If you are killin’ it (like the leopard above), then this isn’t for you. If you want to change in any area of your life, then this is for you. And bear with me this is kind of wordy.
Time and time again when I talk to people about nutrition, fitness, or just life’s struggle in general, a certain mental phenomena has shown its face time and time again and that is what I’d like to present today.
What is this phenomena I speak of?
Simply stated… Most people want Change, but are not willing to change. It is a strong resistance to change despite a strong wish to change.
Most people want to change their place in life, but then also want to maintain their current life/habits/priorities. Seriously, most people want drastically different results in life, but then fight with all their being to keep their lifestyle, habits, thought patterns, and whatever else the same.
Read these words carefully, and several times over. Say it out loud, and sit and consider it.
Your current state in life (where you are now) is the direct product of your previous and/or current lifestyle practises.
Your current state in life (where you are now) is the direct product of your (previous and/or current lifestyle practises).
Your current state in life (x) is the direct product of (y).
(In case you are lost with the “x/y/z/a” here is what they all represent)
x- Your current state
y- The lifestyle that led you to “x”
z- The new YOU/change
a- The lifestyle that will lead you to "z"
So it should logically follow that if “x” is the result of “y”, then if we want to change “x” into “z", where do we need to look? Clearly “y”. "Y" needs to go.
This might be sounding pretty damn obvious to you, but what is standing in the way between you and becoming the person you really want to be (z)? It is likely the behaviour of clinging to habits and lifestyle practises that are normal and safe for you, but not conducive to your goals “y".
You want “z”, but can’t give up “y”, even though you know that leads to “x”.
What are your “y’s”?
Is it that you refuse to give up the 2 sugar cubes in your coffee every morning?
Is it the 2 glasses of white wine every night?
Is it that you still spend more time each week watching Netflix than you do exercising?
Is it that you refuse to ask for help?
What are your “a’s”?
-Black coffee + mct oil instead of sugar/sweetener
-Tea instead of wine after 8pm
-Limit Netflix to 1 episode/day and aim at 3-4 hours of activity/week
-Finding someone who can help you answer the questions you have about how to get where you want to go
Now this is where the resistance to change gets interesting. Instead of dropping the “y’s” and adopting the “a’s” what a lot of people do is invest a lot of time in trying to make the “a’s” feel as much as possible like the “y’s” they are trying to move on from. This looks like “Paleo Pizza”, low-calorie white wine, ice-cream that is low sugar but packed with oodles of aspartame or sorbitol. It might also look like googling until you find an article that supports something close to your old lifestyle, or an example of a unicorn who ate like shit but still had abs, and then hoping your genetics somehow suddenly become as gifted as theirs. This doesn’t sound too hopeful does it.
In my experience the people who try to cling to their old lifestyle are not successful. The people who experience real change are the people who are ready to abandon the “y”, and adopt the “a” with an open mind which is ready for the challenge (Because it will be a challenge).
If you want “z”, you need to abandon “y” and adopt “a”.
“y” leads to “x”.
“a” leads to “z”.
Using nutrition as an example, the people who I know who have had the best body-composition (muscle-mass & low body-fat) consistently over a period of years, do not have a lifestyle or diet that looks much like anything “normal” people do. They have found a way of eating that fits their lifestyle and their goals, and they spent little time considering or missing their old way of doing things or how other people do things. They were clear minded on their goal, and are ok going against the grain (is that a pun?).
Using myself as an example, lunch for me in high school was either 4 pogo-sticks or 4 pizza-pops. Imagine if I tried to find healthy substitutes for pogo-sticks and pizza-pops that kind of looked and tasted the same. I might still be trying to make that happen a decade later because “you can’t polish a terd". In other words, good luck. If your lifestyle is shit, you need a new one, not a new paint job. I was much better served facing the challenge of completely re-vamping my nutrition and lifestyle to meet my new goals. And, let me know tell you, it was an uncomfortable transition.
Perhaps a quote from a celebrated Canadian Law Enforcement Agent will help.
“A shit leopard can’t change its spots”- Jim Lahey.
Now these are timeless words, although I don’t fully agree. I think a shit leopard can change its spots and turn into a regular leopard, BUT it has to stop doing shit leopard things and start doing regular leopard things.
Similarly, if you want to become a better version of you, you need to start fully embracing the things that the better you would do.
And, if you don't know what to do to become the better you, then shoot me a message and I'd be happy to talk about potential strategies for improvement with you.