Tuesday, April 10, 2012

If Money Were No Object, Would You Still Be Fat?

This is a question I've pondered for a long time. It might seem like a ridiculous thing to bother thinking about, but it's not.

I remember back when Oprah lost a ton of weight and wheeled her wagon of fat out onto the stage. My mother loved Oprah. She and her friends were in awe. But the general chatter was, "If I had the money SHE has, I could lose weight too!" They'd talk about her having personal chefs and dietitians, counselors if she needed them, all the exercise equipment she could possibly want. Everything would be top quality! The freshest vegetables and lean meats cooked by the finest chefs, every calorie already calculated for her. A personal trainer, a whole team of people making sure she ate right an exercised! Of course, people said, "if I had that kind of money I wouldn't be fat either."

And then she gained the weight back, just like lots of other rich and poor people do. And the chatter became, "if SHE can't do it with all that money, a personal trainer, counselors, a chef, and anything else she wants for support, then maybe NO ONE can!" Of course, there are people who keep it off, but the whole drama seemed to prove that it is beyond a person's control, even with millions of dollars worth of help.

Now, I never really followed Oprah's story beyond what my mother told me. I was 14 or 15 when I used to walk through the living room in the mid-80's and notice Oprah on TV and my mother planted on the sofa watching her. I saw tabloids on the shelves, I heard chatter, I see something on the news now and then. But truth be told, I didn't watch her show and I don't know whether she's lost the weight again or not. I don't know without Googling what her current weight status is or what it has been for the last 20 years. I don't know what she's done or tried or how she feels about it. In fact, this post isn't about Oprah at all. It's about you and me and why we are fat.

If money were no object, would you still be fat? Would you still struggle and regain and would it still be hard? I'm talking to the people who, like me, have been battling weight issues for awhile. We have all the reasons in the world to lose it: family, friends, kids, vanity, health, comfort, longevity. Yet we don't. Or we do, but it is a long, arduous process. Do you think, if someone handed you ten thousand dollars, or fifty thousand dollars, or a hundred thousand dollars, you'd be able to easily become and stay at a healthy weight? Do you think if someone magically paid off your mortgage and bills and gave you enough money to live on for a year or two years or five years, including whatever you needed for weight loss, it would happen? If you had a million could you be and stay thin then?

I think I could. I might catch some flack for this, but I do think I could. Maybe not everyone could. I don't know. But think about it for yourself. How about that Mega Millions winner? If they are careful with that money, would they be able to do it? What about you? If you got a blank check to use towards weight loss, what would you use it for? In two or five or ten years, would you still be fat?

Make a list. Frivolous as it sounds, make the list of what you'd do with the money if this happened to you, if you believe it would make the difference in your weight loss.

When I imagine this scenario, I think of:
a new house with room for a home gym, with a little playroom off to the side for my daughter to play in while I work out
workout equipment
a membership to a private pool where I could take the kids and swim everyday if I chose, getting the pressure off my knees
a personal trainer to help me get the strength training right
all the freshest, best quality healthy foods we need
good shoes and a fitting to help my feet so I could walk more
a home with a setup with my bedroom away from the main living area so I could get some sleep
someone to cook my meals for me and a dietitian to figure out the details
an occasional maid to come in and do a bit of cleaning once a week, change sheets and such
an eating disorder specialist to talk to about any lingering issues
a doctor to see regularly to stay on top of any health issues

Yep, I think if I had all that, the weight would peel off and stay off. I do. And do you know why? Because of how much it would plummet my stress level. ALL of those things are the things I stress about, can't have access too, can't find time for. ALL of those things feel beyond my control for one reason or another. If they were in my control,  my eating would be also. I believe that. All of the right support and equipment combined with the hard work I am already putting into this... yes. It would happen.

That's not to say it won't happen *without* all those things. It is just a lot harder and is taking a long, long time with the partial regains and ups and down and such.

Now the reason for making the list. Whether you think money would change things for you or not, this is a great insight into *why* you (and I) struggle with weight loss. Look at the list. Turn it around. See what it is saying. Mine is saying

it is inconvenient to work out and I don't have access to the right stuff
I am tired and not getting enough sleep
I wish I could swim
I need support (personal trainer, dietitian, counselor, doctor)
I am overwhelmed (maid, chef)

So if all those things were fixed, no matter by *what means*, I believe I would find weight loss much easier.

