Trading Discomfort for Discomfort


A co-worker of mine was telling me about her workout regimen. It was 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of cardio, and 10 minutes of running. Just listening to it made me tired, and I have to admit, I was thinking to myself that I couldn’t do that much work. It’s just too much. I’d be too sore. The discomfort is more than I’m willing to accept. I asked her why she was doing this to herself, and she replied that it was to lose weight.

I explain to people that I had to do a lot of work to lose weight, but it’s not the kind of work people expect. I am told more often than not that “You must have spent a lot of time in the gym to lose all that weight.” Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, I vehemently fought doing any sort of exercise in my first year of weight loss. Only when I decided to get back into the military did I start exercising, and that was to improve my fitness level, not to lose weight.

The “Work” did to lose weight, in retrospect, didn’t really feel like much work at all. I wrote in the past about how I felt like I had found a cheat code to life as I was eating bacon, eggs, sausage, brisket, pulled pork, and other foods we’d been taught were bad for us and losing 10+ lbs per month, month after month. Compared to spending time in the gym, it was completely effortless. The only discomfort I felt was in learning a new lifestyle; I honestly was never hungry once I kicked the sugar habit.

The discomfort I felt was traded in preference over any discomfort in the gym (and with that said, I know fully well that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet!). The amount of exercise I’d have to do to burn more calories than I was eating would have me exercising in excess of 6-8 hours a day! I was not willing to accept that, and I took the logical and less discomfortable route: changing my lifestyle.

You’re going to feel some level of discomfort if you undertake losing weight in earnest. You might as well choose the least discomfortable method available. For me, that was changing my diet. It was so easy to do that I’ve adopted the diet for life, and I feel no discomfort at all to this day.

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