I didn’t buy a zoo. But I joined a gym

Friday, May 20, 2016 Permalink

Exactly three years and six months and twenty days after making my seachange I’ve joined a gym.

I know, I know… you’re worried I’ve rushed into things, but – believe it or not – I have sussed out this very same gym on a number of occasions. 

Long time readers will remember the gym-going-but-still-pudgy-Debbish (aka Diet Schmiet) of 2012.  An avid-gym-goer, joining one in my new locale was a no brainer. I was sick around the time I moved, but a couple of months later I sussed out the local gym options. Indeed, I even wrote a rare advice-like post about stuff to consider when joining.

And yet, I did nothing.

I did another fly-by at the same gym 10mths ago and received a 7 day free pass. Which I didn’t get around to using. And possibly lost.

The gym’s new membership officer contacted me a couple of months ago as a follow up and I deftly brushed aside his attentions – saying I was interested, but not quite ready.

I wanted to do something about my fitness. But it all seemed too hard. And I had a bevy of excuses at my fingertips.

Even now, the fact my place is on the market had me pondering the logic of joining a nearby gym given my living situation is unsettled.

But after the post I wrote a week last week, I knew I needed to do something.

So – like removing a bandaid – I went into the gym yesterday and joined. Just. Like. That.

joined a gym

My plan was to join for a 3mth period (which coincides with the contract with my Real Estate Agent), but naturally it was a far better deal to join for 6mths so I took up that offer.

I had planned to go to a water aerobics class tomorrow to kick things off, but stupidly ticked a box on the sign-up form that said I have high blood pressure. Because I have high blood pressure. I’m on medication but now need my doctor to send through a letter saying it’s okay for me to exercise. Which ultimately could reduce my blood pressure. Ironic I know?!

But as soon as that arrives… I plan to go. I hope.

Are you a gym-goer?
Have you ever wasted a gym membership? 

* I really wanted to call this post, I bought a zoo. Like that movie, you know? But I figured that was too clickbait-like so toned it down. A little. Although my announcement is almost as bizarre as Matt Damon’s.

43 Comments
  • Jo
    May 20, 2016

    Happy shiny new gym membership! I got a text from mine yesterday asking where I’d been… I was out of breath at the time after having squeezed into wet swimmers, but somehow don’t think that counted as real exercise…

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      Good they chased up – but also good Jo that you go regularly enough that they missed you!

      The staff at my last gym (the one I went to 4-5 days a week) used to comment if I was running late for one of the classes. I was such a regular they ‘knew’ I’d be there…

  • Vanessa
    May 20, 2016

    I gave up on the gym. I didn’t mind it when I was there but I just decided that it wasn’t for me. I actually keep meaning to go check up on it; I think when I shut down a bank account the direct debit got cancelled so I’m not paying for it but I need to check that I’m properly “resigned”. Gah. On the to-do list yet again. Good luck with the new gym.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      Thanks Vanessa. Am hoping it feels like a good ‘fit’ as I think that’s important.

  • Kate W
    May 20, 2016

    I used to work at a gym and was responsible for hassling people who hadn’t been in a while 🙂 The most important things to ensure success are: 1) make sure the gym is close to your home – walking distance is even better because then it can become your warm-up and cool-down. 2) put the times you’re going in your diary – a water aerobics class? Put it in your diary. Plan a week in advance, put the times in your diary and don’t compromise on them. You’ll fast fall into a routine.

    Now for the advice as someone who should lose weight but regardless, has been a steady gym-goer for five years – sometimes I don’t feel like going at all. I push myself to get there, hate every moment and put in 50% effort. I figure it’s better than nothing. But more importantly, I go again the next day (or the day after that or whenever it’s next in the diary!). You miss a day because you don’t feel like it and it’s very hard to get motivated the next time. So, even if you’re fronting up and putting in 5% effort, it’s better than nothing. After all, as Woody Allen said, 80% of success is showing up.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      Ah yes… in my old life my lunchtime classes were in my diary (and the gym under my work building) so I had no excuse. And I agree with the forcing yourself there thing. Harder with a gym but when I’ve used my jogging trampoline or an exercise bike or something in the past I tell myself I have to do it for 5mins or something and find once I’m on there I decide on 10, then 20. Of course at the moment I think I’d struggle to walk or pedal for 10mins, but still…

  • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
    May 20, 2016

    Yay for you joining the gym! Good luck with it all. It’s a great start. I’m currently a member of two gyms because like an idiot, I signed up to a 24/7 one a couple of months into my new job thinking I couldn’t make it to my old gym. But I was so not motivated to work out on my own and preferred classes that I stuck to my old gym, negotiated with my team leader and continued classes. Like a bigger idiot, I signed an 18 month contract! Who does that?! So I’m trying to use the other one on public holidays or days when I have to get to work earlier than normal.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      Ha! That’s funny Sanch – at least you’ve got options!

      I’m more of a fan of classes as well, but figure I might only start with the aqua (given my level of fitness) and work my way up to Pump and perhaps Body Balance etc as well. I like dance-based classes but they only have 1-2 Zumba classes – which is why I didn’t join this gym 3.5yrs ago!

