Choose “Hard”

Let me start by apologizing on behalf of the entire health and fitness industry.  We have failed you…miserably.  We have somehow led you to believe that achieving your health and fitness goals is “easy”, and only requires “a few minutes a day” and that you can “eat all of your favorite foods and still effortlessly lose weight.”  These are just a few of the dozens of face-palm worthy claims I’ve heard over the years.

But, if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem; so, let me start by saying that you are being lied to:

  • Achieving health and fitness is not easy, it’s hard and requires discipline and discomfort.
  • It requires more than a few minutes a day.  It’s actually a 24-hour, 7 day a week commitment.
  • You cannot eat all of your favorite foods and effortlessly lose weight. Most, if not all, of your favorite foods are contributing very specifically towards preventing you from losing bodyfat and achieving health.
  • And this list can go on and on and on…

Now, some of you may be discouraged by this and continue to cling on to the notion that there must be an easy way to make progress toward your goals.   I would encourage you first to completely eliminate that as a possible reality – it is a fantasy conjured up by people trying to sell you something.  Second, I would encourage you to embrace the fact that you are going to willingly choose the difficult, rather than easy, path.  

By choosing the difficult path and “doing hard things”, we not only elicit better immediate and lasting results, we grow in ways we could have never predicted.  I have witnessed this over and over again in my career as a coach – people who had to overcome the greatest adversity to stick with their fitness and nutrition program are the ones that have demonstrated the greatest physical, mental and emotional transformations and received the most benefit.  Doing difficult things over and over again – seeking challenge, rather than hiding from it – will make you a more effective, resilient, healthy and happy person.   

Let’s look at some examples of “hard things” you can do the next time you are given the choice:

  • Show up on days when you don’t “like” the workout, you don’t “feel like” doing it, or you know the workout will be particularly challenging for you
  • Go to a social gathering or party and be the person that politely refuses dessert
  • Put down your phone, turn off the TV and read a book
  • Go for a long walk or run, disconnected from electronics
  • Find new ways to challenge yourself during workouts that require greater effort and focus, rather than the “easier/lighter option”, “what you always do” or whatever options allow you to “get it over with” the fastest
  • Wake up and immediately take a cold shower
  • Perform a 24 hour fast
  • Eliminate a food or food group (i.e. dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, etc) from your diet that you suspect is preventing you from feeling and looking your best
  • And this list also goes on and on and on…

When we consistently choose “easy”, we grow soft, we move further and further from reaching our full potential and life becomes increasingly hard.  When we consistently choose “hard”, we develop grit and resilience, move closer and closer with every decision to our full potential and life becomes easier.  The path towards health and fitness is through, not around, the obstacles and the choice is yours. Choose HARD!


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