|test: can you read backwards?|
Sunday, January 6, 2013
I’m reading a book right now about personal finance – it’s called the Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton (@wealthy_barber). Chilton focuses on spending – our consumption. Why do we spend when we know we shouldn’t and what can we do to be aware and to make better choices? I can see myself falling into so many of the traps he identifies through his funny stories.
As I’m reading it , I keep thinking of nutrition. I haven’t gained a lot of weight since November but I feel like I need to revisit my nutrition basics and my eating habits. There are a number of parallels between our need to spend money and our need to consume calories. For fun, here are a few insights from Chilton’s book that I’ve applied to nutrition.
Pay yourself first
In David’s first book, this was his big message. Put aside savings now for the long-term before there’s nothing left for you. You have a limited income and so you must allocate it wisely.
The same thing goes with food. If I spend all my calories on junk, what am I going to sustain my long-term health with? I should consume only a limited amount of food every day and so I have to be more conscientious about where I choose to spend my calories.
All those little things
They add up. Chilton’s talking about the daily coffee, the racing flats that were a super bargain, the sassy running tank that will surely lift your flagging motivation…These little spends amount to a considerable amount of money if you’re not conscious of them. He’s even advocated keeping a spending log to be aware of where the money is going.
The calories add up too. Someone had a birthday at work so you had to have cake.There was coffee and cookies at the meeting so why not have a cookie – it can’t hurt. I can’t throw out the half grilled cheese my child didn’t eat, or the kraft dinner left in the pot (eating it with a wooden spoon is the best).These little bites are so innocuous on their own and yet, considerably damaging to your waistline. I’ve kept a calorie log before. I needed to make some serious changes about what and how much I was eating. It helped me make better decisions when after my first pregnancy, I’d gained a lot of weight and didn’t have time to exercise for hours every day.
Chilton says that by saying – out loud – the four words – “I can’t afford it”, you free yourself from feeling like you have to live beyond your means. You can apply these words to anything - whether your friends ask you to come on a trip or ask you out for lunch everyday. It takes away the pressure to say yes, and for me (the guilt when I know I shouldn’t be spending money on something I can’t afford).
To me, the liberating words I need to incorporate are “No thank you” when someone offers me a second helping, some fries with my order or cookie with my coffee. It’s a polite way of saying “I can’t afford to” without having to explain…but really, when I work so hard on being fit, I can’t afford to add on food that will mean exercising for more time than I have …and yeah, I’d feel guilty about that little indulgence.
The power of perspective
I love this one. :) It’s about taking a look around yourself and being conscious about how fortunate you are. It’s about focusing on what you have and not on what you have not. Life looks bleak if you spend your days thinking about what you don’t have -- yachts, hardwood floors, a new uber blender, a renovated kitchen. Broaden your vision to a global perspective and you see yourself as even more fortunate.
The same applies to my own good health. It’s so easy to dissect and focus on my perceived ugliness when I have so much going for me. I could sit for hours and think about the things I don’t have – the six pack, the triceps, the perfect ass…but then what about the stuff I have that are worth celebrating – my body and mind. Yeah! let’s drink to that! (those calories are worth it – Chilton would call them “infinite joy units, beyond splurge-worthy”).
I could go on all day about this. Really – how lame can I be? (lame - running - hahaha- get it?) - I can’t even read a finance book without thinking about running-related topics. I have issues. Don’t we all? :)
-oh yeah – this first week of the new year – I did some running in the snowy mornings. Coolest thing ever – my son ran 5k with me – twice!