Investing in weight loss
A reader commenting on my Me Minus 10 column a couple of weeks ago suggested that my talk of frequent yoga class-taking and treadmill running smacked of an insular lifestyle and reflected my sizable salary.
The comment made me think about the personal economics of weight management. Because, strange as it may seem, we freelance newspaper journalists don't tend to command outlandishly large salaries. I have to think about every dollar I spend, just as I imagine most of my readers do.
In theory, losing weight should cost nothing -- and, if you're eating a lot less food, should even save you money on groceries. And there are all kinds of ways to exercise for free, right?
I like to jog and walk, but my neighborhood is not amenable to doing either outdoors. I get most of my calorie-burning exercise on a 15-year-old treadmill on which fully half of the functions have ceased to function. It's set up in my gravel-floored, unfinished and windowless basement. There's not even a TV down there.
Yoga class is in a studio in my friend's house, three doors down from mine. In return for teaching a class per week, I get to take other lessons for free. But if I had to pay full freight, I imagine I'd be doing a lot more of my yoga at home and less in the studio.
In preparation for Me Minus 10, I've invested $45 in a new scale. I spent about $7 on a spiral-bound blank book to use as a food diary, plus another couple bucks on some of those new bleed-free Sharpie pens. I'm now eyeing a set of kettlebells, which several people, including MisFits columnist Vicky Hallett, have suggested I try as a means of adding weight training to my routine. From what I can tell, I can get a set for around $50.
It remains to be seen how my campaign will affect my grocery bill. Healthful food is generally more expensive than junk. But as Adam Drewnowski, an expert on the economics of nutrition, points out, you don't have to spend a lot of money to eat healthfully.
I have indulged in a few little pick-me-ups to make this effort a bit happier. I bought a $14 jar of One Minute Manicure, a scented oil and salt mix that makes my 49-year-old hands look and feel soft. I used it on my feet (with their freshly painted toenails -- another little picker-upper) before yoga this morning, and it sure gave me a lift.
My biggest expenditure so far, though, has been $100 for a pair of those Skechers Shape-ups shoes I've been seeing ads for. Wearing them is supposed to help shape and tone my legs and behind. My kids think they're hideous; I think they're kind of cute -- and quite comfy. I'll let you know if I see any change.
What kinds of investments have you made in your weight-loss efforts? Have they proven worthwhile? Share your experiences in the comments section, please!
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 9, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Me Minus 10 , Nutrition and Fitness , Obesity
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