I found that I wasn’t as nervous about actually doing it.

I began my trip at “Gym #1″.
Fantastic center, very bright and open. I have never before in my life observed so many pieces of equipment huddled together. A place for everything, and everything in its place. It resembled a director’s cut scene from “The Terminator” and it was a bit overwhelming to take in at first glance. There were quite a few people in attendance, but it did not feel busy or claustrophobic, which is what I had anticipated it to be.
I spoke with a woman at the front. I explained to her why I was there, briefly, and asked if it would be possible for someone to show me around the center for a few minutes while we chatted about membership options, programs, etc. etc. This seemed like quite a big deal to her…you would almost think that she had never been asked the question before.
After some annoyed shuffling of papers she set out to look for “one of the trainers”. When her and the trainer returned I introduced myself to the new face. I received no name in return, just a very quick “so you wanna look around?”.

Hmmm, well yes….of course I did!!

The “tour” consisted of mostly standing around with her pointing to different areas of the gym. “There’s our cardio area…we have elipticals, treadmills etc etc”.
She spoke indirectly about the programs and membership fees, and skirted around some of my questions regarding both. It was all together sort of a bummer for my first experience.
Perhaps her boyfriend had broken up with her the night before and she was contemplating revenge on the curvy red head that he was sleeping with on the side.
I don’t really know, but I am sure that the staff there are wonderful and I was just received at a bad time.
I left this center feeling a little defeated….as if my expectations of the gym were actually true. I almost didn’t want to go to the other one I had planned on looking at,but I figured that they couldn’t possibly be all the same.

All aboard the Shoelace Express!!!!!!
Next stop, “Gym #2″

“Good location…close to home…ugh, hope it’s nice”, I think to myself as I step inside.

I received BIG smiles from an extremely good looking man at the front entrance AND the woman behind the counter.

Eeeeep…better already!!!

Conversation flowed well between all three of us, and I was almost immediately on my way around the gym with Miss Spunky. This facility was a little less busy than the previous, but it didn’t feel barren. All of my requested information was explained in detail as we walked around the different areas of the gym.
They even have a ladies only section.

I loved it, loved it, loved it!!!!!!!

The major selling feature of this gym, at least for me, was the fact that it is open 24 hours a day. I am a 27 year old, married, mother of 4 small children which includes a set of twins!! Staying within the confines of “open hours” could have quickly lead to my downfall or use of common excuses once again. Having the center open 24 hours a day gives me an endless window of opportunity to work on my body modification.

I purchased a year membership from this gym at the conclusion of my visit and I am absolutely ecstatic about it!!!!!!!!!!

Sure it was scary….and of course I didn’t actually want to do it….
But you know, it really came down to how much I wanted results. MY opinion of me was more important than a strangers.

You may be frightened of the possible sneers, but you need to realize that places such as these are there for a reason. Contrary to popular belief they are not full of muscle heads and barbie dolls. There is quite a mix of everybody, and they are all there for their own reasons.
I believe anyone can appreciate someone who is willing to better themselves.

Are you ready to make a change, but the only thing stopping you is fear of the unknown?
I strongly urge you to at least look into your options and find something that feels right for you. Take baby steps if necessary, but hold tight to the necks of your anxieties and shake them from your mind.

You will be a better person for it….that I guarantee you.

~J

2 Comments

  1. Oh!!! Me too! I am so intimidated about gyms! Our local hospital runs a wellness center and I would like to join because several times a week they run a play group and my three year old could go. I am glad you wrote this. I am going to be courageous and check into it further.

  2. HAHAHA that’s WICKED!! DOOOOO IT!!
    Pull up your sweat socks and go take a look.

    That is another awesome thing about my gym…childcare!!!
    I like that they can smash every single excuse you can throw at them.

    I seriously love it there, it is my home away from home. It makes me feel GOOD.
    The staff is incredible and most recognize me when I come in now. On Thursday I came in for my usual 4am session…yes I really did say 4 AM…and the person working told me that they were just gonna set up a cot for me in the back..that way I didnt have to keep coming back and forth.

    *wink*

    ~J

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