The Tax You’re Really Paying

In the US, we enjoy freedom. Well, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it. And, of course, we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the stuff we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the pool. When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend camping trip. We don’t get to pitch in and help pile wood or sit in a tree stand all day. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut out carbs because we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes. But they’re not the WORST taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb. We don’t want to fail.

We don’t want to start a new diet because our families will say “Good for you,” because they know we need it. Or they’ll say “You don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been off physical training for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout. Because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck. We might get embarrassed.

The government makes us pay financial tax. But the other two—physical and mental—are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your diet and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realized how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying. And most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.