This post is talking about how Nutrition is like using a credit card.
Hey all, Julie here – the remaining ¼ of team CharlesLloydFitness.com.
Nutrition is like using a credit card
I like to use analogies to get my ideas across; and what better analogy in our current unstable economic times than to use credit cards to illustrate how poor nutrition can have an adverse affect on your quality of life; both now and in the future.
As Charles wrote recently . . . the most trouble people have with getting fit and losing weight is the fact that we THINK we can’t live without certain foods . . . so we continue to eat them anyway, making excuses for ourselves, yet never achieving our health and fitness goals. Hmmm, sound familiar?
I’m thinking that this ties directly into the current financial problems a lot of us find ourselves in as well . . . we THINK we can’t live without certain things. . . so we continue to feed our need for instant gratification and use our credit cards to charge them anyway, making excuses for ourselves, yet never achieving our financial goals.
So, can you relate to either of these scenarios? Chances are, you relate too closely to both. (Don’t I know it.) So, what can you do about it? I’m glad you asked. Let’s follow this thought process out to its obvious conclusion and then discuss how to possibly dig your way out . . . one slow, purposeful step at a time.
Scenario 1 – Nutrition:
New You: Wow! That was a great workout! I am starving!! What to eat, what to eat. Hmmm. Well, according to CharlesLloydfitness.com and all the other nutrition stuff I’ve been reading, I should eat a balanced protein, carb, fat meal. Like a mixed salad with chicken or salmon, light dressing and water.
Old You: Awww, come on. You’re tired and you worked so hard and you definitely don’t feel like cooking. You deserve to eat what you want . . and you KNOW you want that pizza girl!! It ain’t gonna hurt you this time.
– This behavior continues and now it’s three weeks later. –
New You: (The scale says “no weight loss, try again.”) Dang!! I haven’t lost a pound. I am a bit firmer though and I definitely feel stronger and healthier, but why can’t I lose this weight? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing!! (Oh really? We shall see.) And you really are surprised and confused.
Old You: See, I new this workout stuff wouldn’t work. I’ve done everything they told me to do and I still weigh the same. This is too hard. I’m just gonna go back to what I was doing. I was happy and healthy enough anyway. Besides, I miss my favorite foods. They are my friends. (Oh really? We shall see).
Nutrition is like using a credit card
Scenario 2 – Financial (Credit Cards):
New You: Wow! That was a great workout! I think I deserve a new outfit!! What to buy, what to buy. Hmmm. Well, according to all of the “how to get out of debt” stuff I’ve been reading, I should make sure I have enough cash to purchase what I want, and at a good price. If I can’t buy it now, then I can’t afford it.
Old You: Awww, come on. You’re tired and you worked so hard and you definitely need a new outfit. You deserve to get those new clothes and look hot . . . . . and you KNOW you’ll look good in those jeans girl!! Come on, you only live once. One little charge on your credit card ain’t gonna hurt you this time. You’ll just pay it off when the bill comes in. (Oh really, we shall see.)
– This behavior continues and now it’s three weeks later. –
New You: (You receive your credit card statement . . and you look at your bank account.) Dang!! There’s a lot more month left than money. Where’d it all go? I know I’ve been frugal with my spending (I think). And can you believe this credit card statement! I didn’t think I charged that much stuff last month. I can barely afford the minimum monthly payment, let alone pay off what I charged last month. I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing!! (Oh really? We shall see.)
Old You: See, I knew this frugal, deny myself stuff wouldn’t work. I’ve done everything they told me to do and I still can’t save money or get out of debt. This is too hard. I’m just gonna go back to what I was doing. I was making ends meet anyway and these jeans look MAHVELOUS. Besides, I miss Macy’s. They love me. (Oh really? We shall see).
FIRST STEPS OUT – The “We shall sees”
It’s all about changing your THINKING and changing your habits – one thought and one habit at a time.
We Shall See No. 1: You really THINK you are eating properly and doing everything you are supposed to be doing. But how do you REALLY know unless you document it.
