Dear Health Club,
I'm sorry it's come to this, but after much heartfelt pondering I need to inform you that I'm breaking up with you. I know what you're thinking; we've been down this road before and I have always come back, head down and thighs chaffing. But this time it's different, it really is, because I have met another. So I am writing to tell you that I am leaving you once and for all, for one that treats me better -- one that makes me happier, and I am convinced healthier. Yes, I am leaving you for yoga.
For years I believed your lies, that if I just hung in, you would make me feel better, stronger, and yes, even thinner. But after 10 years I've finally come to the conclusion that your promises are empty. Yes, I have finally come to my senses and realized that this is a one-way relationship where you take my money, and dangle a toned carrot in front of my face, making promises that you simply cannot keep.
Please don't try to talk me out of this, because my mind is made up. During our on-again-off-again relationship I always held out hope that you would step up to the plate and start giving back. I believed your lies that I would start looking forward to visiting you. I believed your tall tale of the endorphin high. I believed your promises to eradicate my cellulite and tone my arms. I believed your assertions that if I just stuck with the elliptical a little bit longer, that my over-sized calves would slim down and I could finally start wearing regular-sized boots on dates. But alas, winter after winter I was forced to continue shopping in the wide-calf boot aisle, alone.
How could this have happened, you ask? How, when I spent so much of my time visiting you, hoping you'd change, praying for a different outcome, did I meet another? Well, because our relationship was so one-sided I believed I had no choice but to seek out the attention of another. And that's when it happened. I met yoga.
I want you to know that when my relationship with yoga first began, I wasn't looking to replace you. In fact, for a while I believed I could have you both: the aerobics and weights you offered me, and the mind-body-soul work of yoga. But then I discovered Yoga Sculpt, Yoga Weights and Cardio Yoga, and I knew that I really didn't need you anymore.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Yoga is hard, yoga is for thin people, yoga is clubby, cliquey, a passing craze. I'll admit, at first, I thought so too. In fact, when I attended my first class, I felt like an impostor -- a yoga impostor. But I didn't give up on yoga, and more important, yoga didn't give up on me.
So I am done with you. Yes, after a 10-year codependent relationship where I over-invested and over-gave, while receiving very little in return, I am finally dumping you. And here is why:
- When I walk through your doors I am greeted by bands of unsupervised, screaming children, the posturing grunts of sweaty men, and the smell of 1,000 smelly feet.
- When I walk through the doors at my yoga studio I am greeted by the melodic and perfectly harmonized tunes of the angels, and the smell of 1,000 lilacs.
- You never once told me that I was a Precious Child of the Universe (and I am, I really am).
- Yoga doesn't make me disclose my weight in order to start my workout.
- Yoga tells me that I am enough. Yes, just the way I am, right now, I am enough. You, on the other hand, have the audacity to mock my 45-minute workout by informing me that I've burned a whopping 105 calories.
- You never once told me to stop comparing my body with those of thinner, more toned members. Oh, quite the opposite in fact. You shamed me every single day with giant posters reporting the winners of your most recent weight loss challenge, reminding me that because I lack testosterone, I will never be able to lose 20 pounds in a week.
- And probably most important, you never, not once, even when I really needed it, placed a cool peppermint-scented cloth on my forehead.
So that's it health club (filled with punishing ellipticals and shaming weight machines), I am done with you forever and won't be back. Yoga has accepted me just the way I am, has nourished my mind, my body and my soul, has soothed my spine, opened my hips, and connected with my heart center. Oh, and amidst all of this unconditional love? Yes, I have lost weight, even in my calves.