I joined Planet Fitness two days after New Years’ Day, joining up with the masses as we all resolve to lose weight – finally – in 2015. As my butt is large enough to start exerting its own gravitational pull on surrounding objects, knocking them over, I decided I should probably spend more time on the stationary bike and less time devouring doughnuts.
Joining a gym was a big first step for me. I’ve never joined a gym, preferring to show off my poor form in the comfort of my own home with only the screams of Bob Harper to keep me company during my “Body Boot Camp” or whatever the DVD was called. A huge motivation was the lack of a sign-up fee, and we all know momma can’t pass up a sale. ;)
So after purchasing said membership for $10 a month, I did the next natural thing one does when one joins a gym: I bought workout clothes. I found the softest, most comfortable yoga pants ever to pretend that they were worn by a fitness guru and a neon lime green shirt that promised to “wick away moisture” since I tend to sweat like a pig. It also matched my shoes so I could pretend I have my act together. And my mother-in-law bought me the cutest Thirty One bag that screamed, “This sexy, classy, graceful woman with her act together is going to the gym. Don’t hate.”
Spoiler alert: the bag is a big fat liar. But don’t tell the gym people that.
I still remember the first day I went to the gym. I was all by myself, and the Planet Fitness gym near me is huge and filled with all kinds of foreign objects that supposedly are supposed to make me buff, or at least buff lite since, according to some, it’s not a real gym. (Apparently, real gyms don’t have Pizza Mondays and Bagel Tuesdays, nor do they put buckets of Tootsie Rolls near the front entrance. But Planet Fitness has a lot of purple equipment, and purple is like my second favorite color so I keep going anyway.) Anyway, I was completely overwhelmed. I clutched my plastic water bottle for dear life and hoped my wide eyes of fear were not blatantly obvious to everyone else. I then spent the next couple minutes in the locker room, examining my reflection and preparing myself for working out. And no, that preparation wasn’t stretching. I forgot to stretch, okay? It was more of a pep talk between perfectionist me and motivational me, and it went something like this:
Perfectionist Me: Ugh, look at all those fat rolls. You are seriously going to go out there and make a fool of yourself? Why don’t we just go home and eat an entire pie? Chocolate with whipped cream pie sounds amazing. Let’s go.
Motivational Me: No, we are going to do this. We will feel better physically and emotionally, plus Ryan loves how we look in exercise clothes.
Perfectionist Me: But you have no idea what you are doing out there. You’ll probably not know how to use the machine, and you’ll look stupid. Looking stupid is practically death. Seriously, if you just army crawl, the employees will never know you left, and we can go home and eat a block of cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese is the bomb.
Motivational Me: Cheddar cheese is amazing, but you know we’ll regret doing that later. Instead, let’s turn on Pandora and show off our swag on the treadmill. If we work out for at least 30 minutes, we can go home and watch an episode of Bones and eat our frozen grapes, ok?
Perfectionist Me: Fine, but only if I get to choose the Pandora station. I’m feeling like some Pop Fitness and channeling my inner diva tonight. And no scary ab machines, okay? I’m not ready for that level of coordination tonight.
So I headed out into the main gym area, and I picked a treadmill, trying not to pick one next to someone too fit because they would totally judge me or one right next to someone else because it’s weird to pick a piece of equipment right next to someone when there are like four other machines further away. It sends off the “I’m a creeper” vibe, ya know? I held my head up high, trying to pretend that I’ve programmed this machine a million times and am not just pressing random buttons to get it started. And except for pulling out the emergency cord and stopping the machine suddenly in the middle of my walking and knocking over a stationary bike later that evening, I didn’t do too shabby. :)
Boom. I got this gym thing in the bag.
And even though I’ve been going semi-regularly for the last month now, I still feel like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but I keep going and I keep pretending like I have clue. Because that’s what gym people do, right? Fake it until you make it and your butt looks amazing?