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I've Tried Nothing, and I'm All Out of Ideas!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I titled this blog thusly, because I'm self-aware enough to know that what you are about to read is a bunch of excuses. They do feel insurmountable to me, however, so I'd love some input as to overcome them.

I got rid of my gym membership, because of COVID. I'm not going back to that gym, even though I initially intended to. It's unfortunate, because it's close enough to walk, and it's by a grocery store I go to, but they annoy me. The gym was not clean before COVID. There would be the same gum stuck in the electronics holders for months, there was dust all over everything, and the cleaning crew was a guy whose arm was in a brace for over a year, so he had one arm to "clean" with.

When I went in to cancel originally, they said, well, you can just put a hold on your account, and then you can keep your current membership prices. They told me how they now charge an annual fee on top of the monthly fee, and that I'd be able to avoid that. I said okay, because yes, I did intend to return after COVID. Then, they charged me in December some weird amount. That ticked me off, so I went back in and told them I wanted to cancel, because I got charged this whatever charge.

The girl at the desk told me it was a fee for all the extra cleaning they have to do for COVID. Ugh, please. They obviously weren't using the membership fees to clean before, so they should have had plenty to clean for COVID, and they shouldn't be charging people who aren't using the gym during COVID. I said, "Well, I put my account on hold, and I didn't do that so I could continue to get charged, so now I want to cancel," and she gave me the paperwork.

About ten minutes later, I got a call from a manager, maybe? And he said, "They told me you came in to try to cancel."

I told him, "I didn't try to cancel. I succeeded." Then he gave me the same spiel about the annual fee and said he would waive the COVID fee if I stayed on, and I said, "I'm just going to take the gamble that you are going to have to waive that fee to get members in the future. You know that Planet Fitness just opened up down the road." And he said he wouldn't count on that, and I said, "Well, that's why it's a gamble."

But YEAH, a Planet Fitness just opened up down the road, in the same shopping center as another grocery store I go to, so I may not be able to walk, but it's not that inconvenient, and it's $10 a month. I don't pay enough attention to my finances, so I told my husband, "That's, like a third of the membership fees of Gold's" and he said, "No, it's not." And I said, "Isn't Gold's $30 a month, each?" And he said, "No, it is $30, but they charge every two weeks." So I was paying $60 a month for that dirty, gross gym where gum would be stuck on the ellipticals for weeks or months at a time, AND they charged an additional COVID cleaning fee??? Yeah, no.

Now, I don't know what to do to work out. Not that I'm proud of this, since it probably explains part of why I got so da(r)n fat in the first place, but there aren't many physical activities I enjoy. I've tried taking up running, but I hated it. I am afraid of cycling, of falling off, and I'm so short, adult bikes are still too big for me on their lowest seat height, and I can't dismount well. Swimming grosses me out, and it requires access to a pool. Team sports are out because of COVID, otherwise, I'd consider kickball or field hockey, but is that sufficient, really? It's better than nothing, which is what I'm currently doing, but again, COVID.

I spent a few months working my way through Richard Simmons's YouTube channel while my husband was dropping the boy off at daycare. Yes, the man has a YouTube channel! And he is delightful! I totally get why he was so popular in the late 80s and early 90s. He's a treasure, and I will keep doing them once he goes back to daycare next week. But that's 20-25 minutes a few times a week. Again, better than nothing, but I feel like I should be doing more.

I miss the gym. I like doing the elliptical while jamming to my tunes, and I like lifting weights. But I don't have space to put an elliptical in my house, and I don't want one of those flimsy numbers that are for personal use. As for weight lifting at home, I have a couple dumbbells, and I looked into getting a barbell and some plates, but they are EXPENSIVE. Have they always been this expensive? It's a huge investment, and will it be worth it after the pandemic is over?

So I feel a little lost. I know I should be exercising more. When it's safe, I'll go to Planet Fitness. I know it's not an amazing gym, but I'm not an amazing athlete, so what it has suits my purposes. I just wish I had more drive to do more right now. I try tell myself that the diet is so much more important, that it's "80% diet, 20% exercise," but after all the other excuses, this one feels worse. Maybe I should be easier on myself during this time, but being easy on myself has been really bad, and I'm in bad shape.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think your plan to switch to Planet Fitness is a good one. I canceled my gym membership for good during COVID because they are closed and because I have come up with other ways to exercise and am happy with that right now. I do miss the weight machines though, like you. My little dumbbells don't feel like much most of the time, and I have a hard time getting in good leg exercises. That being said, I think you should start doing those Richard Simmons YouTube videos more often since you like them. And who says you can't do two of them in a row so you get about an hour's worth of exercise? I do YouTube workouts sometimes and there are just so many out there for so many different things and that's what I like about them. I have a belly dancing one I do when I'm bored with everything else. I do rebounding on my mini-trampoline when the weather is bad and I can't walk. I try to switch things up regularly. I would say to search more on YouTube and see what else you can find that interests you.
    42 days ago
    BEATLETOT, even before I read the replies to your blog, I was all set to suggest walking. I usually hesitate to give advice, but this seems to me like a pretty easy solution. It's so convenient--you can be out the door in two minutes after changing your shoes. It doesn't cost anything. It is SO invigorating if you walk very fast. Studies have shown that it elevates your mood and creativity. You can do it multiple times a day--outside if someone is watching your boy, or inside via YouTube if he's playing nearby and won't demand your attention.

    Back when I had workable knees, I was a big walker! It felt so good! After I get my new knees in March, I am going to get out there again and go many miles a day! And I still have my Firm videos, which use weight-lifting (handheld weights). Back when I was walking and using Firm videos--that was the healthiest and most confident about my body I have ever felt!

