Is It Worth It?
You Can’t Outrun Your Fork
Tabitha says: In the most basic of terms, we could say my sister is wealthy while I am not, and my sister is very slim, which I am not.
I could say "lulz", I have more fun, I spend more cash, I eat more pie and I drink more rose – well, maybe not the wine thing, but the rest is probably true. And you know, I am very happy with my lot – I enjoy the way I live my life. But I could also say I am a lot fitter than my sister – I train a lot and I LOVE it. I have always been a girl who loves to get dirty in the great outdoors, and who really loves the punishment of training in the pissing rain so I can have a cup of hot tea afterwards.
Merryn has only just discovered the slow and unsweaty benefits of pilates in the local village hall.
The reason for telling you all of this is that I advocate exercise and having a personal trainer, whereas Merryn (of course) believes this is a complete and utter waste of money. We have argued for years (yes, years) over whether exercise helps you lose weight or not – I have often stormed out of a room over this.
So how utterly thrilled is she with the latest reports swamping the media that exercise actually doesn’t help you lose weight - it is good for you yes, but it does not encourage weight loss.
Despite all these reports, I still disagree.
I think it is a personal thing, and I can see my body change shape and tone up when I exercise, and it also helps my frame of mind. And when I am feeling fitter I eat more healthily which helps me lose weight.
So despite failing Biology GCSE, I disagree with all those scientists out there. I haven’t exercised for about 4 weeks now and I can feel my arse getting even bigger, my stomach bloating and I am desperate to get back into a routine with my trainer. £80 a week gets me 2 hours of devoted training a week, and this is enough to motivate me.
Yes Merryn, that is £320 whole pounds a month – and more than anything it is a little bit of me time that I really love.
Merryn says: Tabitha reckons that she needs to pay to be helped to exercise in order to stay slim, toned and healthy?
I think she’s wrong.
First, let’s look at slim (the real reason most people do sweaty stuff, whatever they might say about anything else).
There is endless evidence now to show that personal trainer style bursts of exercise really don’t help most people lose weight.
It doesn’t use up nearly enough calories to compensate for the fact that exercising makes you feel both deserving and hungry: Exercisers tend to take in more calories than they exercise out.
As an article in the FT noted a few weeks ago “you can’t out run your fork.” So that’s that.
On to toned and healthy. Personal training at £320 a month might work for that but so would an active normal life at, say, £0 month.
Toned? I do the occasional pilates class and use the 7 minute workout as an app on my iPhone (not as often as I should, but enough).
Fit? There are 4 stories in my house and the laundry needs to go up and down them all. A lot. Oh and I walk. Everywhere I can – around town, up and down the beaches of Scotland, behind the kids on their scooters and so on. It’s free and it’s exercise I don’t have to pay £320 a month for. Tabitha doesn’t walk – she drives (see previous blog for how she pays for that…).
So is she fitter than me? I’m happy to let her think she is. But I’m equally happy to test it. Anytime Tabs..
Finally a sum.
Take £320 a month, save it into a pension with an assumed return of 5% a year and by the time today's 40 year old is 60 she will have £93,000. That’s enough to finance an awful lot of me time – or a good many walking holidays in the Pyrenees, walking holidays such as the one that our 70 year old, slim, fit and 100% personal trainer free mother has just completed perhaps….