4. Chapter 1: The Difference Between Hard and Impossible
What I had learned over this time of failing to lose weight (and yes, learning from your failures is key to future success) is that if it is a battle to do, or to abstain from, then you will fail. This isn’t rocket science obviously, but so many things we are asked to do are difficult.
I don’t mean difficult in a ‘boy that was a hard workout’ sense, but difficult as in you don’t even know if what you are doing is right, so as you struggle to do it, you are doubting everything about the process, especially your willpower, and what is often worse is the way you are measuring your progress raises even more doubts. Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows the difference between the two types of difficult. Nothing is harder than trying to lose weight. We work so hard to lose the weight, harder than probably everything else we do, yet still we don’t succeed. Obviously this isn’t just a difficult task, for most of us, it is impossible. This isn’t to say that losing weight is impossible, just that for most of us, the way we are going about losing weight is making the likelihood of positive results impossible.
It is being able to tell the difference between something being difficult, such as eating better, and something being impossible, such as don’t eat the potato chips that will be on the counter every time you walk by (or substitute chocolate, cake, cupcakes, whatever your weakness is).
Here is what we so often have a hard time with. Educated, hard working and driven people have a hard time losing weight and keeping it off partly because we aren’t given hard tasks, we are given impossible tasks. The people giving us these tasks clearly don’t understand how hard these things are that they are asking. They don’t get it. They don’t get it precisely because they never have had to. They aren’t us. They aren’t the unfit people in society.
So, the one thing that I had incorporate that wasn’t a battle was oatmeal, and the one thing I knew about oatmeal, was that the few fit people I knew eat it all the time and ate it as kids. So, the oatmeal worked for me, and as I said it wasn’t a difficult battle. This got me to wondering. Since that time, I have met more and more fit people and I have discovered more and more of how they have stayed fit. It wasn’t until I had independently determined that I had incorporated a bunch of their habits into my life and they had worked in getting me fitter that I made the connection that changed my fitness forever. In the next chapter I will talk about fit people and share some of what I have learned from them, and why they were the key to my being fit today. Over the course of the rest of the book, I will show you ways to incorporate their behaviors into our lives in ways that aren’t a battle.