I have been enjoying the recent upsurge in take-charge weight loss and fitness articles. The Internet is great for this kind of thing. The trouble is if you are looking for details…more than a nice, entertaining story, you won’t find it.
News sites are more interested in getting “clicks” and advertising dollars than your movement forward. So here is my analysis, my interpretation of the general underlying story.
The look in the mirror
First there is the vague realization that they could do better…the slight perception of the gap between what they are and what they could be is causing discomfort. Then they look in the mirror and perhaps for the first time call themselves out…This is not where I planned to be, this is not what I planned to look and feel like at this stage of my life.
Then some sort of trigger happens. They’re asked to be in a wedding party, they are invited to a black-tie, their child asks them to coach their soccer team. Some trigger combines with the look in the mirror.
When they begin everyone seems astonished by their weight, the number depresses them. What is going on here, don’t they know?
What typically happens is you become less active, skip working out and lye around more than you should…. Nothing drastic happens as a result. Life goes on. You get busy, pulled away, distractions happen and you don’t even realize it’s happening to you.
You become conditioned to being lethargic…conditioned to how you look and feel..it becomes your new normal. The reality is much more of an insidious threat because far worse than not working out for a couple of years is we don’t realize what that choice is doing to us we don’t realize, it has never registered until now, how much it matters.
These realizations are usually enough to get people to begin to make life happen for themselves rather than passively allowing life to happen to them.
The reality is this can (and does) happen with careers, derailments, burnout, etc.…..
The good news
Sometimes people do take-charge and find their way out of the wilderness.
We have a habit of inferiority to our full self. Compared to what we ought to be we are only half awake. William James (1899)