As if I needed another reminder of how awful I am with budgets…..
I got suckered in to purchasing a Weight Watchers plan on the internet. Normally I have this kind of impulse spending under control, but Jennifer Hudson just looks so darn awesome I couldn’t resist.
In April, I took my federal tax refund this year and purchased 12 sessions with a personal trainer at my gym before my membership ran out at the first of June. Best.Money.I.Ever.Spent. Really. I know some people have bad experiences with trainers-but I loved working out with Tito and the results achieved were things I never could have done on my own.
Mostly I just paid him to coerce me, listen to my whining, and bitch me out when I was being lazy, but hey everyone is different and you have to know what works for you.
…That was in New York though, and now I’m back home in Alabama.
The land of Chick-fil-A, Sweet Tea, Deep-Fried vegetables…etc. etc.etc.
In fact, one of my first nights home I went to a BBQ joint with my brother to pick up some take-out for my grandmother.
“I would like a barbecue pork plate please.” I said, taking in the aroma of sweet, roasting, pig.
“What sides do you want?” The bored teenage girl behind the counter asked.
“Do you have any vegetables?”
“We have….coleslaw, french fries, baked beans, or potato salad.” She said and gave me another bored look, maybe a flip of her side ponytail, but I can’t remember.
“Ok, none of those are vegetables.” I replied.
My brother called me a “Yankee Bitch” and I took the french fries. I use this colorful anecdote to highlight not only nutritional values in the south, but just how easy it has been for me to backslide in the few weeks I have been home.
My parents do have an eliptical machine that I use almost daily, but it still isn’t the same. Now, with a team here renovating my parent’s house I don’t have access to the eliptical and thought Weight Watchers was as good of a place as any to try and track my calories. Except just like with a “real budget” I am horrible about staying under. I definitely like to fudge (no food pun intended). I would say “Oh, that cookie only puts me two points over”….until I do it every night of the week and then I’m fourteen points over.
I did this with my budget in NYC all.the.time. I was fortunate enough to have a good paying job and so my budget didn’t need to be super-tight…. I paid my bills, put a substantial amount towards my debt and savings and then what was left over was divided up into categories. If I was over, say, fifteen dollars on my “Beauty” budget for the month of November, then I would just take fifteen away from December. If I took too many taxis in December, I would just scale back the budget in January. Except then I just kept going over and over every month. It was never critical or crucial so I didn’t pay much attention…but now it is. I’m unemployed and on a fixed income.
I don’t know if I have any words of wisdom for this post, but all this ‘food budgeting” has really been making me re-evaluate how I look at all of my budgets. Unlike fitness, where you do have the option to hire a trainer if you have the discretionary income…I can’t really hire anyone to bitch slap me in the face over my finances. If you are a single, young woman who lives financially independent of her parents…who do you hold yourself accountable to for your finances? I used to have to be accountable for Tito for every calorie I ate and I lost fifteen pounds (well…as of this posting…twelve pounds), where is the Tito for my bank account? Some people are really great at policing themselves, but unfortunately I am not.
I’ve had a lot of friends who have had great and stunning results with WW, and it is an eye opening experience on just how many “points” things can be (I ordered a fried chicken salad at Chick-fil-A? More points than the sandwich and fries! WTF!) I’ve been indulging in little (and big) ways for years with food and with money. Eventually, even if you’re not super fat, or super poor you will hit a wall. Eventually you will be heavier than you had planned, and you will have spent more money than you should have. Case-in-point: At Olive Garden with my parent’s last week I had cake as my entree instead of a pasta dish because it was the same number of points. I’m pretty sure on any diet you aren’t supposed to be eating a full portion of cake, but what-the-hell-….It was in the budget?
Until I was hungry, like, an hour later.
That’s always my excuse “It’s in the budget”….until it isn’t, if you know what I mean.
Can you share some tips/tricks with me on how to stay on top of food and fitness budgets?