In Episode 3 of “Driving With Paul” I shared some insights I recently had related to my struggle to lose weight and get fit over the last three years or so.
Essentially, the challenge I had was that I was constantly making excuses not to get started with a weight loss plan or workout regime but I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling so much.
Prior to three years ago, whenever I would go on a weight loss program, I would lose weight pretty easily and I had the discipline and willpower to work out daily on a very regular basis for the duration of the different weight loss challenges I was on.
Up until three years ago my struggle was always in keeping the weight off after I lost it, but never in actually losing the weight.
Over the last three years, however, I’ve been trying to lose weight using the “slow and steady” method, and by making small, incremental lifestyle changes, as directed by various coaches and programs I was on.
However, after three years of trying that approach I was frustrated because nothing had worked for me.
I couldn’t even stick to the most simple of tasks like increasing my water intake by 1 glass of water per day, or taking my vitamins for 7 days in a row.
I mean, on my more “hardcore” diets I was able to be very disciplined, and follow very strict regiments and lose 20, 30 and even 40 lbs on these diets, without much struggle, but here I was now struggling to even do something as simple as taking my vitamins for 7 days straight or drinking more water!
What gives, right?
Well, I figured out that the reason I was having these issues is because I was essentially trying to “trick” my mind into believing that I could get something for nothing, and it wasn’t buying it.
Meaning, as an example I would join a weight loss program and meet with my coach and explain to them that I want to lose weight but I DID NOT want my weight loss regiment to negatively affect my business income, like my more “hardcore” diets have done in the past.
Meaning, a few years back when I did a few different weight loss challenges with my friend Tyler Cruz, I lost weight on each of the challenges, but at the same time as my weight went down I noticed that my business income also went down because I was putting so much energy and time into my weight loss and health, that my businesses suffered a bit.
So basically for the last three years I’ve been trying out various different weight loss programs that promote a “slow and steady” approach and I’ve told them that my biggest concern is that if I focus on my weight loss, my businesses might suffer.
And when I told them this, they would then proceed to tell me “No Paul, that’s not going to happen. We’re going to give you a very simple program that you can follow and it’ll be so easy that you won’t even really notice it, and you won’t have to cut any time or energy out from running your businesses.”
Well, none of those programs worked for me.
Because my mind knew right away that those programs would never work.
The *ONLY* way that they would work is if they progressively gave me MORE and MORE stuff to do (and not do), until I started losing weight, BUT with all the tasks I *WOULD* have to invest an extra 5-20 hours/week for my weight loss / fitness plan.
For example they might tell me that the only thing they want me to do is to start eating a breakfast — that’s it… simple right? That shouldn’t take away any time from my business or require me to invest any extra time / energy into my weight loss program.
Well, it seems simple, but my mind would rebel against it right away…
… because my mind knew that this was just step one of the program, and as soon as I would agree to that, then I would be asked to do step number two and step number three etc. until pretty soon I would be investing an extra 5-20 hours/week into weight loss which I told them I didn’t want to do.
It’s kind of like if you worked at a job and you were a student as well, and you told your boss that you are not willing to work any overtime anymore… and that you would only be able to work 40 hours/week as you need to concentrate on your studies…
…and your boss said “Okay, no problem… you don’t have to work any overtime… except next week, could you work an extra 1 hour on Monday? It’s only 1 extra hour, cmon, please?”
.. and then lets say that on Monday you came in and agreed to stay one extra hour this one time, and after your shift your boss thanked you and then said “Thanks! You’re a lifesaver, and is there any way that tomorrow you could work an extra 2 hours?”
You would catch-on really quickly that your boss is basically lying to you. He’s pretending like it’s okay for you to not work overtime, but at the same time he has this agenda to try to squeeze as much overtime out of you anyways.
That’s kind of how my mind felt whenever I would get on these programs or even when I would try to “trick” it into starting with something small and seemingly insignificant and then tried to add a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more.
My mind is not stupid. It doesn’t fall for such trickery.
