Doctor’s Orders: Time To Get Serious About Losing Weight

It's no secret that I've consistently struggled to meet my fitness goals this year.

I'm aware of the importance of wellness, and yet, each month I've fallen short of meeting my goals. So, what's my problem? It's never been a priority.

Despite having a number of insecurities, I've been fortunate that body image has never been one of them. In fact, I've sometimes had the opposite problem. Even at my heaviest, I've never seen myself as overweight. I've embraced my curves and have always managed to find clothing that has made me look and feel great.

While acknowledging our uniqueness and loving the body that we were born with is important, we are countering that self-love by constantly overeating, living a sedentary lifestyle, and carrying around extra weight.

I know that I've always felt better, both physically and mentally, when I've treated my body right.

My non-chalent attitude about my lifestyle choices was shoved into the spotlight on Monday morning at my annual physical. For the first time in my life, the doctor mentioned my weight gain with a concerned tone.

Over the past year, my weight has sky rocketed to almost 164 pounds, and at just under 5'3″, my body mass index (BMI) is currently at 29.5.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 25.0-29.9 is considered overweight for adults at my height. 30.0 and above is considered obese!

Note: I've shared these details solely for the purpose of holding myself accountable. Every body is completely different and you should consult with your doctor before beginning any new wellness regimen or weight loss program.

In June, I posed the question, How Much is Physical Fitness Worth To You? And as it turns out, it's worth quite a bit to many of you.

It's important to me too. Really. Wellness was one of my main motivating factors in quitting my overly demanding job. And my doctor's suggestions have been incessantly on my mind.

Now that I've got a significant amount of free time, I've been doing well, but I wanted to make sure that I would stay the course. Enter: Pact.


Admittedly, I haven't been the most vigilant with fitness apps in the past. Typically, I'll try them out of a few days, diligently log information, but ultimately lose motivation without having any accountability.

I've been using Pact (not an affiliate link) for about a week so far, and surprise, not losing money is a great motivator!

I've committed to five workouts a week with a $5 fine for each missed day. And guess what? I haven't missed my goal yet. Even better, I'm paid for sticking with it! Last week, I completed my goal and earned $1.40. Nice!

I like Pact's ability to integrate with several other apps including Fitkeeper, Runkeeper, and Fitbit. Any gym workout, run, bike ride over 30 minutes, or 10,000 steps in a day counts toward your Pact. Pact also offers two other wellness categories: tracking your food and eating fruits and vegetables.

One Day At a Time

Can I promise that I'll never fall off the wagon again? Definitely not. But it's important to keep trying, no matter how many times that I've failed. Like so many worthwhile things in life, wellness is hard work, but will always be worth fighting for.

Readers: What motivates you to stay fit? Would you consider using Pact?

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Discussions — 30 Responses

  • Income Surfer August 20, 2014 on 6:25 am

    I love to walk or run every day. Exercise is how I deal with stress, so if I don’t exercise often…..I have a whole different set of problems. I’m not good at using things like PACT, but I can see how it would be a tool.

    I’m hoping your new lifestyle…..with less (or no) job related travel, will make it easier for you to find your rhythm. Best of luck Addison

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life August 20, 2014 on 7:10 am

    Physical fitness is the one constant in my life. I love it because I have 100% control over it, which is hugely gratifying for a control freak like myself who lives in a world that is so out of my control 🙂 Love the idea of pact. My motivation is the clarity I get every day when I get back from running. When I don’t work out, I feel shitty.

  • Kipp August 20, 2014 on 7:19 am

    Hey Addison, good luck on the fitness goals! I hope that you don’t start losing money with that app!

  • Kirsten August 20, 2014 on 8:14 am

    Now that I’ve put my depression on full display for the world, I’ll freely admit that depression is why I started running again. Exercise helps calm the mind. Staying in shape gave me less to be upset about.
    Training for a race gave me my next goal – something in the future to look forward to.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde August 20, 2014 on 8:18 am

    I am with you on this Addison. I have always struggled with my weight and after I had my son, I was 50+ pounds overweight. I lost the weight 3 years ago with weight watchers, but it has gradually been creeping back. I am back from vacation, though, and focused on getting this off. I am using FinCon as my motivation. If I lose 1-2 pounds a week up until then, then I will be back at goal weight.

