How am I doing, Suze?

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lately I’ve been watching “The Suze Orman Show” on CNBC. Suze Orman is a very tanned, very hard-nosed financial expert who advises people who call her about financial issues.

She has segments on her show like “How am I doing?” in which she assesses people’s financial status and “Can I afford it?” in which she approves or denies a caller’s request to make a particular purchase, by screaming “APPROVED” or “DENIED.”

But, what I’m starting to like about her style of advising people is the way she wags her finger in a very motherly fashion, sort of shaming her listeners into submission. And as a result of her sassy, hard-nosed way of telling it like it is, Suze Orman is my unofficial Valentine and, through a bit of visualization, my new health and fitness coach.

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It is not her financial advice that interests me the most — though, obviously, she is quite a shrewd financial advisor. It is that hard-nosed, “wag-a-finger” way of motivating people that I’m implementing into my ongoing efforts to get fit.

Because, as the likes of diabetes, and now a spot of arthritis, attack the front that is my body, I need General Orman yelling and wagging her finger at me to push me in the right direction.

So, as I continue on with my exercise regimen, it will be the likeness of you, Ms. Orman, wagging an imaginary finger in my face and screaming “DENIED!” when I ask if I have worked hard enough yet. It will be you, Ms. Orman, screaming me back to reality whenever I’m in line at a dreamland like a fast food joint, pondering whether or not to just pig out. And, most importantly, it will be you reminding me that I want to be around in the future to enjoy any financial success I may have, no matter how great or small.

So, as homage to you, Ms. Orman, my unofficial Valentine, I’ve imagined my very own versions of your entertaining segments of “Can I afford it?” and “How am I doing?” the health edition, as a means of motivating myself:

How am I doing physically?

“I’m 34 years old. I am just shy of six feet tall. I weigh more than at least two normal-sized teenagers. I have diabetes. I just recently found out I have arthritis in my back. I rarely exercise but I am working toward changing that. Suze, how am I doing?”

And after screaming uncontrollably at me for a few seconds, Ms. Orman, you’d probably give me a grade of “D+,” in which the plus would be for at least trying to turn my pitiful physical condition around.

Can I Afford to Eat It?

“I pig out on junk and fast food regularly. But I’ve been eating much better lately. And as a result, I’ve been feeling much better. So, Ms. Orman, can I afford to pig out at a Chinese buffet or two every once in a while?”

“DENIED! DENIED! DENIED! You are too fat. You are too out of shape. You have too many health issues. You are DENIED!” (I said she could be cruel.)

I just hope that I can someday live up to the standards of my new imaginary fitness coach and unofficial Valentine who bears the likeness of Suze Orman. Thank you for getting into my head and shaming me to good health.