My Quest to Get Healthy: ‘Cuz It’s the Frugal Thing to Do.

September 12, 2011

Yoga in the Park Some people are born athletes, and you’d think little ol’ me, being raised in the warmth of the California sun would be a total beach bum, living in my Nike running shoes, jogging beach side as the sun rises.

Oddly, I was a California anomaly… I hated exercise.  When I “loved” it, it was a short lived New Year’s Resolution where more time was spent at the equipment store than the gym.

I dabbled in yoga, and even owned an elliptical back home which was used sporadically at best.  I wasn’t too healthy and I didn’t have to be.  Getting “healthy” was short lived- I got excited about the idea as long as it meant new shoes, expensive exotic foods or some kind of quick fix:  All of which got REALLY expensive, thus defeating the benefits to my life overall.

Fast forward to my Chicago life.  I have no car, live on the 4th floor with no elevator.  I walk everywhere and even went down a pant size…but YES.  I STILL GET WINDED FROM HAVING TO GO UP FOUR FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. This. Needs. To. Change.

The fact is, I’m doing better, but I’m not healthy.  I’m in love with my life and simply need more energy to do everything.  I am blissful, peaceful and happy to alive.  Getting healthy will help me powerhouse my days and live them to the fullest.

I was stupid before- going out and buying fancy pants (literally) to do my 2 whole weeks of commitment to any exercise routine.  I would get on the elliptical for 20 minutes and then crave carbs and sugar thus rendering my work a moot point.  I’m not into “getting healthy” as some kind of fad diet, nor as an excuse to buy something cute and spandex-y to make my butt look cute.  I’m not doing it for short term weight loss either, I want my lifestyle to be sustainable.


I have decided that it is time to get fit because it’s the frugal thing to do.  Having a healthy lifestyle will lower my healthcare and insurance costs in the long term.  It will empower me to control my weight (no need to buy rip off diet products) and will cut back on costs for clothing & entertainment.

{and because I already spent the $96 for a semester gym pass and am damn sure I’m going to get my money’s worth.}

How do I know it’s different this time?  I didn’t buy any fancy equipment, I just got to work.  I went to the gym for yoga tonight with my beat up old @$$ yoga mat, in the FUGLIEST yoga pants you’ve seen and an even worse for wear t-shirt I got when I was a junior in high school attending college over the summer.  Yup.  I’m not in this as an excuse to shop, I’m committing to my health because I want to survive.

A few weeks ago I read something that really shook me of my previously-stupid approach to health:  “Move and stretch now, because in a few years, you really won’t be able to.”  Granted, at 25 I have some time to go- but the point struck a chord, it’s going to get harder and harder to get healthy later on.  I can’t even touch my toes, and I’m only going to get more and more inflexible as I age (I think of my beloved Gram having to shuffle at age 89, and she was doing pretty darn good!)  so NOW is the time to get my act together.

Also- I noticed that once I got serious about my wealth (and writing about it on this blog), I started to care about my health too.  When you start reading about investing your money, you wonder what else you should invest in:  your emotional wellbeing, your physical health, your happiness, your relationships.  I seek sustainable, all encompassing health.

Plus, I’m a forward thinking gal:  I want to make small changes in my lifestyle now so I don’t have to stress about my health later (and pay for it monetarily and physically).    Prevention is the best medicine and I’m really hoping being fit now (even in small ways to start with) will save me money in the long run.

Granted, I’m really tempted to go out and buy some fancy shmancy yoga pants and a food processor to make some juice, but I don’t have the funds.  I’m committing to my health and if I look like I rolled out of a thrift store donation bin- SO BE IT.

If I put out the energy now, and commit to action I’m hoping the sexy exercise clothes will come and I will get ahold of easier ways to make healthy food {and well, Christmas is going to arrive eventually!}

Wish me luck!  My goal is to do yoga 2-3 times weekly and even work in some time at the gym.  If you know of any good sites for yoga/exercise clothing or healthy food products, please pass along the information!


Do you see your health as an investment?  What do you do to stay healthy?  What have you learned about the health/wealth connection?

25 comments so far.

25 responses to “My Quest to Get Healthy: ‘Cuz It’s the Frugal Thing to Do.”

  1. Danielle says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Yay! We'll be on our fitness journey together.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      I saw that on your blog! Like I mentioned, you totally inspired me to start this! I saw your posts and your litlte banner for FitFluential and realized that I was missing out and neglecting something very very important that naturally tied to wealth and beauty- my health! Thank you for inspiring me and everyone head to for some awesome posts!

