Excerpted from Fire Your Excuses
Walking the “Last Mile of Denial”
After decades of weight-loss research, the results are in: We lose weight when we consume fewer calories than our body needs each day! If you consume a few calories less than you need, you will lose weight. The key is determining your unique calorie needs, given your activity level and metabolism, and sticking to it.
Many of the so-called revolutionary (in other words, fad) diets are little more than a glitzy repackaging of this simple principle—eat fewer calories than your body needs. One popular commercial, for example, pushes a “special clinically proven weight loss pill,” but in the finest of small print it also mentions that subjects lost 3.8 pounds over eight weeks while taking their “secret formula,” eating a sensible diet and exercising. Incredible! Nearly anyone could lose 3.8 pounds if he or she exercised frequently and ate healthy for two straight months!
But if weight loss is so simple, where do we all go wrong? It is in execution and discipline, of course. We find it difficult to accept and even more difficult to follow the math of calorie intake. We tend to get part of the formula right—maybe exercise or nutrition—but ignore the other part, usually our calorie count.
Think for a moment about the effect of doing several important things right but ignoring a critical action needed for success. The results, especially if you have put in a lot of effort to get things right, might be very disappointing and costly.
Imagine going on a long awaited summer vacation, and 1) locking the front door, 2) locking the back door, but 3) leaving a basement entrance unlocked. Despite your efforts, you could still be robbed blind. We call these “number three” actions—whether locking that final door or window, or taking that final step toward living within a written budget or diet—walking the last mile of denial. It is only when we are willing to ‘walk the last mile of denial’ and face up to our remaining ‘hold-out’ actions and oversights that we can hope to achieve lasting, permanent change.
Walking the Last Mile in Real Life
Here are just a few examples of walking the last mile of denial…
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