How Much Do Healthy Living and a Hot Body Cost?

Pictured here is my 6-year-old Harry holding a jar of organic peanut butter. The price? $16. Yes, you read that right. Sixteen ounces for 16 big ones. After grocery shopping in Manhattan for 15 years, I'm rarely surprised by high price tags, but consider the fact that you can get an 18-ounce jar of generic peanut butter for about $3.25 and you may lose your appetite.

We all love walking into the expertly styled, visually appealing produce section at gourmet grocery stores, but if you're not careful, you can blow an entire paycheck on a week's worth of food. Those organic ostrich eggs are pricey. So is the $35 rate for a single boutique fitness class and the $98 price tag on black workout leggings (that every other woman in the class is also wearing). Aspiration, consumerism, and high-end products like these remind us that it takes big money to look simply fabulous. Or does it?

That high-cost cocktail of health and fitness tools can hurt your wallet and your spirit. I've felt that disillusionment when running midday errands and stumbling upon throngs of "Upper East Siders" strolling the streets between lunch dates and beauty treatments. I've always wondered who those people are and why they don't go to work. It elicits the same emotion as when we get consumed with what I call "the high price of hotness."

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My inner cynic kicks into high gear when I see some Hollywood starlet giving "how-to" advice, knowing that they often have trainers, nutritionists, and personal chefs at their disposal 24-7. But guess what, the only thing that really controls and motivates our behavior is our own drive and commitment.

Being broke blows. Being broke with a hot body blows less. Financial freedom does make some things easier and more glamorous, but the high price of organic mania should not break your stride. There are many paths that leads to success. When the high-end juice cleanse doesnt suit your budget, the alternative is not a pint of Ben & Jerry's on the couch. The alternative should never be defeat. You can stay fit and healthy without breaking the bank. Celery may not taste like much, but it doesn't cost much either, and a thin wallet is not a viable excuse for not having a thin body.

Everyone has a pair of sneakers, the ability to work hard, and a nearby flight of stairs to climb or path to run. "Miss Independent" costs $1.99 on iTunes. Download it. Plank to it. Sprint to it. But most importantly, just go for it!

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