Thursday, January 13, 2011

Money and Health

I have read a lot lately about the similarities between obesity and debt. This really is one of the reasons for this blog. As I mentioned in my first post, when I feel a little fatter it's not uncommon for my finances or house to be out of shape as well.

I think I read a quote from Suze Orman the other day saying that obese people are more likely to have bad credit. People are literally eating themselves poor - junk impulse buys or large health bills. At the same time, people are buying things they can't afford - new purses, shoes, name it. I really respect the link Orman draws between bad health and bad finances. It's all about splurging on indulgences. Instead of striving for weight loss or fiscal responsibility...why don't we just strive for all around order and restraint? Occasional splurges are ok as long as they're planned or deserved. If you steer off course that indulgence could lead to disaster. My Weight Watchers points allow for treats but I have to plan my week around that treat. Much like our budget, I have some fun money I give myself but I have to plan around that as well and not go over. That way we reach our goals.

Both healthy lifestyles and fiscal responsibility take diligence and self control - hard concepts to follow in today's world so centred around instant gratification.

There are also thousands of industries encouraging you to fall off the wagon in both regards; fast food, weight loss pills, bankruptcy industries, cash for gold and loan consultants all thrive on the idea that you are going to fall off the wagon. They are banking on you steering you off course. They want you to fail - their profits depend on it.

When we say "the diet starts tomorrow" it's usually a reactionary statement because we've eaten like a cow that day...or we plan to! The diet starts tomorrow is a disastrous cash advance on our health. We put our health on the line for what we hope to pay off tomorrow. The behaviours and consequences are no different than paying for something you can't afford.

I suggest we also surround ourselves in a universe of support! Enablers can be a tricky thing. Most of us are aware of this when it comes to eating but I think being honest about your finances is equally as noble as being honest about changing your health. It's okay to admit that you're being frugal!

We should strive to get on that treadmill in order to earn the treat just like saving up your money for that new pair of shoes. Health is an investment. You bank those hours working out or eating healthfully just the same way as you invest your money in places that will work for you. We can't have what we can't the wallet or on the body! I think that if most of us strived to change their indulgent attitude overall they would see a difference on their waistline and in their wallet.

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