A couple of weeks ago, one of my clients made a rather candid post in one of my closed communities on Facebook. I opted to not jump in with my thoughts on his current set of obstacles, rather to let others in the community comment instead.
I wanted a bit of time to think about what Todd was going through. Having the benefit of more insight into what he’s currently struggling with, I thought I’d turn this into something more thoughtful in efforts to help not only him, but anyone else who feels like they might also be challenged by their current set of circumstances.
I’m reprinting his original post here so you can see what I’m drawing from:
“Firstly, I would like to commend Jason for creating an interesting and safe place for all of us to work out our bodies and minds…. It’s fascinating.
After Jason’s recent comments / post about diet and exercise I thought I might share….
I am a former long distance runner. Ate anything. Ran like the wind. Not no more. Now, when the TV announcers on football games say “He’s massive!!! 6’ 2” 260 lbs” I think OMG, I’m bigger than THAT guy!!!! And not in a good way. So Jason has been patiently bringing me along. I’m in better shape and stronger than I was when I started. I’ve been to MOST of my appointments, and I’ve mostly stopped eating things that emerge from a fryolator. However, I haven’t lost any weight. And that’s because I eat till I’m full. I’m also a bit depressed (and for good reason, but that’s a longer story). And I kind of can’t count calories or follow a complicated diet. In fact, what I feel that I need are really simple directives. And there can only be a few of those before my Oppositional Defiance Disorder kicks in. (It’s a real thing, you can look it up). Drink a big glass of water before every meal. Never eat after 6 pm. Like that.
Maybe I could buy pre-made meals and ONLY eat the portions and contents for that day…..
Maybe I need to stop being a baby. I ate my way in and I’m going to have to NOT EAT my way out. And I’m going to, on occasion, feel like 30% of the world feels like all the time…. Hungry. Tough beans, right?
So, I offer this up for discussion and observations and tips even. Here come the holidays and travel and so on. And while I like to think I’m unique and special….. I’m probably not.
I’m open to suggestions.
Cheers fellow Revfitters…”
Todd, I wanted to thank you for your openness and candor with what you wrote. A lot of people like to lurk in the shadows and won’t reach out when they need help. I’m glad that you felt comfortable with the environment we’ve built not just online but within the four walls of RevFit as well.
I know that you’re going through a lot personally right now too. Sometimes, these game-changing life circumstances can drive us to eat more than we need and sometimes they can make us not want to eat at all. I’ve seen both extremes and it’s never the way you want someone’s health to go.
Throughout all the years I’ve been fortunate to coach clients with their weight loss goals, one constant I’ve seen, regardless of gender or age, is that somewhat nostalgic view of what we used to be able to do.
In other words, a 50-something will reminisce on their 20’s and say, “Back then, I could eat anything under the sun and not gain a pound. Nowadays, if I even smell food, I gain 3 pounds that sticks to me for a week!”
It’s a bit dramatic but it’s not remotely uncommon to hear. The fact of the matter is that the body has indeed changed.
And it’s not just the body, it’s the mind, it’s the motivation, it’s the stress, it’s all the things that come with having a body that has lived more than the 20-something counterpart.
So, yes, that game has definitely changed.
Now what you’re likely to find is a body that may be more resistant to change and that body doesn’t want to be run into the ground the way that long distance runner once could.
And it doesn’t mean you won’t try. I see a lot of people in your shoes who say “Well, back then I could run that stubborn weight off so I’ll just do that again!”
Not so fast.
Because not only is the body at a higher weight now but it’s a greater stress on those joints: the hips, the knees, the ankles, etc.
You are simply at a higher risk of injury.
That’s frustrating because conventional wisdom would tell you to just “move more.” That’s kind of true but it’s not the way you want it.
What you’re basically left with is a body and mind that want to be leaner, fitter, healthier (whatever that arbitrary number ends up being) on one side of the fence and the mentality of a petulant child on the other side saying “But I’m a grown ass adult and I can do what I want!”
And you can…but you can’t.
I don’t think you’re alone in wanting some simple solutions either. Most people don’t want to count calories or meal prep because it’s time-consuming, cumbersome, etc. etc.
So, we could certainly take you down a route of saying things like:
-No eating past 7pm (even though there is no magical time to eat).
-Eat whole, minimally processed foods (even though you can still overeat the “good” stuff).
-Drink 100+ oz of water a day (even though this does not guarantee weight loss).
I could go on too but I want to tackle something else.
You mention this Oppositional Defiant Disorder and I did look it up. Looks like it has something to do with problems with authority, difficulty following rules, etc.
I know that’s got to be genuine struggle for you because weight loss does have rules and those rules are dictated by your total caloric intake.
And that’s really about it.
That’s the one solitary rule, just eat what it takes for you to lose weight.
How you do that is 100% up to you.
But I want to play into this Oppositional Defiant Disorder some more and challenge you to lose weight in spite of it.
Not just the diagnosis but, Todd, you and I share some similarities and if some doctor told me I had a mental diagnosis that would make it challenging for me to lose weight, I wouldn’t be able to get my middle fingers up fast enough.
I’m stubborn. So are you.
Use that to your advantage.
If losing weight is your main priority, do it because the deck is stacked against you. Do it because people made you feel like you couldn’t. Do it because it’s your way of sticking your middle finger up at anyone who thinks you can’t succeed at it. I don’t know about you but I like that kind of adversity and I’m not even a very competitive person.
I just don’t like having a door closed in my face so if the control is in my hands, then I take it.
You should too.
After you made this post, you and I had a conversation about it here at the studio and you said: “I get it. I know it’s all basically about calories. But I’m hungry. And I get that that I’m supposed to be hungry. That’s all part of it. Just be hungry and fuck you.”
And yes, that, in a nutshell is exactly the game you’re playing. It’s be hungry and fuck you.
Because I can tell you where I want your calories and where I want your protein and where you should probably set your fiber and your water to make the hunger less miserable.
However, based on your initial post, I don’t know that you need/want that much detail. We’ve discussed your calories and you have quite a decent amount to consume that will get you to your goal.
I don’t care how you reach the goal. I just want you to care enough about yourself to hit it.
Because I believe in you and I care enough about you to want that for you.
The hard work is on you.
I just have to shine a light, applaud the efforts and tell you to keep doing the right things.
A lot of things are going to stand in the way of your success, Todd. Don’t let any of those things be you.
We’re here for you, which is what you hired us for.
“We Make Great People Greater”