None of this is easy.
None of it.
Not one thing.
If being better than average was easy, everyone would do it. That's what makes "average" average. It is what we accomplish by putting in the average amount of effort, which in current society, is the bare minimum. The obesity rate is rising rapidly, and soon obese will become the average. It is easy to become obese.
What isn't easy is breaking out from your comfort zone and doing something incredible.
Read that again, because it bears repeating. It needs to be internalized.
It doesn't just mean you need to bust your ass in the gym. It means you need to bust your ass everywhere.
Think about it. The gym is a 1-2 hour commitment, accomplished maybe 3-5 times a week. Being generous, that's 10 hours a week out of a potential 168 hours in a week. Which do you think is going to be reflected in your performance and appearance: the 10 hours you spent exerting yourself, or the 158 hours you didn't?
No one likes to hear this, but going to the gym is the easy part. How many people do you know that go to the gym? How many of those people that go to the gym have been going for years and have nothing to show for it? How many of those people have to tell people that they go to the gym, because it's not readily apparent from looking at them?
The hard part is that stuff you do outside of the gym. You hear it all the time. "I don't have time to cook and eat". Are you f-in' kidding me? Break down that sentence for a bit. It's the most selfish and egotistical thing someone can say. "I don't have the time", by implication, is stating that everyone else clearly has the time to do all this because they aren't important, but my time is just way too valuable to be able to compromise for these things.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. No one gets more, no matter how fast they run backwards trying to reverse the Earth's rotation. Those who want to succeed use those 24 hours to achieve success. Those who don't want it bad enough waste those hours complaining about how unfair the system is and how they don't have time. The difference is, the former is willing to make sacrifices whereas the latter isn't.
People who don't have time to cook and eat always seem very caught up on the latest television series, have heard all the newest albums, been to all the movies, etc. Ask them what happened in last night's episode of Breaking Bad and they'll give you a detailed play by play of the entire series up until that point. Ask them what they ate for dinner that night and the answer will be far less detailed.
If you want to break out from the norm, you have to go against the norm. Learn how to work the kitchen and spend some time prepping meals for the future. When you have some down time, do some reading on how to become better at your goals. Make plans for how you will progress in the present and the future. Learn, study, and grow. The more you put into this, the more you get out of it. Those 10 hours a week in the gym are making minimal impact, but when you start upping that time to 20, 30, 40, and 50+ hours a week working being better than the average, it will start to show.
Some of you may cry that this is unfair. Some of you may feel that you shouldn't need to sacrifice the things you love in order to achieve your goals. Some of you may think that I am being elitist, and that you know some guy who drinks a keg a night and does blow off of hookers as a pre-workout supplement and still walks around at 3% bodyfat year round, so why should you need to work hard?
The answer is simple. Average is easy, and if this was easy, everyone would do it.
But nobody ever said this would be easy.