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Paying for Fitness – Specifically $1200 a Year

As I’ve blogged about before, I am a member of Weight Watchers Online, but I’ve been very, very bad for about 2 months.  I have been walking 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes, but I completely threw away any semblance of willpower when it came to food.  🙁

I Gained Back 10 Pounds

With that in mind, I wasn’t too surprised that I have gained back a total of 10 pounds since July 2011.  So I started out the year at 176, worked my way down to 146 by July, and weighed in at 155.6 pounds yesterday, November 27th.  That’s crappy, but it was the kick in the pants I needed to make some changes.

My husband hasn’t been happy with his gain back either.  He’s still down 25 pounds for the year, but also gained back 10-15 pounds.  That said, we logged back into Weight Watchers, restarted our memberships, and started tracking our points yesterday morning.  He also suggested we join the gym down the street that has racquetball courts, a heated swimming pool, and fitness classes.  We took a tour, haggled a bit to get the best offer we could (which I will blog about separately), signed up, and played 2 games of racquetball yesterday.  We also picked up a schedule of the fitness classes and are making plans based on what we can pull off realistically.

The Cost of Physical Fitness

Weight Watchers Online is $18.95 a month.  My husband is also a member, so there’s about $40 a month total for our diet plans.  The gym ended up being $30 a month for one of us and $25 for the second person, so $55 a month plus tax.  There’s another $60 a month.  In the end, we will be paying $100 a month, or $1200 a year, to get and stay physically fit.

That seems insane since there are a thousand ways to stay healthy and eat well without paying a cent, BUT my husband and I need the extra help.  We have so little willpower on our own and would like to try exercise options before moving onto weight loss aids such as Orlistat.  So, yes, we are paying $40 a month for an online program to keep us accountable and on track.  And we are paying another $60 a month in the hopes that raquetball, swimming, and fitness machines will call us out of our lazy stupors.

Keep Me Accountable

Plus, I will now be using you – my very awesome readers and commenters – to keep me accountable.  I refuse to waste $1200 a year.  So I will be checking in with all of you twice a month with an update on my Weight Watchers points usage, a rundown of how I’ve used the gym, and a specific update on my progress to the goals I am setting below.  You all are more than welcome, even encouraged, to update us all on your progress as well in the comments on these posts as well.  Consider this a call out for a peer pressure group!

My Goals

I am making my goals realistically.  Christmas is around the corner and I love holiday food.  I also rather not burn out on the gym in the first 2 weeks.  With all of that in mind, here are my short-term and long-term goals:

  • Stay within my weekly allowed 252 Weight Watchers food points – I get 29 to use each day and 49 to spend as I wish each week.  I will try to completely ignore the activity points I will be earning.
  • Use the gym at least 3 times per week.
  • Weigh 155 pounds by December 31st, 2011.
  • Weigh 135 pounds by December 31st, 2012.

If you’d like to be involved, please place your goals below.  I look forward to seeing your updates.  🙂  I plan to post my own updates around the 15th and last day of each month – whatever weekday that is closest since I have way fewer readers on the weekends.  If you rather not participate, please just throw me some supportive words or offer to kick my butt if I don’t follow through!  Thanks!

32 thoughts on “Paying for Fitness – Specifically $1200 a Year”

  1. Penny

    I know it’s frustrating to have to pay so much out of pocket for that help, but think of it as an investment. It sounds like you’ve done well on the program when you’ve been on it, and the more time you spend in a healthy weight range and with a higher level of fitness the lower your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and other long term health issues. Daily medications and extra doctor visits would cost you a lot more in the long term.

    You can do it!

  2. 20's Finances

    Good luck! You can do it. Just remember that these things come in waves – so if you have a bad week, don’t beat yourself up about it… just use it for motivation to do better the next.

  3. thefrugallery

    Woohoo! Good for you! Like Penny said, $1200 sounds like a lot but it truly is an investment. Think of how much money you will save by skipping dessert:) One trick that I used to get myself to go to the gym was to put $1 in a jar each time I went. After a few months had passed, I had lost weight, and had some money in the jar to buy new clothes that fit better.

  4. Kris @ Everyday Tips

    I love our gym, even though it is expensive. I try to play racquetball twice a week, and fortunately, 3 out of 4 of the people I live with are pretty good players and enjoy it. It can be hard to go out at 8pm and play (for me), but I find that type of exercise is what I enjoy most. I also play some basketball with the kids when we can get a court.

    What I have found has a put a few pounds on me is blogging. Considering I have a computer job to begin with, and then add blogging time, that is a lot of sitting everyday. So, I have committed to turning off the computer after 5 (most days) and being more active during the evening hours. I also think about how much more I would have to exercise whenever I want to eat something unhealthy.

    Oh, I also try to make sure I am never starving because when I am, I can make some really bad food choices.

    Good luck Crystal, we will help you!

  5. cashflowmantra

    Good luck with your goals. I am planning on being under 200 pounds by the end of next year. It is only 10 pounds or so, but it is very sticky. I like to eat.

  6. Kylie Ofiu

    Hey Crystal. I think it is great what you are doing. It might not seem fun to be outlaying cash each month for what you can technically do for free, but when paying for it is extra helps and gives you the incentive it is worth it.

    I recently won a weight watchers membership which I always thought was a bunch of baloney, but in the first week I lost 2kgs. Being accountable and watching what I eat has really helped. It’s $29.95 a month here.

    I have also been looking at gym memberships. Your monthly price is our weekly price, so I am a little hesitant to part with that much cash. I might by equipment instead, which I will used. I did when I had it before.

