The perilous journey of a gym membership!

Day three of having a gym membership…

First, I need to explain why I got a gym membership. I recently went on a work trip down south to Seward, Alaska, where my co-worker (and bestie) and I hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner. If you have never been to Seward, Alaska, it is off of Resurrection Bay, surrounded by beautiful mountains on three sides, and features the cutest little town. In addition, it is home to the Alaska Sealife Center, the only marine mammal rehabilitation facility in Alaska. When tourists come to Seward, Alaska, they fall in love with the concept of living in this frozen tundra.  

I am not a big fan of Seward, Alaska. Not because I don’t think the town is cute or that I am not in love with every marine mammal in the rehabilitation facility- it is that it is a dangerous type of cold in Seward. It is the home of Boreas, the Greek God of the Cold North Wind and the bringer of winter. That dude hates me! 3 days before my arrival- calm weather, fluffy snow, and weather in the positive numbers- a winter paradise. I show up, and he opens the flood gates and out pours every 70 mph wind gusts of frozen hell that he can possibly get his hands on.  

This is not your typical kind of wind. This is the kind of wind that freezes the coffee inside of your Yeti Rambler in 3 minutes. The type of winds that makes it impossible to lite a cigarette, walk straight, open your car door without pulling a muscle, or just function. These were winds that could seep through the walls of ADX Florence Supermax Prison and cause havoc. 

However, we had a job to do that required us to go into the world and do things. So I dressed in my fabulous layers of protection, put on my favorite beanie, and walked out thinking that I looked cute in the winter paradise. Who doesn’t look pretty in winter layers? It hides muffin tops, contains saggy arm fat, encases the extra layers of installation on the thighs, and gives me a chance to highlight my Steger Mukluks, which takes me 30 minutes to put on- per foot!

I went through the whole day thinking I was the picture of an Alaskan Winter Beauty Queen. The type of mental picture that had me walking with a swagger and confidence in who I was.  

Then I saw the pictures…..

Now before you say anything, yes, I know that beauty comes from within. I know that as long as you dress for your body composition- no matter your size- everyone is beautiful in their own way. I am calling bullshit! I think it is time that we can say- NO! I Don’t Look Good! I believe that I shouldn’t be judged if I want to lose weight. For too long, I have been told that it was okay to be unhealthy as long as I was ‘happy.’  

Because of these lies- for the last year and a half, I have been living in this self-made dream world where I have convinced myself that I don’t have to worry about my body size because I have a great personality. And it was easy to hide my body size because we are now in a world of Zoom/Teams meetings with co-workers, and as long as you contour your face correctly- you look 20 pounds smaller. When I am virtual- I put on three different lights that can highlight my eyes, sharpen my nose, fill out the wrinkles in my neck, and if all else fails- I put on the glamour filter!

It has actually been costly to look 20 pounds smaller! I had to get a more extensive desk to hold all of my additional equipment for my 5 meetings a week. And that makes no sense because half the time, I don’t turn on the camera because I am eating, drinking coffee, or I transfer the call to my cell phone so that I can sneak into the garage to get a smoke break-in.  

I got home from Seward and thought if I am willing to put so much time, effort, and money into looking 20 pounds smaller- why don’t I just lose 20 pounds?  

I have tried this before. I have paid for 10 virtual 5K runs this year alone, thinking this would convince me to get my ass outside and run. Or even just get on the treadmill and finally turn it on. I have downloaded Map My Run and signed up for the Couch to 5K coaching session 3 times this year alone! I have downloaded the Flab to Fab app 2 times and have never gotten past the 2nd week.  

I am weak! I love Oreos! I have more excuses than a teenager who failed a math test:

-I love my morning writing time, which has recently turned into my early morning ‘catch up on work email’ time. I can’t just not write! 

-Every other week, I have to take my son to school and pick him up at the most inconvenient times of life- 7am and 2pm because there are no school buses.  

