6 Cold Hard Truths About Weight Loss
Let’s have a chat…You’re not going to like me after this one.
There is nothing sexy about change, it’s hard, annoying and inconvenient. There is nothing sexy in the journey to reach your goals. In fact if you want to reach any goal you better start to love the ugly and maybe surround yourself around people who enjoy the ugly with you. There are so many gurus and experts and articles published on how to be “fit”. The word fit has been beaten to death with a metal bat over the years. I hate saying the word myself but for the sake of this article I’ll do it. Fitness is not something you chase, it’s not a destination or some kind of end goal. You wouldn’t be doing yourself any good thinking that way. Fitness is a lifestyle. Fitness is going to sleep a half hour earlier so you can wake up with more energy to attack your day. Fitness can also lead to climbing mountains and running marathons. Fitness is the journey you decide to go on in order to become a better version of yourself. Actively pursuing improvement in whatever you decide to do. The reason you’re not losing weight is because you are putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect instead of enjoying the moments you see incremental improvements somewhere throughout the journey. Take a second to notice the little changes you’ve made in your life and I promise you would be more motivated to continue to make those little changes stack up.
Stop looking for motivation. Stop looking for people, places or things to be the answer. You’re new online nutrition and fitness coach is not the answer. Your new gym clothes, new gym membership, new workout plan or supplement is not the answer. You are being delusional if you think any one of those things are the answer. All those things are guides and tools that can help you along the way. You can decide to wear old gym clothes, shop for food at low end grocery stores and workout at the park and still manage to get into the best shape of your life. The second you let that sink in and truly understand what that means is the moment you can begin to make changes in your life and see results from your journey. The high end gym in town, the best online coach, surrounding yourself around the most in shape people and spending money on healthy food becomes irrelevant when you rely on them to get results. Those things are tools at your disposal to make your journey more enjoyable and to hold you more accountable. You are making those changes not those things.
You will always be disappointed if you think an expensive gym will be the “thing” that finally makes you reach your goals. That expensive gym is there to give you the best experience so you can have the best environment around the best people so they can effectively guide you through your journey and get you the results you want. Take the pressure off yourself and just start your journey, you don’t need money, the right clothes, the perfect situation or anything else. Find yourself a guide you believe in and take your first step. Do something!
“Habits and behaviors never lie. If there’s a discrepancy between what you say and what you do, I’m going to believe what you do every time.”
Everyone wants to make changes within their old lifestyle. It just can’t work that way and you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you want to make a change in your life that people will notice then you need to draw a line in the sand and keep it there. Once you begin to compromise in one area of your life then you compromise in others. You need to learn how to re wire your brain to believe you are creating habits. Start small so you miss small. Make a non negotiable agreement with yourself that what you say is what you will do. “I will work out 3 times a week for 1 hour” and set a standard. You shouldn’t make dramatic changes that are not sustainable otherwise you begin to teach your brain that it’s okay to stop. Think of it this way:
“If you want to lose weight, let’s assume you cut out just one of your 150 calorie snacks or beverages each day for a year. This simple discipline would result in a weight difference of 15 pounds after one year. (150 x 365 = 54,750 calories saved, divided by 3500 calories per pound = 15.64 pounds difference.) For me, I cut out my daily Coke.”
Something as “insignificant” as cutting out a can of soda every day is the difference between 15lbs just sneaking up on you within a year or you slimming down. On a long enough timeline simple behaviors you can sustain become huge difference makers in your overall health. Pick behaviors and habits that you can sustain for a long time and let that be your non negotiable standard! Time passes you by anyway might as well develop good habits in the meantime.
