Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's Put This Another Way

It consistently surprises (nay, frustrates me) when people tell me what their goals are, and when I tell them what they need to do to get there... they begin to try and negotiate with me. As if, somehow, I have the power to change reality.

While I appreciate their perception of my omnipotent power - I get tired of the same conversation.

"What do I need to do to lose weight?" they ask.

"Well," I say, (knowing where this is likely to go), "you can start by exercising more. But the truth is, while it helps, exercise contributes less to weight loss than nutrition. The only way to lose weight is to address your eating habits."

To which I often get one, or more, of the following:

  • "I don't want to have to count calories."

  • "I don't want to have to give up what I enjoy."

  • "What if I add another day of training in?"

  • "What if I started running 3 days a week as well?"

My answers to the above (although paraphrased to be brief):

  • Fine. Don't count them. Just start eating better.

  • Tough. Life is full of sacrifices - this is one of them.

  • That's awesome, and your strength, mobility, balance, and cardiovascular health will all improve - but you're not going to lose more weight.

  • Then we'll need to address the program to ensure that we're doing everything we need to do to keep healthy while you run that much - especially if you're still carrying an extra 10-15lbs because you haven't addressed your eating.

Maybe consider it another way. Imagine if I asked you how far it was for me to drive to work, and you told me it was 20km. What would you say if I responded with any of the following:

  • "I don't like to have to drive 20km."

  • "I don't want to have to spend that much time in the car."

  • "What if I got a better car - would it be closer?"

  • "What if I drive faster - is it less than 20km then?"

Ridiculous, right?

Well, that's how it is when you try to avoid this simple fact: although everyone's situation, tactics and approaches will all differ, if weight loss is your goal, you have to address your eating. You can come up with any excuses, justifications or arguments you want, but it's like telling me you dislike gravity.

Save your energy, and start looking for ways to create a productive action plan - because the longer you put it off, the longer it takes for you to get where you want to be.


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