Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hard Work to Eat Healthy

Since taking early retirement in October 2007, I've been consciously working to maintain or improve my health.  I was 25% over weight (according to standard height/weight charts), 25% above maximum targets for cholesterol and triglycerides, and was eating too much processed foods and meats.  Eating healthy sure takes a lot of mental and physical effort.

First, eating healthy involves making a lot of our meals from scratch.  In general, processed foods fall into my "eating unhealthy" category.  So there are numerous trips to the grocery store, lots of cooking, and a lot more cleanup due to pots and pans.  Making meals from scratch takes a significant amount of time.
Second, eating healthy requires me to think differently about food. I used to be a big meat eater, probably eating five times my daily requirement.  I loved deli sandwiches, steaks and burgers, chicken and fish.  For a while it was difficult to consciously avoid what I liked to eat.  My solution was to learn how to make healthy food more of a habit and more appealing, as in how to make a great salad.

Third, eating healthy costs more.  In general, it is cheaper to buy the processed prepacked foods than it is to buy fresh ingredients to prepare.  We also try to buy organic which is another additional cost.

So far the hard work has paid off.   I've lost 15% of my weight, reduced my cholesterol to 5% above the target, and lowered my triglycerides to 40% below the target.  The results have made the effort worth it.

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial or health advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Kurt @ Money Counselor said...

I also resolved to eat a much healthier diet. I lost 20 lbs (about 12% of my weight) and slashed my cholesterol. My weight is now about in the center of the BMI range for my height, and I feel good.

I agree with you that eating healthy takes more time, for grocery shopping and meal prep. I haven't found though that it costs more. But that may be because I've cut out meat almost entirely (I have salmon or tuna a few times per month). In any case, as everyone seems to agree that good health is the most important ingredient to happiness, I surely think the time and effort are worth it.