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Health is Wealth: Maintaining an Ideal Weight

This blog is all about wealth. That brings money to mind for most people most of the time. Yet money is not that high on the list of things that make you wealthy.

Just living in the modern world gives you access to more knowledge than ever before. Medical technology has grown so fast it requires specialists just to keep tabs on one narrow field of medicine. The wealthiest of 100 years ago had worse medical care than the poorest of us today.

Travel is faster on every level. Roads go almost anywhere you want to go. Communication (this blog is as an example) wasn’t even dreamed of at the levels of today in science fiction novels a few decades prior.

For all this luxury we are still slave to one simple fact: without health all other forms of wealth are deminished.

When is comes to health, the gorilla in the room is weight. As we enjoy more technology we can get more stuff and better services while we sit on our ass as much as we desire (sometimes even more).

Before you think I’m only talking about overweight people, let me point out the title of this post: Maintaining an Ideal Weight. My oldest daughter is too thin and struggles to add weight. It is a serious health risk for her. Your favorite accountant (that would be me) has the opposite and more common problem.

The solution to too much or too little weight is solved with generally the same strategies. There are three things needed to maintain an ideal weight: diet, exercise and sleep. Do it right and you stand a good chance of living a long time. Do it right and you increase your chances at high levels of health and happiness. Do it right and your level of happiness should go up significantly. Do it right and you will truly be wealthy.

Eat good food to maintain your ideal weight.

Diet for Ideal Weight

When you think of it, maintaining an appropriate weight is not that hard. The science is clear. You don’t need massive books of crazy diets. (Of course, you should always have a serious talk with your doctor before making dietary and exercise changes to your routine. We want to rule out any medical issues that would be made worse by actions that benefit most people.)

Dr. Jordan Peterson espouses a radical diet where you eat only beef with a pinch of salt and water. (He made room for some sparkling water.) Similar dietary recommendations include Atkins and other high protein/low carbohydrate diets.

High protein diets tend to create satiety (you don’t feel hungry). It doesn’t take long to get there either. Some question the long-term affects of such a diet. It also has the challenge of sticking to such a rigid diet.

I think there is a better way.

When I was a kid I was skinny as a rail. I was also hyper. I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off (to use my farming background for an analogy). Running at high speed all the time burns a lot of calories.

I was the second lowest weight of all my male classmates in sixth grade. By the end of high school I put on some weight, mostly in muscle from baling hay the old fashioned way (carried it).

My weight was ideal most of my young adulthood. Then I got one of those cushy desk jobs as an accountant. The busier I got the less time I had to exercise (more on this in a bit) and my diet went to the lowest level as I got more tired and exhausted.

Soda, candy, snacks and processed foods are the death on millions of Americans. I eat waaaaay too much of this garbage in the heat of tax season and it shows.

I went from 140 pounds (65 kgs) to {gulp} 220 pounds (100 kgs). It took a long time for the damage to build as each year I slowly added a bit more packaging where it was not needed.

Proper exercise can help you maintain your ideal weight.

Exercise for Ideal Weight

The worst part of the weight gain was that sitting in a chair meant my muscle mass had declined at the same time. A bad double-whammy.

I knew the answer was simple: eat better. And so I did.

Better diet pealed off pounds in a steady manner. (No crazy-insane dieting or starvation stuff.) At around 190 it was apparent I needed to tone as well.

Running was my exercise of choice. More weight came off until I dropped below 170. In the 160s my face looked sallow and I didn’t feel as good. I was running half-marathons for fun and it was not unusual to run around the block to get some thinking time. (I live in the boondocks so running around the block where I live is 4.85 miles (8 kilometers)).

I needed some muscle mass so I joined a gym and hired a trainer to put on muscle the smart way and not get hurt. (I wanted my old farm boy bod back.)

Slowly I added muscle. At 180 I felt and looked good. I was healthy and felt that way. (Mrs. Accountant couldn’t keep her hands off me.)

Then something terrible happened. A major finance blogger took a like to me and gave me a name. Selling goods that can be scaled (sold in volume) would have been no problem. 10,000 people wanting my attention NOW was. (Service trades are harder to scale.)

Unprepared for the assault, I hunkered down behind my desk like never before. Diet and exercise suffered, though I did keep up my weight training. (Running died out.)

The weight went back on as each year passed. Lack of sleep during tax season and the never-ending demands from clients and the community had a negative effect.

Now I sit close to 230 and all I can say is, “I still have muscle mass” and a big fat as. . .

All was not lost. I am in better shape even though I tip the scale higher. But it is still not good.

That is where you, my gentle (and kind) readers come in. The chart in this post shows my weight as it changed since 2015. The earlier victory is not listed; the slow ascent is.