So for the last 3 years I’ve essentially been fighting my own mind and I lost… I tried all these programs that were trying to promise me this fantasy of being able to lose weight and get fit and that it wouldn’t take up any extra time or energy out of my schedule.
Last week I finally figured out that this LIE was what was screwing me up all this time.
And when I made the decision to stop LYING to myself and to actually get CLEAR on what it would realistically take for me to lose the weight I want to lose and to get in shape, everything shifted.
I actually sat down and calculated all the extra time and energy it would take for me to lose weight and get fit.
I made a list of some of the things that I would need to do such as:
- Get more involved with grocery shopping (weekly or even twice a week)
- Approx 30 mins – 1 hour of cardio exercise several times a week
- Approx 30 mins – 1 hour of strength training several times a week
- Approx 45 mins – 1.5 hours of extra time per day to prepare / cook and track my meals
- Approx 1-5 hours / week in planning, researching weight loss, strength training etc.
- Additional travel time related to some of the tasks above
All in all I calculated that it will “cost” me an extra 15 – 20 hours / week to lose weight and to get in shape.
Once I calculated this, I had to make a decision…
Is it worth it for me to invest 15 – 20 hours/week into my weight loss / fitness program, if it means that this extra time will have to come out of my schedule somewhere such as I might have to cut back on either relaxation time, or on social time, or on the time I spend working on my businesses etc?
Instead of pretending like my weight loss / fitness program will not take up any time or energy, I now got very CLEAR on what it will take.
And when I did that, I ended up deciding to do it.
Even though I know it will affect my social time, business time, relaxation time, etc. I believe it will be well worth it for me to lose the excess weight I’ve been carrying around and to get in shape.
NOW that I’m realistic about it, and I’m not trying to get my mind to try to buy some “fantasy” solution, I’ve been EXTREMELY motivated to get started.
In fact I’ve already got a lot of setup work started to get my program started.
I researched and found a new line of supplements that I’m going to be trying out very soon.
I researched and purchased a strength training gym, got it delivered yesterday and almost got it all setup. Just waiting for someone to pickup a couch I sold so that I have room to setup my gym properly.
Today I also cleaned up a space and got a 20 amp circuit installed for an Infrared Sauna that I’ll be setting up in my basement. Just have to assemble it now. 🙂
In fact with all the moving, cleaning, installing and setting up of everything in the last two days I feel like I’ve already been doing an intense workout and I haven’t even started my program yet!
I’m super pumped about getting started on this journey.
In hindsight I now realize that what I really needed from the various coaches I was working with, and even from myself, was someone to hear my request of wanting to lose weight, and get in awesome shape without it costing me any extra time or energy and to basically say to me “Sorry Paul, tough shit… if you want to lose weight, and you want to get in shape, you’ve got to be willing to put 5-20 hours / week of your time and energy to make that happen. Some weeks it might be less, but if you’re not willing to commit that amount of time, then you’re wasting your time and we can’t help you.”
Instead of perpetuating my fantasy of trying to get something for nothing, what I really needed was my coaches to tell me the TRUTH and to ask me to make a decision – one way or another.
But that’s okay, I eventually came to that conclusion myself, and learned a very powerful lesson in the process.
I’m so excited now to get started. 🙂
I’ll post some pictures or do a video of my new setup once it’s all setup.
So what about you?
Are you struggling to get started with something in your life?
Maybe you’ve been procrastinating starting a business?
Maybe you start something but find yourself not following through on even the simplest tasks?
If so, the solution might be that you need to have a heart-to-heart conversation with yourself and to really get clear on what you want, and what it will realistically take to have what you want, and then you might need to ask yourself to DECIDE if it’s worth it for you.
Anything worthwhile in life requires an investment of time, energy and sometimes also money to make it happen.
You’ve got to get clear on what that investment will realistically need to be and the decide if it’s worth it for you to invest that right now.
And if it’s not worth it, then don’t waste your time pretending like I have been for the last three years with my weight loss!