There’s always a reason to put off getting in shape, if you look for one. You’re busy with work. You’re busy taking care of your home. Your kids need your attention. It’s sleep, or exercise. The truth is that you simply aren’t prioritizing getting fit. And, don’t be too hard on yourself about that, since we all go through phases when we just can’t put our health first. Life is demanding. But there is one thing you should look out for, when you do decide to get into shape: using money in place of motivation. What I mean is that, if we want to, we can always try to just buy motivation. There sure are a lot of ways to do it. There are people and companies and services who are happy to take your money, in return for the “promise” that they’ll help get you in shape. But motivation has to come from within. You cannot purchase it. So, do you use money in place of motivation? Here are some signs.
Committing to long classes
You pay for expensive and lengthy boot camp packages. You think that if you pay so much for them, you’ll have to take them. You shell out $500 for 12 weeks of classes. But then…you skip more than half of them. Committing to those classes and putting down a credit card doesn’t mean you’ll make it.
Buying personal trainer packages
Maybe having a personal trainer calling you, texting you, and bugging you will make you get in shape. And, if you find the right personal trainer for you, she can be quite effective. That being said, the personal trainer cannot inhabit your body. She is not you. She will not drag you out of bed. No matter how much you pay her, she cannot give you motivation that is not there.
Going to the expensive gym
Perhaps all you need is the high-end gym. That’ll motivate you to work out. The place with all of the cucumber in the water and where the celebrities go. So you commit to a year-long membership that is costing you almost as much as your rent. But you still…don’t…exercise.
Buying all new workout clothes
“As soon as I get the right wardrobe, I’ll feel inspired to work out.” That’s what you tell yourself. So you drop $300 on new, cute workout pants and sports bras and shoes. You get all suited up and you enjoy, like, 20 minutes of the attention it gets you at the gym. Then you remember that you just don’t have the motivation to exercise, and all of the cute clothes in the world won’t change that.
Going to a fitness retreat
This is the ticket! (You think). You’ll pay for this $1,200 fitness retreat on a remote island. They’ll prepare all of your healthy, less-than-400-calorie meals for you and have a full day’s agenda of fitness activities every day. So you go and you…leave the resort to buy a cheeseburger. You don’t participate in the fitness activities offered. You just kind of chill by the pool. Again, money can’t replace motivation.
Seeing a hypnotist
Maybe you can pay a hypnotist to make you want to exercise. Just a few easy sessions and a few easy payments of, like, $180 a session. Does hypnotism work? Well, that’s debatable. But you know what really works? Just thinking, on your own, about why being in shape matters to you and using that as motivation. That is free.
Paying for a meal prep service
When it comes to eating healthier, you can’t seem to find the motivation to buy healthy foods and take the time to prepare them. So you pay a company to deliver little pre-chopped vegetables and pre-marinated meats to your doorstep for around $15 a meal. So that’s $45 a day on food. That’s $1,350 a month on food. If you were to buy groceries yourself and do the prep work yourself, you could probably spend just around $400 to $500 a month on food. And even still with your fancy meal prep service, you order pizza.
Buying expensive home gym equipment
Yes! That’s it! You can just pay that company who will, for a modest $3,000, install a state-of-the-art home gym for you, complete with the best equipment. Maybe you just hate going to the public gym, and this will be your fix. But, honestly, if you couldn’t be bothered to drive ten minutes to the public gym that would have saved you tons of money, you won’t walk across your house to use your expensive in-home gym.
Taking cooking classes
You just need someone to teach you how to make healthy food in a way that you enjoy. That’s what you tell yourself. So you sign up for three months of weekly cooking classes for $1,000. You know what that means? You didn’t have the motivation to just Google a few recipes or YouTube videos, for free. So you won’t have the motivation to use the skills you learn in your cooking class at home.
Investing in pricey cleanses
After all of your other attempts fail, you think you can just reboot your body and order another $200 cleanse. You’ll get five day’s worth of liquid meals, meant to reset your body. But what do you do during that cleanse? You eat grilled cheese sandwiches and nachos because, again, there’s no motivation there.
Joining a “health club”
This is no ordinary gym. Oh no. This is a place to network. This is where society’s finest go. There are masseuses on site. There is a sensory deprivation tank. There is a café with ten menus for those on a Keto, gluten-free, Paleo, macrobiotic—you name it—diet. It’s just, like, a $10,000 buy-in fee and then a $500 monthly membership fee. And…you still don’t lose weight. You go there and mostly sit around talking to people, enjoying the bar.
Buying expensive and smaller clothing
It’s never a great idea to buy clothes in your “hopeful” size. They don’t act as motivation: they just stress you out. You feel like, “I spent so much on this, it will just be a waste if I don’t lose the weight. That’s a lot of pressure!” And putting too much pressure on ourselves usually drives us to stress-eat.
Buying all the exercise books
You’ll just invest in a hefty collection of books. You’ll study about getting in shape. You’ll read motivational books by great athletes. You’ll read books on nutrition and muscle development. Those books aren’t cheap. And you know what you’re doing while you’re reading them? You’re sitting on your butt. You are not exercising.
Meeting with a nutritionist regularly
Meeting with a nutritionist once can be very useful. But…there’s really no reason you should need to meet with a nutritionist more than once. Maybe twice. The good ones can assess what’s wrong with your diet in one session. If you still aren’t eating better after that, that’s because you aren’t trying.
Subscribing to fitness videos
There are a lot of fitness instructors offering in-depth video programs. You just have to pay for them. It’s something like $60 a month or $350 for the year. That’s not too bad. But, it’s still a waste of money if you don’t watch any of the videos.