Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If it was your job…

Years ago I remember watching Rosie O'Donnell's talk show.  She was interviewing Tom Hanks who was starring in Castaway.  She asked him about how he lost all the weight he did for the film.  He started to talk to her about the low calorie diet he had to be on in order to be scrawny for the role of someone stranded on a desert island.

She clarified that she didn't mean how did he lose the weight, exactly, but how did he have the discipline to eat so little.  I remember him saying "Because I had to!  There was no other choice."   And then he went on about how the movie itself required it - it was his JOB.  People were depending on him – the film couldn’t get made if he didn’t.

I wonder if I had to - if it was my JOB - if that would make it any easier to say no to that cookie.  If I could lose weight by just knowing that I HAD TO – lose like my livelihood demanded it. 

I watched American Ninja Warrior this week and there are so many athletes that build their own obstacles at home, or go to a gym and just train every day, all day.  And with that training, they are also eating specifically to build muscle while staying lean.  Counting macros, measuring proteins and carbs, etc.

I wonder if that's all I had to do - to get up and be in prime physical shape - would I have the discipline to stay that course for months and months?  Would it make me happy?

As I was thinking about this, just today I heard an interview on the radio with Jeff Foxworthy who is doing a comedy tour with Larry the Cable Guy.  Apparently a few years ago Larry was the spokesperson for one of the diet companies and reportedly used it to lose a bunch of weight.  So when they went on tour that year, Larry hired a personal trainer to travel with them to make sure that he ate right and exercised while on the road.  Jeff said that Larry would come to him and ask that he distract the trainer so he could sneak into the room where the comics would wait to go on stage and have donuts or other snacks that were in there for them.

Jeff found it pretty funny that Larry was PAYING this guy - a guy who he was his employee and who he could fire at any time - and was sneaking around behind his back so he wouldn’t get caught.  Jeff - who is a thin guy - found it comical.  And it is funny in a way, but I SO get it.  That constant fight and struggle between the part of you that wants and needs to do the right thing and that other part that has the basic compulsion to do the wrong thing.  And, of course, all the guilt and shame that goes along for the ride.

So if there was money on the line or if I "had to" for my livelihood, would it make it a simpler task to stay on track?   Would I have more discipline and self-control?

Or would I sneak around like Larry and pretend to be baffled when the scale went up?


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