Things I’ve Bought to Be a Fitness Person

Have you ever spent money to force yourself to change?

I recently read this fitting Billfold article, about the items that a writer purchased to save himself money in 2014, and then the (much more apt) follow-up post with other writers sharing the embarrassing things they’ve purchased to either a) save money or b) make themselves a “better” person.

I laughed, I cringed, and then I felt like I should fess up too.

So here they are, my list of things I’ve bought to be a fitter person. Did they work? We’ll see…

Go Mary Kate/Ashley, go! A ten-pack of exercise classes. – $40
In 2012, I was at a silent auction fundraiser with my mom and we were in a bidding frenzy! We kept bidding on all kinds of things, not entirely sure if we’re going to get anything at all. WEEEEELLLLL. The thing my mom ended up winning was a 10-class pack for a gym that is nowhere near either of our us. You know, the kind of gym with the craziest newest mash-up yoga classes and what else. I’ve almost gone a few times, to the point that I bring my gear to work with me, but I can’t bring myself to go out of my way after work to work out and then home. I’d rather get a gym membership. Which brings me to my next point…
Worth it? NO.

Monthly Gym Membership – $150 initial sign up, $50 a month.
This one is hit or miss. There have been months where I go to the gym 2-3x a week, especially when I was training for my 5k last year and when I was subsequently obsessed with weightlifting and being the biggest lady-bro in the gym (I never was.) But in the fall I definitely only went a half-dozen times. Ooops.
Worth it? …yes?

Yoga Mat – $8
Soooo, I had a $50 Chapters gift-card for Christmas, and since I try to buy my books from actual bookstores, I decided to spend this on giftware mostly. (I’d also just purchased 3 new books that week!) So I got candles, a day-planner, tea, a nail-kit, ONE book and this yoga mat. I’ve literally used everything except the yoga mat. It’s still in its wrapper.
Worth it? NO. But I’m still convinced that I’m going to a yoga class… aaaaany day now.

Protein Powder – $36
When I was trying to get fit and keep my energy up, I received dozens of suggestions about energy drinks, powders, bars, snacks, all the stuff that is supposed to keep you JAZZED and ENERGIZED after a big workout. Problem is? I got a Vanilla Chai Latte flavour and it tastes terrible. I finished about half of the container of whiteish, powder. Blech. It’s still in my cupboard… on the top shelf.
Worth it? Maybe? I used half of it, so it was ingested, but I think a home-made peanut butter milkshake may have been way more efficient, and delicious.

DietBet – $30
I heard about this site through the Twitter and personal-finance blogger grapevine and it sounded like a sure thing. The site acts like a commitment device to get you to exercise and lose weight. You pay a certain amount, the average is about $30, and over the course of a month or so, you need to post an image of you at a scale, get it approved by admins, and then do one at the end to see how much you lost. The goal is 4% and if you reach that amount, you get your money back AND you get a split of all the people, like me, who didn’t make the bet that month. Howd’d I do? The people who did the bet with me that month definitely got my money.

Now, to lighten the mood, here are some things that WORKED.

Harry’s Spring Run-Off – $45 ($0 by the end of it)
I signed up for this run because my dad was trying to convince me that I could run and sold me on one that is near my house. Harry’s is a charity fundraiser run that raises money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation that goes through High Park every spring. I live RIIIGHT there, and 5k isn’t that crazy. So I trained, I trained and I made myself a sort-of runner after being a NOT-RUNNER for, well, all of my life. I posted a time of about 37 minutes and raised $600! Since I raised so much, I was retroactively refunded my amount, and all went well.
Worth it? YES! Apparently if I sign up and TELL PEOPLE I’m going to run, I will.

Zombies, Run! & Fitocracy – $5 & Free (Although Fitocracy has a pay-mode too)
Fitocracy is an amazing social network that unites people who work out, whether they are super buff or just getting started. It’s full of positivity, hilarious memes, interesting workouts and good advice. It really got me from a complete novice to understanding what works best for me and what I need to work on. It’s also free! Zombies, Run! is a running app available on iOS and Android that is a whole story of a post-apocalyptic world plagued by zombies, translated into dozens of running missions! It will make you laugh, and perhaps, cry, and it’s only $5. Way better than any other paid exercise app from what I can see.
Worth it? You bet.

Peer Pressure – Free!
In 2012 and early 2013 there was a weekly running club at work. A bunch of people from different departments got together and pushed each other to do a 4-7k run (some people ran faster and longer, while some of us just chugged along and turned around earlier.) It was a great way for me to learn how to pace myself, how to run in a group and how to test my limits. I wouldn’t have gotten as into running without it.
Worth it? YES YES YES.

So, as it stands, 2013 was the year I took my debt seriously and here’s hoping that 2014 will be the year I can take my fitness seriously. The real issue will be changing my views from this..

In shape? Hah.

To this.
Well, maybe without the violence.

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