That is the key, here. You have to examine in a different way the *whys* of your struggle and then *do* something about it. All the thoughts aren't enough to make anything happen. It takes action.

I *can* save up for good shoes and have them within a month.
I *can* rearrange my office a bit to make a more convenient workout corner, and look on Craigslist for some used, cheap, small equipment and an outdoor semi-recumbent bike.
I *can* check with my insurance and see if a personal trainer might be partly covered, or go back to physical therapy for more guidance.

... and so forth. I have to look at that list and change the things that *are* in my control, and keep working at getting the weight off. Find ways to change those things *without* being rich. Because there ain't no money raining down out of the sky. So I will just keep working with what I've got.

46 comments:

Erika said...

I think this is an excuse. I don't have money, and I am keeping the weight off by using the great outdoors as my gym, walking everywhere possible, not buying crap food and not making excuses.

Anonymous said...

Lynn;

I wonder if having money really would make a difference. I know you've talked about having the money to buy any food you wanted after being forced to eat only food that was given to you was a trigger to binge. Think about having all the money in the world and having the ability to go out and eat rich, decadent meals whenever you wanted. Yes, you may have access to a home chef who could cook healthy meals, but would you be tempted to have that same chef bake delicious, rich desserts too? If you had a maid doing all the cleaning, how many calories would not be burnt by you because you didn't have to clean? I think you're looking at things the right way to see what you really want and what you can do without a fortune, but just because you have all the exercise equipment in the world doesn't mean you'll use it.

NAN said...

No, I could win the lottery and it wouldn't play a but in my weight loss struggle! I really have little stress in my life and love my church, volunteering and job. I also like to eat good food and bake from scratch and outside of walking, I don't like exercise. So I struggle with planning food and menus, walking my dog and moving as much as I can. It's hard but I want to live into my 80s and continue good health.

Leslie said...

One thing I know is that if I was filthy rich, I'd go to Canyon Ranch on a regular and as-needed basis!

The whole idea of having a home gym...yeah - it would be nice, but I've had a fancy treadmill and a fancy exercise bike that sat unused for years. I've belonged to a very expensive gym and not gone for months at a time.

It's not about money. It's not about food and knowing how to eat right. It's about heart, and soul. About wanting health and fitness more than wanting to eat junk. I absolutely believe that.

JT said...

I understand what you mean but honestly and although it may help to have money (specially having a personal trainer pushing you) I don't think it is down to having money or not. I've always heard that natural exercise such as walking on the beach or mountain and so on is more efficient than going to the gym and I also believe that whether or not you are rich, if you really want to lose weight you can by eating less, more fruit and vegetables and exercising everyday. You have to believe that you will be strong enough to do it, because you are. You proved it to yourself before. All the best and don't give up.

Crys said...

If you're not willing to put the work in, money doesn't matter. I say that because I have financial freedom and I've been fat since the 4th grade. I have a trainer. I've had people come in and prepare meals. I've bought all the gadgets... it doesn't matter. When I make up my mind to lose weight it happens. When I get side tracked, it doesn't. It's something within and you can't buy it.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I'm going to have to politely disagree with you that money will help with weight loss. I agree with Erika that I think it's a bit of an excuse.

I remember when I first started reading your blog, and you were losing weight quite rapidly on Medifast, i kept thinking to myself 'if only i were a stay at home mom, with some time on my hands when the kids go to school, then i would be at my goal weight in no time.' -- the grass is ALWAYS greener!

I work a full time job, around 60 hours a week, I am a single mom to four kids, including one with special needs, and yet I have managed to lose weight, about a 1lb a week, so very slow, but it does come off. When I looked at your life, i often did feel a little jealous, and wished that i had the same flexibility that would allow me to not work (i know you volunteer etc., but i'm talking full time here). I know taking care of the kids, and dogs, and everything else that life has to offer would take up a good amount of my time, as it does yours.

And then when you started to regain, I continued to think that I wouldn't be in the same place if I were you (i.e. wouldn't regain).

