It is a fallacy that we workout for results.
It is also a fallacy that we eat the way we eat for results.
When you really think about it ‘results’ is actually a surrogate end point – Things that are believed to reflect the outcomes that are truly important, but that are NOT actually the things that are truly important.
As an example cholesterol is used as a surrogate endpoint in research where what we are really concerned with is reduced mortality. Another example is protein synthesis being a surrogate end point for actual increases in muscle size.
So why are ‘results’ a surrogate endpoint? Because I don’t think they are really what we are after.
We are after happiness. That’s the true endpoint. What we are really interested in.
Big muscles, weight loss, a lean body, six pack abs, these are results that make us happy.
So if happiness is the goal, and results are the surrogate end point we measure…and the approach we take is nothing more than the approach we take..so then this begs the question:
If we are happy with our results and happy with the approach we took to get those results, why do we let people convince us that our approach is wrong?
If a vegan zumba addict is happy with his approach, and is happy with the results, why would he ever let other people’s opinions change his views?
The same goes for a Paleo body builder – if the eating makes her happy, the exercise makes her happy and the results make her happy – why does anyone feel the need to comment on the approach.
The approach is completely insignificant in this case.
There is no reason to care about other peoples opinions if you are happy with what you have and what it took to get it.
But on the flip side, even if other people think your results are out of this world, and that your approach is perfect, if you are not happy, then you need to change them.
Happiness is the true goal behind the things we do.
Don’t ever let people hijack this goal from you.
If you are happy doing isolation exercises and like the way your body looks then don’t change just because someone tells you that compound exercises are the only exercises you should ever do.
All that matters is If you are happy.
Don’t let people constantly sell you on the newest greatest approach – the approach only matters if it gets results that make you happy, and if the approach itself makes you happy.
If you have 8 pack abs but are miserable because of the amount of time you spend in the gym then you need to change something – being miserable is not a good end point.
If you have a 500 pound bench press but are miserable because you are constantly injured then it doesn’t matter how impressive your bench is, if you are not happy, don’t be afraid to change something.
Don’t suffer of the sake of suffering. Remember why you first started working out or paying attention to what how you ate…you were trying to do something (lose weight, build muscle, get healthier) that was going to make you happier in the long run. Don’t lose sight of that.
And, please don’t read this as a plea to give up on health and fitness and move to life of gluttony and hedonism, because it’s not.
Both Epicureanism and Buddhism agree that great excesses leads to great dissatisfaction, and this is where I’m going to tie this back into eating and weight loss.
A large part of eating for happiness is realizing gluttony won’t make you happy. In fact, from my experience it never makes you happy.
Eating an overly strict eating may not make you happy either..it’s all up to you.
Find a way of eating that makes you happy, ignore other people’s opinions of the way you choose.
In fact find a way of eating and a way of exercising that makes you happy and gives you a body that makes you happy. But just you. I’ve been told I’m too skinny, too muscular, and not lean enough. None of that matters. I love how I look. That’s what mattes.
I follow Eat Stop Eat style of Intermittent Fasting because it makes me happy. I’m in control of my weight, while still being able to enjoy the foods I love. This is more important than having Abs, since truthfully, lots of different diet styles can help you get abs.
Bottom line – Don’t let other peoples opinions get in the way of your happiness. The fitness and nutrition industry has become a battle of opinions, but remember in the end, all that matters is your happiness.
I’d rather see you happy than suffering. And suffering with 8 pack abs and 6% body fat is still suffering if you are not happy
“Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent. “ Epictetus
PS – I do see the irony in the last quote and how it directly conflicts with what I do for a living, but it’s still excellent and needed to be shared.