How To Be Unhealthy

I spend all day, every day trying to help people get healthy.  

(Well, sometimes I play video games all day too.  Damn you, Assassins Creed!)

I feel like I’ve found what I’m meant to do with my life: Inspire and work with folks who are interested in losing some weight, building some muscle, and feeling better about themselves.  I can usually tell within a few sentences of an email, or a few minutes of conversation who’s going to succeed and who’s going to continue to fail to get healthy.

So let’s run through the best ways to fail at getting healthy.  Think of this as the worst instructional email ever.

Thanks to Chris G for the inspiration.

How to fail at getting healthy

Fail Street

1) Compare yourself to others.  Pick out people who are different sizes, shapes, builds, and genetics.  It doesn’t matter that their body functions completely differently than yours, or that they eat differently and exercise differently than you.  Find those people and say, “you won the genetic lottery, and I can’t lose weight, not my fault.”  Then make yourself feel better by finding people that are REALLY overweigh, unhealthy, and unhappy.  Pat yourself on the back and say “meh good enough!”  Non-applicable comparisons FTW!

2) Make yourself miserable.  We all know exercise only counts if you are suffering and hating life, so only do exercises that make you want to dropkick a puppy.  Pick the least enjoyable form of exercise you can think of (for me, that would be running on a treadmill like a hamster), and then force yourself to do it for hours.  Every day.  Combine this with some sort of diet where you starve yourself, so that you have no energy and hate life.  Even better, combine this with a SUPER unhealthy diet (telling yourself, “I earned this!”) and then wonder why you’re not losing weight.

3) Blindly follow conventional wisdom.  Don’t eat fat.  Avoid foods with cholesterol.    Eat as many heart healthy whole grains as possible, all day long.  Ignore advice to consume all natural foods from “fad” diets like the Paleo Diet.  Buy “healthy” microwaveable dinners that taste like feet – those are the best.

4) Change workout plans as often as possible. Don’t stick with a good plan for 6-12 weeks (or even longer if it’s working). Be sure to freak out after two weeks when you don’t see drastic changes, and then pick another plan that promises even better results.  The faster the freak out, the more quickly you can move on to the next routine!

5) Treat the symptoms rather than the cause.  Screw wasting precious time and energy on figuring out why you are unhealthy – that requires things like “effort.”  Gross, I know.  Just take high blood pressure medication to counteract the cholesterol medication, which balances your weight loss medication. Find a way to combine it with your sleeping pills and caffeine addiction.  Get that stomach staple surgery or gastric bypass surgery instead of building better habits and learning how to eat right.   Why do any of that when you can just throw thousands of dollars at the problem and wreck your insides in the process!  Everybody wins!  Except you.  And your insides.

6) Chase the quick fix.  Nobody wants to WORK to get in shape. That could take months or even years, and who has that kind of time?  Instead, just take that pill, or use that next fancy piece of workout equipment. The faster it says it’ll work, the more likely you’ll be to succeed.

7) Complain! As loudly as possible.  Try: “I don’t have good genes!” or “I don’t have time!”  If that doesn’t work, there’s always: “I just can’t lose weight!” or “sorry, I’m not as lucky as you!”  Complain to anybody that will listen, and even those that don’t.  The more disdain and self-loathing, the better.

8) Make big changes quickly.  When you’re ready to get in shape, wake up two hours earlier than normal, DRASTICALLY alter your diet overnight, and go from a sedentary lifestyle to exercising for 90 minutes a day.  Run yourself absolutely ragged for a week or two, confuse the hell out of your body, which is going to fight you every step of the way, and then after one day goes poorly, COMPLETELY fall off the wagon.  Bonus points if you get really angry with yourself for “sucking at getting healthy” even though you tried to change 50,000 things at once.

9) Be nonspecific.  Be as nebulous and generic as possible : “I should get healthy” is a good start. “I need to work out more” or “I should lose weight” is even better!  Don’t be specific, and CERTAINLY don’t measure your progress. Don’t bother saying things like “I will work out four times this week at this specific time” or “I will lose 10% of my body fat by December 31st.”  Those goals are WAY too specific, and you might actually accomplish them!  Can’t have that, now, can we?

