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Posts tagged with: exercise

Gym Membership

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I know this isn’t going to go over well with many of you, but I joined a gym.  Now before you think I’m suddenly being frivolous, let me explain how I am actually saving money.

As I’ve shared before, I love my yoga.  I only thought I loved doing yoga before my divorce…now I know that yoga is a critical part of my recovery.  (Side note:  Steve’s first ex-wife became a yoga instructor with millions of hours in training…I didn’t really understand her obsession but now I do).  I’m not some over the top yogi but doing yoga twice a week is very good for my temperament.  I am not good at being mentally still or quiet and yoga helps me practice that needed skill.  As things have been pretty chaotic over the last two months, I did not have a “yoga plan.”  The kids’ schedule changed dramatically with DS starting athletics at public school and DD surprising me by wanting to play sports with the church.  So as I’ve adjusted to their schedule, my schedule has taken a backseat.  Bottom line is I find that without yoga, I don’t maintain a very gentle demeanor!  Most of the time I can get away with this in my business.  I’m not saying that it is okay to be rude but I have a good job for getting out a little aggression!  But it can quickly go beyond that and I’m getting unnecessarily annoyed with people!  Yoga does the mind, body and spirit good and Claire needs yoga!

But yoga can be super expensive at the studios!  I wish I would do it at home, but I won’t.  I was using my spending money but it is still too pricey.  And I’m reluctant to buy a package b/c I end up losing some of the time I’ve paid for because I can’t get there.  So, enter a new gym by my house and office…LA Fitness.  Let me know if you’ve had a horrific experience with them.  They are new to SA.

I’m not a gym person and don’t know that I will stick with it but I do like their early morning classes.  My company gets me the $149 initiation fee waived and my monthly cost is $24.99.  There might be a way to get the company to help pay for the monthly cost too–I’m currently looking into that.   Either way, it is cheaper than dropping $15-$20 on a single one hour yoga class.

So, see? It’s a GOOD decision so long as I go!  They have a 5 day notice period to cancel your month-to-month membership.  The gym opens on Tuesday the 20th.  I’ll report back on my progress!


April Bump Update

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Here is April’s baby bump update. If you aren’t interested, sorry. Skip this and resume reading tomorrow.

April 1st:

Some days, I swear I hear the Hungry Hungry Hippo tune blaring as I eat. It’s usually after I’ve devoured everything in the fridge in one sitting.

April 4th:

I’ve been having trouble keeping my blood pressure above 90/50. Apparently I haven’t been hanging out with my family enough. My mother can elevate it in under 2 minutes. (Love you mom)

April 8th:

My husband was looking for our tax information for a school form and I told him I didn’t know where it was.

He asked, ‘Is it in the garage?’

‘I don’t know’ I replied.

‘Is it in the office?’

‘I don’t know’

‘Is it in the bedroom?’

‘I don’t know’

‘Is it in the living room?’

‘I SAID I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS. THAT MEANS, I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS!’ I replied angrily.

‘You don’t have to yell! I was just trying to refresh your pregnant brain so maybe you’d remember something’ he said.

Quietly and calmly, I said, ‘I’m going to give you a ten second head start to put yourself in a public place. Otherwise, there will be no one to witness your murder.’

He disappeared. Quickly.

April 13th:

My sister let me borrow her baby/birthing books. One is titled, ‘Natural Childbirth.’
She’s such a comedian.

April 18th:

Our neighbor heard I don’t keep junk food in the house because I lack self-control to stop myself from eating it.

He brought over a roll of Oreos and some homemade apple strudel. I wanted to punch him…after I ate the strudel and Oreos of course.

April 22nd:

I asked my doc, “How much exercise is too much exercise?” He told me to rely on my common sense. Hmm. He may be too generous in his assumption I have any.

April 27th:

I don’t know what this horrific deformity on my stomach is… but it certainly doesn’t look like my belly button.

28 Week Belly Bump


Myopic Finances…

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I’m pretty focused when it comes to finances. I have my debts, my monthly bills, my charitable giving, and my cash spending. It’s all fairly organized in my ‘perfect’ little world.

I didn’t care to think outside the box… until this morning.

I’ve been whining lately about my inability to run as a form of exercise. While out walking, a marathon group ran by and I was tempted to join. I watched as they gleefully jogged down the street, smiling and enjoying the beautiful sunshine day. Sigh. I trudged at my slow pace and frowned.

When doing my yoga routine, I am angered because, even though my stomach isn’t huge, it gets in the way of a really great bending stretch. My balance is also thrown off and my ‘Standing Trees’ look more like ‘Standing Trees in a Hurricane’.

Even though I’m overjoyed about the wonderful growing baby, I get frustrated when my body doesn’t move like it used to. The only thing keeping me sane is the fact that I’ll have a bouncing baby soon and my body (hopefully) will return to normal.

I was watching the news this morning and it featured a new sports center for the disabled. Only 1 out of 10 people with disabilities exercise since their bodies limit the amount they can do. Often, they don’t know how to work out with bodies that refuse to cooperate. This sports center works to train people how to exercise while working within their limits. The news anchor interviewed one of the employees who suffers from muscular dystrophy. His athletic body was slowly turning into one that didn’t work and he was helping others overcome their difficulties while dealing with his own.

My whining suddenly seems sooo… um.. wow. There isn’t a word mean enough to describe my whining.

The news station was taking donations to help buy some much needed equipment for the facility. No, I couldn’t pigeonhole this expense into my very strict spreadsheet of spending, but I guess I learned to be a little more fluid.

I may not be able to ‘give like no one else’, but I can still give.

