Sunday 3 May 2009


I'm thinking about going back. After all, Winter is on its way on this side of the world.

I signed up before with rose coloured glasses and lots of enthusiasm. We used to have a great relationship and I was a totally committed seven days a week.

The adrenalin rush was euphoric. In fact I became so focused on the magical 'first moments' that I was blind to the dark side of the relationship. A year passed. Then the gloss wore off and our time together became repetitive and dare I say it, a little boring. I lost interest. Eventually I chose to walk away. The break up wasn't taken well and there were accusations of broken agreements, followed by promises of better days and finally guilt trips to keep me entwined. It left me feeling bitter. I vowed to keep walking and to never go back to......the Gym ever again.

It seems problems with Gyms and their 'unfair contracts' are far more widespread than I realised.

I just finished reading CHOICE’s (a consumer organisation in Australia) expose on the gym industry I was interested, in particular, about international gyms like Fitness First. CHOICE names and shames the bad guys, highlights the pressure tactics used and outlines consumer’s rights. It even has draft letters that people can use to get out of unfair gym contracts. It's great reading for those thinking about joining a gym and for those who are currently trying to get out of contracts.

Nontheless, I think it's the right time to get off the couch and rejoin. Something. I walk a lot but need to do resistance training of some kind (more important the older we get).

Maybe I'll go to the gym really early in the mornings before my brain has kicked into gear and realises that I'm actually exercising. And no matter what, I will still keep wishing that some pharmaceutical company somewhere, someday, comes up with a miracle drug and puts exercise in a pill.....yeah, yeah, pigs might fly ....hey, wait a minute....

What about you? Do you exercise regularly? What do you do? Workout at home, at a gym or elsewhere.
Images -
Note: Reader giveaway at right for interested readers.


  1. I'm too easily intimidated to go to the gym!

    I have a fabulous air walker trainer machine ..which is SOOOOOO good for me.

  2. With homeowners due, we get free classes at the neighborhood gym. Right now I'm doing bootcamp twice a week (from 5:45 - 6:30 a.m. - zowweee). It's full of regular people. I like that.

    All things "Gym" related intimidate the heck out of me - the trainers, the beautiful people, the contracts.

    Give me a DVD and the privacy of my home any day!

  3. I wont join a gym, I"m very weird in that I wont exercise in front of anyone. I would DIE before I would exercise in front of a man i dont know. more place to go dosnt appeal to me at all.

    I'm fat, period. BUT..I like to walk. I've been walking just about every day now for about 2 months. Even if its 10 minutes I get out there. It gives me time to clear my head, pray, think, listen to nature and if I walk at night I get to peek into homes and get decorating ideas.

  4. Hahaha - ok, this post is great, but at the start my poor recovering brain just wasn't catching on ;o)

    I haven't been to the gym since I went on maternity leave, but when I return to work I'll rejoin.
    The gym is in my building, right opposite the cafe, and walking past it on the way to get a doughnut gives me a huge guilt trip. Its pretty much the only reason I go; it means I can still eat doughnuts!

    Go on - rejoin! You know you want to (ish)


  5. Personally if I do not go to a gym I would be sat in front of the TV eating crisps. I need the discipline of being in that kind of setting. Fitness First are rip off merchants as far as I can tell. I refuse to join their gyms because they are shady in terms of their contracts. They are an English company are they not? I know that we should be running around outdoors in the sunshine, hiking and what not but I live in a cold country and never see much sunshine. As for Em, now that is dedication. A boot camp? At that time? I salute her. I figure with the way the world is going ass up our health becomes more and more a priority. Maybe it will be all we have so we better bust our ass and get moving and at least die healthy. Tell me how the gym goes Lilly. You have to make the time.

  6. I have a Fitness First at the end of my street, but I did some research and found dozens of websites where people complained about their treatment from Fitness First. Hmmm. So I joined the gym at my local council-run aquatic centre and they're FANTASTIC. The equipment is in great nick, the place is often full of overweight, unfit people like me, the staff are supportive and they write personalised programs (included in the membership fee) and review them every six weeks.

