Sweat Diaries: The Software Engineer Who Spends $311 a Week on Boutique Fitness
A week in the life of a Philly-based software engineer who loves SLT, SoulCycle, and Pure Barre.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected] with details.
Who I am: Hee Jin Cho, 30, from Rittenhouse Square
What I do: Work in software sales and engineering
What role health and fitness plays in my life: Fitness is a grounding force in my life; it helps me reset and refocus and take into perspective what really matters, which is my health and happiness.
Health memberships: A subscription to the Simple Habit Meditation app, which I pay $11.99 per month to use. My husband, Peter, and I also practice yoga using the Asana Rebel app ($49 per year), and it’s a great way to stretch out or do quick five to 15-minute sessions when we need to roll out our muscles.
7 a.m. — Why can’t I sleep past 7 a.m.? I finish drinking the liter bottle of water I opened last night and hop out of bed to practice five-minute yoga on the Asana Rebel app with my husband. He’s way more into yoga than I am, and I find myself drifting once or twice.
7:30 a.m. — COFFEE. I grind up some beans from Good Karma and drink a cup from our French press. I’m not a big breakfast person and prefer working out on an empty stomach in the morning. Peter and I then walk our dog, Bobo.
8:15 a.m. — I walk into SoulCycle for Elysse’s 8:30 class ($26). SoulCycle is an amazing stress-reliever and something of a therapy for me. Sometimes I ride entire songs with my eyes closed, just feeling the energy and the sweat, and I come out completely refreshed, 100-percent of the time.
9:15 a.m. — Drenched in sweat and exhilarated, I rush over to SLT for a 9:30 with Denita ($26).
10:20 a.m. — I shakily scrape myself off the Megaformer after a 50-minute class. I somehow manage to drink all my water, and then I stop into Konditori on 17th street and Chestnut for a post-workout coffee ($2.99).
10:45 a.m. — Home. I peel off my sweaty clothes into an ever-teetering pile of laundry that I try not to make eye contact with. Shower.
11 a.m. — I make vegetarian tacos (tofu-soyrizo scramble on a tortilla with some avocados) and drink a giant glass of lemon water for brunch.
11:30 a.m. — In my office, I attempt to bang out some content for a presentation I’m giving in two weeks. I contemplate another cup of coffee, but I swear my cat’s looking at me like, Really?, so I have half a bottle of iced Joe Tea ($0.98)
2 p.m. — I can’t stare at the screen anymore, so I decide to start prepping dinner and veggies for the week.
3 p.m. — I’ve got about a pound of bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery all cleaned and sliced into portions for both snacking and cooking. I need a nap.
3:30 p.m. — Back to work!
6:30 p.m. — Work done, another liter of water down the hatch. Dinner is an anchovy-based sauce over an eggplant stack and a whipped-goat-cheese-topped cauliflower.
Daily total: $55.97
6 a.m. — Wake up.
6:30 a.m. — Shower, let the dog out, COFFEE. I have an odd relationship with coffee. Sometimes I’ll drink five-plus cups a day, or I won’t drink any at all. This morning, I grind up some beans from Good Karma and drink a cup of French press.
7 a.m. — Quick walk over to 30th Street Station to catch the Amtrak to New York. I’m in NYC at least four times a month.
7:20 a.m. — I work on the train. I drink more (free) coffee at the office, then I’m in meetings.
10:13 a.m. — In desperate need of a snack. I walk to Bluestone Lane near the office and get an avocado smash with a poached egg and a black coffee ($21.50).
4:45 p.m. — Last meeting is done. Customer and sales rep asks if I want to join them for drinks, but I decide I need to sweat it out. I pack up my bag and run to SoulCycle ($34).
6:25 p.m. — I feel awesome. Sweaty and gross, but awesome. I decide to walk to Penn Station. On the way, I stop at E-Mo in Koreatown and grab spicy tuna kimbap (Korean seaweed rolls) to munch on the train home ($13.52).
7:20 p.m. — Ride the Acela back to Philly.
