Vowing to get back in shape (This time I’m serious. Really.)

photo by yuan2003

I know, I know. I’ve been talking about my post-wedding, office job weight gain for months now. You’d think I’d have done something about it by now. Sigh.

Unfortunately, despite my attempts to eat healthier and get in shape, I’ve failed pretty miserably. I don’t have the guts to weigh myself after a week and a half of holiday overeating, but I’m sure if I did I’d be 10-15 pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day just 7 months ago.

In the spirit of the new year (who doesn’t vow to get healthier every New Year?), I’ve decided to really do it this time. Seriously. Don’t laugh.

I take full responsibility for my own laziness and poor eating habits, but part of my problem in the last six months has been the gym in my apartment complex. I was excited to use the facilities for free (what frugal exerciser wouldn’t love a free gym?). Unfortunately, it’s a tiny room with only a tread mill, stationary bike, and weight machine.

Too often I returned home from work, changed into my workout clothes, and forced myself to go to the gym (getting there is the hardest part for me). When I arrived, I discovered that all of the machines were in use. Some nights I returned 3 or 4 times to find the machines in use by different people before finally giving up.

I’ve made the decision to use some Christmas gift money to join a proper gym.

I’ve found a gym close to my house that allows month-to-month membership fee payment. It costs $15 a month plus a one-time setup fee of $40. If I choose this membership option, I can cancel my membership at any time with no fees.

The other option I’m considering requires a 12-month commitment. I’m hesitant to do this, because even though I have the best of intentions, I don’t want to end up paying a monthly fee for a membership I’m not using. However, the monthly fee is only $5 more per month, and the 12-month commitment carries with it unlimited guest privileges. That means Tony would have access to the gym, too, for just $5 more per month.

I did the math, and if I kept the membership for a full year paying month to month, it would cost $219 for the year. The 12-month membership with guest privileges would end up costing me $268 for the year.

I really don’t like the mindset that many people have when it comes to gym memberships (“If I’m paying for it, then I’ll HAVE to use it”). I find that it almost never works that way. People continue to pay every month even though they never use the gym.

However, I really like the idea of having the option to bring Tony with me to the gym if he wants to work out. If we went together for only 6 months, the rest of the year would pay for itself in the amount we saved. I also think I’d be more likely to stick to it not because I’m paying for it, but because Tony and I would be doing it together.

What do you think? Should I stick with the month-to-month dues or commit for a full year and risk paying for a membership I don’t use?

11 thoughts on “Vowing to get back in shape (This time I’m serious. Really.)

  1. Megan

    The month-to-month would be nice if you were new to working out in a gym and wanted to try it out, but since you’re really committed I think that both could be a good option. If you’re not sure how working out will effect your schedule I would do the monthly plan for now and see how it goes.

    However, if Tony wants to go with you and you’re both dedicated to the idea of using a gym the money would be well spent- and those are amazing prices! I couldn’t touch that price in my area!

  2. Angie

    I think it’s important to look at this:
    When you get home from work, are you more likely to want to change clothes, get in the car & drive somewhere to work out?

    OR – would you money be better spent buying some dumbbells, a workout video and walking/running around the house?

    Before my husband and I committed to paying a membership, we decided to try to use the things we had a home – on a consistent basis. If we could commit to “working out” several times a week, then we were better prepared to make the decision if working out at home was suitable… or if we needed a membership.

    We opted to buy weights, a balance ball, and a few videos. It was a better investment for us. It was a one time expense that brings the exact items we would use at a gym, into our home.

  3. Karen

    Thanks for “weighing in.” (Ha. I couldn’t resist.)

    Megan – I agree that it’s a good price. That’s why I’m strongly leaning toward the year long commitment. I think it’s a special post-New Year deal, so I want to take advantage now.

    Angie – Working out at home with dumb bells, videos, and yoga was my first plan. I liked to idea of being able to work out at home, but I actually found that being at home was too much of a distraction. Even though I told myself all day that I was going to do it, the couch was just too tempting after a long day. I had much more success headed to the apartment complex gym right after work before I had time to get too comfortable, but then I’d have to find a good time when the equipment was available, and it didn’t work with my schedule.

    Thanks for your input! I’m really leaning toward the year long membership so Tony and I can get in shape together!

  4. Kacie

    I think the “guest rate” price is excellent for the two of you! It might motivate you to go, since you’ll be able to go together.

    Our apartment complex also has a “free” gym with a bike, treadmill and weight machine. I’ve been like twice. It’s just not an appealing place to go, ya know?

    And yet, gym prices can be so expensive. Once I’m OKed to exercise again, I might start out at the free gym, but I might also consider paying to exercise.

    We have some home exercise equippment, but it might be good for me to get out of the house when I can.

    Kacie’s last blog post..Giveaway: Little Debbie snacks

  5. Karen

    Kacie – I know exactly what you mean about the apartment complex gym. Ours is a tiny room, and working out with someone else in there is just uncomfortable. It doesn’t bother me to be one of many people at the gym, but working out with one stranger who is 5 feet away from you is weird, you know? Not to mention that tiny room doesn’t smell so great with two people sweating. Ew.

    I hope you have better luck with your apartment complex gym, though. I know many people who LOVE the free gyms in their apartments. I guess it depends on how it’s maintained.

    If I were you, I’d definitely try that and your home gym and see if it works for you. If you find yourself wanting more, then start looking for gym memberships.

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