The Cost of It All

By Shani Petroff

Sometimes it feels like trying to be healthy is taking a huge toll on my wallet. There are gym memberships, workout gear, and of course food — and, well, salmon costs more than pasta. 

While at times this frustrates me, when I really think about it, I realize I’m actually getting a lot for my money because I’m getting healthy.

So when the bills start piling up, I think about my favorite sweater. A few years ago, I saw a sweater that I loved, but it was more than I wanted to spend, so I didn’t get it. Instead I bought a cheaper one. I wore it once. I later bought a couple of other tops — also ones that I liked, but didn’t love. And, you know what? I rarely wore them either. The three items cost more than the one sweater I really wanted.

Quantity isn’t always quality.

So now, instead of buying lots of things I don’t really need, I save up and get the items that will make me happy and I’ll get the most use out of (while still keeping my eyes out for a sale).

I eventually went back and bought that sweater I really wanted. I’ve worn it so many times that I more than got my money’s worth out of it.

And when it comes to my health, I’ve found that paying a little more for something often works out in the long run too.

Let me break it down:

1. I paid extra for specialty gym classes, which were more than my normal monthly gym membership, but I actually showed up to the classes — unlike the gym! Working out was worth the extra cost.

2. I bought a high-powered blender. I cringed at the price. But I use it all the time. It’s fast and the cleanup is so easy that it doesn’t sit there untouched for months at a time like my old blender used to do. And as an added bonus, I rarely buy smoothies at a store now, since I make them at home, and that saves money.

3. A whole pineapple is a lot cheaper than a cut-up one. But the whole one rots in my apartment until it’s time to throw it out, because I get lazy and don’t want to deal with the hassle of cutting it. I actually eat the precut one. The same goes for watermelon.

4. Candy bars are easy and accessible and often on sale for next to nothing. Yet, shelling out a few extra dollars for a healthier choice not only keeps me on track, but also is better for my health.

5. When I go out to eat, pizza and pasta tend to be the cheapest items on the menu. But it’s worth it for me to spend a little extra and get the salad or the fish and know that I’m establishing better eating habits.

6. I’ve been wearing the same pair of sneakers for a long time now. Part of me thought I could keep them for another few months, maybe even a year. But the way they are now isn’t good for my feet or my form, so I got a new pair. And I didn’t go for the cheap ones. I went for a pair that would give me support and would last a decent amount of time — especially now that I’m working out more.

7. As I work to lose weight, I’m often hesitant to buy a new dress or a new pair of pants — instead making do with what I have. But I’ve realized the better and more confident I feel about myself, the more inclined I am to treat myself and my body well. So now if I need or want something, I don’t use “when I lose weight” as an excuse.

8. Then, of course, there’s the Weight Watchers membership. Until Lifetime, there’s a price. But I’ve found there’s also a price when I don’t follow the plan — and that’s not only my weight going up but also bad choices that affect my health.

9. It’s why when I wanted to get a family member a present, and I knew they were thinking about joining Weight Watchers, I offered to pay for their memberships. Because it’s not just a gift for them, it’s a gift for everyone who knows and loves them, because eating right, exercising, establishing healthy habits may not only prolong their life but also improve it.

All of these things are worth the money to me because I look at them as investments in my health, happiness, family, and overall quality of life.

I’d love to hear from you. You can find I me on Connect at @shani!