9:10 p.m. — Home. My husband, the saint, has a vesper and gouda waiting for me, so I eat a little of that before I do my nightly routine of lying in bed with a notebook. I like to center myself for the next morning by writing down the things, both work and non-work related, and prioritizing.
10:30 p.m. — List done, meditation app on, I doze off.
Daily total: $69.02
5:45 a.m. — Today’s the first day I felt that I could actually sleep in. But I’m scared/in love with my SLT instructors so I push the cat off me, drag myself out of bed, and force myself to drink some of the coffee. I let my dog out, then off to SLT it is.
7:30 a.m. — Ever been punched in the gut while someone is trying to use your abs to squeeze oranges really hard? That’s what that last class felt like ($26).
8 a.m. — Shower, then time for emails. I drink some more coffee and open my laptop.
11:30 a.m. — I can’t look at emails or answer phone calls anymore, so I walk over to Pure Barre. Today, class is full of all the old regulars, so the instructor tortures us. During stretch, it feels euphoric and I’m grateful for the sweat ($23).
1 p.m. — Walking the dog, I get a panicked phone call that sends me into office mode. I run home and chomp on celery and carrots while I work.
3:30 p.m. — I realize it’s 3:30 and I haven’t eaten anything. Problem is, the calls keep coming. Only thing at hand is a bunch of Sugarfina champagne gummies, so I have about a 100 of those (really great diet, I know).
6 p.m. — Groceries arrive. I’m making Beef Taco Skillet from Live, Laugh, Yum! I throw the ingredients in together and stick it in the oven. I also make an Old Fashioned cocktail.
7 p.m. — Peter walks in the door bearing a slice of cake from Di Bruno Bros. Did I mention this man is a saint? We eat the skillet dish with some freshly sliced avocado and onions. I pair mine with a Daisy Cutter IPA.
9:10 p.m. — After doing my priority list, we watch old episodes of The Simpsons.
11 p.m. — Lights out, eye mask on, meditation app on, sleep.
Daily total: $102.12
8 a.m. — This morning isn’t too insane, so I decide to make breakfast until I have to answer emails. I make a four-egg feta cheese omelet, sprinkle some curry powder, and have that with half an avocado and some cherry tomatoes. I drink more of the Good Karma coffee. My husband turns on Asana Rebel app for a 45-minute yoga session, but I have to stop after 20 minutes to take a customer call.
9:30 a.m. — I drink some more coffee. Interesting aspect of being a software sales engineer is that there are times when it’s non-stop fire drills, but there are lulls when I’m free to go work out, make a complicated dinner, or go shopping.
10 a.m. — Starting the day with Pure Barre sounds like a good idea ($23). Halfway through the warm up, I find myself wishing for tequila.
11 a.m. — I hop over to Di Bruno’s for an unsweetened matcha latte ($4.99).
12:10 p.m. — My inbox is not full of emails that begin with “I NEED YOU NOW!!” so I pick up my dog and we go for a stroll. I can’t resist the pull of the Bakeshop on 20th, so I go in and get a ricotta cookie for me and a brookie for Peter ($6.50).
12:30 p.m. — I’m not all that hungry, so I decide to power through until dinner.
2:30 p.m. — I’m crashing a little bit and reach for my Sugarfina champagne gummies. I have a minor but persistent addiction to the damn things and will buy them in five-pound bags. They’re sitting on my desk next to a bunch of Girl Scout cookies. I munch on ten of the delicious little things while mowing through emails
3:30 p.m. — The afternoon crash is real. Rather than reach for more gummies, I take the dog for a walk around the block.
4:30 p.m. — I cave. Three Thin Mints down the hatch.
5:45 p.m. — Emails done, work done. I turn on Asana Rebel and do a quick five-minute stretch in the kitchen.
5:50 p.m. — Time for salad assembly. I’m making a warm steak salad with the veggies in my fridge that are crying for help.
6:30 p.m. — I drink a sauvignon blanc.
7 p.m. — Dinner is awesome.
8 p.m. — More Simpsons. I drink a glass of Widow Jane bourbon neat.
9 p.m. — Bed. Notebook. Cat. I open a bottle of sparkling water and drink half a liter before I find myself wanting another Thin Mint. Time to sleep instead.
