Rant: Post Vacation Slump and Why Not All Gyms Are Created Equal

No I’m not depressed but I’m so lazy and grumpy. It’s partly due to the fact that the weather in Oslo has been rainy and cloudy since I got back from Bergen.

I’ve also been having gym issues – the gym that I was going to for 1.5 years now has finally pissed me off beyond belief. It’s never been a great gym but the fact that it was reasonably priced and they had this “do what you like, we won’t bother you” type of style where the gym was opened for long hours with nobody manning it meant you could go in and exercise without anybody bothering you. As a person who’s never been to a gym, and who’s very self conscious of herself – I really liked that concept in the beginning.

After 1.5 years of being a member of that gym, I realised that I could use a personal trainer or at least somebody whom I could ask:

  • “So how do I get rid of this belly before it becomes a full on pot belly?” [It’s one of my nightmares – that I will be 40 with a pot belly and look like man, really!]
  • “Am I using this machine in the correct way or will my neck pay for it tomorrow?”
  • “Is my running gait correct?

Not having somebody to ask these questions – is actually alright, but the worst part is that the equipment at the gym don’t really work. Half the time 1 out of 4 stationary bikes is dead (missing pedal or just doesn’t switch on). Sometimes, the strength training machines have b0rked sensors where it will record that you did a crunch at 45kg each rep when in truth the most you can do without crying for your Mummy is only 30kg. This type of equipment fault really skews my progress tracking because it gives me false confidence and messes up the statistics stored in the thing-a-majig.

Another problem with the equipment is the check-in machine where you entered all the self torturing tasks you’d like to do and it “wrote” it into your progress device. There are two machines but only one works. The other one is perpetually dead – causing a queue when you want to start your exercise.

To make matters worse, when Summer started – their air conditioning stopped working. It was getting really warm and uncomfortable in the gym and I was starting to get irritated and angry with their lack of service. I know I don’t pay as much as other gyms but the least they could do was provide a conducive, comfortable gym, no? Or am I expecting too much? I e-mailed them about it and did not get a response. The boyfriend got a response to his e-mail though – where they said they are going to renovate in Summer or some sugar coated sentence like that and they hope he would be patient – come on, Summer is almost over, still no sign of improvement. Now they have a notice telling that their air conditioning unit is not working. Like a month after we complained. Shouldn’t you close your gym if the ventilation is not good? Isn’t it unhealthy and totally unproductive to exercise in a gym with bad ventilation?

It’s kind of sad sometimes to have to admit “You get what you pay for”. Like when I’m on a flight and out of a miracle (the stars are probably in some rare alignment) I get upgraded to Business Class – I actually feel sad about it – because it proves that money is what sets us apart – not character, not skill, not education – but the little green papers. I subconsciously tell myself “Don’t you get used to this” and think “I probably shouldn’t have accepted the upgrade”.

But, I digress.

So I tried to quit the crappy gym, but it turns out I have to give them 30 days notice. Urgh.

Now I’m so tempted to sign up for a better gym – but it’s going to require a little bit of financial overhaul (are you listening, God? I could use a raise :)) and less expensive Tempura Noodle Soups. Hm, I should probably perfect my tempura frying skills, huh.

Hopefully I can sign up for this shiny new gym down the street of my apartment building. *Dream*

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16 responses

  1. awh that sucks! having someone spot u at the gym is really imprt, just to make sure you don’t hurt yourself. the last time i was at a gym was like 4 years ago, cuz after i switched to doing martial arts cuz i was getting excerise and learning smethg. got bored and onto dance. as for the belly u say, u need high-cardio to burn that off hun, so treadmill treadmill treadmill OR do something that makes u out of breath and sweat like crazy. thats how i went from flobby to a soft 6 pack in the making. then i stopped dancing…i cuz go back to that lol

    • Hm, I did do a lot of running at one point – but I developed something similar to runner’s knee – at least I thought it was runner’s knee and when I stopped running, the pain went away. Then I switched to lots of elliptical – now I’m on a bit of a break because there’s just so many things to do. But I’m going to the gym tomorrow – hopefully.

