Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The end of the 31 day challenge and how Bruce Lee is always right

So we’re on the other side of the 31 day challenge and I ended it as it began. With hope.

I am 20 lbs lighter than when I started. I have a whole new outlook on life, food, my health, and more importantly my body.

I’ve seen the scale go up and down during this 31 days. I’ve hit new marks on the scale I never thought I would and I’ve never been prouder in myself. For me...being proud in myself is a big accomplishment.

So I’d like to share some quick notes on what I learned and then tell you about what’s coming next.

1) EVERYONE has an idea about what works and what doesn’t.
“Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Here’s the hard truth...people will give you advice, tell you what worked for them, and how what you’re doing isn’t going to work. What you need to do is be like Bruce Lee says and when it comes to this advice “be like water”. The quote helps me alot in all areas of life and maybe it will help you.

2) Not everyone’s body is meant to be the same.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” Bruce Lee

We’re not all cookie cutter versions of the same form and structure. Sure there are steps we can all take, but not all diets and workouts work for everyone. Some people have food allergies that prevent them from experiencing some diets. Some people can’t just jump into a heavy workout and need to build up to it. Listen to your body and what works for you. Find the workout you can’t live without when you get started. Find the diet that doesn’t make you cringe. Or, like me, try everything and see what works. Be open to all possibilities, but do it for you and not because it worked for a friend or celebrity.

3) If you’re not committed to change…nothing will happen.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.” Bruce Lee

You have to take action. Even small ones to start. It’s perpetual motion after that, one foot in front of the other, but you have to commit to that next step. You have to know what you are doing this for and focus on that. Otherwise you won’t have the energy, will, or desire to change for yourself.

Don’t think too hard...do. And remember the wise words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” And if you are not going to do it...the don’t, but don’t make excuses. You have to find what works for you and go after that like tomorrow does not exist.

4) It’s going to suck sometimes...but it’s worth it.
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” Bruce Lee

Whether it is a juice diet, a regular diet, or working out...when you start it is going to suck. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. You have to know that going in. If you do, the mental hurdles will be easier to overcome. You have to start putting things in your eye sight that remind you and make you want to change.

5) Accept that not everyone is going through what you are...it’s not about them.
“I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine.” Bruce Lee

Whether you have a spouse, a girlfriend/boyfriend, or are living with friends or family do not expect everyone to be doing what you are. This isn’t being done for them or about them. They are not required to follow your diet or tip toe around you to make sure you “feel safe.”

While I was on my juice fast my wife brought home fast food. I could have been angry. I could have yelled about “I’m doing this thing...and you bring in that temptation.” But what I did was recognize that she made her choice and I was making mine. We were both doing what works for us. I saw in that food she brought home every bad decision I made to cause this weight gain and I enjoyed my juice knowing I didn’t want to get back there.

I hate to break it to you, but when you go outside...the world does not conform itself to you. You have to live your life during this transition with zero expectations of anyone around you, but appreciate when they make exceptions for you.

6) You’re going to make mistakes/have set backs/stumble.
“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” Bruce Lee

You’re going to have days where you want to cheat, the scale goes up instead of down, and you’ll miss a workout. Don’t make a mountain out of it. Own it, know what caused the chain of events that caused it to happen, and be ready for when that scenario presents itself again.

I lost over 10 pounds and got upset when I saw the scale go up a bit. It almost broke me, but I remembered to celebrate the loss and not the gain. The gain is just another obstacle to overcome.

Just do not let whatever that mistake is to become the lynchpin that completely destroys your progress. Remember how far you’ve come.

7) If it doesn’t mean something to you...it doesn’t matter how many people congratulate you.
“As you think, so shall you become.” Bruce Lee

You have to want this change! You have to embrace it and know that it’s what you want more than gaining weight. You can never be the person you were again. You have to rewrite the story in your brain and see yourself as the person you want to become. Believe you are a person who can do a 10 day juice challenge. Believe you can, be ready to face adversity in every form, and you can do whatever you dream.

So what comes next?

My amazing friend Elizabeth Wallace put up a challenge to me. She bought me the Chalene Extreme workout DVD’s and challenged me to do that work out three days a week. So I’ll be doing that and reviewing the process here on Project Reroll. That combined with a paleo like diet (I’m evolving into it) I am on track to lose another 20 lbs by the end of November. I want to keep this up and by January be 60 pounds lighter.

I am going to end this with one of my favorite quotes of Bruce Lee’s. It's something that keeps me looking forward and not at the past.

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” Bruce Lee


  1. Sounds like you got a lot more out of this month than "just" the weight loss. :) Congrats! Keep it up! (And I love the Bruce Lee tie-in!)

  2. You are a beast and I know you have what it takes to battle on. This is just the beginning but if you can build on some of your new habits over time, you'll have this in the bag. Just remember, it's only a failure if you don't keep trying :)