I fought going to a gym for a long, long time. I always have said that I prefer to exercise outside, which is true. It's so much easier to walk out one's own front door and head for a nice walk or bike ride. Easier, cheaper, nice fresh air...it's perfect.
That was before I had my son. I didn't mind walking in freezing cold, snow, rain, or near darkness (in the summer I used to walk late in the evening when it was cooler), but I discovered that I do not like taking my son out in those conditions, even as he got older. Last winter, we would go for walks around the block when it wasn't too cold or snowy. I enjoyed them a lot but burned about 10 calories. This summer, we started walking the same time Steve left for work, about 7:45am. This worked for a long time, but Matt stopped enjoying being in a stroller and would fight to get out and walk. I thought about waking up earlier to walk Sadie before Matt woke up but struggled to get out of bed. I considered walking in the evenings after Matt went to bed but decided against it because it's the only little bit of time that Steve and I have together.
So, I decided to join the local gym that has a day care. I worried a little about leaving Matt at the day care because he wasn't doing so hot at church nursery. I didn't want to be sweating on the treadmill while my son was miserable and making the day care worker miserable as well. Mostly, I worried about paying good money for the gym and then never going because I have always hated working out at the gym.
To be fair, "always" happened a long time ago...close to 15 years ago. I was mid-twenties and either approaching 300 lbs or had just passed that marker. I felt intimidated and uncomfortable working out with all those gorgeous men and women who had perfect bodies. I didn't know what to do with the weights and tried to figure out the machines. I hated it and stopped going, even though I had paid for a full year.
This time, I took Steve with me when I signed up. I knew I wouldn't let myself be talked into anything if he was around. He has been very supportive of my gym membership, even though it's money we could use else where. He was even supportive when I told him I wanted a personal trainer for 6 months. Talk about expensive! Worth it, though. I like having someone show me how to use the machines and how to do free weight exercises. I feel like I belong in the weights area because I'm doing what my trainer told me to do. She pushes me just the right amount and not more. I like the little tips she gives that makes my workouts more productive and less harmful on joints...like tilting my pelvis upward while doing crunches.
Matt still clings to me when I drop him off at day care, but I've learned to sit him by Shondi, the grandma-like day care worker, and he'll be fine. She says that after I leave, he's just fine and plays hard. I know it's true because he's always having a grand 'ol time when I pick him up. I think it's good for him to have regular times to play with other kids. It's even helped him at church nursery. He's so much easier to leave there and the workers have told me he's great as soon as I leave. Having Matt in the day care at the gym keeps me going regularly. I sign him up a week in advance for Monday through Friday and am too lazy to call and cancel it on days I'd rather stay home, so I end up going. I haven't missed a day in over two months!
I know it's good for me to have a little me-time every day. Doing something for myself that makes me feel healthier and happier. It's a refreshing break that helps me get through the morning, which has always seemed to drag on forever until Steve gets home for lunch. Plus, I'm definitely seeing results, slowly. I have only lost 3 pounds (after initially gaining 5, which is common when one starts weight training) in two months, but I've lost inches off my waist, arms, chest, hips, and thighs! My clothes that were starting to be tight are loosening up again. I have more energy and feel really good. And, I don't worry at all about being older and chubbier than most of the people in there. That's one thing I love about aging; my confidence and comfort in my own skin is so much greater than when I was in my twenties. I don't care that I wear my ratty work-out clothes with no makeup and my hair looking crazy while many more (ridiculously so) are wearing cute outfits with their hair done and full face of makeup. To each their own.
The gym is like church, it's for everyone and everyone is at different places in their life. It's for those of us who are trying to reach weight loss goals and it's for others who are already pretty darn fit but who have other goals their trying to reach or are just working on maintaining.
So, I'm quite enjoying going to the gym. I miss walking in the mornings, but now that the weather is cooling off a bit, we'll start going for family walks in the evenings after dinner. And, Matt and I will be able to walk around the block (or longer since he's becoming a really good walker, just like his mom and grandma Susan). It will be good to just have fun walks and to not worry about how I'm going to get in my exercise.