Step one: That’s right . . . keep a food journal for one week. Write down EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth for a whole week and the total calories for each item. I’m talking out that “vitamin water,” that stick of gum, that one piece of Hershey’s Chocolate (ya right, just one huh?), that taste of cake, that one more piece of pizza, that handful of trail mix (come on, you know what I’m talking about). (Google “calorie calculator” and you will find many sites to help you determine actual calories for each item.)
If you don’t know what you are actually eating, you can’t make any changes. You must first be able to see it before you can change. After one week, you will be astonished at how much food you are actually eating and the sheer number of calories you are consuming. It will be a wake up call. Only then you can start making changes. Here’s a little guideline to help you:
Every 3500 calories is equal to one pound. By cutting back just 500 calories per day, you should lose 1 pound per week. Let’s say you cut back 250 calories per day – like 2 slices of bread – and increase your exercise to burn an extra 250 calories per day – you can also lose 1 pound per week.
Also, for every 5 lbs of muscle you put on, your body will burn an extra 50 calories per day just sitting around. So lift those weights. With both proper diet and exercise, you will lose that weight.
One of Charles’ previously posted articles helps you calculate the number of calories specifically required for your body. Use that calculation and the information above to help you start eating properly and to determine the exact number of calories you need to eat, and burn, to reach your goals.
So, continue to keep a food journal and you will notice a marked difference. It really is that easy!!
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We Shall See No. 2: You really think you are being frugal and spending your money wisely. Again, how do you REALLY know unless you document it.
Step one: That’s right . . . keep a spending journal for one week. Write down EVERYTHING that you spend your money on for a whole week and the total spent on each item. I’m talking bout that Starbucks, that Jamba Juice, the times you ate out all week, the few items from the grocery store and that cute shirt you just had to have (come on, you know what I’m talking about). I think this will be more of a surprise to you than your food journal. With everyone using their debit cards and credit cards all of the time, it’s a lot easier to lose track of how much they actually spent in one week.
If you don’t know what you are actually spending, you can’t make any changes. You must first be able to see it before you can change. Once you read your journal after one week, you will be astonished at how much money you are actually spending. It will be a wake up call. Only then you can start making changes.
Here’s what usually happens: you spend, spend, spend, and charge, charge, charge. You don’t check your bank balance until the end of the month and you don’t know what you charged until you read your credit card statement at the end of the month. Even then, you don’t take the time to add up all of the inconsequential items and reconcile your total spending, do you? It’s too late then anyway, right? Wrong. But doing things after the fact doesn’t change the fact now does it?
So, continue to keep a spending journal. Take a look at where you can cut back and do so. At the end of a month, compare your previous bank and credit card statements to your new ones. You will notice a marked difference. You can get out of debt. It really is that easy!!
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As you may recall at the beginning of this article, I stated that poor eating habits, along with poor spending habits, can have an adverse affect on your quality of life; both now and in the future.
You may be able to eat that pizza now, and tomorrow and next week and next year. You may be able to drink that beer, eat that ice cream and consume a lot of calories now, tomorrow, next week, and next year. . .without any obvious negative consequences. But just like credit card debt that creeps up on you until you’re so overwhelmed it seems like you’ll never get out from under it . . . so goes the way of your health and fitness if you continue to deprive your body of proper nutrition and exercise.
Our country is the most obese country in the world. That didn’t just happen overnight. We have more health problems caused by obesity than by anything else. Let’s take a look: Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, sleep apnea, joint problems, skin problems, etc., etc. Poor habits today do have dire consequences for the future and for today. How’s your current quality of life? Do you feel good? Are you currently on medication? Do you have energy to play with your kids, go hiking, have sex? Are you at your desired weight? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then your lifetime of poor eating habits has caught up to you. But it’s never too late to change.
There is hope – change your THINKING – change your life. One of my favorite adages goes like this:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Remember, you didn’t get this way overnight, so you ain’t getting out over night. But each day is a new day to take a step in a healthy and debt free direction . . . don’t quit!! Besides, what have you got to lose except extra weight, diseases, and debt!!
Remember, whether you THINK you can or you THINK you can’t. . . you are right!
Thanks for reading Nutrition is like using a credit card.