A LIFE-CHANGING SPRAINED ANKLE
Growing up as an overweight kid, I lacked self-confidence. Obesity runs in my family. My father was always trying to lose weight. He struggled to change like we all do until we experience a seminal moment of inspiration or desperation. My commitment to change was born out of the latter. I remember being sent to the nurse’s office at school for a sprained ankle and overhearing her describing me as a fat boy. Her words struck me. I don’t know why they hit me as hard as they did, but I am glad they cause me enough pain to take action. I resolved to lose the weight. My plan consisted of just two things, daily exercise, and NO MORE DESSERTS. I decided that I would not eat another dessert until I lost all the weight.
It wasn’t easy, but I went over a year without eating a single dessert. I didn’t know much about diet and exercise; I was only ten years old, after all. My father read countless books on diet and exercise, but knowledge doesn’t change your life. Sometimes too much information and analysis can be a detriment to doing. It is our daily rituals that shape our lives. I committed to doing a little bit of exercise each morning and when I got home from school, inspired by my comic book heroes. My transforming body was a constant reminder of the value of taking consistent action. Exercise lifted me out of depression and improved my mental focus. I started doing better in school and became more confident. Eventually, I would become a National Honor Society member in high school and graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Continue reading “A LIFE CHANGING SPRAINED ANKLE”
Motivation isn’t the solution; motivation is the problem. Please, let me explain. The belief that you need motivation to take action is going to prevent you from forming any habits. Motivation isn’t an effective strategy for long-term behavior change for two reasons. Motivation fluctuates from day to day and tends to decrease over time. Habits not only fly under the radar of our conscious brain, but they also fly under the radar of our emotions. Just like we savor the first bite of our meal more than the last, we tend to be less motivated the more times we repeat a routine. Boredom is the biggest obstacle to excellence. A lot of people hit the gym for two or three weeks, then lose their motivation to go and quit. They blame their lack of motivation, but it is their belief that they need to be motivated to go that is the problem. So, if motivation isn’t the solution, what is? Continue reading THE MOTIVATION FALLACY
Want to start eating better and losing weight? You don’t need a new diet. You do not even need to start exercising. You just need to keep a food log. People that keep a food journal lose twice as much weight as those that do not. Why is it so effective? Simple. Keeping a food journal forces us to confront our choices. Monitoring improves our performance through increased awareness. Continue reading You Don’t Need a NEW DIET
The fundamental flaw with extreme diet and exercise programs is their unsustainability. A program approach to weight loss can work, but our life does not end when we achieve our weight loss goal. When we solve problems at the systems’ level, by incorporating keystone habits, we have a permanent solution. Continue reading The Quick Fix Mentality Trap
External motivation can fire us up temporarily, but sustained motivation must be manually coaxed into existence through disciplined effort. When your workout alarm goes off a 5:00 AM in the morning, don’t wait for motivation to get you up. You’ll learn strategies that will make getting up easier, but ultimately, you’ll have to push yourself. You set that alarm for a reason. You don’t need motivation to get-up. You need discipline. Each daily workout will be another small win that will provide a little more inspiration. As you begin to feel and look better, you’ll become even more motivated. After you have pushed yourself enough times to make daily exercise a habit, you’ll need less and less willpower to get-up each morning. You will begin to crave the way you feel after your morning workouts. It will become a positive addiction. Continue reading LET’S GET REAL, LET’S GET MOTIVATED