It’s not a lack of focus or willpower. And it’s definitely not due to some nefarious medical condition.
No, the reason you’re fat is because you’re stupid.
Yes, stupid. A moron, a fool, a slack-jawed mouth-breather. Or dumb as a post, if you prefer insults be analogies.
Harsh? Hey, I was on your side. I had your back, love handles and all.
I defended you on social media. I called out the marketers preying on your insecurities. I even tried to show you a better way.
But I’m wearing down, my dark side gaining ground, overcoming what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.
I’m like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. He ventures deep into the jungle to help the natives, but by the end is writing “exterminate them!” in his field reports back to HQ.
Likely after seeing one of the chubbier tribesmen put butter in his green tea.
I wouldn’t be this way if you didn’t keep making the same stupid mistakes. For 20 years I’ve been doing this. Twenty years!
And it’s the same shit, different day.
Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
He was wrong. Insanity is riding the Q train from Astoria at rush hour with your underwear over your head singing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But repeating the same actions and expecting different results isn’t insanity — it’s stupidity.
Which is what you do. So I’m calling you out.
Here’s how to quit being so damn stupid.
1. Stop buying into fads
Putting butter in coffee. Arguing calories don’t matter. Detoxing on vegetable smoothies. How long are you going to keep falling for this shit?
Even full-on smart people do it. A doctor-friend showed up at my house to watch the playoff games. He had a plate of brownies the size of Leonidas’s shield in 300. “They’re gluten free,” he said, showing me the label.
And this guy writes prescriptions.
2. Stop overcomplicating things
When I was younger I was really into bodybuilding. I tried to learn a lot about contest prep, peaking strategies, etc. The real complicated side of the sport. As a result, I found the sport as a whole to be very complicated.
Once I started working with people, I realized that was relevant to about 1% of my clients. So why even obsess over it?
But that’s what people do. They stress over stuff that isn’t relevant. As such, they do nothing.
You don’t need a perfectly periodized plan to make progress. Nor do you need state of the art facilities or dumbbells to 200 pounds.
You just need to what Woody Allen said to do: show up.
3. Stop oversimplifying things
We love soundbites. With so much information flying around, we rely on “media experts” to distill complicated subjects into easily digestible bits of info.
But some subjects are too complex to be reduced to a single line or a Tweet. And trying to do so only leads to confusion.
Ten years ago the phrase “fat doesn’t make you fat” had semi-educated trainers eating nuts by the pound. And wondering where their abs were.
Before that, when I was starting out, it was “fat burns in a carbohydrate flame.” So people turned the morning coffee break into a “juice & muffin” break. You can imagine the success.
Today it’s “if it fits your macros, eat it.” Sage advice, but for many that means just eat stuff you can easily count. That’s not stuff from the messy produce aisle — it’s stuff with bar codes. Stuff we used to call junk food.
4. Stop scapegoating
I just classified an entire category of food as “junk food.” You have to be careful with that. When you attach a label to something you give it meaning. You give it power.
They make for popular articles though, which is why every day there’s a new “12 Superfoods You Must Eat” and “8 Foods That Can Kill You” type click-bait.
But there are no junk foods or super foods. There are, however, junk-filled diets and super nutritious, balanced diets.
Super food, junk food. In the end, it’s all just food.
5. Stop being so impatient
Want to lose all faith in humanity? Ask someone you normally respect how long they lasted on their last diet. My guess is they’ll say 7-14 days.
It burns my soul. The first two weeks of any diet are the hardest — you’re adapting, tweaking, struggling to make sweeping changes a part of your lifestyle.
So it’s been a couple weeks and you’re just about to cross the “shit zone” into “new normal” and what do you do? You ditch the plan altogether or worse, hop onto a new diet and yet another painful acclimation period.
Pick something, anything — and stick with it.
6. Stop thinking this should be easy
Getting in shape is never easy. Even for folks who say it’s easy. They’re not lying — it’s just become easy for them because they’ve been at it so long. In other words, eating and living to be lean is their “new normal.” (See above point about getting used to it.)
So rather than expect it to be easy, I say expect it to be hard. A huge challenge, maybe the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Then see every day that you stick to the task as a small but significant victory. And reward yourself accordingly. Not with food, but with praise. You’re sticking to it. That’s awesome. Keep it up.
After all, once you’re finally successful, you’ll be in pretty esteemed company. You won’t just be healthy, lean, and strong — you’ll also have kicked your addiction to stupid.
I have faith you. You could even say I’m optimistic.
Cautiously that is.
Lord knows I’ve been burnt before.
Bryan Krahn is a fitness writer, online coach, editor, and speaker. When not behind a computer working on fitnessy things, he’s usually in the gym or in the dojo training Krav Maga. Want to train with Bryan? Check out his website.
This article was republished with permission from bryankrahn.com.