A lot of times if you don't sign up right away, the membership salesperson will offer you a 1 or 2 week free pass to give you time to try out the facility and give you more time to make up your mind. It can be a great way to really get a feel for the place, try the equipment/classes you'd want to do at the times you'd normally be using them, see if this is a place you could see yourself long term.
As was already said, comfort and proximity are both important. I joined a gym that was more expensive but made me feel more comfortable. It's associated with our local hospital (a lot of gyms in the suburbs here are) and that really seems to have encouraged a diverse range of ages and sizes and classes for all different levels.
Close to my heaviest weight, one time I was about to start an exercise class and another chick in it gave me an exaggerated up and down disgusted look, but... shrug? Everyone else has been super nice and supportive before that and since then, and life is too short to quit getting healthy because one person wanted to give me a snotty look. Obviously if the total vibe is unwelcoming it's another thing, but if you happen to run into one exception that feels the need to put their disapproval on you, you give them way way too much power if you let it impact your weight loss journey.
~ Started 3/5/11 ~
Goal #1: 5% (-14) - 4/16/11 * Goal #2: 10% (-28.7) - 6/11/11 * Goal #3: 236.8 (-50) - 8/6/11
Goal #4: 211.8 (-75) - 10/29/11 * Goal #5: Onederland! - 12/17/11 * Goal #6: 186.8 (-100) - 4/28/12
Goal #7: 175
Goal #8: 161.8 (-125)
Last edited by Somni; 10-02-2011 at 04:49 PM.