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Abs: The New Status Symbol?
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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17328

Abs: The New Status Symbol?

Money expert Dave Ramsey has a catchphrase for his radio show that I've always liked. It goes something like this:

"...the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice."

I like that. Some of the most successful, wealthiest people I know live modestly, drive paid-off cars over five years old, and prefer Timex to Rolex.

Some of the brokest folks I know are just the opposite. The bank owns their new cars and Visa owns their fancy timepieces. They are walking facades of wealth, big houses built on foundations of particle board.


One of the predicted consumer trends for 2012 is further investment in personal health rather than the mindless pursuit and accumulation of more "stuff." People are, supposedly, going to spend more money on getting healthy, losing fat, and keeping fit.

So, instead of decorating a chubby, pre-diabetic body with jewelry and sliding it into shiny 2011 convertibles, they're going to spend their cash on gyms, better food, exercise equipment, and supplements.

Man, let's hope so.

I think your body is, in many ways, your ultimate "status symbol" anyway. Studies show that we're judged on our bodies. Fat people are thought to be lazy and lacking in self-control. Fit people are judged to be disciplined and more intelligent than the overweight. Fair or not, these snap judgments dictate the way people treat you, from your boss to that hot barista you'd like to see naked.

Fact: How you take care of your body tells us more about you than the objects you've purchased with your credit card.

With the world getting fatter, the fit are going to stand out even more. Muscular, lean, and athletic will become a rarity. Maybe the new status symbols will be lack of dependence on prescription drugs, a non-protruding belly, or the rare ability to take the stairs without getting gassed.


You won't have to tactlessly and tackily stick your pink, conflict-free diamond ring into people's faces; you'll just have to walk into the room. Stepping out of your 2005 Honda looking healthy and functional will carry more status and illicit more respect than struggling to get your plus-sized ass out of a limited-edition Z06 Corvette.

The whole "status" thing is a bit stomach-turning to begin with, but sociologists tell us that we can't escape it; it's just built into our genes.

Okay, fine.

But let's choose to display our status not with baubles on loan but with a body that reflects hard work, wise decisions, and engaged living.

What do you think? -- Chris





PS: Rants (and more) in 140 characters or less. Follow me on Twitter.

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jdubs27
Level 3

Join date: Apr 2009
Posts: 143

Great Hammer

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firespinner93
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2008
Posts: 230

This is a status symbol I can actually get behind. Awesome!

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Bulkington
Level 10

Join date: Apr 2005
Posts: 85

I have thought this way for a few years now.
Self control and diclipline are free yet are very hard to aquire; I see it as a good character trait, as throwing money around takes no effort and doesn't channge the fact these people are still fat.

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caveman101
Level 2

Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3469

"I like that. Some of the most successful, wealthiest people I know live modestly, drive paid-off cars over five years old, and prefer Timex to Rolex.

Some of the brokest folks I know are just the opposite. The bank owns their new cars and Visa owns their fancy timepieces. They are walking facades of wealth, big houses built on foundations of particle board."

Amen to this!

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TRU76
Level 100

Join date: Jan 2007
Posts: 422

Brilliant!

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corstijeir
Level 100

Join date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3448

Tru76 has an iPhone and abs, he's super wealthy :) Great hammer.

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tmartinez
Level 100

Join date: May 2009
Posts: 76

Then I must have a head start in my 92 Corolla. :-)

Great post. My financial goal is to eliminate my student debt as fast as possible. My fitness goal is to look good at my buddy's summer beach wedding. But there's something else too: since I lost my weight and got leaner, I think I actually spend less overall on food and health, despite the costs of protein and peri-workout supplements.

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Benno1980
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Join date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1

Way to go Chris!

Since I am from the Netherlands I view status from a whole different perspective. Here a paid of mortgage is or used to be a status symbol. The Dutch at heart are still a bit Calvinistic. Being frugal used to be a virtue here. But more and more I see that we are heading toward the "American" way. Up until 5 years ago nobody had a credit card except the ├╝ber wealthy, but now you get a credit card when you open a student bank account.

