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Fighting the Battle of the Bulge, the Bustle and the Bling in 2016

I’ve come to realize there are three big battles I fight like the plague. They are tenacious, hounding me like the Bumpuses’ dogs after a Christmas turkey. There’s no way around them. Inevitably I’ll continue to fight the battle of the bulge, the battle of the bustle and the battle of the bling again this year.

battle of the bulgeI don’t think I’m alone either. I do enough surfing around the net to know better. So I draw a little comfort in knowing I’m not alone when I see other people lamenting about what has become my ongoing battles with:

  1. A healthy lifestyle,
  2. A hectic lifestyle, and
  3. A materialistic lifestyle.

I doubt I’ll ever gain total victory over these three relentless monsters. But I have to keep fighting. Otherwise they will overtake me and I’ll be completely undone.

The Battle of the Bulge

People who know me wouldn’t say I should be worried about weight gain. I’m not overweight for my height. But two years ago during my marathon training when I weighed just under 170 pounds I felt really good. A knee surgery and 18 months of relative inactivity later and…yeah…not feeling so the good anymore.

It’s amazing how inactivity zaps the energy from you.

For me, the battle of the bulge isn’t about the weight really – it’s about the healthy lifestyle. Exercise, diet, sleep…the whole package goes into it. Manage those well and the weight takes care of itself. Manage them poorly and guess what – the weight takes care of itself.

The Battle of the Bustle

It’s amazing how closely the battle of the bustle is tied to the battle of the bulge. Our lives can quickly become a hectic mess when we over-engage. Running from here to there and everywhere, it never stops. Sometimes it feels there isn’t even time to breathe.

And of course the first thing to go when life is moving at light speed is your health. No time to exercise. No time for meaningful sleep. No time to eat well.

Bring on the bulge and subsequent lethargy.

The Battle of the Bling

I define my battle of the bling as fighting materialism and the desire for more stuff. I’ll admit I have cravings for more and better stuff and I don’t know why. I really do have everything I need which at many levels makes me very content.

But there is always something more out there that I want.

Culture doesn’t make this battle easy. The daily bombardment of advertising and the comparison trap we fall into makes us feel always behind. It’s frustrating to not be on the cutting edge of what everyone else has or is doing. Contentment is a trait many people don’t practice. When you are surrounded by non-contentment it breeds your own non-contentment.

How to Fend Off All Three Battles

At first glance the battle of the bling doesn’t seem to connect with the battle of the bustle or the battle of the bulge. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the bling-battle is the key one of the three to win. It has a huge impact on the other two.

The battle of the bling is all about a desire for more money, possessions, power, fame, recognition, pleasures, etc, etc. The only way to secure whatever one of those appeals to you is to do more, have more and get more. None of the bling we want will come without work.

That desire for bling drives us to put in maximum effort. We are constantly on the go and doing more in the pursuit of more. That’s how we get wrapped up in the battle of the bustle.

If we weren’t so driven for bling our lives would be less hectic. With a less hectic life we’d have more time to take care of ourselves. Our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health would improve because we’d have time to devote to them.

So what am I suggesting you and I do for 2016? Simple – practice contentment, in which I know is great gain. It’s the only way to fend off the battle of the bling. And, because there is such an obvious connection, it’s the starting point for waging war on the battle of the bustle and the battle of the bulge.

The battles aren’t going away. So get started fighting today.

Questions: Which do you fight more – the battle of the bulge, the battle of the bustle or the battle of the bling? What would you do if you had more time? How can you get more time? Do you think contentment is the key here or would you add something else to the equation? What are your big personal goals for 2016?

Image courtesy of Phil Gradwell at Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    I have the same battles especially the battle of the bustle, Brian. I am ready to face these challenges and end up a winner before 2016 ends. I know I will because I can. Happy New Year Brian.

  2. Get a dog and it will solve all of these problems. The dog will want you to take it on walks, requiring you to make time to exercise and taking away time from spending money elsewhere.

    Sitting down and petty a dog for 20 minutes or more at a time will relax you and show you what’s important in life.

  3. I am a total gym rat, so I do pretty well fighting the battle of the bulge. It’s the other two I struggle more with- especially the bling. As I get older and we are more financially stable I find myself desiring more quality “stuff.” Jeans that will fit better and I’ll wear longer often come with higher price tags. I purposely try to avoid the mall because I know it’s a weakness. I don’t mind spending more for quality items, I just don’t want to do it too often.

  4. I have definitely always struggled with the battle of the bulge. Thankfully after a successful weight loss journey on Weight Watchers over 4 years ago, I find that I can identify when I am starting to lose the battle and cut off the bad behavior before it gets too bad. I think we all have struggles and will slip from time to time but it’s not about the slip, it’s about the recovery and the sooner you acknowledge the slip, the less damage and the less recovery period you will need.

    • “…cut off the bad behavior before it gets too bad…” I think that recognition is crucial to stopping the bad behavior. It’s easy to ignore our behaviors instead of analyze and face them head on.

  5. Battle of the bulge is my greatest challenge, but I know that bustle contributes to the bulge. I try to workout every day -even if I’m not feeling great.

  6. Love this! I think the title and thoughts behind these things are spot on.

  7. The battle of the bulge is at the top of my list currently. Too much food over the Holidays and my Birthday is in a few weeks. Certainly need to get back on track eating healthier. Our big goal for 2016 is getting back to basics with out finances and building wealth.

    • October – February are really bad months for me when it comes to eating. Not only the holidays but our two oldest are involved with basketball. That means a lot of travel and a lot of eating out and eating gym concession stand food. Not the greatest for health. :/

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