-by Mindy Irish
I was talking with a friend of mine recently and she told me she saved $3000 last year by cutting and using coupons. I rarely coupon for various reasons and I reminded her about the “Return Of Investment” or ROI philosophy. Her savings are remarkable, but nothing’s free! Saving that much money comes with an investment of time in searching, clipping, and strategizing the coupon use. Estimating she spent 5-10 hours a week times 52 weeks comes out to 260-520 hours for the year, or roughly $11-$5 per hour payback. Put it that way, and then you have to weigh if it’s really worth it or not?! Saying you saved $3000 or you made $5-11 per hour cutting coupons actually sounds quite different!
The same goes for fitness and diet. There’s a ROI for each of those. In fitness, it’s typical for us to want to put as little in and get as much out and as quickly as possible. But in all reality, it doesn’t work like that! Your ROI in fitness is paid over time and is not a quick cash out. It’s a deposit into an account with sometimes little to no visible return at the moment. That’s when a lot of people throw in the towel and call it quits. They aren’t seeing instant results for their short investment and they call it a day. In fitness, the paycheck takes a long time to reveal, but when the investment is made with consistency and great discipline, the results are outstanding! Patience brings the greatest paycheck!
The Return of Investment with diet has three sides. Each fuel choice has either a positive or negative nutritional return to offer you. Choosing a high fat, high sugar item is going to offer a return of low energy, slowed results, and discouraging side effects. A high protein, low fat item is going to offer a return of proper muscle repair and energy supply overall. That’s when we have to stop and ask ourselves before that first bite, “Is it worth it?”
Cost is the second factor in your diet’s return of investment. The phrase “You get what you pay for” is often very true when it comes to food. Paying more for a leaner cut of meat, less processed item, or fresh produce is going to give a more positive return of investment to your body in exchange for the higher ticket price. Paying for less expensive, highly processed “cheaper” foods also has the same yet opposite return of investment. That’s why cleaning up the diet costs more but really has a better payback to your health in the long run.
The third side in your diet is the emotional and mental return of the investment. Making changes to your lifestyle comes at an emotional and mental cost. It’s not easy and takes patience, dedication, and ongoing determination to stay the course. Although sometimes a lower quality food item may not have a positive nutritional return for your health, it may be the break or quick fix that you mentally needed. Its payback can be great to the phyche and to your body’s metabolism to keep it from thinking it’s starving. Again, item by item, person by person, the evaluation of your fuel investment is wise to analyze.
The biggest factor to realize is that your life and body are worth the time, cost, energy, education, and effort it takes to make you a better you, not just for you, but for those in your life as well. Anything worth having for the long run is worth the wait and expense. A healthy mind, body, and spirit don’t come fast and don’t come for free. Invest in you as soon as possible and as often as you can because you’re worth it!