Monday, February 9, 2009

Belly Up

The state of the US economy may seem like a topic that wouldn't fit a health and fitness blog. But I found two reasons this weekend to bring it up. 

1. It's personal: I'm proud for two friends, Sara Clemence and  Laura Rich who have started a semi-snarky, full-on smart blog on the NYC unemployment situation called They're both beautiful, funny, extremely intelligent journalists (Plus one's a playwright. Laura's also in my cool play-reading group and she's writing a play) who were working at Conde Nast until the end of the year. Making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak, they created a site that's getting the juice it deserves in today's New York Times business section. Not sure if they'll get a book deal out of the item but somewhere opportunity will come out of it. Besides, it looks so professional.

2. It's odd: Saturday's NYT Business section had a story straight out of a women's magazine called "Nutritional Insights on Saving Money." The intersection between well-being and money may be obvious (For example, money can't buy happiness. That's one truism). But I also think it is a waste of space for more valuable 1,200 words.  The focus: apply the advice in successful diet books to saving money. The writer's examples are slippery because he's obviously reaching to make a point that was probably better conceived as a package than it was in downright takeaway/service. A few I get:

Watch your portion size: This means don't indulge in items beyond your budget.
Keep a food diary: The corollary is writing down all you spend.
Don't beat yourself if you fail: This means that you'll sometimes have to put something on a card or see a dip (pre-2008) in your stock portfolio but don't give up. You will prevail if you keep a consistent eye on your finances.

While these are broad, useful ideas in weight control, as we all know, they don't always work and need to be individualized. After all, there are thousands of diet books out there and the weight-loss industry is a mega business. If these points were as easy to use as the author states, we'd all have a great BMI--and a stable, credit-free economy. Instead we lack both.

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