Moderation…Sucks

As we welcome in another new year, one thing is guaranteed: everyone and their business partner will be trying to increase their piece of the pie and take hold of the unending flow of money many people are throwing at their New Years resolution of “losing weight”. Of the top five New Years resolutions, “lose weight” and “go to the gym more” perennially own the top of the list.  Just listen to the radio while driving to work, or watch the local news at 10pm and you are guaranteed to endure a bit on slimming down and/or working out.  My all-time favorite is moderation.  Eat in “moderation”.  Drink in “moderation”.  Everything in “moderation”.

In theory moderation is awesome, in practice it is an epic fail – just look at the rising obesity rates, and the fact that everyone is always trying to lose weight.  I love Dan John’ s advice on losing weight – “Don’t gain it to begin with!”.  If the generic preaching of “moderation” worked…….

Lets look at moderation.  Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes.  I guess eliminating got, well, eliminated.  In Ancient Greece, the temple of Apollo bore the inscription meden Agan (“nothing in excess”).  It seems moderation worked well for thee ancient Greeks – what would you rather have, the body of a Greek god or the body or a modern American?  Where did things go so wrong with moderation?  Well, in ancient times everyone spent their days surviving – hunting, finding food, fighting wars, building civilization.  Who had time to go to the gym?  Food was scarce.  Alcohol was scarce.  Work was abundant.  Fast forward a thousand years – food is abundant, alcohol is abundant and work is scarce.  We live in a world of excess.  Our moderation is still more than our ancient relatives had on a great day.

In today’s world of abundance, moderation will fail every time.  Changing from the body of a modern American to a Greek god is not easy.  It cannot be accomplished by moderation – no matter how far from the store you park or how many flights of steps you walk up each day, no one will ever out walk a donut.  The only path is one of hard work, and hard choices.  Which do you want more- a Twinkie or an ab?  Everyday you have to apply the mindset of “getting jacked daily”.  Maybe getting jacked isn’t your thing.  Well then – get strong daily, get better daily, get smarter daily, get whatever your “jacked” is.

Every time you go to the gym getting stronger has to be your top priority, everything else is a distraction until you are strong.  Once you are strong, then you can do whatever you want – improve your fitness, get “jacked”, get powerful, become whatever you want.  Outside of the gym your number one goal has to be making good nutritional decisions – eliminate anything that isn’t moving you towards your goal.  Make the hard decisions, you have to.  You owe it to yourself.

There is a commercial staring Jimmy Fallon where he asks people if they want less money.  No one answers yes, everyone wants more of whatever he offers.  Why is moderation a horrible financial approach, but a great nutritional approach?  Do you want to be moderately successful in your career?  Or your marriage?  Why then, do we settle for it in our health?

-Brandon Hetzler

 

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