Why shortcuts simply just don’t work

The problem is even when they do work, they don’t – have I lost you?

Let me explain. The news is full of people who win the lottery, the BIG lottery; $15 million, $39 million, hundreds of millions, or even just a few million, and then lose it all. The same story happens again and again. These folks win the lottery, and then buy a big house, a fancy car, go on a huge vacation, give money away, have money taken away and all sorts of things, until they are broke again. One lady from New Jersey won the big lottery jackpot not once, but twice and currently lives in a trailer park, and is flat broke.

How is that possible?

The world is also full of famous children, who completely lose it and end up in a lot of trouble. Justin Bieber is the latest young star that has gone off the deep end, following the path of people like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Jodie Sweetin, Macaulay Culkin, Haley Joel Osment, and on it goes. Why did these kids go off the deep end into drugs, addictions and lose everything?

In my world of fitness and health, I see people who have gone from fat to fit and back to fat again, some people several times. The most common of these folks are the ones who lost the fat very quickly, using extreme weight loss techniques. These particular people subscribe to diets or plans that involve very low calorie plans, 500 or so calories a day, and some plans require injections of vitamins, or other such pills or products to help them basically starve. In a very short time, they lose a lot of weight. How could someone go from 350lbs down to 180lbs, and then gain it all back again?

To put it bluntly, you cannot skip the lessons and just get the results.

All of these people have one thing in common – they got all of the results, without any of the lessons. You cannot just give someone millions of dollars and expect them to be ok. They are not trained or ready for that. They do not have any lessons to draw from, experience to work with or friends to consult in this new world. All of the lessons in life they have are geared towards poverty or moderate income, so they make poor decisions and end up back where they started again.

The same goes for the child stars. They are not ready to have everything in the world thrown at them because they have no tools or experience to draw from, and then get hopelessly lost. It is not fair to give a teenager fortune, fame, and total freedom because they are not trained to make good choices yet.

Back to fitness and health, when someone crash diets or has stomach surgery and loses a whole bunch of weight, the trouble comes when they leave the hospital and go back to their version of ‘normal’. They will go back to eating what they ate, hanging out with the friends they hung out with before the change, and in a short period of time, will gain back all they lost.

We all have a ‘life thermostat’ if you will, a setting where we are comfortable, and when we make a big change, we usually go back to our normal setting again.

Whether that setting is good for us or bad for us, it is comfortable and familiar.

The trick is, to change your thermostat!

The fastest way to success is to work with a coach, or someone who lives like the person you want to become, and get them to teach you how to make permanent changes, avoid mistakes and truly live the life you want! It does not have to take a long time to learn the lessons, but you do have to learn them or you will just go back to where you were when the shortcut fails.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.