Not a diet. Diet implies temporary, and what we need to do is form a set of new, sustainable habits for the rest of our life.
A lot of you probably have a daydream of taking a black, billowy trash bag and planning a SWAT-style assault on your fridge and cupboards and then setting fire to the dumpster you hurl it into. Naturally, you’ll dash over to the grocery store and purchase a ton of strange-looking foods you don’t regularly eat, or never eat! Then you’ll slap on a pair of shiny new shoes and go run a 5K. This works for–some people. Honestly, few people.
The reality for many people; however, is they get off their foray after a few weeks. Why is that?
Think about it. How long did it take you to really get into the groove of your current habits? Months? Years? If you’re trying to simultaneously kiss soda and chip’s ass good-bye, change every bite of food you eat, and start a fitness routine. Guess what? Stress, stress, stress! Your stomach was used to those portion sizes (whether too large or too small) and some of your favorite snacks, your brain is literally addicted to it. A lot of people will reach nuclear meltdown levels trying to transition to a healthy lifestyle this way.
Just like it took you time to form your current habits, it’s going to take some time to form your new habits. I truly do empathize with the feelings of wanting everything to be different right now, but realistically we can only handle a certain amount of stressors and change at one time.
Start With Nutrition Habits: While I really would recommend finding a few cheeky ways to get more active, you’ve probably heard some variant of “can’t outrun your fork,” or “it’s 80% nutrition.” Well, it really is true. Being more active is absolutely crucial to improving overall health in the “endgame,” but we’re still playing the “tutorial” and the dietary aspects of our lifestyle change are the bulk of the impact. It goes beyond that, though. I’ve written more about it here, but being a beginner can be genuinely hard at times! It takes a lot of time and effort to get oneself to a point where they can physically and mentally handle what entails “regular, moderate exercise.” One part of making that transition easier will be better nutrition and hydration.
Start With an Easy Target: I always tell people if they drink a lot of soda, juice, or sweetened tea/coffee to start here. Sugar provides us pretty much no nutrition and removing the pulp from fruit makes juice not that great for us, either. Drinking more water is not negotiable and replacing these beverages with water will do a surprising amount of good for how you feel–all by itself. I recognize how hard this one can be to kick, but sweetened beverages really do load many people’s lifestyles with a lot of bad juju.
If you don’t have a beverage problem, maybe you do have a condiment/dressing problem and can reduce the quantities and find alternatives. Maybe you party-hardy a little too much and need to cut down on alcohol. While I said “easy target,” no one said it would be that easy, but you probably have an idea where most of these so called “empty” nutrients are coming from.
Transition Bad Habits a Few at a Time: The opening of this probably already made it clear, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You probably have an idea of what some of your most problematic habits are, so choose one; maybe two, and see how you adjust over a week or two before considering the next step.
Small Swaps: Start switching out various items in your pantries, fridges, and lunchboxes with simple alternatives. Change white breads, rices, and pastas to brown. Take the bag of chips from your lunch and turn it into a few servings of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Pick out a leaner cut of meat and use a little less dairy, if you eat them. Little changes can have massive results.
Learn Moderation: Remember that whole sustainable part at the very beginning? Our lifestyles do need to reflect our real lives. Well, my real life has a love of chocolates, pastries, and candies. So, it’s not realistic for me to say “no chocolate, pastries, or candies.” Food molarity can be a pretty toxic outlook on eating and life in general. Instead of labeling foods as “bad,” just learn and respect the limits. There are times where you have to say, “enough, is enough,” but living in a constant state of “no” is not realistic or mentally healthy for most people. It’s OK to love indulgent food. Think about how long your life is going to be. So, now think about how dinky an occasional treat will be in retrospect.
Depending on Your Struggles, Consider Therapy: As we know, many aspects of unhealthy eating habits are actually unhealthy mental habits. Depending on the severity and exact nature of those problems, never be embarrassed to seek professional help. I struggled with stress eating and even binge eating for most of my adolescence, and finally getting help for my anxiety disorder played a pretty crucial role in improving both my physical and mental health. If it’s not a possibility at this time, consider journaling.
Walk Before Your Run: Literally and figuratively. I’m going to recommend this previous post I recently wrote again, but when you’ve gotten a few habits cracked and feel like you’re ready to start amping up your activity, start with low impact and low equipment exercises. If it has been years, or if you’ve never exercised, it takes some easing into it. I recommend walking to all beginners because we already know how to do it, have what we need to do it, and probably won’t hurt ourselves.
So, there you have it. Tackle small challenges and get your body acclimated to them before you consider some of the overarching and holistic goals you have for your lifestyle. That said, we’re all different. If you still want to try and do that 180-flip, I can’t stop you and some people are successful that way. No two people or personality types have the exact same problems or strategy for overcoming them. However, if you’ve gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel a time or two, consider the scope of change and how to realistically implement it over a period of time. We didn’t form our old habits overnight.
