Why You’ve Failed Before and How to Finally Break Free of Old Patterns and Change Your Life Through One Essential Shift in Thinking
It makes me sad that I’ve heard some version of this come out of the mouths of many people that I care about.
It might be because of what I do that people feel the need to justify their choices to me.
But I bet you’ve probably heard someone say this, too…
Just before they put a cigarette, junk food, or yet another drink to their lips they say something like,
“Well, I’m going to die at some point anyway. And I don’t need to try to live to be 90. So I might as well enjoy myself now.”
Does this sound familiar to you?
I call this the “live-fast-die-young” attitude.
You may know someone who thinks like this.
They think that trying to be healthy would keep them from being able to enjoy their lives.
Since you made it to this site chances are you don’t fall into that category.
However, you’ll surprised by the insight we’ll learn from people with the “live-fast-die-young” mindset in just a moment…
But first let me ask you something:
For a week or a couple of months you’re doing everything right…
Then suddenly you fall back into bad habits.
In the past I’ve had times where I’ve felt strongly that I should cut back on my snacking.
In that moment I’d feel motivated and have a sense of resolve.
…Then later I’d be wiping chocolate and crumbs from my face when I’d catch myself—and suddenly remember that I wasn’t supposed to be eating cookies.
What might be most embarrassing about this… is that sometimes this sequence of events all took place in the same day.
I wondered, “What is wrong with me?”.
So I know the frustration, guilt, and self-loathing that comes with trying to break bad habits or commit to better ones.
This feeling of being out of control can be downright depressing…
You’re Not Alone: Some Studies Have Shown That People Fail to Stick to Their Resolutions About 9 Times Out of 10
And let’s not forget the countless people who want to change, but never try to start.
Instead they procrastinate because it’s never the right time…
(The right time will never come though, and it only gets harder).
You have to wonder…
But eventually, you might begin to think that you just don’t have what it takes to change.
This discourages you from trying…
Because why try if failure seems inevitable?
Meanwhile the downward spiral of getting fatter and feeling shittier is gaining momentum… And what should be the best years of your life are quickly passing by.
If you want to break free of this vicious cycle you need to understand something critical:
The problem isn’t you.
The problem is your approach.
It’s not that some people are just magically better at changing.
It’s what you’ve been taught about health and habit change, and how that has shaped the way that you think.
So if you’ve failed before, and have been blaming yourself, STOP.
And instead re-examine your approach.
Why the Health and Fitness Industry is Actually Making it Harder
The difficulty with getting healthier isn’t that people don’t know what to change.
You probably already know enough to make progress.
You may not know the best or most efficient way, but you already know something that’s at least worth trying.
And there are no shortage of options out there when it comes to diet and exercise programs.
But when you go looking for answers, you’ll find yourself sifting through contradictions and dogma.
It begins to feel like the different schools of thought are religions.
(No wonder the word “guru” is thrown around.)
Unfortunately, it often seems like the options out there are either hyped up gimmicks, or are too restrictive, expensive, and difficult to stick to.
And there is a reason for that…
Although I’m not trying to imply that it’s a conspiracy.
I’m part of the industry myself, and I think most fitness and health professionals are well-intentioned.
Instead all the controversy makes it seem like you need to become an expert to discern the truth.
This takes away from the fact that we can agree on most of the important stuff.
Because behind all of the conflicting details of the various diet and workout methods, there are just a few underlying principles at work.
And unlike methods, principles are flexible and universal.
Sure there are myths and misunderstandings out there.
The truth is that people make progress with many different methods.
Granted there are no one size fits all answers or cookie cutter diets and workouts that are perfect for everyone—let alone optimal for most.
And there are definitely genetic and acquired differences between individuals that need to be taken into consideration.
But there is a piece that’s missing from like 99% of fitness advice that you’ll find out there.
All of the Exercise and Nutrition Knowledge in the World Can be Completely Useless to You Without This Missing Piece
Because sooo many people know WHAT to change, but not HOW to change.
You need both.
We also know that there are wrong ways to go about change, that will make you way more likely to fail.
And sadly most diets and workouts are put together without considering this psychological research.
So no wonder why so many people struggle and fail.
