Creating My Own Success Story

I’ve been a member at my local gym for a few years now. One of my favorite things they do every month is issue a newsletter. On cover of each newsletter is a success story. The personal trainer writes up a half page “this is why this client the awesome” story accompanied by an excited {typically flexing} picture of the client.

I love these stories. Every month for the last few years, I’ve grabbed the newsletter for the success story. If you look through the backseat of my car, trunk or around my apartment, you’ll find them floating around. In one of the early months of working out at the gym, a distant but close enough friend was featured. I was so inspired. Her picture is still on the wall at the gym.

I wanted that to be me.

I knew I needed to make better progress with my fitness goals and I wanted to be featured in that freaking newsletter. After thinking over the finances, I signed up for personal training. It had been a year since I joined the gym and I was doing okay. But I wanted to do better. I had it scheduled to start the Monday after taking the Bar Exam. Perfect. All my stress and bad stress eating would be behind me and I could make all this progress and be featured in that newsletter.

Here we go.

I started initially with once per month. It wasn’t a lot, but it was all I was comfortable committing to. I was unemployed at the time and didn’t have a hustle game. This was money going out the door and I had nothing coming in. They gave me a bunch of free personal training sessions, so I was really training about once per week. When my free sessions stopped, I caved. I liked the consistency of once per week, so I signed up to pay for those extra sessions for 6 months.

I loved my trainer, we got along great and we made some serious progress. In the 6 months I trained with her, I lost like 30 lbs. I was doing great. Then I got a job, and my trainer quit working at my gym. Talk about an upheaval. I continued with a few different trainers to finish out my 1 year contract, while still achieving and maintaining some solid results.

But Guess What.

I never graced the cover of that newsletter.

Because I didn’t sign up for a full 1 year contract for at least 1 session per week, I wasn’t eligible to be featured as a success story. The success stories, as I was too naive to see, were an advertisement for how you need personal training to succeed. They wanted to show that you needed a trainer and that you had to commit to at least once per week for a year to achieve these results.

By dropping to once/month or agreeing to a 6 month contract (which they allegedly aren’t able to do) I was a story not worth selling. I was proof that people could take a little push and run with it.

On the money side, I only spent $1290 (gosh, that’s a lot) when they wanted me to spend $2064. By skipping out on those three extra training sessions for 6 months, I was no good to them.

… .Fast forward to today. …

In the last year, I’ve let other things push aside my health and fitness goals. I’m got really focused on this thing called paying off my student loans and started a blog. {Hey!} I did well at my job and let the structure of a traditional work day get in my way of a good work out. Lately, I’ve let my increased responsibilities at work cloud my ability to deal with other crap. Nut shell: I’ve let excuses get in my way.

My big goal for 2015 was to keep pushing with my fitness goals. I said I wanted to lose 40 whole pounds. I haven’t been doing a great job with that. I had a 5k race last weekend for goodness sake and in total, I ran 5 miles in my training leading up to it. {There wasn’t much running. My race wasn’t pretty. Serious side stitch. Oof!}

To increase my motivation and drive, I finagled my way into 4 personal training sessions at the gym again. And at the end of the 3rd training session, I got the sales pitch.

The numbers are the same: $2064 for a year.

That’s an extra bill of $172/month that I don’t currently have. That’s $172/month that I won’t be saving. That’s $172/month to put me and my health at priority number 1.

That seems like a lot, even though I want to be priority #1.

In the essence of frugal, I don’t know if it would be worth it. Can’t I find a better way?

I already have the gym membership. I know how to use most of the equipment. I know how to lift things up and put them down. I know how to push myself IF I can get my butt to the gym. There are numerous websites out there to help me create new workouts. I know how to eat right and have been meal planning for a few months now.

The things I lack are accountability and a schedule. Do I need to pay a personal trainer $2064 for that?

I don’t think so. I can do this.

As I paid off debt, I kept seeing similarities between debt and weight loss. To kill debt, you must track what you are doing. There will be setbacks, but the end goal is what is important. It’s going to hurt, but it hurts in a good way.

I know how to pay off debt. If I can have the great success I did with my student loans, why can’t I find that with my weight? For some reason, I’ve convinced myself that losing weight is different. Maybe it is different. Maybe it’s harder, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use all the skills I learned while paying off debt to get my weight under control.

GOAL: Still Achievable

If I start today, everything I hope to achieve for the year is still possible. At 1.5 lbs per week, I can lose 40 lbs by the day I leave for my Cruise in November. If I wait another day, it gets more and more difficult.

Today is the first day of my success story. I’ll be on the front of that damn newsletter even if I have to photoshop the publication myself.

Challenge Initiated 🙂


14 thoughts on “Creating My Own Success Story

    • I totally agree that a trainer should teach you to succeed without them. The guy also didn’t understand how dairy intolerances (not just lactose) work. I don’t want to pay him to learn.

  1. Have you tried pact? Its an app, you set what you are going to commit to and if you accomplish it you make a few bucks, if you miss a day you are charged $5 (minimum you can choose more). I just started it and I have to say I have a love/hate relationship with it, love because it works, hate because it doesn’t let me be lazy. I’m too cost conscious/frugal to loose $5 just by not working out.

    • I have not tried Pact, but I know about it. My phone has been sketchy lately and I don’t trust it not to check me in even if I go! $5 on the line should be reason enough for me to make sure I get to the gym!

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