There's this interesting trend I noticed where people don't want to admit that their primary driver for fat loss is to look good. Here are the most common answers I receive to the question "why do you want to lose weight?" 1) to be healthier, 2) to get in shape, and 3) to feel better. When digging deeper, these vague answers tend to be a cover up for some aesthetic motivation. It's as if we are embarrassed to show any level of vanity. If you are 30 pounds overweight and not happy with the way you look, what's wrong with saying that you want to look lean and ripped? If that's what will keep you motivated throughout your journey, have at it.
It's OK to be vain.
Seriously, who doesn't want to look good naked? I have no shame in admitting that I love having shredded abs, big shoulders, and bicep veins. That's not the only reason I am dedicated to health and fitness but it's definitely a big factor.
The only caveat here is setting the MOTIVATION to to look good. If it is for yourself, i.e. feeling comfortable wearing a bikini to the beach for the first time, that is fine. If you are thinking that all of your current problems will go away if you are skinny, a rude awakening is around the corner. Stressors/life problems tend to be underlying issues that aren't related to our physiques. I can tell you that whether I am 205 lbs and fluffy or 180 lbs and shredded, I still have the same problems. People don't like me more when my abs are popping and the stress of hitting a sales goal at work doesn't get any easier when I am lean.
Embrace the idea of wanting an incredible physique, just don't do it for the wrong reasons!
The other day, I was thinking- "how much time do I actually spend in my car commuting/driving for work?" In a normal week I am on the road 4 days with an average of 4 hours/day spent driving. I'm sure there are millions of people out there with a similar setup.
Let's do a little math to see what this equates to:
4 hours/day x 4 days/week = 16 hours/week
16 hours/week / 40 hours/week = 40% of work week
16 hours/week x 50 weeks = 800 hours/year
800 hours/year / 24 hours = 33 days/year
33 days / 365 days = 9% of year
Are you kidding me bro? 40% of my work week, 1+ month per year, and 9% of my total year a.k.a. my life is spent driving for work? Holy shit, I better find a way to use that time wisely. About a year ago, that's just what I decided to do. Prior to that, my daily commute was a complete waste of time. I'd make a few calls for work but spend hours on end listening to nothing but sports radio. Finally, I hit a boiling point. I actually started disliking sports, which I love, because I was immersed in it 24/7. Too much of anything is going to reach a point of diminishing returns no matter what that is. That combined with feeling unproductive for such a large part of the day prompted a change.
While I know there are many things you can do in the car (listening to music, thinking, etc.), I am going to focus on my routine to maximize a commute. It breaks down into two parts which are 1) business/personal phone calls and 2) learning/growth.
Business and personal phone calls
Since you can't email while driving (seriously, don't do this. I had some close calls which forced me to stop), make outbound calls that are going to help your business. I write down a minimum of 5 names to call on a sticky note and put it right on my dashboard.
Personal calls is something I admittedly am still working on improving. Just pick one friend or family member to call a day. That's not a lot to commit to.
Back when I reached my sports radio boiling point, I decided that I wanted to start using my car time to learn as much as possible. For me, this takes the form of audio books and podcasts. I have to say this has changed my life. This blog wouldn't exist without the motivation I received from the many hours of podcasts listened to. I break down my audiobooks/podcasts into categories and cycle them. I can't stress how important variety is. You are not going to grow as a person by just listening to what you are most interested in all the time. This was very hard for me at first. All I wanted to listen to was health and fitness podcasts. However, I have learned the most from recordings that I had no previous interest in or much knowledge on. Makes sense right?
I have also found that while driving, we have this unique ability to completely focus and absorb info like a sponge. I've tried listening podcasts while working, doing chores, etc. and it's just not the same as being in the car.
Here's what my audio book/podcast rotation looks like:
I typically listen to the Sunday 60 Minutes on my Monday AM commute. Freakanomics Radio is pretty awesome as well
Health and Fitness
My favorites here are The Road to Ripped Podcast (Greg O'Gallagher), Barbell Shrugged, Ben Coomber Radio, and New York Muscle Radio
The Tim Ferriss Show, The School of Greatness (Lewis Howes), Ted Talks, and The Power of Now audiobook (Eckhart Tolle)
Each week, I'll browse the top podcast charts and pick something new that I have never listened to. Right now it's Hardcore History by Dan Carlin
Just like with trying to change the way you eat or work out, going from 0 to 100 is not going to be sustainable. If you are currently 100% music in the car but want to take steps to start maximizing your commute, try one podcast and one phone call a week and slowly increase from there.
I hope this gave you a fresh perspective on how to start making your commute more productive!