After I was rebuked for my complaints about living alone, I decided to join the gym if only to get out of the house. The plan wasn't to get skinny but to be able to walk into my jeans not to negotiate my jiggly bits in there.
I was lucky to bump into an ex neighbour who showed me the ropes. Rule 1: get a gym buddy! When you slack, they pull you back into gear, ask you where you are and even make suggestions about things to try once there. What I love about gym is that whether you enjoy working out alone or in a group, you're covered. At first, I just went onto the treadmill followed by a variety of machines that have a kind of gym by pictures so you can't do it wrong, but I love group activities and hearing someone grunting next to me reassuring me that they too feel my anguish. There's no greater motivation than a fifty something year-old woman doing the same workout as you and not breaking a sweat. You keep going just to maintain your dignity!
The workers are also very friendly and eager to help or suggest exciting classes you can join. Rule 2: Gym was designed for fat, unhealthy people. You are in good company so don't worry about how you look!
Thanks to my gym buddy I found some classes I really enjoyed and soon I wasn't going to gym because I was paying for it or because it's the right thing to do. I actually looked forward to all my classes and felt really good after every single one. Rule 3: find something you really love over there whether it's just a machine or a hectic spin class. That one thing will really keep you coming back!
So after a few months and skipping sometimes a whole week at a time, I decided to broaden my horizons and found myself one class every day of the week that I comitted to trying out. In 2 weeks I was going to gym a minimum of 4 times a week. For just a one hour class. I tricked myself into thinking that it wasn't too much work or commitment but doing what I enjoyed every day.
I also discovered the steam room. Sometimes on a Sunday, I pack a gym bag with a swimsuit and shower kit. I reward myself with a half hour lounge in there. The serenity in that room is priceless and probably the best way to start the week. Rule 4: gym isn't all about hard work but can also be a place to unwind. Take advantage of that. You are paying for it, after all!
All in all I believe that a gym contract has been money well spent and the best part is seeing the results of my labour. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!