On her 30th birthday my friend Les, who is about 5 years older than me, told me this:
Veit, when you turn 30, you wake up in the morning, and you’ve put on 1 stone (that’s 14lbs if you don’t think in stone;-) – and you can’t get rid of it.
“sure, sure” I laughed with my 25 year old metabolism going full tilt.
And lo and behold, 5 years later I wake up, and, where did this stone of lard come from?
Well, soon after, my friend Les tell me:
Veit, when you turn 40, you wake up in the morning, and you’ve put on 1 stone – and you can’t get rid of it.
“sure, sure” I laughed, (slightly nervously, but thinking: I’ve learned from the last ‘stone’ mistake)
And lo and behold, come the 40th birthday, I wake up in the morning, and … there it is.
One stone of lard.
On my hips.
And so the story continues until I crack the 200lbs mark.
When I asked my son to take a picture of me from behind, and oh-my-goodness, I’m wearing a fat-suit, it’s not even funny. (and no, you can’t see them – I’m too embarrassed to show those pictures in public!)
Time for some drastic action!
Here it is: drastic action 9 days in: (x-axis is days, y-axis is kg)
Now, you might be thinking this is a crazy-ass crash-diet, and “boy, oh, boy, Veit, you’re going to yo-yo like a roller-coaster trying to break the land-speed record”.
Well, fear not.
This whole thing is part of a 42 day plan.
And only half of that is dedicated to ‘fat-loss’
Because to succeed with anything in life, you need to do 2 things:
- Work on the “thing”. In my case: shed the fat.
- Work on the habit that led to the “thing” in the first place.
Working on the “thing” is relatively easy in my case:
it’s designed in such a way, that although I’m on a very low calorie diet (around 800kcal a day), I’m not hungry, I’m not grumpy, in fact, I have enough energy to go cycling in the sunshine.
Like 3h yesterday.
All fueled by fat.
Also, the program is set up in such a way that I’m no longer ‘tempted’.
I have 4 kids in the house. The oldest one is having his birthday party tomorrow.
- There’s chocolate, there are sweets (yeah, I know, BAD parent;-)
- My wife has a glass of wine in the evening.
- There’s cheese (and I’m talking proper cheese, France is only 5 miles from here).
And yet, I’m not tempted.
well, it has very little to do with will-power, but the way the whole diet is set up.
It’s rather extreme:
no carbs, no fats. Make up 800kcal with green vegetables and protein. The end.
There are no choices to be made.
Meaning: nothing taxes my will-power.
However, and that’s where part 2 comes in:
I still need to work on the “habit” that got me to 200lbs in the first place:
- overeating in the evening.
- Thinking I can eat only one square of chocolate (and leave the rest… yeah right)
- Not stopping after one glass of wine.
And all of that requires will-power …
… or solid habits.
Which is where the 42 day plan comes in.
Even after the fat-loss phase is over, I still have 3 weeks to ‘cement’ in the new habits of eating better.
So I don’t have to use will-power.
As Eben Pagan points out at around the 24min mark in this excellent video,
“you need to actually design it.
You need to write down each of the steps in exactly the order in which you’re going to do them.
Because if you don’t plan it out, you’re not going to know what to do when the time comes, and you’re just going to fall back into your old habits”.
And of course he’s talking about the “changing your habit” part!
Most people have a plan for changing the ‘thing’, but not the habit.
And habit is what got me to 200lbs in the first place.
PS: when you see the ‘domino’ example in Eben’s video, think of that first domino as that ONE action that’s the essence of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”.