Sunday, December 30, 2007

finding "just right"

Yesterday was a day for organizing my weight-loss toolbox. As I reported yesterday, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting to have a record of where I started and bought meeting coupons so I have no excuse not to go.

Another piece of the puzzle was a gym membership. A couple of months before I moved, I cancelled my membership at a very nice no-frills gym. I really missed having a place to go for weight workouts. I also missed the social aspect of seeing the same people over and over when I went in to do my exercise. Things have settled down enough that I can imagine actually going to a gym, so we started looking into our options.

My husband had heard about a discount through his employer at a bare-bones place, so we checked that out first. No dice. The membership price was reasonable, except for a big joining fee, but the place depressed me. It was like someone had set up a gym in an old warehouse -- everything was in a couple of big rooms, and it was dingy and noisy with bad lighting. People grimly marched along on treadmills as we toured the place. I knew I wouldn't want to go there.

Next we checked out a brand-spanking-new, super-fancy gym that is going in nearby. The gym is still being built so we couldn't get a tour. Instead, we got to see a music video (no, I'm not kidding). A gym representative talked us through all the incredible offerings with the help of a big poster that showed all the stuff they had available. It sounded really amazing and state-of-the art, but I just want a place to work out. I don't need plasma TVs on all the treadmills and rave music blaring on the speakers. Throughout the entire sales pitch, when I was supposed to be getting dizzy with excitement from all the equipment and classes, I was just thinking, "I can't imagine how much this is going to cost." It was obvious why the representatives went through the whole explanation before talking about price. Of course, they wanted to sell you on all the cool stuff before you got sticker shock. When we finally got to that, the pricing was weird. There was one, super-high advertised price, then a special deal for signing up that day, and then, as we seemed not swayed, more negotiations. I didn't like the whole car-salesman routine. I think that we got a better offer because my husband is gorgeous (no, I'm not biased) and athletic and looks like the kind of person they'd want people to see when they toured the facility. But the "special" price was still a little high to me, and I really wondered if I'd feel at home working out at this place, which seemed destined to be filled with gym bunnies and trophy wives. I think the representative killed the sale, at least for me, when he said that everyone gets a three-dimensional representation of their starting point and their goal body. Yikes! Is there any woman in the United States who really wants to see a three-dimensional representation of the backs of her thighs?

I finally got a membership at the YMCA. It had seemed expensive at first, until we found out the pricing for the Uber-Gym. And it's friendly, sort of retro, and there are no plasma TVs. And no scary 3D pictures of my butt. I think it will be just right for us.

On the agenda for tomorrow: Grocery shopping. I need some good food in my shiny new fridge to help fuel this transformation.


  1. Picking out a new gym raises interesting and difficult choices for precisely the reasons you discovered. Good for you for checking out your options and picking the best one for you.

  2. Hi Jen. Sounds like a great way to start off the new year. I hope you continue to post here on a semi-regular basis and keep us posted. Take care of you!

  3. I agree that it is very confusing the way that all the different places do their pricing. I sort of start over each sememster and over the summer and change things up. I have just been re-evaluating what I am doing myself. Were you able to find a house sitter or rent the old house ??? The people behind us moved to the middle east for 2 years - their kids are all college or grown. They are keeping the house and have services for the lawn/snow. It seems very weird to have a house "sit" for 2+ years - but that is what they are doing. Glad things are starting to fall into place for you.

  4. That kind of used car salesmen pitch is one of the reasons I've avoided joining a gym. I've got a free 8-week pass to Bally that I'm going to try out though, so I guess I'll have to face the salesmen down.

  5. Holy guacamole - I just imagined a three-dimensional representation of the backs of my thighs and passed out from horror.

    Or should I say "holy cottage cheese" ... ugh!

    Good for you on getting the plan in place.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07