The gym.

It’s been months since I’ve been there.  Once I put my membership on hold back in May to prepare for my Europe adventure, I’ve been making every excuse possible to avoid reinstating it again.  My health… my wallet… my busy schedule… All three of them have been rebelling against my extreme need to exercise regularly but now I’m finally getting a grip on all three.  My health is no longer forcing me to stay in bed, losing all the muscle strength I worked so hard to gain earlier this year.   My wallet still isn’t very full but next week I’ll have a new refreshment of grant money so that can help with my lack of funding… and my busy schedule?  Well, that hasn’t changed but I’ll make the time simply for the reason that I NEED TO.

I’m a member at a very popular gym in my hometown and, unfortunately, it has a few qualities about it that I wish I thought it over more when I joined.   The alluring temptation of the membership fee being waived and a $30 a month with no contract easily won my cheap brain over as I was fully aware  that the other gyms in my area cost much more.  ($200 membership fees with $50 a month was the last gym I attended)

Of course I’m not the only one who likes a bargain so probably 1/3rd of my town is a member there too which makes it difficult to get the machines you desire.  There only seems to be about five hours in the time span of the gym being open that it’s not insanely packed.  Sure, the thick and invisible fog of sweat and hot circulated air that engulfs your body as soon as you walk in may be enough to make you want to immediately walk back out, but maybe it has an opposite reaction for you!   Maybe it’s motivation enough for you to get your work-out OVER and done with so you can contribute your essence to the gym’s atmosphere and walk back out to that wonderful reward of fresh air that doesn’t have humidity made out of sweat to it.

I do enjoy watching the people who take the time to wipe down  the machines afterwards though.  The OCD in me watches which areas they spray, which areas they wipe down, and which areas they neglect completely even though their sweaty palms were clutching to those side handle bars for most of the work-out.  It’s fun to play a little game with myself as I swish along on the elliptical on guessing which sweaty people will actually clean their machines after.  If you ever need some sort of entertainment in a gym that offers sanitizing spray for people to wipe down the machines – I highly recommend making guesses on who you think does and doesn’t!  It can be quite surprising to see who does it but it’s always disappointing when you quickly realize the buffet of germs that are on the machines since so few people take the time to clean them off.

Regardless of the cleanliness of the machines or how heavy that air inside the building is, it’s time for me to go back.  I’m thinking about sacrificing my membership and coughing up the $200 and extra $20 a month to go for the other gym I mentioned in town. I loved that gym, it was hardly ever busy and all the classes had enough space in  them that you didn’t have to worry about having anyone’s body parts close to your face.

Do you go to a gym?  How often do you go?  What qualities do you look for when choosing a gym? Do you have any tips to make the time pass by with ease?

Enjoy your weekend!



Now Self versus Future Self

Do not disturb!

Do not disturb!

This morning, my alarm clock went off at its usual time, 8:10 AM (I know, I’m spoiled rotten. Thank you, work from home gods.) The sweet sounds of ukelele floated through the room as I pressed the blinking red “snooze” button on my iPhone, silencing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for a few more minutes (if you need a smile, listen to this song. I walked down the aisle to it!). As I snuggled into my pillow, I remembered I had the day off! As the joy of sleeping in filled my head with visions of pouncing through sleepy-cloud-land a bit longer, I remembered that Monday mornings I could go to a 9:30 Zumba class with one of my favorite instructors.

Suddenly, I was faced with a decision. I could stay in bed, curled up in my traveling gnome pajamas with a kitten wrapped around my head and a lazy tabby at my feet. I could enjoy my day off to the fullest by getting some extra Z’s, waking up later, around 10 AM, maybe even 11, with rays of sun peeking through the blinds. OR…. I could get out of bed, into the cold bedroom air, and put on my workout clothes. I could fill up my water bottle, grab my keys, and drive ten minutes to the gym, where I could jolt myself awake with loud latin music and screaming, sweaty women.

As I lay in bed negotiating with myself, I caught a glimpse of this book on my nightstand –The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It. This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I suddenly remembered one of the main points of this book – we all have a “now” self, and a “future” self. When we’re facing a willpower challenge, in my case, getting up and going to the gym, I tend to always think about my “now” self. My “now” self wants to stay in bed, to be lazy and warm, to not have to do any sort of ‘work’ on my day off. But what about my “future” self? My “future” self wants to fit into size 16 jeans, go on vacation to Thailand without fear of being ridiculed for my size, and to one day have healthy, happy pregnancies without being “high risk” because of my weight. My “future” self knows that I’ll feel great after a workout, and that’s the most important thing.

