There are three types of people in this world: those who are good at math, and those who are not.
Okay, it’s an old joke, but I always get a chuckle out of it.
There are three types of dieters.
We shall begin with the “Planners.”
Similar to accountants, engineers, and folks who have to make sure all the “T’s” are crossed, and all the “I’s” are dotted, I assume these folks are proficient with project management software, budgets, contracts, and run a tight, well-organized ship at home. They tackle weight loss with the same fervor and methodology they would build a bridge: detailed efficiency and a clear eye on the goal. They determine how many pounds must be shed by which date, divide by number of weeks, calculate average weight loss, establish the necessary “additional calorie burn” per day – and plot a path to the end point.
“Planners” will have detailed food journals (“three and half ounces of chicken, baked at 350 degrees; long-grain rice, one half cup; broccoli, steamed – with a 1/8 teaspoon of olive oil”). They will often proudly also share a graph of their progress coupled with spreadsheets projecting future trends with appropriate predicted goal dates. Planners schedule their lives to hit their objective, and by golly, they’ll do it.
Planners — and their willingness to rearrange day-to-day living to achieve what matters to them — impress me.
I however, would not receive that moniker.
I reside much more on the right side of the brain, falling within the “Modifiers” label.
Although some might call us “unorganized,” I take umbrage at that descriptor, as I am quite orderly. I simply find it difficult to stick with one task from beginning to end without breaks along the way. I get things done — and at the risk of being immodest — I am told I do them well. However, I’m not a “black and white” kind of guy. Don’t weigh me down with details and specifics. Tell me where you need to be and I’ll get us there; just let me figure out the roads we take, and I assure you, we’ll both be happier.
We are artists, philosophers, and motivators. We approach goals more informally (which must not be misconstrued as less dedicated); we are simply less rigid; and I say that without judgment. We nibble (pun lightly intended) around the edges of our lifestyle, seeking simple steps that let us glide in the proper direction while not causing more turbulence than absolutely necessary. We accept a slower pace in exchange for a more contented journey.
As illustration, the Planner schedules 30-minute increments of spinning class at the gym; Modifiers find a couple moments of free time between appointments and take a walk. Planners use cookbooks and pre-plan a week’s meals. Modifiers “see what they have in the refrigerator” and “throw something together.”
Planners are driven by the “How?” Modifiers wish to understand the “Why?”
Obviously, no one clearly fits either, and most of us fit both. But a character in a book I’m reading stated (paraphrased), “Be who you are and accept it. Stop blaming yourself for who you aren’t.” Although discussing a different subject, the reminder hit home. We compare ourselves to “the others,” forgetting they’re “different,” not “better.”
If the suit fits, wear it proudly. If not, get it altered. But standing around, lamenting its discomfort accomplishes nothing except placing you squarely in the third category: “Complainers.”