I've come to realize that weight loss is NOT dependent on these external factors, like you might think. Even if I stayed at home, with no kids and no commitments, i still might not lose the weight I want to-- it is 100% a matter of determination and will, that has little dependence on external factors.

Many who saw Oprah's weight gain said 'well if she can't do it, then no one can etc.' -- i think the real take away is, 'well if she can't do it, it's pretty damn obvious that money plays no part.'

-Allison

Princess Dieter said...

If I had Oprah's moolah back when I was obese, I would have gone to an inpatient program and stay there until I got to the weight I wanted, learn to cook there, learn to exercise, etc. I would not leave until I was at goal weight, had several dishes perfected, and habituated exercise.

Now, out of obesity (barely), and 121 pounds down, money would keep me out. I'd love to see a trainer 6x a week. As it is, we had to sacrifice a lot to pay for a trainer 2x a week. I'd have someone cook for me (I hate to cook) only the meals I can eat at the caloric levels I can eat. I'd have a motivational coach. I'd see a therapist if necessary to ddeal with any residual issues that might lead to regain.

With money, there is no excuse. The very rich can get all the therapy and inpatient care they need. NEED, not want. NEED. Meaning, they may need a hella lot more than they think they need. Some folks have traumas and disorders that require intenseive attention, not a jogging pal.

Some need depression treatment. Some need physical therapy. Some need cooking lessons, exercise guidance, etc.

Some need ALL of the above.

Trust me, when I lose exercise motivation, if I had someone to knock on my door at Xam and say, "Time to walk and do weights"..well...that sure would help. hahahah

I hope I do win the lottery. It will go a long way to heljping me keep this off.

Lyn said...

Allison~

agree, we often feel jealous of people without knowing the negatives in their life. Oprah, for example. How would any of us like to have our lives inder a microscope the way hers has been? And I imagine she has a hectic schedule. She worked hard for her money, and fame has a price. Would I trade places with her? No... we just want the money, not the fame/work/scruntiny and whatever other issues are there. Just like you probably wouldn't trade with my circumstance if it meant you had to watch your children suffer and almost die from issues they were born with, or any of the other negatives I've endured that gave me this last 6 years of not having to work. I wouldn't trade with Oprah, but I still do believe having money would, in my own life, make it much easier to get the weight off and keep it off. I'll just keep working at it anyway, though!

LHA said...

What an interesting post! I have often used Oprah as an object lesson that money cannot buy weight loss. It has been a stated goal of hers to be thin, and with all of her money and all the assistance she has she has not been able to maintain it. One of my favorite quotes of hers is "I've never met a potato chip I didn't like". Even when you have all the money in the world, you still can't binge on potato chips and stay thin.

I think you have the right idea to use the resources you have in the best way you can to help you lose weight. I have quite a bit of financial freedom but the only thing that really gets the weight off for me is to not overeat and eat only when hungry, limit carbs, practically eliminate sugar, and exercise when possible. I have a nutritionist, a psychologist and a gym membership and they help but they cannot do it for me!

Excellent, thought provoking post. Thanks, and good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:
I don't mean to sound "stuck up," but money isn't an issue for me. I have spent a gazillion dollars on weight loss. I have lost 90 lbs twice and 50/70 pounds three times. When $ isn't an issue, boredom and discipline still can be. Getting up every morning to go to the gym is still an problem even if you have a personal trainer (and you can afford to blow him/her off). The issues that you have with food from your childhood are still issues even if you've spent another gazillion on therapy and your food budget is unlimited.

I'm in my sixties and still struggling. I love your blog because you won't quit and you're so honest, and you inspire me to try to be the same way.

Marianne

Anonymous said...

If I had the money, I'd be not only thin, I'd be down right skinny! I would have WLS, liposucion, plastic surgery to get everything in it's proper place and have regular trips to health spas. This is one of my favorite day dreams!

I know everyone is screaming "it's an excuse!!" and these are the same people who are struggling to lose the last 20 pounds they frustratingly can't seem to shake. I bet you a million dollars if they had the money they'd "somehow" lose those last pounds and find a way to keep them off :)

Anonymous said...

