How I Learned to Stop Slacking and Love the Gym

Hello fellow Broke Ones!  I have a confession to make.  I have been in a total fitness rut.  When I last visited the Doc in a Box for a sinus infection, she noticed what every doctor notices and realllllly wants to talk about:  My spine is as crooked as a question mark.  I have double scoliosis and always have.  She failed to prescribe antibiotics (Why have doctors gotten so stingy about this?), but succeeded in making me feel like a self-destructive dolt for  not taking care of my junkyard of a back.  “You really should be exercising at least an hour a day…preferably yoga.  Your condition is going to get much worse if you don’t.”

Something like this, I assume.
Something like this, I assume.

I’ve heard this before.  I usually get pissier than a Thin Privilege blogger whose doctor tells them they should probably drop a pound or two about it, but I know they’re right.  I just don’t like to think of myself as a person with medical issues.  I don’t want to feel weak or broken.  It’s much easier to just come home after work, hunch over my sewing machine, and self-medicate that back pain with a few glasses of wine.

I finally realized that this is stupid.

I knew I needed to start working out, but I kept coming up with some incredibly brilliant and a couple of ridiculous excuses to avoid it.  Then, I came up with clever arguments for my excuses.

And I’m going to share some of them with you!

Excuse #1:  I look fine.

I don’t mean this in that “DAMN!  That girl is FIIIINE!” sense.  When I look in the mirror naked, I think, “Meh.  I’m alright”.  I look okay. I’m thin, and have a naturally okay body without really having to try very hard.  Nobody’s going to write a graphic romance novel about it, and I don’t relish wearing shorts, but my body is generally tolerable-looking.

Reality:  This isn’t about appearance.  This is about my health.  I need to be in better shape in order to have a happy & fulfilling life when I’m older.  This is an investment in my future.  Having more energy and not having to constantly ask strapping young men to do my heavy lifting for me would be nice too.

Just put that right over there, will ya?
Just put that right over there, will ya?

Excuse #2:  I Can’t Afford a Gym Membership.

When you don’t have much cash to spare for basics like top-shelf liquor, it’s really hard to justify forking over a monthly fee to sweat around a bunch of strangers while awkwardly wearing spandex.

Reality:  Oh puh-leeze.  First of all, you don’t have to join a gym.  You can go running or check out workout DVDs for free from the public library.  And guess what?  There are free gyms out there!  Check out your friends’ apartment complexes and churches (even if you’re a non-believer/non-parishioner, some churches have workout facilities that are open to the community).

You can haggle with the salesperson at a gym.  If their membership numbers are low at the moment, they’ll probably work with you.  The worst thing they can say is no.

Also, don’t forget the power of that decade-old student ID!  I actually used mine to get a significant discount at a really nice gym that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

Seems Legit.
Seems Legit.

EXCUSE #3:  I Don’t Have Time.

I’m busy!  I have another blog to maintain and tons of sewing to do so I have something to post on said blog!  It’s like having a second job!  I have a social life and relationships to cultivate.  I have housework to do!  And that lawn isn’t going to mow itself!

Reality:  This is such B.S.  How much time do you spend watching TV?  How much time do you spend oversleeping?  How much time do you spend reading stupid blogs? I recently completed a grueling 366 day project.  I made time for that.  I can make time for this.  Find out what is sucking up what could be productive time and stop doing that thing.

Always make time for the love.
Always make time for the love.

EXCUSE #4:  My hair looks too nice today and I don’t want to mess it up.

I mean…I washed it and everything.

Reality:  No it doesn’t.  I’m not saying it looks like crap, but it’s probably not all that great.  Are you a supermodel?  If not, your hair probably looks okay and once you spray on some dry shampoo post-workout it will look okay again.   If you are a supermodel, you probably have a staff person to style your hair for you (and you probably also already work out).

I usually wear my hair like this, so why do I even try to use this excuse?

With this humidity your hair isn't leaving that scarf/messy bun for at least 2 months!
With this humidity your hair isn’t leaving that scarf/messy bun for at least 2 months!

So, these are my top excuses for avoiding working out.  I’m not going to listen to them anymore.  This is the last anyone will hear of them.  🙂

What are your excuses?  Can you come up with your own arguments against them?  Hmmmmmnnnn????

20 thoughts on “How I Learned to Stop Slacking and Love the Gym”

  1. You can get a month of unlimited yoga at Sun Spirit Yoga Wellness in West Columbia from now until Labor Day for only $60… that’s half price, ya’ll. Plus, the first class is f-r-e-e!

  2. Something good to remember about exercise is this: it doesn’t have to be a drag, going to the gym to pump iron for an hour a day. Some fun things can count as exercise too, like dancing, gardening, and strolling through a park trail (early mornings or evenings, or when the weather cools down some), and these things can be done for FREE! just something to remember in case you get tired of the gym scene everyday.

  3. I have recently completed my weight-loss goal of losing 40lbs. Even though I was kind of worried about my weight as my clothing started to get tight and I knew I had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, the thing that finally got me motivated was the development of massive back problems. My continuing motivation is the idea of being able to walk when I’m 80, because that would be awesome.
    BTW, yoga rocks, but I highly recommend finding a class that focuses on back care or a teacher who is familiar with back problems. You’ll probably be the youngest person in the class (I’m 42 and that is frequently the case for me), but it’s important to have teachers who can help you modify postures for your back’s level of screwed-upness.

  4. I read your post thinking,, Yeah!, what she said! The reality for me is that I hate the gym, but I make myself go at least once a week. It’s a bore to me.. But what do you do the other days, you ask? I ballroom dance! It is so much fun and expends alot of energy. I take one private class a week, but there are group classes all over the place that run from $5 to $10 for an hour or more class and free dance afterwards so you could be dancing for hours and not know how much exercise you’re getting, because it doesn’t feel llike exercise. It is so much fun!

  5. I am kiiinda in the same boat–I’ve always been effortlessly skinny. Somehow though, I gained a lot in a short amount of time (I still am in single-digit dress sizes, but definitely “curvier”). Not sure what is going on, but going to the gym is a good first step. It’s hard though, I’ve been 5 mornings a week for a half hour doing a cardio/weight combo for over a month and literally NO RESULTS. None. No weight loss, no muscle definition, no “healthier/more awake feeling” I hear happens… The weight just stays, stubbornly where it is. My excuse lately has been “well nothing’s working so why do ANYTHING”… not good. Kudos to you for hanging in there!

  6. People get hung up on The Gym. As you and others say you don’t need it, especially if you don’t like it. Other ideas – borrow exercise DVDs from friends, use high school track (can do interval training even if you are not a “runner”), check out community center classes, or join a sports club (soccer, softball, dodgeball…). For me, exercising at home with various DVDs was key because of limited time and child care. It is very efficient – no driving, waiting, stalling (temptations to chat instead of exercise). Keep up the good work!

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