How to NOT Suck at Getting In Shape

This post title pays homage to Baker’s “How NOT to Suck at Blogging” over at ManVsDebt.com.  Baker’s the man, so make sure you check out his stuff!

Do you suck at getting in shape?

It seems like everybody is trying to get in shape these days but nobody is actually succeeding.  Ask anybody, and 9 out of 10 will say “I’m trying,” or “I’m on a diet,” or “I’d like to lose a few pounds.”  However, considering two thirds of the United States is overweight…it seems like everybody sucks at this stuff.  Most reasons fall into these categories:

  • I don’t care
  • I don’t have time
  • I lack the motivation
  • I don’t know what I’m doing

If you’re not in shape, it’s probably due to one, two, three, or four of the reasons listed above.  I want to address each of these individually and see if we can suck-proof your plan to get in shape.

The “I Don’t Care” Crowd

For a lot of people who are overweight and out of shape, getting healthy is the last thing on their mind.  They’re too busy wrapped up in their job, their families, World of Warcraft, etc. and getting in shape is NOT a priority.  I’d guess that for a lot of these people, they are extremely unhappy with how they look and feel, but have hit a point of giving up and instead hide behind a “I don’t care” shield.  I don’t want you to be one of these people.

You need to find a reason to care:

  • People that are in shape are more successful in life. Let’s not tip-toe around this issue: good looking people go farther in life.  It’s true – it’s not fair, it sucks, but it’s true.  There’s a reason everybody is after plastic surgery, lipo-suction, and ‘the Hollywood look’.  Everything else being equal, the good looking guy/girl will get the job.  The good looking dude will get the girl.  The good looking guy will be a better salesman.  That’s how life works.  If you want to be successful, you should care about your appearance if you want to keep up.  Yes, I know it’s not fair, but that’s how it works.
  • Do you have kids? Do you want to see your kids graduate high school?  Do you want to see your grand kids?  If you do, you better get started down the path to being healthy today.  I don’t have kids yet, but I want to be around to see my great-grandchildren.  I know a lot of you readers are young (20s) and probably haven’t even thought that far down the road.  Think of this like a 401k investment – if you start investing now, you’ll be loaded by the time you’re 65 (as long as the economy doesn’t collapse again) thanks to all that extra time for your savings to grow.  If you start eating healthy and exercising now, before you have health issues, you’ll be in much better shape later on.  Don’t try to play catch-up after the damage has already been done.
  • Being unhealthy is freaking expensive. I haven’t been to a doctor for anything health related in years.  No co-pays, no expensive medicines, no stupid forms to fill out.  The only time I ever get sick is generally during my day-job’s cruise season, when I go four or five days straight on minimal sleep.  Our nations health care debt is spiraling out of control, and instead of attacking the source (prevention), we’re dumping money into treatment.  Why continue to put band-aids on a cut when you can stop the cut from happening in the first place?

I’m going to guess that very few of you are in the “I don’t care” club, because you probably wouldn’t be reading a fitness website if you were.  If you ARE in that club, here’s what you need to do to stop sucking:

  • FIND A WAY TO CARE. I don’t care if it’s your doctor telling you to get in shape, your kids poking you in the gut and saying “daddy you’re fat,” or just taking a long look at yourself in the mirror.
  • Be selfish and vain – You know what?  I want to live as long as possible, and I want to look as good as possible.  I’m sure you do too.  I don’t care what your reasons are: maybe you want to pick up chicks, look better at the beach, and live long enough until they figure out cryogenic freezing.  Whatever your reasons are for getting in shape, if it gets you in shape I’m all for it.  The ends justify the means in this case.
  • Be smart – I just read “Spark,” a book that talks about exercise and the brain.  I won’t bore you with the details, but here’s the gist of it: you’re an idiot if you don’t exercise.  From making you more alert in school and at your job to helping stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia when you’re older, exercise has WAY more benefits than just making you look good.  It can make you smarter too.

The “I Don’t Have Time” Crowd

This one is my favorite, because I don’t buy it for a second.  After hearing story after story about single mothers with two jobs who find the time to exercise and venture capitalists who work 80-hour weeks and still squeeze in a morning jog, I find it hard to believe that people can’t find 20 lousy minutes a day to get in shape.  My guess is, “too busy” involves at least an hour or two of television at night and mindless hours spent crawling Wikipedia and YouTube.  If you really analyze your day, I have no doubt that you have time:

Make time – There’s no excuse.  I don’t care what yours is, because nobody will listen.  Put it in your daily planner, add it to your Google calendar, schedule it as a “Meeting with Major Pain” or whatever.  They say those who find success are often too busy to be looking for it.

