To Gym, Or Not to Gym?

Recently, I stepped on the scale, and was actually appalled at the number that stared back at me. I’ve struggled with my weight pretty much my entire adolescent and adult life, but I used to be very mindful not to let it get too bad before intervening. I’ve always been “overweight” in the medical community’s eyes, especially given my short stature, but I never wanted to be thin. I love my curves, and want to keep them… but within reason. I never had the time, patience, or means to really stay active at a gym (no money, no car, no gym in my town, etc.), and dieting has always been a slippery slope for me. But whenever I felt myself nearing a size that made me uncomfortable, I would start a new diet, start exercising, and get back down to my target.

Well… after college, that kinda changed. I stopped eating healthy, and going to the gym daily. I had to. With my life in absolute turmoil, my weight was the last thing on my mind. In fact, for the last 7 years, my health took a total backseat. Bills, finding a job, working my ass off, and just making sure I was fed in some way, was priority. Around the time my son was conceived, I was in the middle of a calorie counting frenzy, and went running every night. I had outgrown my ENTIRE wardrobe, and with zero money to buy clothes, I had to do something. I lost 27 pounds, fit into all my jeans again, and felt great.

79c9a0b90887d11ea8ddbabe093f4638Then, I got pregnant.

My pregnancy was incredibly easy, and when we left the hospital, I was actually one pound lighter than I was before my pregnancy. It was a great feeling. Unfortunately, because I had to leave my job, sitting home all the time did not help my weight. My son was born in the dead of winter, so getting out to exercise was impossible, and I had a looong healing time from his birth. I gained weight. Quite a bit of weight.

I kept telling myself, “If I get to 180… 185… 190… etc., then I’ll do something about it…” but the numbers kept getting higher.

In the fall of last year, after outgrowing all but my maternity clothes and yoga pants, I did something about it. I was tipping the scale at 205, my highest weight ever, and it was taking a toll on my 5’3 frame. I was constantly tired, my back, hips, and knees constantly hurt, and I didn’t have the energy to play with my active baby boy, who was already standing and cruising along furniture. I needed change.

In September, I became a vegetarian, and cut out all meat from my life, for health reasons. I also cut out most forms of dairy. I started cooking more, using more fruits and vegetables in my dishes, and had a lot of fun coming up with new, healthy options for my son and I. I also started counting calories again. And walking daily. And doing Zumba every morning.

The weight melted off. Within 3 months, I had lost nearly 30 pounds, and was back below my pre-pregnancy weight. I celebrated by buying new clothes. Skinny jeans. In sizes I hadn’t worn since college. It felt amazing.

Then… the holidays. Constant pressure, criticizing, and nagging from Kyle’s family, who aren’t exactly known for their healthy lifestyles and cooking, caused me to break. And spiral. I felt like I deserved a treat… and another treat… and another. I had been good for 3 months, I had no chocolate or cake. I could treat myself, right?

That state of mind continued for days. Weeks. Months. My husband is a cheese loving, meat craving carnivore. He was supportive of my diet, but would not participate. Would not touch a vegetable. So I was alone in it. Two completely separate shopping lists, dinners eaten apart… it was exhausting. I hated eating a bowl of brown rice and beans, while he ate an entire pizza by himself in the living room, or brought home a dozen donuts.

So, I stopped.

And I gained.

And gained.

And gained.

I tried to keep going for my walks, but by the time summer came around, I just couldn’t bare to go out in the heat, especially with the baby. I was creeping toward those high numbers again… and then I hit that 205. And then I passed that 205.

When I started babysitting, I gave up my walks, and trips to the park, and only occasionally get out with my son and the stroller if it isn’t too cold, or rainy, or dark that evening. I hate it. I hate being this fat. I hate that I am back to only wearing black yoga pants, and unflattering tops. I hate feeling unattractive. I hate feeling weak. I hate feeling tired all the time. I hate what I’ve become.

Again.

So, I made the decision to join a gym. Well, kind of. I want to join a gym. I love working out, I love gyms, but I never have money. There is a gym just a block away from my apartment, I walk by it all the time. I decided that I wanted a tiny portion of my babysitting money to go toward a membership… unfortunately, that isn’t going well so far, and now I am having second thoughts.

ratYou see, I’m pretty disappointed with this gym, and I haven’t even joined yet… I messaged my local gym last week via Facebook, to ask them questions about their packages and prices. I had talked to someone on their page in the past, and she was very friendly, but this time, my message was seen, and ignored. The next day, I messaged again. Seen, and ignored. So I stopped by on one of my walks. There are two entrances, both require your gym card to get in, otherwise you have to ring the bell. I rang the bell at the “main” door, but no one came. No one was in the front of the gym, so I went to the new side. Inside, I saw three guys, all lifting weights and goofing off. All wearing red STAFF shirts. They were the only ones in the entire gym. I knocked on the glass door, and one guy briefly looked over his shoulder at me, but did not come over. They completely ignored me.

If this is how they treat potential members, then I want no part of this gym. Which is irksome, because I had really gotten my hopes up on getting this membership. I want to lose this weight. I had planned out a schedule, days to go, everything… I was excited.

Now, I’m depressed. Really, really depressed.

Should I join anyway, and just keep to myself, and ignore the rude staff while I’m there? I feel like being alone in a gym, surrounded only by muscle headed guys who obviously don’t want me there, will only make me feel worse. Or am I overreacting? I don’t know. I want this so badly, but their packages include pretty long term contracts. I don’t want to join, hate it, and be stuck paying when I’m not even using the gym. And what if we move, and there is no way to get there, and I still have to pay for a year or something?
gym-clipart-gym-clipart-08
I miss Planet Fitness. That was the best gym. I wish there was one in my area…

Any advice?

Jan
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[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompts 11/7/16 & 11/8/16 | Irksome & Second Thoughts]

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Super Jan

I am an exceedingly average, 20-something female. Very opinionated, and slightly vulgar. I am a retired World of Warcraft player and podcaster, a Netflix binge-watcher, a YouTube addict, and stay-at-home mom to a tiny future superhero.

One thought on “To Gym, Or Not to Gym?”

  1. Nice (and pretty long) post 🙂 for me joining gym is boring. I joined a ladies “gym” with many lessons of every type of excercise I can even imagine and I love it. You can choose what ever you want to join and it’s not just lifting all the time. But I do go there just when I’m in the city – I love sports outside. Going for walks, inline skating and so on. When it’s getting to hot in the summer I simply get up in the morning. I don’t think you need to join the gym if you can make yourself do something on your own. And ad cooking and don’t eat too much and you could be happy again. But if you want to change something and are not able to make yourself to do it, than the gym could be a good idea. For me it would be a good motivation to pay there. Then I would go there just not to waste money 🙂
    Well, wrote a bit too much, I’m sorry. Good luck with all of this, with getting fit again 🙂

    Like

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