Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You Can Lose Weight If You're Broke!

"To dream the impossible dream...."

So some of you are like me. You need to lose weight. In fact, I haven't been at my ideal weight in nearly 20 years. There were many years of heartache, failure after failure...nothing seemed to work. Except gaining more weight. I am good at that. 

I am not going to get into the psychology of all of it. I'm not Dr. Phil. Though I can do a fair imitation. 

What I want to talk about is an excuse I had for years. Almost 2 years ago I lost 80 pounds. Yikes! 
Now I have some more to lose and this past year as been filled with more excuses. 

Mostly this one, "It's just so hard!"

Tru dat. 

I am not going to sugar coat any of it. Losing weight is work. It's frustrating. But (and this is a big one) when it happens it's worth it all. 

One excuse I floated around for a while was this one."I'm too poor. If I had the funds I could do it."  I remember hearing lots of people talk about this one years ago when Oprah lost weight. "If I had a trainer and a personal chef..." Where you one of those folks talking? 

It can be expensive. Especially, if you chose to use a supplement or other resource to help you along. I am not knocking that choice. You do what you have to do. I haven't had that choice. 

For some of us we've had to chose between paying a bill and food on the table. 

So here it is. I want to give you my favorite  FREE or FRUGAL tips, tricks and resources that will help you scratch that "I'm Broke" excuse off the list. 


A membership to a gym is not possible for some of you. Now we have a membership to our local Y. We receive a scholarship for half-price. We decided that this would be priority for our budget because Josiah is on the swim team and it has done so much for him. My husband is also an athlete and he does some weight training. You have to decide if something like this is in your budget and if you will use it. We do use it and it has become part of even our family time together. Don't be afraid to check out something like a scholarship or discounts. 

We participated in a family Fun Walk last spring. It cost $5. Josiah even won a bag of cool games. Actually, he won two, but we gave one of them to a young man who didn't win anything. 

Making a daily walk part of your routine can be a worthwhile habit. Some mamas make take this time for reflection, prayer and focus. Some use it to get the kiddos moving as well. It is harder for me to walk long distances because of injuries I sustained from a car accident, but when the weather is nicer Josiah and I will sometimes walk around the block or to the bank. We also will drive to the local botanical gardens and enjoy a walk along with a nature study. You can mix fitness with schooling! 

Take every opportunity to move. I try and park away from the entrance of the store if possible. When I'm cleaning house I will put my tennis shoes on and move. If you have a pedometer see how many steps you walk in a day. I've heard that we should try and get in 10,000 steps. That's a lot of moving. 

I love using youtube workouts when I can. I don't have to leave the house and they are FREE. Here are some of my favorites.  Just a little aside. Isn't youtube wonderful? Just this week I am learning how to make a California Roll, trying a hand lettering technique and studying about Qatar. At least, Josiah is studying about Qatar. All from youtube! 

1.The first two workouts I'm sharing are ones that you can do from a chair.  This chair workout for the overweight/obese is only 10 minutes long. The gal is so encouraging. I can't do some of it (my range of motion isn't as great), but I try. She has a whole bunch of other workout videos as well. 

2. Sparkpeople has some great workout videos available. I like this cardio chair workout. They have bunches and bunches of videos available. 

3. I also use T-Tapp workouts. I purchased them when I had little bit of extra cash. However, they do have free workouts on youtube. This one is called the Hoe Down.  I was really surprised how much these work! This video is just over 3 minutes. 

There are also lots of workout videos available at the library. Try some different ones. Your metabolism likes surprises. It will often slow down if it gets used to the same workout week after week. 

If you want to add a little bit of weight training look no further than your kitchen cabinets! We do have some hand weights I use that I found at the thrift store for about a buck, but when I was homebound doing physical therapy after my car accident, my physical therapist grabbed some canned veggies out of the cabinet. There you go! You might have other household items (like a baby :<) that might fill in. I'm currently staring at a big Bible commentary. Could I use that Bible commentary in a workout? It must weight at least 20 pounds. Hmm. 


This is a biggie. Just buying the weekly groceries can be so stressful. When you add in special and healthy ingredients...AHHH! Just this morning I went to the health food store and spent $25 on just a few things. And I sure didn't get what I intended to. I wanted to get some Hemp protein powder. It was $20! That is 1/3 of my grocery budget. 

