This isn’t a story about how I gained 300 pounds, was bedridden and relied on my family to supply me with five large pizzas a day.
It is a tale about falling into old habits, eating junk and sitting on my ass all day. It is a story about how one little thing led to a huge problem.
And, it is a cautionary tale for business owners and salespeople…
From about the age of 11 or so, I was a pudgy kid. A quick look back at school pictures shows my chubby cheeks and slightly strained shirt buttons.
In high school, I got involved in athletics and, although I was never the “buff” kid, I toned up and slimmed down a bit.
In college, I packed on the proverbial “freshman fifteen” and maybe even a little more. But by my junior year spent in Germany, I was fit and lean from walking instead of driving everywhere.
The weight rollercoaster continued throughout my twenties and thirties.
As recently as a few years ago I was running half-marathons and participating in SEAL team fitness programs. But, after the last three years of 100,000 miles/year of airplane travel and endless days sitting at my computer, my weight had crept up to its highest level ever.
As I look back over those three years of weight gain and back farther at the previous weight highs of my life, I see patterns emerge that, frankly, piss me off.
You see, I realized that each time, I chose to get fat. Something happened in my life that seemed difficult (moving, new school, travel, etc) and I chose to eat too much and stop exercising because, in the short term, it made me feel better.
- I chose to have an appetizer, entree, dessert, and several drinks when the client was treating me to a fancy steak dinner with delicious wine.
- I chose to load up a plate with pasta and bread at the conference buffet instead of sticking to chicken and veggies.
- I chose to grab a slice of pizza on the way through the airport instead of having a salad.
- I chose to sleep in instead of hitting the hotel gym for a little while.
Of course, every time I made those choices that I KNEW were unhealthy, I had a prepared justification for it.
- It was just going to be this one meal.
- I’d do better tomorrow.
- I was too tired to exercise after working all day.
- I deserved a treat after working so hard.
The list went on and on. Excuse after excuse.
Not only did I choose to do what I knew to be the wrong thing, I chose to rationalize it so I would feel better about my poor behavior. I chose the easy path instead of the healthy path.
And the more I did it, the easier it got. I became a super ninja world champion justifier.
So, here I sit, working my way back down the weight scale, focusing on eating clean food and exercising daily, even when I’m traveling.
Now, I have a ‘zero-tolerance, no excuses’ policy in place.
Anytime I want to skip logging my food in MyFitnessPal or take a nap instead of a walk, I have this talk with myself.
“Everything you are thinking right now is an excuse. There is NO reason you cannot do the right thing, right now. The wimpy side of you will NOT win. This is a very temporary feeling and you will get past it. And when you do, you will feel virtuous and strong and awesome. So get off your butt and do what you need to do. NOW.”
I have friends on MFP that keep me honest and who would give me hell if I missed a day of logging in.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because I see this same scenario play out in businesses and careers every day.
Owners who put off the investments they know will work for them to grow their companies.
- Taking a class and using what they learned in it
- Hiring and training a salesperson to drive revenue for them
- Creating a strategic plan and sticking to it
- Firing and replacing that employee they know is toxic
Salespeople who shortcut their activities a little bit each day.
- Skipping a few prospecting calls today
- Not bothering to put activity in their CRM
- Letting a follow-up call get pushed until tomorrow
- Not preparing fully for a sales presentation
Each day these people are choosing to be unsuccessful. Little by little, they are eroding their ability to earn more, work better and enjoy work at a deeper level. They are letting excuses make them fat.
What choices are you making RIGHT NOW that are leading you towards your goals? What excuses can you throw out the door once and for all?
Don’t make the mistake I did and think, “I can always do it later.” As anyone who has struggled to make a big change knows, the longer you wait, the harder it gets.
Choose to do the things that will move you closer to being the best YOU there is. Your family needs your best. Your colleagues need your best. Your community needs your best.
If you need help, check out using a Daily Success Checklist.