You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it swim

ej5kNobody changes anything about themselves until it becomes apparent that the change is necessary from either a practical or survival standpoint. Alcoholics and drug addicts describe this as hitting rock bottom; the point at which they realize that either they make a change or they will die without. As a person who had an unhealthy relationship with food and didn’t have enough self-respect to care for my health and fitness, I had to hit a certain rock bottom of my own.

I made a change in my life because I felt I needed to. I was ready. Everything about the way I felt and the way I was living was leading me to an early grave. My weight was phenomenally high and my fitness level laughably low. Something needed to happen quickly. I had come to the realization that the change needed to be immediate and severe.

When you get to a point where a severe change in your lifestyle is better than any other alternative, you know you’ve dug yourself a pretty deep hole. I was so far under that looking up, the sky looked like a period on a black sheet of paper. I knew it was going to be a struggle to climb out, but I set a goal for myself to accomplish it with no regard to any obstacles in my path. I would not sabotage myself, and everything I did would be to the benefit of my progress.

I adopted an all-in mindset that those who have never been in the deep hole of despair can never understand. Advice from well-meaning friends and family fall upon deaf ears when they haven’t ever been in a hole so deep. Some may have advice that may even be helpful, but in my experience, most of it isn’t realistic for the situation I found myself in. How could it be? Regardless of the math, losing 10 lbs is much easier than losing over 100 lbs. It’s not just 10 x 10 lbs. It’s an exponential factor of difficulty. I know: I did it.

When you hit your rock bottom, you will know it. You will FEEL it. You will feel the fire growing within you to make a change. That fire will grow and consume you and push you to make the changes you need to make, no matter how untenable you think those changes may be. You will do what it takes, and you will reach your goals.

Will you get healthy and fit? Not until that switch inside you is flipped. The dark and secret truth about that switch: only you can flip it. The question then becomes: how long will you go before you flip the switch, and is your body able to hold out that long before irreversible damage is done?

 

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