Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. — Buddha
It may sound silly, but there is a strong nexus between your health and your wealth when it comes to the underpinning principles that govern your life.
I can imagine the discomfort some feel at being overweight when others joke about it. I can also guess at the pain endured constantly from your own mental chatter when you are under a mountain of debt.
I have some thoughts to share with you that can help to turnaround your life for the best yet to come.
1. Get back into the black.
The basic tenet of weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. All you need is to develop a plan to avoid cluttering your body with excess calories. By making prudent choices with the food you eat and by burning excess calories, you begin your invigorating journey towards fitness.
By the same token, the basic tenet of prudent debt management is to spend less and use more of what you already own. When you consciously make a self-commitment to squash the bug of impulse buying and learn to consume what you already have, you begin your own turnaround for financial wellness.
2. Follow the three-step plan.
If you’re overweight or if you’re under a pile of debt, thoughts to regain control of your life may frighten you. The truth is that if you understand how simple it is to get back into the cockpit of your life jet, you’ll soon regain control of your life.
The three steps to control debt are:
1. Stop adding more debt.
- Pay for everything with cash – This act itself will create an awareness to spend less for the simple reason that when we pay with our cash, we tend to think more consciously before allowing another dollar to leave our pocket.
- Make a shopping list – When we plan before shopping to make conscious choices about what we need and not what we want, we can control our impulse spending to buy yet another item on sale.
2. Use everything you have.
- Develop a list of all your possessions – It may take some time, but it’s a worthwhile effort; this exercise will bring a new revelation that you already have enough.
- Ask why you want to buy twice – Your ego is a spoiled child. Ask yourself several times whether you really needed to buy that nice looking shirt? What did you do with the ones you bought just a few months ago?
3. Start trimming your debt.
- Pay bills on time - This habit is essential for your financial well-being. I use auto payments to avoid late payment charges.
- Pay high interest rate credit cards first - Paying several credit card bills is a major act. List all of your credit cards in a spreadsheet and start paying highest interest rate card first;keep doing this till you pay off all your credit cards in full.
Now, if you have begun to wonder how these three steps relate to your excess weight then read on!
The three steps to control weight are:
1. Stop adding more fat.
- Fasting - Fasting is both a primary means of detoxifying body, shedding extra weight and a wonderful aid to our inner peace. Fasting is the first step towards a mind control to avoid food intake that can exacerbate our unbalanced diet. Please check with a healthcare professional first.
- Balanced diet – Eat steamed vegetables, beans, rice and whole grain. Avoid meat, poultry and white rice.
2. Burn extra calories.
- Use every extra calorie you have in your body – Exercising is the best way to burn extra calories. Make commitment to exercise for 15-30 minutes daily.
- Outdoor activities - Running, walking or bike riding also help to burn calories.
3. Start trimming your fat.
- Drink water – Water drinking flushes the kidneys and liver, enabling them to remove toxic, unwanted substances. This also helps reduce weight. Drinking water also suppresses the feelings of hunger. You may be mistaking hunger pangs for thirst signals.
Once you set a limit in your life to spend only for your needs and to eat only when you are hungry, you can stop adding both fat and more debt to your life.
Once you start taking care of the things you own and use them to the fullest — from your used car to the plate of food – you’ll enjoy life with what you have rather than feel self-pity for what you don’t have.
Similarly, when you start exercising or running, playing tennis or helping your neighbor, you’ll have fun and start using every extra calorie in your body rather than adding more by munching that super sized Big Mac.
Additional hints to help you shape up your weight and debt
When our life is in chaos, it’s an outer expression of the chaos that exists in our mind. We’ve simply given up the courage to find and live for our life long purpose. We’ve declared a defeat in our mind. If you take time to reflect, most of your troubles begin with a lack of budgeting. If we don’t budget, impulsive spending takes over our mind. Similarly, if we don’t budget our food intake, impulsive eating habits kick-start our cravings for the toxic food that we need least for our well-being.
I’m a frugal guy, so I’ve a natural inclination for this approach, but frugality can also be your best friend when it comes to trimming fat and debt from your life. Being a cheap skate is not a bad habit. It teaches you the most basic and profound laws of life — Live within your means.
How to stay both physically and financially fit?
In our culture of super-size everything from Big Macs to big cars, we are conditioned to yearn for more. Once you realize that life only needs enough to make you feel happy from within, you will be happy to eat only when you are hungry and not to stuff your body with loads of calories that produce more fat. When you learn to live happily with enough, you’ll stop catering to your own impulsive feelings to purchase another pair of shoes that only collect more dust in the long run. By learning to set limits for both your eating and spending habits, you’ll begin to control your life sooner than you thought possible.
Once you value your own money, you’ll have a different perspective about your spending habits. By the same token, your frugal habits put a damper on your impulsive desire to eat more. As opposed to the general belief, frugality is not about sleeping on mattress with a big hole or starving yourself –- it’s simply a habit that helps you make conscious decisions.
I’m sure that you have tried ways to shed some weight and painful debt. Let’s have a conversation to lighten up to stay both physically and financially fit.
So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health. — A.J. Reb Materi
(Photo Courtesy: Photostream)