Be A Little Different Than The Norm

One of the most interesting things I hear people say is that they don’t have money to work out, eat right, or take good supplements. Sometimes this excuse is valid. Most of the time, it isn’t.

This excuse for younger men and women usually plays out with them saying, “Eating healthy is so expensive.”

Women say this and then go spend $100 on a haircut, $300 on a designer bag, and $35 weekly on a “mani/pedi.” Men, on the other hand, go out and party like rock stars, spending upward of $100 each time they go out on drinks and food afterward. God forbid these details are ever pointed out to them, though, because they act like self-justifying machines. “But you don’t understand. I want to have a life.” Really? That’s your excuse? Seriously?!

My point is that it’s essential to know what your priorities are and set out to live by them. Everything else that’s non-essential is just that—non-essential. A quote from the movie Fight Club sums it up perfectly—“No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide” (screenplay by Jim Uhls).

It’s in that moment of awareness—of being able to differentiate between what’s important and what isn’t—that separates those who succeed from those who don’t. Many people will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to keep from feeling insignificant. They’ll drive cars that are out of their price range and pay for bags that could feed a hundred starving kids in Africa for a month, but they won’t take care of the one thing that, if done correctly, will give them the true feeling they’re looking for—their bodies.

They try to gain self-worth through things instead of earning that self-worth through actions and integrity. What they don’t understand is you don’t gain self-worth by having things but by doing meaningful work. This work can be in a career you find satisfying or it can be found in the work it takes to eat differently than others and train hard.

You don’t gain self-worth by taking the easy path that leaves you feeling empty but by taking the path that leads to a larger purpose. Sometimes, if not most of the time, that path towards a larger purpose isn’t the easier one. But that’s what allows you to know that the self-worth is real and true, not because it’s hard or different for the sake of being different but because, at the end of the day, you know you had to earn the results of your life. Although life has a way of occasionally beating all of us down, you know that you can take hold of one or two areas of it. You don’t play the victim or martyr, but instead you become the captain of your life. The expression “you get out of this life what you put in” is so true. What is also true is that in modern day society, one of the best ways to earn your self-worth is to earn your body.

For most of human civilization, we were made to store energy and make our bodies more efficient at movements. This is why steady state jogging can be such a waste of time when you’re trying to lose fat/weight. We get so efficient at conserving energy while jogging that the results become nil. In the past, we were naturally thinner and skinnier because we naturally ate fewer calories. There wasn’t any refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup that had us eating excessive calories without feeling full from those calories. We naturally moved more because we had to normally take part in earning the food that was eaten. Lastly, the environment was more natural. This means there weren’t any man-made chemicals that interfered with your mitochondria to burn energy or trans fats that literally disrupt fat loss.

Therefore, in modern day society (for most of us), in order to achieve a body worthy of awe, you have to earn it. The best way to gain self-worth (not self-esteem) is by doing the work with a larger purpose in mind. You’re busy creating something that others won’t do. You separate yourself from the crowd and know that you’re doing something that takes hard work, some effort, and some thinking. At the end of the day though, everyone—and I mean everyone—that I’ve ever seen earn a body worthy of awe through exercise and nutrition manipulation has that “edge.”

They feel different about working out and eating right. It isn’t something to be sloughed through but is a point of pride for them. They know that with enough effort, by continuing to utilize smarter methods, they can have control over one part of their lives that most people “can’t” or don’t—their bodies. They don’t need to brag, and they don’t listen to the naysayers. They simply allow themselves to be a little different than the norm. They eat the high protein breakfasts that keep them fuller longer and therefore eat less throughout the day. They “go out for drinks” but only have one.

They wake up a little earlier to go to the gym, or they go to the gym right after work instead of plopping down in front of the television. They strength train more and do less mindless cardio. They have their protein shakes and multi-vitamins with them during the day. They read about fitness and find small ways to get a little extra motivation. They bring healthy lunches with them to work and plan healthy snacks, so they don’t give into temptation. They spend money on things that are important to them such as supplements and equipment instead of on things based on what others think. Basically, they do the work that separates them from the norm but doesn’t ostracize them from those they care about.

Those they care about accept them and know they’re a little different than the “norm,” but it’s all good. What they don’t do is try to appease any stranger who thinks it’s good to give them nutrition advice. In other words, those who don’t matter, they let slide. Often times though, their friends will wonder why they do it. They ask things such as, “Isn’t it hard to stick to your diet or workout everyday?”

For the person who works out every day, the answer is usually “not really.” It has become a habit for them. From the outside looking in, they look a bit “different,” but to that individual, it’s a way of life.

In the end, you should do the same—allow yourself to be a little different than the ‘norm.’ Don’t let those who don’t matter discourage you or tell you what you can or can’t achieve when it comes to your body.

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