Folks, I have a confession to make. Okay, maybe two.

The first: I did not reach my goal of losing five pounds by Aug. 25, the night of my Studio to Stage dance performance at Joy of Motion. I only lost one. One measly, sorry, pathetic pound.

Leilah Reese at a bike riding event. (Anne Boisvert /For The Washington Post)

Even with me kicking out $75 a month, I still don’t go as often as I should. I sign up for 6:30 a.m. spin classes at WSC, but when 6:30 rolls around, I’m usually rolling over in my bed. There are classes like yoga, Jazzercise and cardio kickboxing offered at my employer’s gym during lunch, but my excuse is that I don’t want to get sweaty in the middle of the day. As for the two free gyms, um, they’re too small for my taste. Again, trifflin’!

My other excuse is that I take at least two dance classes a week. Unfortunately, that’s all I’ve been doing, save for the bike ride and Megaxe event I participated in a couple of weekends ago. So I’m putting myself on punishment. For everyday that I do not utilize the gyms I pay for, I will not be allowed to participate in any social activities. I’ll make it a point system. For every 30 minutes I work out, I will earn 30 minutes of “free time” to hang with the girls or go to a movie with my beau. Seems fair enough, right? This will force me to get over my shameful behavior of paying people and not getting my money’s worth.

So here’s a tip for those of you who don’t want to commit to a gym or, like me, end up paying for something that collects dust. Do you have a Groupon account? If you don’t, get one. Now. There are almost always deals for fitness classes such as boot camp (which I’m allergic to), yoga, dance and more. What makes these deals fantastic is that they often cost significantly less than purchasing a gym membership, and they give you a chance to try something new. I just purchased a Groupon for LA Boxing. Ten classes for $39, including hand wraps and glove rentals — an 87 percent discount. You can’t beat that with a stick, crowbar, sledge hammer, nada! My motivation to go comes from a co-worker who also attends the gym and, like me, has been slacking off when it comes to fitness. We can feed off of each other’s energy (or lack there of) when we’re in class. I also signed up for two more Studio to Stage workshops and performance classes this fall. This time I’ll practice modern and belly dancing. I’ll give you further details on that in the weeks to come.

This is the plan from here on out. I’m serious. I will stop being a lazy slacker and go to the two gyms I pay for, each at least twice a week. For every opportunity I miss to do some form of physical activity, I’ll have a hefty price to pay: no fun for me. I will try to lose 10 pounds, because I didn’t lose the five, by Sept. 18, when I start my Studio to Stage classes again. And last but not least, I will have fun with it. Come check out LA Boxing, WSC or Joy of Motion and look for me. If you don’t see me at either of these places, feel free to call me out. I deserve it!

Leilah Reese is a news aide at The Washington Post. For more updates on her fitness goals, follow her on Twitter and check here each Tuesday for a new blog post.

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