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Published January 16, 2014, 11:30 PM

Holt: Joining the Gymuary ranks

January should be called Gymuary. It’s the month of shiny new fitness resolutions being put to the test. “New year, new me!” “This year will be different!” “I’m in it to win it!” “Five months till marathon!”

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

January should be called Gymuary.

It’s the month of shiny new fitness resolutions being put to the test.

“New year, new me!” “This year will be different!” “I’m in it to win it!” “Five months till marathon!”

The fitness industry knows this. Gyms roll out their best sign-up specials. Christmas decorations are replaced with water bottles and yoga mats. Workout gear goes on sale.

Gym faithful grumble about how crowded their sweaty playgrounds become.

But, inevitably, the new pack of wannabe gym rats will peter out as the snow slowly melts into flood season.

Now, I’m no stranger to both committing and quitting. My so-called “weight-loss journey” has taken lots of detours.

Since 2010, the longest I’ve regularly gone to the gym (three to five times a week) was two years, the longest I’ve been away from the gym a few months.

My debut column in October 2011 was titled “Taking control (once and for all).” Ha!

I should have known there was a lot more starting and stopping in store for me. Because it happens. Even the most dedicated goal-setters falter. Life’s not all about working and working out.

But I’ll never stop trying. There’s still a fire burning in my belly that can be re-ignited if the conditions are right.

With the holidays coming to an end, I decided it was time (past time) to get back in the gym, no matter how hard it’d be.

I get the whole new year-new start thing.

I made it past Jan. 6, “the most depressing day of the year,” so I figure that puts me at least a half-step ahead of the pack.

Actually, I started on Blue Monday. I watched the tongue-in-cheek news reports about the day of doom from my elliptical.

The first week I made my goal of 45 minutes a day, three days a week. The second week I aimed for four. The third will be five.

I cursed my diminished muscle strength, labored through circuits that were once routine and grimaced through planks.

I got sore in places I forgot could get sore. Yet I want more.

Some days I’d rather get hot, sweaty and tired than fret about what I’m going to write about in my column.

I look forward to gym time, or, rather, the after-effects: a sense of accomplishment, stress-relief, and, in the long term, changes in my body.

Gymuary’s as good a time as any to light the fire. See you in March.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt lost over 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.

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