“Going to the gym makes me fat!” said a close friend of mine.
How can that be? I had to stop and listen. Here is the story.
My friend had come to a fork in the road and decided at that point to choose the path of health. Hopefully the path we all take at one point in our lives. I call it the “Get Fit and Stay Fit” path. She had finally had enough of her old ways and was going to make some changes in her life. Get moving and making better choices in the food she ate. Every night after work, she walked her neighborhood, up and down the rolling hills. She cracks when I tell her this, but I remember her calling me and telling me how hard it was and that she always wanted to turn around and go home. She never did through my coaching. I told her that she had to keep going. Her route was a loop so once she passed the halfway mark, her only choice was to finish. Night after night, she walked and after a couple of weeks, she started to feel a little better, a little stronger. She actually became strong enough to start adding a little jog to the walk. As the months went by so did the weight. She dropped five pounds easily. Then ten… and twenty… and more. I remember the night she called me in complete and utter happiness. The more fit she became, the more exercise she wanted.
Enter “The Kathy Kaehler Fitness System” video, an oldie but goodie, recently touted on one of the last Oprah Winfrey Shows by the one and only Julia Roberts. I get a call from my friend and in between giggles, she told me she was in her apartment going up and down on the step in her bathing suit – it was too hot to wear anything else – and the sweat from my Fitness System workout was creating puddles of sweat below her. While cracking up with her from the visual, I was so proud of her! Needless to say, her weight continued to drop, her fitness level improved, and my friend was a happy camper.
Cut to LIFE. Sometimes the road of “Get in Shape and Stay in Shape” takes a detour. I realize it happens to many of us, even me!! You work so hard at something and then it goes away. Her work, schedule, and timing caused her to get out of the routine and to make matters worse, she ended up joining a gym thinking that would help. Instead, according to her, she got “fatter”. “How can this be?”
She would get to the gym and try the step class. If you have been into any gyms lately and tried the step class – if they still have them – you better have your masters in choreography. Many of today’s instructors don’t even get to the count of 8 before they have changed the pattern (that doesn’t happen with my DVD ). Without making it through the class and completely frustrated she moved onto the machines. She jumped on the treadmill, watched TV, watched other people, found herself out of breath, turn down the speed, lowered the elevation, got bored, and finally decided… “Argh…I’m going home.” Sound familiar?
This is what can happen. In your mind, you believe you have done something physical so you give yourself a little leeway. A little more snacking, a bite of this, a drink of that, and – pretty soon – you aren’t losing weight but gaining. You end up not even going to the gym and pretty soon you are back where you started. Hence, her “going to the gym makes me fatter” comment.
The problem here is not the gym. The problem it is finding something you know works for YOU. We all find ways to be active that fit our lifestyle, our personality, or talent or our desire. A particular activity that you like will help you stick to it. No one ever said exercise is easy. I am fighting my own guilt right now as I write this blog. I need to workout and I love it when I workout, but my list of other things to do is enormous. NO. NO. NO. Just stop what your are doing and go do something physical that you like to do! You will be so much better off. You will be much more efficient at everything you have to do once you have your workout under your belt.
Needless to say, my friend is back to her walk. She’s getting back on her old step in her bathing suit making new puddles of sweat. She’s enjoying it and she will get it all back.
I hope everyone who reads this can identify with this in one way or another. I have never met anyone that has regretted a workout and remember there is always someone busier than you on a treadmill right now.
To get my Kathy Kaehler’s Fitness System dvd visit www.kathykaehlerstore.com