  • Lauren August 20, 2014 on 8:21 am

    I made fitness and my health a priority this year. I’m turning 31 next month, and although I know I won’t get my 20 year old body back, I do want to be fit, healthy, and strong. Good luck to you! Money is a great motivator 🙂

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods August 20, 2014 on 8:49 am

    Props to you for sharing this with us and committing to keeping yourself accountable–I think that’s courageous and awesome. For me, staying motivated to exercise is all about doing stuff that I really enjoy. Yoga and hiking are my hobbies as well as great exercise. I’ve done a million different workouts over the years, but what sticks for me are activities that I’m passionate about. That being said, I also lift weight and do abs at home, both of which are boring as heck–but, they’re quick and I just do them as fast as I can. In terms of diet, I’m sort of on meal-plan auto-pilot most weeks, which ensures that we eat well. I’m also a firm believer in a weekly “treat” meal to keep myself motivated to eat well the rest of the time. Good luck to you and keep us posted!!!

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach August 20, 2014 on 8:53 am

    I’ve used pact before but I’ve had problems with the app for some weird reason so I stopped using it. Luckily I still work out six days a week. But I think its a great tool to just get the ball rolling so it becomes a habit, and it really does happen eventually. What motivates me is that I’m 43 so I want to make sure my health and wellness is as good as it can be as I age. I’m also motivated by the fact that NOT doing some form of exercise (I hate taking that one rest day) makes me feel like absolute crab both physically and mentally. It truly is my depression medication. I think I would be in a very dark place if I didn’t exercise. Good luck!

  • Kassandra @ More Than Just Money August 20, 2014 on 9:44 am

    Keeping active helps me to manage my stress levels a lot better and I sleep much better as well. I don’t really use any apps to keep track. I just focus on getting it done.

  • Brian @ Luke1428 August 20, 2014 on 12:11 pm

    Fitness is such a battle. Of course it’s physically painful at times but it’s also mentally draining. I think you are on the right track in setting goals for yourself and trying to find some motivation. I’ve always done better when I have those in place.

  • Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja August 20, 2014 on 1:27 pm

    I wouldn’t try PACT because I really don’t like exercising and I would end up having to pay. But I do try to get some exercise at least three days a week.

    I used to not be able to run 3 miles (5K), but then I found an app called “Couch to 5K” which gets you running a 5K in 9 weeks. You start by walking and jogging and slowly increase your jogging time while decreasing the amount you walk. I was able to complete it with no issues and I’m now able to run 3 miles with no problem. My problem is that I don’t do it too often.

    I also found a 7-minute workout, which is scientifically proven to be effective. That one is pretty good and it only takes 7 minutes… 7 intense minutes, but you can do it at your own pace. You should read up about it and try it out. There’s an app for it as well.

  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich August 20, 2014 on 3:28 pm

    I’m feeling you with the difficulty in staying motivated. I made one of my goals to lose about 15 pounds this year and it has definitely been my most pathetic goal. Pact sounds pretty good though and I may look into it. The one time I really successfully got my weight under control, I was using My Fitness Pal all the time – it’s like a free version of Weight Watchers with a really great community.

  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich August 20, 2014 on 3:29 pm

    Oh- I also totally downloaded the Couch to 5K and then never freaking used it. If you want to give it a goal, maybe we can link up and be buddies on it. Although I’m dreading the idea of running anywhere all those crazy 5K runs sound like fun.

  • Kay @ Green Money Stream August 20, 2014 on 5:21 pm

    I’ve just recently heard of Pact and I would give it a try. The potential money loss would be a great motivator. I personally have a tough time getting motivated to exercise too – it’s not easy.

  • MakintheBacon August 20, 2014 on 5:54 pm

    I love the feeling of finishing a tough workout and also the good feeling I receive afterwards from the endorphins.

    I started working out as a way to avoid the rush hour traffic. Once I was done my workout, it was later in the evening, and there was less traffic. Working out has now become part of my lifestyle. It has made me stronger and enabled me to consider taking on physical challenges I would have never thought to attempt 5 years ago.

