8. From Overweight to In shape: Self-Influence

From 2007 until 2015 I was over-weight, to the tune of 40 lbs too heavy.

Years of poor decisions built up until I had reached the weight limit in the Marine Corps and in 2009 I deployed to Afghanistan as a near overweight person.

While my weight never overpowered me while training up to go, I never really spent the time to shrug it off. Instead, I had decided that partying was more important.

After 8 months in country, you would think that I would have lost weight from the 115 degree heat, or what little bit of exercise that I did.

Well, I hadn’t.

That is until right at the very end.

I made the decision to do “just a little” bit of working out.

You see, I’m not a person who likes to work out. Its OK, but I would far rather do something than run in place or lift the same weights a million times. Such as hiking or in the case of when I was a young adult, skateboarding.

However, about two months before leaving country I started going back to the gym. Nothing crazy just a little bit of treadmill and light weights.

Three weeks past, and not a single pound dropped off. It wasn’t really my intent to lose weight, just get a bit “healthier” so I stuck with it.

One day I woke up and something was different.

For some reason, something felt different. I was laying in bed and started touching my waist. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but it felt like all of a sudden I had lost some weight.

I didn’t think too much of it, so I went about my day and went to get the mediocre British breakfast served. (I was on a British base in Afghanistan).

“Hey did you lose weight?” – A friend asked.

“Yeah, I guess I did.” – Replied

People apparently could notice.

I went to bed overweight, and woke up skinnier.

For some people when they work out the results are immediate. They can track the pounds that they lose and gain momentum. For me, it apparently fell off.

Throughout the remainder of the day I continued to receive the “did you lose weight?” question.

Upon leaving Afghanistan I had finally lost weight that had been on my body for years.

But the weight crept back on

By 2015 weight had returned to my body. Even though I had been a part time farmer, the weight had returned. So I decided to try something different.

I woke up early. Meditated and did light exercise.

And that’s all it took.

Within three months I lost 40 lbs.

It just took a bit of consistency. Nothing crazy. No “maxing out”. “No cross fit.” Just good ol fashioned body weight exercises in my office.

By the end of 3 months, my body was built like a machine. I went from 6 pullups to 20 pullups (the Marine Corps physical fitness test maximum count). I had six pack abs.

I was as light as I had been since 7th grade.

All it took was a little consistency.

Consistency and showing up has results. It takes just a bit of time, its not immediate. But if you consistently apply yourself you’ll get results.

I share this story with you because if you happen to be a little out of shape, you can get into shape quickly. I know many other people within a very, very, short amount of time they managed to shape their bodies and achieve their goals.

There’s nothing special about me in this regard. Just like anyone else my weight fluctuates when I decide that healthy eating and exercise aren’t that important to me.

In particular, its when I decide that I don’t need to get up early.

If you’re a bit out of shape, don’t kill yourself, just do a little working out.

Oh, and you’ll earn just a wee bit of influence from yourself throughout the process.


7. Chaos Sleeps In

If you want to get important work done in your life, you have to wake up early.

For some people this is a gut punch, but its true. Everything that is difficult to get done in our lives throughout the day can be accomplished between the hours of 3am to 8am.

Do you want to become healthy? Do you want to become a writer? Or better plan for the day?

Its real simple. Get up early.

Chaos stays up late and wakes up when it feels comfortable

Everything in your life that is a distraction wants to visit you between the hours of 8am to 3am.

Throughout the day there are gremlins that want to eat your time.

  • Friends who have nothing better to do than hang out.
  • Telemarketers trying to get you on the phone.
  • Children full of energy and joy.
  • Even beautiful spouses who love to interrupt by being so helpful.

While all fun and helpful, they’re productivity killers for long concentration work.

But what about in the evenings? Surely you can write your book in the evenings. What about….

  • Friends that want you to go out in the evenings
  • All those Netflix TV series you haven’t watched yet.
  • Or the last few levels of that video game you like.

These will cap your day off leaving you with no time to get those important things done.

What should you be doing?

Nearly everyone fails to get done something they know they either want to get done, or what they should get done. For some reason, nearly all of these things, can be performed between the hours of 3am and 8am.

  • Need to exercise to earn being healthy?
  • Prepare for the day?
  • Read the books that bring you life?
  • Meditate on intentionally living?
  • Write your own book?
  • Send those needed business emails?
  • Learn to fish?

I personally lost 40 lbs within 3 months of of waking up early and performing light exercise for 30-45 minutes.

I have written thousands of pages in books.

Getting up early is hard, but it earns you life.

The reason to get up early is because it provides you with a window of opportunity that is completely closed to others. If you want growth, you need to push your boundaries of comfort. Those who don’t do that, allow themselves to stay up too late, and wake up when their body feels comfortable.

This is about forming a habit of commitment. Commitment is difficult, it requires intent, and it yields you the long term rewards associated with it.

How to wake up early

Waking early is really simple to say, it just requires follow up. Here are the steps I’ve used to help get me out of bed early.

  • Cultivate a burning desire to get certain things done, that aren’t getting done. (Reading, writing, exercising, etc)
  • State openly the commitment to getting up early.
  • Create an intentional schedule for the early morning.
  • Set your alarm for 4am.
  • Go to bed by 9:30pm.
  • Get up out of bed immediately at 4am and walk into another room.
  • Do this for at least 45 days.

Lastly, waking up early is about influence. Yourself and others.

Being able to wake up early and get done what needs to get done, makes you a leader. It makes you an influencer of yourself. In order to influence other people to be productive, you have to be productive.

If you want other people to get an urge to be healthy, you have to gain the urge to become healthy.

People need you to wake up early, so they can leave you alone while you intentionally build a life that can help them. Everyday is battle to be won and it starts with winning with yourself. If you can influence yourself, you can influence others. Remember, the world needs people who have great capacity, so they can see further and shepherd the way.

That should be you.