Everything involves an investment.
For lunch today I had a herb crusted halibut taco (mixed grain tortilla) topped with feta cheese and Mexican spiced cabbage slaw. It was an assembly lunch made from leftovers. It took about ten minutes to create (heating the grill, warming the halibut in the microwave, pulling out the arugula & cheese from fridge). I prepared the halibut for dinner the other night letting the slaw infuse in the fridge. That took about 40 minutes start to table.
My lunch didn’t come from a package that boasted zero carbs, no sugar, low-fat. It wasn’t dietetic. But it was low fat, low carbs and very little sugar (one tablespoon brown in the entire batch of slaw made for two). The other thing, the more important thing: it was delicious and felt decadent. And that’s my point.
We see the packaging in the grocery store of amazing looking dishes that we remember growing up on – mac & cheese, pasta dishes, burritos- re-engineered with their preservatives and promises to help us along our fitness way in no time at all. And all we have to do is pop it in the microwave, within five minutes we’re eating! Usually it’s not very memorable.
But good eating, just like fitness, takes time. Invest in yourself with the time, energy and money it takes to make (and eat) a good lunch.
There is no magic pill. There is no secret way to lose weight and build muscle in your sleep. And it’s this notion of investment that makes it so difficult for so many of us at throughout many times in our lives. We’re busy. We’re stressed. We work. We raise kids. We have hobbies. What falls through the cracks is the time to take care of ourselves.
I remember arguing with my mother about her need (my words) to exercise. She was in her fifties and ran a knit shop. She was the famous knitter of West Bloomfield, Michigan for decades making herself available to hundreds of women around the table in her knit shop over the years. I suggested that she find a way to structure a daily walk into her day. She groaned and said, “And what? Wake up even earlier than I already do.” Her store opened at ten. She arrived around 9:30 each day. I was young, had two small children and loved my own sleep. So, I understood her angst. And she was my mom. What was I gonna say?
Today, I absolutely know what I would say to her. Exactly, Mom. Get up earlier. And you know why? Because it is important to invest in yourself; you are worth it.
Everything we do that makes us feel successful or happy involves some investment of time. The fact that we find that same principle so hard to apply to exercise and eating is mind boggling. And I’m not judging. It’s how I operated for most of my life.
But this is what I learned in the last ten years: After getting into the habit of walking before I woke the kids for school, and then when their hours changed, immediately after they left in carpool, I couldn’t imagine sleeping late and missing not just the exercise but the way it makes me feel through out my day. And yes, there are nights I don’t sleep well. There are days I walk only on a promise of a cappuccino and a nap.
My midday meal is the same thing. I feel better if I eat well. It’s a choice I’ve learned to make. I think of it as an investment in good eating that has serious pay off. I know that if I don’t eat lunch, I will snack all through dinner prep as if I’m trying to slide two meals into one. I also know I will never feel satisfied if I grab something on the go just to get something in my tummy during a busy day. If I don’t feel satisfied I will spend the rest of the day hand to mouth hoping that some tidbit of chocolate or handful of potato chips will hit the spot.
I’ve learned the hard way, and so I’m telling you: Invest in yourself for good health. Time, a little bit of money and a lot of thought. You’re worth it!
Three easy tips to Invest in Yourself with a Good Lunch!
Editors Note: For more reading around the web on how important it is to Invest in Yourself check out these articles.
From Eric C. Stevens: Success In Exercising is Like Success in Investing
From Dr. Carmen Harra on Huffington Post, 10 Ways to Invest in Yourself
From Megan Tull on Huffington Post, Top Ten Ways to Invest in Yourself