I receive an abundance of messages from folks looking to cut fat off and alter their lifestyle for the better. A good friend of mine sent me the proceeding message and I hope my thoughts and tips to his questions can be extended to the plethora of individuals that are in a similar predicament:
“Elliot, I want to start off by saying long time, no see, how are you doing? I know we haven’t really talked or seen each other in a while, but I am in need of some assistance. I have gotten to a point where I really honestly feel like I have to shed some serious weight. I mean I am sick of running out of breath running up the stairs, or even sweating at my work desk while doing nothing. I come and ask you for a little guidance, since you have been through this journey before and basically transformed your damn life. I do remember a couple of years ago you gave me a document, which was a guideline and caloric values of food. Unfortunately the excuse of ‘I will start it next week’ happened for almost three years now and my computer crashed and I do not have this document anymore. I know you are a busy man and I don’t want to take away from your free time. Any tips would be very much appreciated. I have started reading on changing my eating habits, which has consisted of fast food and a lot of it. During my short research I have found that calorie counting and low-carb “diets” are beneficial for bigger gents trying to shed lots of weight and I mean lots.
Currently, I am 23 years old 6’3” around 330lbs and I have a long term goal of being around 220-230lbs by December 1st 2013. I have short-term goals of losing three pounds a week. I will not take a cheat day until three weeks in. In five months I want to run a 5k. I know I shouldn’t just jump right into all of this at once; I want to, but I know it may result in me just giving up. I am going to bombard you with some questions: Besides being healthier and looking better what other “successes” did you find along your way? What kept you motivated? How much better do you feel today?
If you do answer the questions awesome! If you don’t I understand. I will go ahead and say when/if you do respond to this I appreciate the time you put in to help me. Like I said I know it has been awhile since we have talked and I feel bad bombarding you with this plea, but anything will help. Thank you kind sir.
Commitment vs. Motivation
I just want to let the readers know that I can empathize with the first paragraph of this letter. I know a lot of people just reach that breaking point in their life when they wake up and are fed up with the way they look and their self-confidence is next to nil. I want the readers to know that they’re not alone, and with the epidemic of obesity in this country you’re actually in the minority if you aren’t overweight. That being said, it’s no excuse to let one’s self remain overweight (which is pretty much socially acceptable now) just because others are.
Furthermore, I want to make one thing lucid before moving forward—a goal to lose weight and improve your health has to be a desire that only you want. It sounds selfish, but I’d be doing you a disfavor to let tell you to pursue a weight loss goal just to appease someone other than yourself. Reason being is that the motivation to change is ephemeral; in many ways, motivation is pointless because unless you’re internally committed, you won’t accomplish much. Motivation may get you started, but commitment is what will keep you going.
In Dan’s case, he simply goes through phases of being motivated and then losing that motivation. He’s not committed internally to losing weight and changing his health. This is precisely why he hasn’t made progress in over three years.
Make no mistake, the respects and praise friends and family will likely give you after your physique transformation are definitely flattering; however, that 15 minutes of fame passes by extremely quickly.
Furthermore, at the end of the day, nobody else really gives a damn what you look like (and if they do, that’s pretty shallow and judgmental), and this isn’t meant to be contest of ego; you are the only person that stands to benefit from a weight loss goal (or any health/fitness goal). Do it purely for yourself; it’s not conceited or narcissistic to take of yourself. Now that you’ve digested that rant a bit, get to the gym and make it a commitment for a lifetime.