I was really worried that having a gym membership might go to waste. I'm not above realizing that it still might. But the difference between now and back in the day is that these days I actually GO. I had to find the reason I didn't go before and work with it. It turns out there were four reasons I stopped going.
First of all, I made it into a chore. I did it because, and only because, I wanted to look good. I mean, of COURSE I wanted to look good, physically. But I was only interested in "looking cool". You know, one of those "regulars". I wanted to be a gym regular.
Second, I got bored. I only did the very few things that I knew how to do. I used an elliptical machine for cardio. For the most part, I thought that was enough. Sometimes I would use the other machines for weights but there were always a lot of people there and I hated to be in the way. Plus, I felt stupid.
Third, because it was a chore that I was bored with, I didn't have a good enough reason to get off my booty and go. No initiative anymore, no motivation. I had ruined it for myself. I can't even begin to imagine how much money I wasted.
I tried a few years after the first time to get excited about it again. I did a 2-week contest thing at Bally's with my cousin. But I did all the same things again. I believe this is what my friend was referring to in that blog I linked to a few blogs ago - insanity. Doing the same thing over and expecting different results.
I'll list the 4th reason at the end of this blog, because it's the most important one.
1) It is not a chore. It's an outlet! I can't wait to go beat out some steps on the elliptical and use my stress as energy. I keep my goals simple so I don't get overwhelmed. That helps.
2) It's not boring. Yet. But I'm doing my best to keep it interesting. There are 5 different elliptical machines at my gym. There are three pools (cold, medium, hot), which I haven't tried yet. Plus, as of tonight, I took some time and got comfortable with some of the weight machines. It helps that there aren't a million people there when I go, and the gym and it's membership standards help with weeding out the people who aren't serious.
3) I know I won't get up on my days off of work to go to the gym. At least, not usually. So I go after work. I'm already up, dressed, and out of the house. I chose a gym that's near my work for that reason. I just take my bag with me to work every day. Problem solved.
The fourth reason that I failed before and will not fail now is that THIS TIME I am making this into a lifestyle change. It kinda sounds daunting to say that I plan on doing this for the rest of my life. But the reality is, I am not looking at this as a temporary fix. I know too much about health to even pretend to believe that now. This is something I have decided to incorporate into my every day life - my choice to be more healthy.
And seriously - I feel better ever since I started doing this. Maybe one day the rose-colored glasses will wear off, but based on the energy I feel now as opposed to before, and that feeling of accomplishment, I don't think this was a mistake.
Plus, now I get to be one of those "regulars"!