I believe that being financially independent may help in some manner with the effort it takes to lose weight, but NOT without the key motivation to fuel it. The motivation is specific to each individual, but without it, I believe nothing, absolutely nothing, will make a difference over the long course.
I brought up this subject on the blog of a very successful and dedicated person. I also wanted to know, what the difference is between the successful ones and the ones that fail repeatedly or eventually.

My conclusion is that with the right motivation nothing can stop a person from losing and maintaining and without it, nothing can lead to success. That seems to be the bottom line.
We've all seen that basic, primary motivating factors (sex, fear, desire, etc.), will fuel people to leave horrible circumstances and do what they have to do in order to succeed. They make themselves the priority. Time, resources (financial and otherwise) are dedicated to one goal and one goal only: to succeed. Regardless of what gets in the way, these individuals have blinders on. They forge ahead, knowing that they want what they want. They keep their eyes on the prize and are able to make superhuman efforts to get to the finish line.

It seems that unless the original motivating factor remains the same or a new, just as strong substitute is found, a successful person will lose focus and eventually may start to flounder. Unlimited funds were not necessary in order to achieve goal and the availability of of the same resources is not enough to keep one from backsliding. I believe this is the reason why a goal like a one time event (reunion, wedding, attention from a desired partner or something one wishes to acquire) leads to regain, once the event has taken place or that specific goal has been reached.
I am certain there are also exceptions to my observation, but if one scratches below the surface, I think that the premise re. the importance of motivation will hold true.
Whatever the case, I do hope that you find yours and if you think that financial independence would get you there, I wish you all the best in hitting that lottery, dear Lyn!
m/b

Anonymous said...

Extra money isn't going to stop the food cravings and your choices to overeat in response to them, which is responsible for your weight gain. Unfortunately, even rich people have those kinds of lapses despite the fancy exercise equipment, personal chefs and other paid support. And if you think that being rich is going to make you worry or stress less (and as a consequence, overeat less), think again. You'll find new things to be stressed about.

The grass is always greener...

Vb said...

When someone wants to lose weight as badly as they want to eat the foods making them fat, they will find the money to do so. Just like they always find the money for the food.

Anonymous said...

From an "Anonymous Fat Guy"--

Maybe having lots of money would matter to some people, but I don't need anything that costs much. I don't have a car (taxis are fine), I don't have a TV or radio (the fake news on Fox News and hate radio would drive me crazy), and I don't spend a dime on medications (life is just fine for me without antidepressants and happy pills).

But does a lack of money keep me from taking a walk, or drinking a glass of plain water? No.

Does having a little extra money make me more likely to order lots of high-calorie food deliveries, like deep-fried chicken wings? Yes.

For me, money -- or the lack of it -- has nothing to do with my weight, unless I just want some silly excuse.

But, hey, making up excuses is cheap. Talk is cheap.

But the good news is that eating less is cheap.

Oh, yeah, about that imaginary $100,000? If I hadn't wasted so much money on junk food for the last 40 years, I would have that $100,000 right now.

Money, or the lack of it, is just an excuse.

Lyndsay Wells said...

I think Oprah gives us a gift - the gift of compassion. Her struggles teach us that despite having so much money, lasting weight loss is not so simple as our culture might have us believe. I also think it's sad that Oprah and weight are so often said in the same sentence when what she has done in this world transcends physical appearance. Not to mention that her struggles have made her into the compassionate three dimensional person that she is. If money were no object I believe I would have the same internal struggles to overcome. That being said, it'd be a whole lot more fun to do so with a personal chef, trainer, and fabulous mansion ;)

Kelly said...

Lynn, I've been reading your blog for a while now, and this is the first time I have ever commented. I agree with Erika & Allison. It's just an excuse. All the money in the world can't and won't make the right choices for you. Money will not make you stay away from trigger foods - only the person can choose to do that. Money will not make you work out and track your food - only the person can decide to do all those things. Money will not make you deal with the original issues that made you gain weight in the first place - only the person can choose to do that. I know plenty of people who are not rich, have lost weight, and have kept it off. It's all up to the person. It is all an individual choice, and it depends also on how badly do you want it. It's not enough to say it or think it - you must put action to the words. Just my two cents.

