I’ve now successfully completed the first 15 fortnights (of 26) of this years Wealth, Weight and Wellbeing Plan and I’m still very much on track even if the challenges are increasing.
I’m still keeping to a very strict budget of approximately $776.12 per fortnight which covers everything but loan costs.
I’ve actually managed to put myself ahead by $600 from the original plan helped significantly by having no travel costs during the past 10 weeks due to Victoria COVID Lockdowns.
Outcome: Successful (ahead of schedule $600)
What I learned
That I have no idea how people on strict limited income can live. Whenever I have an issue I can access additional funds I’ve been putting against my home loan but others don’t have this luxury. The longer this goes the more empathy I’m developing for those with limited income and assets, one unexpected setback or bill and you have limited options.
I continue to learn that waiting for sales, deferring buying items and sometimes buying discounted goods in advance can save you a lot.
During this 10 weeks I used a Buy Now Pay Later scheme to smooth repayments on a necessary item. It also had a sign up incentive that allowed me to reduce grocery spend by a small amount. While the service was useful I can see how it could lead to poor behaviours and more debt especially if used to purchase items that aren’t really necessary. Just like credit cards you need to use them to suit you not the provider.
Weight and Wellbeing Update
I’ve managed to overachieve on my goal to loss 1 kilo per fortnight, for the overall program I’m now 4.3 kilos ahead of the weight loss schedule.
However in this block of 5 fortnights I actually failed fortnight 12 gaining 0.3 kilos (so 1.3 kilos worse then plan) which took a big effort to catch up. It is getting harder. Mental health was also a big issue during lockdowns during this time.
Outcome: Successful (ahead of schedule 4.3 kilos)
What I learned
That it is getting harder and harder to maintain the weight loss, while I expected this when it occurs it still demotivates you which you have to fight against.
This block of 5 fortnights was especially hard. I had a reaction to second shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination which set me back for 3-4 days. It also led to my resting heartbeat raising by 2-3 BPM for 3 weeks but it starting to return to the much improved resting heart rate I achieved over the first 10 fortnights.
Mixed in with this an individual was murdered less than 20 metres from my bedroom in the apartment complex next door. Listening to what occurred, in particular the screams from the victim for 15 minutes, was unsettling.
COVID-19 lockdowns returned including with a 9 pm to 5 am curfew. This resulted in cancellation of all tennis matches I was due to play, which was three matches. This is unfortunate as tennis is good for physical and mental health. I’m resigned to no more matches until Victoria gets to at least 70% vaccination rate which is probably mid October based on current projections.
I can’t pretend these factors made it easy but I’m transitioned my mental state to the positives, i.e. I’m still on track for all my goals, the weather is getting better and COVID lockdowns are likely to end and before too long we will have a ‘new’ COVID normal summer with sporting events back on and visits and catch ups with family and friends again.
- Pushing through COVID lockdowns over the next 2.5 months and the associated physical and mental issues with this.
- Adjusting food intake down and exercise output up to ensure I can maintain weight loss now that I’m carrying less weight.
- Dropping into the “Overweight” Body Mass Index category during the next 5 fortnight block which will be ahead of schedule.
- I’ve scheduled to make a blood donation in just over 3 weeks when I hope I’ve hit a major weight goal so I have to focus on that goal before my appointment.
- The financial side still has to deal with council rates ($1,600) which should be landing with me in the next week or so but overall I think I’ll be discharging my home loan in February 2022 and hopefully never paying interest ever again (loan or credit card).
Now that I’m more than half way towards my end goals this should be enough motivation (I hope) to push through to the end.