30 By 30: Investing In Weight Loss Vs. Investing In Health

Author Kendyl Wright on the stairstepper circa 2010 Last week, I had an important workout decision to make. My new job is in New Jersey, so it will be a different type of commute each morning. Luckily, Equinox just opened a branch near my new office, which would allow me the flexibility to work out whenever I want. Unluckily for me, to join that gym means I have to up my current membership by $40 bucks a month–oy vey!

I bit the bullet and upgraded; now I can work out all over the city whenever I want at whatever classes I want. Worth it.

As I sat down to redo my budget, however, I started thinking about all of the crazy things weight-loss aids I’ve purchased over the years. Full disclosure: You will judge me after reading this list. Please try not to – I was young and foolish. And here are some of the weight-loss “investments” my younger and more foolish self made:

  • When I was in high school, I ordered an ab slimmer belt from an infomercial that promised to remove stomach fat and tighten up my abdominal area. I would lie on my bed imagining it vibrating away the pounds. This never actually happened.
  • I drank nothing but Slimfast and Hydroxycut for 3 months before my Senior Prom.
  • I’ve had personal trainers in every state I’ve ever lived in.
  • My fitness DVD collection could rival a movie rental store and includes Beach Body Workout, P90X, The Core, Biggest Loser, 30 Day Shred, The Firm and more.
  • The only thing that beats my fitness DVD collection is my health & fitness book collection. If there’s a diet out there, I have the book/workbook that explains it in detail.
  • My college garage looked like an As Seen On TV reject store, complete with an Ab Roller, an Ab Chair, a stairstepper and other random ropes, cords and machines.
  • I bought a bike in college with intentions of going on long leisurely bike rides throughout campus and my neighborhood. I rode it twice. EVER.

When I think about all of the money I’ve spent trying to lose weight over the years, the things that have paid off aren’t in the list above. The things that really made a difference have been my gym memberships, healthy groceries and the workout clothes that give me confidence to get out and bust my butt.

Yes, I’ve been ridiculous over my lifetime in trying to find the short cuts. I thought if I spent the most money, I would get the best results, and that’s not how it works. I get the best results by planning ahead, by using my gym membership regularly, by being deliberate and intentional in my actions.

Fitness costs a lot, but when I compare the $35 I’d spend at a SoulCycle class to the $50 to $75 I can spend on a typical night out, the payoffs are worth it times a million. I now have a gym next door to my house and one next door to my office, and I also bought a three-month Groupon for the yoga studio across from my apartment that I’ve been dying to try. I’m planning my meals for next week to make sure I’m not stressed at night after getting home from my commute. I’m investing in my health and it is worth it.

I’m not saying that the ab stepper is the worst thing ever, but it’s not the best thing for me. A solid gym membership, an occasional fun class like Soul Cycle or Kickboxing and a healthy grocery cart are things I’m going to keep investing in to slim down. What are your biggest fitness investments, successful or not?

Weekly Recap

+/- = My high low this week was all looped into one. My last week at work was highly emotional and a whole lot of fun. I made it to the gym 3 days this week and had a great time each night saying goodbye to friends and coworkers. Unfortunately, the party times were filled with treats and drinks and not enough water causing a +3 gain by yesterday. I’ve got the week off so I’m hitting the gym and hitting the green juice. Detox here I come!

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    • Eileen

      My best investments: my bicycle (I like cycling, so I actually use it, so it is a good investment for me), sports bras, spandex shorts (no chafing!), and increasingly heavy hand weights.