Lyn said...

re: "it's an excuse"~

an excuse for what? for exercizing and eating right? I think if you read my post, you'd see I never said it was not possible to lose weight without being rich. I said the opposite, and am already working hard at doing what needs to be done to get healthy. I suppose if I was sitting around watching TV and eating bon bons and said "if I was rich I'd be skinny" that would be an excuse, but that is not what's going on here.

I think you missed the point of my post. Read the second half of it again.

Anonymous said...

I want to see these rich posters who say money doesn't matter to give all their money to the poor! Then see how hard life is without it.

swimmermom said...

I spent a week with a well-to-do relative who lives in a glamorous part of Southern California. He has incredible organic, low-carb meals planned around local in-season vegetables prepared fresh by a chef delivered daily to his home. He works out with a personal trainer in a posh gym near his home. There are beautiful people everywhere to inspire you to look your best, too.

I came away from that week thinking, huh, so that's how celebrities do it. I do fine in my own life with eating well and staying fit, but it was SO NICE to enjoy the delicious, healthful, and satisfying meals from the chef without having to lift a finger or think about food purchasing/preparation.

I'm sure most of the beautiful people stay that way with the support of chefs, trainers, and household help. Of course you can get fat / still be fat in such a scenario, but if you are motivated to lose / maintain it has to be a lot easier with the help that money can buy!

Anonymous said...

I would lOve to have a personal trainer to look WOW HOT DAMN PERFECT, haha, but I know I loOk pretty good just exercising on my own. Also, if I really step it up, I can look pretty darn close to or actually right at that "perfect" level. That level where I know I look really good in a bikini. Point is-a trainer would be nice but they aren't really necessary. You can get results, and really good ones at that, on your own. I am proof. You don't need to spend any money either. I initially got fit through jogging in place, doing different typed of an crunches, &lifting 10 lb arm weights. I now mostly walk quickly/jog and have maintained my 50 lb loss since high school.

Forty Pound Sack said...

Having money, especially big money, does not relieve stress. In fact, it often creates more stress than you had before. Instead of worrying about the mortgage, you have to worry about managing money, spending it too fast, all your "new best friends", etc.

As for the other stuff: I have very nice exercise equipment in my home that rarely gets used. I have DVDs and videos still wearing celophane jackets. I have access to a food co op where there is affordable fresh produce, organic options, etc. It's a couple blocks out of my way, so I rarely go there. I do not have "money" but I have the tools I need to lose weight. Having those things available is not enough.

Oprah used to address her critics. She said something to the effect of, you can hire a trainer but you still have to get your own butt out of bed.

Anonymous said...

Also: I'm just being honest here, but don't you think you already DO buy high quality/more expensive foods? Just off the top of my head, grass-fed beef, duck eggs, marcona almonds, various fresh fruits, and so on. It doesn't sound like you are limited in terms of being able to buy whatever groceries you need. These don't sound like save-alot or aldi buys to me! •_•

Catherine55 said...

Money definitely helps. But I never buy into that "if I had HER money, I'd be thin too" stuff. Before I got my lap band, I spent all kinds of money on personal trainers, chef services, etc., and I still gained back whatever I would lose.

While all of those things can help, it's still hard work not to overeat and to work out regularly. (And to avoid overdoing it in fabulous restaurants with amazing food ...)

I have every sympathy for Oprah (though I can't understand for the life of me why she doesn't get the band or sleeve). She's one of the busiest women in the world. No matter how much money she has, the demands on her time surely make it hard to get to the gym.

Catherine (maintaining an 80 lb weight loss for about 2 years now)

kristi said...

Money doesn't change anything. I lost 100 pounds as a poor college student paying for myself and working two jobs. I also married very well and basically never ever have to work again, which I never say to anyone. My kids don't know how much we have, they are always pinching pennys to get things they want. That being said, I have another 100 pounds to lose and just can't. Ive tried everything and I always gain it back. I have kept it off for about 6 years but it crept back on after a surgery and I am hating myself again.

It might seem easy when you have money, but money doesn't do what needs to be done. It doesn't work out for you or make you eat healthy. And with money, you can buy the absolute best desserts, food, etc which doesn't help at all.

With money you actually try even more crazy things, a pill that costs $700 a month, man that must work, not.

Erika said...