Sadly I can also that people are less willing to pay for "health". I my self work in a gym and I can see how much the sales guys have to struggle to get people in. Not only that but the gym is surrounded by junk food restaurants so it seems like an uphill battle. I also forsee that having a sixpack is going to be a status symbol too in this country in the years to come.

Having said that my plan for this coming year is to spend my money wisely and to invest in my own body by means of healthy food, protein powders and food supplements.

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Spike9726
Level 100

Join date: Apr 2005
Posts: 515

I am turning my focus back to health and fitness, and I just broke off an 8 month relationship, in large part because our financial philosophies were as far apart as those 2 that Chris mentioned. Great Hammer!

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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17328

Spike9726 wrote:
I am turning my focus back to health and fitness, and I just broke off an 8 month relationship, in large part because our financial philosophies were as far apart as those 2 that Chris mentioned. Great Hammer!



The two F's: Finance and Fitness.

Some may say that it's shallow or short-sited to consider those things foundational in a relationship, but they're pretty damn crucial in the long-run.

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Tomasz Sosnowski
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Join date: Nov 2010
Posts: 170

Hey, good pairing F&F, fitness is like finance, it's all about investing your capital (work, knowledge, heart) to raise your assets (your body, mind, soul). high risks can get high profits (big squat or deadlift make a great physique).

greed is good, like Gekko said. be greedy for high fitness yields and you'll be high on the market.

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Oregand
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Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1120

Just want to ask a abs related question here Chris if ya dont mind:)

After reading your 7 tips for long term leanness, I understand that one of your big ideas is to make breakfast big and dinner small.

Ive no problem making breakfast big(as you can probably imagine) but im really struggling to keep my dinners under 400 Kcals.

My lean protein usually takes up 200 to 250 kcals and I fill the rest with green vegetables, only problem is I usually get about 300 kcals from the green veggies. If I eat less I am practically starving which is quite annoying when trying to lean out.

So my question is how do you deal with hunger at night?

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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17328

Oregand wrote:
Just want to ask a abs related question here Chris if ya dont mind:)

After reading your 7 tips for long term leanness, I understand that one of your big ideas is to make breakfast big and dinner small.

Ive no problem making breakfast big(as you can probably imagine) but im really struggling to keep my dinners under 400 Kcals.

My lean protein usually takes up 200 to 250 kcals and I fill the rest with green vegetables, only problem is I usually get about 300 kcals from the green veggies. If I eat less I am practically starving which is quite annoying when trying to lean out.

So my question is how do you deal with hunger at night?



That's a pretty old article and I've modified my opinions a bit. I do think overeating at night is a big problem for many, but it can be a useful too if you do something like a Pulse Fast during the day. Christian Thibaudeau, Tim Patterson, and I are putting the final touches on this plan now, but we've been testing it and doing research for months now. So, stay tuned and it might just solve all your issues. I'm certainly loving it.

As for now, please don't sweat the calories from green veggies and non-starchy veggies. Eat all you want (as long as you're not dousing them in butter or something that adds tons of cals).

What green veggies are you eating that add so many calories? Two cups of broccoli, for example, is only 60 calories. Same for spinach.

Now, all THAT said, if your main goal is fat loss, you might be hungry sometimes. It's a diet. Learn the difference between habit and hunger, but accept that sometimes you're just not going to get to eat what you want. There will be a few "suck it up" moments, even with a well-planned diet.



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Oregand
Level

Join date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1120

Chris Shugart wrote:
Oregand wrote:
Just want to ask a abs related question here Chris if ya dont mind:)

After reading your 7 tips for long term leanness, I understand that one of your big ideas is to make breakfast big and dinner small.

Ive no problem making breakfast big(as you can probably imagine) but im really struggling to keep my dinners under 400 Kcals.

My lean protein usually takes up 200 to 250 kcals and I fill the rest with green vegetables, only problem is I usually get about 300 kcals from the green veggies. If I eat less I am practically starving which is quite annoying when trying to lean out.

So my question is how do you deal with hunger at night?



That's a pretty old article and I've modified my opinions a bit. I do think overeating at night is a big problem for many, but it can be a useful too if you do something like a Pulse Fast during the day. Christian Thibaudeau, Tim Patterson, and I are putting the final touches on this plan now, but we've been testing it and doing research for months now. So, stay tuned and it might just solve all your issues. I'm certainly loving it.

