Gym Memberships Are For Quitters. Here’s Why I Don’t Believe In Them.

image - Flickr / Kathleen Leavitt Cragun
image – Flickr / Kathleen Leavitt Cragun

Yesterday, my free 21-day trial pass to Gold’s Gym expired. It has been a good run, but it has made me reflect on why I do not believe in gym memberships.

In high school, I was fairly athletic. I did track and tennis. I tried to do a winter sport but my only options were basketball or wrestling. I didn’t make the basketball team and my mother refused to let me join the wrestling team.

My parents both had memberships to our local Gold’s Gym so I would often use their memberships, or just accompany my mom to the gym after track practice. And even when my parents’ memberships expired, I knew someone who worked at Gold’s Gym who would often let me just walk in and work out for free.

Needless to say, I have never had to pay for a gym membership in my life. And I have no desire to start now. Here’s why:

You know those people that either get gym memberships at the beginning of the year or only really use their existing memberships around that time to honor their New Year’s Resolutions? Then the rest of the year, they’re left paying for a membership that they rarely, if ever, use?

I was always afraid I would be that person. So I vowed that I would never, ever get a gym membership unless I knew I would absolutely make it worth it.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with fitness. Growing up, I was graced with a fast metabolism so I was always really skinny as a kid. It wasn’t until the beginning of high school that all my poor eating habits (think, sitting on the couch eating Hot Cheetos dipped in cream cheese) really began to catch up with me. It didn’t matter that I was on the track and tennis team, which both took place during different parts of the year, ensuring I was staying relatively active year-round; what mattered was what I was eating.

At the beginning of 2013, I embarked on what I thought would be another one of my short-lived “health kicks”. (I had one in 2007 that lasted a little over a year.) I often find myself in these short bursts of fitness/wellness, but have never been able to turn it successfully into a “lifestyle change” the way I always hope.

However, this time around, I am proud to say that finally, finally, I think it stuck. There are a lot of different factors at play here, but I think the one main component is determination.

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. I can sit here and try to tell you all the stuff you have all heard before on countless fitness blogs/articles, TV segments, etc. But I won’t.

All I want to tell you is that in a year and half, I have lost almost 30 lbs without starving myself, without a personal trainer, without taking supplements and without a gym membership.

All it took for me was to moderate my eating, to eat clean and exercise regularly. Again, all of which you have all heard before.

For me, allowing myself either two cheat meals or one full cheat day per week helped me sustain this newfound lifestyle. It can be done.

You have all the tools at your disposal. There are so many apps out there, many of which I credit my success to.

So what are you waiting for? You don’t have to join a gym. If you have a smartphone, everything you need is right in the palm of your hand. Like Nike says, “Just Do It”. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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