Seeing that book reminded me that I’d rather have what my “future” self was having – a healthier, happier future. So I got out of bed, into the cold bedroom air, put on my workout clothes, filled up my water bottle, drove to the gym, and jolted myself awake with loud latin music and screaming, sweaty women. My “future” self said “Thank You.”

When you’re faced with a decision, do you ever look at it as “now” self versus “future self”? You can also think about it like what would feel good now, versus what would feel good later. Most of the time, unless we’re really, really sick or emotionally not good, the “feel good later” will end up being the better deal. 🙂 What do you think?

My Fitness Evaluation

So remember how I blogged about my upcoming fitness evaluation? The few days before, I was legit nervous. Like, “ERMAHGERD I’M GONNA HAVE TO FACE THE FACT THAT I’M GROSSLY OUT OF SHAPE.”. Even though I already knew that, there was some sort of like… impact of being told it by a fitness professional. (I’m sure to some extent that will happen at Fitbloggin’ anyways,  but still – YAY! Only 2 more days!)

So, I was being my usual self, day dreaming about maybe I should re-schedule it, because you know, I was flying to San Francisco for work Monday morning, and I really had a lot to do over the weekend… or maybe I should wait a couple days so my bloating goes away… I’m the mayor of excuses village. But, every time I came up with one of these crazy excuses, I reminded myself that denial aint just a river in Egypt, and I needed to just face my fear and do it. So I was all set. I went to my Fitness Evaluation the next day. Right?

I saw Fiona Apple on Friday night (she was fantastic! I love her because she’s a total koo-koo-roo and did push ups against her piano randomly and sang like a female Tom Waits). I wasn’t feeling great, but I figured it was my allergies acting up. I got home, popped an allergy pill, and got into bed where I had the dizzy spins, kind of like that time in highschool I decided it would be a good idea to mix a cup of goldschlager with chocolate milk. (Good idea? Worst idea ever.) I fell asleep, woke up at 2:30 AM with the chills, ran to the bathroom – and my body purged every single little thing I had ingested in the last 24 hours.

I’m not going to get into details, but let’s just say it was NOT pretty, and I spent the remainder of the night sleeping next to an industrial sized bucket. The next day I woke up kind of shaky and run down, but thankfully, barf-free. I decided to reschedule my fitness evaluation. Don’t worry – I’m going to do it as soon as I get home from working on site this week and Baltimore. I just thought it was ironic that my brain was so intent on finding a way to put it off that I got food poisoning. HOWEVER, I’m not owning up to this one, because there’s no way in hell I’d pick food poisoning over a fitness evaluation. Body, you got pwned.

Have your best laid plans ever been foiled by the evil, evil food poisoning? What was the culprit? (I’m blaming a vanilla cupcake from Aroma Cafe. It was good but I could tell it wasn’t super fresh. Of course I ate it anyways. Sigh.)


Making Fitness Work For Me

I'm not horsing around with my fitness anymore. (Creepy and awesome mask courtesy of my brother Tommy)

Good morning, everybody! Remember how last week I had an exercise confession? Well, I’ve been making sure that I don’t let that happen again – by taking quick 10 minute breaks during the day to ride my bike to the post office, or walk to the grocery store. Last night I took a major step in reclaiming my fitness – I re-joined my old gym, Total Woman.

In January my membership expired, and because CSUN had opened their new and free gym, I decided to start using that. However, because of the annoying parking that you have to pay $180 every 3 months to use, the limited class hours because they’re designed for students who don’t work, and the co-ed mixed gender vibe, I decided to re-join my old gym. The CSUN Rec Center is amazing, but I really missed my Saturday morning boxing class,  the hot-tub, and the fact that Total Woman is women only. I missed working out with some of my friends who are members… Merrie, Eileen, Sal… There’s also some sort of comfort factor in knowing that nobody cares if you rolled out of bed, forgot to brush your teeth, and still have zit cream on your chin. Not that anybody cared at CSUN, but I feel like when I’m surrounded by all women, I can be 100% transparent in the fact that I’m there to get in shape – not attract a mate or meet new friends.

