I am going to tell you a little secret. When I joined the gym a couple of months ago, I told them my goals were to build strength and fitness but weight loss was not a major issue. I meant what I said at the time. I certainly didn’t want to be walking into a women’s weightloss gym and telling them I wanted to lose weight.
Now that I am quitting the gym with absolutely no weight loss to show for it, I am going to admit to you that I was secretly hoping that I would accidentally lose weight by going to the gym three times a week. I have been in the normal range for about 30 years, and probably still am. But I’d say I am getting to the high side of normal, and my clothes are getting tight. I am 1lb away from my “never go above” weight (and thats before breakfast). My main concern is that I am approaching the time of life where women start to gain extra weight, and find it harder to lose, I want to give myself the best chance of staying out of the overweight category.
I think my experience at the gym highlights a weakness of process goals, rather than outcome goals. I was aiming to go to the gym three times a week, and reward myself with a tick on the calendar, and hoping good things would come of it. However when I was at the gym I felt like I was serving time because had to go because I was paying for it, and didn’t really give it 100%. In the meantime I was actually avoiding other opportunities physical activity because I felt I had to save myself for the gym.
My last day at the gym is Saturday, and I have already lost interest in going. I have been walking in the park instead, and enjoying being outside in a more natural environment. Since I seemed to be spending my walks writing blog posts in my head and missing everything around me, I decided to do some meditation at the same time. I also took my camera along in case I saw something interesting.
On my last walk I managed to walk, meditate and take photos all within the hour, with each of these activities supporting the other, rather than competing. It feels like a more wholistic way to exercise. I am keeping in mind that yes, I would like to lose a little bit of weight and will need to make some effort to achieve that. I have stopped giving myself “ticks” on the calendar and instead give myself mental encouragement for having done my exercise for the day. I am hoping that by taking more personal responsibility for my exercise I will see better results.