This post was inspired by another post. Postception.
I received a super positive response from simply sharing this post:
Given how many people that message resonated with, I wanted to give you some tips for making small, free changes to make a big impact on your health and your life.
How do you get fit when money's tight?
You don’t need to drink kale smoothies, or go GMO free, or organic or whatever. Eating healthy doesn’t actually need to cost a lot monetarily. Beans, lentils, rice, vegetables, and fruit can be relatively cheap if you buy them from that market on the corner.
Being broke is exhausting. All of the foods I just listed (excluding fruit) take a decent amount of preparation i.e. time and energy, time and energy you may not have if you work 60 hours a week at a job you hate just to stay afloat. Even without financial stress working that much makes losing fat tricky, but not impossible with the right strategies.
Habits are the name of the game here because habits don’t rely exclusively on willpower. A true habit (something subconscious like putting on your right shoe before your left) doesn’t use any willpower at all!
Using a habit- based approach you don't gain weight back after you lose it -- you stay lean and life doesn't revolve around fat loss. This means you have way more brainspace to focus on other things. Fitness doesn't consume life. Rather, fitness complements life.
The idea behind building habits is that you pick small, manageable steps that fit into the context of where you are RIGHT NOW, not where you feel you should be.
Here's your template for success:
I am 90-100% sure I will (habit) when I (trigger that reminds you to practice the habit) for the next 7 days.
The goal isn’t to pick a the most challenging habit you can think of. The goal is to find something you can, and will, do consistently.
To prevent boredom, use a technique called "Goldilocksing"; you want the habit to juuuuust right. The habit you choose to practice should be something realistic. However, you do want a little bit of a challenge. This gamifies the experience making it more rewarding and motivating..
Assess your habit daily and scale your habit as you see necessary, shooting for that "I am 90-100% sure" mark.
After 7 days is up, pick a different habit to practice.
Now, the habit ideas I’m about to lay out are not rules set in stone. I’m leaving the implementation of these habits intentionally vague.
How you implement the habit is where you have to get creative and decide what will realistically work and fit into your shedule (not a typo. Say it aloud. Shhhhedule. Don’t you feel fancier now? I know I do).
Alrighty, here are 5 habits to get you started on your way to a healthier, leaner, and more athletic on any budget.
1. Compliment someone
Truth be told, I don’t actually know why this works. But it does. Complimenting one person a day somehow helps my online clients eat better and make healthier decisions to get rid of belly fat.
This habit is feasible no matter how heavy life gets. You don’t need money, time, or anything really.
2. Eat 3-4 solid meals a day
I recommend using hunger as the trigger for this one, but as I said, it’s really up to you. You know yourself and your life better than I do.
This is a great way to eliminate compulsive snacking while following the pink elephant rule.
"Umm, excuse me. Pink elephant what?"
Don’t think about a Pink Elephant. Don’t do it. Whatever you do, DO NOT think about a Pink Elephant.
You’re thinking about a pink elephant I’m guessing. I sure was.
Don’t snack! Don’t think about snacking. Whatever you do, DO NOT think about snacking!
You make your life way harder when you tell ourselves not to think about the pink elephant.
It's always easier to add healthy behaviors than to take away unhealthy ones.
Eating 3-4 meals a day helps you be more mindful of your hunger cues and any compulsive or stress eating habits, without worrying about elephants of any color.
3. Add vegetables to meals
You need to eat more vegetables. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
It's OK though. Evervybody needs more veggies in their life!
Pick a few of your favorite vegetables and/or research some awesome recipes to make them tasty. If you need help finding good recipes email me with the subject line “Veggies and All that Jazz” at email@example.com. Seriously. Do it. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with some awesome and affordable recipes.
4. Exercise for 1 minute a day
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much your energy and mood improve from “only” one minute of exercise. Bodyweight squats, lunges, pushups work great for this habit because you can do them anywhere.
2 members of the Tribe of Badassery smashed this habit to smithereens by doing planks before bed. The bed was a consistent trigger that made it easy to remember and implement.
5. Evaluate your spending
Nobody is 100% aligned with their priorities and values. For example, if I were to give number rankings to my priorities, Facebook would rank at about 157,589, only just above becoming a world class jellyfish juggler.
My actions don’t line up with that. The time spent on FB probably ranks at where number 10 should be.
Point is, there's no judgement here.
Look at how you spend money (and time for that matter) and decide whether your spending lines up with your priorities.
Not only will budgeting alleviate some financial stress, but will help build mindfulness and self awareness. Budgeting really highlights where you spend time, energy, and money of course.
Another helpful side effect is you cook more meals at home because it’s cheaper. This means you have more control over how healthy our food is.
You might be really good at putting your money where your mouth is. I don’t mean to imply otherwise. That doesn’t mean taking an honest look at your budget won’t be beneficial.
When I did my taxes last year and saw the cumulative cost of froyo I was shocked! I don’t care to divulge the specific number as it’s absurdly high, but let’s say I could have used that money for a plane ticket somewhere really cool, but I didn’t...I bought froyo instead... :/
Point is, taking an honest look at expenses on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis and seeing if they line up with your priorities can radically shift your perspective and actions.
While not all of us have the skrilla to buy organic, we all have the capacity to consistently practice getting better.
The Next Step Towards Your Best Life
Email me with your first habit template at firstname.lastname@example.org right meow.
I know you want to be better. I know you have goals and ambitions. Why else would you take time out of your busy day to read this? Let’s put that desire to be the most awesome, sexy, and confident version of yourself into action.
Either way, I’d love to hear from you and know that you took that first bold step towards becoming the healthier, happier version of yourself :)