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Weight Loss and Budgeting

After run relaxation

Weight loss and budgeting may not sound similar, but in the past 5 months, I have found discovered they are very similar.

In November of 2014, I was extremely annoyed at my weight loss progress (or lack of).  I will get a little bit real here for a second and say that I was extremely close to 300 pounds at one point in my life.  I was able to get get down to 265-275 through jogging and some fad diets here and there over the years.

Nothing really stuck and I was having a very difficult time understanding how someone who used to be single digit body fat and in great shape in my 20s and early 30s could be struggling with weight issues so much.

Kellie actually looked at me and said you are great with numbers, so what about just counting calories like we do our budget?  I know, duh right?  Oddly, I was still very skeptical, because if it was that easy why would everyone not do this?  I was honestly worried being over 40 now it would not work as well for me vs. earlier in my life.

Once I began writing everything down I put in my mouth, I found out why it was so difficult.  Budgeting your calories is exactly like budgeting your finances!  We believe we do not spend much, but if we start writing everything down, we realize we spent on that cup of coffee, HBO, the sports package, the big data plan, the new car or truck we don’t need, etc…  Before we know it our money is gone and nothing is left.

My calorie budget was suffering a similar fate.  The creamer in your coffee 10-20 calories, the cheese on your sandwich is 110 calories, breads can vary greatly in calorie counts from 120 calories for two pieces to well over 300 calories.  Doughnuts and ice cream are huge calorie holes and that was very disappointing!  Writing down everything was so important for me to understand what was going into my mouth each and every day.

Next I looked online to find out what was the number of calories I needed in a given day for my size.  From there I took away some calories, because a deficit of 3,000 calories over a period of time equals 1 one pound of weight loss.  I opted to shoot for a daily number of 1,800 calories in a day and that number seems to be working.  I am losing very slowly, but it is going in the downward direction vs. the wrong way.

Kayaking_Maine_BrookI stand here now in May with my weight down to 250 for the first time in over 10 years.  I am still far from 210 pounds in my 30s, but the budgeting is working.  The weather started getting nice, so I am also introducing jogging and biking back into my exercise program instead of just the indoor exercising.

Beyond actual exercise, now that winter has passed finally, we will be doing more walking, hiking, and kayaking once again, which also burn more calories.

Will I hit my old Navy weight once again?  I am not sure, but at least by budgeting I know my food budget is under control and I will continue to be healthier.  The important thing at this stage of our lives is to be happy and healthy, so we can get the most out of life that we can.

Just like even though we are debt free, we still continue to budget our money each month.  Budgeting keeps us financially healthy, so we never have to go to the ER for another plastectomy procedure (cutting up credit cards).

Calorie budgeting works, but only if you account for every calorie you put in your mouth.  I carried a little notebook around with me to write down everything.  Over time you find you know all the calorie information for a given food right off the top of your head.  I still have cheat days once and a while, but 90% of the time my behavior is in tact.

If you start a calorie counting budget, you should ask your doctor about the proper amount of calories you should be eating in a given day.  I did a lot of research and asked advise of professionals before I chose the number for my budget.  Every person has a different budget based on your size, weight, muscle mass, etc…

As with any health program, you want to be safe.

Have a Wonderful Spring Day!

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