After years of setting an alarm for 5am to roll out of bed for a spin class or packing a gym bag for after school workouts I realized a few weeks ago I I hadn’t been to the gym in a while so out of curiosity looked at my online health center account and it showed the last time I checked in to the gym was March 28th. I was so confused and thought “how have I gone this long with out going to the gym?” And I had to look within myself and really think about how I felt not going to the gym…and it was hard to ignore the cold hard truth…I felt fabulous. For me I tend to have all or nothing thinking and obsessional thoughts. The gym was my obsessional thought constantly going on in my head “I should go the gym, I should run on the treadmill, no, I should take body pump, no maybe I should go to a spin class, or just lift on my own, or maybe I should skip the gym and do grad work etc etc etc.” It was exhausting playing that same tape over and over in my head.
So on May 15th I pulled the plug (after much deliberation, poor Andrew was about to just flip a coin to help me decide!) I unjoined the gym. I have belonged to a gym for about 6 years. I had this fear that if I unjoined the gym I would gain 50 + lbs and be so out of shape. But what I found within those few weeks of unknowingly not using the gym I had not gained a pound and my eating habits had actually improved somewhat. By putting so much pressure on myself to hit the gym daily or every other day or maybe three times a week (see that tape is starting to play again!) I was turning to food to de-stress from stressing about the damn gym! I also made excuses for eating unhealthy foods such as “oh I will work it off tomorrow” or “I deserve this because I worked out hard today.” To me these are unhealthy thoughts.
So you may be wondering, well what the heck have you been doing with yourself? In all honesty I think I move more and work out in many different ways more than I ever did at the gym. Here a few of the things I do daily or at least weekly:
- Physique 57 DVD’s
- Bethenny Frankel’s Yoga DVD
- Random YouTube videos such as this awesome 10 minute arm workout
- Running with the Frederick Running Club 5k Women’s Group
- Walking a lot and often…during lunch breaks, around school, downtown, at parks or anywhere or anytime I can! (Tucker benefits from this too).
- I joined a volleyball league for the summer!
- The apartment gym for rainy days or days I don’t feel like running outside
- Taking yoga classes at a local studio (if I have the $ because it is about $10 a class and I am trying to save, plus I really like my Bethenny Yoga)
The fact that I don’t have the stress of feeling like I “have” to go the gym is so freeing and empowering to me! I am motivated to workout at home and it is so convenient to pop a video in or go for a walk as opposed to driving to the gym and finding the motivation to do a class or some sort of machine I don’t want to do half the time.
For me fitness is about fun, and what I can do that I want to keep doing for my lifetime, not just to look good in my jeans but to really feel fit, happy and healthy. So there you have it, my “no gym, no problem” story. If you are a gym goer, that is awesome, because that is what works for you and your body. I am trying to listen to my needs and my need right now is exactly where I am and what I am doing:)