Let's get some stuff out of the way. I am fat. I don't like exercise. I have never participated in a sport (except an ill-fated stint as a goalie in field hockey during high school.) But I don't like the way I look or feel. So I had to put a real plan into action. I had to rebel against my notion of exercise.
It's working. I am sort of loving going to the gym. Or as my gym, Midtown Athletic Club, emphatically proclaims: "More club than gym."me.
Here's what I have learned from going to the gym (excuse me, club) :
Reward me. It's all about the steam room and hot tub. If I row for 45 minutes and do weights for another 15, I get to go into the steam room or hot tub. It's that simple. I am a person who needs rewards to do things I don't want to do. Longevity and healthy aging are too conceptual. I need immediate gratification.
People who look like me. Previously, I thought that gyms were only for hard bodies, which I qualify for only in terms of my head, knees and toes. At my gym, I get motivated by seeing the fit folks, but I get comforted seeing plump ones. And I get hopeful seeing the older fit ones because it shows me the possibilities.
Fool me. My gym doesn't feel like a gym. Midtown has figured out a formula that has more appeal to a non-gym goer like me. They promote a sense of community. Lots of different programs -- many not related to fitness. Kid's area which my grandchildren love. Good healthy restaurant. Outside pool and bar. A staff that is intensely focused on customer service. Essentially, it makes the monthly fee (hefty) worth it. More importantly, I go. And it is becoming an important part of my life and social routine which is exactly what I need to become a fitter person.
Sometimes, my inner rebel needs a little trickery.