{Health} Do The Work

For the last few years I've struggled with my weight, how I feel (physically and emotional) and all the changes that come with growing older.

When I've felt my worst, Mike and I would take steps to live healthier. We joined Weight Watchers. We joined a gym. A little time would pass and then we'd stop going to Weight Watchers. We's stop going to the gym. We canceled our memberships at both.

Then, we got frustrated with our weight and our achy bodies, so we started the cycle again. Join a gym. Join Weight Watchers. Follow the program. Exercise a bit. But when we didn't see results quickly our effort and resolve fizzled out.

Each time we failed to do the work. We took the step to join Weight Watchers and/or the gym, but then we didn't actually do the work that make those programs successful.

Enter in the 6-Week Challenge at Psychosomatic Transformation Center. This summer Mike and I decided it was time to stop talking about getting healthier, fitter and go all in with a pretty strict fitness and nutrition program. The 6-Week Challenges is pretty intense and requires serious commitment. To participate, you pay a program fee ($300 for each of us) that you get back if you achieve your goal, which was 20 pounds for Mike and 6% body fat loss for me. On top of that you agree to workout at their gym at least 5 days a week. We bought $400 worth of supplements and protein power. And we agreed to a strict meal plan (there are about 17 things we can eat).

The basic idea behind the program is simple: if you have skin in the game (for us close to $1000), then you'll be motivated to stick with the plan and do the work. If we hit our goals then we'd get $600 of our investment back. In the past we've paid for other weight loss tools. But the cost was pretty inconsequential, $20 here or $40 there. Forking over a larger amount of money in one sitting was super motivating.

As the weeks have passed (we just finished our 5th week) I've learned the most valuable less that really isn't specific to this program or weight loss: to be successful you have to do the work. That's it. Just do the work.

Stop taking about what you're going to do. Do the work. Stop thinking about how things can be different. Do the work.

As we've moved through this program we keep hearing things like "follow the instructions" and "do the work." By doing both of those things, I'm 14 pounds lighter. By doing the work, my muscles are stronger. By doing the work, my back fat is melting away.

I'm not sure why I needed a reminder of this message, as is one I've heard for years and years? But maybe — for whatever reason — I'm finally ready to really hear it and do the work?

I won't lie. The last five weeks have been hard. I've been cranky, thanks to caffeine withdrawals. I've been sore, thanks to many intense workouts. I've been tired, thanks to 4:30 am wake-up calls. But I also feel stronger, my clothes fit better and my arthritis pain is pretty nonexistent these days. Huge, huge wins for me.

When I started the program, I kept thinking how crazy and restrictive the whole thing was. But as I get closer to the end I'm realizing that my old diet and lifestyle was pretty extreme in the other direction. Even though my doctor told me not to eat gluten, dairy and very little sugar ... I was binging on all of them. I was supposed to limit my caffeine intake and I was drink three or four diet sodas a day. I was a hot mess. This program has me eating six times a day (I'm never hungry). And I'm eating real, unprocessed food (no more sneaking sleeves of Oreos). And we're doing 45-minute workouts five days a week. Nothing super crazy, just doing the work.

So that's it: do the work. Officially, I have another week of this program, but since Mike signed up for 12-weeks (two challenges, back-to-back), I'll doing and eating much of the same things, with a focus on toning up and building muscle.

No matter what it is you want or need at the moment is completely within your reach if you do the work. Don't wait, start now and DO THE WORK.