Chronic Deprivation?

So we’ve established you’re not on a diet. We know that. You’ve made a lifestyle change. Cool. There is a huge difference and you know that now.  You’re learning…

So what’s up with all the 30 day diets?

I remember when I was a little kid, watching people eat shit I wouldn’t allow myself to eat, thinking when is my turn? I recognized the absurdity of a “diet” when I was young, maybe 9 or 10, and knew that I had to do this forever, not just temporarily.  Was I unlucky enough to be cursed with a lifetime of deprivation? That seems so harsh. Could I be so unlucky? It took me about 15 years to answer this.

Happiness is always the ultimate goal. If you are unhappy with the mirror, most likely you are unhappy with your life.  But staring at someone eat, green with envy, constantly worried, constantly hungry, constantly deprived…that’s not very happy either.

I’m here today to tell you people you don’t have to choose between being fat or constantly deprived. You don’t have to chose between unhappy and unhappy.

You just have to not want the things you don’t really want.

I used to slam some fast food. Now McDonald’s disgusts me. I don’t feel deprived at all that I don’t eat it. Quite the opposite, actually. I feel blessed that I am disgusted with McDonalds.  Mt. Dew disgusts me.  I see my clients drink it and I get a queasy stomach, my teeth feel grainy from the sugar I imagine nestled on my teeth.

You get the point.

It’s not all easy. I’m getting there. Ice cream still looks pretty yummy and doughnuts still smell pretty good, but it’s getting easier. I think of the spike in my blood sugar, the insulin, the bloated feeling, the inflammation, the feeling of failure, the cravings for more after having just a little…etc. It makes it easier to turn it from something I am not allowed to have to something I don’t want to have. Deprivation Free.

I truly do not want to eat anything that isn’t good for me, anymore. I am not deprived; I am not waiting for my diet to end. I am just eating, lifting and living and it’s fucking liberating.  I’m not so jealous of the people eating cake anymore. I feel bad for them because they are as trapped as I used to be.

I’ve had a lot of jealousy issues. Clearly, I’ve loved food my whole life. I have always been so mad that I HAD to be on a diet; that everything in my life seemed to revolve around something some people just didn’t have to worry about. It’s a lot for me to deal with, as a child and now. I lost a lot to this fight, but gained so much more in the end. I thank God every day that I have this wonderfully slow metabolism and chronic perfectionism tied together. I would have never cared about fitness or nutrition if it didn’t spawn from my desire to be skinny. And look what it has turned into! My life, my passion, my goals,my dreams -all have stemmed from my continued failures.

Eliminate bullshit from your life, my friends. Bullshit of all kinds. You’ll only end up with awesome once the bullshit is gone…and it is so liberating.

Core Values and CrossFit

Life values I’ve learned from CrossFit and why I want to introduce CrossFit to everyone:

Integrity…Goals…Excuses…Confidence…Truth…Equality…etc, etc…

It’s weird when I try to explain to people how much I’ve learned about life from a nutrition/fitness program….maybe I can explain a little better…

When I first made my blog about my personal challenge of this 30 day diet, I said that it was hard for me to post this so publicly but doing so helps keep me accountable.

So there I was a few days later, sizing up my (whatever I wanted to eat), looking for an excuse to make it ok, I realized I would have to push back the entire experiment, admit failure to everyone and look like a weak person. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to look like a weak person after making such a strong and public declaration. And I have people who read my blog tell me they respect my will power. I didn’t want to let them down. I knew, if I’m going to eat this, I’m just going to have to lie about it. I have to appear like a person of integrity.

WAIT….
Why am I aspiring to LOOK like a strong willed person? Why am I aspiring to LOOK like a person of integrity? I don’t want that. I want to BE a person of integrity.

Because, people sense genuine, and people know bullshit.

