March Break Musing

My attempt to reduce my working hours was derailed this past week since it was March Break. I assume that pharmacists with kids had requested time up and I ended up logging 63(!) hours as a result. In honor of March Break, here are some thoughts on the impact kids have on your financial health courtesy of Elizabeth Warren’s, The Two Income Trap:


Children: Highway to Poverty

This flies in the the face of the oft quoted narrative that frivolous spending is hurting middle class. Turns out that middle class families are scrambling to provide the basic necessities, even as they’ve gained an extra full-time income and reduced spending on non-essentials. spending

I’m sure that in many cases, the income boost of having a second worker is more than offset by the need for a second car, childcare and increased taxes owing.  So perhaps, if more families did the math, they’d realize that they can afford to have one parent stay home all of the time.  Mind you, if that meant I had to work 63 hours every week, I hope they never figure it out =P



Fitness Goals

I spent much of my life being overweight. And it wasn’t for lack of effort. I diligently counted calories, racked up hours at the gym doing cardio and still carted around a good 10-30lbs of excess weight (depending on the season). I tried virtually every fad diet and even joined pricey weight loss clinics where you were given some super lowcal diet and shamed into following it. I’d proven, time and time again, that I was willing to endure virtually any indignity if it meant losing weight.  However, sheer willpower only takes you so far, so I’d inevitably slip up, binge and enter a shame spiral that left me chubbier and more miserable than ever.

All of this came to a head a couple of years ago.  My years of yo-yo dieting and a largely sedentary lifestyle had left my body really weak. While still in my 20s, I’d developed severe lower back and sciatic pain that necessitated surgery.  My doctors were quick to prescribe me neuropathic and/or narcotic pain medication which, as a pharmacist, I was all too familiar with.  I definitely did not want to end up on a cocktail of pain medications at my age. And I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet…
I started reading books (The Big Fat Surprise, Bulletproof Diet, Eat Fat, Get Thin) that questioned the traditional nutrition industry wisdom. I drastically reduced carbs in my diet and drastically increased healthy fats and protein.  I no longer counted calories or measured portions and I lost weight almost effortlessly.  I can not believe how much nonsensical dogma exists when it comes to healthy eating.  And with skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates, I find it hard to believe that even Canada’s Food Guide still advises that most of one’s diet should come from high GI carbs or high fructose fruits.

Left: me at 19, Right: me a few months ago

Anyhow, I was pondering this as I was determining my current fitness / body goals. I’m convinced that a similar revolution needs to take place in terms of exercise. Doing hours of catabolic cardio seems inefficient and counterproductive. So the goal for this weekend is to pour over a ton of literature to find the ideal workout regimen to reach my summer body ideal.