The daily smackdown

Every once in a while, we all need to be slapped around a little bit. You know, when we are kidding ourselves into believing something that we really want to believe, but it just ain’t true. That’s when we need a good friend to grab us by the shoulder, pull us aside, look us in the eye and say “Hey buddy, here’s the deal” and lay it out for us. Well today I am going to be that good friend, Jillian Michaels style.

If you want to lose weight, and for just about everyone reading this blog, this means you, and if that weight is substantial, and substantial is anything more than five pounds, then listen up because I am talking to you.
Don’t believe any thing you see on Regis and Kelly or whatever else you watch that tells you by making a few minor changes, switching from Coke to Diet Coke, using Splenda instead of sugar in your coffee, etc., you will lose weight and achieve the body of your dreams. It’s not.
Have you ever read about how to save money? They give you tips like stop going to Starbucks and make your own coffee, don’t buy a newspaper but read it online instead, etc. Is anyone getting rich like this? No, I don’t think so. The one or two good articles you read written by a real financial advisor who lives in the real world will tell you this: Don’t give up your little things, like Starbucks and the newspaper. Instead focus on the big things, like making changes to your auto insurance policy, starting up your 401K and maximizing it, drive a less expensive car and stop eating out at expensive restaurants and cook at home. Those big changes make a difference, but going to instant coffee ain’t gonna cut it.
Well weight loss and fitness is the same thing. Don’t kid yourself that switching to Splenda or Equal is going to do anything to your waistline. In fact, in my opinion it is more likely to give you some kind of trouble down the road, like most sugar substitutes, and you’d be better off with a little sugar. At least sugar is natural. Anyway, I digress. The point is you need to take “massive action” to lose weight. You are trying to save your life here. You are trying to lose 20, 30 even 50 pounds. That is not happening with small changes. “Start taking the stairs instead of using the elevator.” Not gonna do it. Is it a good idea? Yes, of course. But it’s not going to make a dent in your weight loss, that’s for sure.
What is massive action? Make the decision to do something dramatic. Commit to a plan of action. Join a gym (and pay for the year up front). Hire a trainer (and not just once a week), sign up for aerobics or spinning classes and go EVERYDAY. Call a nutritionist  and learn how to eat because I know that you “Don’t really eat that bad”, but guess what? You do! You do eat bad. You may not eat fast food for every meal, but if you need to lose 20 or more pounds, you are eating very, very wrong and you need to learn what to do and start doing it pronto. Every day, week or month you wait to do something dramatic, you will gain another 2, 5 or 10 pounds and have that much more trouble getting started.
Don’t say “I’m going to try to workout this week.” Too weak and not committed. Say “I am going to exercise everyday this week.” Be definite and even more specific. “I am going to go straight to the gym from work every day this week. I am going to do 30 minutes of cardio everyday, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am going to do weights.” That is more like it. And better than that would be that you are going to see your trainer M, W and F or you better know exactly what you are going to do on those days or you will just putz around like most people at the gym and you will feel good that you went, but you will know deep down inside that you probably didn’t do what it is going to take for you to lose the weight. If this is the case, you will only last about 3 weeks and then you will bail, deciding that “This doesn’t work” and you will give up.
It doesn’t work if you don’t do it right. Just showing up won’t do it. Just hitting a tennis ball back and forth won’t make you a good tennis player. If anything, it might make you worse as you learn bad habits that a coach will someday have to correct. Same thing with exercise. Learn now to do it right, what exercises are best, how hard you have to push yourself, etc.
I think you get the point. New Year’s resolutioners are here and just looking for another one to join the crew of the failed, well-intentioned and misinformed. Be one of the few who really does want to make a change, recognize that your habits have gotten you in this predicament, identify that you need to make changes, take massive action and get going towards being the you that you want to be. Because you can do it. You just need to want it.
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