A big part of the Ark of the Covenant-like appeal of the 1250-calorie diets and nut-busting workouts is due to their off-the-shelf accessibility. The ease of use. Like buying a new fridge, you don’t have to read the instruction manual to get going.

With a fridge, you power up the fucker, open the door and shove in the lonely jar of cocktail onions. The only thing still edible after the previous Hitachi let out its last whirl of cool. And you’re done. Long live the new Hitachi.

But you’re not plugging in a new fridge when your goal is to reclaim your energy and strength after years of hiatus.

You’re trying to build a sixteen-shelf, oblong, wall-mountable, childproof IKEA bookcase with seven decorative side wings and something that looks like a siskonmakkara holder. And no human can put that together without gripping the Ikea instructions with humility and respect typically reserved only for the King James Bible.

Reading your lifestyle change manual is about introspection. About getting to the root of your struggle. And then finding the solutions to overcome that struggle by rewriting the instructions.

Doing all that work is difficult and uncomfortable. And way harder than randomly piling off-the-shelf solutions and hoping one would work like that new Hitachi.

But you got this.