Many people never realize the cost of what they are doing. Take the cost of a dozen large cinnamon rolls. They used to be my favorites. I could get them for less if I bought them by the baker’s dozen, which I did just to get the free one.

Overweight Woman Relaxing On Sofa

Those giant cinnamon rolls do cost more than say a glazed donut. I didn’t care though. Cost was no object when I wanted my sugar “fix.” I said I was saving money by buying 13 and freezing them. However, in reality it was just so I had one whenever I wanted.

And then there were bags of candy, chips, cookies, large pretzels, pizzas and those awesome frozen rolls. When baked, those rolls tasted just like Grandma’s used to.

You Can Afford To Eat Healthy

I hear people say they can’t afford to eat healthy. I know I save money today even eating gluten-free items, which are usually more expensive than the regular processed foods.

However, I know now that I am not using food as a panacea for every emotional turmoil I feel, I eat a whole lot less than I ever did.

My staples today include romaine lettuce, strawberries, pecans, walnuts, avocados, red onions, squash, chicken breasts, bottled water, eggs, almond butter, almond flour, monk fruit, bananas to use as sweetener, coconut oil and cinnamon. With this grocery list filled I can eat for quite some time.

Yes, almond flour is more expensive and comes in a smaller container than regular flour. However, I eat less of it than I did regular flour when I baked that way.

The operative word here is “less.” Part of the issue with baking with processed sugar and flours with gluten is we eat more. We don’t eat more because we have stomach hunger. We eat more because we have head hunger.

Emotional Eating

We have feelings associated with foods we remember as comfort foods. We remember the look of those foods, the smells. Our mouth starts watering just thinking about them. Now, tell me it didn’t do that just now.

One second ago we weren’t hungry and now we think we are. Why? Because we are thinking about these kinds of foods. Please don’t run and whip up a batch of rolls right now.

The costly nature of cinnamon rolls and other such tasty treats is not just in what we spend purchasing grocery carts full of empty calories, it’s also in the cost to our bodies.

We gain weight. We contract diseases because of the weight gain. You know what they are —heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many others.

The biggest cause of most of our ailments stem from what we eat. Some of that is not our fault. Even the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, we aren’t sure whether or not they have pesticides unless we know exactly who grew them. And our meat is subject to what the animals ate.

Processed, pre-packaged, even canned foods have additional additives. IF we read the label we’ll see things we can’t even pronounced. These are added to give enhanced flavors and prolonged shelf life. They are added for our convenience.

The Cost of Convenience

Yet, to what cost is that convenience? Many are high in sodium and sugar. Why sugar has to be added to chicken broth, I’m not sure.

These costs we absorb into our system. When the system breaks down, we wonder why. We go to a doctor who treats the symptoms, but does not tell us the core of the issue, which is the supposedly cheap food we put into our mouths.

However, if you think about it, which costs more? One item for $5 or 10 items for $1 each? We can eat the one and be full or we can cram the 10 down and be overstuffed and have the beginning of a big problem.

Not only that we now have an illness the doctor is treating with expensive prescriptions, but not really solving the core issue

My point is, eating healthy trumps eating crap. Sorry, but that is just the truth.

Fix Me

Finally, the biggest issue is we want someone to fix our problem. It’s obvious the doctor isn’t going to do it unless you have an awesome doctor like I do who believes wellness therapy includes educating his patients on the right things to eat and right vitamin and mineral supplements to take to enhance health.

The most help I found when I was stuck in this endless loop of fruit loops was a group to help me untangle myself from the snare of food addiction. I had a mentor and an accountability group that led me on this journey.

And yes, I paid for the group. Through the years I had paid thousands of dollars for weight loss supplements, pills, plans and programs. I had a closet full of such stuff and tons of diet books. None of these worked for me because I didn’t stick with them.

Perhaps some would have worked if I had been diligent and worked the plan. Truth is, I needed a mentor to challenge me and hold my feet to the fire. He knew I would not take the program seriously if it didn’t cost me something.

The benefits I received far outweighed any cost I paid.

Why I Started The Group

Fast forward to July of 2014. I’ve lost over 250 pounds and I felt God urging me forward to form an online weight loss accountability group. There are many out there that are free. However, I knew from my own experience they don’t work because folk do not take them seriously.

When you put down your money you have a vested interest. You tend to do the hard work it takes to really lose weight.

To be honest, I struggled with charging for my coaching group. However, I know it was the right decision.

First of all, there were hidden costs I was not expecting. I had to get help to run the group. I had to purchase new software and have someone much smarter than me be responsible for making sure it worked right.

There was advertising to let folk know about the group, not to mention the endless hours I spend working on answering questions and posts in the group, creating videos and developing action steps.

My mentor says, “Nothing good ever comes easy.” That is so true for my weight loss journey and for starting and running the group.

At the beginning when I first published my memoir, Sweet Grace, I had hundreds of people emailing and messaging me wanting me to tell them how to lose weight. Of course I wrote Sweet Grace and developed Sweet Grace Study Guide as a way to share my journey.

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. So I will always share in that fashion. As a matter of fact, my next book, Sweet Change, will be coming out in mid-December. It contains 19 stories of individual transformations. Such a fun project.

Back to the folk who wanted help. I found myself trying to individually interact with everyone. It was exhausting. Not only that, I knew I couldn’t have that many ongoing conversations with people. I couldn’t keep track of them.

That’s why I formed a coaching in the first place.. If you need help, it is truly my desire to help you. However, the group is really the best and most inexpensive way I can help the most people. I am in the group every day. I answer every question and I read every post. I give advice from the perspective of my journey.

I also do individual coaching, but that price is  higher than the group fees because it takes my direct time with just one person.

It’s amazing that we don’t think twice about paying our cable bill, getting our hair done or going out to eat.

It’s time, friend, to invest in yourself.



Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.