Tag Archives: Mind set
Are you obsessed with the first while also being caught in the vicious cycle of the second?
Many are because loosening the reigns it too scary.
Did you know that on average people eat between only 15-20 different foods per week.
It’s not a great amount of variety, yet I know why many do it.
Safety, familiarity and all that other good stuff synonymous with the comfort zone.
From a calorie tracking perspective this makes things easy, yet it also means there might not be much change physically.
When you eat the same foods again and again the body will become better accustomed to processing them, in another word more efficient.
This will potentially lower the TEF a tad.
You’d also be surprised as o how devoid of certain nutrients you may actually be, a common consequence of lacking variety of foods.
Now many might say it’s because they don’t like certain foods, which might be true, however more often than not they’re just being fussy because their parents allowed them to be that way in their youth.
There is also the potential case that they’re being lazy.
We are not talking about preparing 5 star gourmet every day, however a little change will do you the world of good.
Sticking with the same foods all the time,while not only dull, will also lead to anxiety when you can’t get your fix because you feel your control slipping away from you.
I’ve seen it happen time and again.
Being the intelligent individuals you are, I’m sure you can understand that without change there will often be no change.
This applies to your nutrition as well.
Opting for more variety in what you eat can help you start to make that much sought after progress you desire, honestly.
You can keep the calories at whatever level they need to be for your desired goal while changing the food choices.
^^ On a calorie laden note, you can have higher days and lower days so long as the total amount of calories across the longer term tracking (say 1 year) is in sync with your goal – surplus for gain, deficit for loss.
^^ You don’t need to eat the same calories day in day you, you wouldn’t do it for training volume/intensity so remember you don’t have to do it for food either.
Do me a favour, keep a food diary for 2 weeks.
Sit down and take a look at those two weeks and see how many foods you eat on average, I’m willing to bet it falls in to the above (15-20).
*Of course i am bias towards a more whole foods approach to nutrition from a health stand point, however if on any given day you want cake then have the damn cake, enjoy it, don’t lament it, then adjust your foods the next day and carry on with life.
Once you’ve done this take a look at all the other foods you can add in, swap/substitute and enjoy.
Most ironic of all is all the people that call themselves ‘foodies’ are of the aforementioned ilk.
Give the above some thought.
Loosen the reigns and break the cycle of being the same.
Peaks & Valleys.
Chances are you’ve heard the term above, it’s fairly common in the fitness realm and often used to describe those times where you will be sitting atop a throne marvelled by many, and other times where you’re feeling like nothing more than a lowly peasant.
While hitting a peak is a glorious thing, it can actually be dangerous to your mental state.
You can see those who want to hold on to a long faded glory on social media, their photos are taken in bulk and then dispensed over several months and even years, all because they can’t face their valley.
There are some people who aren’t happy unless they’re at the top, however we can’t stay at the top forever and the longer we do hold on to the handle that keeps us there the greater the cost will be in the end.
Over the years I’ve known many people who have never been happier than when they were at their leanest and looked shredded to the bone.
While their triumph was outstanding and to be admired, like all things of that nature it couldn’t last, it wasn’t meant to.
After a peak there is always a valley, if there wasn’t then the land would be flat.
They, like many, came down to earth with a heavy bump, so much so that it completely derailed some and sent others in the complete opposite direction never to return to the land of fitness.
Gaining perspective of what is sustainable can be difficult.
To stay in a certain place will require certain immediate sacrifices and costs to your life, this is without even going in to the longer term debt that you’ll need to pay back one day, this is something to keep in mind.
Valleys can be tough.
You don’t look as good as you did.
You are weaker than you were.
You struggle with keeping your nutrition in check.
You feel that everything is much harder than before.
The list can go on, however it’s not worth dwelling on.
To be able to accept that when you’re in one of these places is inevitable is something that will help you climb out of such a place, however there will be a price to pay, as always.
One can keep riding the rollercoaster of physical fitness or you can simply aim to achieve something that is sustainable.
What that exactly is can be up of debate, especially when to most it’s subjective, very very subjective.
Here is an example from some of my male acquaintances:
To be lean all the time = you won’t be very big
To be big all the time = you won’t be at all lean
There may be some exceptions, these unique individuals may be genetically gifted beyond belief, the hardest working decibels you’ll ever know or having a bit of help, if you catch my drift, however what ever the reason it doesn’t matter because you’re not them and what they have probably isn’t sustainable for you, otherwise you’d be one of them.
Just how it is I’m afraid.
Don’t fear the valleys, don’t revel to long at the peaks, let them come and go and aim ti enjoy each for what is has to offer you, experience.
Is your Ego getting in the way of your progress?
Ego is an interesting thing.
It stops you listening to those who know better and it really hates change.
We’ve all had those times where it has stopped us getting to the next level, be that in work, fitness or any other endeavour, it really is something that we can do without.
Our own ego is incredibly fragile, you can always tell when a persons feels threatened because they will act out in defence, even if the are not a part of the conversation or it wasn’t aimed at them.
After playing devils advocate for enough years I’ve been able to see this happen several times without fail, it’s quite funny to sit back and watch.