  • Michelle August 20, 2014 on 7:27 pm

    Addison, I’ve never struggled with my weight until I started my office job. I have gained 30 pounds since I began working my job. I am now in the process of losing the weight and it is super intense. I love the idea of being paid as a motivation. I also don’t want take my health for granted-so, I’m really trying to focus on my health and wellness.

  • Dividend Mantra August 20, 2014 on 8:11 pm


    Big props for sharing your weight concern with the world. Takes a lot of guts.

    I’m lucky in that I’ve actually always enjoyed working out and staying in shape. I’m sure there’s probably a little vanity at play there, but I’ve been working out since I was 11 and have almost always been in pretty good condition. I suppose I also use exercise as a counter to my sometimes questionable diet choices, because, hey, I like to eat. 🙂

    Best of luck with your fitness goals. It sounds like you’re approaching it with renewed enthusiasm and gusto, and that app probably isn’t hurting either. Just keep at it. Just like with saving, every little reduced or burned calorie here and there adds up (or subtracts) in a hurry.

    Best wishes!

  • Retire Before Dad August 21, 2014 on 6:58 am

    Five workout a week is a lot to keep up with. I guess free time allows for it. When I’ve felt out of shape, then started an intense regimen, I’ve run into injuries a few times. Nothing major, but enough to make me slow down or have to stop. Knee pain running. Shoulder pain lifting. Lower back pain swimming. Nothing a little PT can’t fix, but puts a damper on things. Switch things up, stop if you feel pain. Keep it fresh and good luck with your PACT!

  • Broke Millennial August 21, 2014 on 9:47 am

    That’s a really cool sounding app! I’m in a very similar boat myself with needing to get my health under control before things start tipping in the wrong direction. I’ll certainly be checking out Pact! Money tends to be a good motivator for me as well.

  • Bridget August 21, 2014 on 2:08 pm

    Posts like this make me so happy! =) haha

    I tried Pact but it wasn’t very Canadian friendly so I abandoned it.

    You should get into weightlifting — burns tons of calories so you’ll lose weight without having to work your way up to long distance cardio runs. Looking forward to you sharing your journey!

  • Even Steven August 21, 2014 on 2:13 pm

    Congrats on taking the first step in the direction of getting healthy!

  • Erin @ Journey to Saving August 21, 2014 on 4:57 pm

    I love that you’ve always been comfortable with your body, regardless of your weight. I wish you luck with exercising! To be honest, I’ve found it difficult to commit to exercising on a daily basis. It’s absolutely horrible, because I would really like to be more in shape. Pact could possibly help with that.

  • John McKinney August 22, 2014 on 4:14 pm

    I exercise because I love the way it makes me feel mentally. I am SO much less stressed and I have a lot more energy. Looking better is nice, but I feel 10x as better now, than I was when I wasn’t exercising regularly. I can’t imagine going back to not exercising regularly anymore.

    Good luck on getting fit! I am 100% sure you can achieve your goals!

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  • debt debs August 23, 2014 on 11:28 am

    I can’t see being motivated by that for myself, just saying. But I do need a motivator. For me it might be fear, as in health scare. I had one last year after a case of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) after traveling. I was really good all summer walking and biking and even lost some weight. Then winter set in and I slowed down and what happened this summer? I started blogging. Yucch! Blogging is definitely not good for my fitness goals. Good luck to you though, with PACT. Definitely cheering you on and I’ll let you know if I figure out a good motivator.

  • M@MoneySmartGuides August 23, 2014 on 8:18 pm

    I have never used pact before. I do use map my run, which is essentially a GPS, so it is easy to see why some people are uncomfortable using it. I also wear a fit bit at all times. It at least makes me more aware of how much I am walking a day. The goal, of course, is 10000 steps per day.

  • Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet August 24, 2014 on 8:00 pm

    I find it hard to constantly maintain an active lifestyle and it’s easy to fall into a routine that doesn’t involve fitness, especially in the winter. I get motivation from the fact that working out makes me feel a lot better and its the main reason I do it (most people keep active to maintain a certain look). My job can be stressful at times and exercise eliminates most of it

  • Kate @ Money Propeller August 26, 2014 on 4:00 am

    When I had my follow up check up last Monday, since my BMI is just right for my weight and height, he just asked me to lessen or stop eating pork meat and avoid soft drinks. And I need to have a regular exercise, I need it because I had a kidney stone.

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