How quitting the gym helped me with my fitness goals.

At home workout

Naturally skinny. That is my downfall.

Many of us are skinny as children. Bony, lanky, slim, and then we blossom as we come of age where we fill out and take on a new struggle to go back to skinny, if you will.

I barely blossomed.

I weighed 104 pounds on my wedding day and 128 pounds at my last OB appointment before my first child was born. I ate whatever I wanted and worked out a minimum amount. I did not own a scale until a few years ago.

When you live in a small body, where changes in size are minor, you barely notice until one day when your pants don’t fit or your arms look jiggly, or your husband has a health scare and starts watching his cholesterol and loses 25 pounds, and then weighs the same as you. Ouch! You find the scale and step up on it…with a number in mind.

Then the number is 10 more than you thought…and you go back to the mirror. There it is around your waist and hips. All 10 pounds right there between your thighs and your rib cage.

And you start to think. about. it. a. lot.
I have been at this place a few times! Here I am again.

Sometimes, I diet. Sometimes, I run. Sometimes, I diet and run.

The hard part is that many people would love to be my size. A goal weight of 132 pounds seems extreme for some, and yet for me, it is 10 pounds over my goal. Years ago, I walked into Weight Watchers to learn how to read labels and make healthy choices and people seemed terrified that I was eager to lose weight.

I am into my 40’s, on my way out to be more truthful. I guess it should be getting harder to fit into last Fall’s jeans, but I do not want to settle.

For years we have had a family membership to the Y.  My husband goes faithfully. My kids go to hang out and play basketball with their friends.
I haven’t gone consistently in years, but just knowing I was a member made me feel more fit. I would have good intentions, mostly on Mondays, to head to the gym before starting my day. When Monday came, however, I couldn’t find the right work out pants, or I didn’t want to get sweaty because I had other things to do that day, or before I could walk out the door to get in my car I would get distracted by laundry or bills or smelly cat liter… and the list goes on.

Then I made a decision.

I walked into the gym for the first time in months, and removed myself from our membership. I told myself it was temporary and maybe it is.

The funny thing is…I went home and worked out. I got out the dumb bells that I used from time to time. I googled Barre 3 and began an intense workout in my kitchen. The next morning, I was on the treadmill again.

I have worked out in my PJs and in shorts I would never wear in public. I have lifted weights with wet hair after getting out of the shower and I have vacuumed the carpets during my rest intervals.
Yesterday, I had my husband drop me off about 3 miles from home while on his way to work. This morning, it was Barre 3 again and a 45 minute walk in the neighborhood.

I don’t think this is for everyone, especially if you have a gym membership and you actually go to the gym.

The point here is that by me removing the thing that was allowing me to make excuses, I started doing what I had intended to do all along. And for me, it is about moving my body, toning my muscles and feeling the benefits of an increased heart rate and fresh air when possible.

Quitting the gym doesn’t do much for my diet directly, but maybe again it does. Exercising and planning my workouts makes me think before I stop for Duck Donuts or skip water for sweet tea.

It is a mindset. I try not to subscribe to the notion that the calories I burned on the treadmill this morning will allow for a side of fries for lunch. Otherwise, I’d be getting nowhere with my overall goals of fitting into my jeans. I’d rather think, I worked hard this morning, so let it be carrots sticks or fruit for me.

If you want to start moving your body…I say, “do it.” You Tube is full of free and easy workouts that you can do in your kitchen. If the weather is nice, head out your front door. Couch to 5K is still my very favorite running plan for beginning runners. Find the original C25K running plan that I started with here. Almost anyone can run for 60 seconds to start, right. If you’d rather use an app that tells you when to run and when to walk, you can find it here.

Use the 30 minutes that you could be wasting on checking your Facebook feed or Instagram page for the 4th or 5th time today to move and breathe and feel more alive!