Two years ago today I was reading Kevin Smith's "Silent Bob Speaks" and in one passage he wrote about always feeling like his weight was something "he'd deal with later when it got really serious". This startled me a little, as I felt exactly the same way (although I didn't see myself as being quite as big as Mr. Smith).
So, Mr. Cheap read a book by John Walker called The Hacker's Diet. He applied the knowledge, lost weight, and has kept it off. And through doing so, he learned some parallels between personal finance and weight loss:
Things like the value to knowing as much as possible about your weight (or networth) and the true quality of the food you're eating (or your investments). There are different ways to make changes, such as exercise (or earning more income) and diet (spending less money). If you only make one type of change, its very easy to sabotage yourself by the other (e.g. exercising and eating more or getting a raise and increasing your lifestyle spending). Both processes benefit from measuring your on-going process and making improvements as you see the opportunity to do so. Both are also hardest when you first start them (the first 3 days of a diet or a budget are going to be the hardest, they both get easier as you go).
Is that my answer, or part of it? I started this little series of posts with the question of whether my ability to obsess and learn could be translated successfully to tackling my weight and smoking. And here's Mr. Cheap with direct observation of the similarities between weight loss and reforming personal finance.
I think I'll read this Hacker's Diet thing and see if it's got some truths I can glom onto.
And FYI, I dig Kevin Smith. We went to see him speak in Toronto a few years back, for a taping of what eventually became An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder. I felt like dude went a bit overboard with the self-deprecating fat jokes, largely 'cuz I could feel where he was coming from. Long show, but good show. Maybe I oughta read that book, too.