Back when I was 240 pounds, I also had $19,000 of credit card debt. The pain of that debt drove me to take a class on Biblical money management. The lessons I learned transferred to how I managed my body.
I paid off the credit card debt. I lost the excess weight.
Things worked great for several years. But a year ago, I found a few pounds start creeping back. Yes, I discovered it seems to happen more easily after age 40, even though in my mind, I was living a healthy lifestyle! It was frustrating. To get that under control, I needed an updated strategy.
Interesting enough, I found that strategy in money management – again. I was looking for a budgeting software to help manage our family finances and found a software called “You Need a Budget (YNAB).” But it wasn’t just software; it was a whole new way of looking at money.
YNAB teaches 4 rules so you see exactly where your money is going – and maximize it. Here are the rules:
- Give every dollar a job
- Save for a rainy day
- Roll with the punches
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck
Using the YNAB system has allowed me to “find” money that I didn’t even know we had – simply because I could see where our money was going every day.
Plus, the attitude has transferred into how I manage my body. It inspired me to set up a “body budget” and manage my eating and exercise by that updated plan.
Guess what? Those few pounds that tried to creep back are creeping back to where they came from!
So with a nod to YNAB, here are my four rules that will help you get a better body – starting this week:
- Give every calorie a job: YNAB requires that you first know how much money you are working with. In a similar way, you can determine how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight.
But wait! Here is a critical trick that the site doesn’t tell you about: At the start of the day, record everything that you are going to eat that day – BEFORE you eat anything. You assign all of your calories “jobs” first. You tell them where to go instead of having to figure out what to do with them throughout the day. This allows you to pre-plan your day and gives you incredible peace of mind.
I cannot stress this enough: “Eat” before you eat. Start your day by recording the meals you are planning to eat. You can always make adjustments if you need to, but at least you have a gameplan for the day.
- Save for a rainy day – exercise: When you work with the calorie budget through “Lose it!,” you see that exercise is like earning extra money. While you can eat a little more when you exercise (which is like spending the overtime money you earned), it’s best not to do that when you can. Why? Because then you can “bank” calories, which leaves you with more flexibility to handle future food challenges.
For example, if you’ve “saved up” calories through exercise and want a hot fudge sundae, then you can have it with moderation (and with full enjoyment) and still maintain your weight loss plan.
- Roll with the punches: Because operating with a daily calorie budget allows you to see where your calories are going, you are able to re-assign them if the need arises and still stay on track. For example, at the start of the day, you record that you are going to have fish for dinner. However, your family decides they’d rather have chicken. You change the fish to chicken in your budget and see that the chicken “costs” more calories. So you decide to cut back on the portion size of a side item so that you still stay within your budget. See how that works?
- Stop living diet to diet: This part requires a change in attitude. Living in body debt (carrying around excessive fat) can be physically and emotionally draining. What can be even more draining is going from diet to diet, searching for a quick fix.
However living with self control by making good health habits a lifestyle, rather than limiting your life, actually expands your options. It gives you confidence that you are managing every resource God has given you to maximum benefit.
If you want to improve your body and health, then I recommend setting up a “body budget” with the free ‘LoseIt‘ app and plan your eating and exercise with it. Your body will thank you for it!
Creator of the ‘Take Back Your Temple’ Program
P.S. If you want to know more about the “You Need a Budget” (YNAB) software to better manage your money, they have a free 30-day trial so you can test it out. Plus, you’ll be inspired by the customer stories about how others are getting out of debt and gaining financial peace. I HIGHLY recommend it:
For years I tried traditional budgeting, but it felt too restrictive and I couldn’t stick with it. But the YNAB slogan is “You’ve never budgeted like this” and they are right! If you are struggling with finances, then you owe it to yourself to download the free ‘You Need a Budget” trial. You’ll quickly experience the peace of mind that comes from having that part of your life under control. You can learn more here: