Last week I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw something shared by a page I follow – a blog post/article by strength coach, Coach Taylor. The article is titled, “The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat.” A few things caught my attention right off the bat – use of the word ‘overfat’ instead of ‘overweight,’ the 6 reasons (what are they? do they have any truth to them?), and how ‘brutally’ honest is this, really? Is it just another catchy title to get me to read this while telling me the same thing tons of other posts and magazine articles tell me every time I read them? The article is pretty lengthy. I was reading it on my phone and eventually started skimming until I got to the list of reasons. But it still was a great read and a very well written article.
I got the answers to the questions running through my head and actually felt enlightened after reading the article – a rare thing for me. I’m so tired of reading things online and in magazines and feeling deceived by the titles. The title catches my eye – the topic/question at hand is something I too have questioned or wondered about, and I read the piece to find the answer(s). Except I don’t get answers. I get the same unreliable or useless “tips” over and over again, just said with a few different words in a different arrangement. Coach Taylor actually touches on this too because it relates to how brutally honest he really is in this piece. He tells the truth and he tells it straight. The way people need to hear it but rarely do. These days, magazines, news reports, books, even blog posts, are filled with fluff. It’s all fluff. So much of it is either unhelpful or incorrect. The media taps into fads and trends and spins them as factual information to get readers, viewers and buyers to make a profit. When in reality, all we really need is to be told these 6 “brutally honest” reasons for why we can’t seem to lose the weight – or fat.
I first off want to touch on Coach Taylor’s use of ‘overfat’ instead of ‘overweight.’ I think it is a perfect choice of words. When we think or talk about losing weight, we aren’t really using the best words. And I think part of that plays into why we often fail. Weight is a number. And that number does not solely = fat percentage. Our bodies are mostly water. We then have our bones, muscle, everything else that makes us functional human beings. One of the reasons why fast weight-loss plans seldom lead to any real success is because they do nothing to cut down on the body’s fat percentage. Instead of losing weight, we should be focusing on losing fat. Often times people go to extremes and end up losing water weight and muscle mass. The number on the scale goes down, and they think they are succeeding. When in actuality, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is why the scale can be dangerous. Taking measurements with a tape measure and measuring your body fat percentage are the best ways to measure your fat loss. I also like to just use the good old fashion “how do my clothes fit” test. Or take a good hard, honest look in the mirror. We know what excess fat looks like and we know what lean muscle mass looks like. It’s right there in front of us. We just have to have the courage to face it.
So what are Coach Taylor’s “brutally honest 6 reasons?” They are:
- “The 2 Minute Rule.” This rule is all about taking responsibility for yourself, your actions and your decisions. Coach Taylor uses the word ‘blame’ a lot, mostly because people literally blame other people, the holidays, the birthdays and celebrations, pretty much EVERYTHING but themselves for their failure and excess fat. He puts it all perfectly into one sentence – “If you blame yourself – success. If you blame everything else – no success. Period.” So where does the 2 minutes come in? He says he can tell in the first 2 minutes of speaking with someone if they will succeed or fail. He then goes on to say it’s really more like 30 seconds, but he’s being generous and giving people 2 minutes. So do yourself a favor and ask yourself this question, why are YOU overfat? Listen to your answer and after 30 seconds, honestly acknowledge who you are saying is responsible. There should only be one answer – you.
- “You can’t make a sacrifice.” It’s true. We are so used to getting and having almost everything we want that we sometimes cannot make a simple sacrifice. And this IS a very simple sacrifice. There are people and other creatures in this world who have to sacrifice a lot more than a piece of cake after just having had lunch, a cookie, a bowl of ice cream after dinner, soda when there is perfectly safe water to drink, a sugar-bomb disguised as coffee, chips, whatever junk food or drink it is that tempts you most – there are living creatures all over the world that have to deal with things A LOT harder than that. This is a simple sacrifice that can make a huge difference on your life, your confidence, your health, your family and friends’ lives. This is nothing. Suck it up. There are people all over the world who would pay to have this problem. [Note: This is not to say that anyone reading this or Coach Taylor’s piece doesn’t have real problems. I’m sure you do. We all deal with death, illness, tragedy, and other unfortunate things that can make living a healthy lifestyle more difficult than it can be on its own. This is where your strength comes in. You have to be strong. You may already be using up a lot of your strength but tapping into whatever strength is left, doesn’t deplete you of your strength. It makes you even stronger. Keep going. You can do it. In this, you will succeed because of this you are in control.]
- “You don’t know what a treat is.” This is also 100% true and is a piggybacker to rule #2. Because we cannot make a true sacrifice, we do not know what a treat is. Coach Taylor starts with the definition of the word ‘treat.’ Treat: an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure. Hmmm… how many things a week do we consume on the regular that really should be treats? A lot. Treats should be a month or more apart from one another. THAT is a treat. You can’t have pancakes one day as a treat because you “never have them” and then have a bowl of ice cream 3 days later because you “never have ice cream.” Yes, they are 2 different things, but that is TWO treats only 3 days apart. THAT IS TOO CLOSE TOGETHER. Pick one. Have something different in 4 weeks.
- “You are planning for the end date already.” A healthy lifestyle is just that a LIFEstyle. This means every day for the rest of your life. There may be an end date for your particular plan or strategy where you hope to achieve your short-term goal, but the long-term goal is not reached until the day you die because it is a life-long goal.
- “You want results faster than your laziness.” You’ve been lazy and making poor choices for 5 months. So you better be willing to put in 5 months of hard work to correct it. Plain and simple.
- “You have a shitty fucking attitude.” Pardon my language, but again, it’s true. Adjust your attitude and you will go far. This, also again, is a piggybacker to rule #2. Some of us don’t know what a real sacrifice is. Some do. And some don’t. But I will bet anything that the ones that do have a much better attitude than the ones that don’t. Sacrifice puts things and life into perspective. Get a new perspective, try to see it like it is, and do what you have to do. No excuses.
This is a PG version of Coach Taylor’s full piece. He says he’s been called an asshole many times because of how brutal his honesty can be. But to be honest, I think that is exactly what we need. Trying to lose fat is not the worst thing or the biggest challenge a person can go through in their life. Not to say it is easy and that someone doesn’t deserve a pat on the back and maybe a relaxing day at the beach or spa for all of his/her hard work; I’m all for that. But don’t play the victim. Think of how you are benefitting yourself, your friends and your family in the long run. You are doing something good.
You will be basking in all the benefits once you reach your short-term goal and continue living your long-term goal. It will be the sacrifice that gives back. The gift to yourself and your loved ones that keeps on giving. When all is said and done, that doesn’t sound like too much of a sacrifice to me. In fact, I will go as far to say that it doesn’t sound like a sacrifice at all. It’s just change. Sure, change is challenging and uncomfortable but so is life. And we don’t always get all the good things out of life. But making the life-long commitment to living a healthier lifestyle will bring you good things. So if you need something to focus on to keep you strong, to help you keep going, think about that. There are so many things in this life and in this world that we cannot control, why would you want to give up control over what you can control? That, I think, is the ultimate sacrifice.
Read Coach Taylor’s full piece here or by clicking on any of the links above. What do you think about it? I think it is brutally and honestly awesome.