I love making transformation posts when they’re clients, rather than me.
So here is long-term client Clay, who’s making middle-aged dad look great.
We’re not done—but there’s been solid headway.
To date we’ve done nothing fancy and there have been plenty of the typical setbacks that normal, working folks face.
And that’s not to mention the standard challenges of real life, including (in Clay’s case) two very small kids.
Clay’s diet was something like bodyweight x 12, though it gradually decreased a bit over time as needed. We did some cardio, but kept that to 10-minute finishers, since the two small kids made long bouts unfeasible.
Normal plan for a normal situation.
But what’s not normal is that Clay always took ownership (even for stuff many of us would call bad luck), which led to this gem:
“I had to stop giving 70% and move past my own bullshit.”
I love it. That’s the way it is for almost everyone, including me.
We ALL have negative habits or behaviours we continually do even though we KNOW they’re a problem and they’re holding us back. Often they’re the problem—the one problem we don’t want to deal with.
And therein lies the bullshit we gotta get past.
Most people are one issue, one “bottleneck” away from dramatically improved results from their diet and exercise program.
These are often seemingly small things. Evening snacking, cheat meals, alcohol, or even just a bit too much “eyeballing” the portion sizes of our favorite foods (when those are the foods that most need managing).
Usually, these behaviors are often lifestyle-based, which is to say they’re symptomatic of larger lifestyle-related issues, but the way show up in terms of behavior and food choices can be significant.
These sometimes show up with the classic justifications:
“I work damn hard, so I deserve this [wine/charcuterie plate/dozen cookies]”
“Ah, screw it, might as well finish that pizza and re-start on Monday.”
We all do it, and hell, we even realize we do it. But there’s a part of our brains that doesn’t want to get past the bullshit. It’s the one problem we don’t want to get rid of. It’s our crutch.
In Clay’s case, it had to do with bringing work stress home and then using food and drink to deal with that stress. This made weekends and socializing more difficult: cheat meals, alcohol—that kinda thing. Pretty normal stuff, and none of it was totally out of hand, but it was enough to result in a dip in performance and diet compliancy for a day or two, and that can be significant and add up.
Would aggressive portion control or banning all snacks from the house have helped? Yeah, probably. A bit. But that’s merely treating the symptom.
The real underlying problem, the bottleneck, was work stress and it was being deal with.
Once we figured out the real problem, success came down to two things:
- Simple reframing, and realizing a weekend can still be fun, social, and rewarding without (or at least without much) alcohol and overeating.
- A willingness to decide enough is enough.
Look, the reframing stuff is sometimes fun to talk about (“fix all your bad habits with one reframe!”), but it’s actually the second thing—a willingness to demand more from ourselves, a willingness to “stop giving 70% and move past [our] own bullshit”—that actually makes the reframing work. It’s the fuel that makes the engine go.
f you don’t have that willingness, that sense that enough is enough, the reframing is really just another displacement activity to avoid dealing with the one thing you don’t want to deal with. You’re not moving past your own bullshit. You’re diddling around specifically trying to avoid moving past it.
The thing is, 70% effort isn’t even that terrible. It’s “good enough” to get by.
But you have to get to a point where “good enough” isn’t enough. ENOUGH is enough.
Move past your own bullshit.