The “no other alternative” mindset

I was the “fat kid” growing up, and always made fun of for that, so a giant albatross around my neck for most of my life has been body shame and trying to lose weight.

I’ve started and stopped weight loss efforts any number of times. I’ve gained and lost a few hundred pounds in the last 15 years. Lots of attempts. Lots of failures.

Enter the “no other alternative” mindset.

The power of “no other alternative” is a kind of decision making that’s totally changing my life, and helped me conquer my Mount Everest of self improvement.

There are already things in my life which have “no other alternative.”

Picking my kid up from school? Well, unless I’m in the hospital, I’m going to be there. There's no other alternative.

Showing up for my job? Again, I’d have to be in the hospital to miss it. There's no other alternative. I've got to eat.

These are all just obvious. It’s just obvious that they’re critical to life.

It's just obvious that there is no other alternative.

So I have been experimenting with actively choosing the “no other alternative” mindset in new areas of my life.

Here is the experimental mindset I've been adopting since March '23: “I will keep taking the actions that help me lose body fat, until I've reached my goal. There's no other alternative.”

To date, I am down 60 lbs.

After trying and failing endless number of times, this feels like a revolution!

If I fall off the horse for a week? No problem. I will keep taking the necessary actions. There's no other alternative. I will not stop taking the actions that help me achieve my end because there is no other alternative. If I screw up, I screwed up. I don't care about the guilt or shame that can be associated with failure (which so easily can throw me off and send me back to bad habits).

I ignore all of that because none of this is about feelings. It is only about execution. There's simply no other alternative but to keep at it.

Now here’s the unlock that’s surprised me: when there is no other alternative, there is almost no temptation. It has shocked me that this can be true!

But think about it for one second: let's say you crave peanuts. Ugh, you just love peanuts. But if you develop a serious allergic reaction to peanuts, eating one might mean the end of your life. Going forward….you won't experience the craving of peanuts the same way. In fact, it will become a minuscule, minor desire. Because it's not an option any more. There's no other alternative.

Adopting this mindset has helped me, and hopefully you might find it useful in your own life.

Have a wonderful week!


P.S. A student sent in a fantastic question that definitely deserved more than an email response, so I made a video response to questions on Broadway vs. Opera, high notes with clarity, how to be confident, and more.

♥️ My Favorite Things This Week

👨‍💻 My New Blog Posts

✍️ Quote of the Week

Neurons that are used frequently develop stronger connections. Those that are rarely or never used eventually die. By developing new connections and pruning away weak ones, the brain can adapt to the changing environment.

- VeryWellMind

October 3, 2023