So. Get rid of the junk food. Don't even buy it. I don't care if the kiddos can't seem to do without it. They'll survive. If they want to spend their own money on junk food..that's another thing.

Learning to cook can be your greatest weapon against the bulge. Don't worry about making it fancy. 

Scratch cooking is so much healthier. It might not be easier or convenient, but have you read the labels of some of that processed food? If you can't pronounce it don't eat it. The fewer ingredients something has the better. Don't be afraid to try recipes. I am a seasoned cook and some of my attempts have been complete fails. 

I don't cook separate meals. If I think my husband and son might need something more I will usually just add a baked potato or some rice. I think you will fine that everybody will eventually get on board. The taste buds will acclimate to the healthy stuff eventually. 

Rethink brand loyalty and where you shop. I do much of my shopping at Aldi's. They almost have everything I need. I discovered the joys of Discount Grocery shopping some time ago. We have a few good ones in our area. Sometimes I have found special ingredients that have been just pennies. My favorite buy was the case of 24 Greek yogurt I bought for 1.99. It was perfectly fine. Another place I like to go from time to time is a bulk grocery store. The ones in our area are owned and operated by Mennonites. I get some terrific deals on herbs, spices, oatmeal, beans...Do a little research and see if you can find one near you. 

We don't waste a lot of money on beverages. I buy skim milk for The Muffin and Josiah. I also purchase Almond Milk for myself. I generally buy a half-gallon of orange juice. That's it, baby! I will buy tea bags and make tea for the house. I also have a stash of coffee I buy from the Discount Store. That's it. Otherwise it's water all the way!! 

So I forgot about my husband's buttermilk. That particular item is another story. 

There have been times that we have eaten from a food pantry. We were extremely blessed to have even that, but there aren't a lot of healthy choices in those boxes. Generally, they consist of a lot of pasta and canned foods. One time we got a whole box of honey buns and ranch dressing mix. It has been a few years since we've had to do that, but I know what it's all about. This is the best advice I can give you. Use what you have. Just watch your portions. If you do have a bit of money spend it on veggies. A dinner of spaghetti with canned spaghetti sauce can become a special treat with carrots and celery sauteed and added to your sauce. Or chop up a whole plate of the same veggies to have for extra munchies. Beans and eggs are wonderful cheap proteins. A box of oatmeal can go a long way. This is a link to a recipe book that uses items frequently found in food pantry boxes. Several of them look pretty healthy. Just remember. Watch your portions.


Sometimes just staying on plan on and on track is downright near impossible. Ack!! I can't even tel you how many pep talks I have to give to myself daily. Yep. I talk to myself. U gotta a problem with dat?

I have to keep a food diary of some sort. I use sparkpeople.com, but you can use just a pen and notebook. It helps me stay accountable to me. 
Sometimes you just have to be brutally honest with yourself. I want to be here for this guy and My Muffin. I want to be healthy and present for him. I don't want him to be ashamed of me. And I want him to see first hand that the hard stuff is worth doing. You can't buy that kind of motivation. Write it down. Look at it every day. 

Because I am a stress snacker, I have had to develop other ways to handle things. I doodle. I read. I enjoy a cup of tea. 

Pinterest is a great resource. Try setting up a Pinterest Board just for your healthy new lifestyle. I pin recipes I want to try, articles that might help me and even clothes I want to wear when I lose a little more weight. When I finally was able to start shopping in the "regular sizes" again that board helped me really focus on what I liked. I had spent so many years just worried about things that wouldn't make me look bigger than I really was. I had lost some of my own personal style. Don't be afraid to dream. 

The best advice I can give you is to just start. Don't worry if your efforts look cool and hip. Baby steps. And don't let the excuse of being broke get you down. 

We've got this! 

I'm joining in with my friends from The Schoolhouse Review Crew! 

Living Frugally


  1. This is such a great encouraging post! I struggle with staying motivated at times, and yes, it's so frustrating to try and spend the limited grocery budget on healthy food and see how much it costs. And then to hear the picky eaters at home complain about it. *sigh* Anyway - thanks for sharing your ideas!

    1. Thanks, Kym. Groceries just seem to go up and up!


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