WHAT?! What do you mean we should do what we desire to get in shape?
If I follow my desires I’ll just sit on the couch all day and drink cheap beer.
And besides who in their right mind actually likes to feel like puking and yet they push themselves ever harder?
Thus is the common argument against the idea that one should follow their bliss as a path to fitness success.
But I stand by my belief that desire and passion is the key to fitness success that lasts. The difference is understanding between acute and chronic desire.
Chronic desire (or dislike) is like a moderate to low flame that burns brighter and hotter from time to time. It’s constantly burning. It’s something that we cannot fight and win. It would be easier to stand your ground against a huricane.
Acute desire on the other hand is a flash in the pan. It’s here today and gone tomorrow. Like a sudden gust of wind. It can be intense, but it’s short lived.
Here’s an example:
I walk into a meeting and there are donuts on the table. The donuts call to me with their glaze and sweet goodness.
The thing is, donuts are not something I’m big on. I like them, but if I never have another donut for the rest of my life I wouldn’t even notice the loss. I just want those donuts because they are right there are I skipped breakfast. After the meeting I probably won’t think of having another donut for weeks or even months.
That’s acute desire.
Now Ice cream on the other hand is a different story. I would seriously be hitting up the black market if ice cream was deemed illegal.
Once in a while, I’ll even get in the car and head out specifically for ice cream. I would never go out of my way for a donut.
My love for the ice cream is chronic. If I try to erase it from my diet I will be met with cravings, anxiety and death matches between me, myself and I.
Acute desire is the fickle desire that comes to mind when people think they shouldn’t follow their desire when getting in shape. To a large degree they are correct. Following acute desire causes us to ignore our chronic desire (like eating that donut when we want to lose weight.)
The flip side is that if you really like donuts and you don’t think life would be the same without them, then by all means you should have them in your diet to some degree.
The key is to understand your acute vs. your chronic desires. The chronic desires are the more important passions to build a strong foundation on. The acute desires are the ones that can derail your plans if you give into them more than your chronic desires.