The gym is my happy place. I know it’s not for everyone, and I love a good outdoor sweat session, too. But there’s something amazing about putting the headphones in and turning the treadmill on, or slipping on my spinning shoes and zoning out to the music. I can go rain or shine, day or night, happy or not happy.
My membership at my previous gym ended over the summer (it was comped through a work project but expired) and because I was due to have a baby a few months later, I decided to let it lapse and then sign back up in the future.
Well, the future has arrived. I weighed all of my options, then landed on a facility that’s two miles up the road. I can run to it from home, it’s on my way home from work, the hours are good, it has a pool and the group exercise schedule works with my calendar.
Great, right? Well, yes…but for the first time that I can remember, I joined NOT looking to lose weight, but to stay strong and keep my sanity. I told the staff that, and even joked as the trainer who signed me up walked me over to the scale.
“I don’t care what it says — I feel great about where I am! Heck, I had a baby 11 months ago and I feel more confident now than I have in years!”
And I didn’t care. I didn’t care about that, I didn’t care about the BMI, I didn’t care about my measurements, and I certainly didn’t care about weight loss goals.
But because the trainers and staff seemed to need to do all of the calculations, I let them. I even let them read the results back to me and watch my reaction (mostly just a smile and a nod).
And then came the push.
“What’s your goal weight? How much do you want to lose? What’s your ideal body fat percentage? When do you want to meet with our trainer?”
I know it’s a business, and since some of my closest friends are trainers, I know that many of them hate the sales game as much as I do. But I went in with NO body image issues, and full confidence in what I was about to do. How many joiners can say the same?
It’s so scary to step up and ask for help, whether it’s a gym or a weight loss center or a dietitian’s office. We need to make people feel safe and comfortable and encourage their HEALTH goals, not just their weight loss. I honestly think that if the overweight, sad, out of shape me of 7 years ago had walked into the same gym, I might have turned right back around, never to return.
January Joiners are on the horizon. I fear for them. I hope they know that every big goal starts with a small step. Don’t worry about the numbers. Do it for you. Get healthy. Get happy.
I’m hoping to PR at the St. Petersburg 5K this fall, and I’d LOVE to have you join me at that event or one of the other Women’s Running Series races in the next few weeks.
- Nashville, TN – September 28, 2013
- Scottsdale-Tempe, AZ – November 3, 2013
- St. Petersburg, FL – November 24, 2013
If you sign up for the half marathon in St. Pete, use the discount code FITFLKATY for $10 off. (Note: I am being compensated for helping to promote this race but believe me, the sweat and tears I’m putting into training are all mine.)