Michelle: If you take personal responsibility for your situation, and direct your time and effort toward loosing weight or learning to manage your finances, you'll be much more successful that if you spent that time and effort complaining about predatory lending or the advertising of unhealthy foods.
Jessica: For every problem, issue, over-indulgence, etc, there is a very personal cause. It is difficult to make generalizations or assumptions about what motivates and drives people, particularly with such personal issues, such as weight and debt. That being said, many people find themselves with debt they can't afford, not because of over-spending, but because of unfair practices by lending companies… I am not a "victim" - I am someone who does not appreciate my government allowing banks to lie, cheat and steal.
Hops: My opinion, though largely unformed and malleable, is that family is the greatest influence on spending/eating. It's inevitable that we absorb our parents' habits.
Ameliat: Personal responsibility is the only piece of the equation I can control. Yes, there is a whole marketing industry out there with the express goal of trying to get me to part with my cash and eat their processed food products. But it’s up to me to educate myself and do something about it, at least for myself. Maybe further down the line I’ll become more political and want to fight to “change things” out there in the world but for right now, I must limit my scope to what I can reasonably control – my own behavior and choices. …
Scott: In both cases, most people want a quick fix and fail to appreciate the incremental nature of debt and weight. One latte isn't going to kill you, but 2 a day five days a week will account for about a pound a week and about $800 in a year.
Jaime: One thing that interests me … is the pleasure from the illicit indulgence - the binge, the splurge, the "Oh, I shouldn't, but it feels so good." Whether it's a piece of chocolate cake or a pair of earrings (or *buying* a piece of chocolate cake, for, like, $4), breaking perceived rules feels like this self-empowering rebellion. Indulgence. "I deserve it." And in both cases it hurts more than it helps. It can just be hard to remember that in the moment.
Julia: I'm a huge fan of rewarding myself for goals met, and that's my indulgence. But it comes with two rules--1. That I wait until the goal is met and 2. That I wait at least a week or two after first seeing my "want" to make sure I still want it. That's how I combat impulse buying...and it works.
Allison Cabral: I work with clients every day in helping them overcome weight issues and 100% of the time I have found a DIRECT correlation between their debt and weight!! As a life coach, I recommend they cut the excess out everywhere in their life. They also have clutter and stuff issues. Once they clear up the core issues in their life, the weight drops off! It is about small baby steps and a vision of what you want, not focusing on what you don't want.
And finally, congratulations to readers carol m and beanalby. Carol recently signed up for Financial Peace University, and beanalby and his wife have lost a combined 90 pounds. 90 pounds! My mind is boggled. Nice work!