    The problem is... of all the wonderful things they've given me, they just can't give me motivation! :D

  7. Lilly

    I workout at home and I built myself a gym. I also go to private yoga and Pilates classes which I adore. I like the one on one idea b/c I feel like I’m getting a better bang for my money and it’s all focused on me and the teacher. A long time ago I joined a gym and when I had my cycling accident they wouldn't let me out of my contract. It went into collections and they stalked me until I finally had to get a lawyer to pursue then and show then medical evidence of my accident. After 8 months it all stopped, they’re f**king insane and awful. I say before you join anything please read all the fine print, get really informed and don't let then push you into a decision that you’re not comfortable with.

    I find that we join gyms or whatever when we feel the most vulnerable about ourselves and they can sense that we are easy targets as soon as you start talking about what you’re looking for or want to achieve. It’s like going to the grocery store when you’re starving, what happens, well everything and anything hits your cart and all of a sudden you got two carts going and a complete stranger pushing your second. I say buyer beware and educated yourselves on all things that will affect;
    1. Your health
    2. Your credit
    3. Your peace of mind

    Never do anything when your feel vulnerable, weak or feeling bad about yourself and educate yourselves, it’s worth the time and energy.

    Lots of Love

  8. I go to a gym because it's easier for me to do that before work. I go three times a week and have for 10 years or more. It is just a way of life now. Personally I would not join a gym until you know for sure you want to commit to that again. Are there council run gyms where you live or perhaps a personal trainer would be a good idea.See what happens when none of us work out inthe fields anymore and lead far more sedentary lifestyles.I will be interested to see what others thing.JBs was a great response about not signing to anything when people are vulnerable.

  9. @ Sarah Lu Lu - the gym I may join has two different areas but I am interested in the circuit training more than anything. That machine sounds really itneresting though, have not heard of that.

    @ Em - funny you mention that about the beautiful people. My friend was telling me about how she went to this city gym and she saw a girl come into the change room with no makeup and sweats and hoody on. She then got changed into some tight lycra gymwear and then applied makeup just to go and exercise. Our gyms are not like that here, very ordinary people go to them (which is questionable in itself I guess). You are good doing boot camp that early. Way to go!!!

    @ Calming Scents - Dawnie, well you like to walk and garden and chase your grandkids and kids. Plus I have seen your basement with the exercise equipment in it. You are pretty busy all the time I think.

    @ Kimberly - he he, hey that is good that they have one in your office building. Plus you get to buy donuts nearby. Take your time you will get back into exercisign slowly. I have no excuses at all but motivation.

    @ Sarah - well you being the 5' 8" 120lb supermodel, we would expect you to live at the gym, he he. Fitness First is EVERYWHERE here and trust you Brits to give us your problems over here. Now more than ever people need to know not to lock thmeselves into dodgy contracts. Reading that Choice report its clear most gyms seem to be inconcsistent in how they administer the agreements. They will all be desperate for business now too so I might sent Jordan in given she is my little lawyer to strike a deal. I got invited by this PR company to go to some new release of an exercise product in London in a couple of weeks. Do you want to go? They clearly did not know I live 12,000 miles away -it looked really good too. Email me.

  10. @ Femina - seems the same issues keep coming up about Fitness First. And true about the motivation. Cardio is fine as I can do that easily on my own I just need a bit more help with the resistance training. I will ring around I think. Thanks for stopping by.

    @ JB - gosh you are impressive. That was a great response. Thanks. You built your own gym and do pilates and yoga. Pilates I really like as well. Seems like you had the same type of problems I did but I had actually finished my contract yet I still had problems with them - it really is buyer beware you are so right. Thanks for that your comment has been really helpful.

    @ Stefan - I knew you were a fitness fanatic and I think if you have been doing this for 10 years then it's pretty ingrained right? Does that mean you start at like 5am given you work such long hours over there?

