There is No Easy Way

I love to bag on abdominal crunches. Hell, I’ll even mock leg lifts and those “side” crunches people do to get rid of the fat on the “sides” of their guts. Oh, and exercising “in the fat-burning zone,” that’s another good one. Ahh… that’s it, isn’t it? We’re trying to find an easy way to get thin.

Training is a huge pain in the butt and only one in about fifty people seems to like exercising. So why do anything that isn’t absolutely the most effective way to reach your fitness goals?

How often do you pick workouts because they’re hard? I’m willing to bet it’s not all that often, and that’s exactly why you’re frustrated with your progress.

I used to say it would take 44 hours to lose a pound of fat by doing crunches. More recently, I read a study by the University of Virginia that showed it takes around 250,000 crunches to burn off that pound: 700 crunches a day for a year. Not a very good use of your time.

Getting slim is simple: Eat less, exercise more. It is not even close to easy. Let me make that a little clearer by listing things that are usually easier than losing fat and maintaining your ideal weight:

1. Getting along with only one kidney.

2. Getting along with your ex.

3. Running a marathon.

4. Getting off meth.

5. Making a living being self-employed in Wyoming.

6. Doing the splits.

7. Being a woman, giving all your love to just one man.

8. Texting and being older than 30.

9. Reading the Unabomber Manifesto.

10. Justifying your crappy diet by convincing yourself you “deserve” a treat.

If you really want to lose fat, you’ve got to put on your war face. It’s not just a change in habit, it’s a battle. It’s not just something you kinda do, either…you have to pay attention all the time, and be willing to suffer until the job is done. And you are going to have to keep working at it for a long time…like until you are old, really old.

Oh, and here’s a list of things that make weight loss even harder:

1. Being over age 35.

2. Being female.

3. Being obese.

4. Having bad joints.

5. Having thyroid or hormone issues.

6. Eating high levels of carbohydrate for the past two or more years.

7. Having a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate who does not eat well.

8. Having a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate who is sedentary or “gets all the exercise [s]he needs at work.”

But so what if it is harder for you? You still gotta do it. The thing you’ve got to get your head around is that you can do it. And that’s where this final list (the only really useful one in this article) comes in. Like I said before, it’s not easy, but here are a few things you can do to make it slightly less agonizing:

1. Start eating vegetables. Lots of them. Green ones. Do what it takes to get them in you, and it will pay off. They are filling, full of essential nutrients, and very low in calories.

2. Drink water. And if you really want to lose, drink nothing else.

3. Don’t think you’re special. OK, you’re special when it comes to your parents, but not when it comes to getting skinny. Everyone can do it. It’s hard, and you have to saddle up. So saddle up.

4. If you fall off the horse, get back on. If you mess up, admit it, fix it, and go on. The defeatist attitude of “I ate badly yesterday so I might as well do it again today” is not only foolish and wrong, but pathetic. Stop it.

5. Don’t eat anything you can’t spell. Except for maybe quinoa.

6. avoid prepared foods with more ingredients than you have fingers on one hand. That’s… five.

7. Don’t make choices based on what’s easiest, choose what’s right.

Take it all one moment at a time. You are never off the clock when it comes to losing weight, until you have reached your goal. No treats. No ”deserving.”

There is no easy way.

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  1. First, a disclaimer (and a plea for sympathy), Steve Bechtel is my weight lifting coach. I call him “Coach,” he calls me “Athlete East.” I am not the only one to call him coach, but this comment is from me, not the others. Things that make weight loss harder, I have the first top five in Coach’s list. That only means he adjusts my plan, he is still the brooding, cranky Coach he wants us to believe him to be. For others with 1 through 5 like me, let me say that the Less Agonizing Points, one through seven are right on. I will have to put them on the fridge, carry them in my wallet, tape them to the inside of my eyelids.

  2. I just looked at the interactive calendar and it is so cool. Wyoming really is an outdoor place. Wow.