Friends, I am an all new woman! Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an overstatement, but I’m succeeding at something that I never thought possible. I’m eating healthy and going to the gym regularly! And now you probably feel like I’m not relatable, because if you’re anything like I’ve always been then you most likely hate exercise and love chocolate (same, girlfriend, same).
The Girl Who Hates Exercise
Believe me, if anyone knows the feeling of hopelessness when it comes to fitness and healthy living, it’s me. I’m the girl who’s tried a million times to try and get fit, only to have it come crashing down. I’m the girl who gained 30 pounds from a year of anxiety and depression. Those things led me to live an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle. If we’re being really transparent here, I’m that girl.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with physical activity. I mean sure, there were a few things I enjoyed like dancing, walking, and boxing (though that was mostly because of the good looking guys there). For the most part, though, I’ve always hated exercise. Running was a no go because of my asthma, so gym class in school was always a struggle. And because of those struggles, I’ve always felt this sense of shame about myself and my physical abilities. That definitely wasn’t helping my cause.
After numerous attempts over the past year and sulking about how I felt about myself, something drastic happened. I got a job in town and decided on a whim to purchase a gym membership at Planet Fitness. A part of me decided that enough was enough, and that I needed to get my life together. I had a job I enjoyed. Why not take it a step further to start feeling better about myself? So I purchased the black card membership (which I’ll talk about shortly) and committed to going 3-4 times per week.
Let me tell you, I have never felt so fantastic about myself in my life. Not only have a lost quite a bit of weight already (it’s only been about a month), but I also have more energy, motivation, and better overall wellness. So what about this situation is different than my previous attempts at fitness?
Why Planet Fitness
For those of you who don’t know what Planet Fitness is (I didn’t until they recently opened a gym in my town), they are a gym that prides themselves on being judgment free and a safe space for people of all ages and skill levels to workout. They have facilities all across Canada and the United States and have incredibly low membership rates! I’ve noticed they hold promotions for their memberships every now and then, so there are times when you can sign up for an even lower cost than usual!
Since beginning my membership, I’ve found the staff and attendees at Planet Fitness to be nothing but kind and incredibly helpful. At my home location, I see people of all different ages exercising together, which is a really beautiful thing. Everyone belongs. No one judges.
Another thing I really enjoy about this gym is its setup. I will say that I’ve only ever been to this location and can’t speak to the setup of other locations. First of all, this place has A TON of cardio equipment! Have you ever gone to the gym and had to wait for a treadmill or an eliptical? I have, and the only thing I hate more than exercising is having to wait in line to exercise – the anticipation just kills me!
At Planet Fitness, I have never had to wait for a machine. And I go right after work, which is apparently one of their busier times. They also have a long row of television screens playing a variety of stations in front of the cardio equipment. To listen, just plug headphones into your cardio machine and choose the channel you want. I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea to make cardio feel more bearable for those of us who need a distraction! All of the equipment is purple and yellow (their brand colours), which I think is super fun, and the windows bring in a natural light that gives me an essence of relief while working out.
The Black Card Membership
I. AM. OBSESSED. That’s all I even really have to say about that, because it’s so phenomenal and so incredibly worth it. Let me explain this beautiful concept for you.
The black card membership at Planet Fitness is the upgraded membership program. It has a wide variety of perks. With a regular membership, you can access the gym as well as any classes that the gym holds, including the “create your own program” class with the personal trainer. It’s approximately $10 CAD per month (convert that to USD if you’re American, our dollar is awful right now so it’s probably even less for you haha) with pretty decent perks, right? Well, WAIT UNTIL I TELL YOU ABOUT THE BLACK CARD, GIRLFRIEND.
With the black card, Planet Fitness becomes so much more than just a gym. You can access massage chairs, hydromassage loungers, the total body enhancement machine (I’ll explain), tanning beds (if that’s something you’re interested in, although please be aware that use of indoor tanning equipment has been linked to skin cancer so use at your own risk), discounted beverages out of the cooler, and more depending on your location’s available benefits. You basically get VIP perks! Now, you can go and do an intense workout and finish off with a relaxing massage to reward yourself. It’s the perfect incentive for those of us who hate working out! You can sign up for the regular or the black card membership here.
My Fitness Routine
Now, which perks do I recommend, you ask? Wow, such a great question! Let me just share my gym routine with you and you can try it out for yourself after getting your black card membership:
- I leave work at 4:30 PM, and from Monday to Thursday I head straight to Planet Fitness (about a five minute drive from where I work).
- When I get there, the first thing I like to do is use the total body enhancement machine. This machine essentially uses red light therapy and vibration therapy to provide you with a wide variety of benefits, including increased muscle toning, relaxation, and help with skin problems such as hyper-pigmentation, stretch marks, varicose veins, and signs of aging. You guys, I was so skeptical of this when the guy at the counter was explaining what it does. However, I have the black card, so I thought “why not give it a try?”. After some research I learned there are no health risks. Unlike tanning beds, the total body enhancement DOES NOT use UV emitting lights. Now, I’m not making this up. This isn’t sponsored (although even if it were, I would still be telling you the truth). I saw results almost immediately. Stretch marks have been something I’ve struggled with since I hit puberty. They’re on my hips, thighs, and just recently I noticed some showing up under my arms. As I’ve had the ones on my hips since I was like 10, I’ve grown pretty used to them, but I kid you not, they were already faded after just one use. I’ve also noticed the vibration therapy is a great warm up before trying to do cardio – I get tired a lot less quickly than without! You can use this machine for a maximum of 12 minutes.
- After that’s finished, I get changed into my workout clothes and head to the eliptical. I’ve been doing about 20 minutes of cardio every day for four days a week and am working on getting that up to 30 minutes per day. I usually listen to music while using the eliptical.
- For muscle toning, I alternate daily whether I focus on my upper or lower body. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I focus on toning my arms, chest, and back, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays I focus my exercises on my abs and legs. Never skip leg day, people! (I feel like such a gym rat saying that, haha).
- Finally, I end my session off with a seven minute massage on either the hydromassage bed or the hydromassage lounger. These machines are super cool, as they use powerful streams of water covered by a thin mattress to give you a full body massage. It’s the perfect way to reward yourself for the hard work you did (and a lot healthier than rewarding yourself with McDonalds, though no shame in that every ones and a while, hehe). This entire routine usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half!
So there you have it! If you’re trying to get healthy but hate working out, at least this way you can get some benefits and immediate gratification out of the deal (because isn’t that what we all want?!). Chit chat time! If you’ve successfully found a fitness routine that works for you, what are your tricks to being consistent and not hating your life when working out? If you have yet to find that balance, what do you think is stopping you? Let me know in the comments below. I really would love to hear from you and get to know you better so we can be friends! Also, be sure to get your access to the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY, as I’ll be adding something new to it every week!