Exercise in the morning – According to the studies referenced in the previously mentioned Spark, people that exercise in the morning retain a ****-ton more information in the hours after exercise than those who don’t exercise.  Here’s another reason why you should exercise in the morning: how many times have you made a plan to exercise after work, and then you get stuck at your desk for an extra two hours, or you come home and your friends have broken into your house and are playing Halo on your TV (this happens at my house approximately twice a week), and suddenly all that exercise time you just had to go out is now gone.  This is what you need to do:

Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier - While your wife is sleeping, while your kids are asleep, while your roommates are asleep, get your ass out of bed, and get your 30 minutes of exercise done.  You’ll be more alert at work, you won’t drag ass through your morning meetings, and your afternoons are free to do whatever the hell you want (like playing Halo with the aforementioned roommates that break into your house).

Don’t think you can get a workout done in 20 minutes? Try 20 minutes of interval running and then tell me you’re not worn out.  Not enough?  One of the actors from 300 completed the 300 challenge in under 20 minutes.  Only have 5 minutes?  Do some Tabata. Just don’t come crying to me after.

I think everybody who says they don’t have time either fall into the previous “I don’t care” category or the “No motivation” category and are just hiding under the “I don’t have time” clause.  let’s talk about why that group sucks, and how to get out of it.

The “No Motivation” Crowd

I bet quite a few of you have been in this crowd before.  You’ve tried to get in shape, you had a good two weeks where you went to the gym every day, you ate right, and you lost 10 pounds!  Then, it rained, a new video game came out, you got sick, whatever, and all of a sudden you’re right back to where you started.  Your heart is in the right place, but something just didn’t line up.

What didn’t work last time? What is going to be different this time?  You’re a smart person (this might be a stretch, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you are), so you need to determine why you failed last time.  That way, when the same thing happens this time, you can recognize it and plow through it.  Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Find your motivation – You’ve seen Rocky IV, right?  When Rocky arrived in Russia, he put a picture of Drago on the mirror that he looked at every morning.  Every freaking day, Rocky would wake up, probably at 4AM, load on four layers of clothing and go run in three feet of snow.  Why did he do it? Because Drago killed his best friend!  Maybe you don’t have a giant Russian man that you’ve sworn revenge against, but I bet there’s a picture of something you can hang up to make you hungry for success.

I’m going to be honest, I sat down last night after a long day of work and didn’t want to write today’s blog post.  I sat at my desk, stared at a blank Word doc, and then read the sign I have hanging above my computer:

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – The Shawshank Redemption

If you’ve met me, you’re probably aware of my unhealthy obsession with The Shawshank Redemption.  This movie is the reason I made the move to Atlanta, it’s the reason I started Nerd Fitness, and it’s the reason I have my current day job at Sixthman (the absolute best company in the world to work for).  Every morning, I wake up and read this quote before I go out the door.  It’s this quote that makes me want to make something of myself and appreciate what I have.

Whatever your motivation is, find a way to live it every single day.

Set Specific Goals – To reference Shawshank again, the main character Andy Dufresne had specific goals in mind.  He wanted to:

  • Break out of Prison
  • Move to Zihuatanejo
  • Open a hotel on the coast
  • Fix up an old boat
  • Play chess with his friend Red

It’s these goals and  dreams that kept Andy going for 19 YEARS while he sat wrongfully imprisoned.  Without those goals, I bet Andy would have been given up in that tiny jail cell.  Instead, he ended up with everything he ever wanted (spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie). What are you specific goals?  Don’t tell me you want to ‘lose weight,” I want to hear something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds by June, I want to do 10 pull ups, I want to fit into a pair of jeans with a 34 inch waist, and I want to finally ask out the cute girl at the coffee shop that I go to every morning.”  Get specific, and then work every day towards those goals.

Tell Everybody – When you have people counting on you to pull through, you pretty much have to do it.  Last week, I didn’t post a blog on Friday because I was home for vacation and simply too tired and worn out to write anything.  That day on Facebook (become a Nerd Fitness fan), NF reader Jack jokingly (I hope) left the comment, No Friday post. I feel like a blind man this weekend.”

I’m sorry Jack!  It won’t happen again, because I HATE letting people down – hopefully today’s post will get you through the weekend.  Want to see what accountability can do for somebody’s health?  Check out Tyler over at 344pounds.com, who has lost over 125 pounds since January, Steve over at 265andfalling.com, and Juncti at ScatterShotMind.  Accountability works.

