You guys. This is really personal and not something I normally share about publicly (or at all) but I wanted to share my story because this person's story resonated with me. You can do this, too.
About a year ago my dad and I both wanted to lose some weight, so we made a bet (a milkshake - his idea) on who could lose 7 pounds first. I have successfully lost weight before on the Atkins diet and Weight Watchers, so I was pretty confident I could win that even if I hadn't been able to keep it off before. My friend Pam and I were already power walking together a couple times a week, and then my friend Blair invited me to walk the track with her at the Y. I joined up and had my training appointment where I was measured and introduced to their equipment. They use an app that keeps track of my weight machine settings and tells me which exercises and how many to do, which made it easier for me than having to remember or drag a clipboard around the weight room. And LifeFitness has an app that syncs my elliptical workouts with the MyFitnessPal app, where I track what I eat and try to stay within a calorie budget. I get extra calories to burn if I work out and I haven't cut out any foods categorically, so I basically work out in order to eat more goodies. Not the best nutrition goal, but I also learned to appreciate the bargain of veggies and the expense of things like pecans and bread. A trainer once told me that losing weight is 80% about what you eat, so if you don't change that you won't see a difference in your body. That is so true and I love delicious food, so now I just try to enjoy smaller portions of everything.
My favorite group exercise classes are offered on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but the ones on Tuesday/Thursday don't really do it for me so for a while I'd just lift weights or walk with a friend. But last fall I checked out the water fitness classes. Steve and I are used to bringing down the average age wherever we go, but I definitely felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. The aqua ladies are very sweet and I liked the instructors, so I started going more regularly. I love that the water feels fresh and I always get a good workout even though it doesn't always feel challenging at the time. (Some mornings I'll walk downstairs and wonder what I did to make me feel so sore).
A couple more thoughts. If you're thinking about going to a gym, the time of day makes a difference in what your experience is like. Just like shopping at the grocery store, the night & weekend crowd is way different than who you see during the day. Weekdays at our Y have the sweetest, non-threatening group of people to work out with. No meat-heads. Also there's wi-fi so I can watch shows on Netflix and it makes the time on the treadmill go faster. Podcasts while walking the track are good, too.
Also? If you need help changing what you eat, try tracking your food with the MyFitnessPal app with a buddy. Then you can cheer each other on when it announces that somebody is under her calories for the day, completed a workout, or lost some weight. (It just shares the positive stuff). And it feels like someone else cares, which is motivating to me. I had been tracking my food on and off with friends a few years ago while we were living in Sweden, and I still love seeing their victories pop up on my feed, across the pond.