  11. I belong to the YMCA near my house. It's a gorgeous new facility complete with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, outdoor pools with brightly colored kid's slides, three large gyms, workout-areas, machines and a big track with open windows that looks out over a farm. It's truly wonderful. I could end my contract anytime I want. I work out about three times a week and I love it. I used to belong to a Bally's Health Club many years ago, and they were hard-core about memberships and fees. It felt similar to buying a used car. I'm happy with my current gym membership. This is one relationship that gets better over time.

    Good choice, Lilly!;-)

  12. I work out on 16 acres daily ;-) I don't do gym cuz they stink...LOL I have a very sensitive nose and men really stink when they sweat...LOL (sorry)

    I use to get extra exercise when I had my babies around. Now that just leaves more time for outside.

    Oh, I also do the water exercise in my pool, well, that's what I told myself anyway to buy the pool.

  13. I just started working out again. I am getting flabby. I just need to tone up. So I paid for a $400 4 week "boot camp" course. It was at 5:30-6:30 AM. It promised to kick my butt and that I would see results in 4 weeks. I went once....

    It was so lame. I get a better workout chasing my kids and doing laundry.

    I am working out with Brandon now. He lifts weights daily. I figured he could work me out better than anyone, and I didn't even have to get dressed or leave the house.

    Crossing my fingers for an in shape body by bikini season.

  14. I go because I feel better afterwards, but all I do there these days is the bike and free weights since I have a morning yoga routine at home for my bad back and hip and I walk a lot, but the gym has a sauna which I adore.

  15. I really could do with some weight-lifting, but don't have time. I'm the head dog-walker so am out with him for about 1.5 hours every day in rain or shine.

  16. Good Sunday morning to you, Lilly.
    I go to a small personal training gym 5 days a week.

    I won't go to the big gyms like 24 hour fitness precisely because of the membership contracts you mentioned.

    They are really rip-offs, no matter which plan you choose, and it always seems you are tied in far longer than you initially agreed or there are mysterious extra fees added.

    Going to the gym helps with my muscle tone.

  17. I like the routine of going to the gym although I walk more in the summer. So saying, I don't think the gym is for everyone, it has to be something you think you'd enjoy. It's nice belonging to a club of regulars and you say hello and maybe a bit of conversation. The regulars all look great by the way!

  18. Downtown Seattle has lots of steep hills, and I make myself hoof up 'em. Cheaper than a gym and just as effective, for me!

  19. Take up Squash, or something similarly energentic that you can learn to like and that you can work your anger out on too.

    Not angry? Aw, go on with you. Who're you kidding?

  20. I have a similar love-hate relationship with the gym. I know if I don't go, I always pick up a few unflattering pounds (especially since gym-lapsing generally means food-lapsing as well). My choice turned out to be a local women's gym called Curves. For people like me who know nothing about a gym routine, it creates a basic pattern for you, and since it is resistance based, you can go as hard as you want to. Some people walk out looking like they haven't worked out at all whereas others are as sweaty and red-in-the-face as they would be coming out of a more traditional gym. I highly recommend it, if there are any--or anything similar--where you are.

  21. I hate the gym.I find it to be mind blowingly boring. I walk five times a week for 45 minutes.

  22. Important topic here, thanks Lilly.
    I had a bad experience with Bally Total Fitness in NY, very deceptive & money-hungry so I'm very wary now. But gym workouts help me lots so I'm joining a new one here in GA (free access). Exciting & I'll continue my walks/jogs/stretches. Have a blessed week.


  23. Hi Lilly, I go to the YMCA Sport's Centre every day.There's a good deal for codgers here. We pay a reasonable annual fee and can go as often as we like up to 3.30 They try to keep us fit so that we dont need carers or become bedblockers. I do aerobics, Pilates and Body Conditioning We have great fun and it gets the old seratonin working to help us stagger home

  24. I prefer to 'exercise my mind' and 'think myself thin', thank you very much...although the second bit never seems to work. All my exercise is at home, and from walking to and from shops/market/etc.

