I've stopped going to the gym.
I got sick a couple of months ago with a really horrible cold and was out for a couple of weeks. Then naturally my kids got sick, so I couldn't take them to the day care, and before I knew it a month had passed. Since then I have done everything I can think of to get myself to the gym again - putting it on a to-do list, making day care appointments, planning to go with Ryan or meeting a friend there - and somehow it has gotten all too easy to cancel, back out, or scratch it off the list without doing it. I kept telling myself that I'm going to the gym, that I'm still a regular there, that I'm just getting back into the swing of things but fundamentally I'm still the same person that was going 4-5 times a week back in February.
But let's be honest. I'm going once a week. And that's just because I have an appointment with my personal trainer, who sees through my excuses. I thought getting a trainer would be a great motivation; after all, here's a professional whose job it is to whip me into shape. How could I fail when not only did I make a commitment to someone, but also threw large sums of money at the problem?
I can still fail because I'm with my trainer for 30 minutes a week, and I'm with myself for the other 10,050 minutes. She's not there to physically stop me from putting the junk food in my shopping cart, then into my mouth. She's not there to force me to make uber-healthy foods for dinner, to stick to a 1500-calorie daily limit, to make me feel better when I'm craving something I shouldn't have. I'm alone in that department, and frankly, I do a pretty lousy job at self-personal-training.
At my appointment on Wednesday (my token gym appearance for the week) my trainer took measurements. We're nearing the end of our 6-month contract, so she wanted to check and see how I'm doing. I knew exactly what the results would be, and I was right: 5 1/2 months of personal training, going to the gym almost daily for 4 months of that, and I hadn't lost a single pound. My body fat percentage was exactly the same. She was very gentle about it, didn't try to make me feel guilty, but it didn't really matter. I knew what my expectations were when I started, and I knew how badly I was meeting them. Instead of being motivational, a personal trainer was just one more person I disappointed.
So now any potential scrap of desire to get back to the gym is gone. I feel defeated. I feel like the effort I made for months and months made absolutely no difference, so why bother? Why give up two hours out of every morning, hours when Zack was at preschool and I only had one child at home, why put those hours into an activity that shows no return on my investment? Why not just sit on the couch and read a book, or hang out with a friend, or run nearly-child-free errands, or take a shower before lunch? On top of it all, I feel like a hypocrite. I just convinced two women in my ward of the joys of sacrificing your morning to the elliptical machine, and they're already asking why they don't see me there. And I've got my husband, who seems to be a never-ending fountain of determination, which leaves me feeling like something is capital-W Wrong with me for not being able to do this one simple thing.
The weight of my disappointment in myself is so heavy that no amount of strength training is lifting it. The only thing that keeps me going, that leaves the question mark in the title of this blog, is the fact that I am not a quitter. Generally. I kept skiing this season after my montrously bad first experience, and by the end of the season I was actually enjoying it. But is this the future I have to look forward to? Endless battles with myself over 20 pounds? Spending 1/12 of every day walking in place in a room full of sweaty people, watching morning talk shows? Why can't I just live with the 20 pounds and be happy?
I don't know. Maybe I'm just having a bad day/week/month. All I know is I'm out of energy for another self-pep-talk.