-I don’t have the right running gear. I need Lululemon leggings, or I will be laughed at. Unfortunately, those cost $120.00 a pair- way out of my price range with 2 grown adult kids and a teenager who only wears 3-piece suits.  

-It’s -20 outside, too cold to go outside after getting sweaty.  

I had spent days researching Peloton Treadmills, thinking that investing my entire retirement savings and half my monthly paycheck for virtual training would convince me that I needed to move. Never mind that I had an excellent treadmill already set up in my home- I needed one with the 20-inch screen and a video of running through 19th century Rome. 

What did I end up doing? After hours of price comparisons and deciding what essential groceries I didn’t need to survive (milk, eggs, laundry soap), I took the plunge and signed up for the Planet Fitness Black Card. This is the card that will allow me to work out, tan, and get daily HydroMassages all from the comfort of a ‘No Judgement’ zone.  

Day 1: Spent 30 minutes at the front desk signing up for the membership from the comfort of my cell phone. The gym does feature WiFi; however, it doesn’t work very well when it is busy inside. But, the representatives can not help you because it is a contactless building, so they can’t take your information and type it into the computer- you have to do it on your phone. Once that is done, you show the representative your downloaded app, and they will confirm it in the computer system and take your photo. Be prepared- to sign up, you need both a credit card and your banking information! I was so stressed out by the end of the sign-up process that I was sweating through my sweatshirt.  

Then it is time to start working out! I gazed out upon the workout area and spied 50 different cardio workout pieces, 30 of which I had no idea how to operate. So I went for the one thing that I knew I could turn on- the treadmill! So I turned on Map My Run, acknowledged to my virtual computer trainer that I would finally finish the Couch to 5K program, and off I went at a comfortable 4.3 MPH jog. When I was done with my 2 miles, I felt so good about myself that I headed over to the ab workout section and decided to work on my core.

This was when things got dicey. I got on the first machine that I could find hidden in a dark corner and got on. It did not matter to me that I had no idea how to work this machine- I would have a 6-pack in the next 20 minutes, according to the poster on the wall. 

30 seconds later, after doing 10 very painful weighted crunches, I tried to get my shaky core off the machine and somehow got my foot stuck and broke my toe!  

I looked around; no one saw what I had just accomplished. Whew! They were all very busy doing the workouts correctly, so I was able to limp out to the truck unnoticed.

Day 2:  I googled all the workout equipment in Planet Fitness, watched YouTube videos on how to turn them on, and was better prepared to walk in like I belonged there. 45 minutes after an amazing Fat Burning Session on the ARC training (at level 2 minus 1), I was ready to work on my arms that seemed to have recently gotten fat wrinkles.  

I walked into that section like a badass. I watched the videos, there was an instructional poster on each machine, and I was ready to become a powerlifter. The first machine was where you sit down and just have to pull down on the weights. Seems easy enough. Google says that you should be able to pull down a quarter of your body weight, now at my current size- that seems like a lot! But Google would not lie to me. So I set my weight and pulled down. 

What I didn’t think through was that you have to go back to the start point- and that is when I realized that that much weight free-falling back down causes momentum. I lost control as the weight was falling down and the machine arms were lifting up to the start point. Somehow I got pulled off the ground and was dangling in the air, feet kicking as I tried to reach for the safety of land. Some lovely 130-pound lady with great hair and Lululemon leggings on came over and saved me. She is an angel!  

I left shortly after that.

Day 3: Today is a new day. I will try my hand at the Total Body Enhancement, which is just an all-natural red and infrared light therapy treatment. I think that I just have to stand still and let the light penetrate my fat, and it all melts away. I am really not sure. It has to be safer than the last two days.  

What could go wrong?  

One thought on “The perilous journey of a gym membership!

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  1. I am laughing hysterically while I eat junk yard grill hamburger and peppermint shake. The Best in the West. I am on Weight Watchers so you can eat anything as long as you count your points. I say’ find your groove and stick with it.’ I have settled on walking. Low intensity, no sweat and you can be gone long periods of time and can’t be judged because hey, your just be healthy.

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