This is a photograph I took at Forrestville State Park right here in Minnesota on Saturday. "The Mystery Cave," as it's called, was discovered less than eighty years ago, and it has over 13 miles of passageways with gorgeous formations, fossil prints of prehistoric creatures and underground pools. Most importantly, it is responsible for your fatness.
Well, not this cave, but certainly a cave is responsible for your fatness. Of course I'm referring to Plato's Cave Allegory, which is all I could think about as we toured the Mystery Cave. At the end of the tour, just so we could get a feel for the absolute darkness of an unlit cave, the tour guide turned out all the trail lights and his own flashlight. Black. Nothing. Only sound and touch. No matter how long you were to stay down there, your eyes would never adjust to be able to see anything.
What a perfect analogy. Just like in Plato's Cave, without directly looking upon the world, you would think about it differently. In Plato's Cave the reader is asked to imagine a person shackled from childhood (fixed even so he could not turn his head), facing a blank wall in a cave. If a fire were lit behind him, he would see shadows of objects over the years and learn of everything in the world as seen by its shadow. He, unlike me in an unlit cave, would have no prior understanding of the world. Thus, he wouldn't know what he was missing, nor would he be able to imagine things any other way. He wouldn't know them as shadows. They would be his ultimate reality.
Suppose then, one day, the shackled boy, now a man, is unshackled and turned to face the light. It would be painful, agonizing even, and complete nonsense. Nothing would fit in his worldview. It's bright, uncomfortable, piercing formless rays of light, totally unfamiliar. Frankly, it's so stressful, it might drive someone insane. In time, if he perseveres, he might come to understand this new world. And, if so, he would learn that everything he once held in high regard was worthless.
Now, imagine if he were to return to the cave to try to tell other shackled cave-dwellers about the outside world. Even standing in front of them would challenge their paradigm. But everything else he might describe would be total lunacy. A few might try to believe. But most would write him off as crazy, needing to see for themselves, perhaps even disbelieving if they did see for themselves, as they too wouldn't be able to understand what they're peering at to begin with.
This is fat loss.
Staying fat or getting fatter is being shackled to the cave where you can't even imagine what true fat loss is like. Facing the wall is familiar, comforting even. Despite me describing in detail every physiological mechanism for how to get leaner, it doesn't make any sense to you. Despite me losing 60lbs in front of your eyes, despite having clients who've lost over 100lbs, despite my pleas, you live in a cave, detained without the capacity to even turn to face the light.
For those of you bold enough to let me unshackle you, the light is blinding nonsense. Alas, most would rather return to the world they understand, where everything they once knew still makes sense in its shadowy form. These lustrous glowing three dimensional objects I'm showing you might just as well be abominations, to be avoided at all costs. From the darkness they are just false impossible hopes.
A few will believe. They will continue to climb out of the cave despite their blindness. Trembling with fear they will keep going forward instead of running back to clasp their restraints back on.
Who will you be? Will you be the one who stays in the cave, never even trying to unchain yourself? Will you be the one who, unshackled, runs right back to your manacles? Will you be the one who comes out to face the light, then petrified, returns to the cave?
Will you be the one who leaves the cave behind forever, never even longingly reminiscing about your shackled days? I pray you do. Because the cave is why you're fat.
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No more can't. No more not good enough. If you compete in a sport, let your mind no longer hold you back from being the greatest. If you don't, let your mind no longer hold you back from being the best version of you that you can be.
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