I’m going to apologize in advance if you feel that this post is directed toward you. I promise, I have no single person in mind when I write the following.
There is a common thread I see on Facebook every January among my many Facebook friends: it’s time to lose weight. Many go about doing so by taking on an exercise regimen while others attack the problem through diet. I watch through the month and into February the majority of these people quit. Some quietly while others find the humor in their failure and post a funny meme about having fallen off the wagon. Some persist.
Into March, April, and May, there are the die-hards who continue to post their motivation and their progress. For many, the progress is slow but they keep up hope. For a smaller bunch, they are doing well and happy with what they’re experiencing.
Spring arrives and turns to summer, and we start to see the big progress photos and posts. There are now a handful who have lost 30+ lbs, some through diet, some through exercise, and a few through both. There are still the die-hards who post they’re still trying but they aren’t seeing much progress.
What is the difference between those who have experienced success and those who are posting about their long walks, hard workouts, and deprivation diets but who have not really lost any weight? As they say, read between the lines. In this case, I read between the Facebook posts.
The one thing I’ve noticed is that the die-hards who continue to try, try, and try yet fail are also posting enticing photos and videos of these recipes for pastries, cakes, desserts, and other treats. They literally want to have their cake and eat it too.
I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to enjoy treats or posts about it. What I do see as counter-productive is those who are spending all this time and energy trying to lose weight and get healthy while not truly committing themselves to it. It’s a waste of that time and energy.
Look: I can be politically correct and sugar-coat it and say, “Well, as long as you’re trying, at least you’re not eating all bad foods and you’re getting some exercise.” I could say that, but I’m not. If you want to get healthy and lose weight, there’s no good reason at all to go half-way. I don’t care about how hard it is to break free of bread, pasta, rice, beans, or sweets. You just need to do it. You ARE strong enough. You ARE able to do this. You are choosing not to, and your health is going to cash the check that your cravings are writing.
I am hard on this because I used to be this way. I used to go half-in, and instead of getting half-results, I got no results. In two years, I was only willing to give up sodas for sugar-free sodas which let me lose about 12 lbs in two years. At that rate, I’d need another 9 years to get down to 250lbs. That’s just ridiculous. It was also dangerous. I had developed Type 2 Diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver. My blood pressure was rising, I was experiencing nerve pain in my right leg, and my vision was going bad due to my elevated blood sugar. My joints hurt and I was always in some discomfort or outright pain. It was no way to live. And yet, I justified it by telling myself that a life without good food is a life not worth living. I never considered that there is delicious and wholesome food available to me and that all I needed to do was cut out carbs.
I can’t say enough how much I understand that giving up sugar and carbs is hard. I will challenge anyone who says they love pizza more than me. But there is a point that I reached where my quality of life could so easily be changed just through diet that it became silly to continue with the diet I was eating. I had to go all-in.
Commitment. Go all-in on your health. Stop messing about and just do it. Don’t wait; start now. Start with your next meal. There are menus and information available online. The only thing holding you back is your preconceived notion that you will be miserable. You won’t. There is so much good Paleo food out there, you’ll be shocked at how much of it is already part of your diet and how many of those foods are things you already love and enjoy.
Commit. Make it real.