January 5th, 2009

Wouldn’t It Be Great If…
Shopping Was Exercise?

I’ve just started walking to keep fit. I have clocked 20 hours in the past week.  And it all started with a post-Christmas sales shopping spree.

You see, I only shop for clothes about 3-4 times a year but it’s usually a multiple-day affair for me — 1 day to plan and check out styles in magazines or websites; 1-3 days to scour ALL the clothing racks in town, a day to decide whether I really need whatever I’ve singled out in the stores, and another day to actually buy the stuff. I’m probably the least impulsive shopper you’ll ever meet and have annoyed practically everyone who’s ever been shopping with me — even my mom. Which is why I now only shop alone.  She doesn’t get why I need to think so hard about buying a $10 pair of sandals.  To me, $10 spent on something I’m not gonna use regularly is $10 wasted.  (However, this habit does not extend to other areas of my life like  buying snacks for myself  (unfortunately) — “$16 for a tub of ice-cream? Sounds delicious!” — or buying gifts for others (fortunately) — “$80 for a box of fine chocolates? Why not? She’s worth it!”)

Anyway, I realised that I could spend up to 8 hours a day on my feet, walking briskly from mall to mall, trying to find the perfect shirt at the perfect price and this exercise proved to be quite a work out. A hugely satisfying one. Why not create a fitness regime based on shopping, I thought? So with that in mind, my Shoppercise programme is born. It goes something like this:

  1. I’ll award myself $5 of spending money at the end of each hour of walking (window shopping).
  2. Unspent allowance will be brought forward to the next hour. So if I want to spend $20 on a t-shirt, I’ll need to walk 4 hours to earn it. A lot of work for a bit of money, but that’s the point.
  3. At the end of the day, I either have something new in my wardrobe that I had “exercised” for, or earn a few dollars of somewhat guilt-free (I “earned” it by burning calories, right?) shopping allowance.
  4. Repeat every week until I get sick of this scheme.

Still on the topic of walking, I have recently discovered a park with a mangrove forest just a 15-minute walk away from my apartment. I was there yesterday and saw a monkey, a huge spider and so many species of plants I’ve never seen before. The whole trail takes about an hour and a half to cover and I can see myself going there at least once a week.

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if you took a third of your food money and spent/saved it on clothes(or whatever) instead, then you'd have more personal money and grow thinner at the same time! i never spend much on food, just the thought of eating the bills and crapping them the next day... such a waste!
rachel  at 7:15 am on January 8, 2009
Well, my point is really about tricking myself into exercising and less about money. :) I do know someone who is the exact opposite of you - "Fashion is fleeting but good food is a little piece of heaven on earth" is her mantra. I'm more like "Mmm...broccoli, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, salmon, green peas, beans and then suddenly...CHOCOLATE!!! Need. Chocolate. Now."
Ginger M  at 10:54 am on January 8, 2009
hi ginger, to justify my weight loss goal, i consider shopping as an exercise! hahahaa....
ria c  at 2:49 pm on January 15, 2009

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