Thought Catalog

Why I’m Making 2017 The Year Of The Six-Pack

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You can see it in the wild at high school gyms across the country. It jumps off the screen at every crossfit competition we watch while we are enjoying our favorite beverage. They are airbrushed onto all your favorite action stars when they grace the cover of any fitness magazine.

What are these elusive beasts?

Six. Pack. Abs.

And I want to catch them in 2017.

Most people will give their first born and full year’s’ salary to attain this picture of fitness and health. Yet, we are often influenced to believe that we shouldn’t want to attain this level of fitness.

The dad bod became a thing in 2015. Men everywhere rejoiced and went to the closest BBQ joint. With this revelation, it became acceptable to let your workouts and diet slide a bit, it was popular to have a little gut in your strut. It lowered the pressure for men to look like the running back of their alma mater and eased the anxiety when talking to the opposite sex.

The body positive movement is here and I hope it’s here to stay. Spreading awareness that you should love your body, where you are, is a message that can’t be stressed enough. Confidence and self-esteem should be encouraged and applauded. Any way we can increase these in anyone when it comes to their body should be acted upon.

With that being said, I still want those abs…

There are a multitude of reasons why I set this as a goal for 2017 and we can get to those in a minute. I realize that there is no gold at the end of the rainbow and transforming my physique won’t win me any medals, but it has always been a goal. I was an athlete growing up. I was always in shape and competed at the highest levels, yet I never was to the level of body fat required of showing my abs. It wasn’t a fitness contest in those days, it was training to compete and perform. There is something deep down inside of me that has always wanted to have a six pack. Maybe it was watching super-hero cartoons or idolizing my favorite athletes; there was something that creeped in and made me want to reach that level of fitness.

Now, several years out of college, the elusive six-pack goal still sits in the corner of my brain; taunting me.

There are many areas of motivation that are leading me on this journey. The ultimate motivation is that this has been a goal of mine for quite some time now. I’m done just pushing this off for another time that seems more convenient. If you want something different in your life, you need to make the decision and get committed. The decision has been made to get a six pack and these other motivations and reasons will help me along the way.

The Ground Work Has Been Set

A couple years ago, I was determined to take back my health. I had fallen in line with what most Americans eat and that meant I gained about 30lbs within a couple years of graduating college. Enough was enough and I overhauled my lifestyle, opting for local and organic whenever possible and cooking most of my meals at home. I lost the weight and gained tons of healthier habits that have served me well over time. I have practiced fasting and intermittent fasting, experimented with strength work, cardio, and crossfit style workouts and have found ways for implementing healthy habits into my daily schedule.

I FEEL Great About This Goal

Implementing healthy habits and new alternatives in my life makes me feel great. It doesn’t feel like a chore and I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. Gone are the days I yearn for fast food or a quick fix. Supporting my health makes me feel good about myself.

Vanity as a Form of Motivation

Let’s not beat around the bush, wanting a six pack at the end of the day is about looking good and changing your physique. As long as the desire comes from a good place, you have proper perspective, and stay on top of the process; I don’t think there is anything wrong with using vanity as a form of motivation.

It’s a 10X Goal

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” -Michael Phelps

If you’ve ever read the book The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, you know what I’m talking about. The general principle is that you have an idea about a goal you want to achieve, then you 10X it. Say you want to earn $1,000 more a month, with this rule you would 10X your goal to $10,000 more a month. This forces you to take action and inspire you to see if you can actually achieve that status. My 10X of this goal is getting to 10% Body Fat within a certain time frame. If I didn’t treat this as a 10X situation, there is no way I would take the kind of massive action necessary to transform my body composition. Most people say to bring your goals down a notch so that you can reach them. I want to shoot for the stars and see where I land!

It’s a Practice of Discipline and Commitment

Finding ways to discipline yourself is a great practice. You create ownership in your life and as Jocko Willinck says, “discipline equals freedom”. There are opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to fitness and nutrition discipline. On one side there are eating disorders and over-training and on the other there is eating to excess and doing what feels good in the moment. As long as I stay aware of my discipline and check in with myself and those around me, I will stay in the sweet spot of self-discipline that can transition to other areas of my life.

Acquiring a Six Pack is a Skill

After the age of 25, if you can eat whatever you want and still maintain a six pack, I hate you. For the rest of us, it is a skill that you must practice to attain and maintain. Just like playing the guitar or staying current with your chess game, having a six pack as you age is just like any other skill. It takes work in the kitchen, in the gym, and with your decision making everywhere you go. The idea of it being a skill makes it seem like I can touch it and if I develop the right fundamentals, I can acquire it.

Getting Lean is a Good Thing

At the end of the day, getting leaner and losing body fat is a good thing. If you have some body fat to spare and you have a decent amount of muscle mass, cutting body fat can be extremely healthy. If you accumulate too much fat, this leads to being overweight and obese. Obesity is becoming a leading cause of Type II diabetes, cancer, and many other cardiovascular diseases. Understanding how to become lean and fit; through diet, exercise, and many other lifestyle factors helps keep this future nonexistent.

In the end, I’m going after a six pack for me. We run around all day doing things for others in the name of business, relationships, and being in service. I love bringing value to others, but this goal puts the focus on me. Taking time for myself to eat well, get some good exercise, sleep well, and keep the stress down can only help my life in all the other areas. I love the journey and the process of going after a goal. It’s like going on a cross country road trip, who knows what kind of stories I’ll make along the way. TC mark

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Poetry that will change you

This is for the women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea. This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls. The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts. This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it. This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence. The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times. This — is for you.

“When Janne has a new poem written, I shut my life down to do nothing but read it, and then when I turn my life back on, everything is better.” — James Altucher

You’ve never read poetry like this before

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