It’s the dad of a toddler who runs to his child’s every whimper, cry, and whine and tries to fix it.
It’s the out-of-shape soccer mom who runs for the fridge at the slightest twinge of hunger.
It’s the 13-year old on the soccer team who seems to have an “asthmatic attack” every time the coach orders up wind sprints.
It’s the 9-to-5 office drone, completely unsatisfied with his existence, but hey, it pays the bills, right?
Change is hard. Damn hard. It seems to be something most people want, though. In droves.
We say we want change. We all want things to change.
We want our whiny children to toughen up.
We want our love handles to thin out.
We want a career a bit more exciting than the “pick-me-up” we get from “casual Friday”.
We want our butt to fill out those jeans. Usually.
So, how do we go about this change?
How do we set this sort of a revamping in motion?
How do we shape up our lives, our mindsets, and eventually, our backsides?
Say goodbye to comfort. It’s doing nothing for you.
Being uncomfortable sucks.
Watching my 3-year old have an epic, ear-splitting, cringe inducing meltdown in the middle of the grocery store because she wants me to buy her a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops is the very last thing I want to do with my Saturday morning.
But my point must be made: Not every trip is for your benefit, kiddo. And in life, you will often not get what you want.
And if you want to be stronger, you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
And the faster you realize that, the better off your life will be.
How many people out there have been sitting on the couch, just watching TV, and felt the teeeeeny tiniest bit of a feeling of emptiness inside their stomachs, and thought, “Oh, shit, I’m hungry. My body must be about to starve. I may just pass out. I’d better go eat some food. Stat. Don’t want to be malnourished.”
What. A. Crock. Of. Shit.
Are you serious with that? You can’t deal with just a slight bit of hunger?
News flash: You want to change the way your body looks? It WILL require some discomfort. It has to.
Our bodies are incredibly efficient at maintaining homeostasis – in other words: We like to stay the same.
So, if you want to change that “sameness”, guess what?
You’ll need to be uncomfortable in some way, shape, or form. You want to lose weight?
You WILL have to learn how to deal with some hunger. Period. Obviously.
You’ll need to eat below your maintenance caloric intake in order for your body to use your fat as fuel.
And by definition, there won’t be much fuel in your stomach in order for that to occur.
It’s virtually impossible to lose weight with zero discomfort.
There are ways to minimize discomfort and we can select our foods based on logical decisions and not “whatever the hell looks good” in order to make the hurt just a little bit less………….but you want to lose weight with zero discomfort?
What kind of bullshit fantasy land do you live in?
You won’t starve. You won’t pass out. You’re in “starvation mode”? Are you effin’ serious?
Because you didn’t eat for five hours?
There’s people in this world who are lucky to get in a thousand calories in a week.
And you’re in starvation mode because you’re expected to make it from lunch to dinner without snacking.
You want to build muscle? In order to build muscle, you must lift more weight.
If you are not stronger, you don’t have more muscle. And that’s that.
Here’s what this means: Push yourself as hard as you humanly can on a set of bench press. Go to total failure.
Until you cannot move your arms and make one more inch of progress.
How many reps did you get? Good. Next time, do more.
And the time after that, do more again. And then do more again the next time as well. Repeat forever.
Think that’s too hard? You can do it.
Everyone can do it.
Every human on this planet with the working body parts has the ability to gain muscle. The difference between those who gain muscle and those who don’t?
Those who do know how to push their bodies to the max.
Want a good measuring stick?
Ponder this: It’s physically impossible to push your body at its true, maximum capacity for any longer than around 30 seconds.
And most people start to fade quickly around 15-20 seconds.
Remember that next time you tell someone you “sprinted” for two minutes…………..
We get out of life what we put into it. If we keep to ourselves and go about our mundane, simple existence, we will be ordinary.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. We put in minimum effort. We get minimum results. We pay our bills.
Have a moderate amount of stuff. Enjoy a modest amount of happiness. A little bit of fulfillment.
But there ain’t no second grader in the universe who said they wanted to be “ordinary” when their teacher inquired.
When we’re 7, we want to be rock stars. Astronauts. Pro athletes. Doctors. Firefighters. Oscar winners. Presidents.
And then, when we’re 35, we want to be……………..information systems managers. IT department supervisors. And HR administrators.
Huh? What happened?
Extraordinary doesn’t have to give way to ordinary.
But you need to put yourself out there. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.
You married? At some point, you had to be vulnerable.
Throw yourself out there and take a chance. Unless your marriage was arranged.
Ever have a job interview you really, really, really wanted? Scary as hell. But can’t let it show.
Gotta give the appearance that you’ve done this all before.
Ever start your own business? Have any self doubts about it? Worried you might fail. Let everybody down.
Have to pick yourself up and start over. In school, what was the most rewarding class you ever had?
I’d be willing to guess it wasn’t P.E. I’m sure it was some upper-level, hard-as-shit class you had to bust your ass in just to eek out a respectable mark on your report card. But you looked down at that grade and said, “I earned the shit out of that C.”
The best successes in life come from being uncomfortable nearly 100% of the time.
It’s one of the reasons the iron game is so rewarding. So humbling. So perfect. And so addicting.
Want to be uncomfortable on a regular basis? Try a linear squat progression.
A set of five every Friday. And every time you do your five, add five pounds.
Before too long, you will dread those squats. Guaranteed.
You’ll be unsure of yourself. Will you be strong enough this week?
Will you get “out of the hole”? Will you fall forward and look like an idiot? Will you hurt your back?
Scary stuff. Uncomfortable stuff. But do it on a regular basis, and soon you come to embrace the anxiety.
Love the uncertainty. Accept the pain as part of your normal life. You’ll start to view the world differently.
And you’ll reap the rewards.
The mundane disappointments of life won’t seem like such a big deal.
You’ll be able to handle your toddler’s screams a bit easier.
You won’t sweat it when the boss gives you more responsibility.
And you won’t think twice when you begin that new start up.
“Shit, you think this is hard?” you’ll say, “Try a set of 300 pound set of five squats. Now THAT’S hard!”
And you’ll realize the more uncomfortable you are on a regular basis, the more comfortable with yourself you will ultimately become. -Jason