It’s so strange to look back at the summer before coming to college…my life has changed so much since. I can honestly say I did not partake in the freshman 15 and have loved living where I have constant support from friends, a gym membership, and healthy food readily available to me. It’s been a long road, but I’m sure glad I took it.
I did it! I don’t know how but I lost eleven lbs in three weeks and was able to hit my goal weight by my last doctor’s appt! The picture showing 159.8 was three days ago, and yesterday I weighed in at 158. I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing what I set out to do. I did NOT think I would be able to get back to this weight no matter how much I worked. Despite the self doubt I persevered, I worked very hard, and I did what I set out to do. It is possible; keep working for what you want. I’ve learned that there are no easy ways out. You just have to remind yourself that you are in control, and your decisions are the only thing that will help get you to your goal or take you further away from it.
Not your typical #transformationtuesday but here we go.
This isn’t an easy post but I have now overcame the struggle of coping with gaining weight after reaching my lowest EVER.
This weigh gain HAD to happen.
It was NECESSARY for my personal growth and karmic lesson.
I feel like I spent months loathing over this situation thinking “wtf…how… why..?!”
It felt like a HUGE failure to me.
My old friends, shame & guilt had returned.
It made me want to disappear until I was “skinny again”.
What had gone wrong?
I finally got my answer: I hadn’t learned that lesson.
And what happens when you don’t learn the lesson? THE SITUATION KEEPS COMING BACK!
I understand that I am no where near where I started in the beginning of my journey.. but this was difficult for me to process.
I feel like this situation came back to test me to see if I had really learned those lessons I thought I had overcame.
Some of lessons learned:
🔹Weight is just a symptom of a deeper pain
🔹Don’t let others walk away with your worth or power
🔹We cannot control certain situations but we can control how we react to them
🔹Your intention sets the mood for the journey
🔹 Our bodies are like the seasons, and
constantly changing (infancy, childhood, youth, middle age, old age, weight, size) but the one thing that remains unchangeable is our soul. Our sense of identity. Who we are at our core.
It is now that I am able to move forward with new wisdom and knowledge.
I get it. I see the bigger picture.
This wasn’t a failure. It was a test of the truth. #gainingweightiscool
As funny as it may seem, a lot of people actually tend to stumble upon confusion when faced with words and slang floating around the gym environment.
So why not take some time to get acquainted with the terms you will hear the most when you are hitting the gym?
This one is among the first things you should learn and understand. The word ‘sets’ represents the group of repetitions you perform on any exercises. So let’s say you are doing 8 repetitions for bicep curls - that would be your 1 set.
After performing a set, usually you have a green light to take a rest for a specific time, before you jump right back into it for another set.
Short for repetitions, which represents one complete movement of the exercise.
It can be used in two ways: noun - a soft cushioned surface for performing bench press exercises as well as some others. verb - to perform a bench press exercise where you use bench and a barbell.
It may seem fairly obvious. One way of guys showing off and comparing their mad gym records is by throwing in the standard question: “Yo, how much do you bench, bro?”
That is something you hear from your gym buddy. Something that is supposed to be informational but has no facts and science behind it. Do not listen to that bullshit, most of the cases it is a trap!
“Yo, bro, if you want to bulk up, just drink a glass of olive oil a day. It gives you those extra calories.” Yeah, it gives you shit ton of extra calories,but that is way too much fat for you to consume per day.
The phase when an individual is increasing his bodyweight over a set time period. That usually involves eating in a caloric surplus and minimizing cardiovascular training.
I am fairly confident that cutting and shredding are pretty much the same things. Those two words represent a phase when an individual is burning his body fat after a bulk. That involves eating in a caloric deficit and increasing cardiovascular training.
This is when you have a dedicated person being present to help you in case you fail to complete the exercise. Usually that is your friend or anyone at the gym (if you ask anyone to spot you, of course).
“Hey, bro, can you give me a spot on a bench?”
Spotting doesn’t mean that the person is going to help you do all the reps. It is usually as a precaution in case you don’t have any more power and can’t complete your set. This helps you give out all you have got and minimizes injuries.
Things you would like to specify when asking for a spot: - how many reps you are aiming to get - any additional info, if you have any specific desires to how that person should spot you - for bench you should also specify whether you need a lift off or no
8.Lift off (for bench press)
When a person that is spotting you helps unracking the barbell. Done to save energy for the actual push and to decrease the risk of having an injury when pressing high weights.
The result and improvements you achieve after a prolonged time of proper nutrition and proper training.
The rapid results and improvements one would get at first stages of regular training. That is due to nervous system adapting to new movements your body is performing. That is a period where your gains sky rocket. After that period (4-6 months, depending on the person) it becomes much harder to improve your physique even more.
More coming soon! Have a great day and remember - be fit and live healthy!