An Ode To All The People At The Gym On January 2nd Who Never Go Again

by Lauren Martin

We all know at least one person with the resolution to “get in shape” this new year. It’s a fine resolution, epitomizing the ideal standard of resolutions. It’s about being healthy and staying motivated; it's about becoming a better person (physically, at least). I’d go as far as saying, it’s one of the most common resolutions, one that we've all made at one time or another.

And why wouldn’t we? It’s a great idea. I can’t think of a better time to buy that gym membership than at the start of a new year. It’s one of the easiest resolutions to contextualize, measuring your goal's success with a concrete number of times you’ve swiped that membership card. It’s about becoming a new you, with a new, healthy hobby. But I think we all know how this resolution really unfolds.

When a friend claims he’s going to go to the gym every day starting January 2, we’ll all slap him on the back and say, “Good for you, man." However, there’s a condescending voice at the forefront of our minds that says something like, “Yeah right; I give it two weeks.”

Realistically, you are going to go the gym on January 2, and you are going to own that gym. You are going to use the treadmill and the bike; you'll sign up for a spinning class and even try out the weights. You might even sit in the sauna for a solid 12 minutes. You'll love yourself; you'll love the gym; you'll love this resolution.

Then comes January 3. You’re sore, tired and the pain of yesterday is still very fresh in your mind. You remember the horrible panting at the one-mile mark on the treadmill, which, somehow, only burned one of three 100-calorie packs you ate that day. You feel the torn muscles all over again as you walk into the kitchen. You think to yourself: “I should really give my body a break.” Your New Year's resolution quickly turns into, “Go to the gym a few times a week.”

But then, the weeks come and go, and you realize you don’t ever want to feel that pain again. You are just too busy to keep up with your resolution now. Suddenly, you have so many dinners after work and dates with your television. I mean it’s January and your HBO subscription is finally getting its money's worth. Then, that inevitable thought creeps into your mind, planting the seed of destruction. It's the day you wake up feeling so badly, but you're completely past the point of even entertaining the idea of going to the gym anymore, when you think, “If I could just eat a little less, it’s basically the same thing.”

I’m telling you right now, it’s not the same thing, and it's not okay. You cannot be that person. I know this because I used to be that person. I was that person who made open statements aloud about getting in shape, but was only ever found by my friends and family in half-dressed gym gear, sitting on the couch with a bag of Cheetos. I was the one who had to eat my words in front of my friends and family. It was humiliating, self-effacing and downright sad.

One day, I woke up and realized that I couldn't be that person anymore. It wasn't the out-of shape, increasingly chubby girl I couldn't be anymore, but the girl who made promises and vows she couldn't keep. I had become that friend, the one who no one takes seriously. I was the one who wasn't reliable or motivated. And I hated myself.

When nothing in your life is going right, and you find yourself becoming more and more disappointed by the person you’re becoming, faulting on your New Year’s resolution after just two days hurts a lot more than when you were a kid. It’s a harsh blow to your self-respect and will haunt you every day, until it’s December again and you plan to start anew.

This ode is to help you, not hurt you. It's to dish out what my mother famously calls her method of affection... "tough love." If your friends aren't going to be honest with you, someone has to be.

So, as you plan to go to the gym today, vowing to start fresh with your personal goals, keep this speech in mind. Don’t become another failed statistic alongside the many who've tried and failed before you. Don’t ruin it, yet. The year is too young and you are too strong to let yourself falter. If you need more reason to push yourself past January 2, remember these words:

You’re Weak

Are you really that pathetic you can’t drag your increasingly fat ass to the gym? Your parents hiked a mile uphill both to and from school. Pull yourself together and be the man or woman your parents would be proud to call their kid.

You’re Lazy

Is this your life now? Sitting on the couch, admiring the tight bod on that blonde chick making out with Leonardo DiCaprio? Do you have no will power? What does this say about everything else you are going to do in life?

No One Is Ever Going To Take You Seriously

Is this going to be the point when you lose all respect from your colleagues? Your word now means nothing to anyone, and next time you make statements or plans, no one is going to take you seriously.

You Can’t Return All Those Gym Clothes From lululemon

You already went out and bought all that gym gear; you made an investment. Those 60-dollar track shorts are worth nothing if you quit now.

Top photo: The Rock/Twitter