Lyn - I didn't see any place where someone said that you were making an excuse, just that the statement "if I had more money, I would be thin" is an excuse in itself. You did admit it would be easier if you had money, and I think it's not the weight loss itself that's easier, but the opportunities for expensive means to weight loss (fancy gym memberships, personal trainers, etc).

I just don't think there is a correlation between money/weight. I think, though, that people who are emotional eaters may gain weight if they are under financial stress. I gained the bulk of my weight when I was laid off. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I have been very lucky in life and have lived with essentially an unlimited amount of money from my parents since i was 15 years old. I have had personal trainers that cost me $1000 a month or more, bought every meal from whole foods, belonged to the nicest gyms my whole life, had new sneakers/workout gear whenever I wanted it, more than one ED therapist (had to switch when I graduated college and moved back from Chicago to NYC) etc.

I have finally managed to stop binging, lose the 40lbs I had been trying to lose, and keep it off (going on 2 years now). You know what though? That only happened the second I STOPPED spending so much money on it. It was making me obsessive and giving me license to feed the impulsiveness and excess lifestyle that was making me fat and disordered in the first place. I could buy any food I wanted whenever I wanted to (and I did), I could blow off my trainers and who cared (did that too). I bought every herbal product and diet product I thought might help me lose weight, every fitness DVD, every magazine with tips and inspiration. I don't buy or look at any of those things anymore- heck, I barely use my equinox subscription, I just walk 10 miles a day around the city going to and from work and seeing my friends and living life. I spend my money on life now- not on weight loss. And that has been the key.

Anonymous said...

I certainly can see that money is a factor. Junky foods are cheap. Healthy foods tend to be expensive, either in terms of requiring more effort to make a complex food or in the raw. I would eat a lot more fish if it cost the same as chicken breast. I would eat a lot more vegetables if someone else bought them, cooked them, and plated them for me. I would get fabulous one on one coaching for sports, the best equipment, plus vacations to the best resorts. Let's put it this way - having more money will not make me buy more chips, fries, fried chicken, bacon, crackers, pizza, ice cream - for me (and most people), these are not price-sensitive at my current level of income. Sure I would also buy more French pastries and expensive cheese, but I actually think that variety would be healthy.

Lyn said...

Wow, what a lot of great thoughts and insights here. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. We can learn a lot from each other!

I am not in the poorhouse anymore, for sure, but am also very blessed to live in a place where good food is affordable. I buy a pound of lean grass fed meat, a half gallon of pastured fresh milk, a dozen free range chicken eggs, and two pounds of local pesticide-free produce each week for under $16. The rest of the food generally comes from the cheapo discount store on sale. In the summer I do buy a LOT more produce from the Farmer's Market but it's generally not much more expensive (or is cheaper) than grocery store stuff.

I like to dream about *what ifs* and imagine an easier life without as much stress, but I am grateful for what we've got!

Mainly, I wanted to point out that if you make that list of what you'd do with the money, then you can turn around and try to find ways to make that happen in your current circumstance.

Lyn said...

p.s...

Anonymous~

I found the marcona almonds at Costco and they are really good! Big container for $6. I'd never had them before and they sure are a nice change of pace.

Deedra said...

I think every person who doesn't have money has thought the same thing at least once. At least. I know I have! What I liked about this post, Lyn, is that you turned it around and saw what your list said to you. That's a good place to be.

For me, if I didn't deal with the demons that led me to obesity, being the richest person in the world wouldn't help me long term. For those of us who are addicted to food, money isn't the problem. All the other junk in our brains is the problem. Without dealing with that, our obesity will continue to be who we are.

Keep the faith, Lyn! You can beat this...long term!

violinista said...

I like the way your mind works, Lyn. I don't think this post was whiny at all (the way some people are saying you're making an excuse), but simply thought-provoking and interesting how we can at first lament that things would be better if *only* we'd have more of this or that...and then realize there are perhaps other ways of achieving that same thing...and as a result, being more fulfilled and satisfied as a person b/c of it.
I've often thought those same thoughts (life would be so much easier if I won the lottery, etc. etc.) but I don't actually know that. People who often come into huge amounts of money don't know how to handle it and either blow it all at once--sometimes they end up going bankrupt. I know I've heard that happen more than once.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting read!

Anonymous said...

