You're Not Fat, You're Just Doing It Wrong - Chapter 1 Excerpt
Please enjoy this complimentary sample from my e-book YOU'RE NOT FAT YOU'RE JUST DOING IT WRONG
Available now on Amazon.
Change is mostly about mindset and lifestyle. Psychologists routinely point to one common element when recommending methods for solving problems: define the problem and gather as much information as possible about that problem before creating your solution. So until you can completely identify what it is you are personally struggling with when it comes to changing your habits and your lifestyle, you won’t be able to come up with a complete solution. For example, when you start a diet but don’t exercise, that’s an incomplete solution. People create tons of plans but they yield incomplete solutions.
Here are a few:
- A diet plan with no exercise
- An exercise plan with no diet
- A cardio plan without a resistance training plan
- The perpetual “new plan” plan
- The “I just want to be healthy and in shape” plan
- The “Get in shape for summer” plan
- The “I want to feel good about myself plan”
That last one is my personal favorite. All of these plans may sound admirable but they actually suck. Sorry. A real plan has strategy, timelines, methods and goals. These “plans” have none of that. They are all incomplete, vague, with no tangible goals, timelines or strategies. Not a very good plan at all. What you need is a real plan, not idle dreams, because that’s what they are. In fact, most of these “plans” are code for serious problems that need real fixing.
7.“I want to feel good about myself” really means “I feel like shit.”
6.“I want to get in shape for summer” really means “I’ve never been happy about my body.”
5.“I want to be healthy and in shape” really means “I need better eating habits.”
4.“I have a new plan” really means “Everything I do fails.”
3.“The all cardio plan” really means “I’m afraid to try something new, I don’t know what I’m doing.”
2.“The all exercise, no diet plan” really means “I don’t know how to eat right and I don’t want to bother learning.”
1.“A diet plan with no exercise” really means “Ugh, it’s too hard to lose weight.”
Three Keys to Success
Let’s stop complaining and start putting together complete solutions. The three main components of a complete solution are nutrition (food), training (activity) and rest (sleep). It’s all about eating right and being active, i.e., using that machine called your body and forcing it to burn energy and then giving yourself the rest and sleep that science tells us we need. It’s just common sense.
For example, what happens when you take an incomplete solution that only incorporates rest and nutrition but no activity (training), just dieting and no exercise? Well, the body is so efficient and it wants to resist change so much that it would rather slow down its own metabolism to adjust to the lower level of calories than burning off its own fat for fuel. What you’re trying to do by dieting is restrict the calories (energy) that are coming in, which is also forcing your body to burn off stored energy (fat). But your body has other plans. Instead, it will slow down its metabolism on a day-to-day basis so that it can survive just the same on the new level of energy coming in. Pretty clever! But it sucks, doesn’t it?
So to keep this horrendous event from happening we need to keep our metabolism elevated as much as possible. Or for some of you, we need to get it started––period. I mean seriously, do you feel alive right now? Really alive?
Humans are both physical and mental animals; if one half is missing then you’re not living life to its fullest potential. Remember when you were a kid, a child, a preteen, and then a teen? Did you feel alive then? Probably, and in a big way. And I guarantee you I know what the difference is; it’s not youth; it’s your activity. When you were younger, there was time for school and learning (mental stimulation) and then time for play, sports, dance, (activity). You were complete and that’s why you felt alive. You have to get this back and you can. You have to find the time to be physically active or else you will not have a complete solution and it’s as simple as that.
Give yourself a reason to be physically active. If you don’t do that; if you don’t give yourself clear reasons for eating right, becoming physically active and getting proper sleep then you will never find a complete solution and nothing will ever really change.
That reason has to make sense to you. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else; this is about you and why you want to find a complete solution. Once you have that reason, let it be your greatest motivator and the loudest voice you hear in your head. Also, let it be your own voice that you hear, not some “role model” or someone you aspire to be like. You’re going to have to convince yourself you want to make this solution work––for you.
Did You Know?
According to the research of Dr. Anders Ericsson, motivation is the most
significant predictor of success. In simple terms, Dr. Ericsson found that experts
in many walks of life, whether sport, music, chess, dance, or business,
had put in the most hours at their craft. He coined the phrase,
"It takes 10 years and 10,000 hours to become an expert."
The Path You Travel
Start with just one of the reasons listed earlier in this chapter or one that you come up with yourself. For that day, you focus only on that singular reason and nothing else. Write it down as often as you need. There’s no such thing as over-doing it with this. You’ve already over-done it with your weight so you might as well overdo it in the other direction. Focus on that reason as long as it works. When that reason really means something to you, your motivation will seem limitless. But if you start to feel weak and tempted to give up, pick a new reason, another real reason that will keep your determination formidable and strong!
Make the reason real.
If your reason is your kids, then use their names in your reason.
“I want to go shopping with my precious little Katy when she goes shopping for her wedding dress one day.”
“I want to play basketball with my son Scott until he goes to college.”
“I want to weigh exactly the same as I did in my sophomore year of college.”
I was lucky enough to find my reasons at a young age. I took matters into my own hands because I knew that no one was going to help me, not my friends or my family. Real change was up to me. At first, all I knew was that I had to eat right and exercise. This vague cliché was my starting point, but hey, at least I started! What are you waiting for? I remember doing sit-ups at home, curling a bowling ball bag and trying to do push-ups every day. I had Post-it notes all over my kitchen.
“No Junk Food.”
Eventually, my parents saw the profound interest I was taking in exercise and realized this wasn’t just some teenage experiment. I was determined and they knew it. They actually bought me my first set of weights and a small, used “at home” universal gym machine. The leather was worn and cracked and the iron was a little rusty. But I was so happy to have it and I used it every day.
You’re Not Alone
Once you’ve started your journey I suggest you quickly read up on the topic of “self-determination.” Don’t explore this topic before you start because it might make you over-think everything. Just become aware of how self-determination is a lifelong ritual leading to a committed lifestyle of health.
In short, self-determination can be broken down into three basic components: Competence: People need to gain mastery of tasks and learn different skills.
Connection or Relatedness: People need to experience a sense of belonging and attachment to other people.
Autonomous: People need to feel in control of their own behaviors and goals.
By fulfilling these three basic needs, you are almost guaranteeing that this time you will succeed with a big change in your life!
Learning the basics of cardiovascular training and strength training will fulfill the competence component. Making friends with trainers and other fit people at the gym will fulfill your need for a connection with people who already belong to the fit lifestyle, and finally, by determining your own goals or coming up with a smart goal by collaborating with a fitness professional you can feel autonomous, in control of the challenge you have given yourself.
Do these three things and I promise you will start to make some real progress!
The path is simple and should begin immediately. No more excuses. Just go join that gym you’ve been thinking about for who knows how long. Don’t wait another day. Figure out your schedule and give yourself an hour to go join and do your first (supervised) workout.
The path you take, whether it begins with cardio, weights, exercise classes, playing sports or any combination of the above, has to be for a purpose.
Let me repeat. The path you take must be for a purpose. This means that you are consciously thinking about it every day. What is your plan for the day and week? What are you eating tomorrow? Plan it today. Tomorrow is already too late.
And remember, you are not alone. Anyone you know who is not supporting you––leave them behind, at least for now. You will meet new people on the same track as you, looking for a support system they can respect and encourage.
It’s your turn.