Monday, March 19, 2012

Weight Lifted

Remember when I told you all about starting our Dave Ramsey journey?  We decided that 2012 was going to be our year (after the horrendous way that 2011 treated us), and wanted it to be our year to become debt-free.  Well, we are 3 months in, and things are going great!  We have paid off Mark's truck (my car was paid off last year), my medical bills (from Natalie's birth), and one of our credit card balances.  Yes!  We have two credit cards, Natalie's medical bills, and our Nebraska Furniture Mart card left.  Feeling very manageable, actually!  With what we have paid off, we freed up $500 a month that we used to pay in minimum payments - so we are using that to tackle our remaining debts.  Woohoo!
I'm not saying it's been easy.  We eat out once a month.  We don't buy extras.  No impulse purchases.  It's been very tempting many times to buy something unnecessary when it's on sale - but I instituted the one-week rule.  If I am still thinking about buying it a week later, then I will go back and get it.  99% of the time, I forget about it.  It is really hard to see everyone around me carry on with a normal life - pedicures, spring vacations, new spring outfits, and all of those other great things that I can't have right now.  But I am remembering Dave's mantra:  Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.  It will all be worth it in the end.

Carrying cash has been another big adjustment - I've never carried cash.  I finally feel that I have gotten more used to it, and haven't used my debit card since we started 3 months ago.  Impressive, huh?  The real "life-changer" has been writing out our budget each month.  We've never done that before.  We sit down and plan out how every dollar will be spent over the course of the month.  And every extra dollar goes towards the next debt on our pay-off list.  Of course, we haven't been able to stick to a perfect budget each month, but we have learned a lot about where our money goes and how we spend.  And, let me tell you, we are spending wayyyyy less.  We've cut our monthly grocery spending by about 25%, and our Target spending by 45%.  Yes, you read that right.  I used to be addicted to Target.  I can admit it!  In just those two areas, we are saving nearly $450 dollars a month....and that, my friends, is going towards the debt.  Seeing a pattern??  I am debt-obsessed!

Each dollar we save, each check I write to pay off debt, every smart purchase and thought-out budget, every all leaves me feeling just a little bit lighter each month.  Weight coming off my shoulders little by little.  I feel back in control of our money again - and if you know me at all, you know I do love being in control!

** We now interrupt this rambling session with an obligatory cute baby picture. I know that's why all of you read my blog. :) **
Those legs.  Poor kid got her momma's squishy white legs!  Seriously, my legs looks just like hers right now.

Anyway, as I have been reveling in the debt weight being lifted little by little, I've been weighed down by something else.  Literally - my own weight.

If you struggled with your weight, you know how it feels to suddenly see yourself in a picture and not recognize yourself.  It has never been easy for me to maintain my weight.  I have gone up and down in size over the past several years.  Overweight in highschool, slimmed down in college.  Got married and got heavy again.  Worked hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and managed to slim down by 20 pounds - just in time to start growing a baby. 

Well, it's been over a year and I am still the same weight that I was 3 weeks after delivering Natalie.  I lost 30 quick pounds of water weight in the first month after I had her, then got stuck at my current weight.  I waited and waited.  And waited.  I thought that by some miracle nursing would make me lose weight magically.  Um, no.

This past week, with temperatures in the 80s, I went rummaging through some of my spring and summer clothes.  Yikes.  Last spring, I had a newborn baby and I was on maternity leave.  I lived in pajamas.
The spring before that I was 20 pounds lighter.  Translation - no clothes that fit.  Sigh.  I'm sorry, but there is nothing worse than trying on pair after pair of shorts and capris that won't zip.  Insert crying and throwing clothes here.

Ok, you just heard me talk about our crazy budget - a budget that doesn't allow for momma to go buy a new wardrobe.  So momma is gettin' back on the diet bandwagon.  Not that I'm doing some crazy diet or starving myself.  But I am writing down what I eat and counting my calories - that's what I did when I lost weight before I had Natalie and I know it works for me.  Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of person who can eat whatever she wants - so I'm saying goodbye to Oreos and barbeque potato chips.  Hello fruits and vegetables.  I also need to work some exercise back into my routine - that means cleaning the inch of dust off my treadmill and getting my butt moving.  A gym membership is not budget-friendly for us right now.  On my last weight-loss journey, I took a great class at the local community center that I loved.  It's $45 a month.  Also not budget friendly.  I'm thinking of buying a workout DVD maybe?  Recommendations??

Now that I've made it public, I guess I have to stick with it. :)  I really want to stick with it.  'Cause once that weight starts coming off these shoulders (and butt!), there's no going back. 

And, hey, if you are going through something like this right now - email me.  jennyshinny (at) gmail (dot) com.  I'd love an accountability buddy - on budgeting OR on weight-loss!

And one more...


  1. Jenny,

    I just love your posts. You are so open and honest- it's very inspiring and refreshing to hear someone else be so candid about real life.

    A couple of things- is my new favorite website- I LOVE their recipes (and Chris agrees!) I attempted Jillian Michael's 30 day shred and it was hardcore- didn't make it through, but also started it at the beginning of the schoolyear so it was easy to slack off. The work outs are 20 minute circut training and easy to do at home (and not super time consuming). Other than that, I am the worst person to talk to about fitness. I suck. lol

    Chris is currently reading a Dave book- he's obsessed, as well. Wrecking my car the other weekend was a fun financial situation in itself- but thanks to our 'emergency budget' it was no big deal (in the scheme of things). It works, doesn't it?

    Hang in there with everything- you are such a great person, not to mention your calendar baby. She is just gorgeous- like her mama. :)

    Be in touch!

  2. Jenny,

    Really enjoy your writing and getting to check in on your blog to watch Natalie grow. What a beauty!

    I finally had to comment on your latest post. I ditto Megan's note about how inspiring & refreshing your honesty is. So many of us feel exactly the same way but I find too many blogs that only focus on the "good" and don't balance it with the reality of life. You do a fantastic job at representing that true balance of good & bad that IS life.

    This latest post has finally inspired me to Dave Ramsey Up our family! Lord knows we need it. I spent my lunch hour doing his budget tracking tool and making our cash envelopes. We both have paydays this week so it's perfect timing.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration...and the adorable baby pics! You can never share too many of those :-)

    PS Good luck on the fitness thing, too. That's a journey I'm constantly on as well :-/

    Andrea (Lindsay G's mom!)

  3. Jenny - You inspire me! I always love your posts and pics of your precious little one, but today you really challenged to work on two areas of my life that are also "weighing me down." The hubby and I took Dave Ramsey's financial peace university the year before we had Avery and had great success, but we've really fallen off the bandwagon since having two kiddos...excuses excuses...I know, but thankful for your reminder of how his system works. I'll be pulling out our dave books again soon. Also, my church - which is right by my house - offers a zumba class on tuesday and thursday nights. it's lots of fun and a great workout. It costs $4. Let me know if you're interested and I can pass on more info.

    Thanks again for honesty and transparency. You're an encouragement to me.

  4. whoops. that was from me (jolene). didn't realized i was signed in under the hubby's account...:)

  5. I am so proud of you, cousin-friend! Look at how many goals you have ALREADY crossed off your list! You are inspiring me, too. I worked out twice this week on my own (I usually need Clint for motivation) and I also am sticking to my budget that I planned out. When I do those things, I think of YOU!! Esp. at the grocery store, I feel like you are in my cart. God is blessing you so much in these areas and in your new business, and I am so excited to see what happens! You are one of the MOST beautiful women in my life, so please don't forget that while you are working out. You are already so pretty! Love you!