Is it really worth it to spend money too be in better health? Let’s face it nothing in this world is free and gym memberships can be expensive. What about personal training, who can really afford that? Don’t even get me started about shopping at Whole Paycheck…I mean Whole Foods, grass-fed beef is how much? You “health nuts” are all crazy! Can’t you see it’s all a big scam, I mean working out is so 1980s. We are in the technology age, I don’t need muscles, machines do all the heavy lifting anyway. Who cares if I get sick, I got my flu shot, and if it gets really bad I am sure my doctor will prescribe me something stronger. Yeah, you can keep your gym memberships and your hippy food, I am going to take my chances, plus between my new car payment, boat payment, Xbox 360 online subscription, cable subscription, weekly happy hour, and weekend shopping sprees I really can’t afford it, plus who has time for that stuff anyway, it is so boring!
Has anyone said something similar to you? I know I hear it all the time. Well if you know anything about me you know where I stand on the question, “is spending money towards health a good investment”? My answer, absolutely! I believe spending money towards your health is the best investment you will ever make. I also believe that not purchasing a gym membership will not only hurt your waist line it will also significantly hurt your lifetime earning potential. Don’t get it twisted, I am not some blind faith believer either, I have witness this investment payoff time and time again. In fact, a month after I wrote part 1, like the plot of a Disney movie, I had a client lose a total 30-inches off her body in just 10-weeks, she gained a ton of confidence, had a lot more energy, increased her productivity and as a result landed a new job and a $20,000 per year pay raise! So their is no better investment than your own health but just like there can be no good without evil, failing to take care of yourself will cost you dearly. Oh do I have a story for you…
Jessica (my wife) is currently an Officer in the US Navy. The Navy, like all branches of the military has certain fitness and health standards for which all Sailors must meet. Two times a year, Sailors are required to take a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and failure to pass this assessment four times can result in one being discharged from service. Well sadly, that’s exactly what happened to one of Jessica’s fellow shipmates. This Naval Officer was kicked out of the Navy after 17-years of service for failing to reach the bare minimum requirement on this assessment. Yes, you read that right, this Sailor, my wife’s former co-worker, was kicked out of the Navy, because he refused to invest in his health! All I can say is, wow! Think that’s bad, well hold on because it’s about to get real!
For anyone that knows anything about military service, the key number is 20, at 20-years of service you are eligible to retire with all the benefits the military has to offer, and 50% of your base pay (that’s the minimum), and free health care coverage for the rest of your life! What do you get for serving 17-years? Nothing! That’s right Jessica’s former shipmate will not receive any base pay or health care coverage and all because he was “too busy” (or insert any other excuse he said here _______) to work out!
So what’s the price tag for giving-up? How much does it cost to get kicked out of the Navy 3-years shy of retirement? Well based on this mans rank, 0-3 with prior service, we are talking about him losing a minimum $40,000 dollars a year for the rest of his life (Military retirement benefit)! Not to mention the cost of now having to buy health insurance for his entire family. You would think that $40,000 per year plus family health care coverage would be enough motivation to eat right and workout consistently or at least workout hard enough to pass the PFA.
It is worth noting that just about every single military base has a gym, if fact most bases have really nice gyms, hell more then a gym, most bases have complete fitness facilities with state of the art equipment, exercise classes, swimming pools, you name it they got it. What about when he was out to sea? Well there are gyms on most Naval Ships too and most even have Physical Fitness Leaders who’s job is to help Sailors get in shape. So it is safe to assume that not having access to a gym is not a valid excuse. Jessica has certainly figured it out. She has been in 9 years and made four deployments and she is in shape.
It is also worth noting that this Sailor was not a victim of some hardcore zero tolerance policy either, he had many chances to meet these fitness standards. Did you know that you can fail at least 3-times in a 4-year period before you get kicked out? That means you only have to pass 62% of the time (that’s less than average, people!). Did you also know that this Sailor, just like all navy personnel was given 3-hrs a week for Physical Training (every week) as part of his normal job duties? Unless you are in the Military there is a good chance you don’t know that all Sailors are given at least 10-weeks of notice before their PFA is conducted? How is it possible to fail a test given all this opportunity, especially when the stakes or so high?
Also I forgot to mention that if you do fail your PFA the Navy will enroll you into a Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) which not only gives nutritional advice it requires sailors to have their physical training signed off by a fitness leader or trainer. I know that because that was one of my first fitness jobs, I was a Civilian Fitness Trainer for the Air Force. In addition to other Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, civilians, I would have FIP (Air Force’s version of the FEP) participants attend my spin classes and bootcamps. At the end of class they would run up to me and ask me sign their piece of paper saying they attended my class. The sad thing is many of these FIP participants would not participate, they would sit on the spin bike, and give me the stink eye for an entire hour, so I would refuse to sign their paper, once word got out and they stopped coming to my classes which eventually lead to me getting fired! That’s right I got fired for trying to help people meet fitness standards…
But I really don’t care why I got fired, I care why people like my wife’s former co-worker choose to sabotage themselves? I am not just talking about the military either, I see people from all walks of life self-sabotage their health. Why do people choose their favorite football team over their own health? Why do people choose video games, sugary snacks, grains, reality shows, fancy coffee, cosmetics and/or stupid “cleanse diets”over their own quality of life? Are people really that afraid to challenge themselves? They must be! Why else would you give-up, especially when they are so close?!
We get one shot at this game (life), in this form, in this body, you get one chance to do something meaningful, to make a difference, to let your voice be heard, you get one chance! So stop wasting time, start taking care of yourself now, start investing in yourself now and don’t be afraid to succeed or fail! Something to think about – if you are not willing to invest in yourself, don’t expect anyone else to invest in you! Remember the healthier you are, the stronger you become, and the better you perform and the better you preform, the more shit gets done and the more shit gets done the better your life is!