Friday 23 February 2018

Shape Up: It's time to trim the fat from your 'expenses'

Image posed
Image posed

Damien Maher

The last date for your tax returns has just gone. You may have been one of the many people who spent sleepless nights analysing the last year's trading accounts -- sales made, payments received and the bad debts that needed to be written off.

Banks, construction companies and even our own government's performances have been scrutinised of late and it's clear they're not up to the standards that we expect. But as you reflect on their performances in their respective fields, how would you rate yourself this year in the field of health and fitness? In an attempt to communicate with clients who are business professionals, I like to compare fitness and health to a profit and loss account or a balance sheet.

When they perform activities that bring them nearer to their fitness goals and benefit their health, they make a profit. But their expenses rise when they neglect their training, skip meals, make excuses, drink alcohol or go off the rails, increasing the likelihood of making a loss.

The business of You Inc does not enter into receivership or liquidation after one night of poor trading. It's as a result of years of poor trading, accumulating too many expenses and poor management. That is what leaves you with your appearance, which could be viewed as your company's balance sheet.

My fear is that you will end up like other animals who encountered challenges that they were not accustomed to. The dinosaurs became extinct when they did not adapt to a changing environment and as companies demand longer working hours from you and your finances become more challenged, how you adapt will determine your company's future.

Your company needs you to make some tough decisions on your health if it is to prevent itself from going into receivership.

You can decide now whether to trim the fat off your expenses, maximise the return on your investments of time, energy and money and to focus on the activities that will yield a return for your efforts. Or you can choose to ignore how your body responds in its daily activities and to bury your head in the sand hoping the recession will blow over.

If you want your body to be in the black you can maximise the return on your investment by incorporating weight and interval training into your lifestyle. These increase what is know as EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Consumption). EPOC is accompanied by elevated fuel consumption and therefore an increase in the metabolic rate of burning calories for up to 72 hours after exercise has been completed.

I meet many people who try to justify eating crap by training more. The reality is that you can't out-train a poor diet. If your expenses include repetitive cardio, skipping meals, eating processed foods like bread and pasta, soft drinks and drinking alcohol, the chances are You Inc will not be successful.

As a coach, I have to play the role of a fitness revenue commissioner, an independent body who reviews the accounts. My role is to analyse their food diary, and at times client's kitchens and shopping lists, to uncover hidden expenses that never made it to the accounts.

The initial consequences may not hit you as quickly or be as extreme as the revenue commissioners, but at some stage you will have to pay the piper.

As the owner of You Inc, you have to take ownership for your company.

You know yourself better than anyone, and if your body was a company and you were on its board of directors, would you currently give yourself a raise or would you get fired?

Whatever you do, trim your expenses. You have to make time for fitness now, or you will make time for illness or even liquidation later!

Irish Independent

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