A picture is worth 224 pounds

Ok. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Since I don’t feel like blabbering on and on for a thousand words about how I’ve gained over 15 pounds since I’ve moved to DC (really, since I’ve stopped riding my bike and started working again) I’ll simply bring your attention to this photo of me, taken by Jason last week at the New Orleans D-Day Museum’s Sound of Music Sing Along.

I know. Holy shit, right?

I look massive. It’s a bad angle and I’m making a face, etc… but really. REALLY. I think Gina was flagging down another whole Turducken for me to gnaw on during the intermission.

Prior to the visit home I was at a friend house using the facilities and happened upon his bathroom scale. Curiosity got the better of me. I boarded the device, looked down and was bummed to find I weighed 224lbs. 224lbs is exactly 50lbs over my “ideal weight” and the heaviest I’ve been since High School (I was 265lbs). In 1994 I lost 70 pounds on Atkins, back when Atkins was still considered ‘experimental and dangerous’ but I said ‘fuck it’ and was down to 195lbs in 7 months.

Since losing that weight, I’ve shrugged off any weight gain since I had lost so much back then and ‘only gained 10 pounds’ which didn’t seem so bad. 10lbs became 20 and now it’s become 30 and it’s time to do something about it.

Sure, I could go on Atkins again but the last three times I cut out the carbs I wasn’t able to shit for 2 weeks — that’s just not worth it. I need to start riding my bike again, so I’m going to start riding to the Dupont Metro Station and then taking the train to work from there.

Really, I need to join a gym.

The decision was between Gold’s Gym in Rockville, MD and Washington Sports Club in Columbia Heights, DC.

Gold’s Gym, Rockville, MD

One of the big marks in the plus column for Gold’s gym was that it’s two just blocks from my work — I have to pass the damn place three times a day: walking to work from the metro, during lunch, and walking from work back to the metro.

Last week I paid Gold’s Gym a visit and was glad to see lots of other fat people sweating it out on cardio machines; at least I wouldn’t be the only one. :) The gym had tons of studios for classes and spinning rooms and I was VERY excited about joining, until I sat down with the Membership Nazi Counselor. I won’t say names, let’s call him Mr. High Pressure Membership Salesman. Honestly, I thought I was going to walk out the building with keys to a used car, not a gym contract. He’d ask me various obvious questions then cut off my answers with answers of his own, he scribbled half assed notes about everything I said (repeating things back to me in his ‘enthusiastic voice’) all the while making it clear he was thinking more about his commission than anything I was saying.

For instance, he asked me to rate my motivation on a scale of 1 to 10. When I said 8 he wrote this down in the margin and circled it, for no reason. He asked me what the ‘biggest’ I had ever been and I said I was almost 270 in high school but I had gotten down to 194, which was still 20 more than my ‘ideal weight.’ While telling him this, he cut me off, saying “so you want to try to get up to that weight again, huh?” as if my fat ass is Lou Farigno or something.

Look at me. Do I look like I have ever been 270lbs of muscle? Ever?

The other mark in Gold’s favor was the website has this promotion on it: “$0 registration, $49 a month.” So, I say I want that plan. Somehow he started talking how this thing was included and that was free, so after a while he starts slipping things in that AREN’T free, like training sessions, but are apparently required to get that specific membership plan… So anyway, he shows me the price schedule for trainers and classes that I was interested in and it came out to $588 a month.

On top of the $49 membership fee.

Oh, and first and last month’s membership was due at signing. (Liscenceandregistationfeenotincluded)

Yeah, fuck that, right?

So, I ask about the other rate (that doesn’t require you to have personal training sessions) and it’s $169 registration and (I think) $59 a month.


At this point he ‘left me alone to think about my intentions,’ like I was some kid on time out at fat camp, which just pissed me off. Any chance he had of getting me to join was nullified by his arrogant attitude and subtle subterfuge. (For you, alliteration fans.)

If you ever read my blog, Mr. High Pressure Membership Salesman, write this down in the margin of the next person’s application and circle it: get over myself.

Washington Sports Club, Columbia Heights

That was last Tuesday. Last night I stopped by Washington Sports Club to check them out. WSC is about 100 yards from my metro stop and 3 blocks from my house. Keith, the Membership Guy, was very nice and showed me around the gym for about 10 minutes answering the few questions I had about peak times and using other WSC gyms. The facility wasn’t really as snazzy as Golds, but they had the same equipment and it was all just a few months old since they just opened. Just as important, the staff seemed much less like sleazoid gym pimps. After seeing the equipment and the naked man in the locker room I asked what the membership fee was and he said: $88 down. $55 a month. 15 day money back guarantee. $25 if I cancel before my contract is up.



Gym membership: Check!
Goofy white tennis shoes: Check!
Sliky shorts: Check!

Fuck. Now I have to go to the gym. :)