I’m not talking about truths like:
- “Carbs are not the devil.”
- “Cardio will make you fat.”
- “You need to change your lifestyle, not your diet.”
If you want feel good truths that make your pants wet, go to Instagram or read a magazine.
Otherwise here are the real “ugly” fitness truth you need to know.
Ugly Truth #1 – Changing your body won’t change who you are
This took me a while to understand.
I started working out when I was 14.
Back then it was because I beat this guy in middle school in arm wrestling which made me feel obligated to get stronger and stay the strongest.
When I was 14, I was shy, introverted, and awkward.
Over the next few years I put on a substantial amount of muscle, and got strong (at least for my age).
I wish I could say my confidence skyrocketed, I hooked up with a different girl every week, and the shyness disappeared overnight once I improved my body.
Today at 25, I’m still introverted but I at least I can say I’m less shy and awkward.
Just because you start training, eating right, and improving your body, doesn’t mean all other aspects of your life will change.
And building a great body is definitely not the “switch” for changing your underlying personality.
If you’re getting into this whole fitness thing thinking that it’s going to change who you are as a person, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Of course that’s not to discourage you from improving your physique.
Workout and eat healthy for yourself.
Don’t attach the end result (e.g. having a six pack will make me happy) to your self-worth.
That’s how you end up ruining your life.
“Enjoy the process.”
As overused as that phrase is today, it’s true.
Because in the end, the process is all we have.
Ugly Truth #2 – Fitness can ruin your life
Everyone has a deep desire to be a part of something greater than themselves.
It’s why people call themselves bodybuilders, crossfitters, or powerlifters.
It’s why people will proudly put on their Instagram profile that they are a #flexibledieter.
This type of labeling gives people a sense of purpose.
And you know what, that’s cool.
It’s great that people have an interest in something that positively impacts their body and mind.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is when all this fitness shit starts taking over your life.
- It’s when you make training legs more important than visiting your grandma that you haven’t seen in 6 months.
- It’s when you refuse to eat a slice of birthday cake because it’s too high in fat.
- It’s when you start getting anxiety because you missed 1 out of 5 workouts you had planned for the week.
If you’ve ever experienced any of this, then you need to tone it down 100 notches.
Unless of course, you’re a competitive fitness model or athlete (but chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not).
Right now there’s a 4 year old girl in Ethiopia dying because she doesn’t have clean water to drink, and you’re bitching because you ate too many carbs yesterday.
Relax and shut up.
Ugly Truth #3 – Fitness hasn’t really changed in the last 100 years
- Eat less to lose weight.
- Eat (slightly) more and get stronger to build muscle.
ANY, and I mean any diet/workout plan that’s been called new or revolutionary are variations off the two points above.
Let’s look at some of the popular “game changers” in fitness over the last few years:
- P90x and the game changing “muscle confusion” is just periodization put in fancy words because most people don’t know what periodization is.
- Intermittent fasting is just varying meal frequency so it better fits your lifestyle and sometimes increases dieting adherence. But calories stay the same. You don’t lose any more weight eating 2000 calories in 2 big meals vs. 6 small meals.
- IIFYM is just calorie counting done one layer deeper. Instead of tracking calories alone, you’re tracking three separate variables: protein, carbs, fats. This helps people become aware of the actual foods they’re eating, which leads to better body composition.
- Detox or juicing diets work, not because of magical “detox” effects but because you’re not eating fast food 3x per week like a fat ass. Plus detoxes are dangerously low in calories. That’s why you’re losing weight.
Ugly Truth #4 – No one wants to build a great body
A Ferrari is a sexy car.
Few people would disagree with that.
But no one wants a Ferrari.
They want the power, prestige, and increase in self-worth that comes from owning one.
Very few guys give two craps about the car itself.
The same goes for getting a ripped six-pack.
I’m willing to bet that you don’t care much for getting a six pack as much as you care about it (potentially) giving a better life, more confidence, and chance with bagging hotter girls.
Right now there’s a little 4 year old girl in Ethiopia dying because she doesn’t have clean water to drink, and you’re bitching because you ate too many carbs yesterday.
So stop saying you want to get lean and muscular like Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans.
You don’t want a body like Ryan Reynolds.
You want the imaginary benefits you believe having a body like Ryan Reynolds will provide: confidence, funny personality, smoking hot wife (Blake Lively), and money.
Ugly Truth #5 – Everything is your fault
Don’t have time to workout?
Don’t have money to eat healthy?
Have shit genetics?
It’s your fault, your fault, and your fault.
First off, I refuse to believe that anyone is so busy that they can’t workout at least 3 hours per week.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely spending 3 hours per week on Facebook and Instagram.
Cut that out, and boom, there’s your 3 hours.
Don’t have money to eat healthy?
Oh but you have money to eat like shit which will lead to health problems in the future costing you thousands?
Crappy fast food like McDonalds isn’t even cheap.
If money is really tight, mow some damn lawns or go sell anything you don’t need on ebay.
You’re doing nobody a favor by ruining your health.
The worst thing you can do is just let your life continue without even attempting to change it.
But now you’re probably saying, “But Keith, I can’t control my genetics.”
You’re right, you can’t.
Life will always throw something your way and you can’t control those things.
But you have 100% control over how you react.
Shitty genetics suck, yes.
But you know what’s worse?
Accepting your fate and not doing shit.
Fitness is one of the hardest things in life to master.
Unlike something like getting a PHD in neuroscience, it’s a life long journey.
There is not off switch.
There is no “easy” path.
Which is why I wrote this post in first place.
These 5 “ugly” truths are topics few people talk about.
It’s not sexy but it’s the stuff that will determine your success.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
What are some “ugly truths” you discovered as you got into fitness? Let me know in the comments below.
[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=”Still struggling to build the body you want?”]
I used to workout 6+ hours per week, ran on the treadmill like it was my second home, and ate enough brown rice and chicken per day to feed a small village.
But today I workout less, don’t spend even step foot on the treadmill, and eat the foods I love every single day.