I feel like this post below addresses some of what you're talking about here: "Effort Shock":

http://www.cracked.com/article_18544_how-the-karate-kid-ruined-modern-world.html

I mean, even the Biggest Loser shows people working out intensely for an hour or so on camera, and then the contestants end up with, at times, double digit weight loss numbers in a week. And, even though I know they've been working around the clock all week focusing on this one goal, sometimes I DO find myself thinking: well, sure, if it were my JOB to lose weight, I could follow a program and do great. But the thing is, it's NOT my job...and never will be. Life involves EFFORT, even when it's not 'my job' and nobody is telling me what I 'have' to do. The weekend is not truly 'free time' to 'enjoy' myself - it's time to do a lot of work outside of the workplace, and some of that work HAS to be for our own health benefit. And that's a little hard to accept, sometimes...a few training montages are not gonna fix this whole weight issue. It's gonna have to be, like, every day. Like, for ever. Bummer!

But the good news is...there's no rush. We have a lifetime to make good choices, every day. This is not something we do for 6 months, 'succeed', and then go back to 'normal'. No. Change will take time, and it will take work. So, you, know, money can't fix that whole work/effort situation. And money can't unlearn habits for us, habits that we've probably spent more than 10,000 hours honing - we are experts at instant self-gratification, after all. We need to, among other things, revamp our perception of what is 'normal', and what kind of effort success will really take. Money may be able to help us with some of that work, but not the hardest, most important things...

Karen said...

Money was a critical factor that kept me on plan during Medifast and is also a key in me keeping it off in an indirect way.

I chose MF because I was not working WW the way I should have. I chose not to go off plan on MF because it would take $35-40 or 3-4 days to get back on track if I went off plan.

I also knew medical bils would pile up if I did not get the weight off and I'd have to take time off work to go to doctors apps about my obesity related items in the long run. That would take time and money away from me. As a single parent, head of household, that's not good.

Keeping the weight off is equally important health and money wise, but I got my head wrapped around that and drew a line in the sand first about my plan. My mental plan changed and the weight came off and stays off because I work at it day in and day out. Like a ninja, day in day out.

The mental plan is key. It drives the rest, money or no money for permanent weight loss.

It may be time for removing any irrational beliefs so that the mental frame of mind and the root causes can be examined before weight loss can happen. Only you know

Of course money makes life easier, but money won't keep you in the middle of a healthy weight range. A total mental transformation will and day in, day out work. Like a ninja!! Karen P

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised to see this entry from you after reading your blog for a long time.

Compared to some people, you are very fortunate financially. You do not work outside the home (which gives you so much more time to exercise) and you eat and have access to high quality foods (available fresh produce, almonds, duck eggs, grass fed beef, etc.) You also have been sponsored with free medifast for over a year which is something less fortunate people who can't even afford their grocery bill would jump for.

I work full time, and don't have a big grocery budget for my family. Some of the things I eat are steamed lentils, canned salmon, oatmeal, quinoa, salads and other veggies (sometimes fresh, sometimes frozen). Unfortunately, fresh poultry, lean beef, or fresh fish are rarely in my budget unless there is a special (and I shop around). I am sure I could easily afford to eat off the $1 menu at McDonalds, but I choose not to.

I am a former binge eater who has kept off 70-80 lbs for about 5 years. I manage my weight by eating healthy and exercising. I use DVD videos (some of which I have borrowed from the library) and walk. I also had hip surgery last May so I can relate to your struggles with pain.

I completely understand the struggle you are going through, but I am sorry I think it is a cop-out to say that you'd be thin if you had money. If anything, your binges could be even worse as the prior commenter suggested.

PaulaMP said...

Absolutely, I would LOVE having my own chef, personal grocery shopper, and most of all a personal masseuse and trainer. If you never had to buy food or cook it I would think automatically you would lose weight. I get myself to the gym every other day for two hours, but it would be a lot better to have somebody saying "now do ten of these" LOL

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'd like to try them but would probably eat them all. I know myself too well, haha.

Ps-inspired by anon. Fat guy, I guess I'll give myself a name now too. Long time commenter but now there's so many anons floating around.

-chub at heart (I haven't been overweight for a very long time but it lasts emotionally)

Anonymous said...

