Are you fat? Pleasantly plump? Cheerfully chubby? I would classify myself, twelve years ago “almost overweight”. I decided to get fit just before s#!+ got ugly. Have you ever been bitten by the bug to lose the weight, to eat right and to finally get healthy, only to fail after a week and fall back into your old ways because it’s just too tough? Hell, I couldn’t do all of that at once.
Worse yet, have you started to exercise a bit, start with a daily half hour walk, only to find two months later that you’ve lost all of a pound and a half, lose heart and quit?
I am the toughest sissy you’re going to meet. I’ll ride 200 km (125 miles) on my own just to see if I can do it. I’ll ride just as hard as I can in a pace line just to see if I can keep up. I eat what I want but I manage to control my portions perfectly. I gave up drinking soda just so I can drop those last few in hopes that I could pick my average speed up a bit…
Basically folks, I got it going on – and it’s got nothing to do with luck. Now, why did I say that I’m a sissy? Because I don’t do cold-turkey. I can’t. Freaking. Do. It. I have the willpower of a baked freaking potato. I’m a lazy, sorry, good-for-nothing, drunk loser by nature.
So how is it I could possibly parlay that into anything good? Wilson-Smith University, baby – one day at a time… I give it the best I’ve got, one day (sometimes one minute) at a time. And I keep coming back until I don’t need to anymore. Now the wise observer would say if you don’t need to, won’t you revert back like so many others? The short answer is yes but you’d be missing something.
You would be going by the wrong assumption of what “until I don’t need to” means though. I have to keep coming back until I want to keep coming back. I don’t need to only when I want to. This is the secret to my happy, fit, sober, good, satisfying life. One way or another I keep at it. Here are the optics: After doing something for a time and seeing results it becomes easy to make that a part of the daily routine. Up until this point, using myself as an example, I had a tough time with motivation. I did rely, especially in the winter, on friends to motivate me to get outside to run – and they relied on me as well… Something awesome happened in the process though. At some point I began to rely on the exercise, to want it. Exercising through colds and the flu rather than taking days off became the norm, I left behind the f-its and went through a complete flip in behavior. It is my belief that this will work for almost anyone if you work for it.
Now, for the cold-turkey part… Changing eating habits, quitting cola, drinking, starting a decent exercise routine all at once was just too much. Possible, just not for this potato. I took the one that caused the most trouble and kicked that, then I got into fitness and made that a habit, then dropped the soda… You get the idea – one thing at a time, one day at a time and all of a sudden, bam, you’re awesome.
Folks, if you can’t go cold-turkey, this is how it’s done. One workout, one minute, one hour, one day at a time until your attitude shifts and your new lifestyle becomes your way of life. Now here’s where it gets sexy: Those times when you don’t want to? We all have them, those are the times to suit up and show up. Those are the times to push yourself away from the table, throw on the running shoes… Those are the times you pick up a phone and call a friend to ask for help and motivation – because while you can do this alone, where’s the fun in that?
So, if you have a desire to get yourself healthy but continuously fall short of making the whole deal work, break it down into pieces: Start with the fitness, make it a habit over a month, then adjust your portions so you’re at a decent caloric daily deficit, then start whittling away parts of your diet that are still causing problems.
The clock is ticking and that fat won’t work itself off of your ass by itself just because you hope it away – oh how I wish it would (not really, because I don’t have to keep coming back anymore). The point is there’s no time like the present.