Losing Weight on a Tight Budget



Losing Weight on a Tight Budget


Can I really do this?


After six years of working my auto transport business from home, I had to face reality. I had allowed myself to gain more than fifty pounds. I do not know about you, but the weight somehow just appears on my body overnight. By the end of the year another ten or twelve pounds had packed onto my butt, midriff and thighs.

I know, I can hear you laughing…come on you pack them on too, be honest with yourself. It seems the older I get it is easier to justify why I am on the heavy side. Gosh, my mom and grandma were heavy I guess being over weight is just in my genes. After all, my brother and sisters are all over weight, why should I think I am any different.

When I shop at the local Wal-Mart I see lots of larger men and women, I am not so bad off. Why do we justify what we are what we look like or feel like? Have you ever done that? Come on; tell the truth, have you? Well one day I wondered if I were really over weight compared to what the doctor's weight chart says.

That was my defining moment, the moment of truth! Crap, I was not overweight I am obese! Nasty word isn't it. Fact of the matter is for my height, frame and weight, yes, I am obese I am not over weight. Now I got depressed.  Every time I look at the pictures of me visiting with my grand-babies and their other grandma, I am the "chunky" one, she is the slim one. I do not want the kids to remember me for being the "chunky" one.


Then, I remembered something else…my grandmas were – one tall and thin and one short and "chunky". No! History was going to repeat itself. Faced with the reality, did I want to be the fat grandma or did I want to do something about it? Did I want to live a long, healthy life or cut it short to satisfy my never-ending craving for spaghetti, lasagna and French bread?

I cannot afford it

When I was finally ready to face the music, I was in Chicago at a business meeting. One of my fellow students shared some interesting information with me about blood sugar and stress. She explained how it affects our body's ability to gain and lose weight.

Renee told me that with my schedule in the auto transport office the plan of "grab and go" meals would work perfectly. It sounded great, but I really could not afford it – so I said. The reality was that I was scared. I had tried so many other diet pills, diet plans, shakes and foods that I did not want to spend another dime on something that was not going to work for me.

Since my kids left home, I did not spend a whole lot on food and what we did buy was, okay I will admit it…junk. Foods that really did not count as food, you know Doritos, granola bars, cold cereal, many crackers, different types of breads and more. These were foods that I grew up eating. Foods that families buy to fill little stomachs that they cannot afford to feed properly.

Then, Renee helped me to see that part of my problem was a mindset issue. Food was a comfort to me, it made me feel safe to fall back on what I knew, what I grew up with. She also helped me to see that if I wanted to lose weight permanently I would need to change. Oh, that awful word…change.

Together we can do it

Like most new things I was scared to death, again I didn't want to fail this time around. Somehow I felt safe, secure in knowing that my friend would not let me down. I was the one that did not need to let me down this time.

She assured me that together we could use this program of "grab and go" meals to burn off this fat. I was excited and scared all wrapped up in one, but I got started.

When my "grab and go" meals arrived I called her. She went over each meal and explained how I was to eat, every two to three hours. That was the scary part for me, what if I got busy in the office. No excuses, she told me to set a timer and I did.

I thought I would be hungry, another excuse. Hmmm, how could eating make me hungry? I did not eat before that was my problem and how I had gained the weight. I was using my auto transport business schedule as an excuse, a lame one at that.

The end of my first week it was time to weigh myself, something I never did because I did not want to know what I weighed, period. Very nervously, I stepped on the scales.

I had cried the week before when I actually saw with my own two eyes what I weighed. That number staring back at me was the biggest number I had ever seen in my life. Never before had I weighed so much. How could my husband love such a fat wife?

The scale never lies, unlike me. Now though I anxiously looked down as the red needle came to a halt. Oh my, I had lost four pounds! In all my dieting years never before had, I had a loss like that. Usually it was one or two pounds max. My clothes fit nicely now instead of showing rolls of flesh poured into the too tight jeans and tee shirts.

This was just the beginning of my weight loss journey. Today, as I sit here in the office I just finished one of my "grab and go" snacks. We are going to the Farmers Market to buy some fresh tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. Maybe we will find other green vegetables to go with my lean meat for dinner tonight. Should we fix shrimp, chicken or a steak? Hmmm, let's wait and see what I feel like when I get home.

Until next time, here is something for you to think about. When is the last time you were honest with yourself? Have you noticed you are over weight, or are you kidding yourself as I did myself?

Remember, I was obese, not overweight. Stop kidding yourself. Address the issue head on; take charge of your thoughts and behaviors. Ask for help. I did, because together we can lose those unwanted pounds even if we work in an auto transport office.

Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.

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Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
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  • Anonymous

    Too much of this article felt like you were talking about me!! Ha! I am so guilty of making up a plan of attack and then watching it fall apart because life happens and I am all too happy to have an excuse! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • admin

      Denny, my dear friend, no I was not aiming at you:) However, it was time for me to look myself in the mirror and face the fact that I had to stop the cycle. Blaming everyone and everything else for my being obese was part of the problem. Now, with my “grab and go” meals and my secret weapon there are no more excuses. Oxidative stress is gone, inflammation is history and the fat is melting like butter on corn! You can do it, join me we will melt together:)

  • Tamarah Bartmess

    Way to be bold and courageous.  I admire you for taking the challenge head on.  Now just find good ways to reduce stress and you will lose more weight even faster!

    • admin

      Thank you Tamarah. I have found a way to send stress packing. Matter of fact, my husband was able to banish depression and anxiety too. Challenges create an environment for change, that is always good when bringing our health back in alignment with what it should be.

  • Elisson1

    It’s amazing how we all justify our putting off making changes in our lives.  Cost is one of those justifications.