Think outside the finance box.


Bye Bye Gym Membership…

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My husband and I both have a gym membership. We pay a combined $50 a month to our local gym.

I’m a fan of daily fitness so I will be the first to tell you, if having a gym membership is the only way you will exercise, spend the money. The monthly gym fees will be far less expensive than poor health now and in the future.

We were able to temporarily cancel our monthly gym dues when my husband lost his job. Now that six months have passed without a trip to the gym, I’ve discovered something surprising…

I work out more now without a gym membership than I did with one.

I spend a quick 20 minutes running with the dogs or doing a workout video before making dinner each night. I do sit ups while watching TV or I jog in place. Before, if I didn’t have an hour to workout at the gym, I simply wouldn’t workout at all. Now, if I have 10 minutes, I use it!

I have always clung to my gym membership even in the leanest financial times. Looking at the impact of working out at home, I’m not sure why I held on so tight. We decided to make the temporary cancelation permanent. Rather than redirect all the money toward debt reduction, we’ve decided to keep part designated to fitness. The money can go toward new tennis shoes, marathon entrance fees, or exercise equipment. If we get desperate for a group class or a swim, we can sign up at the community center for $30 for a 3 month, two hour, twice weekly class.

Try working out at home this month. It may not work for you – but maybe you’ll be surprised at the results.

**If you do decide to cancel your membership, you may need to cancel several times. These companies (especially large gyms like 24Hour Fitness and LA Fitness ) can be very sneaky and ‘accidentally’ automatically deduct your dues for up to six months. You may need to consult with your bank to stop payments.**


The Power of Less

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On the first of every month, our library lists the newly acquired reading materials on their website. Thanks to my two hour long daily commute on public transit, I read two to three books a week. Our library is small. The pickings are slim. I’ve read almost every audio book they have.

In desperation for new reading material, I picked up ‘The Power of Less’ by Leo Babauta.

I nearly stopped reading by the end of the first chapter. The author talked about being a marathoner, a father of 6 children, an author of many books, a man with two jobs, a healthy eater, and a perfectly organized person. For someone who can hardly be trusted to make my bed in the morning, this seemed a bit out of my league.

But I struggled through the first few chapters and actually started to enjoy it. He shared some helpful tips on simplifying life. He suggests starting VERY slowly. Exercise 5 minutes a day, or de-clutter one drawer of the hideous mess you like to call a home office. As I listened to the book, I wanted to go home and clean out a drawer and trust me…

I never get excited about cleaning out office drawers – especially when Grey’s Anatomy is on.

While he doesn’t talk about reducing debt, I appreciated his suggestions on how to spend less. When it comes to getting money under control, he suggests placing any non-necessity purchases on a list and waiting 30 days to buy it. If I did this only 1 out of every 5 times I went to Target, I’d be in a better place.

This is the kind of book I will re-read in a few months. The author is fabulously motivational and if all I get out of it is a cleaned desk drawer, I still come out ahead. It’s a quick read and I’d recommend it.


Debating Necessity…

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Thanks to the early onset of darkness, I haven’t been able to take the dogs running after work. They go a little stir crazy during the week so I try to take them out for several hours on the weekend.

Trouble has started to present itself on the hydration front. There are no water sources on the trails or in the parks.

Unfortunately, I’m limited on how much I can carry. Once I mix in my necessities (granola bar, house keys, and shimmer lip gloss), my hands are full. I’d carry a backpack but I get quickly overheated – and if you’ve ever run with a backpack, you know how awful it feels.

Instead, I hike or run a little, walk back to my house, drink water, and head out again. I figured it was something I’d have to live with. But then, while out on a trail, a girl ran past me with a water bottle belt with tiny little pockets for necessities.

I never dreamed I’d be ogling a glorified fanny pack.

I went to the sports store and found one just like it… for $19.99. It’s not a life changing amount – unless you’re dealing with unemployment. That $19.99 would look better as four meals than an optional piece of sports equipment.

I debated with myself for a good half hour then finally, the accountant in me won the battle and I left empty handed. As I kissed my runners fanny pack goodbye, I promised I’d be back as soon as my husband was gainfully employed.

In the mean time, I will stick close to home or… duct tape a water bottle to my arm.


Financial Frustration…and Weariness…

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When I went on my search to find a dog, my goal was to own a fat lazy dog. In fact, I chose him specifically because he sat on the floor, completely lethargic while the other dogs barked and jumped in the kennel.

Maybe it’s because he’s happy, maybe it’s because he’s eating healthy, or maybe it’s because he’s out to SPITE me, but he’s the most energetic dog I’ve ever owned.

Saturday, I went hiking and took him along to see if I could finally wear him out.

We hiked for HOURS.

Up hills, down hills, up steep mountain faces, jogging on trails, climbing through brush, he chugged along beside me. Naturally, I expected him to be exhausted and ready for a break…

But he wagged his tailless butt with fervor, suggesting no rest was necessary.

Drenched in sweat and resting my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath, I couldn’t help but compare him to my debt. I push, I fight, I struggle, but it pursues me with unending vigor. I feel like I can’t win.

My husband’s job loss and our recent setbacks have felt like an overwhelming stumbling block to our journey.

I pushed a while longer and ran a few more hills before going home. I took off his leash and tossed it on the counter. As I gulped a giant glass of water, I looked to see where my endless ball of energy went.

He was curled up on the couch fast asleep…and he didn’t wake up for a solid two hours.

I had two words for my energetic ball of fur…

I win.

Be stubborn with your debt fight today.

Eventually, we’ll win.


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