I love that 1976 ABBA song, "Money, Money, Mon-ey!" There is a long-standing joke that when you meet an American outside of our fair country the first thing they will ask you is how much something cost. Example:
Englishman: Good day. Lovely weather were having to-day!
American: Yes, it is. I like your coat. Where did you get it?
Englishman: Uh *stammering a bit* I think I got it at Harrods.
American: Really! I was just at Harrods last week. How much did it cost? Did you get it on sale?
Englishman: *turning red now* Um, well, it was on sale and I don't know, really, my wife does all my shopping for me."
American: Well, they always say that Englishman are a bunch of limp-wristed puffs. Good day. *walks away*"
We are by far the most offensive creatures known to any culturally sensitive population. I personally cherish Americans love of getting a good bargain. It seems like we are always curious about the price someone paid on something; like we are constantly scouting for a better deal by comparing what other sods had to pay for something that we could have got at half the price. We admire someone that consistently gets the best deals for the best products and cheap(ish) gasoline prices let us keep the habit of driving around town looking for a better deal.
This is a long winded way of saying that I will tell you what it cost me to join Jenny Craig. I was going to wait until the end of the month, but I am nothing if not accomodating.
Initial Cost: $49 for a 60 trial membership. It was part of the "Lose All the Weight You Want for $49" promotion.
Cost of Jenny Craig Food for First Week: $100.09
Cost of Additional Groceries that I had to Purchase to Stay on the "Plan": $38.24
Total Cost to Date: $197.33
So, there you have it. That's what it cost me so far. The way the program works is that you eat 100% Jenny Craig food until you reach your half-way goal (which for me is roughly 20 pounds less than I currently am). Then you prepare your own food for 1-2 days per week, eventually transitioning into your own meals entirely.
I'm not going to defend my choice here to spend this money on my health. It's an intensive program (much more so than Weight Watchers, which costs $39.95 per month) that includes a nutritional counseling component and a 1-800 help line. I've already called it twice to ask about substituting food because I'd rather jump off a small bridge than eat a grapefruit in the morning.
The-Blogger-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless coincidentally wrote that being thin and healthy is an investment in your body. I drive a five year-old car that won't be paid off for another three years. I live in an apartment that is 10 minutes from where I work because I hated spending all my time and money on a shitty commute. My biggest expense right now is daycare for my son so I can continue to go to work and pay for my priorities. All of the electronic gadgets that I own were purchased circa 1999, when apparently I had an influx of discretionary cash.
I know you can lose weight for little, if no money. I know that I need to control my portions, exercise more, and eat lots of whole grains, fresh vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. But what do you do if you tried that and it's failed. The numbers on the scale kept creeping up and everyday I started beating myself up a little more. What then?