The Program – Stage 1: January

For the last 5 years or so when my relatives ask me what my diet is, I respond saying: I’m not on a diet.  “I’m on the program.  The program is a way of life.  A diet is just a passing phase.”  Its been a joke because the program is whatever I want it to be.  A vague notion that I’m doing something without committing to doing anything.

My friends don’t ask me this question because I look good, or look like I’ve been dieting.  They usually ask it if I’m not eating a cookie, or if its January 1st and we’re making goals or something.  It hasn’t really worked out for me.  My weight is about 190 lbs. at night after I’ve eaten all I can take.  Not bad for a 39 year old man but not great.  Too much fat around the mid section.  To quote my friend’s old myspace description, I like him am ‘slightly pair shaped’.  I want to look more carrot shaped this year.  So to that end, I am actually on the program and I’m finally going to define what it is.


There are several reasons a financial jerk should talk about being healthy.  But it basically comes down to the fact I want to live longer than you and see some serious compound interest.  But here are the 2 main reasons:

Reason 1:  When you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters.

You can’t enjoy money, comfort, or life in general.  I feel really bad for people that have chronic pain.  It just seems awful.  When our family friend passed away from cancer when she was 29 the last days of her life were filled with pain and the doctors plans were mostly just to make her comfortable until she passed away.  It was very sad.

The ironic thing is that she was very healthy.  Super into yoga, fitness, everything.  But I’m not going to get into the laws of the universe in this post.  I’ll only point out that there is a lot we are control of and we increase our odds of living happier healthier lives by taking care of our bodies.  Obesity increases risk of heart problems.  Heart problems are the biggest cause of death in America.  So why not cut out some risk here?  Rationally, there are only benefits to cutting back.

Reason 2: People Judge

Your body is a testament to what you are doing with it.  You can dress it up with clothes, but unless you’re in a burka for the most part, we can see you.  When people see you they can probably guess what kind of life you live.  Does this guy sit around an play video games all day?  Is this girl smoking pot all day and eating Doritos?  A lot of your habits are reflected in your physical appearance.  I’ve written before that if you want to get ahead in life, sex sells.

A good body shows discipline, self control, and gives confidence.   Those are the people that end up getting promoted, that earn higher wages, and get people to pay attention to them.  We’re already paying attention to them!  I realize this isn’t true if you are an airhead, but most people that I’ve seen in my stage of life that still look decent (e.g: better than me) are actually pretty smart and admirable.  But maybe I think that because their physical appearance is good.  After all, communication is only 10% verbal (yes, that was another made up statistic)

And finally, if you can’t control what you eat, why would we trust you to run a sales team?  Why would we trust you to control our company image?

January – Phase 1

We’re going to start out with two simple rules:

  1. Avoid Sweets
  2. Don’t eat after 7PM.

The hardest part will be avoid sweets.  I’m not talking about not jamming my toast, I’m mostly talking about desserts.  This has been my weakness for the past few years.  This last holiday season was nuts.  I totally went nuts and ate anything I wanted.

I typically eat at home and have a decent Standard American Diet (SAD) already.  I suffer mostly with portion control and sweets.  Every night when I go to bed I’m full.  And I realize that you shouldn’t be going to bed with your belly full.  Some times I’ve paid for it and had a hard time sleeping.  Especially if I pound some dessert late at night.  Sometimes I blame this on my wife.  She makes sure we have food every day and she makes really good stuff.

So that’s it.  My goal is to get back to my standard 180 that I was last June with just these 2 changes.

What about exercise you say?  Well, I already do a little of that right now already.  We do Jillian Michaels 30 day shred about 2-3 times a week and I play with the kids soccer, basketball, skateboarding, or like today we did volleyball.  So we won’t be upping that quite yet.

Ok, let’s see how it goes!