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I might have to quit the gym :(

Monday, September 13, 2010

DH and I had a discussion over the weekend and the gym is getting to be too much of an expense. He suggested that we stop our membership (we are no longer in a contract and are paying month to month). I know it needs to be done. With me not working and having a child to care for now, we need to cut back where we can. But I am feeling sad.

For three years, the gym has been my place to de-stress, to temporarily get away from "life", and focus on my health and fitness. Plus, it is a place I can go during the day and see people. When you are at home without a car during the day, your options are limited. Plus, Laila enjoys getting out too, and playing in the child care. I am also worried, of course, about gaining back the weight I worked so hard to lose.

I will come up with ways to work out without the gym. I just have to. There is NO WAY I can go back to how I was 3 years ago. But it won't be easy. The gym had everything I need: equipment, classes, variety, and a social element. I am not someone who enjoys solitary exercise at home. There is no room for a treadmill or elliptical here - and those machines are expensive anyway - so it will have to be DVDs indoors or running (maybe jump roping too) outside as long as the weather allows.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAUNDA 9/14/2010 5:18PM

    Pick your priorities (in order of necessity), I am referring to the gym, and find a less expensive gym that offers your min. priorities. My gym is cheap but no amenities just equipment... I need a gym as I don't do well at home. Good luck! I wish I had a magic wond to make this all better.

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PALOMINOGIRL3 9/14/2010 4:27PM

    Oh, my dear, I am in the same boat! My DH and I just recently had this very same conversation and are seriously contemplating a break from the gym (which runs us $128 a month!) when our contract is up this November. We NEVER seem to get there, certainly not often enough to be forking out the extra $$$, yet I am still sad to say good-bye! I agree with BSTELLING that maybe there's a way to keep the gym membership by cutting back on something else because I have found that the gym (FOR ME) has been the most important tool in not only my weight-loss plan, but it's my de-stress time as well. And where else do you have access to every piece of exercise equipment? I know I certainly don't have a house filled with ellipticals and treadmills, not to mention the classes! It's a really tough decision to make.

And I tend to disagree with the folks who think you can do it without the amenities of the gym. I think it all depends on body type! I know that for MY body, running and hand weights at home, do NOT give me the same benefits that the machines at the gym do and it's just not enough. I used to run and do what I could at home , and I was fit and healthy, but I never saw true results until I joined the gym. And if you're anything like me, the gym can be motivating. I don't have near the motivation at home when I have a sink full of dishes and the baby to take care of. I usually end up choosing to do something other than exercise! And I LOATHE working out to DVDs - again, I'd rather do the dishes!

I think the suggestion to perhaps find a less expensive gym is an excellent idea! I think that's an option we might look into. Keep us posted!

Comment edited on: 9/14/2010 4:32:03 PM

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NICOLE12-01 9/14/2010 12:33PM

    I can definitely understand your sadness about quitting the gym. Losing your "escape" is definitely a difficult thing to do. And I definitely understand your anxiety about gaining some weight back.
But...losing weight and keeping it off CAN be done without a gym. In the world of ENDLESS workout DVD's, you'll be fine. I think you got some GREAT advice. See if you can ask for a couple of months membership as a present. Or talk to the gym about reduced costs for volunteering! You'll figure it out. You've come this far and are determined. You'll make it work! :)

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SIMPLEJOYS 9/13/2010 2:19PM

  I like what everyone else has suggested and would like to add that the Community Education in our county offers individual classes in 8 wk sessions - things like Zumba, Pilates, Yoga. That might be worth a look. Definitely cheaper - perhaps because they are held in the gym at the elementary?? The high schools with pools in neighboring counties have open swim times here for the public. Not the most convenient schedule, but you know - it's do-able if you have the desire!

How about freelance magazine articles to supplement your income? You're a terrific writer - you might as well get paid for it! We once had a freelance writer call our house to get quotes from the girls about their experience volunteering in an after-school reading program - and it appeared in Good Housekeeping! You could do that!

OR...Maybe some months at the gym would be an awesome Hanukkah present from your parents? I'd be happy to whisper that suggestion in their ear ...!

HUGS and LOVE to you. I've been in the same spot of no-car, kids under 5 and a tight budget. This too, shall pass - it just doesn't feel like it will while you're living through it.



Comment edited on: 9/13/2010 2:21:00 PM

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PHEBESS 9/13/2010 12:46PM

    Talk to the people at the gym - maybe you can do some work in exchange for a membership. Like once a week volunteer at the child care center, or fold mailers, or send emails, or something.