  2. Red says:

    Sounds great to me! 😀 When I first started going to the gym again, the last thing I wanted was to buy new clothes. I was perfectly happy in my big t-shirts and sweat pants, thank you very much! Now that I'm 40 pounds lighter, I think about things like, "Hm, you'd probably feel better in a t-shirt that actually fit you… And I bet it'd be less hot if you wore non-cotton shorts instead of these pants!" I've held out on going to Target yet, because I really need to put all that money to debt. But it's going to happen eventually!

    To stay healthy, I count calories, load up on veggies and fruit, and exercise daily (cardio and weight training). There's totally a connection between wealth and health, if only for the fact that they're so similar. To be financially secure, you have to spend less than you earn. To lose weight (and gain health!), you have to consume fewer calories than you burn. I hope to make this gym habit – which I admittedly started to gain endurance but mostly to lose weight – a lifelong habit. 🙂 Also, health doesn't have to be expensive. Buying fresh produce is actually cheaper for me than what I was buying before – a bunch of processed junk. Our university gym is "free" (built into tuition), but you can do cardio outside for free most months of the year too! So… Being healthy can be frugal in the short term too. 🙂

  3. Jeff says:

    Good post and I wish you well in this journey. I know how hard it is. I was somewhat a fitness buff in my earlier years. Workout/body building, rock climbing, scuba diving, roller hockey several times a week. Then I got sick and even after I started getting better I used it as an excuse and have been on my butt for years. After having another health break down and doctor telling me my cholesterol was WAY to high and wanting to put me on all sorts of drugs, I decided enough was enough and change diet to all whole foods, no red meat and started exercising more (walking and gym) past couple weeks I have gotten to relaxed again and need to re focus again but I find that will happen from time to time.

    oh we want pics of the frumpyness

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Thanks for sharing Jeff- ya, I know that I was on the fast track to a doctor giving me the "Oh no you DIDN'T" lecture on my next visit with the amount of caffiene, sugar and carbs I would take in with my on-the-go lifestyle. I would be like "mmm Mochas" and just think "the sugar and caffeine will get me through work and class" but it adds up on my health and drains my wallet. I don't want to *have* to depend on unhealthy food for short term energy so I'm really trying to refocus and get my act together before my doctor's intervention, lol.

      As for the pics of frumpyness..well, I'll have to work up the courage to that!

  4. apockylypse says:

    Good luck with your exercise journey! I'm in the same boat, I like to buy things to make me look decent (even though I try to hide from everyone when I exercise) & usually end up going back to my old ways. I'm tired of being tired & somewhat out-of-shape, so I'm working on doing things right this time around.

    Here's to a new, healthly (& frugal) lifestyle!

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Cheers to health friend! Ya, I'm going to need to do a complete overhaul in the way I approach my health and it is so awesome to have the support of people like you! Thank so much! 🙂

  5. If you want to do yoga at home, check out they've got 20 minute workouts you can download for free and longer ones that are less that $2, I try to get in a good 20 minutes a day which happens…sometimes 🙂 I just concentrate on doing something everyday: walking, yoga, gym workout, whatever – just as long as I'm moving!

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Great resource Jess! I am going to try and make small steps to make health living more of an everyday thing, not some crazy ordeal where it feels like a production just to get outside and jog! I love the idea of the yogadownload! I've tried some podcasts but haven't found the right fit yet so I'll have to check it out!

  6. Lindsey says:

    I do happen to have a high metabolism and come from a petite family. BUT that doesn't mean I'm healthy…healthy is more thank just size, so I completely agree; we all need to be healthy. I love love love yoga. Well, power yoga. It takes a bit to see results I think, but I love it. I do an occasional spin class, and I walk, walk, walk. Oh, and if you have an iphone (or use itune–but I haven't used this on anything but my phone) check out the NikeTrainingClub. It's basically like having an instructor in your house and you can pick your workout. It's pretty sweet! Good luck! You'll do great!

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Thanks for the heads up Lindsey! The more programs/apps I can find to help me track progress and encourage me towards better health the better.

      Every time I approached fitness in terms of weight I was horribly disappointed, as many people experience when they just make short term changes to lose a few pounds. I want to be able to bound up the stairs, to touch my toes and look fierce in my yoga pants (and not just wear them around the house, lol).

      Being more flexible, energized and rested coupled with good foods will help me conquer the world…or at least kick butt in my own life, so I'm hoping to get into more/different yoga styles and some running and BIKING but I need a bike that's light enough to carry up stairs!