There’s also the “I’m paying for this” factor that seems to help pressure me into going. At CSUN, the gym dues were part of my tuition, so I technically did pay for it, but I didn’t have that fire under my butt saying “Do you really want to waste $39 this month?”. Since I am a frugalista at heart, I know I’m not going to just sit on my butt when my hard-earned cash is at work. So there ya have it. I went in last night and the sweet membership girl remembered me, so she worked out some savings for me – and this is the best part – she noticed last time I was a member, I never did my fitness evaluation. This is basically where you get weighed, measured, BMIed and tested on all sorts of levels of fitness. Can you see why I never did it?! 😉 She offered to schedule me an appointment and I casually noted how my schedule was crazy and I’d call in to make an appointment. Well…. I was in the locker room getting changed for my workout, and she walked up with a fitness evaluator and scheduled my appointment RIGHT THEN AND THERE. So… now I have a fitness evaluation on Saturday morning and I’m terrified – but I know everything I’ll be told is everything I know. It’s more just the sting of being reminded that I’m fat, out of shape and have a lot of work to do. But, as my clever husband reminded me, that’s why I’m there – and that every epic journey starts with one small step.



Weekly Weigh In

Yummy Mini Cupcakes at Amy's Shower (I only had 2!)

Hi everybody! How was your weekend? Mine was awesome and very busy with seeing Dark Knight (surprisingly loved it – I’m not a big action movie person but I really liked the storyline), attending my sweet friend Amy’s bridal shower, getting a mani/pedi with my buddy Jenny, and then heading to Pasadena to have dinner and birthday drinks with our girl Hilda. It was a super social weekend and jam packed with fun. I haven’t done a weigh in post in awhile because I figured you all see the ticker on the right hand side of the page, but it seemed like a good time to check in with you all!

As of this morning I’m holding steady at 7 pounds lost – not as far along in my weight loss journey as I’d like, but certainly better than losing nothing or worse – gaining! There’s one major obstacle standing in my way. I’m getting better and better with the eating, especially portion control – but what I’m struggling with is exercise. By the time I get home from work and clock some thesis hours, I’m too tired and lazy to go to the gym. Does anyone have any tips for me? I have my gym bag packed and in my car so tomorrow on my way home from work I can go right to the gym, and with my new job, I have no excuse because I will seriously drive right past it. I’ve also debated exercising in the morning, as I’ve heard that getting that early morning endorphin rush can help set the tone for a great day. Any early bird fitness freaks out there? What do you think?

I know if I can get my butt back into gear, the weight will start sliding off. Today I had a major “WHOA” moment when I realized Matt and I head to Thailand in 4 short months and 23 days! I have about 14 pounds to lose until my first mini goal, so I think that’s a reasonable amount of time to safely and slowly shed that weight without having to abandon some of my favorite things. I’ll already be celebrating two major things in December – my 10 year dating anniversary with my husband, and graduating with my MA. How awesome would it be to celebrate those things just a little bit healthier and with a little more energy? Sounds awesome to me.

If you’re watching your weight, how’s it going? Any challenges? Successes? Non-Scale Victories? Chime in!



Reality Check

Today, I got a reality check. When I weighed in at the gym three weeks ago, I wasn’t happy about what I saw. Today, I REALLY got a reality check at my first Weight Watchers meeting at work. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I gotta keep it real, because that’s my promise to you, reader. That’s what blog is for. I’ve gained about 9 pounds back out of the 12 I’ve recently lost. Ugh. It sucks. But I can’t sit here and whine and pretend that I don’t know why it happened. It happened because I celebrated the end of my semester with delicious things like Bailey’s Irish Cream, and because I ate gooey brie cheese on top of triscuits at midnight while playing Monopoly. It happened because I took a break from the treadmill in favor of my couch, and because I got so wrapped up in buying gifts and taking finals and traveling and sleeping and this and that, that I forgot about the real goal.

What’s the silver lining? The silver lining is that it’s never too late to start over – and today, I started over. I am committing to you, to this blog, and most importantly, to myself, that next week I will have lost some weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s half of a pound or four, but next week, the scale will be ticking downwards. It has to be. There’s no better time than now – while I have the support of my co-workers as we all battle the bulge together, and while I have the clean slate of a fresh new year

. I’m going to be tracking my points on my iPhone, and working out at least three times a week. I’ll use my little sticker calendar plan to chart my work outs, and I’ll drink more water. I’ll try to avoid snacks as a remedy for stress, and more than ever, I’ll use this blog as an outlet. I have to do this, because I realized with some remorse the other day, that every year, my resolution is the same. To lose weight. Next year, I don’t want the same resolution. I want to do this now, while I’m young and sparky. Several of my more “mature” friends have warned me that it’s a million times better to shed the weight now, so I gotta do it. I must. I can. I will.

What was the last reality check you had about something you’ve been avoiding, ignoring or had just plain forgotten about?