I won’t lie to you, it happens. Someone comes into the gym with a big hairy audacious goal. They want to lose 50lbs and completely transform the way they look (and feel). Naturally, since I’m very good at helping people achieve big hairy audacious goals so we map out the training and we talk about the parameters of a nutrition plan to achieve it. I want to point out that virtually every time this happens it involves physique or body transformation rather than performance. Athletes, no matter what level they play at, tend to follow through and do whatever it takes. (Think it might be a good idea to pick up a sport? I do.) So for the purpose of this post, we’re talking about fat loss.
I always ask, “What are you prepared to do to achieve your goal?” The answer, 100% of the time is, “Whatever it takes.” So we begin.
The first week I see them 3 times, typically the perfect amount of training days. They tell me they’re keeping a food log, which is the most important piece of a fat loss plan.
The second week I see them 2 times. They tell me they had a work gathering, but other than that they’ve been really sticking to the nutrition plan we created for them. Looking over the food journal, nothing we discussed has really been implemented except for a the occasional token change that is obvious.
By the third week, they don’t show at all. The fourth week, they come in once, and they give me their food journal but tell me that I shouldn’t really look at it “because it’s not really representative of how I eat normally.”
The person had a big, transformative, life-changing goal. Their actions and behavior were small, insignificant, and inconsequential.
Here is another dirty secret the fitness industry perpetuates: all of the instant-results and quick-fixes are scams.
If you want to change your life in a big way, you will have to CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN A BIG WAY.
If you want to lose a transformative amount of body fat, and keep it off forever, you must:
- Find time to move in a way that provides progressive resistance (lift heavy weights) 3 times per week.
- Eat differently than you eat now.
- Reduce or manage stress in your life. (psst. look at #1)
There is simply no way around this. If you think you have a way around it, go back to the starting premise in bold and read it again.
So that’s the bad news, the slap in the face, and the tough love.
Here’s the good news:
It’s not hard. In fact, I like to make it as easy as possible. It doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. You don’t have to hate it, in fact you should enjoy it. There are 6,000 different things you can do. Rock climbing, kayaking, running, biking, lacrosse, yoga, powerlifting, the list goes on. Experiment until you find what you like. Lift weights, in a minimal effective amount, to help you play better at those things.
I am a big advocate of the minimal effective amount. I won’t ask someone to make massive changes if only small, effective changes will suffice. But the size, scope, and quantity of changes you’ll have to make are going to be proportional to how big the changes you’re looking for are.
You want transformative change? You’ll have to make transformative changes. But, it will be worth it. This isn’t about just losing body fat, this is the road map to living a better life. You choose.
P.S. I know of a Body Transformation Challenge that might make those changes just a little more worthwhile.