If you don’t want to start a website, then tell all of your coworkers, your friends, and have them keep you accountable.  Don’t suck!

The “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing” Crowd

This one is tough.  You care, you have time, and you’re motivated, but you’re still not losing weight.  You think you’re eating right, you go to the gym, but the weight just doesn’t seem to come off.  That means something ain’t workin’.  Luckily, you have the three toughest reasons for sucking out of the way, let’s take care of the fourth.

You Can’t Outrun Your Fork. I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, I’ll say it again – you can’t outrun a bad diet.  It can take you an hour to burn 500 calories, and then 2 minutes to put them all right back.  I’ve already written 2000+ words on how to NOT suck at losing weight; to sum up those 2000 words in two sentences: stop eating junk food, stop eating fake food, start eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.  Cut out the sugar, processed grains, simple carbs, and soda.

Do you really know how many calories you’re eating? If you’re overweight, I’d wager that you’re probably underestimating how many calories you eat on a daily basis.  That handful of animal crackers, 5 Hershey’s Kisses, and half a can of soda all add to your calorie total for the day.  Keep track of your calories for a week, and if your weight didn’t go down, find a way to knock off 500 calories a day and you’ll start to lose a pound a week.

Get Better - Your diet is probably 80-90% of your success or failure, so just fixing that will fix 80-90% of your issues.  However, if you’re interested in building some muscle while losing fat, you’re going to need to do some strength building exercises.  If you don’t have a gym membership, start doing some of these body weight exercises.  If you do have a gym membership, make sure you don’t suck at working out.  Whatever it is you’re doing, make sure you’re getting better or faster at it over time.  There’s only one way to know if that’s happening…

WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN – Did you get stronger or weaker since your last workout?  Faster or slower?  The only way you’ll know this is if you keep track of what you did last time.  I don’t care if it takes you 20 minutes to walk a mile.  The next time better take you 19:59 or less.  Everybody has to start somewhere – make sure you always know where that “somewhere” is so you can do better than that next time time.

What did I leave out?

These are the four biggest reasons I could think of.  What other reasons are out there for why people suck at getting in shape?  Have you been in one of these groups and worked your way out?  How did you do it?

-Steve

###

Picture from:  MikeBaird

Get The Rebel Starter Kit

Enter your email and we’ll send it right over.

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • http://twitter.com/265andfalling Steve

    I totally agree with you that most of the people in the “I do not have time” crowd really belong in the “I don't care” crowd but do not want to admit it. I hate that I do this, but I get really frustrated when I hear my friends whine that they are fat and want to get in shape, but “don't have time” to do anything. Bull. F*cking. Sh*t.

    Anyway, even with that said, I do believe I have belonged in all of these crowds at at least one point in time. But I found/find inspiration in others (which led to my blog), and I finally started really telling myself that I am better than this. I don't plan on going back. I'm losing weight, I'm feeling better, I'm looking better (to an extent), I'm actually setting fitness related goals for myself (this one being the biggie right now: http://bit.ly/54cJBv), and I'm excited about what I am potentially capable of doing.

    Could I be doing better? Of course, and I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I am getting there.

    Damn, I tend to ramble. Anywho, great post…I hope someone will take it to heart and make a change for themselves.

  • http://www.DoGoodedness.com/ Matt

    Good stuff Steve! Along with your “I don't have time” section, i have to mention a friend who works at least 60 hours a week, has 3 children, and still has time to train for ironman triathlons. If you have the desire, then you will make time.

  • Aled

    “I don’t care if it takes you 20 minutes to walk a mile. The next time better take you 19:59 or less.”
    Brilliant stuff again, Steve. Once again you tell it in a way that everyone 'gets'.

    Keep it up, I always look forward to your posts!

  • JFreedom

    Yea I know I fall into the motivation group, as I have always had trouble with consistency. It's like a short term versus long term happiness type of thing I would say. Too often I'll come up with an excuse not to work out cause I wanna just relax right NOW (hey that was easy) instead of meeting my long-term goals. I think I'll put up a picture of Drago next to my xbox… :P Good article man.