Weight loss is tough but manageable. Keeping it off is much much MUCH harder after fat cells shrink because, for many (not all), endocrine function remains impaired. Low dose Leptin (sub q) would help most of us keep the weight off with little effort. Leptin levels fall after weight loss, and we blame ourselves for regaining. Sad. Of course, you can always turn to anorexia (long-term starvation to stay at a "normal weight") but that has a steep price tag too. The bitter truth is that much-reduced bodies will never function the same as never-obese bodies. The formerly obese (except for some who have certain forms of bariatric surgery) invariably regain because their bodies (endocrine systems) are dysregulated, not because their minds are disordered. Sorry to be so blunt. I get tired of hearing the diet rah rah crap. Best wishes. Love yourself.

Tully said...

I always think that the main difference would be stress and time... and maybe then we wouldn't feel so exhausted and be more willing to make better choices and work out. Like you said though, we just have to work with what we've got!

Diandra said...

I think you have a good point there. And I am not eve ntalking about equipment or gym memberships (I would love to take up Oriental dance and self-defense lessons!), but starting with healthy food. The BF and I are paying off three student loans and saving towards our own place. Of course this makes it tough to make ends meet, and when I compare what I would like to buy for food (lots of high-quality and organic food) with what we can afford (sales, deals and compromises), it is depressing. Still I am trying to find the best possible way for our health, saving money by making our own bread, cooking from scratch and planning really thoroughly. I have not bought new running shoes in two years, we don't own any expensive equipment (only dumbbells and a chinup bar), we never go on vacation and save wherever we can. More money would make this easier, I am sure - better food, fun exercise classes and less things to stress me out. It does not have to be a million, five hundred bucks per month would be plenty. ^^

LaurieJay said...

All the money in the world would not help because I am a food addict. Like a drug addict, except with food. Even with a trainer (which I used to have) and access to the best food, I could and did gain weight because none of those external things can get into my mind, heart, and soul where the addiction resides. Look at how many filthy rich people have substance abuse problems....their money cannot cure their addiction, and money would not cure my food addiction. I have to address the addiction in other ways, ways that money cannot buy.

Taryl said...

I generally agree that if one is willing to put in the work, regardless of money, then some additional money can make it easier, I am on a super tight budget and have still been losing weight consistently over the past few years. A gym space or money for organic produce and meat would be so lovely. I can make do without it, this is where God put me, but some money might make things a little more convenient.

And I wouldn't have to go to the salvation army for interim clothes ;)

But if I wasn't willing to do the mental and physical work, continually, no amount of money would help! That is where I think Oprah has found herself repeatedly. Weight loss is simple, but it isn't easy, and money won't make it easier if it isn't coming from inside you, first and foremost!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I think a lot of people missed the point of this post. My understanding was that the point of this post was to examine those things that we think "the other half" have, and try to to find creative ways to find those things within our particular budgets. Sure, I can't afford a personal chef, but maybe it would be worth it to take the time to go to the farmer's market for the very best produce available, etc...
I really liked the way it made me think of ways to transform some of the obstacles that I see in my way. It also made me wonder if I should actually devote some more of my finances to my weight loss effort. I often look at trainers, food programs, and think, I can't afford it. I have a cheap gym membership, and I do my own cooking and cleaning, and I work full time. Maybe if I chose to go ahead and commit to working with a personal trainer or if I did medifast or some other service that helped me to consistently follow my program, it would be easier, and I could lose this last 20 lbs!

katie said...

I've been wealthy and been middle class. Money just makes life easier..period. It has no intrisic worth on it's own. It just facilitates an easier lifestyle. If you disagree think of this...fresh prepared organic meals to your door daily, planned with your nutritionist. A personal trainer to work out with you as you desire. Therapy to support your behavioral changes, goals.
A gym membership or gym in your home.
Easier..my experience.

MB said...

I truly believe I would NOT have weight issues if I didn't have to work. My biggest obstacle is time. When I got laid off in November 2009 I spent almost two hours at the gym at least 5 times a week and managed to lose 101 pounds. Since returning to work in September 2011 I've regained 30 and struggle to find the time to workout. I'm determined to find a way though because I never want to go back to where I was. It's hard but I'm not giving up. I think I'm going to go buy a lottery ticket ;)

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