Frugality, Motivation

How My New Diet Is Affecting My Waistline And My Wallet

As many of you know, I not only blog about personal finance, I also blog about health and fitness, over at No. Calories Needed.  I recently started a new eating plan and I’m down 8 pounds.  Not only has my diet affected my waistline, it’s beginning to affect my wallet.

Areas where I’m now saving money –

Lower food bills –

The eating plan calls for the slow, conscious consumption of food.  Now, instead of eating twenty bites quickly, I eat six bites slowly.  As a result, I eat less food.  The plan also allows for the consumption of foods that I actually enjoy – so I no longer feel the pressure to buy high-priced, packaged ‘diet foods’.

Lower restaurant bills –

I recently visited on of my favorite restaurants, where I would normally spend $20 to $30, and my total bill was $9.  While we rarely eat out, when we do, I like to eat what I want to eat.  But, due to the fact that I’m now eating far less food than I did in the past, I was able to order an appetizer and a baked potato, along with my beverage, and leave the restaurant satisfied.

Areas where I’m now spending more money –

Higher clothing costs –

I have begun to run, so I’ve ordered a new pair of correctly-fitted running shoes.  The shoes cost more than I would normally pay, but they are designed specifically for my feet.  Also, even though I’ve only lost 8 pounds (so far), I can tell that I’ll need a new pair of pants or two, in the next few months.  And, as anyone who has ever lost weight knows, once you shed a few pounds, there’s a desire to get rid of the ‘fat’ clothes and replace them with new, nicer items.  Of course, I have a closet full of clothes from my slightly thinner days, and I’ll begin to wear them, as I lose weight.  For now, the new clothing costs consist of the new pair of running shoes, two pairs of workout shorts, and some socks.

Areas where I will save money, in the future –

Life Insurance –

In October, my current term life policy expires.  I recently priced two new policies, one at my current weight and one at my goal weight.  The savings were rather significant, especially if you consider that I’ll be paying premiums for the next 20+ years.

Health Care Costs –

I have sleep apnea – a sleeping condition that requires that I wear a mask while I sleep.  The mask is uncomfortable and should be replaced every 6 to 12 months.  My goal is to lose a total of 80 pounds, at which point I might be able to get rid of the mask.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to sleep without it, but if I could, the costs associated with the mask would disappear.  Also, due to the fact that sleep apnea can be fatal, my long-term disability insurance costs are sky high.  Getting rid of the mask – and taking a sleep test to verify that the sleep apnea is gone – would go a long ways towards reducing long-term disability insurance costs.

Areas where I will spend more money, in the future –

Running Event Fees –

As I mentioned, I’ve started running.  Inspired by my little sister, who ran in a 10k a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to sign up for a local 5k.  As I get more involved in the ‘scene’, I’m sure that I’ll want to run in more events.  So, I’ll have to figure the cost to enter those events and the cost of gasoline to travel to and from those events.  Plus, I’m sure that I’ll want to buy more running gear.

I’m sure, as I lose weight, that I’ll find other areas of my budget that need to be tweaked.  If you have lost a significant amount of weight, I’d love to hear how it changed your financial life.

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13 thoughts on “How My New Diet Is Affecting My Waistline And My Wallet

  1. I’m doing the same thing, and I’m right about the same point you are (I’ve done one 5k so far). I have a variety (14 actually) of reasons for what I’m doing which I’ve written down to keep me honest. Four of these have to do with money:

    * Hobbies: As hobbies go, fitness can be as expensive as you want to make it. Well, I’m one cheap bastard, and I appreciate that I can run, cycle, lift weights without buying anything but the occasional pair of shoes and race entry fees.

    * Food: Skinny people eat less, theoretically, thus costs should correspondingly diminish.

    * Healthcare: Fit people need less healthcare, theoretically, thus costs should correspondingly diminish.

    * Insurance: I applied for life insurance, and the quoted rate was adjusted upwards because I am overweight. I want cheap(er) life insurance!

    I didn’t know about your fitness blog, I’ll be sure to check it out. Good luck!

  2. Hi NCN,
    I just wanted to mention that you don’t need the mask. Do some research in your area for a Prosthodontist (Often a cosmetic dentist I believe). Find out if they create the mouthguard to treat sleep apnea. I know one of the Prosthodontist’s in my area does and she has had a lot of success with them. Hope this can help you.

  3. So far I have lost 22 lbs since the beginning of the year. Obviously clothes are an expense. For exercise I purchase Dance Dance Revolution with mats off of Ebay for $50. I am told that was a steal. I hate running so I make a point to burn 300 calories a day with the game. I think it will pay for itself in a few months. My wife and I love the game and have fun playing together and with friends.

  4. Good job! I try to eat slowly but I usually forget. I’ll be half way done with my food and I remember… “oh yeah, I was supposed to eat this slowly”

    You have inspired me to get back on that wagon. Today I am committed to slow eating!

  5. Good for you NCN. This is very inspiring as I want to lose a little weight too. Well it is just 10 lbs but I have not been able to exercise lately because of my health issues.

    Before I had the surgery I was very weak and out of breath because of all the blood loss. I could barely walk around my apartment complex, in fact just walking up one flight of stairs would tire me out.

    Now that I had the surgery and my blood levels are back almost to normal I can do more…no running yet but I can walk a bit now.

  6. This is something I really, really need to focus on. I’ve packed on more pounds than I care to admit typing away on this computer and recovering from a shoulder surgery last year. The warmer weather has me eager to get back after it, and it all starts with a better diet. I’m one of those who cannot do one or the other – if I don’t work out I eat junk, and if I eat well I want to work out because of increased energy. You’ve made great progress – keep the fire!

  7. Congrats on getting started losing weight. I need to squeeze a good diet & exercise into my schedule… Dropping 25 lbs really wouldn’t kill me. But where to find the time when working full time+ and running a side business?

  8. Congrats! Yep, those running shoes were a good investment. If you have good shoes, you won’t have weirdly pulled muscles and you won’t have to visit the doctor for a running injury. 🙂 It saves!

  9. I think Running is the most cost efficient sport/excercise you can get into. All it takes is a nice pair of kicks. I spend my money there though…don’t be cheap with the shoes. Also, don’t get caught up in all the gear (wicking wear, watches, ipods…) Just find a nice trail and go get it. Find the love for running first.

  10. Good luck with the sleep apnea. I have it too. Though weight is not always the cause of sleep apnea, apparently most times it is. I’ve read and was told by my doctor too that losing weight often reduces the severity or eliminates sleep apnea altogether. Even if it doesn’t solve sleep apnea, losing weight is worth doing.

  11. Congrats on the decision to turn things around.

    I think that diet is the best approach and I like how you mention you didn’t over do it when you went to your favourite restaurant. I find that special occasions are the killers – Xmas, easter, Thanksgiving, bdays, anniversaries – you get the idea – they happen all the time.

    You said you want to lose 80 pounds which is quite a lot – are you sure running is the best activity? I’m thinking walking/swimming/biking might be better activities until you get closer to a normal weight.

    Mike

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