Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Pay for the Damn Membership

I've been fretting for a while now over whether I should join a gym. Pete built me a beautiful workout room, we scored an amazing deal on a set of dumbbells off Craigslist, and I like running outside. This summer and fall, a gym seemed like a huge ol' waste of money. But it's icy and cold out, and I've got the itch to get into yoga.

I discovered that our Community Center has fitness facilities and amazing prices. A membership is only $35/month--that's just $5 over what we paid at Snap and this gym offers FREE classes AND an inside jogging track AND basketball courts AND it has a cute little café.

I felt guilty bringing up the idea to Pete. He'd worked so hard on the workout room and now I was turning my nose up at it--"That's great, Dear, but I prefer yoga."

I mean, I still wanted to use the workout room for strength training and the occassional dreadmill run--I just wanted to use the track and classes at the gym--but that still meant an extra monthly expense that theoretically we shouldn't have to worry about.

What's more, I already pay for a monthly WeightWatchers membership. Then there's the running tights, the shoes, the sweat-wicking underarmour shirts, the headbands, the foam roller…

As I pondered the numbers, I thought, "Damn. Getting fit is EXPENSIVE." But you know what? Staying fat costs more.

In 2010, George Washington University issued a report in which they analyzed the costs of being overweight and obese. Check it:

Overall, tangible, annual costs of being…

Obese women get scuh-rewwwed.

With the gym and WW memberships, I'll be spending $924 annually to go from overweight to normal. But subtract the cost of being overweight and that's still $400 I can't justify.

Oh wait, yes I can. 

Because I was obese. My WW membership brought me down. That membership and any non-recurring get-fit fees I may have paid didn't come close to $2,646. And I get to be not-obese for the rest of my life, if I play my cards right. If I live to be 83 (average life expectancy for women in the US), that's $148,176 I'll have saved us.

If my math is muddy, if I've overlooked some cost to health, well, feeling comfortable in my own skin is priceless worth $924 annually.

And you know all my math? Not even necessary. It's just to make myself feel better. I talked to Pete about the gym membership last night, laid out my half training plan and showed how the group classes would help me. I counted on my fingers how many times a week I'd likely need to use the indoor track. I told him about the January special where you get the first month for just $10 and they wave the activation fee. He responded with, "Sure. Can I turn Portlandia back on?"

I'm joining the community center this weekend, and I'm going to try out their "Indoor Cycle" class!


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