“When your actions conflict with your values, you’ll end up unhappy, frustrated, and despondent. In fact, psychologists tell us that nothing creates more stress than when our actions and behaviors aren’t congruent with our values”
You want to be healthier!! Every new school year, every January 1st and every Monday since the beginning time has been someones time to make a huge announcement that they are gonna change their lives. Give me a break, please. There is nothing more frustrating and demoralizing than making grand announcements only to fall flat on your face 2 weeks later. People want to make these dramatic life changes and when they fall off the wagon they fall off a cliff. Decide what your values are going to be and be specific. Be honest with yourself and learn to set boundaries. If eating ice cream is something you love, there is nothing wrong with saying I only eat ice cream twice a month. Now you know exactly when you have ice cream and you know it’s “allowed” twice per month so when you have it, it’s not this complete derailment where you feel bad about yourself and feel guilty afterwards. Not enough people set standards and guidelines on their life. We all want to be healthy but never want to define it and feel guilty when we violate this enormous arbitrary standard on “health” so we say things like “I’d rather eat cupcakes than have abs” so you can feel better about feeling guilty.
Set a standard that you can live with and slowly work your way past it or don’t. Eliminate this guilty feeling from your life by defining your expectations. There isn’t a wrong standard, it’s your standard. If you know exactly what your standard is and live up to those behaviors every day then there is no reason to feel bad. Start somewhere on some sort of solid ground and build from there. I’m not asking you to go Paleo, Vegan, Keto or IIFYM. I’m not saying workout this many times or run that many miles. Take a look at yourself, define your core values and start making life choices based on the standard you set. This also becomes relevant to the people in your life. You will begin to attract or alienate people once your actions line up with your values and that’s okay. Your mental health and success is more important anything else. You need to believe that.
“There is one thing that 99 percent of “failures” and “successful” folks have in common — they all hate doing the same things. The difference is successful people do them anyway. Change is hard. That’s why people don’t transform their bad habits, and why so many end up unhappy and unhealthy”
I promise the same struggles you face are the same struggles faced by everyone else. The difference is that some people go ahead anyway. People would rather live in a familiar hell than travel through the unknown. Things begin to happen when you start to march to the beat of your own drum, opportunities start to appear, amazing people come into your life and more importantly your life gets better. People who are willing to define their core values, change their habits and own their lives find it very difficult to not accomplish something. Failure becomes a learning experience and ego goes away to die in a corner. I’m not saying that any of this is easy and that you can be a whole new person tomorrow but what I am saying is that you have no right to complain about your lack of progress if you aren’t actively trying to find guides or reach small attainable goals daily.
“The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life. No matter what has happened to you, take complete responsibility for it — good or bad, victory or defeat. We are all self-made men and women, but only the successful take credit for it.”
You are 100% responsible for exactly where you are in your life. Even if you are not directly responsible for something that happens to you, you’re 100% responsible for the way you react. People love to blame genetics, family history, injuries, work, life, money, relationships and anything else on the planet for their current circumstances. Get over it. You are responsible for exactly where you are, period. Live it, breathe it and accept it because that’s the only way you can actually change your life. You have high blood pressure and high cholesterol? There are people you can find that know how to work around that and get you off the medication with proper nutrition and exercise. You have a bum knee? There are people that can teach you to live a pain free life and even strengthen any weakness you have. If something isn’t changing in your life it’s because you choose not to do anything about it.
It’s easy to mystify high achievers because it gets you off the hook. They’re “special”, they have something you don’t. The difference between you and them is they chose to work through their weaknesses and improve their circumstances. It seems that successful people love to take credit for their achievements but what’s funny is that if you actually talk so someone who is self made they will say they’ve failed more times than they care to admit. The faster you embrace your failures, the faster you kill your ego and create a life that makes you happy.
“Make a list of all the choices you make throughout each day and ask this question. When these choices are compounded over time will they move me closer to the accomplishment of my goals or will they take me further away?”
Life is a game of plus and minus. Once you’ve read and accepted all of the ideas in this article please ask yourself if the choices you make get you closer or farther away from your goals. It’s as black and white as that. It’s up to you what you decide but when you look at life that way it makes it very simple to make a decision about the people you let into your life, the things you do after work, how you act at work or the skills you choose to develop. There are small steps you can take every day that can make a world of difference 3 years from now that stem from a decision you take right now. We’re a society that needs instant gratification and to play the long game becomes too difficult. 3 years go by, you’re unhappy and unhealthy looking for that magic pill that will change your life when it’s been right in front of you the whole time. You just chose instant gratification, so don’t.
Thanks for reading! If you like the quotes in the article check out Darren Hardy’s book “The Compound Effect”