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Investing in my Health

September 6th, 2015 at 02:22 pm

Certain classes of "Expenses" are also "Investments," not in the traditional sense, but in oneself.

There are a few key categories of these self investments: one's "human capital" or job skills/performance; one's relationships; and one's health. And one invests in these not just with money but with time.

Looking at my sidebar goals, there are two that have been lagging the others--taking better care of myself and getting my house in order.

I want to make progress on both of these by year-end.

I'm starting with health. Or, I should say, I started with it back the end of June. I joined a gym and also an online nutritional coaching program.

That gym I really liked, even though it was more expensive than my previous Gold's Gym membership ($75/month vs $19/month). It was worth it, though, for the first two months. The classes I were taking were the "Lite Intense" classes, which tended to be smaller than the regular classes at the gym (maximum class size in any case is 10). And all the trainers are certified, and the gym uses a heart-rate monitoring system to motivate students and make sure they are working out appropriately--every student wears a heart rate monitor and one's heart rate is displayed on a tv screen.

Then in mid-August the trainer that I was working with went back to college, and the gym decided that, since the "Lite Intense" classes were less popular, that they would stop offering them (at least at the times of day I could go...they still have one such class each weekday at 10 a.m.). They still had classes, but "Intense" ones, and the class sizes were longer, and the exercises were harder. And although the instructors were VERY good at modifying the exercises for me and my fitness level, I still found myself doing a lot of social comparison and negative self-talk and coming out of class depressed at my performance--even though my heart rate showed I was working harder. I have a degree in psychology; I understand this; but I still do this. And it was seriously undermining my enthusiasm for going to the gym.

So I began to look for another gym, and I found one--but at another step up in price. But, not only do they have the advantages of the other gym that made it so appealing--certified instructors, heart rate monitoring on a tv screen, but the membership that I am going to go for involves "Semi-Private" classes, maximum class size four, which is just right. Private training is too expensive and when you DO private training, the trainer ends up standing around a lot while you put in the reps; with semi-private, you get personal attention and the trainer stands around a lot less as they go from person to person. When there are only four people and sometimes they are doing different routines, there's much less opportunity for the social comparison/negative self-talk trap that I fall into. And they also have a larger group class called "Foundations," which is for people who are just starting out, to get you READY for the intense classes, which they also offer. I went to this class on Saturday and it is a good fit--I am NOT the heavest, slowest, and oldest person in the class :^). They also have body fat/lean body mass percentage testing with an impedence monitor every six weeks so you can see if you are getting results. They also have a monthly social gathering outside the gym and encourage the gym members to be a community. I already know more names of members there after one week than I did after two months at the first gym.

I know myself, I know that I have spent hundreds on exercise equipment and DVDs, and I know that what works for me are classes where I can get personal attention. If I cancel the online nutritional coaching (which is good, but I find that I am not making the time to participate), my net health expense outlay for each month will be the same. Also the gym is having a weight loss challenge starting the beginning of October leading up to Thanksgiving, so that should motivate me to start putting some of the good nutritional habits and principles I've learned more in to practice. My weight has crept up a bit in the new job as I am sitting at my computer so much....it will be 15 pounds down to where I was last year (not that that is all I would like to lose, but that is my target for by the end of the year).

8 Responses to “Investing in my Health”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    I think you are smart to recognize the classes work for you and to invest in yourself.

    We do things to try and stay healthy. I won't say we are perfect or stay on the straight and narrow, but we try to help ourselves. We just got our annual flu shots today. We both try to stay active and eat somewhat healthy. We normally eat at home a lot to control what goes into our bodies -- I make a lot of things from scratch. We know two couples who eat out at least once a day. They complain nonstop about their ailments. We have our aches and pains too, but people really don't want to hear about them in detail, besides if we aren't concentrating on them 24/7 we don't feel nearly as bad.

  2. Dido Says:

    Thanks! I agree with you about the trying to control what goes into your body--although, as a single, I am better at this some times of year than at others ("busy season"). And I agree with you about people who don't take care of their health and then complain...that is a lot of what motivates me. I see so many people in the grocery store these days who use scooters to get around and who did not take care of their health. I don't want to be one of those!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    We're moving furniture around in our living room in anticipation of our used treadmill arriving on Tuesday. We are hoping this is something we will all use and get us in better shape than we have been in recent years. I don't want to be on a scooter either!!

  4. Dido Says:

    Good luck with the treadmill and I hope that works for you! The key, of course, is not just having it but using it. Hopefully since it's not just you, the two of you can motivate each other to keep up with it!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm interested in the online nutritional site you mentioned. Can you tell us what the name of it is?

    Good for you for listening to yourself and knowing what works for you!

  6. Dido Says:

    Laura, the online nutritional program is offered by One By One Nutrition. See their website and sign up for the Free 10 Week Nutritional Habit Course. You can also get a more detailed version by purchasing the author's book, Lean Habits (author Georgie Fear). There are facebook groups for both the One By One nutrition program and a closed facebook group for the Lean Habits book, which Georgie will add you to by request. The paid online coaching program is additional. It's good, but, as with any health venture, I'm not checking in or logging my habits as frequently as I should. For this area of my life, where I struggle, I do better with phone or in-person accountability, and at some point, I might invest in the phone coaching. But I absolutely believe in the PRINCIPLES of this group, as it focuses on changing HABITS, not on counting calories/carbs or anything. The four "Core" habits are sticking to 3 or 4 meals a day (no snacks); letting yourself be hungry for 30-60 minutes before each meal (and not longer); *the most essential one, IMHO* learning to Eat Just Enough by learning to pay attention to feelings of satiety and, over time, learning to eat just the amount that will make you hungry 30-60 minutes before it is time for your next meal; and eating mostly whole foods. Then there are other subsidiary habits.

  7. Bluebird Says:

    Classes are the only thing that works for me too, and that I really enjoy. Other than walking around the neighborhood.

  8. Dido Says:

    Bluebird, I agree, walking is nice too--though more tolerable some times of years than others! I live a mile from work and I am hoping to walk to work from September 16 (after my current work deadline) until whenever in December it is tolerable.

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