Confession: I am a stubborn asshole.
And I’ve realized over all these years here at RevFit that many of my clients are as well. (I mean that affectionately!)
Let me try and dig myself out of this one…can you hand me that shovel?
Male, female, young, old, most of us have this stubborn quality about us. It’s that side that says “I can do what I want, when I want!”
Especially if you are over the age of 18 which means that you are officially #adulting.
But with weight loss, this behavior can backfire tremendously.
It’s this side of stubbornness that says “Because my diet tells me I cannot have the cookie, I WILL EAT THE COOKIE! Screw you, diet! I am a grown-ass adult and I DO WHAT I WANT!”
And yes, you are a grown-ass adult and you CAN do what you want.
It’s a free country and you have free will and you are free to do anything you please. You just aren’t free from the consequences of those actions (or so says your waistline.)
I say…use your stubbornness to your advantage.
Rather than let your stubborn side demolish the fridge or the pantry, re-frame the quality to have a different type of defiance.
Because I am stubborn, I will follow the plan.
Because I am stubborn, I can say “No” without feeling guilty.
Because I am stubborn, I can succeed where others might fail.
Because I am stubborn, I’ll post a proverbial middle finger to the stats that say I can’t lose weight and keep it off.
Allow me to use my own stubborn asshole self to illustrate the point.
When Marissa was pregnant with Sebastian, it was the perfect environment for me to gain weight. After all, most men gain weight when their wives are expecting. But I had different goals for myself. I was at a weight I was comfortable with but I wanted to drop a few pounds and some body fat so that I could slowly rebuild and put on more muscle mass.
Here I was, in my wife’s third trimester, and as her cravings were increasing, I was pulling my calories back.
How did I do it?
Well, I kept a tighter eye on the calories I ate throughout the day so that I could still have a “normal” dinner with her at night. Most of her cravings for sweets and such were affecting her throughout the day while I was at work so it wasn’t within my field of vision anyway.
Even when she was admitted into the hospital to deliver Sebastian, I was at the mercy of the hospital food. Thankfully, they had the calories posted for each of the menu items and that made it easy to stick to the plan.
How much weight did I lose? About 9 pounds in about 6 weeks. Not too shabby for a skinny bastard like me!
Calories aside though. Every person has the perfect storm of events to derail them when they want to lose weight. Every person has friends, family, social lives, holidays, etc. that take the best of intentions, flip them upside down and say “Nope! You’re not gonna lose weight this week either!!”
Many of us are also pleasers. We want to say Yes to every opportunity thrown in our face:
“Wanna grab a beer and wings on Friday?” YES!
“Wanna go to the movies and get some buttered popcorn?” YES!
“Wanna help me bake some cookies for the kids so they can take them to school?” YES!
And hey, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. They just aren’t the most helpful avenues when weight loss is the goal. I mean, can anyone just stop at one handful of popcorn? Are these people human? Give me that bucket, dammit!
As the proverb goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I’d say this applies pretty nicely to dieting. Let’s face it: dieting is hell, nobody likes it and the only people who try to convince you otherwise are worse than stubborn assholes. They’re just assholes!
Look at your stubbornness another way. Ever get into an argument with a loved one? You know, one of those ridiculous over-blown, stamp your feet and wave your hands and poke your mouth out arguments where there is no way in hell that your loved one is right? (I know, I have no idea what I’m talking about here…)
How do those arguments go? Well, while we’re sticking our bottom lip out that’s our stubbornness saying “I’m not going to give in to you. I’m right, you’re wrong. You owe me an apology/hug/kiss and don’t ever do it again!” You know, it’s a fairly unproductive stubbornness. Nobody “wins” when this happens. Let me rephrase that: it’s a short term win that usually requires some level of compromise to bring both sides back to reality.
This is the same stubbornness that leads you to the freezer for the pint of ice cream. It’s the less rational stubbornness. And yes, we all have this (some more than others.)
I’m not saying don’t be stubborn. I want you to be stubborn. But I want you to harness it differently.
Ever see one of those optical illusions where the artwork is designed to have two distinctly different pictures? When you first look at it, it appears to have one picture. But when you look at the caption, they ask can you see “this” or “that?” Same picture, different outcomes.
That’s how I want you to view your stubbornness. It’s not an inherently bad characteristic. It’s just one that gets utilized for ill effect.
If you’re on a weight loss path right now, look at the things you choose to get stubborn about. You can #adult and still follow a calorie plan. You can also pull your big kid pants up and throw away the junk food, stop pouring so much damn creamer in your coffee, drink some more water and stop saying Yes to every event that you know you’re going to blow your daily intake at if you attend.
A stubborn you can be synonymous with a healthier you. It just takes a candid chat with that stubborn inner asshole to say “I’m going to use you to my benefit…this time.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another layer to the stubborn asshole inside of all of us. It’s the one that says “This is so unfair and I don’t want to do the things I have to do to lose the weight.”
I don’t know about you, but growing up I don’t recall liking chores. My parents had different things I could do to earn an allowance and as memory serves none of it was enjoyable. But what were my choices? Pitch a fit and say “No?” That never ended well and I would still be without my allowance.
Dieting is similar. Sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to do for the outcomes that you actually want. Come to think of it, it’s the same reality in our jobs, our relationships, and our lives. It’s just a given that (to quote Dave Tate) you have to “embrace the suck.”
So, my suggestion this week is to unleash your “stubborn asshole” and let him/her win the game. Now you know how to play it differently.
Below is a picture of our last workout crew with trainer, Luke Whittenberger (middle.) Luke is off to OSU to finish his Masters/Phd in physical therapy. He was a great asset to our studio in the year that he was here, he will be dearly missed but he will always be considered RevFit family. Knowing this crew as I do, they all have a healthy dose of stubbornness in them…and that’s just the way we love them.
“We Make Great People Greater”