    I hope you find your best plan very soon, my dear!
    42 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/15/2021 8:45:06 PM
    I suspended my gym membership 6 months into Covid. My DH kept his just to support the Y.
    But neither of us will be going there for a long, long time. They always tried to keep t clean before but they had some really awful members. Obviously sick and working out anyway.
    I also live in a covid denying, mask resistant area, so I am not going anywhere near those guys.

    That said, I agree with the posts here who suggest walking. Around the neighborhood or even around the house or yard. I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about :my :Route of the confused squirrel"

    I keep track of my miles on worldwalking.org to see where all my steps would take me if laid out end to end. Right now I'm trekking thru France. I find it motivating.

    My daughter belonged to Planet Fitness before covid. She liked it.

    Good luck finding the right solution for you
    43 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    all the best with your journey................
    somedays it is hard!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    44 days ago
    Hi, Beatletot.
    I thought about your blog entry over the day yesterday, because I believe it really clearly expresses a common human mechanism of getting in our own way when it comes to change. I've certainly experienced this, and I've talked to many other people who have. In terms of my baseline, I dislike most forms of exercise and have a lukewarm relationship to vegetables. :)

    Input is hard to give, since ultimately the way out of this mental trap is intensely individual. Also, often, a person's first response to outside input is to generate objections - and there are always reasons why any idea won't work.

    What I can say is what has worked for me. I focus on what I can do or want to do, rather than what I can't do. I identify small changes as wins. When I find myself obsessing on how I should be doing more or better at something, I redirect my mind into what I AM doing. And I include my whole life in that "what I AM doing" concept, with a focus on taking my wins and recognizing how I am succeeding in meeting my priorities when I make choices. If I am not exercising today, it's probably because I was at work, for example, so the day is a success because I was at work, and then if I figure out a way to add a walk at lunch, why, that's an extra success. I don't always succeed at this reframing, of course, but I have worked on this mindset for a long time and I am much better at it than I used to be. And for me, it's very helpful. If I see myself as succeeding, I feel stronger and more positive, I see more options, and have more emotional energy to take the chances involved in change. If I see myself as failing, I find that everything is harder and I am much less effective. And the truth is that everyone is simultaneously succeeding and failing every day, in many small ways. There's nothing dishonest or evasive in recognizing the successes. In fact, discounting the many little successes is a perceptual distortion, and is less accurate than recognizing them.

    So that's been my answer to my version of your conundrum. I don't know if that will help or not. I do know, with absolute certainty, that your conundrum is a very common mind trap for us human beings - which doesn't make it any less painful or frustrating.

    Walk in peace,
    44 days ago
    Take walks. They provide exercise AND fresh air and if you take the little one he may enjoy it too!

    45 days ago
    Beatle! You're blogging again! So good to see you! I may have missed something, but is there any reason why you can't walk around your neighborhood playing the tunes you'd listen to on the elliptical? There are tons of good videos on YouTube - but you almost have to make it a research project because there are a lot that are boring, trying to sell you something, too difficult, too easy, too yoga-y (for me) or whatever. You can make it a research project! I like Jessica Smith and some of the PopSugar Fitness ones.

    Something is better than nothing. A 10 minute warm-up in the morning is sometimes the only real exercise I get but there's that.

    By the way, I'm also a gym-quitter. I cancelled back in March. The gym is next to where I work and that's an hour from here. Since the language school has been open and closed for the past 9 months during the various lockdowns, there was no point in keeping my membership. Thankfully, I'm able to do some teaching on Zoom.
    45 days ago
  • LORI-K
    Oh my goodness!! You are way more patient than I am. Regarding the manager, I would have just said, my decision to cancel is not up for you to question and none of this is up for debate. Bye”. It sounds like he hounded you and that is not okay. I would have left too with those conditions. Gross.
    I am with you 100% on swimming! I thought I was the only one! Getting in a pool with other bodies is just so disgusting to me! Like taking a bath with strangers.
    Do you have dumbbells? Stairs? I made really good progress at the beginning of my journey using dumb bells and videos. 5 lb and 10lb is all that’s really needed. Body weight exercises are so good too. And walking, You don’t have to run to get awesome results on the pavement. Just walk. It becomes very addictive.
    I used to do Jazzercise, too, and saw results. Find some Jazzercise or some kind of dance cardio videos. Again, 5lb dumb bells or perhaps bands is all that’s necessary. If that, even.

    You can do this. You just need to hone in on an activity that brings you joy.
    Planet Fitness will be there for you when it’s much safer to go.

    45 days ago
    Ok, first things first. Take a deep breath and stop being so hard on yourself. You're listing off all these things you hate -- as you say, excuses. Fine, don't go back to that dirty gym. I wouldn't either! There's so much you can do without a gym. You like Richard Simmons -- rather than twice a week, do it once or twice a day. Do what you love, and try some new things. Dance around your living room with or without your kids. Walk around your neighborhood. Use those hand weights. Just get moving. And, as you say, it's even more about your food intake than exercise, so make sure you are eating for optimal health! Radical self care starts with self love!
    45 days ago
  • WILDKAT781
    If you change nothing, NOTHING changes!
    45 days ago
    You asked for advice and I would suggest just using walking for an exercise that you can do at home. There are lots of walking exercise videos for 15, 20 minutes and more that help get the heart rate at a healthy rate. Those exercises you don't like can become easier and more enjoyable when your body becomes healthier. Wishing you success in motivating yourself to get going! emoticon
    45 days ago
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