Thursday, May 10, 2012

There is no door number four on the price is right

Someone I know is killing himself because he keeps looking around for door number four.  Someone you know is also.  Some of you are killing yourself looking for that door too.  I get it.  I used to look for it all the time.  It is the door to the land of painless choices and fantasy results to stupid behavior.  Don't you wish there was a door number four?  I know the excuses: but I like.... I know, but it is hard and....  I just need to scale back...  I have a lot of stressful shit going on right now and when that stuff is passed then...  Ad nauseam.  There is no door number four dude.  You can choose door number one.  Door number two.  Door number three.  No four.

Life is often about making choices from an option box that is full of options that suck.  It doesn't matter what you want to have happen - it matters what your options are.  The only choice is often to select the option that sucks the least.  It is a rare and wonderful occurrence when the option box has a choice that includes what you really want.  It is not the norm.  Not on life's high stakes stuff.  Most of us have at least a few blind spots when it comes to this. We keep talking about what we wish and want; and, not about the options in our box.

For a long time (like years) I smoked cigarettes, chewed tobacco, ate as much high carbohydrate junk food as I wanted, and (aside from the occasional and ever shortening mtn bike ride) did very little exercise.  I was border-line obese, had chronic joint and muscular pain, and got winded from simple tasks.  I was a few years away for being diabetic, I would get skin and eye infections.  I was self-conscious, often self-loathing, and into self-anesthetizing.  Things were not headed in a healthy direction.  Door number one - keep on the same track.  Die early, expensively, and painfully.  Door number two - talk about fixing it, take a few faltering steps, decide "I can't" and go back to door one.  Door number three - quit my bad habits and start some healthy ones.  

I searched for door number four a long time though.  If I pretended hard enough  maybe I could eat, smoke, and drink myself into good health.  I couldn't though.  There was no number four.  I wasted a lot of life energy figuring that out.  I miss hand rolled cigarettes and McDonalds.  I want fish and chips and five draft Guinesses.  I want a brownie sunday for dessert and then I want to go outside and have a smoke.  I always will.  Door number three sucks.  It just sucked a little less than one or two.

There are some things that are real easy to get.  Financial choices are no-brainers for most of us.  They are often painfully grim, but easy to "get".  Most of us want live like a millionaire.  Most of us "get" that ain't in the option box.  I want to go Guatemala on vacation.  Every month.  We can't afford that, can't even do it on credit.  It is not in the box.  Going to Buffalo to see friends and family a few weeks a year... that is an option.  That kind of option is an easy one for most of us.  Much harder to get is "I can't ever have a smoke again.  Nor can I ever have crappy carbohydrates be a part of my life again.  People I love and hang with can do those things and it is unfair that I can't."  

So how do you do it?  There is a multibillion dollar world wide industry dedicated to helping people answer that very question.  In truth, I am a part of that industry as a writer, athlete, coach, and a trainer.  I will tell you a free trade secret... there is no secret.  No magic spell. It is never too late, it is always brutal to start, and it is not complicated.  Just three simple things to do.  1. Stop the bad habits today.  2. Do something physical that makes you sweat and gets your heart racing today. 3. Eat fruit, veggies, and protein and nothing else today.  Just those three things - just today.  Don't think about one month away, or how you will look in bathing suit at the beach next summer.  Do it today, it is not too late.  Tomorrow when you wake up don't look for door number four, rather tell yourself "I am going to do those three simple things for just today."  If you falter - so what?  Shake it off, wake up the next morning and concentrate on today.  It is not too late.  When you have strung together three weeks worth of "today" then you can start to set goals.  

Maybe you will decide to become a superhero.  That is what I am hoping to find behind door number four.


  1. You are my superhero! So proud of you, keep up the fight! I'm sadly ordering doubles right now....carbs arghhhhhh

  2. Applies to everything. Now if you could say it in a haiku!