So I’m stealing the phrase “hike your own hike” which is pretty popular in the hiking world. Why is it popular? Because even in the hiking/outdoor world we are all self-conscience folks who want to be liked and admired and are afraid of going against “popular belief/theory/fad”. I am talking, of course, about this drive that exists that says there’s only ONE RIGHT WAY to do anything.

You get a knot of people who’ve done it before, or who claim to have been doing it longer than they actually have, who pick up the most popular theories/ways of doing things and preach it as gospel. Because (maybe) it worked for them so, by GOD, it’s gonna work for you! Inevitably, the “right way” comes with a steep price tag or other sacrifices that most people just cannot manage.

And then there are the toerags and twatwaffles that start selling shit, or making a cut of profits from selling shit, that doesn’t ACTUALLY work. They claim it totally worked for them (it didn’t) or that they REALLY FELT SOMETHING when they took it (do I need to point out ALL the medical studies that show the placebo effect?) so it’s NOT FRAUDULENT. It is. It really, really is. Please don’t fall prey to it. Especially when they then try to suck you into their little pyramid scheme. That really says “we’re friends”, doesn’t it, when they try to use you to make more money for themselves? Yeah. Total besties material right there.

Right, so, instead of ALL THAT SHIT, let’s focus on YOU.

Which, really, this blog is about ME, but I want it to help YOU, too.

Am I a successful blogger or weight loss expert or dietician or doctor or anything? Nope. Not me.

What I’ve done so far is lose about 50 pounds (mostly) through a program called OptiFast which was (for me) a total meal replacement program. I ate “bars”, and “soup”, and sucked down shakes 6-8 times a day. At most I took in 1280 calories a day. OptiFast works – of course it works it’s built on science – if you can stick with it. It also can quickly backfire on you when you stop doing it. Why? Because you’ve been on a very low calorie diet for however many weeks/months and your body has changed. But, it can be just the thing you need if you truly embrace the lessons you learn from your dietician while you’re on the program. Most people dismiss the validity of OptiFast because so many folks come off of it and gain back all the weight they lost. And, being the humans we are, what do we do? We blame the program, not the person.

Every diet, weight loss, body building, exercise, etc. program comes with its own set of benefits and problems. If one program literally worked for everyone, then…. wouldn’t we only have ONE PROGRAM? I imagine a sort of Galactic Empire Cross Fit program here. Sorry, can’t help it.

What’s your point, Will? – you may ask.

My point is you have to diet your own diet.

WHAT I MEAN: Your diet/weight loss/transformation path is not going to look like anyone else’s. It may share some similarities (like finding Halo Top ice cream is delicious and totally doesn’t affect your efforts the way diving into a pint of a more “popular” ice cream would*) with others. You may find you like the same products or foods, or maybe you love the leg day routine one of your favorite YouTubers came up with.

WHAT I DON’T MEAN: That I’m right and you’re wrong. That following the most popular accounts on social media is going to give you the same results they did. That being the same age/gender/ethnicity/starting weight of someone means that your transformation will go exactly like theirs did and that you’ll look just like them afterwards. (I can’t believe I had to say that. I don’t think you’re stupid – AT ALL – but I’ve found that very intelligent people have literally lost their shit when they found out they will have loose skin after losing a lot of weight. So. I thought it should be said.)

BOTTOM LINE: Your path is your own. Yours. You own it. You create it step by step every fucking day. If you stumble on your path, that’s because you need to take a look at what you just stumbled over and figure out a way to fix it. You come to an impasse on your path? That’s all you, girl. You need to take a long hard look at what your path has been (look over your shoulder) and where you’ve pointed your path to lead (look forward around the impasse) and have a hard conversation with yourself about how you got to this current issue and what you’re willing to do in order to keep moving forward.

You cannot walk another’s path – and that’s a GOOD thing! But we try. God, do we try. And here’s one of the many reasons why: WE WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO BLAME WHEN THINGS GO POORLY.

Example: Jillian Michael’s Insanity program calls for, I dunno (never done it), you to eat vegetarian let’s say. You cannot stick to the dietary demands. Or, you can, but you can’t do the full work out every day because of a back injury. So, you throw your hands up after a day, or a week, and say it’s just TOO HARD and HOW COULD ANYONE DO THIS – SHE’S A FRAUD!!! And you go right back to your previous unhealthy patterns which ENSURES you do not succeed. But, instead of feeling guilty about it, you can just point the finger at poor Jillian as if it’s her fault.

WHAT’S THE ANSWER, THEN?

Well, that’s an ongoing thing, isn’t it? Here’s my two cents on how to start, or re-start, your journey in a more healthy way.

  1. Recognize that YOU are responsible for YOU
  2. Stop blaming: your parents, your siblings, your partner, your friends, your job, your DNA, etc.
  3. DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF
  4. Instead, ACCEPT that you are responsible for your current condition but do it without the need to place blame. That only leads to guilt and other bad feelings which just fuck up the whole thing
  5. Use the internet/social media for inspiration but not as a map to your own path
  6. Claim your space/path. This one is super hard for a lot of folks. But, by claiming it and saying (even just to yourself over and over) this is MINE and no one else’s, a quiet feeling of ownership will sneak up on you and you’ll find yourself more invested. Which brings me to –
  7. Don’t argue with assholes. Another super hard one, I know. But, again, if you OWN your own path (and understand your path is mutable and will [and should] change as new information flows in) it becomes easier to ignore all those “well meaning” people who want to offer their opinion. Try not to argue with them. Not because they’re right, but because they THINK they’re right and you will NEVER convert them to your way of thinking.
  8. Stop comparing. Comparing ourselves to others or having expectations that we’ll have the same results as others leads to madness. Seriously, it’ll make you nuts and cause you to lose heart. If you own your path, then it’s easier to dismiss these feelings because you recognize that every path is different

Alright, I’ll shut up about it now.

DIET YOUR OWN DIET!!!

*I am not promoting Halo Top. I don’t promote anything but using your brain. Again, I’m not a dietician or anything and I’m only saying that I have found my example to be true about the ice cream.