Before we get started, I just want to mention that for most of my life, I was that lucky girl that could eat you under the table and still maintain my figure. No extra curricular activities necessary for me!
And then came college…which is where I began to see a little bit of weight gain. I didn’t gain the freshman 15 all in that first year but the pounds somehow kept adding up as the years went by. Still, seeing as I wasn’t that big of a girl to start, the extra weight didn’t bother me too much. So what if I went up a size?
And then during college I met my now husband, and as they say, couples are bound to see a little bit of weight gain when they are in a (reasonably) happy relationship. Between date nights, date days, and the usual meal of pasta and meatballs at his parent’s home on Sundays, it was hard to not understand why the weight was adding up, so I tried doing what everyone else does, I joined a gym.
The first time I joined the gym, I lasted about 2-3 months. I did join with a friend and we spent that summer motivating each other, going about 3 times a week together. In that time I was able to lose between 10-15 pounds which I was absolutely ecstatic about. And with that weight loss, I figured hey, I don’t need the gym anymore! At that point the summer was over and between our jobs and grad school, we got busy and just couldn’t make the time to go. Now, while I did lose the weight, I really really really hated going to the gym and these are my reasons:
- Living in Queens, NY, all gyms are located in busy areas with no parking lots so good luck finding a spot during peak hours (typically after work). Go later you say? I might have tried that if the gym we signed up for didn’t close by 9pm. That’s right. 9pm.
- Because this gym closed at 9pm, it was always super packed after work, which was really the only time we could go. That meant that if we didn’t get there early enough we wouldn’t be allowed into the fitness class because they gave out tickets for each class until they hit maximum capacity. So since we were there and unable to enter the class we’d have to go use the fitness equipment instead…
- Which wouldn’t be an issue, but we had to sign up for the equipment and times we wanted to use them for. Which means there could already be a long list of people waiting to use the equipment before we even got there. I’m sorry but half the battle is just getting yourself to the gym. Shouldn’t they make it easier on us by at least having enough equipment available for us to use when we finally make it there after circling blocks for 15 minutes trying to get a parking spot??
- And finally, when I finally was able to use a machine (back then it was either the bicycle or the elliptical) I would get so bored after 5 minutes. Yes, I had my iPod with my workout playlist all ready to go but a person can only stand looking at themselves biking in a dirty mirror for so long.
This lasted for about 3 months and again, I did lose the desired weight at the end but I just couldn’t stay after that. To me, it wasn’t worth the effort I had to put in just to get myself on a machine or in a class. So another year and a half went by, the pounds I had shed made themselves back onto me so I tried again, this time with my husband as my fitness and motivational partner. We found another gym and we gave it a go. He lasted about 2 months and I made it to about 4. I won’t go into as much detail again but the results were the same as before. I lost 15 pounds and inches off me everywhere, but it was just too much of a hassle, too crowded, and just boring.
That was 2 years ago now. Since then I finished grad school, started a new job in the city, moved out, and got married. To say it’s been hectic is putting it lightly. Because life didn’t leave me much time (I know people say that’s an excuse but trust me, this last year barely left me with enough time to think to myself for 5 minutes), I didn’t try working out again. I can say that I at least eat better than I did before. I may not eat all the fruits and veggies that I need but I’m trying. I go for light breakfasts, a small lunch, and a moderately sized dinner that usually consists of protein and veg. I’m not a snacker so you won’t find me eating throughout the day (but I will have the rare dessert on a weekend.) I don’t drink soda and as for alcohol, I normally reserve 2 glasses for the weekend. It’s not perfect, but it is loads better than what I was doing before. And yet, here I am in my mid-20’s and eating better is not enough for me to lose weight anymore. At the very least I have plateaued over the last couple of years so I haven’t gained more but that doesn’t mean I am happy with where I stand.
So I thought about it and decided that I would not be joining a gym again. I already know that once I went the first couple of months I would stop going (and still end up with the membership dues) so I figured I needed to do something to hold my interest. I don’t need the gym, I just need to stay active.
So while I was talking to a group of friends about how dull it’s been (hard to be motivated to go out during the winter) we started scrolling through Groupon thinking we might be able to find some activities there. And sure enough, we did, although they may not have been quite what we were thinking. There were options for us to join the Survival Race and Rugged Maniac or purchase an unlimited month of rock climbing and I just thought this is what I need. I can’t just sit myself at a machine and figure out how to pass the time while the calories slowly burn off. I needed to just partake in some strenuous activities that will not only allow me to pass the time with friends during the week without having to go out for dinner and drinks for the 100th time, but it would also give me the challenge I need to make a change.
So as of now, the goals are set – I plan to complete the Survival Race on May 7th and Rugged Maniac on June 25th. Before those races though I wanted to get myself motivated so me and a friend decided to sign up for Kickboxing classes. It’s only 11 classes all together but it’s a start. For the next 5 weeks we plan to go twice a week. I will be monitoring my diet more closely as well and hopefully with March here, the weather will be good enough to do some outdoor activities in between. Once those sessions end, we’ll move on to a new activity to to keep us going and prevent the fitness boredom from taking over.
The reason for this blog is because I want to feel some source of accountability for my actions. Monitoring my progress through here and providing updates on what’s working and what’s not will hopefully also keep me in check.
Here’s to a new start and hopefully, a better me.