Hey, hey, hey!
Why not get started on something that’s on everyone’s minds these days, as the weather starts to transition from winter-spring to summer-spring – FITNESS.
Why is it so much easier to stick a burrito in your mouth than it is to stick your key in your ignition and drive to the gym?
I’m so guilty of trying pretty much every trend regarding healthy eating, fitness, and dieting that you can imagine – yo-yo dieting, crossfit, yoga, pilates, HIIT, the gym, calorie staggering, Bulletproof, IF, veganism, keto, vegetarianism, spin, hot yoga, boxing, organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, Whole30, meditation, positive affirmations, counting calories, Weight Watchers, the Master Cleanse, juice cleanse…
Phew. I am exhausted just typing that list out!
I’ve been cycling through most of these modalities for years, basically gaining and losing the same 15 pounds. I kept wondering, “why do I keep gaining and losing this same weight?”. I noticed a lot of self-sabotage happening; I would get on track for eating and fitness for an entire week, hop on the scale, find out I lost a pound, hop off the scale, and eat a gallon of ice cream. I did not know why I did this, and I did it for YEARS, consistently dieting and exercising, only to lose the weight, then gain it all back again.
One thing I realized lately which actually was an “aha” moment for me was very powerful. COPING SKILLS, we learn them from who we are around as children, whether we like it or not. Many people DO NOT HAVE HEALTHY COPING SKILLS. For example, how many people do you know (perhaps including yourself…), who have a good day and eat a slice of cake to celebrate? Or have a bad day and drink a glass of wine? Or have a good day so they celebrate with a glass of champagne? Or go through a break-up, and go shopping to cheer themselves up? Or are feeling sad so they order a pizza?
Check, check, check!
The coping skills I observed in my household to deal with feelings were shopping, drinking alcohol, and eating food. Both of my parents struggled in all of these areas at some points, as have I, as do many people! It’s hard not to want to eat, drink or shop when you’re depressed, happy, sad, or everything in between; it’s very culturally ingrained in us to want to do these things.
Think of all the messages you’re receiving (whether you know it or not!) all the time, everywhere:
“It’s Wine O’Clock!”
“Treat Yo’ Self!”
“Rosé All Day”
It’s hard to avoid these messages. When have you ever seen, “journal and feel your feelings”, or “call your therapist!” on a t-shirt? That’s right – NEVER.
Anyhoo, this was a truth bomb that fell right into my lap last week, and I’ve sort of been discovering what to do with it. I know my coping skills have come a long way (especially after I quit drinking; highly recommend), but I still have work to do, regarding shopping and eating. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I use my Poshmark business as a cover up for how much I love to shop! If I’m shopping to sell, it’s not really shopping…right?
I eat when I’m bored. I eat when it’s Saturday and I’m off. I eat to celebrate Friday night and the work week being done. Despite the fact that I mainly eat healthy during the week, and am alcohol- and gluten-free, I am still eating way more than I am supposed to, and sometimes, even when I am not hungry!
Right now, I am just sitting with this new information, letting it marinate and see what comes up. I do recall feeling very healthy around food when I was meditating daily. Perhaps I’ll investigate that again.
So, now onto what you potentially ACTUALLY clicked on this article to read – using thrifty habits to keep yourself fit! Despite all my moaning above, I tend to be in pretty good shape and eat healthy MOST of the time. I consistently work out 4 days a week, and mix it up with a combination of HIIT, hot yoga, yoga, spin, barre and Ballet Beautiful DVDs.
Here are some of the strategies I’ve employed to “be up in the gym just workin’ on my fitness”, but without the gym part:
1 // DITCH THE GYM \\
I hadn’t had a gym membership in about 2 years until I signed up for the YMCA in January. I was paying $35/month for the past four months, but I only went once in April, so I am cancelling it again. I recently googled “Natalie Portman workout Black Swan”, and discovered the “Ballet Beautiful” DVDs, which I am now obsessed with. They’re so relaxing, and you get a really good workout in, with a BURN.
I also have a “free” (read: $638/ class, but who’s counting) gym at my school. Last summer, I was pretty consistent about squeezing in a 45-minute HIIT workout between work and class, and I hopefully will hop back on that train this summer. Although I love the YMCA, I’m just not going, mainly because of my new DVD and ClassPass.
