Lot’s of folks still get it wrong. Which amazes me, because we have the interwebs, an immense, wonderful, easy-to-access plethora of information. It makes it amazingly easy to make sense of things.
Don’t worry, this entire post isn’t a rant, just the top half. At the end I’ll discuss “The Right Way”, and how to put it all together. Everything I’ve learned in a nice group of bullet points.
And it is easy. Just take a little time out of your busy day from watching television or stuffing your face, and read a few arguments, from both sides of the field, on whatever topic you think is controversial or just doesn’t make a whole lotta sense to you. Most people with a shred of common sense should have the ability to figure out the stronger argument, without getting caught up in the argumentum ad verecundiam.
I take it upon myself to be better than. I like to learn from my own mistakes, but I also learn a lot from everyone elses mistakes. To pay attention to certain things, tells you a lot about people.
Let me explain what I mean.
At my gym, Planet Fitness, (I know I know, why the hell do I go there? It’s cheap) there are lots of folks who, day after day, like (I use the word like lightly) to get up on the cardio torture devices and trudge away for hours, sweating and panting. Then after they go home and stuff themselves with carbs, or whatever. And they come back, dragging themselves into the gym, and do it all again. They’ve been told that they are doing it right, and despite the total lack of results (just look at most of ’em.) they keep telling themselves it’s right. But they’ll never touch a set of free-weights. And they’ll never change their crap diet. Why not? Are they scared that they’ll blow up and look like a body builder over night? Are they scared that they’ll look inexperienced? Look at the folks who are doing free weights, and clearly have been doing them for a while. There’s even some chicks doing heavy lifting in there, and they definitely have got it working for them, and they are not huge bulky body builders.
My biggest problem with those treadmill junkies is not that they’re out of shape or whatever. It’s that they haven’t asked themselves the difficult question: “WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING FOR ME?”
The answer, is simple: “YOU HAVE TO USE THE INTERWEBS!” See? Learning is fun!
Then hopefully you might come across this blog, or the blog of one my comrades. It might raise questions, and cause you to ask even more questions. And then, holy cow, we’re learning something new!
Then the other morning, driving to work, I see a woman power walking. She’s pregnant too, very pregnant. And in shape. I said to myself, “now there’s someone who’s getting it right.” Who clearly isn’t listening to conventional wisdom, sitting around, chugging gallons of chocolate and ice cream. But it made me think about the 20-something pregnant girl at my work. She is also very pregnant. She can barely walk, she actually waddles, can’t take the stairs, and complains about it, or actually celebrates it with her little group of girls, as if being fat and weak is a normal part of being pregnant? She even started waddling around after only a few months of pregnancy, which is even more odd. Is it all mental??
And she put on weight too, I mean extra. Used to be actually good-looking and in shape too. Always talking about how she’s “eating for two”. Yah, if you’re putting on lots of excess body fat, you’re eating too much. Period. And it’s all junk, chocolate candies, donuts, Fruity Pebbles!! WTF!!?? You aren’t eating for two full-grown adults! You should be eating for a fetus and one sedentary lazy weak girl who spends life at a desk! Do you honestly think “cravings” and actually being hungry are the same thing? Or is it just an excuse to poison yourself and your fetus, and get wicked out of shape? Good luck losing that “baby weight”, or I-binged-and-gorged-on-junk-food ‘cus I had “cravings” weight.
Perhaps you might want to think about how what you put into your body affects your body, and what is growing inside it?
Again, the answer to this conundrum is simple: “Use the interwebs” and ask the tough questions. Maybe you’ll come across Chris Kresser’s The Healthy Baby Code, and you (god forbid) might just learn something!
Science isn’t that scary, and it isn’t difficult to understand. We all had statistics in high school right? Its pretty easy to figure out if we’re looking at a study, whether or not the analysis makes sense. Even if stats isn’t your thing, from a common sense standpoint, the truth always floats to the surface, and some arguments just make more sense.
It’s also easy to figure out if what you are doing is actually working. How long have you been doing it? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are you strong enough to lift your own body weight? Have you reached your goals or are you progressing consistently towards that goal? Has progress stalled or is it time to change something up? At a certain point, science isn’t all you need in order to successfully apply something to your life. Many times self experimentation and common sense, (with an idea of biology helps) will be your best friends.
The Right Way. Putting it all together.
- Eat real food. Don’t eat grains, sugar, industrial veggie oils, or pre-packaged “food”
- Eat more on workout days, eat less on rest days
- Only eat when you are truly hungry
- Do some intermittent fasting
- Eliminate stress as much as possible with sleep, relaxation, etc
- Avoid over-training and excess cardio
- Lift heavy weights a few times per week
- Sprint every once in a while
- Always ask more questions
- Do some self-experimentation
- Don’t do the same thing repeatedly if it doesn’t make permanent or lasting change, and don’t do it or change something, if it has not been working for you (after an appropriate time trying of course)
- Never stop asking questions (yes I said it twice)
- Edit: almost forgot to add. Get LOTS of low level (or boring, depends how you see it) exercise, like walking or hiking, LOTS of sun (don’t burn!), and plenty of nature.
- And, make sure you follow a gym program, like Leangains or Musclehack. Track and log, track and log. Write it down! That’s the best way to measure progress. Consistency and measurement will show you results.
Do you ask the tough questions? How has self-experimentation worked for you? Have you actually done everything you can? Discuss!