Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pay Now, or Pay Later

Long term is a concept I often struggle with applying to my own life. I understand the concepts and benefits of thinking long term- especially when it comes to things like resource protection and financial planning, but when it comes to my body, I fail big time. I always seem to defer to short term gratification.

At the nutrition talk I attended last week, one question that came up was the expense of eating clean. Buying grass fed meats, organic fruits and vegetables, nuts…those are pricey items. A box of macaroni and cheese can be had for about a buck (I’ve even see it as cheap as $0.77 per box!).

So, let’s say you choose to not spend your money on real food, because, hey, you have a house payment, a car payment, you really like those shoes you saw at Nordstrom, and a box of neon orange “macaroni and cheese” tastes better then some lettuce and organic chicken. Fast forward 30 years…you are obese, have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, and just discovered you have stomach cancer. You are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care bills. Not to mention in the past 15 years the quality of life you have lived has been so poor. You stopped traveling because flying is a hassle. You don’t enjoy the outdoors because you can barely walk more than a couple of hundred yards before getting winded.

Rather lets say when you were 30, you got a wake up call and decided to give up the crappy “American” diet backed by the special interest groups that could not care less about your health, and chose to buy real food items that were more expensive. You had to let the shoes at Nordstrom sit there for someone else to buy because you knew grass fed beef made you feel better than macaroni and cheese. The next 30 years are nothing but non-stop action and continuing to find the “best shape of your life.” No monthly prescriptions, no doctor bills, just excellent health and a fun life.

Which one do you choose? I know which one I choose, however, its the hardest one to follow.

This concept can be applied to so many of life’s situations- pay now or pay later. In my years on this planet, it seems as though the “pay later” is the worst of the two options, yet picked the most. Nobody wants to pay, so it’s logical to put it off as long as possible. But, the longer you put it off, the more interest there is, and in hindsight, you see it would have been cheaper to just pay the full amount up front.

Fortunately, I'm able to see the benefit of spending a little more on my food to save on health costs down the road. What I'm struggling with is choosing the hard road in my everyday life. Each time I give in to something I want, it delays my progress. In order to have the things I want, I must do the things I do not want to do. So, here's me...starting to pay up.

1 comment:

  1. I think as our bodies get readjusted to eating good food, the negative feedback we experience when eating the bad stuff is much stronger.