Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Should Only Rich People Be Healthy?

I am loving this book.

How many times have you avoided doing something good for yourself and cited a lack of money as a reason?  I know I’ve used the argument plenty of times.  “I can’t lose weight – Weight Watchers and gym memberships cost a fortune.”  “Who can afford to eat healthy?  Have you seen the prices on produce lately?”  “I can’t make time to work out.  I have to work full time and take care of the kids.”  Feel free to add your own.

As you know, I’ve taken the weight issue in hand and decided to make this thing work.  No, I can’t afford one-on-one sessions with a health guru, and yes, Weight Watchers is definitely out of my budget.  The heck with it. 

As of today, I’m down 7.5 pounds since Christmas.  Not too shabby, right?  What am I using?  A book I purchased for 12.99 and a free website.  I have a free membership to the Y courtesy of the CCORS program, but even if I didn’t, the apartment complex has a gym, I have a car to drive to Seward Park, a number of DVDs and a whole library of workouts of Netflix. 

Has food been more expensive?  Nope, I’m spending less on groceries now than before.  Funny how a bag of oranges costs the same as my favorite brand of potato chips.  I can buy the chips without even thinking about it, but I complain about the cost of the oranges.  When I’m not making all the impulsive junk food purchases, the bill goes down.  Strange, how that works!

Okay, so how about this book?  Why did I spend anything at all when so much information is out there for free?  The book is Full-Filled by Renee Stephens.  I found Ms. Stephens through her podcasts (free, by the way).  She has over 200 podcasts available for free on her website.  They are also available through iTunes.  What makes this book so special?  There’s not a word in it about how to count calories or how many times you should exercise in a week and for how long.  So many of us who struggle with our weight struggle with a lot of inner baggage as well, and that’s what the book addresses.  Her words are powerful.  She has taken the essence of the podcasts and condensed it into a workbook.  I can’t believe how much I’ve already gotten out of it.  If you can’t get the book right now, see if it’s available at the library (request it if it isn’t) or start listening to the podcasts.  Good stuff.

The website I’m using is  There’s plenty of other excellent free websites out there… SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal come to mind.  SparkPeople has many of the same tools as Weight Watchers Online (except that it’s free).  I found it too cluttered.  It demanded too much of my time and the emails were tiresome.  I haven’t tried MyFitnessPal, but I’ve heard really good things about it from people who have.  I like LoseIt because it’s simple, without too many frills.  It helps me track calories in and calories out, tells me how many calories to shoot for each day, gives me reports and breakdowns if I want them (without shoving them in my face) and has a great network of supportive people.

Speaking of support, I’ve been getting the most support from my friends and family through Facebook and emails, and those are completely free. 

What’s your best cheap/free way to stay healthy?

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