Your weight and your wallet: The weight loss investment

I recently wrote about the financial cost of putting on weight. Weight gain is like a slow-moving train. You barely notice it until it's built up enough momentum that it's nearly impossible to stop.

Everyone has a breaking point, though, where you make up your mind that you will do whatever it takes to turn it around. My breaking point was both emotional and financial. After gaining 50 pounds, it was depressing to be so dissatisfied with my appearance and my fitness, and I couldn't bear the thought of spending my hard-earned paycheck on plus-size clothes I didn't even like because nothing else in my closet fit me.

Over the course of the two years it took me to pack on 50 pounds, I determined that my weight gain cost me about $10,000. Yikes! Finding a way to reverse that trend was like giving myself a $5,000-a-year raise. Think about that next time you lack motivation!

But it costs money to lose weight, too. Many of these costs are optional, but you're still going to spend at least a little bit. Here's a breakdown: