This isn’t a diet or fitness blog, but your body is a major part of you. I don’t see how you can live the life you want without achieving the body you want. Conversely, if you don’t have the body you want, I suggest you aren’t living according to your values: your body tells you what to change to create the lifestyle you want.
This post is about emotions like joy and emotional reward — getting the body you want is an inevitable side-effect. Having the body you want is one of the great life-level rewards you can experience. I’ll come back to that point in a second.
This is also a post on strategy, not tactics. I don’t tell you what specific activity and diet will create what results, which are tactics. I remind you that only creating a lifestyle based on emotions you want will create the body you want. Figuring out diet and exercise will come with it.
Your body reflects your values and lifestyle. How you live and what you do manifests itself in your body. You can’t avoid this cause-and-effect relationship, which is why diets don’t work. Temporarily changing your behavior will only temporarily change your body. I’ve read that dieting predicts obesity — that is, people who go on diets are more likely to become obese.
Of course age, sex, and genetics play a role. You can’t change your height. But if your goal is to be in shape, you can be in shape for whatever your body type. People can tell your physical condition given within those constraints. Most of all, you can, and your opinion of yourself matters most.
If you want to change your body for the long term, you need to change your behavior long-term. That is, you need to change your lifestyle. If you think otherwise, you’re lying to yourself. If you aren’t lying to yourself because you don’t know any better, then that ignorance is what your body is manifesting.
By the way, anyone who says appearance is superficial either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or has their own agenda — like they want to sell you something or hide something from themselves, like their anxiety or shame. Not only do humans, as a social species, react strongly to appearance, but your appearance resulting from your cumulative behavior shows the deep meaning of appearance to everyone. It comes from everything you do.
If you want to change your body, figure out what behavior and lifestyle would create the body you want. Build your new lifestyle from scratch from that lifestyle. If your body isn’t like the one you want, don’t try to make small changes to your current lifestyle.
And we know how to change our lifestyles from the Method. We do it by finding the emotions we want and how to create them through our environments, beliefs, and behaviors. When we bring them, we feel emotional reward. The physical change we create in our bodies manifests that reward. That’s why having the body you want is so rewarding — it accumulates from all the rewarding things you do to create it. If you live a rewarding lifestyle, that is.
I suppose you could follow a regime you don’t like that results in a great body — you could hate every minute of physical activity and all the food you eat, no matter how healthy. I suspect you couldn’t sustain such a lifestyle and you’d only have that body temporarily. Long term health and the body that comes with it comes from emotions like joy and the reward that comes with a lifestyle creating it.
Getting in shape is no small feat, but it brings you no small reward. You’ll live a different life and become a different person, one who loves life more.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book