Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
One cinnamon bun was harmed in the writing of this post.
Everybody is different. And every body is different.
Those are two different and important facts.
What you and I were born with in terms of genetic gifts (and we both have them) is distinctive. There’s no maybe here. The circumstances into which we were born, what we learned as children, and the people and experiences that have shaped us since then are highly individual. That also is beyond dispute. We are not the same people, in formation or substance. How we approach and deal with a process will therefore be and feel very different. We have different lessons to learn and different strengths with which to tackle them.
So when peruse social media and see instances where people imply that losing weight is both desirable and easy, they can pay no attention to nutrition and look like a million bucks, or only have to train minimally to look like a Greek god, and who also imply that it should be equally “easy” for other people to achieve the results that they appear to have gotten effortlessly, I get a bit steamed, because these statements are misleading and honestly downplay the value of what is being shown.
Easy? No, dieting for either weight loss or gain (let’s call it what it is – all other terms are variants on an old theme) is not easy. It is a whole world of change. It means changing your current eating patterns and somehow modifying your habits, preferences, and behaviours to be more in tune with the results you want. It means eating less, eating with different proportions or timing, eating more, or learning to eat stuff you’re not overly fond of. It means going against your established norm, which also often means making big changes that can put you into conflict situations with friends or society. It means coming to terms with your changing body and learning to be gentle with yourself. It means mental gymnastics to deal with the associated ups and downs, both on scale in in life.
It is *not* frigging easy for most people.
This is damned hard work.
If you are lucky enough to have won the genetic lottery or have made the choice to use pharmaceutical assistance (your choice entirely), please do assume that losing fat is universally “easy”. Your circumstances are unusual and you are fortunate.
If you are equally one of those people who has spent years building muscle and learning what habits are optimal for your body and if you have acquired a set of rose-coloured spectacles that enable to you forget how you got to where you are, please take off the glasses and stop downplaying the process. You worked HARD for what you got. If you enjoyed the process, that doesn’t make the work any less. It wasn’t easy, even if it was fun. Don’t sell yourself short. You earned where you are and I am in awe of what it took to get you there.
Training? Not easy. Parts of it are damned fucking hard. There will be many times when you train when you either just don’t want to or honestly aren’t sure you can. It means prioritizing this aspect of your life and not doing other things that many people do as often as they do them. It means relying on the flexibility and support of of family and friends and it means forcing yourself voluntarily into a place of intense discomfort regularly, learning to be okay there, and then figuring out what you need to do it again tomorrow, often harder and with fewer mental and physical resources.
Is it worth it? To me it is. But it is NOT easy.
What I’m getting at here is that you get what you work for. If you are told that someone has a strong and lean body, you can be damned sure that they worked on all parts of their lives to get that body, no matter what they tell you. Easy? No, it wasn’t easy, unless they won the genetic jackpot or are using chemical assistance and even then, there was still work involved.
What they generally mean is that they wanted it badly enough to do what was needed.
They did the work.
So if you’re on this journey of fitness, if you look around you and see people that are ahead of you, look again for how they got there and the price that they have paid for their achievements.
Because no matter what the surface shows or what words create the veneer, they very likely paid a price proportionate to what they have earned.
And if you look behind you and see someone a step or five behind you, reach out a hand, tell them they’re doing great, and that they work is hard but will pay off, and that you also are working hard for every damned achievement that you have earned. Remember that they are looking forward and see you in a way similar to the way you see those even further ahead. Acknowledge that you have worked for where you are and don’t minimize your effort.
Because to you, it has been worth it.
But don’t ever imply that it’s easy.
Nothing worth having ever is.