If you’re someone who is currently trying to lose some weight, tone up, get fit or undergo any physical transformation and thus far have not been successful then this post is for you. Having said that, you won’t like what you read. Not only will this post be harsh, judgmental and patronising but it will also be honest, truthful and will be what a great deal of people need to hear.
Today’s society is full of people trying to achieve a vast array of different physical goals. Be that running a marathon, getting jacked or trying to lose some weight. The fact that health and nutrition has moved up so high on people’s list of priorities is nothing but a good thing. Actually, good doesn’t even cut it, it’s a bloody great thing and as someone who enjoys this stuff so much I love seeing so many people pushing themselves to improve their health and wellbeing.
There is a downside to this boom in popularity of exercise and nutrition – information overload. Just a quick google on how to lose weight or get fit will return a vast number of methods, tips and tricks on how to get it done, all of which differing slightly from one another. This is nothing but a bad thing for people who don’t know where to start. It makes it hard to stick with one program because next week they will read how “Method X” is so much better than what they are doing now so they stop and change it up. This happens week, after week, after week. The truth is that although they are all different, each would get the job done if they had just stuck with one till the end.
Although all this information is bad, its made even worse by the fact that the majority, if not all of it, is so misleading. People hear that going gluten-free is the best option, or that a paleo diet is the be all and end all. Crossfit has exploded as the “perfect” exercise method and it seems that if you don’t run then you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. There are so many different things that you “Have” to be doing if you want to even be a good person, never mind try to achieve some goals. Again, all these are bad and as time goes on it makes it harder and harder for someone starting off to get a foot in the door.
For me however there is one type of information that is the worst of all, one that has resulted in countless failed attempts, “relapses” and falls off the wagon. They are ever present in the WeightWatchers, focus groups and there are signs of it plastered all over the internet for anyone to see. These are the tips, tricks and “hacks” to make the entire process a breeze.
I’m not talking about goal implementation methods or beginner strength training programs or any “couch to 5K” apps that exists, but more so the “5 minute abs” and “10 minute beach bodies”, the protein pancakes and home or store made treats that are only 99 calories.
These are nothing but a con and have all became so popular based on the fact that people are lazy. People are too lazy to work and are too lazy and weak to power through the incredibly uncomfortable lifestyle changes that are required to make any real progress. They feel like they deserve a break, they’ve earned the treat and they’ve done their ten minutes of crunches.
Don’t get me wrong, these thoughts are natural. It’s natural to feel like you deserve that treat for your hard work, to feel like life should give you a break and that you feel like you’ve done enough. All those thoughts are normal given the circumstances. You are changing your lifestyle, your habits and your goals and in a situation like that you are bound to feel like you’ve done more than your share.
But the harsh reality is that these “hacks” are not only hindering your goals by allowing you to think you’re being good, when in fact you’re not (mainly because of the frequency of them is usually far too high), but they are also causing you nothing but pain. If you are the person that has the “healthy” brownies for desert after lunch, or the skinny latte on a Monday evening or even that slimming snack the shop down the road sells then all that is doing is hindering all the hard work you’ve been doing for the rest of your day.
All the hours in the gym, all the time slaved over the cooker and all the nights worried about if its working are all put to shame by these things that are apparently making the entire thing easier. To me, adding in all these things is kind like designing and engineering a super advanced spacecraft that will take humanity anywhere in the universe, making it out of paper mache and then saying the feat was impossible because the thing inevitably failed.
In the cold light of day, this stuff is fucking hard. Really hard. It has been the bane of many peoples existence and if this wasn’t the case would we all know more people who have failed at diets then have succeeded? Doubtful.
My advice is simple and boils down to one question;
How Bad Do You Want It?
Do you want to lose weight more than you want to fight that chocolate craving that will last 20 minutes? Do you want to “tone up” more than you want to watch that episode of House of cards? Do you want to succeed at achieving your goals more than you want that pizza? I think we all know the answer to that question.
So instead of looking for a way out, something that’s “too good to be true” or a “hack” to make the thing a breeze. Why not stop lying to yourself about whats important, knuckle down and get used to the fact that until you achieve your goals you are going to be uncomfortable. And then, at the end of it all, instead of feeling like just another empty shell of a person who failed like so many others, you’ll be one of the few who actually managed to achieve what they want.