“You can afford to eat that” and other things I hate hearing

October 18, 2010

Philosophy

Most of the time when someone offers me a doughnut or some other type of unhealthy junk food, I’ll politely decline.  It is at that point that they say something along the lines of, “Oh, you’re skinny.  You can afford to eat that.”  This brings to light some underlying, disturbing beliefs that we have as a society.   Most of the time, changes to behavior are a result of a reaction to a negative event rather than being proactive.  Let’s take, for example, two things that I like to discuss here, health and finances.  Have we come to a point where the only reason to eat healthy is to lose a few pounds for the summer or that you should seek to cut expenses only when you find yourself mired in debt?  The problem with doing those things is that they are short-term solutions and do not address the root problem.  People who seek reactionary solutions to their problems may reverse course for a short period of time, but are bound to fall back on their old habits after the crisis has been averted.  In that sense, it becomes a never-ending cycle.  In order to stay consistent you must be motivated by higher ideals, such as a desire to stay healthy/fit or become financially independent.

The people who get the proactive mentality are the ones who continue to exercise and eat healthy even though they are in top physical shape.  They are the ones who continue to save and live within their means even though they can afford to blow it all on fancy things.  That is what, in my opinion, I call progress.

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