“The amateur tweets. The pro works.”
— Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
When visiting low carb high fat forums online, many of the most vocal commenters for LCHF eating think it’s a simple matter of eating the right foods. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen on forums, Facebook pages, Twitter or other social media feeds where low carbers talk about how easy it is to eat low carb and have the pounds melt away.
That simply isn’t true for everyone.
You have to put in the work. Eating low carb, high fat does melt away the pounds, but only if you view it as a lifestyle and not a diet. Meaning you:
- Eat when hungry and only when hungry
- Give up the silly idea of “cheat days or cheat meals”
- Can’t go back to eating like you use to once you reach your goals
- Can still eat too much (protein, carbs, nuts, dairy and even fat)
- Understand that those fattening temptations (candy, cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips) don’t go away because you are eating LCHF
That’s why I always say that weight loss is 100% eating the right foods and 95% mental. We face hundreds of food choices everyday. That’s why it’s important to build good habits.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t get to weigh 325 because I had good eating habits. My habits were crap. I ate because I could or it was time rather than hunger.
When I started this journey I didn’t commit myself fully. I left my job to focus on getting healthy. But I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do or how to start…or so I told myself. For 6 months I had a book in my Amazon queue I specifically wanted to read on the science behind weight gain. It wasn’t until 3 months after I left my job that I purchased Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It. It changed my life. But why did it take me that long if I was so “serious” about my health that I quit my job?
I hadn’t turned pro.
The War of Art & Turning Pro
For my April reading I tackled two awesome motivational books. I can’t recommend enough are The War of Art and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. Neither focus on weight loss, but both books are quick reads of bite-size wisdom that offer plenty of motivation and self-examination for any area of your life, including health and weight loss.
In The War of Art, Pressfield tackles what he calls “Resistance.” Resistance is what stops you from doing what you are meant to do – whether it’s to write novels or lose 150 pounds. It’s the loud voice in our heads that cautions us to not punch above our weight class, to avoid the road less traveled, to be ordinary and just be comfortable (lazy) and have the pizza. The book is a call to arms to do battle…everyday. Beating Resistance today only means you have to wake up and do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next…
With Turning Pro, the author divides people up into two groups – the amateur and the pro. The amateur is all about self-sabotage via distractions, quick fixes. Amateurs settle living a life out of fear (failure, success, what others think, giving up comfort, etc.) and distraction. The amateur gives in to Resistance hourly. I think anyone whose experienced yo-yo dieting can relate.
But the pro chooses to do the work they are meant to do rather than be distracted. Pros have true grit – they bulldog their way through hardships because they know they are working towards something better. Pressfield takes the excuses we’ve all used and blasts them to hell to show you not only how to turn pro but to stay that way for life.
When I Turned Pro
Once I chose to buy and read Why We Get Fat I turned pro. I reevaluated all of my attitudes and habits and saw that they were leading me in the wrong direction. I committed myself to doing the hard work and making sacrifices. Immediately I knew I would be successful.
When applying Pressfield’s philosophy through the lens of health and fitness, I learned a few things about myself:
- It’s the work I’ve done and the journey I’ve taken (warts and all) that I love. The weight loss is a side benefit.
- Resistance is an everyday battle. Fighting excuses, self-doubt is hourly. But I’m committed to rededicating myself every morning to kicking Resistance’s ass.
- I need to embrace ambition. There are some fitness goals I want to achieve but I can’t if I’m replacing my ambition with fiddling with my iPad.
No matter how far I’ve come, I still struggle. But thanks to these 2 books, which can be reread for awesome motivation, I’m accepting the never-ending fight so I don’t ever give in to doing what’s easy.