  25. I'm one of those crazies who LOVES to exercise!! Although sometimes I have to trick myself into it, like with soccer or raquetball. Something so much fun it doesn't feel like exercise. I love the sore muscles and the feeling that I've done something right!

    I also love to eat. Everything in site. So exercise is a necessity!! lol

  26. I used to encourage my wife to cycle ten miles every day. By the end of the first week she was in Dundee...

  27. Awwwwww.. I love those bears!! I got so caught up in their cuteness that I forgot to read the post! I had to go back and read it ~ lol

    Can I steal your top pic???

  28. My youngest daughter is a pilates instructor and personal trainer, so I should be better at doing this sort of thing than I am, I do take Tai Chi classes twice a week and I have a stationery bike here at the house and I run up and down stairs a lot. But I hedge and fudge wherever and whenever I can because basically I'm a lazy broad. Love the bear pictures!

  29. I work out most days a week doing either Kung Fu or CrossFit ( The CrossFit portion I do at home as we have a mini home gym set up - barbell, weights, pull up bar and a medicine ball, which is all you really need.
    You couldn't pay me to set foot in a Fitness First.

  30. I used to before my liver surgery. Ever since then, I have been struggling big time to get back on a regular schedule. Ugh!!! Help! =)

  31. I do nothing, except go from bed, to the lounge to the fridge. Well not quite but near enough and I realise in this day and age it is entirely unacceptable. But I couldnt lie and say I work out because I do not. Maybe this will encourage me Lilly.

  32. Hey Lilly,

    I'm usually fairly active but about 2 months ago I realised I had lost my exercising mojo. I was bored with exercising and even more bored with the 5kg I didn't seem to be able to get to bugger off!

    I decided drastic action needed to be taken so I started with a personal trainer (I call him Captain Agony) who I see once a week. Best thing I could have done. I'm getting fitter, have lost a bit of weight, toning up and have my mojo back.

    Captain Agony recommends 3 sessions of exercise a week but at a high intensity. He also recommends a mixture of weights and cardio. I didn't realise how high the intensity needed to be until I saw him.

    Anyway, good luck with it. Hopefully you'll get some ideas from all the comments!

  33. You know I ride a bicycle Lilly! Take that.
    It's a payback for the fascinating introduction to this post. I wandered right down the path with you; utterly fooled and hoping you weren't going to get yourself into some romantic trouble or other. Touche!

  34. Four days a week, very occasionally five, I walk twenty minutes to my work at a supermarket, where I then do several hours of weight lifting, customers groceries (why is everything giant economy size or 3 litre bottles?), before walking twenty minutes home again. All of this good exercise is then cancelld by sitting in front of the computer for several hours.

  35. I hit the gym three times a week, and walk the dogs 2.5 miles the other workdays when there's enough daylight to permit it.

    I'm not really disciplined, but I have a high tolerance for routine.

  36. Wash you mouth out with soap Lilly!
    I walk, not as often as I should, but thats what I do.
    Don't do it Lilly, don't go back to the gym. It is toooo cold to go in the mornings especially where you live.....Have a glass of wine, get closer to the heater.....anything but the gym!
    Big hugs

  37. i used to go to the gym but eventually slacked off and yes fitness first became a big problem for me! because of this i'm permanently turned off in joining any other gym.i'm exercising on my own now(when i feel like it)

  38. Ahhh, the gym. I have my very own down just 14 small steps but do you think I can drag my sorry butt down there on a regular basis? Oh no, no, no, no. I'd rather sit in the kitchen eating ribs and fried chicken and potato ship. no wonder my tush is so big :-)
    LOVE, Love, Love your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine!

  39. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. Its great to see so many people loving themselves enough to look after themselves. CJW666 - angry? Yes you could be right.

  40. I have to admit that i'm souch a couch potato which is very, very unhealthy. Im starting to feel the effects now, spending hours sitting in front of the computer. Never been to the gym. I really should start acting now though and work out at least 15 minutes a day.I know I should have done so long ago. Im just so lazy but that should change. yeah, thanks for reminding me again:) i really should get moving.