  • ephraim

    honestly, what worked for me was separating loosing weight from getting in shape. once i stopped being paralyzed by being overweight and feeling ashamed and embarrassed about that, finding the motivation to exercise was so much easier. when exercise was all about trying to get less fat, it felt constantly disappointing. but once i got okay with the fact that i was fat and, statistically speaking, would probably always be fat, exercise became about being the healthiest, most in-shape fat person that i could be. and that presented lots of tiny moments of encouragement (of the 'hey, i just did that a little longer/harder/faster than before' type) instead of one great moment of frustration and disappointment (of the 'damn, i'm still fat' type)
    the fact that, as you say it, 'you can't outrun your fork', means that whether or not you change your eating habits, being physically active is still a good thing, and weight loss shouldn't and really can't be any reasonable measure of fitness.

  • http://twitter.com/Juncti Troy

    Thanks for the http://www.ScatterShotMind.com mention, motivated me to go make another new post for anyone stopping by. A recap/update kind of thing.

    As for what is missed. Not exactly missed, but not totally targeted. Mindset.

    Similar to motivation, but there's something about getting your mind completely sold on the idea that makes all the difference in the world. I don't think the Shawshank example is as much an example of setting goals as it is an example of mindset. He would not allow himself to be mentally broken. His mindset was that he would one day set things right, despite numerous set backs along the way he kept his mindset focused. He had his problems along the way, just like any of us on a diet will have, but he didn't let those setbacks take him off the ultimate goal.

    If you're chasing a goal, but not of strong mindset, those setbacks can make you give up. Get the mindset in place that you will hit your goal, and nothing will stop you.

    I just threw my new goal (and New Year resolution) out there. I'm losing 100lbs in 2010 and no one can convince me otherwise. I'll of course be posting the entire process as it happens, but I will hit a 100lb loss in 2010.

  • NerdFitness

    Hey Steve, thanks for the comment. Dude, I get in the 'no motivation' group every once and a while too. I haven't found a cure for it, but looking at that quote every morning sure helps.

    -NF Steve

  • NerdFitness

    Thanks Aled!

    Wherever you start, make sure your next trip to the gym, track, whatever is just a little bit better.

    -NF STeve

  • NerdFitness

    Troy,

    I love your enthusiasm man. Great call on the Shawshank analysis. I'm actually working on a full-blown shawshank post, but I'm going to try and do it as a guest post on another site as I think it's far more applicable in life than just in the fitness land.

    As for losing 100 pounds in 2010 – go get it. Make it happen.

    -NF Steve

  • NerdFitness

    Ephraim,

    You make a great point that I hadn't put enough thought into. Although you can't outrun your fork, there is certainly a difference between overweight and out of shape. Honestly, do what makes you happy. I'm interested to see if your weight started coming off after you made this mental transition. Has your diet changed at all, or do you still pretty much eat the same way as before?

    -NF Steve

  • http://mooselegs.net m00se

    Dude – I'm utterly convinced the US Medical Industry makes more money from keeping people sick and getting them on a cyclical cycle of medications and treatments, then they dismiss natural and preventative medicine as quackery. (Sore subject for me… heh.)

    I've seen a kinesiologist for the last 16 years of my life – who's kept my body chemically balanced, as well as put together in a chiropractic sense. When I'm consistently seeing him, I don't really get sick at all.

    The one thing I always got when I tried to describe the ERFYT diet to friends is “Oh, I couldn't give up dairy” (or meat, or…, or… or…) – and it was like they were constantly making excuses. My friend Dan put it best when he said “Stop being a p*$$y and put down the damn McDonald's bag!”

    Everyone knows it's bad for you, but for some reason people keep eating it. It's like smoking – you know it's not good for you in the long run, but people don't care.

    Americans are way too complacent with modern convenience.

  • http://twitter.com/Juncti Troy

    There's a reason people call food an addiction, it absolutely can be. It's not an excuse, but it's absolutely a reason. I think it was an episode of Penn and Teller BullS**t on obesity where they had a researcher on who said obesity is a result of a developed society (or something to that effect). Basically we get better off so we spoil ourselves and we no longer need to hunt and chase, and evade dangers so our body isn't getting the exercise. Was interesting to think about.

    As for the medical industry, absolutely. That's a for profit industry and the more health problems they need to treat the more money they make. So it makes sense that they prefer to treat the problems rather than cure the cause.

    No one is really going to help you but you, so find your method that works for you and go for it.

  • http://artofmanliness.com/ Brett McKay

    Fantastic post! I'm definitely in the “I'm Not Motivated Crowd.” I just got back from Vermont where I could walk outside my door and literaly be in a forest that I could hike in. I also played Ultimate Frisbee everyday with a bunch of really in shape middle aged dudes. So exercise was pretty easy.

    Now that I'm back in Tulsa, it's getting hard for me to be motivated to go back to a gym lighted with artificial light and workout.

