I used to be fat. Really fat. Gross fat. Morbidly obese. I call that guy Fat Brian.
“Fat Brian” lived a great life. He ate a lot of pizza, cheeseburgers, and donuts. Granted, he also looked like he ate a lot of pizza, cheeseburgers, and donuts. But that guy is still around, locked inside me. He still likes all the same foods, but since I don’t feed him what he likes, he gets cranky at me.
When I first decided to take this on, I declared an all-out war on Fat Brian. His days were over, and it was time to wage the war. I threw down the gauntlet. It was time for !@#% to get real.
First, Fat Brian threw everything he had at me. A full-scale tantrum in the form of the low-carb flu, which I’ve talked about, here. I soon learned that losing weight wasn’t one single, big decision. It boiled down to hundreds of battles every day against Fat Brian.
Healthy Brian, who was hidden inside there somewhere and severely outgunned and outmanned, had to find ways to win those battles by making good choices, even when he wasn’t feeling motivated. Too many people make the mistake of relying on motivation as their driving force to lose weight. Your Fat-Self has a way of making motivation disappear on a whim.
Don’t rely on motivation. It’s fleeting. It comes and goes and you may find that it’s missing when you need it the most (those moments of weakness). Discipline, on the other hand, is permanent, and you can always fall back on it. Tell yourself, “I made a commitment and a promise to myself, and I intend to keep it.”
A Typical Day
The battles against your fat-self are never-ending. They are hard at first, but they do get easier. In case you’re wondering what a typical day is like for me…
- The alarm clock goes off at 7 am. Time to go running. Do I get out of bed or sleep in a little and skip the run? Discipline forces me to get up. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 1]
- Ugh… the outside temperature is 34 degrees. It’s freezing out there, and it’s dark. I Could just go back to bed. Discipline forces me to get dressed. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 2]
- OMG… kids left Poptarts out… I love Poptarts! Pre-run Banana instead. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 3]
- Start running… tired… slow… I want to phone this in and just jog at a medium pace… But I decide to push hard and run high-intensity intervals and get the most out of the time. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 4]
- Get home… hungry. You know what Fat Brian wants for breakfast? Bacon. You know what Healthy Brian will regret? Bacon. Protein shakes instead. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 5]
- Lunch. Fat Brian wants a burger. And fries. Man, he misses fries. Healthy-Brian ran 4 miles today, that ought to be enough to get Fat Brian a burger, right? I deserve a burger. Ugh… no… I promised myself I was going to stick to this. Turkey sandwich and broccoli. Suck it, Fat Brian! [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 6]
- I just finished my turkey sandwich and I’m still hungry… I could probably sneak in an extra half sandwich. They’re healthy. I don’t even need to log that I ate it cause it’s not that many calories… nobody would even know… NO FAT BRIAN! YOU SHUT UP RIGHT NOW! [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 7]
- I WANT AN AFTERNOON SNACK SO BAD! Go away, Fat Brian. Nobody likes you. [Fat Brian: 0; Healthy Brian: 8]
…and the list goes on… and if I listen to Fat Brian, I regret it every single time. That guy is a genius at manipulating me, and he is a filthy liar. And yes, I do keep score.
Suppress the Beast
Your job is to figure out how to not let your fat-self run the show. Wage the war, and win the battles. It gets easier with every decision. Your Fat-Self eventually gets quieter and quieter while your Healthy Self gets stronger.
Who are you going to feed?