Member Appreciation Day

I train at a big, brand name, commercial gym here in Manhattan.  The personal trainers are very mediocre, and the equipment is skewed a bit more towards curls than squats, but I generally find it to be an decent enough training environment (provided I have my headphones and some alt metal).

Today, however, they dropped a big bomb: Member Appreciation Day.  It all started well enough – with a booth in the front serving some healthy-ish chicken stir fry samples.  Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.  The very next table contained a smörgåsbord of chips, dip, and cake.  Not even good cake.  Store-bought angel food cake with nasty plastic icing.  It wasn’t even funfetti.  Apparently the gym appreciates your membership so much it will pay to make you fat.

Not health food

Almost all gone by this point. Gone straight to gym members' fat stores.

Throughout my workout, I glanced over at the table, hoping the fitness-oriented patrons would shun it like the plague.  Alas, no.  At any given time there was a clump of gym members clustered around, stuffing free cake and chips into their mouths.  Not surprisingly, a common theme emerged from the assortment of cake-eaters.  None of them looked fit.  Now, there are some very fit people that train at my gym.  Guys much bigger, stronger, and leaner than I.  Girls that work hard on their bodies, and it shows.  None of them were at the table.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that many of the people who were eating cake and chips in the gym today are the people who say things like “I go to the gym all the time, but I just can’t seem to shed the pounds” or “…But I eat really healthy most of the time!”

I don’t care if Member Appreciation Day only comes once a year, if you eat cake in the gym, you need to take a step back and think about what you’re doing there.

Baby eating cake

Cake. Cute for babies, not for gym -goers

I know I’m being harsh.  Of course, eating cake in the gym doesn’t make you a bad person, or even a bad gym-goer.  That one piece of cake isn’t going to make or break anyone (or their six pack).  There were plenty of people in the gym tonight who could have eaten that cake in good conscience because their diets are so dialed in every other day, but those people weren’t the ones eating cake.

It’s the mindset.  It’s the habit.  It’s the principle.