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*AMBER512 9/13/2010 12:33PM

    I know I can't do it without a gym. There is just nothing that replaces all of the benefits. Like someone else mentioned is there any side work you can pick up to make up for the expense? If it truly works for you, I don't want to see you have to give it up!

Other things can certainly be done, like the ones you mentioned. It's all about finding somethign that will work for you in the long run. Because that's what's going to keep you motivated!

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FALCONETTE 9/13/2010 9:50AM

    Try doing workouts from It's a free website that a Czech girl Zuzana is doing in English (she married a Canadian so her English is good). She focuses on body weight exercises that not only firm your muscles but also will make you sweat. The sessions are usually 15-20 minutes long and you can do it at home. I was following her before pregnancy and my body was totally sore; in one week of doing them, I could totally see my body shrinking. She also posts her videos on YouTube, you can find her there under the user name charliejames1975.

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SPARKVAMPY2012 9/13/2010 8:21AM

    You can totally do it on your own without the gym. I do. Get some good DVD's, ones you know you will like and stick to. You can get a set or two of dumbbells, stability ball, jump rope, yoga mat and a good pair of sneakers. Thats all you will probably need. I work out at home after dinner, all I have is a couple of DVD's and 3 sets of weights.
Good luck and keep us posted! emoticon

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BSTELLING 9/13/2010 8:09AM

    Is there any way you can make a little extra to keep the gym membership? Or is there anything you can cut back on other than the gym? How about a gym that is less expensive. There are a lot of them now. I go to Fitness 19 for just $10 a month. Don't give up trying for a solution. The benefits are so huge for you. If all else fails, the DVDs can work great. And you can also check out community based exercise classes that might be less expensive. Good Luck and keep thinking positive!

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This and that...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I realize I haven't blogged much lately. The little one finally went to sleep, so I am stealing some time to blog (while I should be cleaning, haha). Blogging here helps me stay on track and most importantly, stay motivated.

While healthier eating and fitness are always on my mind, I've been struggling with my program quite a bit lately and don't know exactly why. I guess I just really need a good kick in the butt.

I am now quite lazy about tracking my food. It has become a chore. I used to see it as something I just spend a few minutes doing and be done with it. Lately it's like, "Ugh,I don't feel like tracking! Forget it!" Miraculously, I am maintaining my weight, though I still want to lose 5-7 pounds (weight keeps going up and down 2 pounds, never dipping below 120. I know my body won't continue to maintain and I will start gaining if I don't change things, and FAST. Maybe at some level, because I am at an OK weight, I am telling myself I don't need to try so hard. That is a scary place to be... because I know this is precisely the time I need to be trying my hardest. Losing weight is difficult, but maintaining is even more so.

The other issue is gym machine drudgery. They don't offer classes (my favorite way to work out) at the most convenient times for me, so when I have to go on the machines, I'm like "When is this workout going to be over?!" That is never a good thing. The past couple times I went to the gym, I got on the elliptical or stationary bike and played with my iPhone, hardly breaking a sweat. Whereas in my classes, I am sweating buckets, and most importantly having FUN! I will continue to exercise whichever way it fits into my schedule because daily exercise is so incredibly important. I just need to get a little more fitness mojo back.

Finally, I have had this strange obsession with chocolate Cheerios lately. I decided to give them a try this week, thinking they would be a good thing for my sweet tooth - a better alternative to say, chocolate chip cookies with milk. Problem is, I am having 2 or 3 bowls a day for a snack. NOT good. I guess I will be adding chocolate Cheerios to my list of triggers (next to cookies and ice cream).

So, for those who have been here for a while and are maintaining: What keeps you going with the same level of intensity/enthusiasm? Are you finding it easier or more difficult to maintain than to lose weight?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKNMOM 9/12/2010 11:33PM

    Oh yes....maintaining has definitely been a bigger challenge for me than the losing. I never would've thought that during the losing phase, but it's true. I seem to go through phases. I'll start to lose and that'll give me momentum to get to goal, then I sit at goal for a while and start to sneak back up the scale a bit. Then I need to tighten the reigns and get back to goal again. I'm there now....I've let myself get too lax lately with my nutrition, so I need to get back on plan. Tomorrow I start tracking - again...I need to.

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DNJEN471 9/10/2010 10:51PM

    Wrong person to ask this last week has been horrible! Knowing your triggers is good and I agree... daily exercise is a must!

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PALOMINOGIRL3 9/9/2010 7:02PM

    I swear you and I just posted the same blog!!! Except for my newest trigger is those gosh darned twisted frosties at Wendy's! You're actually being quite GOOD with your chocolate Cheerios compared to me!

