I saw a patient earlier this week that lost an aggressive amount of weight and the person jokingly told me “ I stopped paying anyone that is making me fat!”. After first admonishing him for using the “f” word (“Fat” is sort of a self-deprecating word and I want all of our patients to think positive about themselves) I asked what he meant by this. He then told me that he stopped paying gobs of $$$ at Starbucks for their caloric-filled lattes and mochas as well as avoiding other places that sold him “damaging” foods and drinks.
I took a step back and thought more about this joking statement and I believe there is a more serious message in this: We all spend money on lots of different things. Some of these expenditures will help our efforts to become healthier, such as:
- Buying “healthy” foods to prepare at home
- Choosing restaurants that will offer choices that taste great, yet are compatible with the dietary approach to control weight.
- Joining a fitness facility or classes that will upgrade your current exercise regimen
- Purchasing home fitness equipment
Conversely, there is money we will spend on things that will place our health at risk (Notice I did NOT write “things that make us f-), such as:
- Putting in our shopping carts snack and food items that will derail our weight control efforts
- Choosing vacation spots that will wind up being carb and booze fests
- Going out to restaurants where “healthy” choices are few and far between
- Venturing out to wineries with friends on the weekends
Please take a step back and evaluate whether YOU are paying anyone/anyplace that will ultimately place your health at risk. Once you identify these, take the steps necessary to save your hard earned money and divert this to activities and other things that will improve your health and long-term happiness.