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April 23, 2013 at 9:29 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

The Disguised Cruelty of Curves

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

A Phone Call from My Conscience

Curves called my cell phone several days ago, and I refused to answer. Instead, I let it go to voicemail, and, when I listened to the message, the first thing I heard was: “Hello, Jeany, this is your conscience calling.”

That single sentence made me furious. For starters, if the staff over at Curves really cared, they would have called me in February - the last month I even set foot inside the place. Secondly, hearing from that facility only served to bring my feelings of resentment back to the surface. I feel like I was conned into upgrading my membership in January, from a standard package to Curves Complete. This, in turn, nearly doubled my monthly fees, and I can’t help but feel that I am in some ridiculous way rebelling against this arrangement by absenting myself altogether.

Of course, I’m only hurting myself, because I’m paying for a membership I haven’t used in months. This fact alone is enough to keep me awake at night because I hate wasting money - which is yet another reason why I can no longer advocate gym memberships. (I shouldn’t say all memberships here, because at least those to many other facilities don’t cost $50 a month!)

Torment as Motivation

If I had even an ounce of sense, I would pack my gym bag, put on my tennis shoes, and drive myself to Curves. I would march through those front doors, not caring what anybody in there thought of me, and I would complete my workout just as I intended to do three or four times a week, starting way back in January. But I won’t do that, partly because the staff makes such a big deal when somebody returns to the facility after an extended absence.

I hate the fuss involved with this. I’ve heard it happen many times before to other luckless women who chose to resume their memberships. “Well, look who it is…Susie!” the staff will yell for everyone to hear. “And just where have you been all this time? You really need to start getting in here more regularly. We’re going to make sure you get a heck of a workout today for being gone so long.”

If the taunting stopped here, it would be tolerable. But it doesn’t. The staff really will monitor that person for the duration of her workout, counting her repetitions on each piece of equipment and watching her form (the owner of my local Curves is the absolute worst for this). They make sure the client is gasping for breath and sweating within just minutes, which, admittedly is probably the point of working out in the first place, but to be taunted into this state makes it a million times more difficult.

Going to Curves, unless you commit to doing so ritually, is a lot like walking through the halls of high school as a teenager with a "kick me" sticker on your back for everybody else to laugh and point at.

Self-Actuation

My weight loss goals, I’ve decided, aren’t for Curves to establish or monitor. I’m an adult and am quite capable of making my own decisions. And while I’m the very last person on the planet who has successfully lost weight, I don’t need to be ridiculed for this at a place like Curves. Instead, a little support, preferably given from a safe distance, would be nice.

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1 Comment

  • maybe a gym that didn't have coaches would be better

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