    Good luck with it. We are both doing it at the same time, so it will be great.

  7. Daisy

    Good luck! I’m sure you will do great. Sometimes you need that extra push – like the $1200/yr wasted if you don’t do it, or even just the program itself to get things going. My weight loss all started with C25k, and now I don’t do it anymore, but I’ve lost 15 lbs.

  8. Jonathan

    I wish you luck with your goal. My wife and I are needing to pick up the pace again, as it’s been a while since we got into a routine of exercise.

  9. Emily @ evolvingPF

    I also would consider this money spent an investment, not a waste. But there’s no harm in trying to accomplish the same goals for less money.

    Not to slam WW too much, but you can do everything in their system on your own except the accountability aspect. During my weight-loss journey I found the forums at 3 Fat Chicks to be very helpful in providing new ideas and accountability. And it’s free. Just saying.

  10. Hunter - Financially Consumed

    Happy to help Crystal. By writing about you are clearly serious about improving, as am I. You’ll get there.

  11. Jeffrey

    Good luck Crystal! With the accountability and cost looming I’m sure you’ll hit this goal! You’ve already done great!

    Here are my goals:
    1. Complete Insanity program by Feb 15 2012
    2. Weigh 155 lbs by March 1 2012

  12. Suba

    Good luck Crystal! I am sure you will blow this goal out of the water as you did with other goals.

    Here are my goals :
    Weigh 170 pounds by December 31st, 2011.
    Weigh 150 pounds by June 30th, 2012.
    Weigh 135 pounds by December 31st, 2012.

    I will start posting my updates in my health blog and post it here too. May be seeing you do it will be the kick in the pants I need 🙂

  13. Kris

    Good luck with your goals! I used WW online to successfully lose 75+ pounds (over 100 in total). I have kept it off for almost 2 years now, and while I have dropped the WW online program, I still use an online tracking tool to track my calories and stay accountable!

    I don’t see $1200 a year for 2 people as excessive at all, especially when you consider the benefits – lower health care costs, longer life expectancy, and more energy.

    My own goals are more fitness than weight related but:

    1) Complete a Half Ironman triathlon in 2012
    2) Reduce body fat percentage to below 25% (weight does not have to change).

  14. Aloysa

    I go to the gym on a rare occassion lately. I def should re-consider that. But I will tell you this, as long as you are moving around, walking, whatever you are doing to move, and watch your portions, you either lose weight or maintain it. I am a strong beliver in “we are what we eat.” 🙂

  15. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    You can do it! Let me know if you need help with swimming work outs 🙂

  16. Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    One thing that helps me is telling myself that losing the weight is the most important thing I should be doing. Losing weight is about THE hardest thing to do – in my opinion.

  17. Barb Friedberg

    I love your disclosure. You are doing great, set backs are inevitable.

  18. Crystal @ BFS

    Thanks for all of the support! And don’t worry, I am looking at this as an investment. I just know I need to report to all of you to help keep me on track…I’m a social creature and know it…

    @the frugallery, good idea!

    @Kris, I have to make sure not to let myself get too hungry too…

    @cashflowmantra, I got your goal now so you have to tune in with updates. 😉

    @Jenna, I am seriously considering joining in on the free water aerobics classes. 🙂

    @Emily, thanks for the suggestion but I know I am paying for the accountability aspect. I need that…I am weak, lol.

    @Jeffrey, I got your goals too now – we will get there!

    @Suba, yay!!! We’ll get there!!!

    @Kris, I hope you check back in with updates too! I’m making notes of all the goals here. 🙂

  19. Cat

    Hey Crystal – investing in your health and happiness is well worth the money you’re spending! Losing weight is very hard, and you’re right – being accountable does help keep you on track. We’ll support you! 🙂

  20. Crissie

    Hi Crystal! I started blogging 2 yrs ago for this very reason. I need the accountability to keep my food, fitness, (and life!) on track. It really is helpful, I can tell you. I’m still 40 lbs from my goal, but I’ve managed to run several half marathons, one full, and do a triathlon since I started blogging.
    My goals for 2012
    Lose 40 lbs
    Complete my 2nd marathon – faster than my first
    Compete in 3 triathlons

    Good luck, and we’ll be cheering you on!!!

  21. bogofdebt

    I currently am trying to lose 35ish pounds–I signed up for a family plan at the Y and spend $20 a month for the gym. So far I’ve lost 4 lbs…and I’ve been doing this for 2 months. I really like webmd’s website to track calories/weight/exercise. I’d ideally like to drop to 150 (and would then only have to lose 20 more pounds) by the end of January–but the holidays keep getting in the way).

  22. Evan

    I just blogged about this too! Its tough to sign on the dotted line for health related items since I know all you really *need* to do is get outside for a free run lol

  23. Andi B.

    We actually did a very unfrugal thing and bought a treadmill (even though we got it for 75% off I still feel like a total spendthrift for buying a treadmill). A gym membership in our area would have cost us about $50 a month for the two of us, and our conflicting schedules make it difficult to be gym buddies. The treadmill’s already getting use, and with any luck we’ll be restarting the Insanity program at the beginning of next year.

    My husband’s work actually has a “Maintain, don’t gain” competition that runs across the holidays. The only stipulation is you can’t go over your pre-holiday starting weight for a raffle entry. The winner gets a gym membership of their choice, so we’ll see how it works out. Keep your chin up, we’ll be supporting you, and the $1200 to get healthy is less expensive than potential health care costs down the road.

  24. Jerry

    I had a gym membership before with my old job and I used it often because I got a break on my insurance premium. But, working out at home leads to results, too.

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