10) Give up.  When things don’t go your way, rather than analyzing, adjusting, and trying again…just give up!  When you step on a scale this week and it’s half a pound heavier than last week, rather than making changes to your diet and cutting out one extra soda this week, flip the **** out and give up.  Giving up is so much easier than working hard, struggling, and perservering.  Get over it and move on?  Pssh. Give up! Guys like Joe are AWFUL at failing – he just kept going for MONTHS.  We can’t have that!

How to actually get healthy

Healthy Berries, blueberry and raspberry

Ready?

Set tiny goals. Build TINY habits.  Eat less crap, and move more.  Find an activity that makes you happy and do it as often as possible.  Then, find ways to eat a little healthier. Cut out liquid calories.  Add in strength training.  Sleep more.  Repeat these small daily changes and improvements until these things become habit.  Repeat until your desired results are achieved, generally for months or years.  Then push yourself to be even better.

I just made every past, present, and future Nerd Fitness article obsolete.

Crap.  This is not the post you’re looking for!

Well anyways, I still plan on cranking out epicly nerdy posts twice a week, so thanks for humoring me.  Lord knows what would happen if I was left to take care of myself.  Scary thought.

Thanks for letting me stick around!

How else would you help somebody fail at getting healthy?

-Steve 

photo source: lego fall, fail street, berries

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  • http://twitter.com/PackofPeanuts Extra Pack of Peanut

    Dan, that’s amazing! You’ve lost 50% of your body weight in only a year and a half. I agree, NF should a post on this, I’d love to hear how you did it!

  • http://twitter.com/PackofPeanuts Extra Pack of Peanut

    Steve, this post is absolute gold! All of your points are great, but I especially love #1, about comparing yourself to someone else. I do this CONSTANTLY (“well, he can eat 5,000 scoops of ice cream and not get fat, so I can too, right?”) and it has no value whatsoever. It’s so true that we are all different and need to do what works for us. I’m working on learning that.

    Thanks for the awesome post. Keep it up!

  • Jack F.

    Procrastinate. Just remind yourself that you will get healthy and happy tomorrow so enjoy that slice of pie today. You have all the time in the world. Enjoy today becasue you know tomorrow will be hard. Convince yourself that you are a winner and the weight will come off, just not today. If others can do so can I, and I will begin first thing in the morning.

  • http://www.30yearoldninja.com/ Izmael Arkin

    This made me laugh. I was going through the list and I kept on automatically thinking of different people that did each of those. Some of them I even saw myself in a few years back (especially the trying to make massive changes really fast).

    I would add to the list: Set super high goals when you have no evidence of doing anything related to this in the past.

    I was talking with someone a few weeks ago and they mentioned to me how they want to open up a bar. I said “Why don’t you start smaller than that?” The person looked at me like I was crazy and said “I already know what I want to do. The problem is that it will cost $750,000 to open the place up. I ran some numbers the other day.” Here’s the problem – this person has never made more than $40,000 a year.

    They have this dream yet they are able to use the massiveness of their plan as an easy cop out so they don’t have to do it. They didn’t like it when I mentioned a few ways to make it easier on them. (What about working at a local bar to start? What if you volunteered to make drinks at local events? etc).

    I think above all else this post made me laugh because I would dare to say more people do the things in this post than not. Maybe I shouldn’t laugh at that.

  • http://www.healthhabits.ca Health Habits

    Thinking that what worked for someone else WILL work for you too is a great way to FAIL.

    We all had different goals, lifestyles, talents, etc…

  • simon

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  • Christop1234567890

    Someone once told me something along the lines, if you want to do something but are not feeling driven to, the best thing to do, is to do something kinda small that may make you follow your goal. Like someone Who does not want to excersise, but they would if they pay money to a gym. You see this in school all the time too, like if there is a book that you would not usually read but then you do because it means you can get an A if you do or you will get an F if you don’t. Or If you are a workaholic you should stay home and relax, have a friend come then to take your car from you so you don’t go out anywhere. Do. things that force you into the path to your goal. My sister uses excersise videos and wonders why i pay for a gym when she saysi can use her videos. but see i didnt pay for them, i have no motivation to watch them. Then perhaps one day it will become a life style not just a motivation.

  • Shawna

    So it’s ok to admit I don’t like the treadmill? Heehee my dad teases me about that but he himself is severly out of shape and is well… he’s almost everything on this list.