Daily total: $34.49
5 a.m. — All that sugar from the day before isn’t helping. I wake up, finish my water, and get dressed for SoulCycle.
6 a.m. — I’m both euphoric and suffering in Ryan Lewis’ class ($26).
7 a.m. — Feeling super light after the sprints and the runs, I treat myself to a Buzzed smoothie at Sip-n-Glo ($9). The coffee hit is just what I need.
7:30 a.m. — I get home and eat some leftover salad while drinking coffee. I answer emails for a bit.
8:30 a.m. — I drag myself to SLT and plop on a machine ($26).
10 a.m. — Back home, I put in a load of laundry. I bought this sports-specific detergent from Amazon called Rockin’ Green Active Wear. I mix a spoonful into the detergent, and the clothes come out smelling super fresh.
10:30 a.m. — Work and coffee.
1:30 p.m. — I’m craving carbs but I opt for Shirataki noodles with kimchi, sesame seed oil, a poached egg, dried peppers, and pollack roe. I pair that with some avocado and about two liters of water.
2:30 p.m. — Back to work. I’m dying for a Diet Coke, but I remember the Girl Scout cookies and decide to have one Thin Mint.
3:40 p.m. — Four thin mints and 12 emails later, I’m feeling pretty guilty.
5 p.m. — Done working, I order a bottle of Curator Cab Sauvignon from Quick Sip ($0, thanks to a gift card).
5:55 p.m. — My wine arrives in record time, as I’m making a chicken and lemon caper dish.
6:30 p.m. — Peter walks in, and we have some cheese, I drink a cabernet, and we dig in to dinner.
7:30 p.m. — I have a lot of work to do, so I go back to my desk few more hours. I finish the last of my wine and another handful of gummy bears.
10 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily total: $61
8 a.m. — I make coffee and answer phone calls. No breakfast for me today.
10 a.m. — Pure Barre time. Alisyn kills me, and I’m wobbling as I walk out of class ($23).
11 a.m. — I check emails while sitting at Bluestone Lane with a macha latte and an avocado smash with a poached egg ($21.50).
12:15 p.m. — At SoulCycle, Denita has the whole class rapping to Bodak Yellow by the end of class and I feel awesome walking out ($26).
1:30 p.m. — I walk the dog, and we split some strawberries and blueberries for lunch.
5 p.m. — FINALLY. I’m too wiped to make or cook anything, so I turn to Caviar and order an Arizona roll with brown rice and korokke from Fuji Mountain. I also love a good sip of tequila — Herradura silver is my favorite. ($35.01)
6:30 p.m. — Bad idea. I’m drunk.
7 p.m. — Somehow we have the great idea to eat gummy bears. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur.
Daily total: $82.51
8 a.m. — I wake up somewhat blurry eyed. Did I bring gummy bears into bed with me?
8:15 a.m. — I feel human after a shower and a large coffee. We do a little bit of yoga before heading off to our respective workouts. I hit SoulCycle again ($26).
9:30 a.m. — Soul done, sweat dripping, I go to my husband’s office for a cup of coffee.
10:30 a.m. — I decide to go to SLT, where my girl Denita is CRUSHING her class ($26).
11:30 a.m. — I crawl out of class and meet Peter for a quick bite at Bluestone Lane. We split an egg dish and a black coffee.
1 p.m. — At home, I do a load of laundry and write a list of all the groceries we need for the week.
4 p.m. — Time for champagne. I sip on a glass while I answer some emails.
6 p.m. — Peter and I walk to Double Knot, where we have Kobe beef hot dogs, uni rolls, duck scrapple, and a crispy tuna appetizer. We also have one cocktail each ($85.50).
8 p.m. — We walk home and stop for gelato at Gran Caffe L’Aquila.
10 p.m. — In bed with a book. I drift off with the meditation app.
Daily total: $137.50
Money spent: $542.61
SLT classes: 4
SoulCycle classes: 5
Pure Barre classes: 3
Yoga sessions: 3
Cups of coffee: 16
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