This probably happens because many fitness experts themselves, and the minority of people who successfully adhere to their programs, are operating on a different level.
Which is why they don’t even see the need for understanding the science of habit change.
This is a massive oversight that shoots down your odds of long-term success.
But like I said before, it’s not that they are just magically more motivated than you.
Or at least, there isn’t anything “magic” about it…
The Unspoken Shift That Allows People to Break Free of Their Patterns and Transform Themselves
Think about this for a second…
I’m sure that you’ve either met or heard about a dozen or maybe even a hundred people who have turned their lives around.
There are people who were very fat and suffering from the consequences, who lost the weight and kept it off by changing their lifestyle.
There are even former drug addicts, at the point of homelessness and crime, who have been able to turn themselves around and become successful and contributing members of society.
These are all people who lived at the mercy of their own patterns, but were able to break free and change their lives.
I looked into the stories behind people who took their lives into radically new directions.
Many had to nearly die or suffer terrible consequences of their lifestyles.
Others witnessed the death or suffering of someone close to them and realized that they could be next.
You’ve probably noticed this pattern yourself.
Of course, not everyone who has these experiences changes.
And some others turn things around without having to stare death in the face.
For the people that do change, it seems like they reach a tipping point in their lives that becomes the inspiration.
But what tipped?
And how can others have that breakthrough without needing to have a break down first?
I wondered about this for years…
Finally I think I’ve figured some of it out.
The shift that makes change easier is: the sobering acceptance that your life depends on it.
If you’re forced to deal with that, then it can accelerate everything.
Unfortunately, this is something that I only “got” after chronic pain, illness, and suffering from pretty much every mistake imaginable… (I talk more about my story here.)
I realized that I had an internal resistance to committing to long-term change which made it easier to put it off indefinitely…
There’s a good chance this holds you back too.
You’ll be Surprised at How an Underlying Belief is Sabotaging Your Motivation
It’s actually the same belief that people with the “live-fast-die-young” mindset have.
It was just a little less extreme for me, but it was still short-circuiting my motivation.
And from working with others I’ve come to realize that most other people think this way on some level, but aren’t even aware of it.
But let me warn you though.
Don’t expect for this to click right away or for this to be a life-changing ah ha! moment.
Because this might sound simple (it will probably sound too simple in fact), but it’s really destructive.
So reserve your judgment for now and take time to really think this over…
The underlying belief that sabotages us is some version of the belief that:
On a rational level, you know that health is important for being happy.
And yet, trying to get healthier may still feel like a sacrifice…
This hurts your motivation.
Because when you don’t believe that you can enjoy the journey, then change becomes an uphill struggle.
The reality is that everybody wants the benefits of good health, but few are willing to do what it takes.
(Which is why there is a multimillion dollar industry selling dubious lose fat quick shortcuts.)
This is despite the fact that we’ve all met people who’ve given up their vices and gotten healthier who proudly claim that they have never felt better.
They don’t even miss their old habits…
We might know that.
Yet, most of us don’t operate as if we believed that that would be true for us too.
This way of thinking can be so entrenched that you might have a hard time even imagining that you can live a healthy lifestyle and actually enjoy it.
Instead getting healthier just seems like you’re going to have to fit in all of this extra stuff (a lot of it you don’t even like) into your already impossibly busy schedule.
Plus, you’d also have to give up so many of the things that get you through each week.
So I understand why it can look like trying to live healthier means not “living” at all.
But nothing could be further from the truth…
Fitness is About Way More Than Looking Better Naked
On Fit Synthesis I explore the biology of happiness.
The science of how our health and happiness are interconnected as a result of the way the brain and the body are wired together.
*image of health/happiness*
It’s pretty simple and intuitive really.
You are profoundly shaped by the drug-like effects of chemicals inside of you.
Although saying they have drug-like effects might be misleading…
After all, psychiatric and recreational drugs only have the effects they do because they’re chemically similar enough to our own “natural supply” in the first place.
Neurotransmitters and hormones, among other chemical messengers, are in flux throughout every day of your life and signal changes to the function and the structure of your brain and the rest of the body.
Your lifestyle is influencing your:
- ability to learn/intelligence
- resilience to stress
- and even aspects of your personality
So literally how you feel, act, and in many ways who you are, emerges from the interaction of your system with these magical molecules.