I sucked at double unders. It took me about a year and a half to get more than 3 together. I would complain about them, how I’m not meant to be good at them, how they were just never going to come to me, everyone knew I hated them. I went to Rogue and got a custom rope. I would “work” on them after the WOD. I would do a few, stand around, do a few, talk to the homeless people, try a few more, look around, get pissed off, and then call it a day. Then one day it started raining, I was in the parking lot across the street from the gym fumbling around with my rope, and it was a pretty quiet day. A few people were working out but no one was really outside or walking around to see me. I had no one to validate the fact that I was trying to be better at double unders. I had no reason to continue.

Hmmm…wait a minute. Why am I more concerned that people SEE ME attempting these than I am actually getting them down? I’m faking it! I’m just looking for people to validate that it’s not my fault I suck at these, and It’s ok, at least I’m trying. I got pissed at myself. I was shocked and embarrassed of my own childish behavior and excuses I didn’t even realize I was making. Do I want to be a good athlete, or do I want to appear like a dedicated athlete? …because I’m sure as shit not becoming a better athlete from standing around here trying to make people feel sorry for me, and feeling sorry for myself.

Feeling sorry for yourself or encouraging other people to feel sorry for you is completely and utterly pointless.

I emailed someone I respect a lot about diet, my biggest vice. I needed help. It just wasn’t working for me. I need his secrets. He said ‘cool, tell me what you’re eating and I’ll get back to you.’ I quickly logged on my online food journals and erased all the McDonalds I ate 3 weeks ago. I left some stuff out; moments of weakness I didn’t want documented, for myself or others, on display. And I waited; I waited for him to say “I don’t know, man, everything looks good. Poor you, you are doing all the right things.”

…and I waited. And I waited and about 6 weeks later I hadn’t heard from him and I finally was able to email him to admit I was a fraud. He forced me, unknowingly, to self-reflect on my diet. It wasn’t his secret knowledge I needed. It was someone to call my bullshit. I wanted people to feel sorry for me because I felt sorry for myself. I just wanted my efforts validated, and that was getting me NO WHERE.

So I called my own bullshit.

Ask yourself, have I really, truly done EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to achieve my goal. If I were to look back on what it is that DIDN’T get me there, and eliminated it, would I be successful? Is it worth it? Do I want that thing that is standing in my way more than I want my goal?

And if you ever get there, if you can look back and say I have tired 100% absolute hardest I know how and didn’t achieve my goal, you were never supposed to. Either that or life is forcing you to further educate yourself. Challenges are a gift. Embrace what you learned and move on.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t want other people to feel sorry for you either. As coy as you think you might be, you’re probably just annoying. Don’t get jealous, get better. Life’s not fair, deal with it. Learn to recognize excuses. They are sometimes hidden. And be you. Don’t lie to others or yourself.  Fuck people who judge you. They don’t matter. Friends are always quality over quantity. Don’t fill up your life with bullshit; it takes away from the awesome. And you only have so much time.

Being true to who you are, being truthful to yourself and others, being happy with who you are—it is liberating. And people know. You can’t fake being a genuine person. It just doesn’t ever work.

MY STRONG

Remembering a conversation I had about 3 years ago:

me: I want to learn to deadlift. I YouTube’d it. It looks fun.
my trainer: Good. You’re going to be strong.
me: I don’t really care about strong, I just want to be skinny and look good.
trainer: YOU have to be strong.
me: Why?
trainer: Because YOU are never going to be skinny.
me: …(after running through years of failed attempts at skinny in my head.) Fair enough. Let’s try strong.

You can work your entire life at a goal you will never achieve. You might end up somewhere even better. So don’t stop trying.

Fasting Experiences

Image

Fasting, outside of the metabolic benefits, is good for the psyche too. Like everything I blog about, I learned this from my own experience.

I learned that we, as humans, tend to freak the fuck out when we are hungry. I know I do. Being hungry sucks. But it’s really OK to be hungry, it’s normal. And the worry, the fear, the “OMG I have low blood sugar, I’m in a catabolic state, my stomach is growling, I need to get something to hold me over”, is just you being dramatic. I promise, you’ll be alright.

Do you really think that caveman were able to satisfy their hunger immediately all the time? Do you think they woke up with available bacon every morning?  Do you think they got a snack to “hold them over” until dinner? Do you think they had a guaranteed dinner every night? Do you think that the fishing/hunting was any easier for them because they had a hard workout that day?

I know, I know. Mr. Caveman probably didn’t look at a tree log on the ground and think “hm…I think I’m going to thrust this 21 times, and then pull my body up over this tree and then do it again 15 times and then 9 times and not stop until I vomit or die” I get it. Competitive athletes should eat more than caveman did, but you still should eat like a human.

I have been struggling with skipping breakfast on weekends and days when I don’t have to go directly to work upon waking up. I wake up and I want breakfast. That has been my schedule for 24 years. So last week I took a day off work and had to fast until 2 pm so I could get my blood taken to test my cholesterol. I woke up about 6 like normal and wanted bacon, like normal. I started to search for a justification to have bacon. Anything, anything…common there has to be some reason TODAY is the day I break my rules and eat bacon right when I wake up. But I remembered I HAD to fast. It wasn’t even my choice. At this point I was relieved, no guilt, no decisions, no consequences, no excuses, no failed diet, no deprivation, just no…and bacon…at 3 pm like I was supposed to do. I made it just fine without my breakfast.

Do you ever wonder why people who are diagnosed with severe allergies and will die from peanuts usually don’t have any problem not eating peanuts, although peanut butter addicts just can’t seem to break the habit?

Stop giving your willpower a choice. Don’t walk into work, see doughnuts on the table and look for a reason why it’s ok. Just don’t even think about it. I promise you’ll be ok.

Hunger pains and sugar cravings are a lot alike. And both go away if you ignore them.

Habits, good or bad, are hard to break. The more you say no the easier it becomes and the more you make excuses to make it ok the harder it becomes to even recognize the excuse. Relieve yourself from the pressure of failure. Just avoid it and do what you should, when you should. Whatever that may be.

The fuck it bucket

Be wary of what you are putting in the fuck-it-bucket. The fuck-it-bucket is an excuse to excuse something you have no excuse for.

Congrats. You’ve recognized that you are making an excuse, and that it is invalid. But saying “I just don’t care” is a lie. You care. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t want to justify it.

The fuck-it-bucket is deep. It’s hard to get out of, and easy to keep putting stuff into. If you find yourself there, get out, and DO IT NOW!( https://cmac1130.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/do-it-now/) .  Don’t think because you fucked up yesterday or you haven’t seen progress in a month that you won’t or can’t.

There is always better. No matter how bad it is better is always just a little bit above where you are at. So don’t ever surrender to the bucket.
Image

Good and Bad People

I was running errands with a friend yesterday and I see him sneak a Payday into his pile of healthy food in the grocery store. He looked at me, disappointed I noticed. “You’re not going to judge me, are you?”

Most don’t ask. Most just assume. Some people think I judge them because they don’t work out at all, while some people think I judge them because they work out at a globo gym. Some people think I judge them because they go to CrossFit recreationally and have fun and get a good workout but don’t push themselves to 100%.

I used to follow the food guide pyramid; I used to globo gym and partial squatted the hell outta that Smith machine. I used to make excuses. I used to, hypocritically, eat shit I would tell people not to eat. I still do. I’m working on it. I’m getting better.

I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to eat whole wheat crackers like it’s my job. I didn’t realize I was making excuses. It doesn’t make me bad. It makes me uneducated. I am now obsessed with educating myself. But I’m pretty sure there is a whole lot of shit I still don’t know. I learned, this past weekend, on top of a lot of other things, that I’ve certainly got a lot to learn. What else am I doing wrong? What excuses am I still making? People who don’t go to the gym at all aren’t lazy any more than you are because you skipped your mobility last week, or you cheated on your diet. The junk food you ate, hate to break it to you, but regardless of if you are trying to manipulate body fat or not, that’s not giving 100%. That’s fine. I’m not judging you, I promise. I’m just saying it’s all relative, and you’re not any better than anyone else. Weakness is universal. Intensity is relative. We are human. No one is perfect. No one gets to know everything. Get off your high horse.

There are no good or bad people, only good and bad choices.

Never, never, ever give up on someone. Absolutely, especially yourself.

Every single person has the potential to be amazing.

CrossFit community gets a lot of slack about Kool-aid. I was worried about Kool-aid when I started drinking the Paleo Kool-aid because I want to do what is right. Not what everyone else is doing. Kool-aid  is conformity, and we all drink it. I try to flirt with the devil. I try to read anti-Paleo, vegetarian, whatever- articles and books.  If I just read Paleo books I’m not going to learn about anything but Paleo, right? But the problem is, I cannot read it with unbiased eyes. I spent the entire time thinking “this is so stupid, I am so smarter than these people. We are so right and they are so wrong.”

It’s my firm belief that one can prove whatever they want to prove with an experiment and write an article about it. Were so biased. We seek out information that confers with what we want. And we are so flawed. We are humans. There is such a big margin of error with anything you research.

I drink CrossFit/ Paleo Kool-aid. You drink Strongman and carb back loading Kool-aid. You drink P90x Kool-aid. You drink food-guide pyramid Kool-aid. You drink partial squats on the Smith machine Kool-aid. It’s all the same. One might be more right than others, but who knows? And maybe someone who is drinking the “wrong” kool-aid just isn’t educated enough; hasn’t had the experience/opportunities to drink the “right” Kool-aid. Maybe someone gave up on them.  It doesn’t make them a bad person.

DO IT NOW

Those of you who know me know I am an open book and like to talk a lot. But I have always been kind of quiet about my diet. It’s always been a struggle, one of many in my life, maybe my biggest. Definitely the most mental strength I have ever learned about myself has come from my dieting. It’s the same as the mental strength you learn in the gym, only different.

“I’m gonna blow this workout if I don’t pick up the bar right now…but it hurts, and I wanna stop.”
Do you go through the motions and just go for a finish, take a few more breaths and settle for mediocrity or do you pick it up and kill it? Whatever you do you have to do it now.

One of the biggest excuses I am learning I allow myself to have is thinking I’ll do better next time.  “I’m going for survival. Next workout I’ll kill it.” But then tomorrow it’s the same, or a different excuse. Maybe “I have low blood sugar, it’s this new diet, my hands are ripped, I didn’t sleep well last night, I’m not mentally there”…whatever. There are endless excuses you can give yourself to postpone doing what you have to do NOW.  But it will never be anything but now.

You know that person you keep trying to get to come to the gym. They talk about wanting to be better, look better, feel better… whatever, but they are afraid to start. They keep saying when I do this or after that. You’re not any different than them if you’re not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

But that’s a workout and then it’s over. I’m working on that. I am. And I am working on my diet. A diet that starts tomorrow is nothing. Put down that doughnut you are eating right now. Don’t even finish it…unless of course this doughnut is in your diet plan, then whatever.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start. You will most likely spend today celebrating (eating doughnuts) the fact that your strict diet starts tomorrow. It’s a lifestyle. Give up shit that is contradictive to whatever you want to achieve and do it NOW.

I say this as I come down from an episode of “celebrating” after a couple weeks of successful lifestyle dietary changes that I want to pursue for the rest of my life. I’m not perfect.  I get it now, at least. I at least can take responsibility. I am empowered. I start now…again.

Part of living in the present means not living in the past either. Every bad workout and every time you “cheat” on your diet, it is the past. Don’t punish yourself with less calories or extra workouts.  Just do what you need to do NOW and you will never have to stress about then or tomorrow again.