So. Today marked the day of something big. I cancelled my gym membership. Big deal? Well, it kind of is...
In high school I had an eating disorder--actually, I had both (anorexia and bulimia). It was pretty bad I guess you could say. During this period of time, I got a membership to a gym that was right up the street from my house. I utilized that gym--EVERY DAY. For years. Burning hundreds of calories that I hadn't even consumed before I allowed myself to leave the gym, feeling like I was a failure if I didn't burn atleast 1000 per vist, and not allowing myself to eat a lot if I didn't work out. The gym was the only way (in my head atleast) that I would be able to have a normal day--a day with out as much guilt. I would blow people off, cancel plans, and do anything just to ensure my time there.
In the winter/spring of this year--I got a little crazy. I started going twice a day any time I could. I would get up at 4:45 am to go workout before work, skating, school, and anything else that day. Although my eating disorder's habits were left behind in '06/'07 I still had the reprocussions of everything that goes along with it. Bad body image, low confidence in weight, taking hours to decide what would be okay for me to eat and what wouldn't, thinking how I could lose weight, etc. It never fully leaves you. Eventually, after 6 years of belonging to that gym--going nearly every day, I got completely burnt out. I started HATING the elliptical, treadmill, and anything else that looked like it belonged in a cardio room. I disdained having to get on a machine to ensure my allocation to eat and wipe away my guilt for anything I may have eaten the day before. This summer I have been gym free--finding any other way to get my exercise.
I have really realized that going to the gym is completely lame--unless it's for something like yoga, pilates, or weights. I hated walking into the gym looking around at all the people that were just there to compensate. The people that ate unhealthy and justified it because they go to the gym. Forget that. I've lost weight since not working out as much. My appetite is normal and I get so much more out of a long walk or something I can do where there is atleast a slight change of scenery. Given, I figure skate, take ballet, walk a lot, and find time for biking, but those are all things that bring me great pleasure. They don't make me feel like I am just doing it to make it okay for me to feel like I can eat. It's funny too, because no one LIKES going to the gym, they just like the result they get after or they like telling people they went. So why not enjoy your workout and still get the benefit?
You say no big deal that I know longer have a gym membership, but I applaud myself for letting go of something that held me so tight for years.
So- Goodbye gym, hello desirable workouts!