Thursday, January 8, 2009

My New Exercise and Veggie "Swear Jar"

Back in August 2008, I wrote down my health goals, since staying healthy is one of the most important ways to protect one's wealth.

Let's see how I've fared since then:

1. Maintain An Appropriate Weight
Back in August, I was 105 lbs and I'm now (*gasp*) 110 lbs. (My weight normally fluctuates between 105 lbs and 120 lbs.) The ideal weight range for someone my height is 97.9 – 132.3 lbs.

My BMI went from 19.8 to 20.8. The normal BMI range is between 18.5 to 25.

So far so good. But...

D'oh!!! I went from a pear shape to an avocado shape with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.77 (was 0.74). BlueCross' website says:

Even though your hips are easily larger than your waist, your risk is higher than a pear's (but lower than an apple's). Unlike fat on your hips, which tends to just sit there, the fat you carry around your middle or on your upper torso is easily converted into energy whenever your body runs short. That process raises cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or stroke. It also causes insulin resistance, a common prelude to diabetes. After menopause, women are much likelier to gain weight around their middles and on their upper torsos.

I could be wrong, but I think this is telling me I'm getting a bit pudgy around the center.

2. Get Immunized and Tested
This is a success, thanks to my health insurance and wonderful FSA plan. I saw my primary physician, gynecologist, dentist and optometrist last year for a check up. I also got my yearly flu shot.

(I still haven't been tested for my cholesterol level and I still don’t know when I got my last tetanus/diphtheria shots, though. Big woop.)

3. Eat Fewer Salty Snack Foods and More Fruits and Vegetables
Still needs significant improvement.

Ever since I cut out beer from my regular budget, I haven't had the need to eat as many salty snacks.

But I still don't eat as many fruit and veggies as I should. My only regular consumption of fruits and veggies is my daily 1/2 grapefruit and 1 cup V8. That's pretty bad, huh?

4. Exercise
Stil a complete and total failure. I get ZERO exercise. I can't get motivated to even walk around the block.


In order to motivate me to eat more veggies and get some exercise, I've decided to start a "swear jar".

My initial goal is to:

  1. Eat at least 2 extra servings of fruit and vegetables (in addition to my grapefruit and V-8) daily, AND

  2. Walk at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week (minimum).

For every day that I don't satisfy my goal, I'll throw in a dollar into my "Swear Jar". Unlike the Budweiser commercial, I won't use it to buy beer, though. The Swear Jar money will go towards paying down my stupid credit card debt.

I see this as a win-win situation. If I satisfy my goal, I've improved my health. If I don't satisfy my goal, I'll pay off my credit card sooner.

Based on past experience, I'll bet that my credit card balance will go down faster than my waist size. Several years back, I started a Swear Jar for Lent. After 3 days of putting quarters into the jar, I eventually just stuck $40 in there and kept track of my utterances on paper to make sure I didn't exceed 160 swear words. How much do you want to bet that I'll be scraping together $22 to cover the rest of the month?


jpkittie said...

too funny! good job! keep you on track!

Miss M said...

Great idea, let us know how it goes! I always pack a baggie with baby carrots for snacking at work. That helps along with always having 1-2 vegetables with dinner. I admit I fall short of my goals too, plus I haven't been to the gym in weeks. Still have this lingering cold.

MoneyMateKate said...

We used to just be apples and pears, now we can be avocados too?? That's news to me!

I've also been contemplating a "swear jar" system to get myself back on track. Great minds, eh?

Money Funk said...

Lol! I think its a great idea. You will have to keep us posted on the progress. I think I would become debt free real quick on this plan! :)

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-very best of luck, thats a great way to keep motivated my dear! I've also walked this week, the only form of exercise I do and want to do, gyms do not interest me at all!

Anonymous said...

That's a really neat idea, so I thought about doing it for myself, saving $1 for every day I skip an intended work out. Except saving is a secret joy, so I'm not sure how effective that would be for me. Maybe I'd have to give it to charity (something I should do anyway).

Good luck!

Abby said...

I love the ideas. And the resolution to keep yourself honest -- or pay for it, literally.

Only thing is, I'm totally jealous of the weight thing. I'm around 5'6" and even when I was skinny I was 153 lbs. Sheesh. Right now, working with my trainer, we've agreed a healthy weight (since I now strength train) would be 175 lbs. I guess it's good to have thick bones. But a little less pudge on those bones would be great. Which requires sacrifice (of my sweet tooth, at least partially). Sigh.

Shtinkykat said...

jpkittie: I'm hoping it'll keep me on track but...

Miss M: I just hate eating veggies, particularly, raw veggies like salads and baby carrots. :-( I need to find creative ways to incorporate veggies into my diet. Blech.

MMK: This is the first I heard about the avocado shape too. Indeed, great minds. ;-P

Christine: HAHAHA. Our debts will go down inversely with our weight.

$haronRose: I hate the gym too. I feel like a hamster when I'm on the treadmill.

Stackingpennies: Oh, you're so lucky you're one of the rare birds who derive pleasure from saving. In that case, I think you should give your swear jar proceeds away to charity! :-D

Abigail: I am very fortunate that I can pretty much eat what I want and gain few pounds (and I don't have a sweet tooth). (Is there such a thing as greasy tooth, though?) But I think it also makes me very complacent about my health. When I told my doctor my diet, he was shocked and said I could be at risk for developing diabetes and coronary disease. I thought, "Wait a minute. I'm a healthy weight, though!" I should be more cognizant of my health besides the effect it has on my weight.