Men's Coaching | Weight Loss
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3 Things I Learned Losing 30 pounds and getting shredded in 90 days

My wife (then girlfriend) and I were lying on my couch drinking big glasses of Malbec wine and watching Game of Thrones when she dropped 6 words that would change my life:

“Babe, you have a double chin.”

Yikes. Not exactly the words that a guy about to start a nutrition business wants to hear. She was right – I had gained 20 doughy pounds over the past 6 months.

I was angry. I was embarrassed. I felt like a phony.

Who the hell was I to tell people how to handle their nutrition and get in shape when I couldn’t do it myself? You wouldn’t hire a homeless man to handle your 401k, would you?

“I’m not sure if you heard but I did over a thousand.”

I looked more like Ron Burgundy than a fitness model.

I had the wakeup call that I needed and decided to make some huge life changes. I committed to radically changing my body in 90 days. My goal? To look good enough to be on the cover of a fitness magazine and to make Zac Effron look like a little bitch by comparison.

I hauled trash bags full of shitty food to the garbage. I went to the gym twice most days. I had one cheat meal in 3 months. I never missed a meal or a workout. I got into the best shape of my life but more importantly, I learned 3 lessons that I now apply to everything in life:

1. It’s easy to appear successful – it’s hard to BE successful
We live in the digital age where everyone is an expert and charlatans are everywhere. Getting a personal training certification can be done in a weekend. A fitness blog can be setup in 5 minutes by anybody with a WiFi connection. Useless emails can be sent out instead of doing actual work. Tweets, status updates, filtered photos and “likes” are instant gratification. Those things are easy and the surface appearance is everything.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” –Thomas Edison

Most people will do almost anything to take the easy path and avoid mastering something but there is a progression of skills that has to happen in anything that is worthwhile. Hard work is HARD and it doesn’t happen overnight. There aren’t any short cuts.

There will be days that you want to throw in the towel, skip the gym and watch Miley Cyrus videos on YouTube. Eating chicken and rice after an exhausting day at the office when your friends are chowing down on jalapeño poppers and guzzling craft beer at happy hour seems like it requires the mind control of a Jedi.

So classy and distracting.

The question is how much pain and hard work are you willing to endure to get the 6 pack abs, build that business or master that new skill?

Hard work isn’t sexy, easy or fun. But it’s the only way to achieve anything of significance.

2. Value Process over Outcomes
Success in anything is never a straight line to your goal. There were times where I felt awful and looked worse than before I started. If you get too attached to the outcome, you can become frustrated and give up.

In gambling, there are many situations where the odds dictate that you take one action but you can still win when you make the incorrect decision. A drunken buffoon can split kings in Blackjack and win a massive bet and someone else can make the correct play and lose. Over time, the odds will reward the smart bettor and humble the one that makes bad decisions.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

In life, there are also times where you make the right choices and don’t immediately see the positive result. Likewise, you might hear about somebody that has a diet of burgers and fries and has a 6% body fat or the coworker that gets the corner office by sleeping with the boss or employing shady sales practices.

These people are dependent on outcomes. Outcomes can have elements of luck and can be built on weak foundations that can come crashing down at any time. You can ride the highs and lows of different results but it leads to frustration when things don’t go well immediately and overconfidence when they go according to plan.

When you play the long game and trust the process, it helps balance out the highs and lows of any endeavor. The results might come slower than you want but you know that they will come. Detach from the outcome and stick with the process.

3. Ignore the Naysayers
Too much of our identity is constructed by others that want to force their beliefs and judgments onto us. Any action that is bold and unconventional will make them uncomfortable because it is so different from their conventional pattern. Insecure people take any change in behavior as a personal attack on their values.

The only action that will not threaten others is to stay the same and stay average. Being different from others is uncomfortable. Bringing healthy meals in Tupperware to a restaurant or quitting a lucrative job to start a business is likely to make your friends and co-workers think that you have lost your shit. But remember that the average American is overweight, buried in debt and miserable at their job. Are we really that concerned about what THEY think?

“The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.” Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When we get our value from within rather than from others, we are able to push past their arbitrary limits.

No matter what happens, commit to doing the work, stick to the process and forget caring about what others think. Or stay on the couch watching YouTube videos of former Disney channel stars until you have a dad bod and your girlfriend casually mentions your double chin – but I personally wouldn’t recommend it.