Monday, April 9, 2012

The price of fitness

Being a 6 foot tall woman, pants are very important to me.  Specifically, the fit of my pants.  Haunted by photos from my childhood where my pant legs were hanging 3 inches from the floor, paired with (traumatic) memories of my mom asking me when the flood I was prepared for was happening, it's become one of my "things." (Unsurprisingly, therapy is also one of my "things.")  Consequently, I will spare no expense when it comes to the cost of my pants.

What does this have to do with anything?

If paying for this guy to train you is what
will get you in the gym, count your pennies
and do it.
Sometimes in order to commit to fitness, you have to make it one of your "things."  And by thing I mean you make it a priority in your budget, not just your life.  Yeah, 24 Hour Fitness has great membership fees that can run you only $20/month, but if the closest one to your house is 10 miles in the opposite direction of your job and your apartment, how likely is it that you're going to make a habit of going there?  Or maybe there's a gym in the same shopping center as your office that you're a member of, but you'd rather gargle with ground glass than shower there before work.  You can either go at a different time, OR you can spend the extra money to find a gym with eucalyptus towels that will start your day off right.

The amount of money I spend on my pilates every month could cover the lease of the brand new Acura TL I'm coveting.  Yeah, it's that expensive.  But you know what?  Pilates has made me leaner and been way more fun than any other exercise I've ever tried.  It's why I've stuck with it for 3+ years and it still challenges me every session. I know if I went back to training on my own I'd be bored in a month and frustrated by the lack of changes in my body.  And so, I drive a 2013 Acura in my dreams, and a 2003 Lexus, with a dented front end, in real life.  Because I'd rather spend my money on getting visibly ripped 6 pack abs than on a sexier vehicle to drive my less sexy self around in.  

So take a look at that gym membership that's automatically being taken out of your bank account each month but that you haven't actually put to use in 6 weeks.  I bet if you stopped going out to (likely unhealthy) lunches twice a week at the office and combined that money with the gym fees you're already paying, you could go check out that new cardio barre studio you've been wanting to try.  Or pay for a trainer at that personal training gym right next to the office.  I bet you'll even be surprised at how good it feels spending the money on something that you enjoy and can stick with even if it costs more than the Joe Gym membership.  

Remember, fitness doesn't have to feel like a punishment.  Much like life, it's ok to indulge in luxuries if ultimately it'll help make you a happier, healthier you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Future You

For today's inspiration I look to my roommate, aka my pseudo lifecoach.  (You can have your own direct access to her advice in 140 characters @thejulieeffect .)  We have had many a chat about everything from men to work to families and one of the most wise and universal pieces of advice that Julie has given me is this:

"What's best for future Marna?"

This phrase fell on deaf ears for a long time, or rather a mind that was quick to forget it.  Butwe were having a conversation the other day where this advice was again brought up (probably about something deep like why our DVR wasn't recording Real Housewives of the OC),  and the profoundness of it finally hit me.

Future you.

What will make a better you tomorrow:
What exactly does this mean?  It means making choices that while they might not feel the best right now (not buying the Cadbury mini eggs), it will make life better for the you of tomorrow (no guilty feelings about inhaling the bag of mini eggs in under 5 minutes).  Seems easy when you think about it that way.  So let's apply this to a larger life decision, which is where it will really punch you in the throat.

Say you go on a first date with an awesome guy/girl.  Witty banter, delicious food, sparks are flying, everything's great.  He/She mentions in passing they're not really into the whole "commitment thing" but what do you care?  This is date one.  Well, date one soon turns into date two and then comes month one and month two.  You're really into this person and you think you see a future with them.  But they have mentioned again that they are not looking for a relationship.  You know you SHOULD get out, but you like them so much and think if you just give it "one more week" they'll realize how awesome you are and they'll lock it down.

So you wait.

Another two months go by and there's still no sign of commitment.  Your feelings continue to be hurt when you hear about other dates he/she have gone on, when they fail to call when they say they will, or when the only time they call is around 1am on a Saturday.  When you're together you feel SO good but you spend most of the time you're apart feeling bad about yourself.  Here's where you ask yourself: what's best for future you?

.....or this?
While waking up tomorrow after dumping him/her might suck, think about the you 2 months down the road. This toxic person is out of your life and there's now room in your heart for someone who is funny, sexy, smart, kind, AND wants to be in a relationship with you.

That's choosing future you.

I understand I digressed from the fitness angle of it here, but having emotional health is as important if not more important to your health success.

To wrap this up on a fitness-y note: every morning when my alarm goes off at 6am my first thought is, "Ugh, can't I just skip the gym today?"  Yes, me, who gets up most mornings before work to work out STILL has this battle with myself every day.  But when I think about how I'll feel in 3 hours after my workout is done, I know that future me will feel MUCH better if if I get up and do the damn thing.

So next time you're struggling with a decision big or small, forget about yourself in the immediate moment and focus on the you 2 hours or 2 days from now.  That "you" knows what to do.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I apologize for the lack of posts as of late.  I talk about consistency but am not practicing it myself, clearly.  I'm trying, but between 50+ hours of work, pilates teacher training, starting to teach spin classes, and a new man in my life, spare time is at a minimum.  That being said, no excuses.  I will try my best to be better!

In the meantime, here's some interesting tidbits from around the web:

Here's a lady who knows
a thing or two about a thing or two.
Pilates: not just for chicks.  Next time your boyfriend says he doesn't want to do pilates because it's a girl thing, show him this article.  I think Dwayne Wade and LeBron James count as good company.

Fashion steps up.  Italian Vogue editor, Franca Sozzani admits to fashion's role in the wider spread of eating disorders.  As a former sufferer, I agree with some of her points and disagree with others.  But I find it...validating hear someone in fashion finally say, "Yes, we have played a role in the increasing numbers of this problem."

I have been worrying about my sugar addiction a little more lately and really committing to change.  (Not easy).  Though it's the Daily Mail (which is known to be a load of crap) This article gave me yet another reason to reign in the sugar habit.

Most fitness blogs are for crap.  I just spent 10 minutes cruising around FitSugar trying to find SOMETHING worthwhile to include here which proved to be an impossible task.  However, Gawker got it right.  I of the Tiger is a straight talkin', ass kickin', fitness know-it-all in the positive sense of the word.  Listen up.