I’ll be a little bit off topic for this post, so I have a apologize ahead of time.
I watch half of The Biggest Loser every week. If you’re not familiar with the program, the contestants go to what is essentially a fat farm where they try to lose weight every week. One of the two individuals with the lowest percentage of weight lost for the week is voted off. Of course there are plot turns and twists and challenges. The “winner” of the entire show gets $250,000.
There are often dramatic weight losses every week. I don’t mean 3 or 4 pounds. I mean contestants losing 25 pounds in the first week and 10 and 15 pounds every week. To be fair, many contestants are over 300 pounds (especially the men) and so have lots to lose. I find the television program to be frustrating and inspiring at the same time, because my bucket list item number 17 is to lose 30 pounds.
Now, as I sat watching the show yesterday I think I had what Oprah has referred to as an “ah-ha” moment. I kept asking myself, what’s keeping me from doing this? Why can’t I get into the mental space where I can really get it done. I know that the show is unrealistic and I don’t expect to lose 10 or even 5 pounds in a week, but why can’t I put in a concerted effort to lose 2 pounds in a week.? I tore my Achilles about 1.5 years ago and steadily put on 35 pounds. I still have some issues with by ankle and hamstring since then, but I’m using it as a crutch for not changing my eating habits. I am, by far, the largest person in my family, and while most days it does not bother me, it sits in the back of my mind because I know that it is affecting my career advancement as well. If you haven’t heard, there is a bias against overweight women that can affect their wages by as much as 6.2%. Considering that women already suffer from a wage gap, I’m seriously shooting myself in the foot since I am just about the largest woman in my office as well.
It might not seem like this has anything to do with personal finance, but if I’m having a hard time changing this habit, then how badly am I failing in changing habits that are contributing to my debt? The weight is a daily physical, very visual reminder of my failure in improving my body (my health is otherwise perfect), but there isn’t a visual cue to react to with my financial situation, and I am sure that I am failing miserably in that department as well.
I know that losing weight is as simple as creating a caloric deficiency much like reducing debt is as simple as paying it down, but I feel like an abject failure in both departments. This isn’t a pity party. This is reality. I hear that the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. So what’s the next step, because I can’t see how to get from here to there.