    One thing I'm thinking about doing is start a bootcamp group and recruit some men I know to join me. I'll find a park and we'll do wind sprints, burpees, lots of pushups, squat thrusts, etc. I'll get the joy of exercising outside and have people there to motivate me to go harder. I seem to do better when I have a workout partner.

  • Suse

    ahh yes, motivation and as troy has so rightly said, mindset. both of which I am lacking, but trying to find… I'm working on it! know what I need to do and have made a start but to be truthful, dont know what my motivation really is or if I even have the right mindset… could be a recipe for failure. I am going to sit down and really work those two issues out over the weekend. Your posts at the very least inspire me to change! I love the Shawshank Redemption, best movie ever made.

  • http://www.nickminerva.wordpress.com NickMinerva

    Great Post! I am trying to help a guy who is 23, 5'5″ and almost 300 pounds, not to mention diabetes runs in his family. I will for sure be using what I read here!

  • NerdFitness

    Great point guys. I'm reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories” right now…maybe the most dense book I've ever read (it has a 70-page bibliography). It's incredible how political a lot of the decisions are regarding dietary recommendations, especially considering how few of those recommendations have been proven in ANY clinical trial.

    I'm the last person you'd suspect as a conspiracy theorist, but this book has certainly got me thinking that you need to be careful about where you get your advice and information.

    -NF Steve

  • NerdFitness

    Hey Brett!

    I hear ya. I'm pretty sure they shoot you if you DON'T play Ultimate Frisbee every day up in VT. Also, you have to drink Maple Syrup and eat Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream or you're given a citation. Where up there were you staying?

    The winter months make staying motivated almost impossible. Its dark when you leave your house for work, it's dark when you come home for work, it rains practically every day, and the last thing you want to do is go brave the elements or get into a stuffy gym.

    I think the bootcamp group sounds like an awesome idea. Group accountability is amazing. I don't remember the exact figures, but the success, muscle gain, and weight loss is MUCH higher for people who have others around them doing the same thing. It's tough to give up on an exercise when 10 people around you are finishing it.

    I know I lift more, push harder, and run faster when I'm exercising with my buddy Joe. Motivation and competition – embrace it people!

    I just finished a bodyweight circuit workout tonight that KICKED my ass…and it took 18 minutes. I'll be writing about it hopefully next week.

    -NF Steve

  • NerdFitness

    Suse,

    First of all, thank you for agreeing with me that the Shawshank Redemption is the best movie ever made. Have you read the Stephen King short story that inspired the movie? The movie is incredibly faithful to the book and a pretty great read. The only major difference is that Red is a big Irish white guy in the book – I'm glad they gave Morgan Freeman the role for the movie; couldn't imagine it without him.

    I think the big thing to remember is that motivation is different for everybody. I just want people to find that one thing that gets them going in the morning, because I think exercise is the BEST things you can do to improve your life.

    Since discovering the Paleo diet, I've done some reading on our evolutionary tree. Because we developed when food was scarce and being fit was a necessity, our bodies and minds are genetically predisposed to operate at peak efficiency when we're active and exercising. Modern convenience has limited the scarcity and direct need for physical activity…but damn it's still important!

    Suse, shoot me an email if you have any more questions and I'll see if I can help you work through it.

    -NF Steve

  • NerdFitness

    Hey Nick,

    I think the biggest thing your big guy has going for him is that he has you helping him along the way. A support group is so important. I'm sure once he starts to see a little bit of change, his confidence will pick up, he'll get more motivated, and his life will turn around.

    Thanks for the comment.

    -NF Steve

  • http://www.itdonnedonme.com/ Evan

    I've gotta say exercising first thing in the morning is great advice… it can be tough getting up early at first, but I've been doing it for over a year and now I tend to wake up a few minutes before my alarm automatically. The fact that you've got your workout out of the way before you even start working is really great though – when you get to the end of the day and you're beat from the day's work you don't have to feel guilty about skipping a workout.

  • NerdFitness

    Well said Evan. Getting up early sucks, especially if you've been up late before. But if you can get your ass outta bed and exercising, the rest of your day will go MUCH better than if you had slept in for another 30 minutes.

