The Definition of Insanity is the Key to Fitness
What is Albert Einstein's definition of insanity?
Einstein's classic definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This famous quote is attributed to Albert Einstein though there is evidence that it first appeared in a Narcotics Anonymous publication in 1981 as “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”
Also, the 1983 book “Sudden Death” by Rita Mae Brown mentions this gem as well: ¹
Unfortunately, Susan didn’t remember what Jane Fulton once said. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Whether the definition of insanity quote originated with Rita Mae Brown, Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain, anyone struggling with overweight is guilty by reason of insanity.
- How many times have you tried to lose weight or ‘get back into shape' by following the same diet you did years ago or the newest one that promises salvation from obesity?
- In the madness of the dieting world, the answer is too many times.
This type of insanity does not mean mental illness or poor mental health, instead, it is an indictment of the processed food and ‘never move' culture of the environment in which you grew up.
Your obesity is not your fault
You are overweight and missing critical information that saves you from the insanity zone. Now is the time to stop the insanity of struggling with weight loss.
For years and years, I did the same thing, over and over again:
- I walked on the treadmill
- did elliptical
- counted calories
- counted points on weight watchers,
- tried the macrobiotic diet,
- the vegan diet, vegetarian, fruitarian,
- had six meals a day,
- or only one meal a day,
- and tried fasting,
just plain old exhausting myself and others around me. I did the same things, over and over again, and kept getting the same results, which was to get fatter than ever.
You probably remember your high school days, when you were 20, 50, or even 100 pounds lighter. And if you wonder how is it possible to gain so much weight over just a few years or decades?
Now you know the answer is Einstein's definition of insanity – that you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.
How to Stop the Insanity
I once read a wonderful affirmation in The Science of Getting Rich, a book published in 1910 by Wallace Wattles. It is applicable to any area of your life, including your desire to lose weight and get fit. Wattles writes the following:
“You can succeed. Anything possible to anyone else is possible for you.”
You will succeed in fitness because the essential nature of your body is no different from every other person who gets fit. Your body will respond the same way to eating real food, moving, and strength training.
So, what do you need to do?
You need to change your lifestyle
No, you do not need to overhaul your entire life completely. But you do need to change certain habits that you have grown accustomed to, and these habits are not your fault.
Once you change your current habits that create obesity, your body will respond and change dramatically.
Always keep track of your progress
The most successful powerlifters use written records to ensure that they continually get stronger on the essential lifts; squats, bench press, and deadlifts. A written record is also a tremendous benefit for weight loss, as are pictures of your fitness journey.
Recently, I found a note where I had scribbled down my weight on June 21, 2012, after I went to a nearby NYC deli craving another blueberry muffin.
I had a weight watcher scale that gives those readouts and which I still use today. I spent years going to weight watcher meetings, and that did not work for me. Counting points did not work for me, eating six times a day did not work, but I did have a body composition scale to monitor my progress.
Though I rarely used it.
The numbers looked like this:
- 255.1 pounds
- 32.5 body fat percentage
- 32.7 body mass index (BMI)
- 50-inch waist
But, after 190 days of a handful of lifestyle changes ( that I call Hashi Mashi Diet + Training ), the numbers looked like this on December 28, 2012:
- 180.1 pounds
- 19.4 body fat percentage
- 23.3 body mass index (BMI)
- 32-inch waist
Before and after six-month weight loss
Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is that if you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. To lose weight and get fit, all you have to do is model other people who have succeeded in transforming their bodies.
And my goal is to share with you the same diet + training tips that helped me beat obesity seven years ago.
Today, on December 2, 2019, using the same body composition scale I had in 2012, my numbers are:
- 161.2 pounds, my weight when I got out of high school
- 14.8 body fat percentage
- 20.8 BMI
- 32-inch waist
Struggling to lose weight by doing the same things you have done is the definition of insanity. But the simple principles of:
- real food and core functional exercises like
- push-ups, and
- deadlifts will change your body and life
If you are overweight or out of shape today, I hope my experience can help you break the definition of insanity in your life (when it comes to weight loss and fitness) and finally get back into shape.
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