Many of you already know I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. (40 pounds, 44 inches, and 6 dress sizes!) I’ve been working out really hard to get to the point I’m at, and I’m not at all unhappy with the results. My only gripe, however, is that I’ve been on a plateau since January. January! I’ve tried changing up what I eat, working out even harder, you name it. No luck.

So the gym I’ve been going to is an all-women’s gym. It worked great to get me to the point I’m at now, but not so much once I hit the plateau. You see, there are only 12 or 13 machines there. You work each machine for 30 seconds and then you jog (or whatever you want to do) for 30 seconds on a recovery pad stationed in between each machine. I worked out hard, so hard that sweat would spray off me and the machines would sometimes come off the ground with all the effort I put into it! But then I think my body got used to it. Since there was no variety at this gym, (no classes, no additional machines or anything), I hit a plateau that wouldn’t budge. I only need to lose about 10 more pounds and tone up, but I was having no luck.

So for months, I kept asking the owner what I should do and she would always respond that she was on a plateau too and she didn’t know what to tell me. I would tell her the things I was doing differently but that nothing seemed to be working. She told me to Google it. That really rubbed me the wrong way. SHE is the owner of a health club, not me. That’s what I pay her for, to help me with my questions. She should have all kinds of resources and reliable information since she’s the owner. Not everything on the Internet that you Google, however, is reliable and accurate.

So finally, after eight months of not getting any help from her, I told her I was becoming uphappy there. I told her that at over $40 a month, I had paid over $300 for nothing. You know what she said? She said, well at least you have your health. I responded that I could have my health by going to another gym for the same price with better hours, more machines, cardio equipment, pool, showers, the works. Heck, I could have my health by working out at home or taking walks- for free. She became irritated with me and once again told me to Google plateaus.

That’s not all she’s said that’s rubbed me the wrong way. Back in November of last year, my weight loss started slowing down. When we were doing my monthly weigh-and-measurement, I expressed that I was saddened by that. She told me that I didn’t need to lose any more weight and that I needed to slow down anyway. (I was only losing 4-6 pounds a month, so there I was perfectly within range of healthy weight loss.)

I have a problem with people telling me I don’t need to lose more weight when, in fact, I do. Ironically, the only people who have ever told me that I should be happy where I am at and should stop trying to lose more weight are overweight people. (The owner of the gym is about 100 pounds overweight.) People who are a healthy weight tell me that I could indeed use some toning up (and they are correct.) I’m not unhappy with where I am, but I know I could do better. Look, I get that many people are striving to be the size I am at right now. But this size I am is not my optimum. I’ve been at my optimum before and there is nothing wrong with me wanting to be there again, and I find it rude when someone says I should stop trying to be the best I can be just because it makes them feel bad that they can’t or won’t do it themselves. I’ve come such a long way. When I first started working out, I was obese (I had a BMI over 30.) I’ve put in so much effort and so much work to get to where I am- why in the hell would I stop now when I am so close to reaching my optimum?

Also for a number of weeks, I started developing severe abdominal muscle cramps while I was working out. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I tried talking to the owner about it and she said to drink more water while I was exercising. That made it worse. So when I told her it didn’t help, guess what she said? To Google it because she didn’t know. Nevermind that she’s a health club owner. So one day I mentioned it to one of my friends during a conversation and she said she knew exactly what was causing it. I was dehydrated. She suggested I drink a large glass of water 30 minutes before exercising and to frequently sip (not drink or guzzle) water while working out. It worked.

The owner also kept it really warm in there. The thermostat was in the back room, but all the machines were in a large front room that opened directly up to the outside. So in the summer, all the heat and humidity cascaded right into that front room. She had the thermostat set to 72, which is fine. But the front room where you actually exercise was a good 3-4 degrees warmer than the back room where the thermostat was located. And I am being generous when I say 3-4 degrees… it very well may have been even hotter. There were a few times that I got so overheated that I saw black spots and almost fainted. When I told the owner, she bumped the thermostat down to 71. Five minutes later, she asked me if I could feel a difference. When I said no, she replied that she was freezing and she then put on her jacket. I told her that she should come work out with me as hard as I do and she wouldn’t be cold anymore.

So anyway. About a month after I had mentioned to the owner that I didn’t like spending over $300 on nothing, and she still wasn’t helping me any, I went to the gym and told her that regrettably, I needed to cancel.

“Okay, that’s fine,” she said. She didn’t ask me why, didn’t ask me if there was anything she could do, didn’t try to keep me as a customer. Seriously, our tv satellite provider has better customer service than this lady. At least they try to work with us and figure out how they can help us so they don’t lose our business. So anyway, I said that it sucked that I had to cancel and she said, “Yeah it does but I’ll move on.” Well, allrighty then. That made me feel really unappreciated and unimportant and solidified that I was making the right decision.

The next day, I went in and asked her for a copy of my chart with all my measurements from the time I joined.

“Well, that’ll take a few days,” she told me.

“It’ll only take a minute,” I replied with a smile. She swiveled around her chair to face her computer.

“I don’t know where it is on the computer,” she complained.

“I can wait,” I responded. I watched as it took her a whole thirty seconds to pull it up and press the print button. When she handed it to me, I looked at it and noticed it didn’t have all the information I needed. And it was only from the last nine months instead of the whole time I’d been there.

“I need an actual copy of my chart,” I said.

“Well, I’ll have to find your chart. I put it away yesterday.”

“Oh you’ll find it,” I said with a smile and a nod.

“Well, its going to take a while,” she grumbled.

“I have time.” With a grunt, she slowly meandered to the side room, a whopping three feet from her desk. Less than thirty seconds later, she emerged with my chart. All my measurements were on two pages, so it was a cinch to copy. It took all of maybe two minutes to get it all done.

So all that just makes me glad I cancelled. I don’t want to give a passive aggressive person who doesn’t appreciate me, has little to no knowledge about fitness, and who is severely lacking in customer service skills my money. So I joined a nearby gym that has childcare, showers, a pool, treadmills and all the gym equipment, hot tub, sauna, etc. And its the same price I was paying at the other gym. I’ve been working out at the new place for about a week and have already lost a couple pounds.

I think this is a much better choice for me. At least there, the staff are trained, knowledgeable, and helpful. And the person I talked to at the new place regarding memberships told me that I all I needed to do was tone up (which, according to the previous gym’s owner, I shouldn’t even be doing that and should  just be happy where I’m at.) And the temperature is much cooler in the new gym. Now that is money well spent.

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