And exciting breakthroughs demonstrating the sway that bodily health has over your psychology are coming out all of the time.
There’s even a growing body of evidence demonstrating that in some ways the mind can have effects on the health of the body as well.
I refer to this topic as “mind over body” and “body over mind” (it’s in the Mind/Body Science section.)
But to be clear I’m not talking about spirituality or anything woo woo.
Some of the physiology behind some of the “mind over body” phenomenon is even understood.
(Although unfortunately there are also dangerous claims that need to weeded out as well—claims like being able to cure serious disease just through positive thinking.)
I find it frustrating that there are so many science-backed ways that you can radically improve your life…
Yet, the focus of the health and fitness industries remains on the superficial benefits of fitness.
You’d think it was only about 6 pack abs.
This is despite the fact that way beyond looking better naked, a healthy lifestyle is the key maximizing your life.
What FitSynthesis is About: The Science of Why Healthy is Happy, Happy is Healthy, and How to Get Both
Too many people treat their body like it’s just a car that their brain drives around.
(Although most of us take better care of our cars.)
We drive our bodies full speed ahead often fueled by our vices.
We justify living a life out of balance now, by telling ourselves that later we’ll have more money, time, and that it’ll be easier.
This is the silent epidemic of the modern world and even if it doesn’t kill you, it’s robbing you of your life.
That’s why I believe understanding the relationship between body and mind is so important.
Because more than just neglecting your health—the cost to who you are is far greater.
I am passionately curious about the connection between health and happiness.
It’s a natural consequence of seeing how my own life has changed.
There is so much fascinating evidence emerging from the intersection of different fields on this topic.
Neuroscience, psychology, immunology, endocrinology, nutrition, exercise science, and other seemingly separate areas of study are being reintegrated as we begin to realize that the way we dissected them apart in the first place limited our understanding.
Everything is so interconnected, but instead we study the parts in isolation.
I want Fit Synthesis to be a place where all of the dots between health and happiness can be connected across the various branches of science.
I want to be able to bring together a synthesis of facts, theories, and models into a practical map for you to follow so that you can go further than you ever thought possible.
When you can view the system as a whole, you will begin to see what really matters.
That’s when you’ll find real success experimenting with your own diet, workouts, and other habits to create a life that’s a perfect fit for you.
And I want to prepare you for every step of the way by teaching you the essentials of changing your behavior.
Because your success doesn’t depend so heavily on motivation or willpower at the end of the day.
Instead it’s far more dependent on understanding how to form habits that stick and become automatic.
You also need to know how your behavior is being shaped by your environment and mindset so that you can break out of bad patterns.
Ultimately, the goal is to piece together a sustainable lifestyle.
Not a crash diet, or an extreme workout.
Because lifelong results requires a lifelong strategy.
You probably know this…
But might still be holding out for some shortcut or putting it off.
The change might still seem too big and you feel like you’ll be missing out on too much.
The important thing to understand is that a sustainable lifestyle isn’t just carefully pieced together health habits.
For a lifestyle to be sustainable you need to enjoy it.
That’s the only way you can stay on track when motivation and willpower inevitably falters.
And if a healthy lifestyle that you can actually enjoy sounds too good to be true…
Then you are definitely under the spell of the belief that “trying to be healthy takes the joy out of life”—and I hope I can show you the truth.
But look, Fit Synthesis isn’t just about how our physical health underlies our happiness.
And it’s certainly not about being ripped, only eating food as fuel, or how much you can bench.
It’s about deciding what “Fit” means to you and using a few flexible health principles that you can apply in an experimental way that actually allows you to get the most out of life.
No matter who you are.
To me being Fit is about a lifestyle that fits what you want out of life.
Our goals can differ, but ultimately we all want to be happy and the best that we can be.
And the pursuit of health might be the most surefire way to get there.
When you start to see fitness in this light and internalize it then it could very well change your life, too.
If any of this resonated with you, and you’re interested in learning more, then you should subscribe, and when you do I’ll send you a free 3-day email micro-course that will inspire you and help you to accelerate change in just 5 minutes a day over 3 days.
Click here to read my story about overcoming a tumor, chronic pain, and mental illness.