One of the things that has really helped me transform from an exhausted mom with bags under my eyes, no desire to ever actually smell good, and the energy of a sloth to someone who runs her own business, jams out on her fiddle to her favorite songs, hoop dances almost every day and creates a piece of writing or art on a daily basis, (and showers pretty regularly) is moving my body.

Over the years, I’ve tried a million different types of exercise routines, from jogging to exercise classes to DVDs to HIIT training to movement classes to yoga. Although I love to dance and move my body in ways that are creative and freeing, I have to do some type of heart-pounding, sweat-churning workout at least 3 days a week.

I’m the grunter who would be kicked out of Planet Fitness.

Going to the Gym Gave Me Newfound Alone Time

alone time


For so long, I was completely against joining a gym. It was really because I was making excuses to myself. You can read more about why the hell I was so dead set against it in this blog post.

When I really became clear that exercising was a big part of the answer, I joined a gym. It was amazing, because I was surrounded by adults, and it felt luxurious to do that for myself. Plus, I owned a business that required me to be away from home, so when I was home, my kids were always around. Working out at home wasn’t easy or pleasant.

{It’s tough to work out when your kids are harassing you with light sabers and begging you for snacks every few minutes.}

I realized that a big part of going to the gym was being alone. Sure, I was surrounded by other people working out, but—unlike when I’m around my kids—they were focusing on themselves, and I was able to exercise, concentrate, and observe without anyone bothering me.

All of a Sudden, I was Alone All the Time

beginning of transformation

Eventually, I began working a much more flexible job. I now run Make Your Perfect, this online business, as well as write freelance articles to bring in the bucks to pay the bills.

I held onto my gym membership.

And I stopped going.

Why? My kids started school. I had my house to myself every day. Leaving the solace of my sanctuary to be around a bunch of sweaty people wasn’t as enticing any more.

But that gym membership symbolized something. It represented the beginning of my transformation. It represented something that was mine and not my kids’ or my husbands. It represented a reason to take care of myself. It represented an excuse to get away from the chaos.

So I was hesitant to give it up.

Instead, I fretted about it. I saw the $45 get eaten up by my credit card every month. I felt guilty. My husband said, “You should really go back to the gym,” by which I’m not sure if he meant he was starting to notice the dangling flap of belly fat that was growing over my panty line or he didn’t want me wasting the money.

Then, Shit Got Real

is your husband an asshole

And then I finally changed my mindset.

The gym no longer represented what it once had. In fact, it represented an extra thing to do, an extra thing to pay for, and extra time.

I no longer needed to plan to exercise. I could move my body whenever the hell I wanted.

If I got writer’s block, I could exercise in my underwear in the middle of my living room without skipping a beat.

I started hoop dancing for hours on end, something that was embarrassing to do in front of people when I first learned.

I even realized that I could obsess about the Netflix shows that my husband would never watch with me (ahem, True Blood) and work out at the same time.

It still took a few months after I discovered hoop dancing, at home workouts for moms and True Blood to cancel my gym membership.

But I did. I finally did. When I realized that everything the gym represented could be achieved more efficiently, and in a way I preferred, by working out at home, I bit the bullet and canceled it.

I now have $45 more in my bank account every month and an extra hour of time a day (because I don’t have to drive, change, deal with the locker room, etc).

I know you can relate.

What are you holding on to that’s taking up your money and time just because it represents something to you?

Leave a comment below and share with the MYP community.

Oh, and P.S. I’ll be sharing my favorite at home workouts for moms in an upcoming blog post, so keep your eyes out!