2 // ALL THE FREE TRIALS \\
Sign up for every free trial you can get your hands on. I mean it. I did, and I’m forever grateful for it.
Google “first class free” and search for fitness studios in your area, where you can try it out for a small fee, or totally free. My yoga studio offers an intro offer – $30 for three weeks of unlimited yoga. Many studios offer something similar. Check it out, and find what you like!
So, this month I discovered ClassPass, and I am completely obsessed with it. I’m fortunate I don’t like in a city like NYC or LA, where ClassPass can cost $200/month, but it’s still expensive in Lil’ Rhody at $49.99/month. Still, I signed up for a free month trial membership, and boy, did it work out!
I attended 9 classes, totally free of charge; 8 hot yoga classes, and one HIIT Spin class, for FREE. They give you 22 credits for the free trial. There are hundreds of studios on there, and you can “buy” class spots with your credits. My favorite hot yoga studio, 10 minutes from my house, charges only 1 credit a class, which is incredible. They charge $15/class in cash, so I was getting a deal.
At the end of your trial, they ask if you’d like to sign up for the full month, not sign up at all, or put your membership “on hold”. Intrigued by what “on hold” meant, I clicked on it only to discover, it’s $9/month for 4 credits a month, the equivalent of 1 hot yoga a week for an entire month for me. Thus, my decision to quit the Y, focus on Ballet Beautiful, at-home HIIT with Kayla Itsines, running outside, and my “free” membership at my yoga studio.
Boom, $9/month workouts!
3 // GET A JOB \\
Although not feasible for everyone, working at a fitness studio has its perks.
For example, when I lived in NY, I taught yoga at 3 different studios, and I got free classes at all of them (yet I paid for a gym membership 30 minutes from my house, but that’s a different story). If you teach or work at a studio 9/10 times, you get 100% free classes. Same thing with a gym.
I love a barre studio in Newport, R.I., and it’s $129/month for unlimited classes…no sir! BUT if you work there, you get paid AND get free classes AND discounts in their boutique…now that’s a tuckin’ deal!
4 // SIGN UP FOR SPAM \\
Counter-intuitive to common sense, right? Who wants more emails? NO ONE! However, signing up for emails from your favorite fitness studios can actually work in your favor. I get emails from the aforementioned barre studio, and they’re almost all promotions. I have paid on average $11/class for a $25/class studio because of these promotions, and that’s fine by me!
Another strategy: “liking” their Facebook page, and following their Instagram accounts! That’s how I found out a local hot yoga studio was offering their Annual Free Yoga Day last year, and I went! Free 90 minute Bikram class.
5 // MAKE LEMONS \\
I used to hate Lululemon. Their (former) CEO was a dick, and their clothes were (still are) outrageously expensive. I pretended not to want them because I couldn’t afford them. Then, I tried on their Wunder Under High Rise Luxtreme 7/8 Leggings, and I was a goner.
I know why the people flock to the Lululemon tree – the fruit is good.
Anyhoo, Lululemon offers tons of perks. If you’re a fitness instructor you get 25% off, even on sale items. You can pop into their store weekly or check their Facebook page; almost all stores offer monthly or weekly free yoga or exercise classes. Finally, if you work at Lululemon, they give you not only a bonus if the store hits a certain percentage of the sales that day, but they PAY YOU TO WORKOUT.
What’s not to love?! (Don’t answer that.)
6 // THRIFT STORE SOURCING \\
Of course something on this list is going to be about getting you into a thrift store, why wouldn’t it be?! Would you expect any less?!
Things you can find at the thrift store that can help you stay fit:
-workout clothes (including the illustrious Lululemon)
You can even search Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List if you want to put in a home gym! It’s all happening.
7 // GET OUTSIDE AND RUN! \\
Probably the grossest item on my list, but with a pair of running shoes, anyone can do this workout. I used to run ALL THE TIME, and have to get back into it; it’s such an amazing total body workout. Bonus: it forces you to go outside, too.
What’re your best thrifty tips for getting in shape?