Why My Gym and I Don’t Like Each Other

cartoon of woman working out in the gym looking funny

 “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.” – Yogi Berra

Pizza, they rightly say, is a slice of heaven. And I have been known to indulge when it comes to that. And I think I have figured out why that is.

Pizza is everywhere. Everywhere I go and think of going, pizza is waiting for an opportunity to pounce on me. If I did not know any better, I would say it is stalking me. But I think I know better.

Like everyone else, the gift of staying confined for the pandemic came bearing ‘gifts’ – of online orders and expedited food delivery.

And also twenty pounds of unwanted weight.

All that pizza weight is starting to show everywhere. The pile of clothes that no longer fit is a shameful reminder that ‘I let myself go’.

A quick scan of bank statements revealed that a shopping spree for replacing clothes is not on the cards. I would have to go for the second best, albeit the dreaded option.

A gym.

I enrolled for a gym membership, hoping to God I become a regular there.

Why prayers?

Because I know I will probably make it there for two days, once in the excitement of the first day and the second to renew the membership.

Although the company of health nuts is invigorating initially, it goes downhill pretty quickly. This is considering how soon I usually realize my ignorance in sustaining the conversation and, after some point, even understanding it.

While the former makes me look disinterested, the latter makes me look completely dumb. Neither of these is ideal, considering the end game.

I summoned all my willpower and directed it to become a regular gym attendant. I can do it, I tell myself. I am so pumped that I even play Eye of the Tiger on my earphones while walking to the gym. 

I use all the excellent self-improvement tips that I have learned over the years and create a plan with four major guiding principles : 

1) Start small.

2) Take it one step at a time.

3) Avoid distractions.

4) Reward yourself.

It worked out well for the first week. I managed to spend at least 30 minutes in the gym every day for the week. I avoided guilt and consciousness by choosing a time when barely anyone would be there.

Frankly, it irks me to see people who can keep running on the treadmill for hours without breaking a sweat. I don’t want Jason Bournes or James Bonds training in my gym. They are bad for my self-esteem. I hate them, mostly because I manage to be breathless on the treadmill in less than three minutes.

With this non-existent level of fitness that I began with, I am in awe of myself, completing the first week. I found that especially impressive, given that the shortest route to the gym has a pizza shop.

Okay, I made good on the first three guiding principles; now it’s time for the reward.

It’s day 8, a cheat day, and I can eat whatever I want today.

Any guess on what my cheat meal is going to be?


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