I’m not doing very well with my weight loss goal. As of last Friday, after over three months of effort I’ve lost a total of 1.1 pounds. I know the problem is that I struggle with eating too much. With the start of a new year, Vonnie also has made a commitment to be more healthy. We investigated several weight loss programs including Weight Watchers, which we have been a part of in the past and were very successful. We were literally putting our coats and shoes on to drive to a nearby center and enroll again when something stopped me. It occurred to us that there was no need to shell out $90 a month in program fees.
We took control of our finances, and we can do this too.
We decided to make our own program. We started to discuss the major components of our program, drawing comparisons between taking control of our finances and taking control of our health.
Money vs. Calories
When you boil it down, taking control of our finances required learning how to spend less money than we make. Despite all the fancy diets and fads, losing weight is a simple matter of eating less calories than we burn each day.
Tracking Expenses vs. Tracking What We Eat
The first step in taking control of our finances was to track how we spend our money. Taking control of our eating isn’t any different, we need to track what we eat.
Spending Plan vs. Eating Plan
Each Thursday and Sunday Vonnie and I map out our spending for the next few days. Eating shouldn’t be any different. If we meal plan before grocery shopping, and each morning we plan what we’re going to eat for the day, we control what and how much we eat. We wouldn’t think of purchasing something without knowing how much it cost, and we shouldn’t eat something without knowing how it affects the nutrition we need for the day.
Increasing Income vs. Increasing Food Intake
If we want more money to spend, we need to take on an additional job to increase our income. If we want to eat more, we need to increase how many calories we burn through exercise.
Unplanned Expenses vs. Unplanned Eating
Sometimes the car needs a repair, or an appliance needs servicing. Sometimes we get invited to an event, or a special occasion comes along that we may want to enjoy a drink or two, or a little extra desert. We need a way to be able to handle these situations.
As part of each budget meeting, Vonnie and I review whether we’re within the bounds of our spending plan. We can see it in black and white in the information that we keep regarding our finances. The scale is our accountability for our weight loss program.
With this information and requirements, we came up with the rules for our program:
- Official weigh in will occur weekly on Friday using the Wii Fit.
- Weigh ins will be done immediately in the morning before exercise or breakfast
- Calorie Intake will be calculated using this calorie calculator.
- Calorie Intake will be recalculated based on official weekly weigh in.
- Calories eaten will be tracked
- Water intake should be at least eight, 8oz servings (64oz)
- Participants should eat 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Participants should have 1-2 servings of dairy per day
- 50% of calories burned from exercise can be added to that day’s calorie total
- Calories earned from exercise can be “banked” and used anytime within the same week.
- One day each week can be designated as a “Free Day” where food does not have to be tracked
Using what we learned from being enrolled previously in weight loss programs, as well as through our struggle to take control of our finances we are confident that we can take control of our health and improve the quality of our lives.
Have you ever tried to lose weight on your own? How did it work for you? Have you ever noticed the parallels between taking control of your finances and taking control of your health?