Friday, May 27, 2011

Can frugality and weight loss really work together?

Steve and I are attending Weight Watchers meetings. We purchase the monthly pass, which equals 9.22 per week each, $80 per month total. This, for many people, would NOT be considered a frugal expenditure. But for us, it is a necessary one. I started out at 246.6, he started at 264. Our first weigh in, I had lost 4.6 lbs, he had lost 10. The program really teaches you about healthy,sustainable weight loss. Yes, we knew before joining we needed to eat more veggies and fruits, but seeing the pounds come off and the encouragement we recieve, and understanding how certain foods affect our moods and energy levels is priceless. In just 10 days, I have reduced my 4 can a day Mt. Dew habit to 1 can every other day. And honestly, the one I had yesterday wasn't really all that good.

But what about special foods?
We don't buy special foods. We eat what we want. The great thing about WW is there is no such thing as a forbidden food. But, obviously, a slice of cheesecake has more points values than 3 ounces of chicken. Here is a typical day's worth of food for me, based on my point allocation of 36.
Breakfast: scrambled egg with green onion, tomatoes, and 1/8 c. of shredded cheese, one slice of whole grain toast with Parkay spray butter (5 sprays has 0 points!), and one serving of fruit (usually chopped strawberries, oranges, grapes, and blueberries).
Snack #1: yogurt and a banana
Lunch: A light Flatbread with one serving of lunchmeat chicken, some mustard or steak sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and 14 baked chips.
Snack #2: a piece of string cheese, hardboiled egg.
Supper: 3-4 oz of chicken or steak, cooked on the grill or baked, a large salad with at least 2 cups of veggies, 2 TBSP of fat free dressing, steamed veggies of some sort, and a small baked potato with Parkay spray and a dash of popcorn seasoning (I love the sour cream and onion, and the nacho cheddar. 2 TBSP of this has 0 points).
Dessert: 1/2 cup of slow churned or reduced fat ice cream.

Steve eats the same things I do, just in smaller portions.

But what if I hate to exercise?
In short, you can start fitting in exercise in small doses. And exercise doesn't have to mean going to a gym, paying $30 per month per person. We have a bunch of exercise DVD's that we have picked up over the years, and we are rotating them as we are able to finish the entire workout easily. Right now, we are using the Biggest Loser Power Walk DVD, and can easily do 2 miles, and are working on mile 3. We do the 2 miles first thing in the morning, and schedule it as part of our day that is non-negotiable. 2 miles takes about 30 minutes using this DVD, and it can be purchased for about $10. If the $10 price tag is still too much, check around at yard sales and consignment stores, I have found several videos for .50 to $2. Also, check your public library. Ours has movies (including exercise) that can be checked out for free. Also, Family Video in town offers free rentals on fitness dvd's. If all else fails, walk. Even if you can only go from one end of your house to the other the first time, keep doing it, and eventually you will be able to do even more.

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