Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Heafty Cost of Weight Loss

This weekend, I was really struck by how much losing weight costs. I know some of the expenses are my own doing, but I was amazed when I began to break it down.

First, there's the cost of books. I scarcely ever enter into any endeavor without doing a fairly thorough review of the literature. As far as weight loss goes, I have the benefit of a dozen or so really good weight loss blogs that I've been consulting for information. But along the way I have also purchased and read books on the pathology behind overeating and I've bought some weight loss memoirs. I also have tons of cookbooks and nutritional guides. I know what you're thinking--"doesn't she own a library card!" The truth is, when it comes to weight-related books, I prefer the anonymity of Amazon.com.

I also spend a significant amount of money to attend Weight Watchers meetings. Having recently switched to South Beach, I could probably let go off this particular expense, but the truth is that I'm afraid that if I don't have a public weigh in to attend, I won't stay on target. I also suppose that posting here keeps me fairly accountable, but I'm not ready to fly solo yet.

Then, there's the clothes. I needed to spend $300 this weekend to replace my ill-fitting clothing. I waited as long as I possibly could, but with the approach of fall, I had to spend a little cash to avoid looking like a vagrant at work. This is no exaggeration. At my heaviest, I bought most of my clothes so they would be too big on me. Those are the same clothes I'm wearing 46 pounds later so you can imagine that, by now, shopping was completely necessary. (I have bought some new things along the way, too). That said, this was a fun expense. It was lovely to go into a store and not need the biggest size on the rack. It was also incredibly foreign to actually like the way some things looked on me. It was a fun time.

When I first started mentally composing this list, I was doing my grocery shopping. The cost of healthy food seemed almost overwhelming, especially now that my diet includes far more lean protein than I ever ate. And just forget it if you try to shop with a conscience. Cage free eggs, for example, can be really pricey.

But when I got to the register, I noticed the total was just about the same as what I used to spend. Why? Conspicuously absent from my shopping list were the tubs of Ben & Jerry's, the banana and coconut cream pies as well as the chocolate cupcakes and m & m cookies I used to pile in my cart. And what about the prepackaged cupcakes and boxes of pizza? Were they hiding under the romaine lettuce? No. I just wasn't buying them anymore. In the past, I paid a king's ransom in the grocery store for snack foods. If my sister wasn't joining me in my efforts, the cost of groceries would be outrages, but since she's along for the ride, expenses on this front are staying the same.

And what about the intangibles? What about the cost to my quality of life? My energy level is off the charts compared to where it used to be. I can climb the stairs to my third floor office without needing CPR, I can walk a mile and a half on my lunch, I can make it through the day without a nap. I'm also more confident in myself, not just because I feel like I look better, but because I'm aware of what I've accomplished so far. I feel empowered.

One thing I'll never know is the price I would have paid in my health and in years of my life if I'd never begun this journey. That's worth ten times what I pay in the grocery line.


Anonymous said...

Truer words have never been spoken! I have some friends who always say its "too expensive" to lose weight. But like you said, even though you pay more for healthier food, you take out the junk food and it evens itself out!

Something you may or may not want to try...I am not sure how it all works, but maybe follow the South Beach Diet, but use your WW points allowance and see what happens. Or maybe you are just sick of counting! I know thats what happened to me when I once tried WW.

I understand about needing the WI's to keep yourself accountable. I almost joined not too long ago, just to get weighed every week!

You are doing great though! Keep it up,girlie!

Karyn said...

The cost of weight loss...you've said it very well. Yes, there are expences, but they are outweighed by the tremendous payoffs which you have described so well.

MizFit said...


I think every time I pony up the cash for the clean food or the LATEST! GREATEST! BOOK! how I *think* this is all saving me in medical bills later----but who can say.

Im just fortunate my husband hasnt added it all up.


it IS worth is. just as you said.


new*me said...

I have thought about that as well. I know so many people that say they can't afford to eat healthy but there are ways if you want to find them :) Keep on hiding those cookies from me!

Heather T said...

So true! It is expensive to diet, but consider the 'grocery' shopping trip where you aren't loading the cart with pure 'crap' for you, instead it's healthy. I think it balances out somehow. Congrats on the weight loss! I can't wait till I get to go clothes shopping and I HATE shopping! LOL!