  • The Jolly Runner
    May 20, 2016

    I joined the gym and got sucked into the 12 month deal, because that was “way better value”. And I used it – for about 3 months. And it’s definitely what got me started on the road to being a triathloner. Because I could practice not drowning in the dinky little pool, and practice cycling without having my feet glued to the peddles, so less chance of being a turtle with bike!! Now I’ve started going to the tri club, my gym card is languishing in a drawer… But I do keep thinking I need to drag it out, and start using the scary weights area…. Maybe….

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      I’m not usually a fan of the weights on the gym floor (free weights or machines) and much prefer pump classes but I think until I get more confident I’ll hide away in the ladies gym (something I would never have dreamed of doing in the past) and stick to aqua aerobics. (I’m very overweight so need to start slowly methinks!)

      PS. I wanted to pay upfront and the 3mth option was $349 (more expensive than paying the ‘joining fee’ and weekly rate) or $399 for six months – so I went for that option obviously!

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    May 20, 2016

    Well done on joining. Water Aerobics classes seem like the perfect first class to take also. I used to be a gym goer but five months ago I had some joint problems and tried to put my membership on hold but ended up having so many hoops put in front of me by the gym to jump through to do this I ended up cancelling my membership. I do miss going now however.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      I was a bit surprised I had to get the medical certificate as I’ve never had to do that before. I’m sure I must have ticked the relevant boxes in the past, or perhaps I’ve fudged them if they’ve said something first. It wasn’t until the end the guy said BECAUSE I’d ticked the high BP box I had to get a letter from my doctor. Of course I think she’s away but I phone the practice straight away to ask for one. I don’t think it’ll be an issue but something I’ll have to chase up nonetheless. (And I’m already thinking I can just start next week now instead of tomorrow cos I bet the letter’s not there yet!) 🙁

  • Tory
    May 20, 2016

    I am a frequent gym joiner but a non gym attender! I’m more a yoga girl but every now and again decide to try something new. Which I fail at and go back to yoga.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2016

      I was doing some yoga for a while but stopped and now think I’d struggle a bit to do even that – fitness wise. But I’m going to try some Body Balance classes (combo of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates from memory) once I feel a little better and fitter. I think my size would currently prevent me from doing a lot of the movements. I could adapt them though I guess.

  • yinyangmother
    May 20, 2016

    Yeh you for joining – the first step. And do yoga and meditation for your mind, even if you can’t do as much for your body. Try not to worry about your body. I teach yin yoga classes and have students with injuries and carrying a lot of weight – we adapt with props (everybody is encouraged to use props – that’s the whole idea of letting the props to support you). Sure there are young flexies (and I’m pretty flexi for a middle-ager) but don’t let size and age stop you.

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2016

      I must check the timetable of the gym I’m joining Kathy, I know they have Body Balance but they might have yoga or similar as well. I used to do yoga at another place in town though and they have some meditation sessions also.

  • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
    May 20, 2016

    I’d typed a long comment on my phone earlier today at work and for some reason it didn’t go through. Sigh.

    Good on you for joining the gym! And here’s to being able to start classes soon.

    I’m currently a member of 2 gyms, one of which is a total waste. I’d joined a 24/7 gym around March after the new job got in the way of me going to my old one. I figured I’d cease my membership at the old one once it finishes in June. However, I realised I actually don’t enjoy working out on my own and prefer classes instead which is why I managed to negotiate with my manager to try and go to the gym before work. So now, I’m locked in at the 24/7 gym for 18 months {why did I do that??!!!} and will most likely continue the gym I do like. Sigh. I am an idiot. I really should have waited before I made that decision.

  • Tea Time with Marce
    May 21, 2016

    Your posts make me smile. Way to go Deb. If you enjoy swimming you will love the classes. Crazy with the Dr’s note but I understand why. Remember to take time to honour you, honour your body, honour the time you are giving to your wellness. I wish you the best. I’m a Yogi and I’m sure in the past I have wasted gym memberships.

    Advice – try to make your gym trip during a usual cravings time, like 3pm. Working out will help with the cravings long term.

    Enjoy

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2016

      Thanks Marce! I’m figuring water aerobics will be easy on my joints and I’ll supplement that with some cardio (on the bike until I can walk without shin splints). They’ve offered me a consultation to get a program and I guess I should do that, but ultimately I’d much prefer pump classes. But in the interim I’ll probably start with some basics – squats, lunges, chest and should presses, bicep and tricep curls etc… I know it’s important to work the big muscle groups… Maybe also some deadlifts. *sigh*

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    May 21, 2016

    If I’ve paid for the gym, I feel obliged to use it so it’s a good motivation to get me moving! I joined a gym super close to my house so I have no excuse not to go, with lots of classes so I have no reason to be bored and eight years on, I’m still going strong. I think gym going is like any habit, it takes a while to get going! Good luck!

