Imagine yourself $50k in debt.
To pay it all off, conventional wisdom would have you putting your spending under a tighter microscope and reducing spending/cutting out ‘extras’, and perhaps picking up a second job, or working some overtime at your primary job as to bring in more income.
-continue spending in the way that led to $50k worth of debt, and try to out-work/out-overtime your spending.
-you could work zero overtime, forego picking up a second job, and just try to restrict your spending down to near zero.
Either of those choices would make the process a good bit more difficult than doing a little bit of targeted work at both incoming and outgoing.
If you are trying to outwork your spending, you’re probably going to be very very mentally and physically tired, always. And that’s going to lead to you ‘bonking’ and giving up on your plan.
If you go the second route and try to restrict your spending down to zero, your head will probably explode never ever being able to buy absolutely anything.
Which takes us back to conventional wisdom pointing toward doing a little bit of methodical work on both of them, spend a little less, and find ways to boost your income a bit.
Now imagine being 50lbs overweight.
You can try to out work your spending, aka throw yourself into endless exercise without altering your income (how much you’re eating).
You can try to reduce all your spending drastically, without working any more than you have been.
Going the “imma do it all through exercise route”, you’re bound to hit a wall. Your body will break down, your mindset will break down, your family will feel forgotten about, and you’ll start to resent exercise.
Going the “I’ll just starve myself” route, you’ll become hangry quickly, you’ll have zero energy to do anything at all, your work will suffer, your family life will suffer, you’ll develop a horrid relationship with food and you’ll want to eat your kids and your friends.
And you likely won’t move the debt/weight needle much before you inevitably scrap the plan.
SO….what should you do?
*Gradually turn both levers.*
Walk just a little more. Add a day of weights or an extra day of cardio you enjoy. Pop up and walk around your house or neighborhood when taking phone calls. Be the person walking around the fence rather than parking it in a lawn chair watching your kids practice.
Spend a little less. Cut out liquid calories. Switch to diet soda. Cut out the apps or desserts. Split entrees with your spouse when dining out. Aim to eat more meals at home. Put the booze aside for a bit, or at least reduce it.
By decreasing your spending (what you’re spending your dollars or calories on) and increasing your output (how much you’re working/burning) only as much as will move the needle, then continuing to gently turn those levers to keep the results coming, you will be able to drop weight without being miserable, just as the very same gameplan will enable you to get out of debt with good time and consistency.
You don’t have to cut out food groups.
You don’t have to buy supplements that are hypermarketed and play almost zero difference without the above advice.
You don’t have to prove to yourself how miserable you’re willing to be to get to your goal.
But you do have to care and stay caring.
Your work ethic and commitment to the task at hand have to be directly relative to the task at hand.
You have to show up and put the work in.
It is worth it, and you can do it without being utterly miserable.