You can overcome this evolutionary flaw by doing the following:
– Embrace the fact that it’s your ego thinking, not you.
– Understanding what is going on with your ego (it’s scared of dying).
– Letting go.
The last one is the hardest, if you are asked or told to let go of something have you ever realised or thought “I just can’t do that.” and yet not known why you can’t let go, it’s because of our friend Ego, it wants to hold on to things that is really doesn’t need to.
The next time you struggle to let go or move on, ask yourself this – why is this so important to me?
Chances are the attachment doesn’t really have any base, it just is.
We’ve all been blocked by this little friend of ours, embrace-understand-let go.
Did you know that just because you found evidence that agrees with your opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s right.
^^ A hard pill to swallow, however one we all need form time to time.
In our world of instant answers and global communication it’s not hard to find something that confirms what we believe and that’s quite a dangerous thing.
While it is true you can find studies, anecdote and much more to prove your point it doesn’t then mean you should discount other information.
Grasping the entire picture is crucial in making objective decisions and a logical conclusion, otherwise you’re just feeding your ego.
I’ve been guilty of this and as such I have three short pieces of advice to help you.
1 – Always question your own beliefs
2 – Look for information from every conceivable angle
3 – Try to prove yourself wrong
Following these will allow you a broader perspective on a great many things, fitness related and across the entire spectrum of life too. If what you feel is true is true then gathering all the info on all the angles, opposing views and challenging opinions will still lead to the same answer, however you must be willing to entertain the possibility that you’re wrong before you can ever hope to prove that you’re not.
Healthy skepticism, it’s the way forwards.
*** Warning, this is a Rant***
Is this familiar:
“I was really good this week but I’ve put on weight :(. I don’t know how it happened.”
Then the ensuing demotivation and comfort eating follows because you feel like a failure.
If you have ever said/feel this you need to give yourself a talking to, or even a slap.
Firstly, ask yourself this: Are you still the weight you were with the same body fat or are you now weighing less because of less body fat?
Is the answer is you’re carrying less body fat then you need to stop moaning. You’ve done well, just because you didn’t lose weight in one week does not mean it’s the end of the world.
Before you start stripping out calories and foods you need to keep reading.
Do you know that you can gain weight for many reasons, usually it’s because of water/nutrient retention because of something you’ve eaten (maybe a few more carbs than normal BUT THIS IS OKAY) or in some people case it could be ‘that time of the month’, don’t worry, focus on the following:
– Are you still in a total loss from where you started?
– Are you looking better than you did?
– Are your clothes looser?
If the answer is yes to all of those, you’ve got no problem, stop panicking. Success in losing weight/fat is never a straight line, you will lose some, then stay the same, then maybe put on 1-2 pounds and then continue to lose more, that’s just how it works.
Typically your weight staying the same is due to you building muscle and the weigh increase is the water/nutrient retention in those muscles, however your weight soon goes down gain as your metabolism (TDEE – total daily energy expenditure) is higher because of the new muscle, have faith, you’re on the right track.
Harsh words but ones a lot of people need to hear.
Do you know the is one thing almost everyone has in common?
A lot of people fear change.
We find something that works, that feels good and gets us to new heights, then only to become scared about losing the progress we have made by adapting our routine and changing. This is where a lot of people fall down, MYSELF included.
I can draw on personal and professional experience and quite easily say that making changes is good, so long as they are the right changes.
How do you know what the right changes are though?
There are two answers to that question:
1 – You don’t.
2 – You do.
I know that is a contradiction but it is very true and I will explain why.
At the start of your training or even life journey you have no knowledge and try lots of things until you find the one that works, once you do you stick with it until it stops working and sadly stay there wasting time because you’re scared to change. After a while of being stagnant you take the plunge and try something new, then, low and behold you get new results and once again start to make progress. You then repeat this until you hit the same problem as before and repeat this process for several years.
After around 3-5 years some people finally have the realisation that they need to change their training and train hard until they stop getting results that way,THEN they change again and repeat, thus successfully making progress, all be it very small and slow, but that is better than no progress at all. If you need an example think of it this way; you were doing a full body 5×5 3 days per week for 12 months, then swapped to a body part split of 4 days per week (2 upper, 2 lower), the split lower the overall frequency of how much you’re training each muscle group (3xPW to 2xPW) but it will allow you to work harder and increase the overall session by session volume, this means more progress. You have made a change that while on paper looks like you’re doing less it allows you to do more.
Once you adapt to that volume you can increase the frequency again to once again elicit a positive adaptive response.
As with knowing and not knowing there are two ways you can establish your progression patterns:
1 – Intuition, trial & error.
2 – Tracking and Optimal Programming
I will always push people towards option 2 because there is not one person I know who hasn’t at some stage in their training had a program or structured plan to follow. EVERYONE started off following a plan, be that training or nutrition. While it is true that as they progress they will need this less and less as they know their own body, the best of the best still keep notes, this is why they are at the top.
Take a look at your training and see how your progress has gone, unless you’ve not recorded any of your training, in that case just keep guessing and it will work in the end.