Honest Living: Curves' Motivational Techniques Explained at Last
I’ve started resuming my exercise sessions at Curves. While this sounds easy enough in theory, it’s actually been quite difficult. I've embarrassed myself there on two separate occasions: once in spring of 2012 when I started my membership and then quit after just a month or so, and again in February 2013 after about six weeks of my membership. So it was hard for me to acknowledge that I needed to go back in there.
I felt stupid showing back up at the door, as if I was waving a white flag and yelling, “Hey, here I am again. Can I come back in for the third time, even though I’ve twice proven that I don’t know what I’m doing and have good intentions but terrible follow-thru?”
With these thoughts in mind, I’ve been walking through the door of Curves with my head down a bit. But I can also say that for some time I was unhappy with the operation of Curves. I didn’t like the seemingly punishing attitude of the coaches or the requirement that members exercise there no fewer than four times a week. And if a member did miss, I really hated the way that the staff made it their job to chastise her in front of other members.
So, as part of my efforts to live honestly, I sat down and had a lengthy conversation with the woman who owns the local Curves facility. I told her my thoughts and explained that time really does keep me from getting in there to exercise on some days. Other days I am, admittedly, just lazy. I don’t want to take the time to get dressed and then drive over to the center, which is located on the opposite end of town. These are lame excuses, I know, but I wanted her to have the truth.
She, in turn, surprised me by giving me some information that I honestly didn’t know. She said Curves is so hard on its members because women don’t recognize the health implications of sedentary lifestyles. As we age, we actually lose muscle mass, which is why it’s so important for females over the age of 30 to strength train. “Older woman can do all the cardio they want,” she explained, “but it’s never going to help them lose weight because their muscles have aged. I’m here to ensure members stay motivated and avoid health problems from weight gain.”
Her reasoning for their spartan methods helped me see things a little differently, and I came away with an understanding of the reasons for their telephone calls at hours of the day to see if members are coming in. I also understood why they insist on the three or (preferably) four times per week for exercise.
All said, I can admit now that I was a little harsh in my previous judgments of Curves. The reality is that this place is only for those women who are committed to improving their health. Even if weight loss isn’t necessarily always the goal, Curves wants those who will join the program and stick to it. And that’s exactly what I need to do. The excuses and self-pity need to come to an end.
I’m really glad I took the time to speak honestly with the owner of Curves. I’m also glad that facility continues to give me chances to redeem myself. Now if I could just be smart enough to grasp one of those chances and make some real changes to my life.