Bad Choices in the Past
I am not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog yet, but I used to weigh over 50 pounds more than I currently weigh. The stress of trying to have a baby 9 years ago led to a bad pattern of overeating, which led to the weight gain. And then I finally got pregnant, went for my first weigh in and almost fell off the scale when I saw how heavy I was. I knew that I would gain weight from the pregnancy, so it was awful to begin that road at my all-time heaviest. When I was 5 months pregnant with my son, a guy at a party kept asking me if I was pregnant with twins because he was convinced that by my appearance I must have had two children growing in me. Needless to say that encounter led to my hubby trying to calm down a hysterically crying, overly hormonal wife on the car ride home.
Choosing to Make a Change
After I had my son, I was convinced that like “most women” I would breastfeed and the weight would just fly right off me. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with those genes and the weight stayed on me for years. Until I finally decided that I was sick of being fat and sick of the way I looked. I joined Weight Watchers with the hubby and began my journey to physical health. And eight months after the beginning of that journey, I hit my goal weight and lost 50 pounds and 3 dress sizes in total. However, despite the fact of reaching this goal weight now almost two years ago, I still have to work on keeping the weight off and not falling back into bad habits.
A weight loss journey is similar to a financial health journey. Last week, I had a crazy busy schedule and I did not get to work out as much as I wanted to earlier in the week (which is something I absolutely have to do unless I want to morph back into the old me) so I set my alarm for 4:30 am on Thursday and planned to work out before I needed to catch my train into the city for a meeting. And like the faithful nuisance it is, my alarm clock began singing to me at 4:30 on the nose, and I did what I usually do and hit snooze. In exactly 9 minutes, the lovely sounds of Idina Menzel (Wicked not Frozen music) began playing out of my phone again and I hit snooze but realized I may not make it out of bed at all.
After I hit snooze the second time, I laid in bed and thought about the choices ahead of me and what it would mean for me to get the extra hour of sleep that I seemed to desperately need at that moment rather than getting in a work out. I thought about my previous day’s exercise, I thought about what I would eat that day, I committed to my Friday workout and promised my body that I would work out on Saturday where I would normally rest on Saturday. After this 3 minute internal debate, I cancelled the alarm and set one for a later time. On that fateful day, I ate a salad for lunch, I did not overindulge in dinner, I went to my workout on Friday and worked out hard on Saturday and I kept myself on track despite the fact that I didn’t work out on Thursday.
I Choose Financial Health
So why am I sharing this? Because just like physical health involves making lots of choices, financial health requires making lots of choices and some of those choices are more enjoyable than others, but frequently the choices are painful ones that we may not enjoy like waking up earlier or working on a Saturday when we would rather chill out. It is important, though, that you realize that almost every financial decision you make has a number of different outcomes and you should strive to create an active decision-making process before pulling the trigger on a decision.
I love the song, I Choose You, because it reminds me to think about the money choices that I make and to remember to ultimately choose the best one which is financial health. Even when you make a decision that might negatively impact your financial health; think about how you will “make it up” with smarter choices down the road. When you choose to make your financial decisions an active process, you will be surprised at how much you will choose financial health over anything else. I don’t always love eating in or foregoing a new pair of shoes, but when I make these decisions, I don’t think about it as losing something, I think of it as choosing financial health. And that choice is one of the greatest ones you can make.
Do you have inner dialogue with yourself before making a money choice?