Back to this fascinating topic regarding long term body composition changes. How do we minimise…
I’ve always been somewhat aware of the strong correlation between the two, but I’ve become painfully aware of the increase in similarity over the past few months. As our culture declines; becoming lazier by the year, whilst simultaneously experiencing the increase in abundance of junk food, comfort becomes an increasingly huge contributor to body fat gains.
It’s everywhere you look. The main problems are with money and relationships. When people get comfortable with either (not both, either one), they tend to gain weight. It all comes down to incentives. If there are no incentives to not gain weight, people gain weight. We need incentives to stay lean.
You could argue all day until you’re blue in the face that the reason for all of this is that we have so much junk food so easily available, and you’d be correct. But it’s not going to change a thing. McDonald’s isn’t going to disappear any time soon. Neither is Domino’s. Neither is Burger King.
So, we need to work within the realities of the world we live in. Which means that despite having all this crap food everywhere, we can still be very successful in our fitness lives. I certainly am. So let me share two major pitfalls I avoid that would make me too comfortable if I was to fall into them.
Pitfall Number 1 – Career & Body Fat
People get very comfortable with their careers. They earn enough money to have a comfortable lifestyle, meaning; a decent house, decent clothes, cars and a couple of holidays per year (if they’re lucky ;)). Although this sounds nice, there is no incentive to keep progressing. They think:
“Well, this is it, I’ve made it. I’m officially living the American Dream/British Dream lifestyle that my parents always talked about. I have a big house, 2 great kids, a pretty wife, what more could I want? There’s nothing else for me to do now. Might as well enjoy it.”
And with no clear vision or purpose for their future, they get lazy. Their focus shifts away from their career, and wanders. Eventually it settles on food, because it’s marketed everywhere, and it’s available everywhere. The adverts on TV, billboards & buses are too much for the subconscious to take.
Something always occupies your attention. If it’s not good stuff, it tends to be bad stuff. This is why you need to be careful with what you allow into your life. Very careful. I am. I’m very selective about who I spend time with, which channels I subscribe to on YouTube, which blogs I read, and the little TV I do watch.
Your attention must always be on useful stuff. Being too comfortable prevents this from happening. Being too comfortable makes your attention automatically lean in the direction of whatever is being marketed to you at the time. In our culture, it’s bad stuff.
Pitfall Number 2 – Relationships & Body Fat
The exact same thing happens with relationships, and I’m actually guilty of doing this myself years ago. People think:
“I finally have the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend, I feel validated, he or she loves me for me and this will never change, and we’ll be together forever. There is no more for me to do. My relationship life is now over, and now complete.”
And again, your attention turns away from maintaining your value in that relationship, and moves towards whatever is being marketed to you at the time, which in our culture, is often food, unfortunately.
Therefore, although the marketing of junk food is a huge problem, I would actually argue that people’s mindsets and levels of comfort are really the root causes of body fat gain. Remove the comfort, and you continue to put the effort into yourself as a person, with career progression, and in maintaining your value in relationships.
Comfort is what leads to fat gain. It’s a big problem. I’m not saying the solution is to never enjoy yourself. But I am saying that there needs to be motivating incentives to stop you from gaining weight over the long-run. There always needs to be the opportunity to earn more money, or to work less hours for the same money (which is career progression). Otherwise you become stale. Or the opportunity to improve your relationships, because again, otherwise they become stale.
Have a great career, but don’t get too comfortable with your lifestyle. There must always be goals. They can’t just disappear – you always need them. Have great relationships, but make sure you continue to offer value. Don’t get too comfortable. Always remember that maintaining your appearance isn’t that much work. It is work, but it’s not anywhere near as hard as having to re-lose that fat at a later date. Don’t get fat in the first place 😉
Get to work 🙂