What Does a 6-Pack Cost You?

November 7, 2022

What Does a 6-Pack Cost You?

May 29, 2023

The older you are, the more expensive a 6-pack.

No, I’m not talking about the $10-12 you shell out for six Budweisers (and, hopefully, you can do better than that in your choice of beer). I’m talking about the 6-pack abs that our culture reveres. Here’s a statistic for all you guys loafing on the couch: For affluent women (making more than $150,000 per year), a man’s abs are the #1 body feature they focus on. And, for all women, abs are more important than the eyes, face, legs, and many other body parts. It’s no wonder men get a little fixated on their tummies as they age.

I have a nameless friend who added his nineteen pounds of Covid weight almost exclusively to his gut. He’s possessed by getting back to the 6-pack he had in his 20s, and he knows that he has to lose 10-20% of his body fat to get there. I took the liberty of doing the math for him. If he loses 1-2% of body fat per month on a combo diet and serious workout regime, it’ll probably take him a year to get his 6-pack back. Thirty years ago, it would have taken him half as long. And we’re not even talking about the time it would take to keep it.

But here’s where the high cost of that 6-pack comes in. The dude is no fun anymore! (Don’t worry, he knows it). My business calls with him are done while he’s walking on his home treadmill. He no longer grabs a drink with friends after work. He’s lost interest in a variety of topics we used to discuss: politics, racial injustice, travel, and where to get pizza!

Philosopher Henry David Thoreau suggested that “the cost of something is measured by how much life you have to give for it.” Based upon this definition of cost, I’d say my friend’s 6-pack is crazy expensive.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for staying healthy and looking good. I don’t want to squeeze into my pants any more than the next person. But, as we age, we also have to remember that time is our most precious resource, and then ask, is our time worth it?

How about you? What do you spend a considerable amount of time on today that, upon reflection, may seem pretty expensive?

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