How Dad Dropped 100 Pounds on his Lunch Break
My Dad had to put himself through college.
To pay his own way, he worked a number of jobs while taking classes and studying. And to save money and time, he ate the vast majority of his meals at “greasy spoon” diners.
So by the time I was born he had gained a college diploma … a solid job … and also more than a hundred pounds of extra weight.
As a kid, I recall jumping on his very large belly and marveling at the fact that he weighed as much as some of my favorite professional wrestlers.
Then, one day, when I was in elementary school, Dad decided it was time to do something about his health.
He wanted to be around as I grew up so he designed a simple weight loss system that relied on the same discipline he used during his school years.
The first step was watching what he ate a bit more carefully.
For example, I remember him removing half the bun whenever he had a hamburger … which was WAY before low-carb diets became an actual trend.
But the keystone of the whole plan was that, instead of eating lunch, he started taking a brisk two-mile walk every day during his break.
Sounds almost too simple, right?
And yes, it flies in the convention of “smaller meals throughout the day” and all the other current thinking on weight loss.
Still, it worked!
Dad went from more than 280 pounds to back under 180.
More importantly, he has kept the majority of that weight off all the way through today – 30-odd years later!
If you’re looking to get more fit right now, my dad’s story should inspire you to do so.
Same thing if you’re looking to get RICHER.
First and foremost, you have to make the decision to do something.
In Dad’s case, it was deciding that he didn’t want to die of a heart attack at age 50.
In your case, it might be wanting to drop 10 or 20 pounds … complete a marathon … or save six figures in a 401(k) plan.
Next, it takes a plan to achieve that goal.
In Dad’s case, it was starting a bit of a diet and a regular exercise program.
Note that he didn’t even do anything extreme. No points systems, fasting programs, intensive cardio workouts, etc. Just a fast walk every day instead of eating lunch.
He followed the basic equation of “less calories in and more calories out every day equals weight loss.”
Really, all he had to do was stick with the system and some degree of success was practically INEVITABLE!
It’s the same basic thing with wealth building but in reverse: More money coming in and/or less money going out equals growing wealth.
Of course, the other part of this is discipline.
Can you take that pay raise and start putting it into savings rather than upping your monthly expenses?
Can you sell off a couple unused items on Craigslist and invest the proceeds?
Can you order the hamburger without the French fries?
Can you commit to walking a mile every lunch break?
I think anyone can do these things if they focus on it.
What’s more, once the habit is in place it gets easier and easier.
Just so you know I “eat my own cooking,” here are two recent illustrations from my own life.
First, on the dietary side, I realized that I had fallen into a rut at breakfast – eating far too much high-calorie granola. (And as my 10-year-old pointed out to me, it also had a lot of sugar in it.)
So I’ve begun having smoothies many days instead.
I throw in peanut butter protein powder, kale, bananas, coconut flakes, chia seeds, plus other fruits, vitamins, and supplements.
I mix up the exact combos just to keep things fresh, too. One day it’s strawberries and blueberries with almond milk. Another time I throw in cacao powder and use regular milk.
Although I was initially concerned about mid-morning hunger, that hasn’t really happened. I just have an apple around 10:30 and I’m good through lunch.
Meanwhile, on the budgetary side, I’m about to max out my solo 401(k) contributions for yet another year.
It would have been just as easy to blow the money on a new car or some other luxury item, but I know that those things won’t provide the same type of mental comfort as having a bigger retirement cushion in the bank.
Besides, when I looked at my tax picture I realized that I’d be giving a VERY large chunk of the money to various government agencies under any other scenario.
The point is that I’m always tweaking things and looking for more personal improvement.
I saw how my Dad was able to reshape his own life with a relatively simple plan.
And I know that anyone else can also do the same with a little bit of effort and commitment.
So if there’s something you’ve been meaning to work on, let his story serve as inspiration and get started today.
To a richer life,
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap