Dieting and exercising can be expensive in more ways than one. The battle of the the bulge has been going on for generations. Childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1970 according to the Center for Disease Control. Obesity now affects some 39% of U.S. adults according to the CDC.
It isn’t just Americans that is struggling with this issue. Thanks to the expansion of fast food joints like McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King into other countries, people’s waistlines are also expanding around the world. We are talking Dubai, Ghana and unlikely places like Kuwait. Just like the U.S., it is affecting both kids and adults.
Speaking of kids, when my daughter was 11-years-old or so, she did the unthinkable. I bought home a family pack of OREO cookies and left them in the kitchen where they belong. I came back later and all that was left was about a hundred cookie ends! The frosting was gone from every last one of them! I went in the family room and there she was. She put all of the frosting in one single bowl. She was eating it while watching some junk on the internet! Yuck! It looked like heavy cake frosting! She didn’t even have the decency to use a spoon!
That pack of OREOs was fairly cheap. However, there is a cost. In the U.S. alone, obesity has consumed some $147 billion in additional health care costs according to the CDC. That was data from 2008. Imagine what it is now?
The global fitness industry is estimated at about $80 billion. But, with all the equipment, classes and everything else, are people really losing weight, or just losing it?
That staggering number of $147 billion and the gut-defying $80 billion are huge amounts, but what about the unfamiliar cost of dieting and exercise? There are some strange, typical and sort of abstract costs associated with both. Let’s dig in.
1 Time Cost
Exercise is time-consuming. If you are someone who works two jobs or long hours, the last thing you are thinking about is exercising. You just don’t have time. Who wants to spend two hours in rush hour traffic and then spend one more on the treadmill? What if you have three kids, or perhaps even a special needs child or grandparents who are very demanding? Do you really have time to exercise? Sure, it would do you some good, but there is a cost. You really have to push yourself way beyond what you may be ready to handle, and that ain’t good.
2 Food Cost
Your mom is telling you to eat right. The doctor is telling you to eat right. The 6 o’clock news is telling you to eat right. Hello! Have you seen the cost of fresh vegetables lately? Eating right is expensive. Ramen noodles and tasty hot dogs are cheap! Even drinking healthy juices can break the bank! Remember comedian Chris Rock’s standup about how some people have to drink “juice drink” and not real fruit juice. The standup routine was funny, but the truth is not. It’s expensive to eat and drink right especially when you are broke. Like I said, mom, Doctor Smith and the news are telling you one thing, but your wallet is telling you another.
3 Clothing Cost
Everybody wants to get in shape. But once again, there is a downside. When you start losing weight, guess what? Yeah, your clothes don’t fit anymore! You may find yourself needing an entire new wardrobe. Pants don’t fit, bra doesn’t fit and shocking as it may be, your rings don’t fit anymore either. It isn’t just the casual clothes you have to replace, it is your work clothes too. It’s so crazy. It can make it that much harder to hit the gym and cut out the foods you love. Do you want a heart attack, or keep your favorite jeans? Either way there is a cost. Do you want to be cute in a casket, or dashing on the dance floor? This issue needs to be “add-dressed.”
4 Comfort Cost
Let’s face it, working out hurts! Eating right hurts even worse; Ok one more cookie. Is the cost of comfort worth it? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Hell yeah! So, yes discomfort is another expense that most people already know all too well. How many times has discomfort stopped you in your tracks or on the track and field? How many times have you rung the bell before you lifted that dumbbell? That ain’t someone calling you on your cell phone. That is the snacks your kids insist on having in the house while you are trying to diet, calling you. In frustration you tell them, “go to your room!” as you go to the fridge! That is the “comfort cost.”
5 Friends Cost
Ok, this one is that really hurts. Eating right and losing weight is something the vast majority of people need and want. Why is it when you finally do lose weight, exercise and eat right people start acting f**ed up? Some even go as far as to stop talking to you. You get a sneer here, a scoff there… are these really your friends acting like that? There can be a cost of friendship. Not everybody is happy for you. Some people enjoy seeing you in misery no matter how much you are suffering. Even when you are just getting started… haven’t even lost one pound, and the criticism starts. Do you need to lose a few pounds or a few mean “friends?”
6 Butt Cost
Oh, here we go with the big butts again! Let’s be honest, big butts have become so popular, people are afraid that if they start exercising, they will lose them. Women and men are out there competing for attention. Ask yourself. Do you want to be laying in a coffin with a big butt sticking out, or alive and healthy? Do some damn squats if you want a big butt, your health is more important! That was for those who said they will take the casket/big butt option Lol. Seriously, your well-being is more important. A slimmer butt is a small price to pay for a healthier life!
7 Regular Costs
There are also the regular costs of getting in shape like joining a gym, hiring a trainer, getting a personal chef, and yes shopping at Whole Foods! There are also some ways you can cut these costs, like going to a safe public park to exercise or drinking water for example. Several cable operators offer free aerobics videos with their On-Demand service. You can eat frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. Use your imagination. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but being broke is the mother****er of invention.
The earlier examples given in this article might be a little harder to get around. You just worry about getting that belt around your waist. The bottom line is, when you take good care of yourself, you feel great about yourself. You may say, “I already feel happy with myself,” and that is good. I would say, check with your doctor just to make sure. Denial has a cost too! Good luck.