|photo by dno1967/ CC BY 2.0|
Some part of me has always known that dieting is a lot like budgeting.
But since I’ve started Weight Watchers I’m even more aware of the parallels.
Instead of money, I get a certain allotment of points for the day (and for the week).
Every day, if I want to meet my goals of losing weight, I have to choose what foods have the most value for the points. Every day, if I want to meet my financial goals, I have to make decisions based on what will provide the most value for my money.
And man, are both things really hard. There is temptation everywhere.
It’s really easy to let your attitude send you into a downward spiral.
For example, I had a rather challenging Easter week when it came to my diet. I burned up all of my weekly points early in the week. It depressed me and frustrated me.
My attitude went down the tubes. I decided that the week was “already screwed up” and that I might as well eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted.
Fortunately, I was able to start fresh the next week with a better attitude. While I didn’t lose any weight that week, I did gain a little perspective.
I realized that it is that bad attitude – the “I’ve already screwed up, what’s the point of trying” attitude – is poison to your long term goals. Where would we have been if we had felt that way when we were working to pay off our student debt and car loans? We probably would have added a lot of self-entitlement to things like vacations and gadgets and racked up a lot of credit card debt. We probably would have just told ourselves we deserved to treat ourselves… much like I can talk myself into a Snickers bar when I’ve had a bad day.
The keys to managing your finances and losing weight are the same:
- Realize that you will make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
- Strive for getting the best value – whether it is from your food or your money.
- Always keep your goals in mind. Post them on your fridge so you can see them.
- Realize that you do deserve a treat sometimes, but within reason.
- A support network makes all the difference. Sometimes it’s our friends and family that are the best at kicking us out of our bad moods.
- There are no quick fixes. It doesn’t take long to get into get into debt or to outgrow all your clothes. But it does take a lot of work to get out of debt and lose the weight.
The journey to better health and finances is a marathon, not a sprint. But when you reach your goals, there is nothing better!