Count the Cost

Cataract is the third biggest cause of blindness. Religion and Politics are the first two.

Political and religious Facebook posts are only liked by those who agree with the user’s political or religious beliefs. The same is true when you discuss dieting.

So, I try to stay away from hard lines and I choose to stick to axioms that may apply to any diet.

First, think of eating like an accounting system.

Each serving you consume is a debit transaction. Each step you take is a credit transaction. Once you and your dietician have decided on your daily budget, your job is to live within your means.

Fat deposits are like loans. We are borrowing against a day we will be forced to repay those loans, one way or another.

Sugars are like taxes. There is always a price to pay when we consume too much sugar.

Second, it is time to cut up the credit cards.

We have borrowed for long enough. It is time to pay off those loans. Time to cut up those credit cards and say, “Enough is enough!”

The good news is, we only have to make one payment at a time, or one bite at a time, so to speak.

Third, make a plan.

Talk to professionals, make goals, keep a ledger, write out budgets…these are all things that should be a part of your plan to get out of debt.

The same is true for dieting; except the professionals are doctors and dietitians, ledgers are food diaries and budgets are menus.

Fourth, celebrate the little things.

When budgeting, it would not be wise to celebrate saving $1,000 by splurging a new car. That defeats the purpose.

The same is true of dieting. It is not wise to lose ten pounds and then celebrate by going on a binge. Yet that is exactly what we do.

We need to find new ways to celebrate. Celebrate by adding a new food to your meal plan, or by watching a new movie, sans popcorn and candy, with a good friend, or by doing a new physical activity we were not able to do before losing the weight.

Take time to celebrate every ounce of weight loss, every point of reduced blood sugar, every script the physician removes from your orders and every compliment from loved ones.

Celebrate with a loved one. Motivate others. Challenge each other. And reap the rewards together.

Fifth, keep a diary of your successes.

In accounting, we have to document everything, especially when talking about mileage reimbursement. We have to track every mile we are deducting from our taxes.

In weight loss, we have to track all of our progress. This way we can look back and see where we were and how we got here.

  • Thursday, August 23, I felt something strange touching my back while lying in bed. It turned out it was my shoulder blades touching each other. I had not felt that since my youth.
  • Friday, August 24, I crossed my legs today.
  • Saturday, August 25, started tucking my shirt into my pants again after using the tails to cover my belly roll for so many years.
  • Sunday, August 26, I discovered today I was able to fit in and use the skinny restroom stalls.

Now, where are we going? And what shall we celebrate together?

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

– Luke 14:28 NIV

Photo: Bureau of Labor Statistics, photo of nondescript balance sheet.

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