The key for me when working out on the machines at the gym (as the classes at my gym don't work with my schedule either) is to ROCK OUT! I have found that by listening to songs I WANT to listen to, the time just flies by and I'm working up a sweat for 45 minutes before I realize it. Make sure you have some good tunes, girl! (I'm sure you do, but just a suggestion...)

Sorry you're a little in a slump... I hope we both find a way to figure everything out and reach our goals soon!

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*AMBER512 9/9/2010 5:14PM

    My gym doesn't have classes at convenient times either.!! Who wants to start working out at 8pm? Not me! I'm thinking about getting into bed at 9.

At first I found maintenance to be way easier to losing. I thought, hey I can slack a little! But now I think it is way harder. You aren't working toward this huge end result and so the enthusiasm just isn't there sometimes.

Journaling helps. Trying new routines, new foods, and new recipes helps too. Once I figure out the secret to consistency I'll let you know! lol

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Please vote for Laila!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hi Sparkfriends!
I recently entered Laila's photo in the Gerber Generation photo contest for a chance to win a scholarship for her. The voting for her group started yesterday and she needs all the votes she can get. If you would like to and get a chance, PLEASE vote for her. :)
You can vote once a day, so visit and vote often!
Here is the link. Alternately, you can search for her under her name and city (Laila, Baltimore) or her entry number, 103655.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BSTELLING 9/13/2010 8:17AM

    I voted for Laila, 101 votes! Doing good!

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PALOMINOGIRL3 9/9/2010 1:02PM

    I voted for Laila! She is such a cutie-patootie!

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WYOBZM 9/8/2010 10:32PM

    Great mom idea. I'm in for voting. You and the baby look great!

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SPARKNMOM 9/6/2010 6:18PM

    Voted!! :) Cute cute cute!

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    I was vote #18...go Laila!

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BCGIRL74 9/5/2010 10:42AM

    What a cutie! I felt bad for some of those kids....they didn't have any votes!

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    She is a pretty as her Mom!

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*AMBER512 9/4/2010 12:16PM

    aww cutie!

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RONNIEHUEY 9/4/2010 11:35AM


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H2O High Intensity Training

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tonight I am trying something new. I'm going to take a High Intensity Training water aerobics class with a friend. She used to belong to the gym I attend but now goes to another one in the area. My gym has some sort of partnership with her gym (and a few others) whereby each other's members can go to their gyms 3 times a month. This other gym has a much better water fitness program. They also have H2O boxing and tai chi, which I can't wait to try!

I did not make it to a new class last night. My little one refused to nap in the morning, so we went for a long walk. I was hoping she would fall asleep in the stroller, but no such luck. Then we met a friend and hung out at Starbucks and then the park. She LOVED the swing!

Soon after we got home she crashed.

Then we took a little catnap together.

Yeah. As much as I love to work out, I'll take this over the gym any day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 9/2/2010 8:44PM

    I love it when they sleep on you! Soooo sweet! She is getting so big!

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SPARKNMOM 8/23/2010 10:21PM

    Oh my gosh - how adorable!

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    Cutest. Baby. Ever. (Since mine.)

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SEPPIESUSAN 8/19/2010 6:26PM

    such a cutiepie!!

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*AMBER512 8/19/2010 3:35PM

    Awww! I would take that any day, too!

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Another new workout class last night

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

...but it was "meh."

It was called Total Core, described as "a fusion of yoga, pilates and strength training. Based on Pilates and Yoga." I did not see much difference in this class from straight-up yoga, other than booming music that was not relaxing at all. I was stressed yesterday and in the mood to unwind while working up a sweat. I only burned 164 calories. Almost not worth the trouble. But...the regular instructor was not there, so maybe I will give this class another try sometime. When there is a substitute instructor, sometimes the class is not really the same.

Today it is supposed to rain all day, so I am not sure if I will make it over to the gym. But if I do, I'm thinking Body Flow (combo of yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates). It is also a Les Mills class. I'll compare to the class I took last night and see if I like it better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALOMINOGIRL3 8/18/2010 1:38PM

    I would definitely give the class another shot with the RIGHT instructor. I had just started taking a core class a few months before I got pregnant and I loved it... I left each class sweaty and sore (but sore in a GOOD way) and I always felt like I got an amazing workout. Can't wait to hear details when you try it again!

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*AMBER512 8/18/2010 12:18PM

    I think a lot of fitness classes are good or bad depending on the instructor. Definitely give it another try, but in the end it just might not be for you!

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SEPPIESUSAN 8/18/2010 9:03AM

    Sorry to hear you didn't like your class...hate it when that happens. Better luck next time..

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