As for now, please don't sweat the calories from green veggies and non-starchy veggies. Eat all you want (as long as you're not dousing them in butter or something that adds tons of cals).

What green veggies are you eating that add so many calories? Two cups of broccoli, for example, is only 60 calories. Same for spinach.

Now, all THAT said, if your main goal is fat loss, you might be hungry sometimes. It's a diet. Learn the difference between habit and hunger, but accept that sometimes you're just not going to get to eat what you want. There will be a few "suck it up" moments, even with a well-planned diet.





Thanks for the reply Chris, I know the article is pretty old but the advice was solid so im trying my hardest to stick to it:)

As per your advice I got a steamer so my veggies arnt cooking in anything other than water, so nothing is added during prep.

The main veggies ill eat will be Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. My veggies come from frozen so I usually just empty the whole bag into the steamer and let it do its thing.

On average a bag of the frozen veggies will be about 750 grams which usually yields 250-350 Kcals.

My issue is just laziness I gauge, I tend to rationalise eating the whole bag in one sitting since there just vegtables and Ill usually do that for 3 or 4 out of my 5 meals so the Kcals tend to add up.

I love reading all your info on nutrition so ill be dying to get a look at the Pulse Fast article:)

Thanks a million for the information Chris.

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TRU76
Level 100

Join date: Jan 2007
Posts: 422

I can't wait to your plan for pulse fasting during the day and eating at night. I have been experimenting with this myself and have loved the results.

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n8tive
Level 10

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1692

TRU76 wrote:
I can't wait to your plan for pulse fasting during the day and eating at night. I have been experimenting with this myself and have loved the results.


Yea I have toyed with this some too, can't wait to see what they come up with!!!!

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SeaHag
Level 1

Join date: Apr 2007
Posts: 163

"So, instead of decorating a chubby, pre-diabetic body with jewelry and sliding it into shiny 2011 convertibles, they're going to spend their cash on gyms, better food, exercise equipment, and supplements.

Man, let's hope so.

I think your body is, in many ways, your ultimate "status symbol" anyway. Studies show that we're judged on our bodies. Fat people are thought to be lazy and lacking in self-control. Fit people are judged to be disciplined and more intelligent than the overweight. Fair or not, these snap judgments dictate the way people treat you, from your boss to that hot barista you'd like to see naked."
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Based on what I've been seeing in my local branch of anytime fitness, I'd say the projected trend is on target. Ever since last October, I've been seeing a lot more people in the gym at all times of the day every day. It used to be my morning workouts after the night shift were almost solo affairs. Now I sometimes have to wait for equipment or choose a different exercise altogether that works the same body part. It has been almost like the first three weeks of the new year...only without the fade-out you usually see after three weeks or so. I have mixed feelings about this. Like Chris, I think it's great that people are starting to care more for their health and take action. I'm tired of looking at fat people...including in the mirror. But I miss having the whole gym to myself too. I wish they'd just expand and get some more equipment at least.

As far as the perception that in shape people are looked at differently and in a more positive light, it is absolutely accurate and IT SHOULD BE BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. At least in my experience. When I was obese, I was undisciplined AND LAZY. Too lazy to plan my meals ahead of time. Too lazy to cook. Too lazy to spend the time needed to learn what my body really wanted me to feed it. It wasn't until I came to grips with that, that things turned around for me and progressing ever more rapidly. Being called lazy is like the ultimate insult to me now...and whenever I find myself cutting corners or thinking about fast food instead of preparing something for myself, I pull that word out and beat myself over the head with it, because I know where that path leads and I don't ever want to go back.
I am now reaping the benefits of that discipline as I have noticed that people take me more seriously. From the salesman who just sold me a car to my peers at work...and I have several friends asking me for advice on how they can turn their lives around the way I have.

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xilinx
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Join date: Jan 2009
Posts: 345

Heh, looks like I spent too much 'money' this winter.. time to get it back on, I can barely see my 'account'..

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theBird
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Join date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4545

Word.

Birdy drives a ford focus, wears a 1980's casio watch and doesnt like to eat out... but has time to lift and cook.

Lightweight!




*tweet*

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