Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Volume 5, Number 18: Introducing Mark's Healthy Foods Fund

I have come up with a new idea that I hope will help improve my health.

You see, for ten years now, I freely bought all sorts of junk food (chips, cookies, ice cream, candy bars, pre-sweetened cereals, Pop-Tarts and so on), and that's on top of the soda I drink. During those ten years, I have put a higher priority on keeping my food bill low (read: buy foods that are on sale and for which I have a coupon, regardless of how good for me those foods really are). Ten years ago, I was relatively skinny and thought I could get away with it.

But I didn't.

The end result is that my weight has ballooned to 191 pounds.

That wouldn't be such a problem if I was 6 feet tall, but I'm just 5'7".

And it dawned on me, every time I bought junk food, yeah, I satisfied my inner child; unfortunately, my metabolism doesn't work like it does when I was a child. Not even close.

To that end, here's my idea, in three steps:
  • First, I will stop buying regular soda, junk food, and pre-sweetened cereals. I'll still use what I bought last month--looks like the last regular soda I ever bought is a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi Throwback--but after I'm done with it, THAT'S IT. All I've been doing by buying that stuff is basically turn money into flab (like this poor guy in this New York City Department of Health TV ad) and I've become sick of it.
  • Second, begin keeping a log of junk food purchases I will not make so I know just how much money I am saving by not buying them. (For example, under my old ways, I was going to spend $1.19 on a bag of those new Pretzel M&M's this week--but now I'm NOT going to do that so now that's $1.19 I've saved. Next time I see a kick-butt special on ice cream, instead of buying it, I will make a note of how much I would have spent on it and put that in the log. The money saved will hereby be called Mark's Healthy Foods Fund.
  • Third, spend the money saved in the second step on healthy foods I've previously been not buying enough of--fruits and vegetables I like (apples, oranges, grapefruit), meats (beef, pork, chicken), fish, maybe a bottle of multi-vitamins... That $1.19 alone can go a long way towards that end.
Well, that's the strategy. My plan is to lose some weight in time for my high school class' 20-year reunion (it's less than four months away), and hopefully after that, I will have developed enough good habits to make me feel better and extend my life.

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