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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back to the gym

Yesterday, I signed up again, for the 4th time in my life, as a Las Vegas Athletic Club member.   If you're curious about the gym, here's the link:

Las Vegas Athletic Club

You truly need to check it out to see how stinking fabulous it is.  And it's open 24/7, every single day.  I cannot begin to tell you how great this local chain of gyms is- seriously.  It's like a freaking spa.  There's swimming, fitness classes from 5 am to 10 pm, a steam room, clean locker rooms, TV's on nearly every treadmill, bike and elliptical, audio on every cardio machine for the giant screens, a smoothie & sandwich bar, a 1/5 mile indoor track with amazing views, every kind of weight, a women's workout area- it's amazing. 

I even prepaid my 3 years, got a guaranteed renewal for $98 a year for life.  (You read that right, $98 a year, not a month.  Insane.) Now that's commitment, don't you think?

Oh wait, I did that before about 12 years ago...

And did I mention that I live across the street from a park with a track?  And the weather is pretty nice here about 90% of the time.

Well folks, I guess this is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak.

The irony of my battle to fit working out into my life is that I enjoy it.  Honestly.  I love going to the gym. I like lifting weights.  I don't mind cardio machines (assuming there's a good show or good music).  I love fitness classes.  When I hear people complain about working out, I don't get it.  I love the feel of being exhausted.  The jello legs (and not from my jiggly thighs...), the feeling of accomplishment.

In reading that great book "If I'm so Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight?" I came to the conclusion that I've been sucking the fun out of working out the last 10 years or so.  It's been about losing weight or toning up or some random goal.  It became a job.  One more thing on my to do list.

No more.

I am going back to the gym because I like it.  I don't care if I lose weight.  Period.

I really don't.  I'm letting it go.

Now my guess is that once I start working out again regularly, I will start to watch what I eat and then, based on basic science, I will probably drop a few pounds.  Based on a few years ago, that number was about 7 freaking pounds after a year.  So I gave up.

I never stopped enjoying working out, though.  I developed a "what's the point?" attitude, however.

I think the difference this time around is I'm going to stick for a completely different reason- I enjoy it.  For the same reason that I read.  Sometimes I read non-fiction for business, but usually it's for fun.  And if I learn something, then great.  If not, it was a good story.

I had fun this morning.  I love the 5 am crowd.  I had missed them.  I purposely waited until February to rejoin because I knew all the New Year's Resolution people would be gone (6 weeks, it's like clock work).  They were.  At 5 am, I was one of two fat people in the gym.  5 am is the time of the diehards.  There's no flirting, no socializing, no wait on the machines.  The ages vary from the 20 year old's to the 70 year old's.  It's inspiring.

And the best part of the diehards, rather than cast me a judgmental look for "letting myself go," I get a nod of encouragement.  The teeny bopper hotties aren't snickering at 5 am. 

So today I renewed my love affair with my gym.  I'm not going to run a marathon.  I'm not going to try to get back in a size 6.  I don't care what I look like for my 25th reunion.  I don't care what it does for my overall health.

I had fun. 

And I will go back tomorrow for the exact same reason.


Kimberly said...

You got it! You really got it this time. That is why I ride. I don't ride to just be able to keep my weight in check or to be "fit". I ride because it makes me smile... (and it does keep me sane).

When I get back to Vegas, I want to be your guest at one of these 5am sessions, maybe do a spin class with you?

LOVE the ride!

Vic said...

Man I wish I could feel that way about working out. Instead I just feel more run down than I did when I walked into the place. I'm not very consistent, so maybe that's my problem, but I need to figure out some kind of exercise that I truly enjoy. Glad you found something else you enjoy - you should write about your tap dance classes sometime, I miss hearing about them on FB :)

kristin said...

I like working out too! However, the last gym I joined was one of those places that you feel like you already need to be in shape to work out at. Tall, thin, blond at the desk and the owner has countless weightlifting trophies lining the shelves. I just felt too fat to go to the gym! So, I got pregnant, stopped going, had the baby and now joined the local YMCA. Here there is a place for all.