Orangetheory Fitness has not only changed my body, it has changed my ‘meh’ attitude toward fitness.
I haven’t had to worry too much about diet or exercise until my forties. Then my metabolism slowed down and I lost my general zestiness. I started gaining weight and losing tone. I watched it happen, but I did nothing to stop it.
The weight gain and general decline in my overall fitness occurred for several reasons.
a) Working from home and sitting on my rear end all day.
b) The complete lack of self-control. For example, I bought three boxes of Girl Guide cookies just to be neighbourly and put them in the freezer to stop myself from eating them. And guess what? Frozen chocolate mint cookies are delicious.
As adults, there’s nobody to tell us, “Lisa you can’t eat the whole bag of chips. No, you may not have a second helping. Eat your vegetables! That’s enough wine there missy!! For the love, drink some water!”
c) Exhaustion. Aside from a legitimate issue with low iron, this predicament is my own doing. I’d rather stay up late binging on “Call the Midwife” and potato chips, than go to bed at a sensible hour.
Tired + stressed = bad food choices and zero motivation to exercise
I have an answer though. It’s pretty simple. Just exercise consistently, eat and hydrate properly, and sleep.
Easier said than done (times a thousand).
Working out at home seemed like the most economical and time efficient option for me.
When the instructor shouted from my computer screen to “really lean into the stretch” I’d stretch out on the floor and fixate on how filthy my grout is. I’d just lie there, thinking about how much it would cost to hire a cleaning service. Then I’d reach for my phone and text a friend to ask for the name of her cleaner. (A fun little peek into my attention span.)
There are some phenomenal fitness programs that combine workout DVDs with a nutrition program. Some even include coaches. They definitely work. Just not for me.
I’ve learned over the years that I NEED to exercise in public. I seem to require constant supervision. My fear of appearing lazy means that if there are eyes on me, I’ll stay focused until the end-ish.
I started working out three to four days a week at Orangetheory Fitness. It’s been a year and a half and I still love it as much as day one. Okay, maybe not every day. To be honest, some days I’d really rather not.
But, even on the days when I’m not feeling great, or I’m tired, or way too busy to breathe, I go. Not because I’m dedicated. Not because I have my eye on the prize. Not because I’ve learned to put myself first.
It’s more because I feel so much better when I sweat, than when I don’t. And I need that. Also, I’m a rule follower.
Class sizes are limited so you need to pre-book your sessions (by phone, at the studio, by email or online via the app). If you don’t show up, or cancel later than 8-hours prior, you pay. Obviously if you have a legitimate reason, and you let them know, they’ll forgive you. 🙂 But like I said, I’m a rule follower so I don’t ever bail.
My strategy is to book a month or two of classes while I’m feeling well-rested and energetic. Then by the time I’m feeling lazy or busy, it’s too late! I have to show up. I fall for it every time.
After my very first OTF workout I could barely lower myself onto the toilet the next day. My husband heard me whimper, “It burns…” from the bathroom. He was relieved to hear I was referring to my hamstrings.
Even after all this time, I still get sore—but the good kind of burn that makes you go, “Yeah! I’m tearing apart these muscle fibres like a boss!”
I love that the workout is different every day, so I don’t get bored. And my muscles are all like, “wtf gurl?” It’s important to keep muscles guessing so they don’t get all lazy.
I’m sharing because lots of friends have asked how I like Orangetheory. The honest truth is I love it.
Usually the first thing people ask me is, “How much does it cost?”
I get it. Money is tight. This is the reason I didn’t sign up for OTF earlier. My friend invited me to join and I didn’t. I was all, “We can’t afford it right now.”
So I sat on my butt and did nothing.
Then an opportunity came along to try Orangetheory as an ambassador and I jumped at it!
I was hooked from day one. So when the ambassador gig ended, I signed up on my own dime. I was seeing results and I felt strong. I wanted more.
So when you ask how much it costs (it’s not listed on the website because it varies from franchise to franchise) my answer is—it’s more than my old gym (which I never went to), but far less than a personal trainer.
Specifically—for the package I have, at four times per week, it works out to be just under $10 per class. For me, ten dollars an hour is an investment in my health that is worth every penny. (My friend pays $85 per hour for her personal trainer. She loves it mind you, but ouch.)
You can talk to your local OTF and ask about the different class packs they offer. You might find something that suits your budget, and your schedule.
One negative comment I’ve heard about Orangetheory is, “It doesn’t seem very personalized.” Well, that’s because this isn’t personal training. OTF is group training. Daily workouts are customized to challenge members by strengthening different areas through interval training. There is a dedicated coach who will guide you through the class, answer questions, correct technique, suggest modifications, and encourage you.
This works for me. It’s challenging, but doable.
Some other positives include: The music. It’s never the same and I find myself singing along (to the horror of anyone within earshot). I adore the coaches. And it’s outside my home and a chance during my day to be social. I really enjoy the community. I tend to go the same day/time every week if I can. I’ve gotten to know other members and they complete the experience. There’s no competition (outside of the one against ourselves to push harder). There’s a positive energy I haven’t experienced anywhere else.
I guess the (firm) bottom line is just find your people and your thing—the thing that makes you feel good and strong. And then just commit to doing it consistently.
If you enjoy swimming, dive in! If you like yoga, sign up for classes with some friends. Maybe Pilates motivates you? Find an instructor you like, and go for it! If you have more focus than I do, work out at home. Or just get outside and rock your walk.
I’m sharing this before and after photo, but I admit it’s not overly dramatic. I wish it was all, “Whoah! What a difference!”
Visually, it is not. But the way I feel, is.
The main difference is that I’ve shrunk all over. I’ve lost twenty-two pounds which puts me about ten pounds away from my mythical goal weight (I blame that stubborn ten pounds on the stuff I put in my mouth. But, that’s a whole separate blog post...best enjoyed with a bag of chips and a pint of pale ale).
It’s more important to focus to what I’ve gained, instead of how much I’ve lost.
I’ve built muscle. My butt is higher and my stomach is flatter. Now when I lift my arms above my head and my shirt pops up, I don’t frantically tug at my top to pull it down. I mean, I do pull it down. I’m not a flasher. But I’m not as worried about showing a little belly.
I still have work to do, but I’m in no rush. It’s a work in progress.
Disclosure: This post is NOT sponsored. I’m sharing because I’m thrilled with my results and overall experience. I have signed on as an OTF social media ambassador for my local studio, mostly Instagram, because it’s a great fit! (Like my pants now. haha) But this post is not in association with that.