FAT LOSS 101: DISCIPLINE
So, many of you are here reading this article to understand the basics of Fat Loss and yet I am going to start things off with a word that doesn’t relate to the three pillars of health and weight loss – calories, nutrition or workout. Yes, we need those three pillars to build up this foundation of long-term health and fitness and yet any building with a decent architectural design needs the fourth pillar to make it complete. It’s more than often the most overlooked pillar and many keep forgetting its Fat Loss 101.
Discipline – that’s a word we have all heard of when lectured by parents, teachers and elders. And yet many of us still can’t figure the full scope of this singular word. It’s often understood by many but implemented by few. And we will find upon a short detour unto the highways of success laid by others that without discipline nothing can last long. It’s the foundation pillar upon which others lean on for stability and success. How many of us can claim to have lived even a single day of disciplined life? It’s no wonder why many of us stumble and give up shortly thereafter.
The Mindset of 99.9%
When we start out into this wild safari in pursuit of health and fat loss, we have a certain mindset that seems to guide us through each step of our way. I have dissected this process into bite-sized chunks for us to analyze and understand.
- The first step is always one that finds guilty pleasure in indulgence. And by indulgence, I mean enjoying the illusionary stability we have build our lives upon. There are always a ton of pizzas and fried foods involved at this point.
- And then, we will start having second thoughts about the lavish lifestyle we are indulging in. However, we are afraid of breaking this homeostasis. We love homeostasis to such an extent that we usually build up a huge wall of lies and illusions of comfort around us. But deep down, we know we are afraid and lazy and incompetent.
It’s sad to think that 99.9% of us will end up withering under the weight of this illusion.
- And then, something happens. It smashes past our walls of illusion and expose our true reflection for us to see. A break-up, a traumatic experience, the death of a significant person, a sudden inspiration… it can be anything strong enough to break homeostasis. And for the first time in our lives, we are cast out into the cold dark moors. This will be our catalyst. We are now determined to lose weight and get fit or get a six-pack etc.
- The next step will be us throwing caution in the winds and doing a ton of research. Oh, how we love our research!!! At this stage, we either come across misleading gurus and fake trainers or we are graced by angels of guidance. Mention may be made of Jeff Cavaliere from https://athleanx.com. Usually lasting for about a day or at most a week, we are inspired beyond words to start this long trek uphill into what I call “THE ASCENT TO FITNESS“
- However, its also around this point that we go into a shopping frenzy. We will seek the best gym memberships and buy every fitness accessories available in the market ranging from dumbbells, kettlebells, elastic bands, fitness gears and much more. We all go through this. I can still remember that useless shakeweight I bought in my own shopping frenzy. Now’s its sitting somewhere in the corner shaking with the spiders and cockroaches.
- And then, comes the dipping of our toes in untested water. The first day in gym or a home routine. We are that much into this fitness thingy that we always end up giving a 150% on our very first day despite the trainers calling for moderation. I pretty much messed up my knuckles in my very first day of boxing training and had to be sidelined for a week, doing nothing but “sissy lunges”
- Shortly thereafter, the first setback comes. It comes in the shape of muscular soreness and cramps or injuries. We are so burned up after just a day or two of resolute efforts that we can’t muster up enough motivation to continue. And very conveniently, the brain comes up with millions of very convincing excuses, slowly rebuilding the wall of lies we demolished earlier.
- And then begins the next step which I have called “THE DESCENT INTO MADNESS“. We try more and more research without actually working. We continue building lies and excuses so much into our lives that it has exceeded the wall from earlier in sheer height and thickness.
- And then, we will go back to the very first step. Right back to where we started. A full circle.
- We will lose confidence in ourselves and our ability to rise up to the challenge.
- We will end up in a hole deeper than the one we started in the first place.
- We will develop a guilty conscience. Self-Guilt is a powerful negative emotion that snacks on all positive emotions inside of us.
- We are now so scared of breaking homeostasis that it will take en even bigger catalyst to bring us out of the hole we have dug ourselves in.
- We will lose this will to grind our way into adversity with gritted teeth and ironclad determination.
- First of all, calm down. We have never made any good decisions in times of passion and desperation. So, calm down and think things through. It helps to have a good plan in mind that account for setbacks and the road to recovery all laid out. It’s imperative to know that its okay to screw up. It’s time to make a composed decision based on logic. And I guarantee you that logic always takes the side of fitness.
- Calculate the risks you have to face – that is, are you better off being unfit and temporarily comfortable or being healthy and comfortable after a fleeting moment of uncomfortable adjustment? Are you better off with a lifetime commitment to Diabetes or a one night stand with muscular soreness and cramps. And rest assured, fitness once again wins.
- The first thing you have to realize before everything else is to take it slow. Take baby steps at first. I know you are excited but it helps to have an informant inside the fortress before attempting to storm it. Ease into your sessions after a week of preparatory exercises.
- And it always pays to assess our results in the long term to keep our motivation trickling down the fountain. It can be either through weekly progress photos, a workout log to measure progressive overload, a timer or the weighing scale.
- Develop the ironclad will to see through something to the bitter end and beyond. This is not just about being in fitness. Everything will fall in place if you are patient and never give up. Trust me, it won’t get worse if you grind it out day after day.
A Few Personal Suggestions
- Get a good coach or a supportive workout partner.
- Find a beginner friendly routine to ease into your more hardcore fitness ambitions.
- Get a journal to record your progress and take every chance to record the minutest of details.
- Join a supportive community within reach. This is the very reason Crossfit thrives well in today’s world despite the harsh criticisms.
- And fix your nutrition. Exercise is never the leeway to binging.
Now we all know what it takes to lose weight. This is Fat Loss 101. And it all starts with discipline. Do drop a comment or two below to let me know your own take on this and suggest more topics for me to write.