And we still need to talk about the most important ingredient in maintaining an ideal weight and in being healthy: sleep.

Sleep to maintain your ideal weight.

Sleeping Your Way to an Ideal Weight

Sleep might be the most important and most underused weight maintenance program in existence. All I said above about losing control of my ideal weight started with cutting back on sleep.

One of my favorite authors, Ryan Holiday, said it best: Here’s Your Secret to Success: Go the F*ck to Sleep. Language aside, you must read his post. It is the secret sauce to creating and keeping wealth of any kind.

Diet goes when I’m sleep deprived. Bet the same happens to you. Then you cut back or eliminate exercise. Now you have stirred together the best recipe I can think of for failure.

Stealing from Holiday (still read his post):

• Inadequate sleep is a sign (and can lead to) of impending burnout

• You are not an exception. No matter how much you think you function well on less sleep, you don’t

• No phone next to the bed

• Out of bed early (This is the easiest one of the lot for me)

• Strenuous exercise daily

• Read before bed

• Journal before bed

• Weekends are not an exception. Follow good sleep hygene

• Take a nap if necessary

You get the idea. Sleep is vital! You need good sleep daily. You are not a good employee or business owner with inadequate sleep. You are a human being, not a machine. Work will be there in the morning.

You need an action plan to maintain your ideal weight.

Action Plan for Ideal Weight

I think most people reading to this point understand the diet and exercise part. Stop eating processed foods and focus on wholesome fruits and vegetables. Consume meat sparingly. Eat a well-rounded diet.

Strength and aerobic exercise are both vital. “They” will tell you lifting weight burns more calories. I can tell you running has always made weight loss easier for me. You need balance so, unless your doctor recommends against for medical reasons, strength and aerobic exercise should be part of your program.

And go the f*ck to sleep as Ryan Holiday reminds us. I spent too many years of my life thinking I was the exception. I wasn’t and feel the results currently.

My action plan is this: let’s do it together. I have a chart below with my weight since 2015. As you can see my weight is not ideal at this time. I will update the chart periodically so we can challenge each other.

You can do the same. Create a chart and track your weight weekly. Don’t make unrealistic goals. If you are overweight, your goal is to weight less than the week before. One pound is fine. Maintaining is fine. Small consistent losses are ideal unless you are obese or other medical factors are in play. That will require the assistance of a medical professional.

I also included some additional reading you will find valuable below.

Health in our modern age is not rocket science. Yes, we get older by the day and medical conditions play a role. That is why I ask you discuss this with your doctor first (and to reduce my liability, let’s be honest).

Any plan you devise needs to be something you maintain. Start small and build up. I currently press 80 or more pounds per dumbbell. I’ve been lifting weight for years with very few days off. If you start at 80 pounds you will get hurt and then it will take longer to get started as you wait to heal. Start at a level you can handle and build as you gain strength. Since I have not run much for some time it will require short runs and hiking to build that endurance. You might run more than me out of the gate. Always be mindful of where your are physically.

If your weight is currently ideal, keep up the good work. Diet, exercise and sleep. I lost focus earlier in life and lost my ideal weight. Now I need to work to get it back and it is worth every bit of effort.

Share your story and progress in the comments. Come back often. Read the recommended reading. Work your program. Create and maintain the greatest wealth you or anyone can ever have: health.

The chart starts back in January 2015. You can actually see the stress of tax season in my weight chart. Going back to 170 is low for me. But 190, with my amount of muscle mass, would be ideal.

Recommended Reading

Intermittent Fasting: I published on this a few years back. It is worth another look if for nothing other than seeing me showing off my physic. There is a way home after losing your way.

The Perfect Day Begins with a Good Evening: Here is more Ryan Holiday on sleep, success and the proper routine.

Intermittent Fasting Made Easy: Next-level Hacks to Supercharge Fat Loss, Boost Energy, and Build Muscle: A good book for a deeper look at intermittent fasting, a good tool for maintaining proper weight.

Why We Sleep: Not only an interesting read on why we sleep, but why it is so vital to good health.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph: Ryan Holiday gives us all the tools we need to accomplish any goal.


Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Keith, can you add years to the chart? It will make it easier to follow. Great post! I was just thinking about the fact that, now that our kids are in elementary-high school, lack of sleep is all our fault (no one wakes us up in the middle of the night anymore). We need to be strict about this one!

Keith Taxguy, EA

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Vida, I'll see if I can add the years in the chart.


Monday 9th of May 2022

The links in your email isn’t working. Ihad to go the wealthyaccountant and go to newest post.

Keith Taxguy, EA

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

I sent a new email with updated links. It seems a few people got links with garbled characters which prevented the link from working.