This is a continuation from Benedict Arnold’s last piece. You can read the first half of the post, about how to transform your body with a little help from your friends, here.
After 1) Knowledge and 2) Motivation / Support, the path to body transformation is only half way complete. Body transformation also requires:
Carrots and sticks. That’s what life is about. Carrots and sticks. So maybe you’re at dinner with your workout partner / someone who cares about your fitness and you’re thinking about ordering a slice of chocolate cake. Only, it isn’t a night you’ve allotted for a cheat meal, and so you’re just going to try to wing it. You wait til he or she goes to the restroom and quietly order the case. Your friend gets back to the table, sees the cake, and immediately, without warning, grabs it and heads for the nearest trash can. True friend.
Sometimes it’s a kind word that keeps you on track. The carrot. Other times, it’s someone getting in your face and telling you what an asshole you’re being. The stick. Both are important. And if you know that you’re someone who struggles with discipline, you absolutely NEED someone in your life to keep you on track. Because consistency is a linchpin of success in body transformation. Just as it’s important to have people around to make you happy about sticking to your routine, it’s perhaps even more crucial to have people who can keep you tough enough to stick to your routine.
Another note here: if the person you’re seeing belittles your efforts or makes fun of you or tells you he doesn’t want to hear about your diet, dump his / her sorry ass. There was a “what men think” piece about this issue that ran a day or so ago. The guys who said they didn’t want their girlfriends to diet or that they didn’t want to hear about it should settle in for dating a BBW. If you’re taking the time and painstaking effort to go through a diet and exercise regimen in order to look better, the LEAST someone who cares about you can do is listen to you talk about it. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to be rough and you’re going to want to vent. Listening? Not nearly as hard as what you’re doing. Not in the least. The guy who insists that you eat lasagna and cheesecake three nights a week but expects you to remain a size 2 is probably going to find some other way to ruin your life once he succeeds in making you fat then excoriating you for it. I think you can do better.
The people you surround yourself with–friends, family, significant others–don’t necessarily have to agree with your decision to transform your body (in a healthy and safe manner). They don’t even have to understand it. But you need to demand that they accept it. Ideally, somewhere in that set of people you’ll find a few who can push you to stay on track as well.