When people acknowledge that I’ve lost weight, the very first question they ask is, “How’d you do it?” When I tell them I eat well, exercise daily, they follow up with, “No, which one? Atkins? South Beach?” Why does fitness have to equal a name brand?
I just saw a colleague in the hallway and offered him a banana chip. He said, “Oh, no thanks. I can’t have sugar. I’m just starting the South Beach diet.” Of course, I was very encouraging. People taking their health back into their own hands is a good thing. But does the name brand deserve the credit or do you?
My thought is this: people hold up the brand of diet they’re following as some kind of disclaimer. If they don’t lose weight, it’s the diet’s fault. If they do lose the weight, they can credit the name brand for the success, not giving any credit to themselves personally for the effort involved. Then, when they slip and put on weight later, long after the name brand has been shelved, they’ll see the brand as the solution and not themselves.
It’s not that I want people to reinvent their own personal wheel. Instead, I’m saying that people who are finding success with their fitness and nutrition programs should give credit to themselves for the work they put into the process. Yes, by all means, if you’ve been using a method that brought you success, please share the basics with someone if they’re asking your advice. But definitely give yourself the credit, as well.
There have been many sources of information that I’ve used for my overall fitness and nutrition efforts. I credit them with giving me some tools for the work ahead. But that’s like saying anyone can do what Beethoven did. Just give them a piano, some paper and an inkwell. It’s the way someone uses the tools they were given that dictates their results.
Thank your tools for what they give you, but credit yourself with your success. Or failure. Either way, the common denominator in your life is you.
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