"Why Don't I Have The Discipline To Get In Shape?" - Dean McMenamin

“Why Don’t I Have The Discipline To Get In Shape?”

Gotta a great question form email reader, Craig, last week: 

Question: “Why do I struggled with my discipline & commitment? I as described in one of your blogs (all in or all out!). This is a question I keep asking myself… I get to a good place, then there’s a trigger (unknow) but I slide down hill to a bad place! I have recently gone through this process this year again once again).. “

Like all my best fitness advice, I’ll answer this with a story…

It was September 2003, I was living in an old Military Air Field base called ATR Bassingbourn. 

Up at 06:00 every day to wash, shave an already smooth chin, clean toilets, mirrors, corridors, put on a uniform with ironed creases you could shave with, and polished boots you can almost see your reflection in the toecaps. 

Ready for breakfast then room inspections at 08:00. 

Then, an hour’s physical enhancement with the PTI down the gym or around camp to kick off the day. 

A day of lessons, more cleaning, ironing, and polishing at night.

Then light’s out everywhere by 22:00 every night and not a second later. 

It was basic Army training. 

A few months previous I did no fitness and spent the small wage from my unless car valet center on weed, booze, and pizza. 

The first 6 weeks of basic training were transformational. 

Not a drop of drink (or weed).

I was fitter and stronger than I’d ever been. 

I took more pride in my appearance. 

Had more confidence in myself. 

And for the first time since finishing an essay whilst locked up in my English teacher’s cupboard for pissing around in class, I had DISCIPLINE. 

We got a long weekend home after a couple of months gated to camp. 

And I spent my first Army leave and wage on… Booze and pizza.

And no, I didn’t get up at 06:00 to clean, shave, have breakfast, or do fitness. 

I didn’t lose my discipline. 

The same discipline was all there again, back in camp after leave… 

My environment changed.

I had more options: time, party’s, chicks…

And fewer consequences.  

Here’s the thing…


The more options, distractions, and less accountability you have, the harder it is to be disciplined 

Without a bunch of military corporals and sergeants (or civilian equivalents) keeping you in check every minute of every day, it’s kinda tough. 

The problem most men have trying to get in shape isn’t discipline…

It’s their expectations. 

Expecting to be able to go zero-hero with workouts, eat perfectly and sustain it all whilst dealing with work, kids, real-life obligations, and the ever-changing problems life throws at you. 

Basically a self-imposed military boot camp with only themselves to be accountable to. 
That can work for a very short while. 

But when they inevitably quit and go back to old ways…

They form this belief that ‘somethings wrong with me’

‘Why don’t I have the discipline to see it through?’. 

If this sounds familiar? 

The truth is, you DO have discipline. 

Problem is, the strategies you use demand way more discipline than you currently have access to, given all your other responsibilities, levels of accountability, support, and options.  

But you can grow your levels of discipline. 


Along with steadily transforming your body…

With the 1-habit approach. 

Same way I’ve helped loads of busy dads get and stay in shape.

Here’s how it works…

You practice ONE new thing at s time every day, a minimum of 2 weeks.

Like eating more protein, 5 a day, drinking enough water, or daily movement, etc. 

Just ONE. 

When it becomes your new normal, it no longer requires discipline. 

It just happens. 

So now you use the discipline stores you have on the next thing. 

Rather than cooking with gas, and risking burning the grub, you’re taking a slow cooker approach. 

Less stress and fewer risks. 

It’s slower, but it lets you deal with all the other things you have going on. 

All whilst moving toward that final destination. 

Rather than on/off, on/off. 

See how that works? 

Anyone can apply this and achieve big success with their body. 

Now if you’ll excuse me…

I’ve Christmas presents to wrap and kids to take out for the day. 

– Dean 

About the Author Dean McMenamin

Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and body transformation coach to every day men all over the UK & Ireland. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.

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