I really believe that we have it in ourselves to strike the match and cause the spark that will make the change from overspending, debt ridden finances to underspending, saving generating finances. As I said we can be the spark, but it is hard to be the flame and fan it to keep it going. We do need help from outside ourselves, whether it is a higher power or earthly support to keep going.

I don't always have people around me to help me stick to a goal and I need to find ways to keep myself on track. I certainly don't see myself as a finished product when it comes to frugality, but I thought I would take a break and talk about another road I am also pursuing. Many people, myself included had found that diet/exercise have many similar aspects as reducing debt/saving money.

1. Have a goal and a reason: 5 weeks ago I started a new goal to drop 60lbs but the goal wasn't that finite; I had a reason for the goal. I was seeing  my health deteriorate due to my weight, from heavy breathing as I walked up a flight of stairs to not fitting into clothes that even were too large at an earlier time.  And, when I took a look in the mirror, I just made myself sick. I not only had to have a goal but a reason for the goal - a reason that will keep me on track when the chocolate donut is looking at me in the breakroom.

2. Discomfort is the name: This new lifestyle is one that means I will be out of my comfort zone until I am used to it. Being uncomfortable is painful to me but I have to get it into my head that it will be that way until I can build up a tolerance to it and feel comfortable again. This means I will sweat, my muscles will ache, I will be tired but eventually I know I will be ok and this will be nothing.

3. The fight is with yourself: In the end there is no one else who is responsible for getting over the obstacles but me. It is my responsibility to get my butt out of bed and go to work and it is my responsibility to get to the gym and work out harder than last time and to eat better than last week. My fight is not with others but with myself; to be better than I was last week. True, I won't always meet expectations but my partner keeps reminding me that If I don't at least try to do better I will have already failed. And I don't like that F word.

4. One more: I have already perfected the art of procrastination or patience when it comes to not buying something, I can wait for weeks or months to save money. Now I need to use that practice with my eating and exercise. One more minute on the elliptical, one more rep or wait one more hour and see if I really need that donut. Or better yet, wait forever for that donut, and substitute it with a healthy fruit or veggie, or even a nice cold glass of water to appease that hunger.

5. Let go of the past: A friend of mine always used to say, "when I had money..." and it used to drive me insane because he was holding himself back by living back then and not for today. Yet I am the same way, I catch myself longing for the days when I would eat and not gain a pound. But I have to let go of the past; this is a new day. I am not that person any longer in many ways and I need to make my diet and exercise work for the me of today.


  1. Donna S. // Tuesday, November 10, 2009 7:34:00 PM  

    I am also working on losing quite a large amount of weight. A total of about 80 pounds to be at the goal I hope to reach. Thinking everyday that my goal was so far off really started getting me down (and giving me a good excuse to let myself quit) and seemed like such a far-away number. I finally told myself that I would set "10 pound goals" for myself and not worry about the next 70, or next 60 pounds I had to go and just worry about "this 10" and that has made it so much easier for me. I'm down about 25 pounds and 4 clothes sizes now.

    I also found that I have lost alot more weight just cutting out a lot of starches, and WALKING, and slowly increasing my distances when the walk doesn't tire me anymore, than I ever did paying for a fitness center membership.

  2. Dawn // Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:30:00 PM  

    Good for you!
    That is how I am working at it, just going at it one week at a time, and looking only at the foot in front of me and not the whole road that I have yet to travel.

  3. Klingtocash // Tuesday, November 10, 2009 9:29:00 PM  

    Excellent suggestions. I find that sometimes online support groups are great. I'm a member of a knitting community called Ravelry. There are tons of groups on there, including debt free and frugal living groups. It's nice to be able to share your wins and cry about your setbacks with others.

  4. KathyinMD // Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:24:00 AM  

    I agree that debt and fat are two sides of the same coin! That said, I am mystified why I can save and save money, pay off all my bills on time, but cannot seem to control my desire for sweets. I did some research on willpower (very interesting) and I guess I'm struggling in part because I have food allergies and spend (exhaust) most of my willpower on not eating stuff that will make me sick. All I want is to lose 10# and get back to where I was in 2002.

    I re-joined a gym a few months ago and I go 3 to 5 times each week. I love going. But I just heard about recent research that shows weight loss takes a combination of exercise plus calorie reduction because exercise itself doesn't burn that many calories. ARGH.

    Thank you for all your inspiring posts. I'm glad you tackled this topic!

  5. Lawrence @ CRB // Monday, November 16, 2009 7:00:00 AM  

    I've said it many times. Keep it simple and be sure to stay focused on obtaining the set goal. Once you've accomplished this a few times, setting more difficult goals doesn't seem so difficult after all.

  6. Anonymous // Tuesday, November 17, 2009 9:46:00 AM  

    A thought for this website...

    In days of yore, a lot of people couldn't afford to buy a car. They walked or cycled everywhere. Things like waggons or grocery carts were useful to carry things home. Local corner stores were everywhere. And there were fewer people overweight. Dare I suggest that they saved money and were more fit because of it?

    Joining a gym can be expensive. I suggest walking to the grocery store daily for the days food, cycle to work to save on transport costs. This way you are accomplishing both goals, better health and saving money.

  7. youtube.com/debbje // Wednesday, March 10, 2010 7:49:00 AM  

    very wise approach. I wish this was written in Italian so I could send it over to my mother