The hubby and I had a long talk yesterday about the gym and the $90 it is costing us every month. I have used it the most, religiously, almost 4-6 times a week at times, but I was also the first one to say "let's get rid of it" for a few reasons. Hubby and I had to talk, first, about why we got it in the first place. There were two main reasons.
1. The main reason we thought it would be nice in the first place is because my daughter would NOT give me 30 mins to myself when she was 2 (now she is 2 and a half). She definitely would not give me 60 mins. So, I needed the child care portion to just take some time for me and focus on me.
2. We had equipment at home, but it was mostly cardio equipment. I knew I was lacking strength training and I didn't necessarily know what to do to improve that.
So...we got a gym membership when my husband got his new job and his new, higher, paycheck. I took personal training, which was AMAZING. I learned so much about what I needed to as well as what I was doing wrong. Still, these are the reasons I am more than willing to let it go.
THE BIGGEST REASON:
1. In order to maintain our gym routine, I was having to wake my daughter up before 8 a.m. get screamed at while I changed her pull-ups, got her dressed, brushed her hair, and got her shoes on EVEN (mind you) if it was just to go upstairs and watch Mickey Mouse while we ate a nice breakfast to give ourselves time to "wake up" before leaving the house. SHE HATED IT. My daughter wakes up very slow and of course the first thing she wants to do when she wakes up is play with her toys and talk to me....so, the "hi good morning" and then get screamed at routine was NOT working. Started out both our days extra stressed and I just told myself "God let me get through it and channel this into working out to de-stress and then she can have me the rest of the ENTIRE DAY!"
Upon telling my husband this, he agreed it wasn't necessarily worth it to make the kiddo mad first thing in the morning and asked me, "well, why don't you just go the gym later? Kids Club is open from 8:30 to 1pm"
GREAT QUESTION HONEY!
Because, baby girl and I have figured out the gym's morning. Getting there at opening, 8:30 a.m. means less kids for my kid to have an incident with and the kids club employees are usually in a good mood because they haven't been surrounded by kids for hours yet. This is true for 9 a.m. too, but sometimes if I let her sleep, kiddo doesn't even wake up until 9 a.m. so there was never any certainty for 9 a.m. to be our check in time except for when I HAD to start at 9 a.m. with Jason on our personal training sessions.
At approximately 10am (usually when kiddo and I are leaving and she finally admits she is hungry) ALL the other stay at home moms come in. They will likely even turn you away if their kids club is at full capacity and my baby girl gets the MOST bad reports at this time. Too many other kids, not enough 1 on 1 time. I, in turn, have to fight for a cardio machine.
She stopped hitting, thank goodness, partially due to the gym staff's reinforcement of "don't hit" and "time out" and "say sorry" just like I do. But, when I pick her up after we go later, the poor kid practically THROWS the toys down (weird she used to cry when I made them give her back), peels her own sticker off her back and hands it to them and tries to leap over the gate to get to me....she's not having fun.
The same rings true for noon. This is when the gym staff is the TIREDEST, and they aren't even friendly to me when I drop her off. She always hates it that late and honestly I feel bad for the staff too.
So, I am not liking that my and my kiddo's schedule is revolving around the gym's kids club anymore. It's not fair to us. If I stopped working to stay at home with the kiddo, I want it to be a good experience and I know my daughter well enough to know that the mornings are when her and I can really just wake up and bond. As the day goes on and she gets more tired is when she tries my patience. I would never dream of dropping her off in the late Kids Club hours. It was either morning or forget about it. Mornings aren't working anymore.
2. I will NOT miss the gym's equipment. I used to tell my husband "if we have a treadmill and we have a bike, what about all their fancy weights? We should go there at least to strength train! " Well, I have measured that I am up to 25lbs on free weights. This was the result of A LOT of hard work at the gym and even Jason, the personal trainer's help.
If I buy a set of 25lb dumbbells MANY of the exercises I was doing at the gym can also be at home. I don't want the massive 30lbs, 70lbs, etc. weights. I am not bulking up. I am maintaining the muscle I already have and that doesn't mean I need new equipment, it means I just need new ways to work with the equipment I have. I also can buy a GYM QUALITY exercise ball now that I know how to use them and what to get. I already have a resistance band, and an exercise step, a WiiFit and even a Fitbit!
