Friday, June 19, 2009

Freedom From Fitness First, Finally

Wow 5 F's. This is all about how I wasted money on Fitness First. I won't start by blaming the gay sales agent who aggressively pestered me at the Fitness First booth in Megamall 2 months before they officially opened their new branch. He (or should I say she?!) was very convincing. (I think loud gay people have strong convincing power. But that's besides the point.) It was mainly MY fault. I was naive for a few minutes.

I was 4 months preggo at that time. Being a first-timer, I was clueless whether to engage in physical exercise when pregnant, and up to what extent is generally allowed. I voiced this concern out when the GSA (gay sales agent) was begging me to sign up. GSA said it would be better for me and for my baby. Several minutes into the conversation, I signed the sheet and they swiped my card. I'm not sure why I listened. He's not in any way a doctor, and was just obviously after his sales commission.

I started "working out" on the first week they opened, all because, I was curious about the whole gym thing (my first time!) and they've begun charging to my credit card anyway. I was 6 months preggo by then, so the bump on my tummy was obvious. After the whole evaluation process, Fitness First people recommended that I hire my personal trainor, at P9,000 for 11 sessions, because of my "special" condition. Again, I was too naive to disregard that suggestion, so I signed the sheet and they swipe my card. For the second time.

Shortly after, Fitness First management required me to submit a form, signed by my doctor, allowing me such workout. Little did I know, my doctor would refuse to give her permission, because she only advised me to do some light walking, not the heavy, gym-type workout. And I consider myself "healthier" than average (i.e. easy pregnancy, no morning sickness whatsoever...) - so I conclude that any other "ordinary" pregnant woman is not actually recommended to be a gym rat. Screw the GSA for telling me otherwise just so he could increase his sales. But double boo to me who was too impulsive at that time.

Fast forward to the present. The contract has expired and I'm finally free! In sum, I only used 2 out of the 11 special / personalized sessions (I stopped right away when doc refused to sign the form.) and continued paying P2,470 per month for a passport membership without really using any of its services (minimum subscription is 12 months, which I have stupidly agreed upon by affixing my signature so I had no choice).

I still feel like banging my head to the wall. I could have bought nicer things with the money, donated to charity, treat a friend to a good meal, or just put it to savings. If only I were content with the top of the line cross-trainer machine Father-in-law gave Husband (which he can always share with me for free), or with the breath of fresh air I could get by just walking around the private subdivision (which is not just good for toning the muscles, it's also good for the lungs, and for the wallet!). If only I were practical enough to do research first before signing up. If only I were obedient to dear Husband (he didn't want me to subscribe, not because of health issues, but because he doesn't support the auto-debit feature, long story.) If only, if only...!

Now that I'm free... NEVER AGAIN. I've learned my lesson. For the preggy out there, don't be too excited to lose your figure to pregnancy, or to regain your original figure after pregnancy. Don't waste your money to these selfish capitalistic gym chains. Walking around is free! Do it at the mall to be entertained (by the sights and sounds around) and to be comfortable (thanks to airconditioning). Once the baby is out of the uterus, try to breastfeed to get your pre-pregnancy body back. It's good for you, good for the baby, and it's free! Babies grow up very fast, and you would want to be by their side as much as you can, going to the gym just goes to the last of your priorities, so just don't. :)