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Why I’m Taking a Break from Orangetheory Fitness

If you know me at all, you probably know that I love few things more than Orangetheory Fitness (OTF). I started OTF two years ago when I was looking to change up my workouts. After my first class, I signed up for the unlimited membership have never looked back since. I’ve participated in their signature events such as the dri-tri, which is their version of an indoor triathlon, I’ve built a community of friends at the gym, and most importantly, I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life through OTF. When I go out of town the first thing I do is search for an Orangetheory in that location – I even drive an hour back in forth when I visit my family down south to get to the closest one. Totally worth it! I cannot say enough good things about OTF, especially my location (shout out Kendall Square). I’ve convinced a number of my friends and family members to attend class with me, which I’m sure they eventually agreed to just so I would stop talking about it BUT I CAN’T! For me, OTF changed my life. 

So, why did I just freeze my account?

Well, like most boutique fitness places, the price tag is pretty steep. I always justify paying for OTF with the fact that I’m investing in my health and I’d cut corners somewhere else to make it work. But recently, in wanting to take better control of my financial wellbeing and pay off some damn student loan debt a little more aggressively, I had to take a look at where my money is going each month. Unfortunately, that means I’ve had to make some hard decisions and be real with myself about what I’m spending money on. I sat down and made a budget, like spreadsheets and all (ok it was a template but still).

First, I broke up with Starbucks. It wasn’t mutual, and we are both still recovering. Me and the Keurig at work are learning to get along but it hasn’t been easy. We’re considering counseling.

Then I knew what had to come next. My beloved OTF. I thought about it for a couple of months but never had the heart to pull the trigger. I talked to friends and family about the price vs. the value I get out of OTF and in all seriousness, I do think it’s worth the price for me personally. But my student loans and aspiration to own a home in Boston disagreed.

The other big factor is that I have committed to running my first half marathon this Spring. That means I’ve been doing A LOT more running outside. Tempo runs, speed runs, long runs. And no, they are not fun ICYWW. I’ve wanted to complete a half marathon for the past year and now that I actually paid the fee and am fully on board for May, I’ve been sticking to my training schedule which is great for my goals but also means this huge OTF bill at the end of each month may not be ‘worth it’ from a financial standpoint. It’s hard to fit in long runs and tempo runs and ALSO get to a class in the same day.

So, for all of December I started to get myself ready mentally for making a change to my fitness routine come January. The first step was saying it out loud. I told friends and family and I started thinking of ways to get excited for a new fitness journey. I realized I could expand the Flavors of Fresh brand to include my own workouts and talk about my experience of trying to OTF on my own – meaning taking the workouts from online and doing it without a coach at the ‘normal’ gym. I told myself I can start swimming again as there’s not only one, but two pools (and a sauna heeey!) at the gym I’d be joining.

On the last day before my membership renewed, I took my final class in Greenville SC while visiting family, then I called my home studio and froze my account. My heart broke a little TBH. I decided to freeze the account just in case I really can’t live without OTF and want to go back for the same rate I’d locked in two years ago.

 After spending the rest of the holidays skiing (getting a knee injury, oops), then coming home back to my running schedule, I finally joined the gym at work this week.

 Though I truly miss my OTF family, I’m excited to push myself to try new things over the next few months.

I’ve also recently decided to change up my diet and no longer label myself as one thing like ‘paleo’ or ‘whole30’. I want to start introducing some healthy grains here and there, and not eat as much meat. I’ll still always be dairy and sugar free so you’ll probably see more vegan and plant-based recipes coming at ya!

With all these changes coming to my diet and fitness, I’m eager to see how I’ll feel.

 I’m also super excited to be sharing more fitness content with you. I’ll share my workouts, both ones that I make up and my experience of trying OTF workouts on my own. I’ll share my half marathon training - the ups and downs and things I’ve learned. And I’ll probably make some videos of at-home/travel workouts if I can figure out how to record myself without feeling super creepy.

 So, with my debt diet, regular diet and fitness routine all being refreshed, you’ll get some dope workouts and new recipes.

 And OTF Kendall, keep treadmill 14 warm for me, I’ll be back!