    -NF Steve

  • ephraim

    Yeah, it's clearly just as possible for there to be fit, in-shape (from a cardiovascular or strength perspective, or from an overall health perspective) fat people as it is for there to be out of shape, unhealthy thin people. Lots of factors go into determining someone's weight, many of which are about not only genetics but childhood and adolescence eating and exercise history. I fear that putting kids on restrictive diets and feeding them chemically altered crap that the diet industry calls food (which is exactly how i was raised) contributes just as much, if not more, to producing fat adults as the general culture of sendentary life. And, scientists have been working on figuring out a way to get people to sustainably loose weight (and keep it off for more than a year, let alone more than 5 years) for the last 4 or 5 decades, and they've pretty much failed on all counts. Statistically speaking, the people who do loose weight and keep it off are the extreme exceptions. Given that, it seems like if we, as a society, really care about everyone being as healthy as possible, we need to stop asking the question “how to we make fat people thin?” and start asking the question “how do we make fat people the healthiest people they can be?”
    I mean, maybe there is a magic weight loss solution out there that some mystery diet industry cabal has covered up because they can't keep selling $40 billion/year of diet products to people if they actually loose weight and keep it off. But, i'm not that much of a conspiracy theorist…

    As for me, I haven't made any intentional changes to my diet over the past year, except that i reduced my caffeine intake because i was having problems with insomnia and anxiety. My diet isn't all that attrocious though – i live with a bunch of hippie vegetarians, so i eat a ton of veggies and whole grains. There are some weeks where i eat kale twice a day for 4 days in a row because it was 50 cents a pound at the farmer's market. Not that i don't eat crap sometimes, but my real issue is about quantity not quality. I really don't respond well to efforts to restrict food by either kind or amount, for psychological reasons that i'm sure many people share. So, it's all about balancing psychological vs. physical health. And it's a slow process for sure.

  • NerdFitness

    Well said Evan. Getting up early sucks, especially if you've been up late before. But if you can get your ass outta bed and exercising, the rest of your day will go MUCH better than if you had slept in for another 30 minutes.

    -NF Steve

  • ephraim

    Yeah, it's clearly just as possible for there to be fit, in-shape (from a cardiovascular or strength perspective, or from an overall health perspective) fat people as it is for there to be out of shape, unhealthy thin people. Lots of factors go into determining someone's weight, many of which are about not only genetics but childhood and adolescence eating and exercise history. I fear that putting kids on restrictive diets and feeding them chemically altered crap that the diet industry calls food (which is exactly how i was raised) contributes just as much, if not more, to producing fat adults as the general culture of sendentary life. And, scientists have been working on figuring out a way to get people to sustainably loose weight (and keep it off for more than a year, let alone more than 5 years) for the last 4 or 5 decades, and they've pretty much failed on all counts. Statistically speaking, the people who do loose weight and keep it off are the extreme exceptions. Given that, it seems like if we, as a society, really care about everyone being as healthy as possible, we need to stop asking the question “how to we make fat people thin?” and start asking the question “how do we make fat people the healthiest people they can be?”
    I mean, maybe there is a magic weight loss solution out there that some mystery diet industry cabal has covered up because they can't keep selling $40 billion/year of diet products to people if they actually loose weight and keep it off. But, i'm not that much of a conspiracy theorist…

    As for me, I haven't made any intentional changes to my diet over the past year, except that i reduced my caffeine intake because i was having problems with insomnia and anxiety. My diet isn't all that attrocious though – i live with a bunch of hippie vegetarians, so i eat a ton of veggies and whole grains. There are some weeks where i eat kale twice a day for 4 days in a row because it was 50 cents a pound at the farmer's market. Not that i don't eat crap sometimes, but my real issue is about quantity not quality. I really don't respond well to efforts to restrict food by either kind or amount, for psychological reasons that i'm sure many people share. So, it's all about balancing psychological vs. physical health. And it's a slow process for sure.

  • Agent Texas

    One of my biggest setbacks is always accountability. It can be tricky. You can say to your friend or spouse “Okay, we’re going to do this.” and they say “Yeah, we totally are.” But then nothing happens because you’re not both truly committed to working out, let alone being each other’s motivation. Or maybe the only person that is a conveniently located workout buddy wants to do something that doesn’t work for you, like they want to run, but you hate running, or in my case, my big muscly husband is like, “yeah, I just do all this weight lifting on these machines, and I just do them really fast, and that makes it like cardio too.” You’ve got to be joking. I haven’t worked out in years. I can’t just jump in and lift like he does. I’m really nervous about it!
    You’ve got to make sure if you have a workout buddy or someone holding you accountable that they are as into it as you are, and you have to find someone who can actually relate to you, and you have to find what works for your own body and pace, and your own inspiration.
    Woo, glad I could get that off my chest! This problem stresses me out!