Trading Places: "The Economy Diet" (Tuesday, June 16th, 2009)

Today I woke up feeling much better than I did after bootcamp.  I have function of all muscles and joints.  I got in my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio on the elliptical and then some “casual” walking (walking on a treadmill at a lower heart rate).  I will probably do some more later on just because I have a pretty big break between clients… I’d rather be up and burning a few calories than sitting. Diet is fine, weight is down… I’m fixing a T-Bone steak, sweet potato, green beans or asparagus for dinner, and a possibly a salad so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Since my day is pretty simple, I thought that I’d hit on a topic that nearly everyone is going through… A lot of “luxuries” are being cut out due to people’s finances being stretched.  Many people would think that training is a luxury… After being a client now for about 8-10 weeks, I understand how the costs can add up, but I know this is one thing I have to keep doing.  To make it fit my budget and to keep going, I have what is known to my family as the “Economy Diet.” 

Would I love to train five days a week, absolutely.  Could I afford it? Not so much.  I can budget in training two hours a week.  Two times a week, and then taking the bootcamp on Mondays when I don’t have a client are enough days a week to keep me accountable on my own to do cardio and keep my diet on track.  If some can only afford one day a week, that is fine too.  I would advise to try to get into a bootcamp.  It’s a very affordable way to get in another workout that I GUARANTEE will be tougher than your own. 

Since I’ve been eating a strict menu plan, it has actually saved me money on groceries.  I don’t do my 20 dollar (including tip) Papa Johns Pizza anymore.  I don’t buy excess food at the grocery store.  I buy my basics and get out.  And then when you can find your basics on sale or they have coupons, EVEN BETTER.  Each week, that saves me 50-70 dollars.  Also, a big perk to living in the Midwest is that we have access to great food, especially in the summer time.  Instead of paying outlandish prices for produce, hit up a local produce stand.  If you can brave getting up early on a Saturday, head down to Soulard’s Farmers Market.   You can get the freshest produce at a fraction of the cost at a grocery store. 

Eggs: Eggs are a GREAT food to eat.  I’m not a big egg eater, but I do like them in salads.  At the grocery store I’ve seen prices soar, but if you head to any small town, or if you even ask around, you can find fresh farm eggs for CHEAP.  Back home, we get fresh eggs from the neighbors, and there IS a difference in flavor.

Meat:  I grew up on a cattle farm, so I never understood the prices of red meat until I saw it at a grocery store.  I still can’t believe the prices of a steak… And generally, at a grocery store, it’s “Choice” red meat (That’s second best… Prime is the best quality).  If you want prime, you will pay.  Check out area “meat lockers”.  You can purchase a “whole, half, or even a quarter of a beef, and generally this is prime beef, for less than 3 DOLLARS a pound (Varying on cattle prices of course)!!! You can do this with pork as well, and even some lockers work with buffalo, elk, and other sources of meat.  The best part about getting meat from a locker is that generally, these animals are generally grass fed and corn fed  and are hormone free.  Do you have deep freezer?  If you have the room, you can purchase one for a couple hundred dollars and it will pay for itself in the first year. 

Shopping, or “anti-shopping”:  The costs of clothes are UNREAL these days!  I hate shopping just because it’s far too pricey and I have other things I’d rather do with my money.  The thing is, when you gain weight, you have to buy new clothes that you can fit in, right?  Using the “economy diet”, you are saving yourself money buy being able to wear the clothes you have already purchased.  THEN once you hit a goal, then you can purchase a piece or two as a “reward.”  Much cheaper than a whole new wardrobe! 

Do you have a gym membership? USE IT… You’re already paying for it, so on days where you are bored and you want to shop or do something that’s going to cost you extra money, just get in a workout!  It’s the one thing you can do that will help yourself that won’t cost anything extra. 

I know how big St. Louis is on socializing and you can totally do this during the summer in a HEALTHY and CHEAPER way!  Have a barbeque… Have everyone bring a healthy dish, grill up some chicken or burgers, (nix the beer if ya can, otherwise, go light), and there ya go!  You will have hours of socializing at a fraction of what it would cost to meet up at a bar or restaurant.  Throw in some yard games and you’ll burn a few calories in the mix. 

So, you may not be able to have your “cake” and eat it too, but you can still have your training, your weight loss goal, and a social life all in your budget.  Find out what are the most important things to you and you will notice a positive domino effect from it.  If you want something badly enough, you always find a way to do it… You just have to decide if your fitness goals are what you really want, and if so, you’ll find a way to do it.  As crazy as it sounds, I’m ok with giving up the pizzas to let Matt kill me for an hour, twice a week…  🙂


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness