I wanted to go over some key points that I notice are common when one is trying to stick to a 'diet' or see any sort of changes in their physique. Some of these, I am sure a handful of you can relate to and if not, they are important bullet points to be aware of in the future. Flawed 'diet' and 'body image' issues are so incredibly common, it can actually get draining to think about. I want to try to cut it off at the source and make sure that no one has these thoughts when going through any journey of weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain or increased health and well being.
Thinking you are always on a 'diet'
Thinking you are always on a 'diet'
This is something I hear time and time again from people when I sit down and talk to them about really bumping up their progress. I am a trainer-first things first, I focus on exercise programming with clients. If any of my clients want to talk about their diet; (have questions, comments, want to share with me their daily eating habits) I completely encourage that! I would never give someone a complete diet makeover-however I am willing to give suggestions. I get that people go through phases where maybe they want to lose a little weight, body fat, or what have you. I also know how unhealthy and scary crash dieting can be. I encourage you all to be honest with yourself. If you ALWAYS feel like you are 'on a diet' this is extremely flawed thinking that will just set up up for setbacks.
"oh its my best friends wedding, I can go off my diet this weekend" Get OUT of this mindset! A better thinking process would be:
"I am going to enjoy myself this weekend because it is my best friends wedding" 'enjoy' doesn't necessarily eat everything in sight. It can just simply mean not focusing on the food; focus on the experience.
When you start to clean up your diet to live a lean, healthy, consistent eating habits-it is so important to be in tune with yourself. You want this way of eating to be sustainable for the long haul. If you can't swing it for more than a few days or a week--you will get frustrated! Think about the times of the day that you are the most hungry and what foods you are eating. Maybe you want to try new varieties of fruits, veggies, proteins or fats. Are you thirsty throughout the day? Tired? Stressed? When do you feel this way and how could your diet be effected. A smart idea could be to keep a food journal for 3 days and write down not only what you eat, but how you feel before after and during the meal. Its amazing how certain foods can make you feel fatigued, bloated, satisfied, energized etc. Create a plan that works for you and your body. So Debbie Sue can't eat Greek Yogurt...so what! That doesn't mean you can't! Eat foods, keep track and be aware.
I know that seeing a number can be a source of comfort for most of you. You like to stay within a certain range and not stray far from it. Are you doing something wrong because you are working your butt off, sweating, eating right yet not seeing that number budge? NO! In fact, you are doing everything right, you are simply focusing on the wrong thing. When is the last time you focused more on your strength, health, and how your body looks without letting yourself be defined by a number?
Seeing a change in body composition is a much better gauge of your health than simply a number on a scale. Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a compliment every single day. You are unique and beautiful and are worth more than a number. Not only will you be happier with yourself when you STOP paying attention to a number, but you will also be focusing on what matters most-your health and body composition.
Not letting yourself ENJOY a reward meal
I have talked about the importance of cheat meals while dieting many times before. It is no secret that when I am training for my show, the diet tightens up quite a bit. Like I mentioned before, this is NOT a sustainable diet. It is short term and designed this way specifically to prepare my body for the stage. A large part of what keeps me the most focused and on track during the more hardcore dieting phase are the 'reward meals' Now, I really hate this term when referring to food because no food should be seen as a reward. With this said, during the dieting phase of contest prep, this is the only time I will refer to my meal of choice as such and it actually helps to keep energy levels high, gives my body a break and also keeps me psychologically on track. Cheat meals actually work by resetting the hunger hormones, leptin and gherlin as well as helps to boost metabolism and metabolic rate. The reward meals help to replenish glycogen stores from the intense workouts as well.
Playing the "Victim"
The most frustrating thing that I have witnessed is when others who are on a 'diet' always are playing the victim in every situation. They want others to feel bad for them. They look longingly at their favorite foods with a pout and openly say how they 'wish they could eat it' Give me a break If you are consciously making the choice to clean up the diet hardcore-you have to remember this is your choice. You are making this sacrifice therefore one of the most annoying and draining things you can do isto make others feel bad for you.
When I was going through training and dieting for my very first show, throughout the entire process, I stayed true to myself. Of course I took tips and advice from others but honestly, what I found was the most useful 'tool' was finding my own way of making it happen. I never took silly supplements, listened to hokey workouts, or followed nutrition plans from magazines (which are not the best to follow because they are not meant for you. Sure, these meal plans can give you some great ideas to incorporate into your own personal diet...but not the whole meal plan itself) Most of all, I stayed away from toxic people. I kept most of the process to myself.
I remember one time in a cafe near my apartment and there were two women in front of me. One was ordering a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and the other friend looked at her with 'that' face...the "REALLY? you're going to eat THAT in front of me?!" face.
She then proceeded to say "seriously? You know I can't eat that right now and you're going to order it and sit with me and eat it...UGH you're so lucky"
Her friend looked back at her and said :
"Yeah, Lily (not her real name) I need to eat breakfast and so I ordered a bagel with cream cheese. I didn't tell you what to eat or what not to eat"
I was so happy that her friend put her in her place. Of course the friend does not have to eat or order a bagel, but the bottom line is that its HER CHOICE to not 'allow' herself these foods. If you are choosing not to eat it-stop making others feel badly about their decisions! It will not only drain your time, energy and focus, but it will start bringing about a negative energy and soon no one will want to be around you.
Consistency with ONE Diet at a time (and workout!)
I wrote all about that in this article "6 tips to see results and stay on track" but in short:
I cannot emphasize how important staying CONSISTENT is when it comes to reaching any goal-whether that be fat loss, weight loss or muscle gain. This goes for both diet and exercise alike. When I hear someone come to me, frustrated that they haven't been seeing results, yet they are eating 'healthy' and 'working out regularly' the first question I will ask is "what have you been doing for your workouts" More often than not, this individual has not taken the time to stick with one consistent program. They hop all around, which is actually a fabulous idea for many people just looking to maintain their current weight, stay healthy, strong and keep them from getting bored. However, if you have specific fat loss, weight loss or any other physique focused goal-you MUST give your body time to adjust to one specific workout program and diet regimen. Paleo one week, Atkins (really?) the next Zone the next. Seriously. Your body is confused and has no idea what the heck you are doing. Find what works for you and stay consistent with it for 4 weeks. After that time, you can assess your gains/losses, pros/cons and see if you want to change it up. Seriously though, just give your body time to adjust.
I Will Never Have The Body I Want; I May As Well Stop Trying
I have seen this too many times. People work their BUTTS off and have trouble achieving exactly what they want. This is a mindset, people. You need to stop aiming for perfection-its draining. You are perfect. You are unique and you work HARD. The second that you stop thinking so damn much about what is going in and how many macros/micros/carbs/protein/veggies you are taking in is the moment that you will feel free and most likely start seeing results. Your mind is the most powerful tool you have so use it wisely. When you let your mind control YOU, you know you have lost all touch with yourself and what will ultimately make you happy.
So you miss a workout, eat something that wasn't in your 'plan' who cares? Life goes on (hard for some people to believe) There is no need to give off negativity especially regarding your body and your life. Be grateful. Stop expecting things to happen overnight and you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. I truly believe in the power of self love and that once you learn to love yourself-this is when you will finally let others see the amazing person that you are.
Numbers, clothing, shoe size, body size--these things do not define who you are. YOU define who you are. Put yourself on a pedestal and just stop complaining. No one wants to hear it. Create the life you want and live it
I hope you enjoyed this post and now feel strong, empowered and ready to ROCK the day! :)