----- Forwarded by Laura R. Meyer/Chicago/XXX on 02/12/2008 09:03 AM -----
Laura R. Meyer/Chicago/XXX
02/11/2008 05:06 PM
Subject: Membership - Thinking of a Change
I'm a very active obese woman, and I get regular cardio every day of the week, whether it's getting on the stairclimber or elliptical for 30 minutes over my lunch break, occasionally walking the 6 miles home from work, or walking long distances on weekends. I'm self-motivated, keep a dedicated food journal, and am in good general health - normal blood pressure, enviable cholesterol. My doctor tells me I have the health of Michael Jordan, except for the obesity and hypothyroidism. I've been a long-time member of Curves for about 5 years, but my nearest location is in a pretty seedy part of Uptown, and since the peak of winter I've reduced my attendance to weekend days.
Trouble is, I want to incorporate weight training into my routine, but I don't know where to begin or how to stay focused. And I hate gyms. Not the equipment so much as clientele who see them as meat markets - women who wear makeup to workout; sleazy weightlifters; and all of those who stand in judgment of a person like me who looks like she doesn't eat healthy or make the effort. Needless to say, I'm pretty bitter about my experience with franchise gyms. Even some staff have a tendency to not take me seriously: when I went to check out the Lincoln Park Bally's in 2005, I had to wait around for a staff person to even talk to me, then I was eventually pressured by a salesman who made me feel guilty for having my hang-ups about this kind of atmosphere and my inability to commit to a contract on the spot - when I just came for a tour. That's exactly why I didn't sign up then, and why I left in tears.
I don't mean to sound so judgmental of gyms, but when you spend a lifetime in my body, you are treated very very differently in normal settings - from the bus, to a restaurant, to a gym. Hell, I get a sideways glance at restaurants when I request egg whites or that my entree not be cooked with additional oil, as if imposing on my server will make a dent in my condition.
In short, I know I need to lose weight, and building muscle will help me burn more calories. But I don't know how to utilize the free weights in my office gym to their full advantage; and I don't want to end up looking like some overtoned, hairy-kneed Helga from the Soviet Bloc.
I'm asking about a Crunch membership because this seems like a legitimate gym that's embracing - or at least marketing to - all kinds. Is that what I can expect from your staff? As far as judgmental clientele are concerned, I've come to not care about that. But I don't want to have another Lincoln Park Bally's experience with a member of your staff. What are your membership fees? Could I work out at any Crunch in the city, or am I limited to one location?
I've lost 100 pounds in the past, and I'm sure I can do it again. I just need to get over this hurdle, and I need a big change in my routine. Can I expect something new with Crunch?
Thanks for your time,
Laura R. Meyer