      Thanks for commenting, you rock darling!

  7. Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

    What a great response, thanks for sharing this with me, it is such a help to know there are others out there who see the link and want to get health in terms of money and their physique! At first I thought health food was too expensive, which some of totally is- but there's a difference between health food and HEALTHY food (which you mentioned) and it all comes down to processing. Getting fresh fruits/veggies and other healthy staples (rice, lentils, etc) can be cost effective if it's unprocessed. Getting cut up fruit bowls, veggie trays and "healthy" frozen meals is what adds up! Thanks so much for sharing and best of luck to both of us!

  8. @applecsmith says:

    Good for you Shannyn, and I'm definitely right there with you. I used to be super fit and into sports when I was in high school, you name it I played it (softball, soccer, track, volleyball). But when I started working full time I stopped exercising on a consistent basis and I've been chasing it ever since.

    I'm happy when I can workout 2-3 times a week and eat healthy(ish). Basically if I can just limit my fast food and soda intake I'm proud of myself. I really need to kick it up a notch and join you in your frugal workout quest.

    One thing I might suggest is to look into owning a Magic Bullet, they are only about $40 and are basically a miniature blender. They are perfect for single gals like us, since the cups are individual size-you can just add your milk/water with protein and fruit and GO.

    Hope that helps.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Oh that's perfect! I have a small chopper thing that is apparently good for making salsa but I haven't tried it for smoothies. I need to go to the store TODAY and get some fresh stuff to make sure I stay on track! Ya..I don't need a big huge blender for single servings, so this helps!

  9. If you don't have your health, you don't have anything, right?! Overall wealth INCLUDES good heath.

    I used to rush through my workouts, as if I were wasting my time and I needed to do something more productive …until one day when I realized what a stupid thought that was!

    My health is vital to everything and it should be a priority. I now look forward to my workouts. It's kind of my way of saying I'm worth the time and effort =) Plus, my husband can't stop telling me how awesome my legs look! -so that keeps me motivated too.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      If you don't have your health, you don't have anything, right?! Overall wealth INCLUDES good heath." AMEN! AMEN sister!

      And yes, getting compliments from the hubs is totally a bonus! 😉

  10. MJTM says:

    Good luck! I haven't lifted seriously since I was in college (I am 29 now)…I just started reading 4 hour body and it is fantastic…also check out C25K a cool running program (only 1.99 at the app store so it isn't breaking your rules).

    Looking for to fall team 5!

  11. Kellen says:

    I think blogging helps keep you on track too – you stay more aware of how many days you've been off the wagon for. I totally agree that there's a link between getting your finances in order and getting your health in order – they're both a form of taking responsibility for your life, and it's hard to take charge of your life in one arena and just ignore the others!
    Tip: Try changing slower rather than all at once – it helps make the change stick for life. Also, for me, keeping "score" of something – how many calories, how many minutes I've worked out, how much I've put in a savings account – really helps me get excited about doing those things.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Great point! I'm going to try and put new practices in to place slowly and surely…. first with yoga 2-3 times a week and eating more fruits and veggies then moving on to portion sizes and running/biking.

  12. Soleil Doux says:

    It's funny how our priorities change as we get a little bit older. I also have a renewed interest in health and wellness, and not for the superficial reasons that used to motivate me. Like you, I want to stay strong, healthy, and mobile for a lifetime, and I now realize that this will take a lifetime of commitment to staying active! Thanks for the inspirational post… I think I'll go for a run this afternoon! 🙂

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      You *know* I love your blog, so thanks for stopping by! I would really love to start running but it's going to have to be something I work up to and of course, get a really supportive sports bra for… tmi I know, but it's true! ha….nothing worse than feeling the running pain in your feet AND chest lol.

  13. Kellen says:

    Try Champion sports bras – if you check out their website, they rank them on supportiveness, and the most supportive ones are REALLY good.

  14. Alex @ CESI says:

    I definitely struggle with that. Going to school, work, club meetings, and everything else gives me great excuses to be too tired or exhausted to work out. And I've definitely bought new $150 Nikes and clothes to try and motivate myself and it never worked. I'm going to try this approach.

  15. bodybuilding says:

    Do really appreciate of your nice work done by you.

  16. I truly appreciate this post.Much thanks again. Will read on…


Get Updates Via Email

Join The Frugal Beautiful Update List!
Get Posts Sent To Your Inbox...subscribe below!