    Fact is, those “grab and go” meals are no more expensive than the junky food they’re replacing… and when you factor in the health care costs associated with weight-related illness, it’s a no-brainer.

    Congratulations on deciding to live a healthier life… and then acting on that decision!

    • admin

      Thank you, Elisson I totally agree. This was the best decision I have ever made when it comes to my eating and health. When others are ready they will face themselves in the mirror and hopefully come to the same conclusion, before it’s too late.

  • I love how you said, “Stop kidding yourself. Address the issue head on; take charge of your thoughts and behaviors.” WOW! I just changed my food and I can already feel a difference. Thank you for the encouragement to stick with it!! 🙂

    • admin

      Good for you, Scarlett. I have never felt better and the system is so simple. Now, I can not imagine my life without my “grab and go” meals. Besides, it is one more thing I don’t have to think about. I just eat.

  • Unfortunately, we have this mentality also in this country that we can’t “afford” to eat right when in truth we can’t afford not to.  Think of all the medical bills that stack up each year because people have not taken the time to eat right and exercise.  This is a great article to help inspire people to make that change!

    • admin

      Michelle, thank you for sharing how other areas of our life can be and are affected by our eating habits. Fourteen years ago I almost lost my life due to making poor choices in food, work and lifestyle. Today, with proper eating and supplementation I am enjoying life the way it was designed to live. Vibrant good health is returning daily.

  • AJ

    Way to take control!

    • admin

      AJ, thanks. It all started with making the decision to take control and then following through. Without the whole formula even my “grab and go” meals won’t work.

  • Jen

    Thanks for the straight out truth Carla!  I too need to get a plan in action!  I’m sick of the “no plan” approach! 

    • admin

      You are welcome, Jen. Because this is a plan and it is simple, it is working for me and many others. The key is working together for support and guidance when we are weak. Cool thing is there is always a back up plan and when you add in the supplements I use it makes it all the easier.

  • Great to see you so happy Carla! My hubby, Mark, and I were talking about this today. We are also doing a cleanse this month — based on another of our friend’s recommendations, Dr. Peggy. 🙂 So much of success on ANY diet is mindset. I am already noticing a difference in how I *think* about food. I am loving how things like cucumbers and bright yellow peppers taste. He mentioned that the organic cucumber was expensive, but I pointed out that it wasn’t so bad because we are actually EATING it! LOL What is expensive, however, is the bag of uneaten “regular” cucumbers that I used to routinely throw away. As if bringing them home from the store somehow made me healthy…. 

    • admin

      Thanks, Tara. I am happy, matter of fact, I feel better than I have in years. Between my secret weapon for anti-aging and my “grab and go” meals I am one fiery grandma. Sharing how to regain your life and health has turned my business upside down. Not only has the fun returned, but my bank account is growing while serving others. How great is that? I no longer eat to feel better, because I’m depressed or stressed…I eat to fuel my body to burn off the fat it has accumulated over the past few years. Anyone can do it with the tools I’ve found. Just ask me, it works.

  • Carla, Your straight up honesty is impressive and inspiring. The mindset part is so important. not doubt.

    • admin

      Oh Claudia…I know I look at the picture of that Chicago style pizza the girls brought up to our room at midnight and am amazed! No wonder I packed on the pounds…tons of rich, creamy cheese on thick crisp crust, oozing with tomato sauce and meats. No longer, baby! Just looking at it and I’m getting woozy with “fullness”. You are so wise and didn’t eat any…you knew the secret, didn’t you:) Now this anti-aging, fiery grandma of four only uses her secret weapon and is returning to her youth. If you ever want to just ask me, I’ll lead the way.

    • admin

      Thank you, Michele. It was about time I faced reality. Now my body, mind and health thanks me. Anyone can do it when they are honest with themselves, too.

  • Claudia Looi

    I love your honesty Carla..wow…I couldn’t stop reading. Your story is compelling. Looking for more..just thinking about the pizza in Chicago!

  • Joister

    Carla I love the honesty and this story is exactly ME!! When I called you after recieving my food I wanted to burst into tears as I seen the numbers on my scale. I had never been this weight in my life and I kept making the excuses and justified the weight thing as we age….baloney!! I want to be able to feel good health wise and feel good about my body image! I want to be a grandma some day and be able to run around and play with my grandchildren without being out of breath and them remembering me as the fat grandma who couldn’t play with us!! I want to feel GOOD!! Thank you to you and Renee for all of your help as well as the team with the best support!! Thanks guys WE CAN DO THIS 🙂

    • admin

      Hi Jolene,

      It takes looking at ourselves in the mirror one too many times, finally we get real with ourselves and do something about it. Timing is everything…sadly, for many that time never comes before sickness and sometimes death knocks at the door. I am on a mission to help others not have to face those stark realities. With help, a team of others just like us, we can lose those unwanted pounds of fat, cellulite and sickness. If this anti-aging, fiery grandma of four can do it, so can you! Go get ’em, all the way to the goal.

  • I used to be such a healthy eating nut, but there’s something about building a business that sucks the ‘healthy’ right out of your, isn’t there?  Of course, that’s just an excuse, but like you, I gained a bunch of weight when I began working on building my business while working full time at a paid position (and parenting, etc.).  I got away with it for awhile, but now it’s starting to really bug me.  I sure wish I could get those snacks up here!!  ;o)  Guess I’ll have to just take the philosophy and work it…

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  • Reneemcl

    I love this article!  It’s almost never about the money.  The money is an excuse!  it’s a way to rationalize the fear.  Thanks for being so honest and transparent Carla.  I adore you!