My wife and I have been playing a lot of Mario Bros. (Super Mario Bros. for Wii, specifically).

We both find ourselves regularly saying after dying at the hands of a goomba or turtle, “But I pushed jump!” or “I JUMPED!” or something to that effect.

Of course, the truth is that pushing the jump button too late doesn’t matter at all. If the goomba’s pixel areas touch your pixel areas onscreen, then you definitely failed to jump in time.

It’s a tough realization, but an important one.

So for me, the inspiration is this:

There are proverbial goombas ahead in the level of my life. They’re not unique to me; they are present in everyone’s level who has a hundred extra pounds on their body.

Obesity. Diabetes. Heart Disease.

There are probably many more that I’m not even bothering to look up.

My job is push the jump button, to keep the analogy going.

In this scenario, jumping  is LOSING WEIGHT.

It’s turning down ice cream even though it’s a Monday, or even though the weekend was tough, or even though it was pouring down rain when I came home.

It means pushing myself to get a side of broccoli instead of fries, despite the short term initial loss of the satiated craving for fries that accompany every burger I ever eat. Or better still, forcing myself to get used to having my burgers with no bun at all.

It means forcing myself to go to bed at 10:30 pm so I can wake up at 5:30 with a full 7 hours of sleep so I can spend an hour at the gym and still get to work early.

In a video game it’s easy to just hit the button and start the level again, vowing to jump on that goomba  this time.

There are no continues in life. The stakes are real. 

Get your fit together, Drew. It’s the ONLY WAY to beat the game.