It’s rare that I’ll ever have the chance to say that I strongly agree with something published by Vox, so let me grab the opportunity: yes, it’s true, regular exercise alone will not help you lose weight; you have to have military discipline about your diet as well. No, it’s not fair. Life is like that, your parents weren’t being glib when they said that to you. Still, when you get done whining and complaining to no avail, you still have a choice to make. Like the last line of the famous Rilke poem says: you must change your life. If you go about it grudgingly, always looking for a more efficient shortcut, impatiently waiting for your torment to finally be over so that you can finally “relax” one day and indulge yourself, you’ll eventually fall back into your bad habits again. Most of the effort is mental, and most people’s mental energy gets wasted on arguing, bargaining, negotiating, and rationalizing with themselves. It’s paradoxically easier if you act like you have no choice but to count calories and exercise regularly for the rest of your active life (and let me assure you, the benefits are worth it; fit privilege is awesome; I don’t know why more people don’t try it). But most people refuse to believe that, so the charade goes on:
For many of us, the most pressing question about exercise is: How little can I get away with?