File this under: Things I wish I’d written…
I’m not going to say too much here about the blog linked above. Chad Landers absolutely nails it. Succinct and to the point. Read it, please.
The only thing I would add to his list that I thing would make it perfect is this:
* If you call it a diet, then you are doomed.
– A diet is, by definition, something you do temporarily. I guarantee you that any temporary changes you make, whether they be dietary or exercise-related, will create temporary results.
If you are significantly overweight, or your health is suffering because of your poor nutrition you need to make permanent changes. Think of it this way – we all know someone who quit drinking, or smoking or using recreational drugs because they were hurting their health and making them miserable. Those are difficult changes to make. You have to alter your mental attitude towards that cigarette/cocktail/needle. You have to take that thing that you craved and sought out for pleasure or pain relief and start to think of it as a poison. You also have to alter your day-to-day behavior to eliminate the habits that surrounded your dependence on whatever substance it was, as well as maybe even altering or ending your friendships/relationships with people who triggered or enabled that addictive behavior. Food for an overweight person, or a person with dietary health issues is no different.
You have to make permanent, substantial changes to your life in order to rewire your body and brain to embrace healthy behaviors. I personally did three rounds of P90X because the first round, even the second wasn’t enough to rewire my brain to turn daily exercise into a habit. It might only take you 21 days to change your habits. For me, 180 wasn’t enough.
Willpower will also not be enough for most people. Take the example of the alcoholic kicking booze. Some people can look at themselves in the mirror one day and say, “Not gonna drink anymore,” and that’s the end of it. But most people need a support group and regular accountability to someone else to stay on track and alter their habits. And for some, their participation in groups like AA becomes lifelong. The same is true for changing eating habits or going from being sedentary to active. Very few people can accomplish either by simply deciding to do so.
So, yeah, it’s hard. It’s OK to acknowledge that fact. But hard is not impossible,… for anyone.