      • Aww I’m sure you’re not a pumpkin. I’m signing up for the new gym soon – possibly September 🙂 *fingers crossed*

        Thanks for the support!

  2. I am impressed that at least you want to go to the gym. I can never find that in me. Here you have to pay extra for a personal trainer. I suppose it’s worth it if they can show you how to specifically shed weight where you want to. Hope you find a better gym although I seriously dont think you need one!

    • Dear Cas 🙂

      My battle with my bulge is a neverending story. I *have* to go to the gym – it’s like the only way I can somewhat keep myself in alright shape. In Norway, a lot of the women are in great shape – because they are very physically active (gym, winter sports, running, biking, etc). So I’m actually a little bit inspired by them. I’ve lost about 8kgs from the time I was in Aust till now… but I really, really want to lose another 5 kgs.

      It’s a teeny weeny bit of an obsession, I’ll admit. I am tired of trying to wear clothing to camouflage my tummy – I’d love to go shopping and not have to keep that thought in mind when looking at clothing.

      I have a noisy mind – I am constantly thinking. The gym is a way for me to clear my head, if that makes any sense. Also, I never was physically active – being a computer geek always has me sitting in front of a screen :/ Doesn’t help that my job is the same – sitting in front of a screen for 8 hours.

      In the beginning the gym is not fun but you learn to appreciate it because after the exercise you feel like you accomplished something. Then once you see the change, you are even more motivated. I haven’t changed much since going to the gym – but it helps me feel less tired. On days when I go to the gym in the morning (about 6.30 or 7am) I don’t yawn the whole day. I don’t manage to go in the morning often though.

  3. Sigh, with all the cooking I’ve been doing lately, I see the digits on the scale going UPPPP. Gym is out of the question for me, but these days the hubs and I try to take walks to the park after dinner. We have a stationary bike at home, but with the scorching heat here, exercise is the last thing I want to do! 😛

  4. Ouch, I feel ya. So they don’t have a very wide variety of options, and that’s why they’re cheap. That doesn’t mean they can let the options they DO have be out of commission! I’d be pretty angry if I were you. And not even a reply? Argh.

    I’m really happy with my gym, I have to say. They’re a big chain with lots of places to go, mine is close to the bus, great opening hours, free breakfast, good equipment, nice showers, sauna, a GREAT variety of group classes with aerobics, dance aerobics (my fave!), pilates, yoga, step, spinning, strength and all. There are personal trainers too, WAY too expensive for me, but they will help you get a program of weights, cardio and whatever you need to reach your goal, and tell you when you’re doing something wrong.

    The instructors are really nice to me, always have been. Even notice things, like, “you’re losing too much weight, what’s wrong?”, which I find quite exceptional. If you lived here I’d take you there, but Oslo is quite far away 🙂

    Hope you’ll be happier at the new gym!

    • Ahhh I know which gym is this. They have a branch like 7 minutes walk from my apartment. I’m trying to convince myself to sign up there and give up 1 coffee run a week + 1 magazine in a month in exchange for a better gym membership.

      Soooo, sooo tempted. Now you’re just tempting me even more 🙂 I’m probably going to give in so I can look nice and hot for Winter (that really doesn’t make sense)

  5. Oh, and by the way. I often find that women who carry, say 5kg, more often look prettier than the skinnier ones. Something about the softness in their face. Carrying just a tad more weight makes us look more feminine and more approachable somehow. I’m sure you’re beautiful! 🙂

      • Nooo, 5kgs is a lot. The problem with my apple shaped self is that the weight piles on in the middle. So sweaters and stuff just don’t look nice :/

        But..but..I want to be skinny 😦

        Oh well, we’ll see what happens 🙂 Thanks for the comments guys, it’s very nice to wake up to tons of comments on the blog post. Makes me feel loved.

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