Inspiration and character building
I know most of this will be fairly contentious which is why I left it for last.
I firmly believe that in order to succeed in life, and especially in weight loss or a consistent workout plan, you need to become indifferent to all the negative influences surrounding you and introduce positive influences. This does not necessarily entail a hiding or removal from the world, but training in becoming indifferent to it, and developing a love of what is good; you must love and cultivate what is beautiful in yourself and reject what can degrade or destroy you. For the former, I would recommend studying the philosophy of Stoicism. It’s a practical virtue philosophy for life which focuses on developing indifference to factors outside of your control and developing a joyful life of service to those around you. It’ll help you not get angry when you have setbacks in your quest to lose weight and improve your health, to see those setbacks as what they are and to focus on what is within your power to change. Stoic wisdom will help you confront feelings of inequity, inadequacy, betrayal, attack and misfortune. Your desires for irrational things and for things not in your best interest will evaporate and be replaced by a love of what is good. Start with Epictetus (the Enchiridion) and then check out his discourses, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Shakespeare also serves this purpose.
I also think it would benefit you to commonly think on the greats who have come before and try to imitate them. Our societies overwhelmingly pay worship to whores, weaklings, criminals, addicts, and charlatans in two thousand dollar suits. Instead of doting on those who drag us down look to the bad asses whose sacrifices and virtue allowed for this system of abundance and waste we now squander.
No one is more bad ass than James Stockdale. Dude was shot down over Vietnam and tortured in Hoa Lo prison for seven years. When they tried to use him on Vietnamese state TV as a propaganda piece he scalped himself. They broke his legs a ton of times, and he refused to betray his country. When they tried to force him to give a confession he slit his wrists. All the while he upheld the military chain of command amongst his fellow prisoners, instilled in them hope to continue fighting in their own way and served as president of the Naval War College following his release. Whenever you bitch about “but I want to eat that pizza everyone else is” think of Stockdale in a puddle of his own shit and piss, alone in the dark, with broken legs. Is your life really that hard?
Warriors like that should be your inspiration and your role models. The classics are a good place to start. You will find powerful role models in stuff like the Iliad, the Bhagavad Gita, Odyssey, and Aeneid, and historical heroes in accounts such as Plutarch and Livy. Cato the Younger and Cincinnatus, such god damn bad asses. Think on the historical founders and mythic heroes of your civilization, and strive to imitate their action, persistence, service, love and good. Find some dudes who you can look up to, and who make you swell with feelings of admiration. Men have been blown up before, crawled on their bellies until they could drag themselves on their knees, until they could walk for a few moments, falling and cursing, until some bloody years later they could lift cars and run without end. Be proud of being like them, and of living with no apologies for your own manliness. Surround yourself with others who appreciate the good life, health, restraint and other virtues which are important for the heroic, self-realized man. You should be proud of your friends, not have to apologize for or rationalize their selfish, destructive behavior. Banish the negative, destructive and unhealthy where possible, and where not possible, become indifferent to it.
Begin a regiment of meditation. Meditation doesn’t imply merely thinking about random things in a dark room – rather it instructs a deliberate process to examine and transform our thoughts. Two suggestions: Stoic and Theravada Buddhist techniques. The former involves an action on waking. Think of all the things that could go wrong today. Maybe you could crash your car. Maybe someone will make fun of you. Maybe they will bring cake into work. How will you deal with this? How will you NOT deal with this? This allows you to prepare and anticipate the worst things that could happen, and then develop a plan to confront those things. If someone brings a cake into work and all your weak, pale co-workers are ingesting it, you should be prepared not to. Do not allow events like this to suddenly ambush you, otherwise your instincts, rather than wisdom, may prevail. And while instincts help us survive, they do not often help us flourish. In this way we can prepare effective strategies to confront our problems rather than confront them recklessly, and we also are less shocked when misfortune befalls us, allowing us to deal with setbacks in a more sober and less hysterical way. You will see the scale go up some days, and for seemingly no reason, maybe even after a huge effort in the gym. What is the response? Not shoving cake in your mouth, but instead thinking about things rationally. Buddhist meditation is a bit more technical, but do look up Mindfulness and Loving Kindness meditation, as they are immensely rewarding.
You no longer know anything for sure. Go on YouTube and watch some TED talks, every fucking week. Open your heart to positive change and new directions. The same old doesn’t work. Throw out the past. That girl/guy who broke your heart isn’t going to fall into your arms one day. They are fucking someone else, loving it, and think you are disgusting. Hard truth: you might be. But not for long; now you’re in training, like a Spartan, like Batman in the Dark Knight Returns after a period of painful exile. Don’t ever look back. Charge forward. Force yourself to smile and buy some new clothes. The future is open now, not closed to darkness and hopeless. Keep watching those TED talks. Don’t buy anything from any “gurus” but listen to them all, and what appeals to your reason, experiment with. Some won’t work, but some will. Hey, your life just substantially improved because you’re now thinking about things in a novel way. Plan. Schedule. Act.
There is a cult of failure in western culture. A cult of excuses and of emasculation. You’re leaving this cult behind and it’s going to be scary. It’s scary, but you’re about to take control and feel good for the first time in so many years. Imagine waking up and feeling amazing, and knowing exactly what’s going on and where you are. This isn’t a fantasy, it’s now. And you’re now a force for good in this world. No one can stop you but you. All those laughing, stupid motherfuckers are dead wrong. And all those like you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel just as badly and NEED YOUR SUPPORT. Find them online, at school and on the street, cling to them, and move mountains together. Believe in them and by doing so, believe in yourself.
Go out in the world, grab it by the neck, shoot your gun into the mouth of doubt and do what you want.