I'm not a failure for not using our home gym.
|Our home gym|
We have an elliptical, a rower, a barbell and bench, tons of plates, two steps, a lat machine with tons of options to switch the handle positions, high quality floor mats, an entire set of hex dumbbells from 3-25lbs plus a couple duplicates if I want to invite a friend to work out, an adjustable dumbbell set, kettle bells, yoga balls, yoga mats, exercise bands, roll out balls, jump ropes, and other things I'm forgetting. If I still can't think of things to do, we have a fabulous set of workout posters detailing all sorts of moves hanging right on the wall that also include bodyweight exercises.
And yet, I haven't used our home gym in two years. All the weights and equipment in the world won't help if you aren't motivated to actually use them.
A Little History
In elementary and middle school, I was the kid who was picked last every time in gym class. In dodgeball, I'd be the last one knocked out specifically because the other team knew I was useless. I couldn't do a pull up, a push up, or anything else on the fitness tests. I was pudgy, but it didn't bother me.
|2015 Miss Michigan USA Pageant|
During high school, I was in Sweden for a year, and I lost most of my excess weight. I didn't eat much, but I was never hungry (part of depression, unfortunately). I was just sad, missing my home and my friends and my family. The weight stayed off through the rest of high school and into college, when I started finding solace in working out at the campus gym.
After graduating, I ended up starting a job and moving to my own house. I learned quickly that when you switch to a sedentary lifestyle without switching your eating habits, the weight will start to stick. I started taking fitness classes, working out with a personal trainer, and even competed in a few Miss Michigan pageants.
And then I moved to Florida.
My routines got thrown, like they do when you're moving across the country, and I didn't get back into them fast enough. I was staying an hour south of work, so the workout classes were limited to weekends (it wasn't fair to leave my dog home alone so long). Then I purchased and moved into my house, which I was struggling to furnish. There was no money for a trainer. When I got back to the gym a couple weeks later, I ended up hating the LA fitness close to us (it was really dated and the equipment was old) and I wasn't fond of the teachers for the fitness classes. I quit, saving the $30/month. I acquired some equipment, determined to work out at home.
And then I didn't. I'd say my AirBNB business took over, but that feels like excuses.
And when Michael and I got married, the weight started coming on. I finished our home gym, but I still wasn't motivated to use it. Then Covid hit, and we really weren't going anywhere. I wanted to push the weight off again, and I wanted to get back to feeling like myself.
I love the feeling of a good workout. I love the feeling of muscles on muscles. I love when I feel strong and empowered and can endure workouts for long periods of time. Exercise helps manage depression. I know and love all the benefits. Why can I not then pick up the damn barbell or put on my running shoes? It's all right there!
The motivation just isn't there. I don't want to go work out alone. I don't want to think about what I have to do. I need someone to tell me what to do, and then I will do it. I need to be in a fun environment that I'm excited to enter. That's what rejuvenates and excites me. It gets me going, and it drives me.
Once I embraced my reality and acknowledged what wasn't working, I was able to move forward toward a solution that worked.
Let's face it. If you keep doing what you're doing, nothing's gonna change.
It's true that once you start doing something, it becomes habit, and habits are hard to break. The thing is, you have to want it to become a habit first. Forcing yourself to do something you don't actively want to do is not always the right solution, and it can breed frustration and resentment.
I signed up for OrangeTheory (unlimited classes, $170/month) in March 2021. The atmosphere was exactly what I needed to get back to a healthy active me. The hour of free mental headspace is like therapy, and I end up doing 5-6 classes 4-5 days a week (averaging about $6 a class each month).
I make it a priority because I enjoy it, and that has helped me become successful. So successful, in fact, that I'm down to 20mg/day of my citalopram from 40mg/day. That's a pretty big deal when it comes to depression management.
Yes, it's expensive, but I am actively spending in alignment with my values, which is what frugality truly is. Living frugally allows me to prioritize and evaluate the things that matter, even when they're more expensive.
Frugal, not cheap.