In his book, The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey tells us that if we don’t tell money what to do it will go out. He suggests that we need intention when it comes to our finances – that financial health is 20% knowledge and 80% behavior!
As a person, who has handed out information based on my own knowledge of the subject of weight loss, I have been impressed that most people admit, “I know what to, but I just don’t do it.”
The knowledge – behavior disconnect keeps us stuck. It encourages us to look for the next new thing that will allow us to be thinner, fitter and happier. Mark Twain said, “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
Every day I get one or two applications in the mail for a new credit card, and almost as frequently I see a story on the Internet about health changes that have taken place without effort. The next miracle promises an easy path to forever success, and it usually involves an expensive product.
Food is like money. If you don’t tell it what to do, it will still do something. In the case of money, it will go out. In the case of food, it will come in.
The other thing that is like money is exercise. If you don’t budget money, you find yourself not making any progress toward getting rid of your debt. If you don’t budget time for exercise, you find that you have none for what you know you “should do.”
Mr. Ramsey spends a good deal of his time busting myths. Health advice is replete with those things too. And some of the myths we tell ourselves – I can’t run anymore, because I’m too old. No matter what I do, I can’t lose this weight. I’m big boned. That’s just how I’m built.
Ramsey says if you want to be rich, get your advice from rich people. Hmmm. Could that be true of our health goals too? Should we observe the people who are doing it right but are not selling it? The thin person that you see indulging in a sugary, whipped-creamed delight or downing a greasy burger, doesn’t eat that way three to six times a day, seven days a week. They don’t! The person who finishes a marathon didn’t start training a week ago. They’ve been at it for at least six months, usually longer.
Myths have to do with lies or some secret. There are many ways to lose weight, to get into shape, but the only way to stick with it, to insure success is to go slowly and never stop. That’s not a secret.
Over time, your goals might move and change. You might begin with 10 pounds or 10 minutes, but when you achieve it, you might think, “I did that. Maybe I can do more.” Positive change builds on itself.
Ramsey suggests an exercise that most of us would find uncomfortable – paying for things with real money – not credit cards. Hundred dollar bills! He says it makes what goes out real.
I suggest writing down what you eat or how many minutes you exercise. Make it real. You might be surprised.
And get an accountability partner. A friend of mine who lost 40 pounds in about ten weeks (a fifth of his body weight) used a Nike Fuel Band to chart his daily progress. Some people go to Weight Watchers or sign onto a computerized tracking system at their gym. Some people write it in a notebook.
There is no one-way –only proven principles. It’s not magic. It’s not about information. Most of us know about fruits and vegetables and about movement.
It’s about in and out. It’s about intention and hope.
Mary-Jo offers sage advice.