"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation." - Aristotle
I was watching Scared Straight on TV the other day.
If you're not familiar with this show, what they do is take troubled and misbehaving teens and bring them to a prison.
The teens then face a gauntlet of prison chores, accented with real inmates attempting to make them cry.
The goal of this activity is to scare the kids so much that they go from trouble-maker to a model of obedience.
There's one little (major) problem with this strategy.
The kids are literally scared to tears. Of course they have every intention to change their behavior.
Then they are placed right back into their old environment and routine.
Well, the show actually checks in on these kids a few months later, and it usually goes something like this.
Show: Let's see how Jordan is doing, three months later.
Jordan: The other day I got drunk and punched my mom in the face.
OK, so Jordan was unable to change his behavior, despite crying on a prison floor just 12 short weeks ago.
Because Jordan was placed back into his house, the same routine, the same atmosphere, with absolutely no tactical plan to change.
His desire was sky high. His strategy didn't exist.
Now imagine if people took this same approach to fitness.
Oh wait....lots of people do.
Why The Biggest Loser Doesn't Stay Thin
The Biggest Loser, and similar shows, take a Scared Straight approach to fitness.
It makes for great TV (so I've heard), but it makes for terrible long term success.
On this show the contestants are berated into ultra fast weight loss through non-stop and highly intense exercise with serious calorie restriction.
If anyone has ever questioned how simple the mechanism of weight loss is-- move more, eat less-- this show proves it works.
The problem is, the contestants develop no skills, strategies or habits that they can implement in their everyday life.
Just like the Scared Straight kids, they're plopped back into their home, environment and old routine with no real strategy in place.
At least no strategy that could be maintained by your average person.
How You Can Transform Your Body and Stay That Way
Jordan punched his mom in the face due to lack of new habits and strategy.
The biggest loser gained his weight back due to lack of new habits and strategy.
Here is what is going to allow you to shed fat, transform your body, and keep it forever.
New habits and strategy.
Habits and strategies are highly individual. The ones that will benefit you the most may not benefit your friend the same way.
When choosing new habits, it's helpful to follow a few guidelines.
Strategies are moves you can make which will help you implement these new habits.
For example, if your new habit is to eat protein at every meal, you'll need a strategy to make that happen.
If you're a busy person (who isn't, right?), then a helpful strategy might be to prepare all your protein for the week on the weekend.
That way you have chicken, pork, beef and fish ready to go, making implementing your new habit easy.
Having an intense focus and intention is absolutely crucial for your success, but as you can see, it isn't enough.
Implementing new habits and strategies into your life will not only help you change your body. It will keep you from regressing into your old patterns of behavior, and help you become leaner, stronger and healthier forever.
What habits do you plan on integrating into your life to help you get in the best shape of your life?
Comment below to let me know.
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