Dear New Girl at the Gym,
First, welcome. I can tell you are new here. Not just because I am kind of here a lot, but because you’re still finding your groove. Guess what? That’s okay! I remember when I first walked into a gym and just trotted along on the treadmill and watched the news because I wasn’t sure how to change the channels and didn’t want to look funny on the weight machines. I’ve been there too. Just because I did it a few years before you doesn’t make me any better. And if I get the chance, I am going to say hello. I want you to knowthat where you are is a a good place to be. I want you to know there are people who will answer your questions. I want this to become a community for you. I want this to be a community who is FOR you. I want you to be here long past March.
Second, way to go! I know it’s hard to decide to go someplace new. I know you’ve invested money and time to be here. If you have kids, I know (trust me, I know) what a workout it was just to get them all in shoes, coats, hats and to the childcare just to get to the weightroom or treadmill. I know the pressure you may feel when you put yourself out there and you look around feeling like everyone else knows what they are doing or that you’re in the way cause you’re a “resolutioner.” (Not everyone else knows what they are doing.)
I want you to know that I would rather park farther away for the rest of the year if it means the gym stays packed with people like you who grow in their commitment to health. I hope the gym is always this busy. I hope that if your kid is sick next week that you come back the next week. I hope you find a groove (and you will, give it time and I have a few tips below).
Remember, this time for you is GOOD for you and for everyone in your life. Prioritizing this is not selfish. It compounds the blessing that you are in every area of your life. You will have more energy, more focus and even feel better in your clothes this month. But think about the rest of your life! The choices to care for YOU today will impact your health 20, 30 years from now. Exercise builds muscle, increases metabolism, increases bone density, and most definitely decreases stress and increases sanity. Think about how NOT breaking your hip playing with your grandkids could because you made the resolute commitment to choose YOUR health even when it was uncomfortable. As it is said, life, growth and all good things start OUTSIDE you and I’s comfort zone.
If you’re struggling this month, know you have a cheerleader in me…and I bet, if we get to know each other, someday I will be rooted on by you too! Keep it up, my friend!
Some tips for getting started:
1. Schedule your weekly routine to go to the gym. Commit to it on your calendar before planning the rest of the week. It will help you stay on track.
2. Have a plan for each day you attend. There are so many resources online that you find tips and ideas for workouts.
3. Hire a trainer. If doesn’t have to be a weekly thing. You can hire an online trainer (I know a great one) or hire a trainer at your gym for one session. They can help you figure out some exercises that will help you reach your goals and then you can continue to build on those.
4. Have an accountability partner to call you on gym days or to work out with you.
5. Get gym clothes that you feel good in. That really makes a difference.
6. Eat to support your goals. Begin exploring what type of nutrition will help you recover. For example, if you are wanting to lose a few pounds it is important to eat in a way that burns fat, but preserves and even builds your valuable muscle at the same time. I have found that high fiber (veggies especially) and protein sources that include Leucine is key in this endeavor.