“Do what works for you.” — What a crappy weight loss strategy!
It drives me nuts!!!
I so often hear fellow nutritionists, trying to be “human” and “understanding”, not to scare of clients with toughness and hardhship, I so often here fellow personal trainers and health coaches (was one of them) advising their clients to “take it easy” over the holidays, to “not be hard on themselves, to not be so strict, to allow themselves small indulgences, light ones of course, not going overboard, not binging, a piece of cake, not the whole cake, a cookie, not the whole bag of cookies, skipping one workout not a whole week or a month… and maybe it could have been a great piece of advice! The only thing is our human brain, our human nature work nothing like that!
When we allow ourselves a chocolate cake — it rarely stops with one piece.
When we allow ourselves a spoon of that ice-cream we love so much — it rarely stops with one spoon.
When we allow ourselves one of our favorite sugar-loaded cookie-like treat… whatever — it rarely stops with one cookie.
Seriously? Have this strategy of moderation EVER worked for you?
You either stop yourself from eating that cookie or a chip in the first place, or you eat the whole god damn bag! Don’t you?
When we miss one workout, just one single workout — it gets that much harder to get back to it the next morning, especially if used that one-spoon-of-ice-cream strategy OH SO SUCCESSFULLY (You wish!) — we had a bunch of treats the night before and feeling guilty for being a pig again — forget about it, we miss a week or a month of workouts, we don’t get back there until we eat all the cookies in sight and being afraid of turning into a fat pig forever finally out of guilt and barely fitting into our favorite pair of jeans we drag ourselves to the gym, wondering how that one spoon of ice-cream and one missed workout managed to add 5–10 pounds of fat to our holiday gift basket.
If we allow ourselves to fall off the wagon, fall off our values and principles, step to the other side, even a tiny step, guess what signal we send to our mind? We don’t really believe in what we say we believe in, we are not really serious about changing our lifestyle, it’s just a temporal thing we do to feel good about ourselves temporarily, till the next opportunity comes along. (And what a better opportunity, than Christmas! Right?) — That’s why I quit sugar for good. It’s a binary choice for me now. There is no moderation. Because I believe it’s toxic — even though it doesn’t kill you right away, but so smoking doesn’t, would you recommend it in moderation?
It’s not that there is a lot of progress lost, when we allow ourselves to put aside our ideals, when we allow ourselves a piece of cake, one holiday all-out meal (instead of all-out sprint obviously), one skipped workout — what is lost is our belief in ourselves, and our values, what is lost is our ability to stick with the routine and our habits in the face of challenges and circumstances and “everybody does it”. What is lost is a better you, a better life, new opportunities you didn’t know you could have …
Is a cookie, a piece of cake, that first bite, a few seconds of sweet taste in your watering-with-saliva mouth in holiday-feast anticipation (I guess the whole cake will last it a bit longer), that first skipped workout for the sake of an hour in bed, when you know you had enough sleep, is it really worth it?
That’s why it always makes me cringe when I hear “to go easy on yourself” and “allow yourself small weaknesses” — I allowed myself too many, and that’s why I couldn’t have life that I knew I wanted more than any cookie on Earth! I’ve been stealing the chance to get “there” one bite at a time.
Who has EVER achieved anything worth mentioning, allowing themselves weaknesses, when it gets hard and “everybody does it”?
Daily choices build habits.
Habits build character.
Character becomes our destiny.
Small things are the big things repeated.
“Do what works for you.” — another one of my favorites.
If people really knew what works best for them long-term, if what works for our long-term goals and ideals was what works for us right now — we wouldn’t have 25% of obese people (at least!) across the country, with every second person overweight and/or having chronic disease or about to have one. Even kids!
Being normal in a sick society is not a good thing.
Doing what works for you now is not a great idea.
Not if you want to look and feel your best every single day, not just a couple of days after your New-Years-Resolutions’ diet challenge (that actually lasts two weeks) — I don’t know about you but I don’t want to settle for anything less than being and feeling my best self every f*cking single day! I want to live it to the fullest every single day! Challenging myself, expanding my life, becoming more!
And I can’t do that taking it easy!
And when you are 99 years old, it might just happen that way — you’ll have better memories than bags of cookies on Christmas, saying NO now.
There are only two ways to live — become a hero who elevates others (yourself including), the light who illuminates every dark corner and brings more awareness to every moment, or be the one, who takes it easy and accepts the status quo, who does what everybody else does.
Who eats his mom’s favorite loaded with sugar Christmas cake, when together you could learn to make a healthy one, that’s gonna become your new family-favorite recipe and tradition.
The choice of our destiny starts with that god damn piece of cookie.
How we do anything is how we do everything.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
MAKE NO-ORDINARY CHOICES.