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Archive for May, 2012: Trying to keep Tabs on my finances
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Archive for May, 2012

Fitness people

May 30th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Something that has taken me quite aback are fitness people, especially body builders, and their attitude towards money. People like that tend to be seriously goal-orientated and even narrowly focused, to the degree that money means nothing to them if it means bigger biceps for example.

The battlecry, "Go big or go home!" summarizes the prevailing attitude rather well.

To be fair, their attitude isn't entirely without merit. For example, they tend to be much healthier due to their advanced regiment of diet and exercise. It should go without saying that our body is one of the few places where it is worth investing into.

Still, the extreme "devil may care" attitude seems to be why the fitness field can be so lucrative. Mental note: Must look into owning GNC franchises.

In fact, some guys even poo-poo on the idea of doing cardio, quipping sarcastically that such activities are for bunnies. Cardio! Come on now.

Luckily, I do think it's possible to get decent diet and supplements without breaking the piggy bank. Mind you, decent whole foods and vitamins will always cost more than hot digs and ramen noodles, but I don't think it is unreasonable to invest in one's own health.

For example, though I stick with a reputable company, I basically buy bulk and slightly off-brand. For example, I love Now's multivitamin gelcaps and whey protein isolate. (I don't get a single penny for saying that by the way.) They make quality products, and don't charge an arm and a leg for it.

I almost never go into GNC anymore. Their prices range anywhere from reasonably competitive to prettt outrageous. You know they have to charge a premium somewhere just to pay for the store's lease.

I also try to eat whole foods, and while there is always a price to pay for it due to the on-going health food craze, it seems that you can still get good deals for component foods, such as buying beans or oatmeal in bulk to make your own meals. Poultry, luckily, is still a fairly cheap source for protein.

In the end, I am trying to balance both my physical health with my financial health, just as I try to balance strength training with cardio. Hopefully, more people will adopt that attitude as well.

Dieting... sort of.

May 15th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

So it appears that I've gotten to a point where I think I'm dieting and counting calories now. Interesting since I wasn't planning on doing so, but it's always amusing to see where life takes you when you follow certain paths.

However, I've never dieted before, so all this stuff is just new-- and yet fascinating-- to me. All these numbers and categories, it's like learning defense from the dark arts or something.

For example, one online calculator is telling me that I should have a daily intake of roughly 1700 calories, with 230g of carbs, 55g of fat, and 65g of protein. Being new, I have no sense of how accurate this is, but it seems good enough.

Based on these numbers, and noting the supplements that I am taking from a prior entry, it would appear that I have absolutely no problem taking in enough protein (and often times, take in more than I need), fat can be ignored completely, but it still leaves me about 1000 calories and about 230g of carbs to work with and fill in (ideally over breakfast).

I am still not sure what to make of all this yet, but so far, I think I can adjust to replacing two of my three meals with protein supplements. And best of all, they're not expensive. Just $1.00 to $1.50 per bar or shake.

Trying to eat healthier

May 14th, 2012 at 01:20 am

and as anyone who has tried or is trying knows, it's not easy and it's not cheap!

Or maybe it is. You tell me.

I think for guys, it's also slightly different as well, such as more protein intake to promote muscle growth versus trying to slim down.

So, here's my basic diet plan thus far:

I eat regular food, but a big meal first thing during the day. I try to make it breakfast, but life being how it is, sometimes it is pushed back to lunch.

For my late lunch (or more like supper since sometimes it gets that late), I am recently trying out just a meal replacement bar, which I think is enough, but really, only time will tell.

And then for dinner (which is sometimes late night after my workout), I just down a whey protein shake.

How's it working out? Not sure yet. I've only started this diet about a month ago, but I am optimistic that it is doable. From a numbers perspective, it should work out in terms of daily nutritional intake, but the hard part will probably be not giving into the temptation of eating more food than I am suppose to.

Oh yeah, and I also take sport multivitamins. Wow, if there's anything out there that can get truly expensive, it is this right here. To save money, I have to special order mine, in bulk, from online sources because it's hard to track down EXACTLY what I am looking for.

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However, all this is a work in progress, and any nutrition and health advice is greatly appreciate it, and of course, that it can be done affordably. What do you think?

What is happiness?

May 14th, 2012 at 12:58 am

So, when was the last time I've posted here? Let's conveniently ignore that, shall we? Haha.

Once in a long while, I'll end up having an introspection, and get a status update if you will on where I stand in my life right now.

So, what is happiness? I don't really know, but if there's anything I've learned about heady subject matters, it is that sometimes over-thinking it is about as productive as not thinking about it at all.

With that in mind, I think saying, "Having enough love, enough money, and enough self-satisfaction in your life." is good enough for today's purposes.

Then I started breaking it down further, though anybody can do that for themselves, so I'm not going to bother you guys with it here.

Sadly, the overall status looks bad. Well, I'm not saying my life is going badly. Certainly, it's quite rosy compared to anyone else who is struggling with anything out there right now. I'm not struggling with my life at least, just that things could be much better.

Now the real question to me is, "How do we fix it?" Luckily, the "enough money" and "enough self-satisfaction" part is doable. I just need to continue to apply effort and patience. The "enough love" part is much trickier.

If you guys have any suggestions-- no matter how crazy-- I'm willing to hear it.

This being a financial site, however, perhaps it's best to end this rambling entry on that aspect. I plan to take a multi-prong approach by looking for a second job, as well as start a home business.

Certainly, I don't expect instant overnight success or anything, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try. And that's on the earnings side.

On the savings side... well, actually I'm not entirely sure what I can do here. As a fellow saver, I've always done what I can here, like anybody else. I suppose I could consolidate my finances into a simpler structure. My portfolio is also overdue for a re-balance as well....

So, yeah, if you've read this much, thanks for letting me ramble. Hope you have a nice and happy day.