What My Kitchen Sink Can Teach You About Accountability

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Earlier last week, my girlfriend decided to take a road trip to Vermont to visit her cousin for a few days.  Now, as many of you already know, we moved in together a few short months ago, and in the time since, we’ve both come to a mutual understanding of who does what around the apartment.  For her part, Lisa generally cooks dinner every night and in addition to that, does the bulk of the laundry.  As for me, well, since Lisa cooks every night, it’s only fair that I wash the dishes (and sometimes even put them away….I’m still working on that part).  Additionally, I take out the garbage, as well as the recycling, and also play the role of mouse killer from time to time.


For the record, since we’ve moved into our apartment:  Tony: 3, Mice: 0.   WINNING!!!!

So, being the walking around in my underwear with all the windows open, burping out loud, farting underneath the covers, Sports Center watching male that I am, you can imagine my thought process when Lisa mentioned to me in passing that she was going away for a few days.

YES!!!!  I don’t have to put the cap back on the toothpaste or replace the toilet paper when it runs out.  Go shorty, it’s your birthday.  We’re gonna party, like it’s your birthday!!!

[Cue Carlton dance……]

Okay, that’s not exactly what happened, but I’d be lying if it didn’t enter my mind.  You see, there’s this thing called accountability, and it’s a bitch sometimes.

Keeping promises, paying attention to what matters, and holding yourself accountable is a trait that’s often thrown to the wayside in today’s society.

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.“-  Moliere

Taking the above quote, and using myself as an obvious example, I could have just as easily NOT made the bed while Lisa was away; nor do my part and clean the dishes in the sink; or hang up the wet towels for that matter.  For all intents and purposes I could have just said “to hell with it,” and not even bother doing any of my chores.  And by “chores,” what I really mean is stuff I should be doing anyways.

But, then what would have happened?  Lisa would have come home to this:

And it would have been www.tonyisdefinitelyinthedoghouse.com all over the place.

I bring all of this up because I see much of the same mentality when it comes to people and their fitness and nutrition goals.  How many times have we heard of a friend, colleague, or family member vow to start eating a more nutritious and healthy diet, only to buckle three days later as soon as someone invites them to Happy Hour or shows up with a batch of cupcakes?

Likewise, we all know that as human beings, we like to do what’s easy and what we’re good at.  Which is to say, why most (not all) trainees tend to opt for the leg press rather than the squat rack; why we’d rather do a few extra sets of bicep curls than deadlifts; or why most tend to gravitate towards the elliptical machine over that “keep the puke bucket ready” metabolic circuit that their program they’re following actually calls for.

It all comes down to accountability.  Are you actually going to hold yourself accountable and stick with your diet or exercise plan all the way through, with 100% effort; or are you going to be one of the sheeple who falters and takes the easy route?  Either you’re going to clean the dishes or you’re not.  Which person are you going to be?

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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Comments for This Entry

  • Alicia

    Ah, the simple yet necessary reminder good for all walks of life and all class of folk be them trainers, trainees... or my teenage boys. Accountable is as accountable does...preach it, bro.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lars Krogstad

    www.tonyisdefinitelyinthedoghouse.com should totally be a real website

    September 7, 2011 at 7:32 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michael Gray

    Great post T! I love the quote, especially the "but also what we do not do" piece. That is a huge psychological piece to accountability. Avoid doing the things that are detrimental to your health instead of trying to just add in "good stuff". Sometimes that alone can have tremendous effects in peoples well being. Well done.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:55 am | Reply to this comment

  • John Izzo

    Love it Tony! When you get married, multiply everything by 10! Happy ring hunting.... :)LOL

    September 7, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • R Smith

    Tony, With my diet, accountability isn't much of an issue since I don't stray very far from lean protein and lots of veggies. With my training, however, it's a little more interesting. Any time I walk into the gym don't feel quite up to it, I think to myself, "You don't have to train today. Just grab the 110-pound DBs and do a 4x8e of walking lunges and call it a day." Amazing how I all of a sudden accountability isn't an issue anymore. RS

    September 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ryan Andrews

    Classic. Great post. Great Carlton reference.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Alicia: Granted, I don't have teenage boys, but I can only imagine that that's a whole nother ball game...haha! @ Lars: the domain is free! @ Michael: well said my man. Thanks for chiming in, as always!

    September 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ John: you had to go there, didn't you!?!?! @ Ronell: Well, when it comes to training, sometimes we DO need to listen to our bodies. If it ain't in the cards that particular day, then there's no harm in just getting some quality reps in and calling it a day. I just have to laugh at those who routinely skip training session because they're too tired all the time. Whatever! @ Ryan: thanks, man. If this is the same Ryan Andrews from Precision Nutrition, I'm stoked that you're reading my blog. And yes, I just used the word stoked.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kellie Davis

    Nothing like an absentee woman to make you realize how much she contributes to your well being... wait, that's not what your post was about?! It's not an ode to the awesomeness of women? Dammit, I read that wrong. ;) Accountability is a huge factor when it comes to nutrition and fitness. And it seems the better you eat and the more fit you are, the more people ask you to hold them accountable for their fitness goals. Funny how that works. Now if only someone would hold the trainers accountable at LA Fitness as they tend to lean toward the leg press and bicep curls with their clients...

    September 8, 2011 at 12:06 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Kellie: hahahahahaha. Believe me, I am an infinitely better person with Lisa in my life.....;o)

    September 8, 2011 at 6:47 am | Reply to this comment

  • R Smith

    Tony, I'm with you there. I totally comply with such logic. I just like having a means of ensuring I don't fall into the "I don't feel like training" trap. RS

    September 8, 2011 at 7:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • psistarpsi

    I think you need to have a word with my fiancé. (And who is this crazy person who would rather do bicep curls than deadlifts?! I would rather do deadlifts than just about anything else!)

    September 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply to this comment

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