The Cost of Getting Healthy: Worth It

With my somewhat aggressive savings plan, my networth has eeked over the $480k mark, leaving “just” $20k left for the remainder of the year to hit my annual and “before giving birth*” goal of $500k. (*still not pregnant, so it’s looking more and more likely that I’ll hit this goal.)

While I’m far from frugal, I started doing some longer term calculations and realizing that perhaps I’m saving too much of my paycheck (is there such a thing?) I’m not a Mustachian — I have no desire to “retire early” — and maybe I don’t need $200k a year (after inflation) in actual retirement because I hope to always be able to work (albeit in a different, lower paid and more meaningful job once I’ve saved enough.)

So. I’m trying to relax a bit on the spending front — saving $6k+ a month is great, but life is short and I want to enjoy it a bit. Enjoying life first means getting myself healthy (again.) In 2016, I weighed 175 pounds, and with a combination of diet and personal training ($600 a month for 3 sessions a week) I got down to 140 pounds at my lowest (which is the most I should be) and settled in at 150 before depression hit and I skyrocketed up to 180+ (not good.)

My husband, who never comments on my weight, noted that I look “the unhealthiest” I’ve ever been since he’s known me – which is awfully sad given less than a year ago I was at my healthiest.

So, I’ve decided to (re) invest in my health. Gyms and classes are expensive but I know how much better I feel when I work out — and I’m not the type to be able to motivate myself to just go for a run and do free weights in my apartment.

I’m terrified of fancy fitness studios (because everyone there – even the “noobs” – are in much better shape than I am), but I’m drawn to them because of the class time commitment and knowing that being in a class will distract me from how much I hate working out.

This week I signed up for a deal on ClassPass, an app that lets you attend classes (up to 3x per month per studio) at any member gym/studio. I signed up for the 10 classes a month pass with a 70% off discount, which is a really good deal… $35 for 10 classes. However, their regular price is obviously a lot more, so I need to make sure that I actually get myself to the classes, and that I find ones that work with my schedule.

So far, I’ve had fun looking for classes and signing up for my first week. A lot of the classes are at pilates/core type studios, which is all fine and dandy, except I think I need to focus mostly on cardio-heavy workouts right now to get my weight in check, so my weight doesn’t hinder my ability to do yoga/pilates type workouts. Anything is good for me right now really, so I’ve signed up for a bit of a variety.

ClassPass works well for me because with the 3x / month / studio limit, I can pick 2-4 studios close to my apartment for my weekend workout(s), and then another 3-6 for during work lunch-hour and after work sessions. There’s a whole world of studios along the stops of the train I take to and from work, so I can also sign up for those classes and just deal with some crummy public transit but at least continue to get good variety in my workouts.

This morning, I went to my first class – a fancy Megaformer “intro” class that really didn’t seem to be much of an intro class, but was still a killer workout. Killer, as in I almost died, but I can see why people get addicted to this type of exercise. My legs are going to be so sore tomorrow. As my body was trembling and I was falling over while women two times my age were gracefully gliding on the machine, I silently told myself — something is better than nothing, while scolding myself for letting me get this bad again. It NEVER got easy, but working out was, less than a year ago, much easier than it is now that I’m 180 pounds and can barely support my own weight.

I’m signed up for 3 more classes this week… Monday, a 45 minute barre-style class at lunch, then Thursday, another barre class at a different studio, and, well, another barre class on Saturday. They have a lot of barre classes on there. I’m sure they’re great for strength, which I need as well… and for me since I’m so out of shape EVERYTHING is cardio.

They do have a few cycling studios available… I’d like to try those. I’ve always wanted to do SoulCycle but that isn’t on the list, but Flywheel (which sounds similar) has a partnership with them. That will be a great cardio workout. There’s another one in a town near where I live that has fancy bikes that turn and make you feel like you’re on an actual road… I also do own a bike I can ride, but this somehow seems less intimidating, albeit only slightly.

Right now I have a secret goal to get myself in incredible shape, in far better shape than I was when I was working out with my trainer. It’s secret because I don’t want to tell anyone about this, even my husband. I don’t want it to be like last time before my wedding when I was working out and sharing photos of myself with my friends and trying to use external sources to motivate me to kick my ass into shape. This time, I really want this to be a private thing for me. Over time people should notice if I’m no longer an oompa loompa, but if they comment about any weight loss, I’ll just shrug it off and say “yea, I guess I’ve been eating healthier.” I want to frame working out as a childlike reward, a stress reliever, my own time to not think about the stresses of work or other aspects of life, but to really be dedicated to being the best person I can be – as I’m shaking and in massive amounts of pain, because that’s just how working out has to be for a while.

If I can do the 10 classes w/ Classpass for May (if I get really into it, they offer a 3 pack add-on for $35, but it has to be used in the 30 day cycle) then maybe this can be come a real thing that I do. Or, maybe I find a studio that I adore and decide to invest in a membership there — but for now the classpass concept really makes a ton of sense because I live so far from where I work. If that changes, maybe I’ll join a local studio as a monthly member.

With Classpass, 10 classes per month are included in a $115/mo membership. That’s only $11 per class, which is really pennies compared to what you’d pay as a full time member of the studio. I’m sure their prices will continue to go up over time (they used to have an unlimited option which is no more), but as long as one actually goes to the classes she signs up for, it’s definitely worth it. Even with the $35 add on for 3 more, it’s about $11.5 per class.

So, I’m excited about this new step in my “get healthy forever as a little secret to myself” goal. Diet definitely needs work as well, but that tends to come hand-in-hand with working out. I’ve decided that I’m going to do the best work I can at my job from now to the end of the year, and in order to do that I need to give myself the permission to step away for a long lunch and work out. If that is a problem, then I’ll need to find a new job. At this point, I know if I can get healthy, everything else will slowly but surely fall into place.

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4 thoughts on “The Cost of Getting Healthy: Worth It”

  1. Good luck with your goals. I set a quantifiable number goal a few years ago and it worked much better than just hoping to “get in shape.” I set a goal to exercise on 200 days, where either running 5k or doing aerobics/weightlifting for 45 minutes would count for the day. I didn’t come anywhere close to 200 (maybe 120 or 130), but having that number to shoot for helped me. I haven’t been in as good shape since.

    1. I’ve taken 5 classes thus far. It’s good except they charge you $15 if you cancel in the last 12 hours before the class on top of the monthly fee. That’s good because it makes me go to the classes but sometimes I do just have to cancel and it adds up. I might join one of the studios I like FT vs staying on classpass.

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