Today I’d like to address the mother of all weight loss distractions; time and money. If anyone has read the beginning of my blog and my journey you’ll see that I pushed back my original start-date because I didn’t have money. An excuse? Generally yes, but in some cases no. In my case I literally had no money and was relying on the food already in my cabinets because I didn’t have a dime. Only a nickel… Incidentally I also didn’t have enough money at the time to renew my car tabs and was ticketed because of it
More than any other, this is a reason listed for why people cannot lose weight. Unless you are in a similar position time and money are not nearly the obstacle they seem to be. Let’s tackle these two separately.
Busy or not we never seem to have time for certain things. When I was working part time I never had time to do much of anything. I had a very busy schedule of sleeping ten hours, surfing the internet, catching up on NCIS and Damages, cooking meals in the microwave, showering, doing my hair and makeup, angsting over not having enough time, and work. It was a bitch of a schedule. I’ve managed to squeeze little bits of actual productivity into my schedule and switched to working full time (13 hour days starting Monday… God help me). Things have definitely gotten better since then.
Sarcasm aside, I really did used to feel like I never had enough time for certain things and there are still some that I struggle to get in. I’ve started using certain strategies, though, to make my use of time more efficient and to be more disciplined with my time. Here are a few of the more helpful.
Make Your Own Convenience Foods: Convenience foods suck and are rarely healthy. They are also expensive. Consider this a cross over for saving time and money. I have no time for cooking during the week. I love to cook and when I was only working part time I used to love making lunch and dinner at the same time so that I could take my premade home cooked dinner to work. Now that I leave my house at 7am, there is no way I am going to cook in the morning. To get my healthy meals in, though, I cook for the week on Sunday. Every Sunday I get together with my mother and we cook together. Doing it together helps because it means we can make more of a variety and the volume of food isn’t overwhelming because we split it. It takes us about six hours each Sunday to make enough meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire week (with a few extras). All I have to think about, then, is which Tupperware containers to grab in the morning and how I want to fill in my snacks. With this method I get really good home cooked food ready to go when I want it for tons less than I would spend for a hot pocket.
Don’t Shop on the Weekends and Split Up Your Shopping: I spread my shopping out throughout the week so that it is just a quick evening stop to grab whatever I may need. Tonight it is more of my favorite yogurt and cheese sticks. Not only am I more inclined to make myself go do the things I have to do if I can tell myself that I’ll be in and out in ten minutes, but it also ensures that I am proactive and prepared at all times and won’t be caught hungry in a danger zone.
Keep Your Workout Bag in Your Car: Frankly, this is only helpful if you workout at the gym. If you do workout at the gym, this is a huge help. I almost never remove my actual gym bag from my car. I cycle the clothes, toiletries, and towels, but the bag stays put. This means that I never have to take a side trip home and I can go straight to the gym from anywhere. It also means that I have no excuse. About two weeks ago I took my bag out of the car and I’ve been finding excuses to not go to the gym since.
Schedule: It’s simple and it probably sounds too simple but it’s the best way to save time and get shit done. Schedule it in. I still get caught up with NCIS and Damages but I plan for it. Now in the few days before I go back to a non stop schedule, I have to be even more vigilant about it.
As a broke 20-something-year-old who is often mistaken for a affluent one, I know a thing or two about where to spend and where to save.
Drink Water: Water is generally free. I’m lucky enough to live in Seattle where faucet water tastes just as good as bottled water. When I lived in LA, though, I stalked water coolers so that I could fill up my bottle for free. I stopped drinking flavored beverages… well, non-alcoholic beverages, partly because I didn’t want the sugar and partly because I didn’t want to spend the money. It’s amazing how much I spent in a month on soda, vitamin water, bottled tea, energy drinks, etc.
Find a Cheap Gym: You can certainly work out at home but I was never disciplined enough to do so. I love 24 hour fitness partly because they are open all night and partly because they are cheap. The swank new location by my house didn’t hurt anything either… No, they aren’t paying me to say this. I authentically love them.
Take the Bus: Here’s one that will save time and money unless your transit system sucks. In LA, it literally sucks like an eight dollar whore, here in Seattle (can you tell that I love my city?) I can bus anywhere quickly, cleanly, and do my makeup on the way. This is actually a great way to save both time and money. Save the car for the weekends and late nights out.
Accessorize Strategically: I’ve been drooling over a BodyBugg for ages. That much raw data definitely makes me feel a little “funny” inside. Yes, I do mean like that… It’s also completely superfluous and I really don’t need it. You don’t need gadgets to lose weight. Pick and choose carefully for what will give you the most benefit for the least cost.
Shop in More Than One Place: Find out which stores have the best prices for which items and split your shopping accordingly. If you are not trying to do all of you shopping at once for the week, this is significantly easier.
For more tips from another awesome blogger go here: http://fashionably-fit.com/2010/05/03/weight-loss-doesnt-have-to-be-expensive/