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2016

      I completely agree with the habit thing Sammie and I’ve been like that in the past. Before moving I had my sessions scheduled into my work diary and it was a way of forcing myself to have a lunch break at work. When I belonged to a gym closer to home I had certain classes I attended and ensured a quick turnaround time after work so I didn’t have time to sit and relax!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    May 21, 2016

    Good on you Deb. Now you need a gym buddy to keep you going. I find financial outlay is inspiring too. I hate wasting money. Water aerobics sounds like something close to my stamina level. It’ll be a great way to start 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2016

      When I attended a trial Pump or Zumba class (3yrs, 5mths and 21 days ago!) I saw a lot of large older people heading to water aerobics. 35kg later that’s me. I hate to admit that, but it’s true.

  • Char
    May 22, 2016

    I went to the gym for years and because money was really tight back then I just couldn’t stand the thought of wasting the membership. I figured out that I’d get best value if I went 3 or more times a week so that’s what I did. Then the gym changed hands and I fell in love with running and that was the end of that.

    I’m glad you’ve made the leap Deb and I hope that letter from your doctor comes through soon.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      I had a message from her yesterday and have to call her Monday. So… she hasn’t done it yet. I can’t imagine she’d have a problem with me joining a gym, but probably just wants to know what’s required.

  • Jess
    May 22, 2016

    Yay! I have a gym membership I never use because I pay such a tiny amount (locked in yrs ago) and when I can go I will all the time so I figure I will recap my money. Husband doesn’t understand my logic.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Ah yes… I think this works out to be $15-19 a week or something which is okay. My last gym was cheap as it was subsidised by the local government authority (it was a Council employee gym). Employees got to go for free but as we were ‘on-site’ we got to go and only pay $50/mth. (And we got invoices from Council like rates’ notices, which was a tad weird!)

  • Trish @ Between My Lines
    May 22, 2016

    My gym is cheap, cheerful and near my house. Three reasons I love it, if I had to go out of my way to get there, I’d never go. Hope you get there soon and enjoy being a member there.

  • Maureen Beatrice
    May 22, 2016

    Congrats on joining a gym Deborah. I totally get what you’re saying since I also joined one a view weeks ago. I’ve been going two times a week since and must say I really enjoy it. Didn’t think I would.. but I totally do. Good for the audiobook listening too.
    Great job. And hopefully your doctor sends you’re the letter soon so you can start. You can totally do it!! 😉

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Thanks Maureen and I’m glad you’re enjoying your gym. I’ll be happy with 2-3 times a week. I’m doing nothing at the moment so once a week would be good!

  • Em @ Have A Laugh On Me
    May 23, 2016

    Proud as punch Deb – you’ve got this. I need to find something to motivate me to start making permanent healthy changes, maybe the 7-day Syrian refugee ration challenge will be it – well that’s what I’m hoping! xxx

  • Grace
    May 23, 2016

    Go! Do it! So glad to hear that you’ve signed up! That’s an awesome first step. And then just little steps thereafter. Keep the goals realistic and doable for you. You’ve got this 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Thanks Grace. I’m still waiting on the letter from my doctor at the moment so that’s a bit frustrating. I left a message, then she left a message, now I’ve left another message…..

  • Kooky Chic
    May 23, 2016

    Every Wednesday night I watch a very big guy attend boot camp before and after I do my grocery shopping. The first week he struggled to walk across the car park. The second week was much the same, perhaps a little easier. Now only a few weeks later, he jogs a slow jog but he does it. Every week I want to shout applause. He is wonderful If he can do it anyone can. Just one step at a time.

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2016

      Oh I hope so! I’ve finally spoken to my doctor who wants to see me to take my BP first so my official start is deferred until I can see her. Wonder if I should mention the pain I’ve had in my chest for a few days….

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel
    May 30, 2016

    Congratulations! I am notorious for joining gyms and buying equipment just to let it languish and collect laundry. But a few years ago, I had double open hip surgery and have since decided that I’m tired of being so out of shape, insofar as flexibility and strength go. I joined in March and hired a personal trainer and it’s going well, so far. It helps that I pay the trainer for the 6 months whether I go or not 🙂 Good luck!

    • Debbish
      May 30, 2016

      I haven’t heard of double open hip surgery Allison – sounds painful… but if it’s motivated you to get fitter I guess it’s a good thing. Am hoping the gym helps motivate me to take better care of my health!

      • Allison @ The Book Wheel
        May 30, 2016

        Oh, I had two open hip surgeries (hence the double) but not at the same time! If you need motivation, give me a shout on Twitter!

        • Debbish
          May 30, 2016

          Thanks Allison – will make sure I’m following you there (Am @debbishdotcom AND @schmiet – though don’t use the latter much any more!)

  • Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings
    June 6, 2016

    I hope you are enjoying the gym, I am crap at get myself motivated but have started slowly trying to run again and I have started doing 5 minute workouts with an app on my Kindle.

    • Debbish
      June 6, 2016

      Oh but you’re good to get yourself out on runs Heather! Very impressive!

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