  41. my exercise is all mental..i think about exercising..

  42. Last year was my las visit to the gym. I do want to tell you that I like your short story at the beginning. It's cute. If I didn't see the bear, For sure, I would have thought you were talking about your personal relationship with "you know who." Hehe.

    I hope that I'll be able to do some exercising soon. All I have done this year, so far, was sitting on my plump behind.


  43. @ yellowdog - my exercise was mental, bwaaaahhhhh!!!

    @ Tasha - oh yes, I am the same mmmm, its not good. You are busy too!!

  44. My question is - does the thought of winter make you happy or is it sad? What does winter mean in Australia? How cold does it get?

    All I know is that summer is on its way here and I couldn't be happier. Maybe that's why I'm finally blogging again. :)

  45. @ Tami - no it makes me sadder lets say as I love the outdoors. Where I live it can snow but once every ten years or so lol!!!. Its gets to minus 3 centigrade or so at times whihc I realise is nothing to what most of you people get but its cold for Australia. Where my daughter lives is warm all year around. And I agree there is such a thing as seasonal disorder and people do get more depressed in colder weather. I HAVE so got to go over to look at your blog now you are back!! Thanks for droping by!

  46. Helena (Scotland)6 May 2009 at 11:51

    I do no exercise at all except run after three small chldren under 5. It works but its a drastic measure..

  47. I AM that bear. That one that's flat out on his back? Yep, that's me.

    I've just started exercising again and can highly recommend the early morning before you're brain has kicked into gear method. All of a sudden you're there, you've done it and its over for the day and you can feel good about it! :)

  48. @ Annette - well thats got to be the thing to do for me, no question!

  49. I've done it all over my life - gym, aerobic classes, videos at home, weightlifting at home and long walks.
    This winter in Boston nearly did me in because I don't walk a lot in snow and ice. I walk 30 minutes daily without trying but am resolving to get back up to the 1-1 1/2 hour walks I did last year and to do lift free weights at home.

  50. I've done it all over my life - gym, aerobic classes, videos at home, weightlifting at home and long walks.
    This winter in Boston nearly did me in because I don't walk a lot in snow and ice. I walk 30 minutes daily without trying but am resolving to get back up to the 1-1 1/2 hour walks I did last year and to do lift free weights at home.

  51. How about doing line dancing like me? :-)
    It's helping my brain, I think. It's forcing me to do something I don't normally do, to remember steps and have fun with people.

  52. Sounds fun Kay, a bit country and wester but then again I was born in the C&W capital of Australia.

  53. Hi Lilly ~ I love the Polar Bear shots :) :)


    I don't go to the gym, until normal exercises arn't I'll do abdominal crunches, push-ups, spine flexibility, heel-raises, a little jogging (in the fresh air...not plodding along on a running machine, breathing in the rubbery smell of gym carpeting. Running up stairs. Hamstring stretches, etc etc.

    If I want to get REALLY fit, I will do about 6 weeks of the above and only then go to the gym.

    For me...going to the gym totally unfit is a waste of money.

    I'm the same weight as I was at around 25yrs...12 stone and 6' tall...and it's not because I'm naturally skinny...I was quite plump for a while when I went into an office.

    I don't eat much sweet stuff and tend to only eat the main meal on a menu...avoiding starters and puddings, sweets etc.

    Occastionally I binge on choccy biscuits and eat condensed milk from the can...but only when I feel I need it.

    Lots of fruit juices...especially Ribena (yes it HAS a lot of suger in it)

    For a good butt...leave your back heel on the ground a little longer when you walk..It makes the glutes flex really hard.

    On the other hand...If Kylie ran a gym.....(still green about Tony)


  54. @ Henry, my God if you were a personal trainer (which you sound well qualified to do) I would drop Tony in a flash. Now I will be flexing the glutes at every opportunity. As if Kylie works out.


Thanks for your comments.