My doctor expressed some concern over my rising weight during my recent annual physical. I told him that I have a solid exercise regiment, working out six or seven days a week. Unfortunately, I use my massive amount of exercise to justify eating anything I want. What he said next shocked me: Losing and maintaining your weight is 80% diet.
He must have seen the skepticism on my face, so he gave me an example. He asked me how long it would take me to eat a combo meal from a fast food place. My response was less than 10 minutes. He then told me that some of those combo meals could contain 1200 calories, and it would require at least 90 minutes of continuous running to burn the same amount of calories. Consuming calories is easy, burning them is not. I can exercise myself to exhaustion every day, but if I keep shoveling junk into my pie hole, I will not lose weight.
You cannot out exercise bad eating habits.
That same weekend, I found that our finances are not much different. Vonnie and I had our usual Thursday night budget discussion, so we both knew how much we had for discretionary spending. We walked away from our discussion with smiles on our faces because we were really happy with our financial picture. We have worked hard to increase our income over the last eighteen months, and our level of discretionary funds has never been higher. As usual, we withdrew our entertainment funds in cash and headed into the weekend. But before we knew it, our cash was gone.
Thinking there must be some kind of mistake, we sat down and totalled up the receipts of everything we had done. Sure enough, it all added up. Just like the fast food example, it takes a lot of hard work to earn a little extra money, but it’s very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly
In other words, you cannot out earn bad spending habits.
I’m extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished with my fitness, but I could do better. I’ve made a commitment to myself to make each calorie I consume have value. If I’m going to make exercise a priority and make my way to the gym each day, why would I want to ruin that by shoveling handfuls of chips into my mouth late at night? Next time I’m about to break out the cold pizza late at night I want to think of the effort I put in at the gym earlier that day.
I’m applying that same perspective to our finances. Next time I’m about to order take out because I’m too lazy to make dinner, I want to remember how I got up at 4:30am that morning to start my day as a software engineer or how I stayed up until midnight the night before writing that last blog post
What do YOU think EOD Nation? Have you ever got a big raise and thought there’s no way you could spend it all, only to find out differently? Can you ever make enough money to cover up bad spending habits?