Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To Work Out or Not to Work Out - That is the Question

Day two of my spending diet - February 9, 2011.  It's 1:40 p.m. and I haven't spent anything yet today.  Of course, I did spend a good hour going through Jamie's closet to find - ta dah - his math book that's been missing for the last month.  It's hard to spend money when you're in the midst of mining for things that are missing.  I walked the dog.  (Yay, me!)  And I've been working on this new post.  (Writing - also yay me!)

Here's my spending dilemma for the day.  A friend of mine has been asking if I would like to join the new gym that just went up about a ten minute drive from my house.  She's already plunked down her $20 first month's fee, along with some sort of add on fees that amounted to, apparently, $50.  I ask you, how can it be a $20 a month deal if they are going to add on $50 in enrollment fees?

This appears, on the surface, to be a really good deal.  They have all of the cardiovascular machines you could ask for, free weights, all kinds of classes (including a spinning class I am very interested in working up to), tanning booths (for those of us who have some seasonal affective problems), and childcare.  I don't need the childcare any more, thank God, but it gives my friend the option of meeting me there during the day if we want to work out together.  And it doesn't smell all "gymie" (read, like sweat) yet, because it's new.  It's not an unpleasant place.

For years, Justin has been begging me to exercise.  In my heart and mind, I know that exercise is a good thing, but I. Just. Hate. It.  Always have.  I don't understand why I have to sweat to get healthy.  I don't like to sweat.  I don't like to go to places where the goal is to make you sweat.  And I really don't like to have to pay for the privilege of sweating and needing another shower.  Also, what do you wear to the gym?  Okay, this may seem kind of vacuous, but I notice what people are wearing and am cognizant of the fact that no matter how hard I have tried, I have not succeeded in obtaining a successful wardrobe for any occasion.  Old Navy habit aside, I just don't dress "cool" any more.  If I ever did.  I'm going to be one of those old ladies who people whisper about behind their hands and say "I wonder where the hell she got that horrendous housedress."

But, here's the thing.  This gym membership really is a good deal, once you've paid their "enrollment" fees (which really amount to just another way to get your money).  There are benefits to exercising.  You lose weight.  You feel better.  Your heart likes you better and your waistline shrinks.  Exercise is a good thing.  (If I keep saying it, will I convince myself?)  And the other thing about this gym membership is kind of stupid, but I'll put it out there anyway.  Someone actually likes me enough to want to meet me at the gym on a regular basis.  Okay, I know I'm a likable person, in theory, but to have someone actually ask me to join a gym with them so that we can work out together...well, let's just say I'm touched.

So, I started adding it up in my head (sorry, I meant on the calculator) and weighing cost vs. benefits.  At $20 a month for the three year commitment they require, it would be a grand total of $720 plus the $50 miscellaneous crap fees they forget to mention in the advertisement they sent to get you in there.  (By the way, I checked the flyer and it says "No Enrollment Fees."  Okay, so why the $50 again?)  Three years is a big commitment from someone who vows to exercise and then falls down on that promise within two or three attempts.  I mean, I've committed to walking the dog at lunchtime every day and, for the most part, I've kept that commitment.  If it's below, say, 30 degrees and the wind is whipping down the plains at more than 10 mph, Justin generally takes over, but weather aside, I do keep my promise to take Jackson around the block once a day.  That's been a big step for me, but the dog has to be walked and he was my idea.  And yes, I feel better on the days that I take the dog for a walk.  One point goes to the exercise camp.

So here's my dilemma.  I'm on a spending diet and I want to succeed and get out of debt.  I'd like to stop the impulsive spending and hitting that "buy" button automatically without thinking about it at all.  If I go this week, the first week of my "diet" to sign up for the gym and spend $70 for a three year commitment, am I going off of my "diet?"

I think the answer lies in whether or not I would actually use the gym for three years.  $20 a month doesn't sound like much money, but $720 does.  That would buy my son a lot of books for college.  Or some of his tuition.  Or groceries for a month (maybe - with food prices, who can say?)  And what if my friend moves?  That's more likely than not, because her significant other is wanting to go to grad school somewhere else and, since they do have three children, I would think the likelihood is that she is going to want to go with him.  What are the chances that I will make the gym into a habit and actually go over there several times a week to make myself sweat if there isn't someone who wants to sweat with me?

This is my money dilemma on day two of my "spending diet."  I'd love to hear opinions as to whether this is a "need" or a "want."


  1. I think it's a need if you're committed to exercise. It doesn't sound like you're there yet. Work out at home for 30 days and see how well you do with that commitment first.

  2. Wendie, I agree that it's a need, especially with the fibro, but where I'm sticking is the spending money part, because I never can stick to the working out. I agree that working out at home (by maybe continuing the dog walking) might be the best course of action. The gym offer is good until 2/28, so that gives me time to think it over.

  3. A trainer, or a good trainer will tell you, 20 mins of cardio a day. It's a start.

    If you have FM, then you'll be amazed at what will happen in just a week or 2.


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