“There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience”. – Henepola Gunaratana
There is no “secret sauces” in achieving the body that you want. There is no magic tricks or lifestyle hacks to speed up your process of improving how your body feels, looks and functions. There’s only so many books you can read because eventually you’ll have to bite the bullet and do the hard stuff. And fat loss can be as hard at it gets. There is no special pill for you to swallow that’ll take all your problems and issues away. Not even Dr. Oz can help you here, no matter what he might want you to believe.
What you need is common sense practices, sacrifices and patience. A lot of patience. Fat loss is not meant to be easy. If you don’t struggle with your weight I am sure you know someone who does. It’s an epidemic of our convenience driven society that relies on quick fixes to move from a calorie hit to the next. We live from meal to meal instead of thinking the long-term consequences.
If you are complaining about your struggle with fat loss while being aware of how unhealthy your diet is, you are pondering on a mathematically illogical question: you are asking yourself why 1+1=2. Why it can’t be 3?
Some things are non-negotiable when it comes to fat loss. One of them is that you can’t get there if you are consuming more calories than you burn. Mathematically it doesn’t make sense. If you eat 2200 calories a day and burn 2100, at the end of the week you will be over your total weekly calorie amount by 700 calories. Over a month that is roughly 2800 (4 x 700) calories. Over a year? 36 400 (52 x 700) calories. You still wonder why the weight keeps creeping up?
Once you take into consideration that most of us are more likely to over eat and indulge over the weekends and holidays, the yearly total could be significantly more than what I estimated above.
One higher calorie meal here and there does not make a difference to your weight when you are eating healthy 85-90% of the time. But a high calorie days throughout the week will add up to your total weight without you even noticing. You don’t suddenly wake up 10kg heavier than yesterday. It happens over time and you have the power to stop it whenever you decide.
Which brings us back to the point of it being hard. Really hard. You are bombarded with high calorie (and ridiculously tasty) meals and treats in every possible corner you turn. You are so used to eating the saltiest, fattiest and sweetest meals that you can’t appreciate the flavors in more basic, healthier, home-cooked meals. Or maybe it is that we, as a culture, have lost the ability to make basic, healthier, home-cooked meals tasty.
Our society roots for the skills that advance your career and makes you (or the company) money, we sacrifice our health for the next promotion. Then we spent that hard earner cash trying to regain the health we once had.
What we should do instead is to champion for the skills that keep us healthy. We know everything about the possible fluctuations of the stock market and the functions of all the keyboard shortcuts on a our desktop Macs, yet people don’t know how to boil a fucking egg. Or, “we don’t have time” to boil an egg.
It’s not about how busy you are. It’s about what do you prioritize in life. If you want to cook and eat healthy, if your health is as valuable to you as your career, I am sure you can find time for it. You’ll find time by eliminating the unnecessary.
I get it, it’s hard. I struggled to write this blog post over the weekend. I struggled because I chose to do other things with my time. But I don’t sit in the corner cursing my life because I don’t have the time. I kniow that I spent time on something else and I pay for it now by having to set up my alarm for 5.30am on Sunday, piss off my wife because the alarm wakes her up too and instead of a sleep in I need to write. But that’s the way it is.
But I digress. If you are tearing your hair out while struggling shifting your weight down, it’s time to ask yourself two questions:
“What is important?”
If the answer to the above question is something else than your health or losing fat, that’s cool. Now you’ve acknowledged it. You can stop having anxiety over it. It’s not important so why worry? You can move on and focus on the things that are important instead.
However, if your health is important, it’s time to answer the second question:
“Am I doing everything that is in my power to get the results that I want?”
If you are, good for you! If not, stop wondering and start doing. Start by changing one thing for the next two weeks. Choose something that would have a positive impact to your health over a long-term. See yourself in 2 years time, you’ve successfully dropped your weight and are living life lighter, happier and healthier. What habits does that person (you in 2 years time, that is) do every day?
And as you go, keep in mind that this won’t be easy. There will be struggles. But if it’s important for you, it’s all worth it. And… it gets easier over time.
Start by boiling an egg.