Getting in shape is tough.
The eating. The exercising. The sacrifices.
On top of that we often pile on the bullshit when we don’t see immediate results.
Pile on the bullshit?
I’m going to take a left turn to answer that.
I recently watched the movie Live by Night with Ben Affleck (IMO it was pretty good). Ben’s character adamantly denies being a gangster while he’s running booze and greasing cops during Prohibition. Best yet, he works for a major Boston mob boss.
Now I’ve watched enough seasons of Boardwalk Empire to know a Prohibition gangster when I see one.
Ben’s character was piling on the bullshit telling himself that he wasn’t a gangster despite checking the first three boxes of the of the Are You A Gangster Quiz.
Are you involved in running alcohol, drugs, illegal gambling? Check.
Do you work for the mob? Check.
Do you need to grease politicians/cops to make your living? Check.
Are you Italian? Sorry Ben, you can’t have everything.
Piling on your bullshit while dieting can lead us to try ridiculous things like drugs, supplements or crash diets. We fill our heads with excuses like…
I have a slow metabolism.
I’m too old.
I’m big boned.
Meanwhile while “dieting”, we go out for lunch 4 days a week and complain about how we can’t lose weight as we shove the second helping of food in our mouth.
But it’s not our eating habits, it’s our genetic predisposition to be overweight. As Dr. Malcolm said in Jurassic Park, “That’s one big pile of shit.”
We can’t lose hope because there is an antidote for the copious amount of bullshit, it’s called self awareness. I’m going to show you how to cultivate self awareness around dieting so you can make the summer of 2017 the best looking yet.
SELF AWARENESS FOR DIETERS
DROP THE BELIEFS
Going into a diet thinking it’s going to be impossible for [insert excuse here] is shooting yourself in the foot and trying to run the Boston Marathon.
Going into anything in life with preconceived beliefs will make a hard task 10x harder. Take the easy route and open up your mind to the possibilities.
A trick that works for me is to look at diets, or anything new I want to try, as experiments. Not every experiment will give you the desired result but you can still learn from every experiment as to what doesn’t work.
I don’t get frustrated when things don’t work I just look for the next experiment to try. Looking at something like this takes the you element out of it. Otherwise, we think it’s us that sucks and the bullshit starts piling up.
SHORT TERM SACRIFICE FOR LONG TERM GAIN
Eating pizza tonight might suffice that itch you have right now, but is it going to help you rock that bathing suit this summer? Will that drink you “need” after a rough week at work do the same? The answer is no btw.
This point isn’t made to be blown out of proportion that I’m a diet Nazi and I’m trying to void you of all happiness with a super strict diet. I just want people to think about how their actions now affect their progress later.
By looking short term and what will scratch our latest itch, we can’t consistently follow a diet that will get us to our goal. Think long term.
FACT: I’m going to default to the bro-ish/woo-woo saying “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”
This is by far the most important section in this entire article.
Following rather nicely with sacrificing the short term for long term gain, we need to learn to ask ourselves why. Boy it’s almost like someone planned this.
Everyone has moments of weakness. The food industry would be broke if they didn’t make their food look absolutely delicious and prey on our weakness.
What we need to do as successful dieters is to ask ourselves why before we eat something. Chris Hemsworth did this when he was preparing for the first Thor movie. He would ask himself why before he ate anything to make sure he was going in the right direction for the movie.
Whenever you find yourself being tempted to eat things you shouldn’t, ask yourself why you are eating it. If the answer isn’t “It will help me get closer to my goal” then put it down.
99% of the time your answer will be either “I want it” or “I need it”. Both are incorrect answers. If it’s your cheat meal then by all means throw caution to the wind and indulge, but the other meals of the week skip it.
Asking yourself why will help you pinpoint why you eat. Sometimes it’s a coping mechanism other times it’s just habit. Regardless of what it is, asking why before you eat will help you make good long term decisions.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is going to sound a little woo-woo but I’m going with it anyways. Listen when your body talks to you.
I know I’m like one magic crystal from taking my cat to a pet psychic to adjust his aura.
If you ask me what diet is the best I’m going to tell you “Whatever works for you.” Sounds like a cheap cop out but it’s the golden rule of successful dieting.
These other diets might work for other people and get them faster results but carb cycling is what fits me. I was told all these diets are the best for building muscle, losing fat or getting abs. This is all contingent on sticking with it which I couldn’t because they didn’t fit me.
Your body will tell you what is good for it if you listen. Listen to your energy levels, happiness and how you feel overall. A happy body is an optimal body. Wow that seems woo-ie.
Don’t sacrifice the imperfect plan you can stick to for the perfect plan you can’t.
You might be saying to yourself that eating shouldn’t require this much thought and I 100% agree with you. Unfortunately, our world complicates the shit out of it.
Instead of fighting off hellish death cats looking to have us for dinner, we have to fight off the bag of Cheetos.
Not going to lie, I’d much rather fight off my urge to eat Cheetos than a Sabertooth Tiger any day.
Self awareness is probably the most important part of successful dieting. Without it leads to inconsistent eating through self sabotage and not getting the results you want. It’s important to question yourself when temptation hits. This will help you from coming up with lame ass excuses as to why you can’t slim down and keep you from stepping in your own bullshit.