Saturday, February 20, 2010

Burn the Ships

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I re-post something old and explain to you that this is "Same Old Sh*t Saturday. This one from back last summer kind of coincides with a turning point in my weight-loss journey, where I really shifted it into high gear and managed to really take the who process to a whole new level.

When Spanish Conquistador Hernando “Corky” Cortez landed in Mexico in 1519, he gave a startling order: “Burn the ships.” Some historians argue that he just didn’t want to pay the docking fees at the marina, but most have come to the conclusion that he was so committed to his mission that he didn’t want to allow his men (or himself) the option of returning to Spain... the option of failure.

I’ve been taking a “burn-the-ships” approach with many aspects of my current weight loss campaign. I’m getting rid of excuses that get in my path, and I’m chasing away temptations that I know are just too difficult for me to resist.

I used to buy snacks for my daughters that, more often than not, I would wind up munching on while watching a ball game on TV.

Burn the chips.

The fridge by my desk at the office was once stacked and packed with sodas.

Burn the cokes.

I found myself eating dessert right before bedtime.

Burn the treats.

All too often, I was making poor choices at restaurants.

Burn the menus.

None of us are made of steel. We can’t resist temptation indefinitely. What we can do is take away as many of the hurdles and enticements that get in the way of our weight loss success as we possibly can.

When I decided to stop drinking coffee a couple of weeks ago, there was an almost-full container of Almond Toffee coffee creamer in the fridge. I left it in there a couple of days, but I know the way my mind works: “Well, that stuff’s just going to go to waste if I don’t drink it. Maybe a cup of coffee just the weekends… that’d be all right.”

When you start making deals with yourself over food, it’s time to burn the ships.

Glug, glug, glug… down the drain went the coffee crap.

Family won’t like it if you quit buying ice cream? I’ve got news for you: they’ll get over it. My daughters were livid when I quit bringing home their favorite chips. Tough t*tty, said Jack Sh*tty. Them boats have been torched.

And the excuses. Maybe more important than the temptations, you’ve got to take away the excuses that make taking care of yourself less of a priority than taking care of all the other areas of your existence, all the other duties and responsibilities that fill your days. This is your life, and it’s high time that you give yourself the opportunity to be the person you want to be, that you know deep down you’re on the road to becoming.

Burn the ships. Get rid of anything and everything that could possibly cause you to fail. Burn the ships. Take every excuse off the table, and leave every cop-out and justification out back with the trash. Leave yourself no choice but to succeed… and don’t be surprised when that’s just what you do.

Against all odds, Cortez’s men conquered the Aztecs and were victorious where others had been unsuccessful for six centuries.

It’s hard to open the fridge door when your back’s against the wall.


  1. I've burned the Cheez-its! Amazing how those suckers torched up quick ;)

  2. i do love the smell of a good, roaring fire, don't you?

  3. That is so true! When it´s there, it´s like it´s calling, like you have to eat it, like it´s getting out of date within a day. You´re right! Stop the self torture!

  4. I needed this. Thanks, Jack!

  5. Great post. Great attitude! I had to 'burn' my fat pants. I thought it would be scary to get rid of them, you know- wastefull and all that. But it was so liberating!

  6. I'm still drinking my coffee, thanks, but I'm with you otherwise.

  7. Good points in this post. Of course, it's not so much the burning that get's me, but the itching!

  8. Another great post! This is essentially what I've done at home with all my "old favorites", really it's the only way for me to avoid them. If those tasty treats aren't in the house, I really don't think about them that much and don't miss them. But if they're there tempting me, I have a very tough time resisting.

  9. Ahoy matey! The ships have all been burned and I am back to the beach...South Beach that is.

    Great message Jack!

  10. Potato chips in any form are banned from my house. Even the baked fakers because I'll eat the whole bag of those evil imposters too!

  11. P.S. Just realized you gave me a shout out in your Sorry Train post. Splendid! You even put my title in purple...I got some new followers today! That will just give me all that much more motivation to stay on it. Thanks!!

  12. I like this post and it still is a good application!

  13. I look forward to reading your Saturday posts.

  14. Holy crap Jack. How did I miss this post previously. I must of been out that day when they taught about Cortez burning the ships. Either that or my 37 year old memory is completely failing me.

    Brilliant concept. Love it.

    I got a question? What do you do when you burn the ships, and then your boyfriend builds new ones every weekend when he comes over? He's a crafty little sh*t. Burn the boyfriend, perhaps? ;)

  15. This really works.... being diabetic I choose to NOT buy the junk food. My hubs didn't like it so much at first but he got used to it. I don't really miss the 'junk' until I am at someone else's home (aka my sister). My theory is if I am craving it bad enough to get my ass in the car and actually drive to the store to buy it then I should...that never happens. I never want anything THAT badly...

    I was babysitting last weekend at my sister's and the kids wanted a snack. I opened the cabinet and HOLY JUNKFOOD HELL! Oatmeal creme pies, fudge rounds, m&m's, cheeseballs, honeymustard pretzles, oreo cookies....the list goes ON AND ON AND ON....

    I ate shit I haven't eaten in literally YEARS and after the first few bites it really didn't taste very good. Too bad I took a few bites of EVERYTHING.

    Just kidding...I only had one oatmeal creme pie and it was gross.

  16. Great post! I really needed that today!

  17. corky was a
    Hey man, that's life.
    once you burn the bridge it's hard to go back across it.

  18. Hi Jack. A truly brilliant post.

    Bearfriend xx

  19. Awesome Man! I nominated you for a Creative Writer blogger award too man! Check it out here please:

  20. Burn the ships! I like the idea of applying that to health and fitness. I think I'm going to go burn those peanut butter toffees that are just sitting in the fridge.



Related Posts with Thumbnails