Getting back on the elliptical!

exerciseI did something last night that I was sure I’d never do again: I went to the gym. (I also didn’t blog – ha!)

I made this decision on Tuesday, when I purchased my second membership to the beautiful and well-appointed local gym that’s just about 2 miles – and only 4 minutes! –  away from my home. When we first moved to the middle of what used to be nowhere, but is quickly becoming Suburban Somewhere, I had joined this lovely gym. I enjoyed my membership for close to two years, and then I got lazy about my health and quit. Because I had also purchased an unlimited child care pass, this gym was too expensive to not visit several times per week. At that time, it made no sense to keep the membership. Fast forward to today, and as you all well know by now, I am taking care of myself again. This time, I plan on making it a real and realistic lifestyle change, not a “weight loss plan” with a deadline. As my food choices get better and better, my body wants to move. That has been an interesting phenomenon in and of itself.

So the embarrassing part of this story? After signing up to go back to the Nice Gym… I went and cancelled the cheaper, more bare bones gym membership I had purchased at a place that was about 5 miles away, and approximately 15 minutes drive time, in traffic. My motivation for this was the price, which was about 40% of what I paid at Nice Gym (with unlimited childcare membership). But…

Guess how many times I made it to that gym?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s two.

Guess how long I’ve had that membership? A year.

Guess how much having that “cheaper” membership saved me?

IT DIDN’T BECAUSE SPENDING $20/PER MONTH THAT YOU DON’T USE IS $240 YEARS OF WORTHLESSNESS. Actually, That means I paid $120 dollars for each of my gym visits. If that weren’t so exasperating, perhaps it would be hilarious. (Okay, it’s hilarious.)

Some of the benefits that Nice Gym has with their premium membership are:

  • unlimited classes
  • free 30 minute personal training session each month
  • sauna
  • unlimited tanning
  • very nice locker room with showers
  • 4 minutes from my house (let’s keep it real folks – that’s the real winner-winner-chicken-dinner right there)
  • smoothie bar (doesn’t mean much to me right now, but some day I may not be so sensitive to things and I’ll be able to indulge in this again, once in awhile)
  • beautiful children’s room with a huge play space and multiple slides, as well as very competent childcare providers who are kind and caring

I elected to skip out on the $20/month unlimited childcare fee. If you bring your kid to the gym every time you go, this is a great deal, but I will probably not bring Xander every time. Your other options are to pay $4.00 for each individual visit, or $30 for a 10 visit punch card. My monthly membership, with all of those benefits above, is $29.95 plus tax. The Cheap Gym membership was $15 for me and $5 for unlimited care for Xander. It was a great deal… except for the part about me not using it. They have no classes, no locker room/showers, no sauna, one free training session per membership, are too far away, and their kid’s room is not nearly as fun. The staff is really sweet there, and they keep things clean. They recently had a remodel with new equipment and flooring – they’re just bare bones. And if bare bones is all you really want, then $15/month is a really great deal for a gym. But no amount of money is a good deal if you don’t use a service.

All this has me thinking: what does “worth it” really mean?

It starts with this: I am worth it. You are worth it. Then what follows should be:

  • priorities
  • goals
  • dreams
  • achievable realities
  • guidance from experts
  • realistic expectations
  • convenience and usability

I realized I had been shortchanging myself, my health and my need for convenience, for $10.00 a month (or $30.00 a month with the childcare option). I hadn’t taken my driving time into consideration, let alone the time of day I’d be traveling to the gym. Since I get off work at 5:30, it was right at rush hour. I also failed to consider what types of services I’d be giving up by switching to a more low tech gym. I hadn’t considered that I already felt comfortable at Nice Gym and that switching would feel foreign to me.

I think it’s okay to pay for convenience, provided that you will use that convenience. I think it’s okay to want the best for yourself when you’re taking your health into your own hands.

I haven’t blogged about my experiment in giving up on eating out (any eating out: fast food, coffee, frozen yogurt, restaurants – all gone), but $10.00 is a trip to McDonalds, and $30.00 is a trip to Red Robin. Both of those choices were detrimental to my health,  and yet just over six weeks ago, I was perfectly comfortable shelling out the dough for 30 minutes of food pleasure (followed by several hours of food torment later on… I’ll spare you the details).

When your priorities change, so does your mindset, and I think throwing some extra dollars at the gym is the best decision I’ve made all week!

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