Upgrade #2: Admit That Comfort is Over-Rated

Everyone who has fallen for “quick and easy” exercise programs will tell you that they either didn’t work at all, or if they did, there was a lot more sweat involved than they advertised.

Years and years ago, I tried a program that told us to do easy “aerobic activity” 15-20 minutes a day, 3 days per week, guaranteeing that I’d “lose all the weight I want without strain”.  They gave a lot of testimonials and “before-and-after” photos with people holding newspapers, (demonstrating, I guess, that the time frames were real).  In about 8 weeks, I was supposed to have washboard abs.

In 4 weeks, I actually weighed more than I did before I started!

Listen, the notion that everything should be “quick and easy” is the Microwave Mentality.  Everything isn’t going to be easy.  Sometimes, exercise is about gritting it out whether you’re inspired to or not.  Sometimes, not eating the dessert at a buffet is an exercise of will that just feels wrong.  But it’s not about comfort.  It’s about results.

I’ve had it with people who want “the secrets” to health, and won’t do the first step of any genuine plan - eat well.  I had a guy the other day - a guy who got out of the hospital, cheating death - who said, “I gotta change, Kyle.  Tell me what to do.”  I told him, and when I did, he turned white.  White as the bread I told him he had to give up.  He didn’t know he’d have to stop eating toaster breakfast tarts and sodas and donuts.  He really and truly seemed shocked by it.

He then said something that I no longer respect in otherwise able Americans:  ”I can’t do that”.  You “can’t do that?”  What’s that supposed to mean?  You laid in a hospital getting your food through a tube, and now you tell me that not swallowing Mr. Pibb is impossible?  It’s a simple act of NOT swallowing something!  You can’t handle this?

We’re over-run with comfort in America, and I’m not a guy who thinks it should end.  But I think we should impose some restrictions on ourselves from now on.

If you’re someone who says, “I can’t give up caffeine”, or “I can’t give up soda”, or any other food item, you’re officially addicted.  You’re enslaved.  Admit it, and be about the business of getting out.

Of all the addictions we’re at risk for in America, this is the most pathetic.  I don’t deny that it’s real, and I’m not denigrating you if you’re hooked.  But I’m asking you to also admit that a chocolate-sprinkled donut addiction is pathetic.  It can only happen in a prosperous society.  You will not see this problem in Haiti.  They’re not screaming and crying and wailing right now because they can’t have a cappuccino.  They’re genuinely suffering over there.  They have a real problem - not a problem of “not enough comfort”.

Listen - I love donuts more than you do.  I’m not kidding.  I love pizza more and hate broccoli worse than you do.  I’m at risk for having Kit Kat addiction.  No joke.  But I woke up on January 1st realizing that I’m going to be 40 this year, and I’m astonished at how many people my age and older are downright enslaved by chicken-fried steak sandwiches and malts - things that are SO satisfying for, like 15 minutes.  And then it’s over.  And then you’re addicted.  Enslaved.

“Comfort in prison” is over-rated.  Just stop it.




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