Which, concidentally enough, I lost just as much weight with a Fitbit as I did with the gym and I am finding I am more motivated to move with the Fitbit....bringing me to my next point.
3. When I go to the gym and work hard for an hour, I develop this "well, I'm done moving today" mentality. IT'S NOT GOOD. I thought about when I had my Fitbit, I got the most steps just by running around all day with my daughter and taking her to places she wanted to go, not sticking in her in the gym's kids club and then just sitting on our butts all day. What example am I setting? We work hard for one hour and then we stop? I want to be an ACTIVE person throughout the day and even at home too! It's just like Chris Downie wrote about in The Spark "fitness happens everywhere." He warns us not to get stuck in the "I can only be fit at the gym" mentality and low and behold, I did. Oops.
4. Another reason I am not really going to miss my gym is that being at the gym seems to make me push myself....(which is good) TOO MUCH (not good). There is a competitive nature at the gym. Somehow, being the biggest person there and feeling all that energy I get from working out with people around me makes me think I am invincible!
Until...I get hurt and I must admit that the only reason my knees started hurting was because I was walking at an incredibly high incline on the treadmill at the gym over and over and over again. Why did I do that? I have no idea! I wouldn't think I was physically ready to just hike straight up a mountain, but somehow at the gym, I thought I HAD to be at that high of an incline, to show people I was going slow, but I was burning a lot of calories (and I definitely was).
On the other hand, losing weight with Fitbit was not a lot of pressure. If I looked down and saw a small steps number. I just got up and paced or grabbed the kiddo and went to the park. It was intervals of exercise at a pace my body could handle. The gym is rather extreme I must admit.
5. The last thing husband and I toiled over was...the pool. Ah, the pool. My husband swears the only exercise he likes is the pool. It's the only way I can get him to work out actually. He is STUBBORN, but I don't complain too much because, when he swims, he works hard! So, I knew the first thing I would hear when I suggested cancelling the gym and saving that money for a down payment on a house to get the heck out of my mom's basement was "what about the pool?"
So, I reasoned with hubby. The kiddo used to take swim lessons. She really misses it. If we just allocate some money to using the rec center for swimming we ALL can exercise as a family. I can take the kiddo to the small pool and he can swim laps then we can switch. Just walking in the water will let me exercise more than having to wait on the ONLY 3 lanes that the gym has to offer (which are almost always occupied..hubby and I tend to share one if we can get one). The rec center may be cheaper in the long run and if we all go then I am making my efforts to get us exercising as a FAMILY come to life. We just need to remember to save some money aside for swimming.
Either way, with my husband's extremely rare exercise record (and he even works RIGHT next to a 24 hr fitness he always swore he would go to but hardly ever has due to various excuses) I bet those family trips to the rec center may be less money than $90 a month. Hell, my mom might even pay for it if I say I am taking my daughter swimming.
So, all in all, I needed a gym membership in the beginning. I really did. I needed to detach my mommy role and put the kid in their day care so she could be with other kids and I could find my "fitness mindset." I will miss being surrounded so many other people who are putting in the hard work because most of my family does not, which saddens me.
Without the gym I would've NEVER met Jason (who might I add, is fairly absent, so no motivation coming from him) who showed me so much and taught me how to think like a person who knows how to exercise. I appreciate the occasional wave from him and even the day care people saying how good I look these days, but the gym was never purchased for motivation. I had motivation before the gym and I still have motivation.
Now, I am ready to move on. I am ready to be healthy because I can do this everywhere and at anytime of the day, not JUST during my allocated gym time and working on the gym's best Kids Club times.
If the scale moves up, I know what to do now! I have to get out and move. I am going to start wearing my Fitbit again and now that my daughter is a bit older and less needy she is going walking with me.
People lose weight without gyms all the time. I am fairly optimistic that I can do this and I know Sparkpeople will be there to help me if I need it.