Why will this time be different?

It looks scary, but it's possible!

You’ve done this many times before. Why will this time be different?”

I heard that question on one of my favorite shows, Extreme Weight Loss, posed by a thin woman to her overweight sister. She was in the middle of complaining about having to give up cookies (another topic for another post) so her sister, Meredith, could avoid temptations as she tried to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time.

I was offended for Meredith because the question seemed both accusatory and denigrating. The tone you could read from her face was “I don’t really think you will be able to do it this time either.”

The question she posed really got me thinking. It’s actually a question I’ve asked myself a lot. I asked myself in 2010 when I found The 4-Hour Body why this time would be different. Two and a half years later, it doesn’t seem to have been different.

I’m also convinced I’m not the only person to have asked myself that question. You’ve probably done it yourself.

The reason that question hurts so much is that up until now, none of the times have been any different. Asking it to yourself again is essentially the same thing as reminding yourself of all the times you’ve tried before and failed. If enough failures come, you start to wonder if it’s even worth it.

Let me be honest with you, because you might not be honest with yourself.

I’ve had to come to this conclusion recently. These thoughts you’re having of people giving up on you aren’t true. The people you mean the most to might be frustrated, but they probably don’t get how hard this is for you. You’re already feeling bad for having failed them yet again, don’t make it worse by feeling they’re actually giving up on you.

Tweet this: There’s no one poo-pooing your fitness efforts more than you are, so cut it out.

We didn’t get fat overnight, so we can’t expect to get thin overnight. We’ve created tons of terrible habits for ourselves, some of which are now legitimate addictions, that now we have to work on breaking. Personally, my biggest difficulty is completely breaking old habits. I can do it for a little while, but it usually comes back after a few weeks. I’m still trying to figure out how to break them for good.

As I wrote this post, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns:

But the giant’s calling out my name, and he laughs at me reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win. You’ll never win!”

But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story. The Voice of Truth says “Do not be afraid!” The Voice of Truth says, “This is for My glory.” Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth.

So why will it be different this time? Honestly, I’m not entirely convinced that it will. I think that’s just a result of me having tried and failed so many times. Writing this post and being reminded of the song gives me hope, and a new idea to try, that it will. I’m going to choose to listen to the Voice of Truth, and maybe that’s what I’ve needed to do all along.

I can tell you something, though, despite the fact that you’ve tried and failed before, even 100 times, the simple fact that you’re asking yourself the question “why will it be different this time” puts you a step ahead of the game. You’re asking a life-changing question, which means you’re trying to change your life.

One day you'll make it.Even if it’s not this time, don’t ever stop asking that question because one day you’ll be able to look back and say “Now I can tell you why this time was different.”

I’d love to know how you feel after having read this. If you are up to it, leave a comment on the post with your feelings about what you read. If it strikes a chord with you, please share it!

photos by:
Arria Belli
Bernardo Macena

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  1. I really appreciated this article, as I have tried and failed so many times. And every morning lately (starting week 3 of 4HB) i tell myslef this time WILL be different! Thank you for sharing!

    • That’s a nice tip, Karinna. One of the things I’m doing is making a motivation poster that I can see every day. I think “This time WILL be different.” or some thing like that will be good to add. 🙂

  2. Great post Jason,

    I could identify with the first part. I was speaking with a patient last week who was really motivated and pumped about losing weight, but the entire time her husband was complaining and whining and belittling her, I wanted to punch him in the mouth (I guess I shouldn’t say that).

    She was very accepting of his poor attitude and when I saw them for follow up, she was cooking two meals for every meal throughout the day, one for herself and one for her family, she has lost 10 lbs. in the last 3 months even with “the resistance”. Sometimes I think family members are threatened by ones desire for weight loss, I wonder if this is from a lack of self confidence on the family members part?

    Anyway, I heard this quote the other day: “The world is designed for us not to fail, the world is designed for us to win. The challenge is to be willing to first fail so you can win”.

    I will add that the greater challenge is after multiple failures, we still need to believe that we have a win inside of us… Thus the importance of small wins!

    – Stephen

  3. This post was perfectly timed for me. I just started my second round of 4HB eating.
    The first time I lost almost all the weight I wanted, but then a vacation to Italy (pasta, pizza and bread country) got the best of me. This time I have also armed myself with the 4hr Chef. Not only cooking, but lots of recipes. Highly recommend.

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