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Happiness is the reason we’re fat and broke.
The quickest way to increase feelings of delight?
A cheeseburger and a milkshake at our fav fast food joint.
Or a few swift keyboard strikes entering our credit card number at our most-visited online store and the satisfaction of clicking, “Check-out now.”
“If you want to get out of debt, you must get more enjoyment out of saving your money than you do spending your money.” – Suze Orman
If you want to get fit, you must get more enjoyment out of hitting the gym and eating healthy than you do from partying with friends or indulging in ice cream.
Here are Five Ways to Shrink Your Belly:
- Track your food. Download My Fitness Pal and take note of everything that enters your mouth. Set it to lose 0.5-1 lb per week (NOT 2 lbs; that amount of weight loss is too fast to be sustained).
- Eat whole foods 80% of the time. If the ingredients list is the name of the food, eat it! If it comes from a box or has a human’s name, like Jack Daniels, consume it in moderation every once in awhile, but still track it.
- Weigh yourself every day, and take progress pics every week. Yes, I know this has an emotional response for some people, but (stay tuned for an upcoming blog where I share about the reasons) you don’t need to worry about day-to-day weight changes. You need to see yourself as a scientist gathering data for an experiment, and look for week-to-week changes. Progress pics help as changes in body composition (building muscle and losing fat) can’t be seen on the scale.
- Fall in love with the gym. Whether it’s lifting weights, hitting a CrossFit class, or spending an hour on the treadmill, find joy in the process of filling your shaker cup and getting after it.
- Drink enough water. We all know we should do this, but do we? Drinking enough water will help flush any extra fluid your cells are retaining and give you a leaner appearance.
Five Ways to Build Your Bank Account:
- Save – even if it’s only 1% of every pay cheque – put it into a savings account that makes it hard to get at (consider opening an account at a different bank).
- Make a wish list! Plan to spend your savings quarterly, or whenever works for you! That way, you can celebrate every time your savings grows, and feel even more gratification when you know you earned it, and could actually afford that trip or new outfit.
- Pay off your smallest debt first – you might want to pay off the one with the highest interest rate, but if you start with the smallest debt it will create momentum (and even release endorphins that make you feel happy) and you’ll become more excited about paying off the next one.
- Track your spending – You can do this with a notepad in your purse, or yes, there’s an app for that, “Spending Tracker” is the top rated expense analysis app. I use an Excel spreadsheet and sit down on the 10th and 25th of every month to track my income and expenditures, and I keep a note in my phone to remind myself how much of my budget I have left.
- Check out the book, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz if you own a business and start implementing his suggestions – totally changing the game for me with my business and personal finances.
Fitness and Finance Bonus Tip:
- Find an accountability buddy. Tell someone, “Hey, I’m saving up for that trip at the end of the year. Can we have weekly calls to make sure I’m not spending on things I don’t need?” Hire a nutrition coach or add your friends on My Fitness Pal to feast their eyes on your food journal. Text a friend to talk you down from eating that entire cheesecake. Get a workout partner and get your asses out of bed and to the gym every morning whether you feel like it or not! This is the one thing that will keep you going when you want to make a purchase you don’t need or skip the gym when you know you should go.
We all want it all – the body and the bank account of a supermodel who earned high honours in finance in college. And as unbelievable as it sounds, I think we can have both!
We need to learn to keep track of what we’re putting into our mouths and taking out of the ATM.
We need to take a long term approach in place of eating salads for a day anytime the scale goes up and eating pizza and ice cream when it goes down, or instead of buying a new outfit anytime our bank account is in the green and raiding a family member’s cupboards for groceries anytime our finances look ugly.
Plan for spending and plan for treats.
Get as much delight in saving as you do in shopping.
Fall in love with the feeling you get after a great workout even more than you love seeing the number go down on the scale.
It’ll take more than a few months to get rich or to get the body of your dreams. All good things take time and intention, but if you persist, you can have it all.
That happiness you were looking for? It’s hiding in the process.
Find your joy in the journey.
Soon enough – instead of the other way around – you’ll be describing your body as lean and your wallet as fat.
“Good things take time. You are a good thing. This will take time. “ – Lisbeth Darsh
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