Training Yourself

At one point, you were taught how to do every single thing you know how to do.

Once you were taught something, you had to train yourself to become better at it.

You trained yourself to brush your teeth.

You trained yourself to tie your shoes.

You know that you must train to get stronger. To build muscle. To lose body fat.

To be able to lift 100 pounds, you have to train yourself to do it.

At first, it might be challenging to lift 50 pounds. But you know you’ll never get to 100 if you don’t keep training.

So you keep training, and eventually you are able to lift 100 pounds.

Whatever it is that you start but always have trouble sticking to, happens because you are not approaching it as training.

On day one, two, and three of your diet you may have no trouble staying on track. But at the end of week one, and into week two is when things begin getting difficult.

You think to yourself that this just “sucks,” but it is really that you are right in the heat of training.

This is how it should feel. And it should feel like this for a while. For a lot longer than you think it should.

You have to train yourself to be disciplined.

You have to train yourself to eat right.

You have to train yourself to drink more water.

You have to train yourself to get enough sleep.

It will never be easy to lift heavier and heavier weight.

It will never be easy to run faster or to jump higher.

Don’t expect being able to eat the right things or being able to avoid eating the wrong things to be easy.

That is training.

She Inspires Me

My daughter is not quite two years old.

I am proud of her in so many ways.

Just recently, I began to realize how much she inspires me each day as well.

Actually, many things about her are inspirational, but I want to highlight just one of them here.

She loves to eat healthy food.

So much so, that this past weekend she wanted nothing to do with the pizza, cookies and ice cream I offered to her. She truly did not want any of that stuff, and stuck with her peas, blueberries, and cottage cheese instead.

During the week when I am very strict with my eating (and would rather be sinking my teeth into a burger and fries), I think of her.

If she can find enjoyment in eating her healthy food, I can tolerate eating it as well.

Collapsed

I knew it was going to be a hard week to get through. 

I knew this 7 seconds after biting into the dusty chicken breast I had over-cooked on Monday night. My meal was not enjoyable, and I was supposed to eat the same thing for the next 3 nights.

On Wednesday night I collapsed. 

IMG_4024-1.jpeg

On my way home from the gym, I decided I was too hungry to gag down chicken and vegetables for the third night in a row.

I went to Pancheros instead.

I actually don't view Pancheros as that bad of a place to eat out - the ingredients are pretty fresh, and you can pack a lot of quality nutrients into a burrito. But on a normal week, I consider Pancheros to be off limits.

The next time you fall a little off track with your diet (like I did last night), remember that one meal isn't going to make much of a difference long-term to throw you off schedule in reaching your goals. 

Eating right should be a lifestyle habit. Look at the big picture of it. Heck, we all can even afford to go through a week or two straight of gluttony each year. 

Just don't let bingeing on bad foods become your regular way of eating.

 

One-Ingredient Foods

As a general rule of thumb when it comes to eating, try to eat foods that don't have a lot of ingredients in them.

Better yet, eat as many one-ingredient foods as possible. 

Blueberries have only one ingredient: blueberries. Carrots have only one ingredient: carrots.

Kraft macaroni and cheese has 3 million ingredients in it. Even your typical 150-calorie "healthy" protein bar, that has 20 grams of protein and zero grams of sugar, is made from at least a dozen different ingredients (and some of them are probably things that you have no idea what they even are).

The more "pure" a food is, let's just say here, the less processed it is, the more nutrients the food will offer your body. Your body will have an easier time metabolizing a purer food as well.

Make sure most of the food you buy at the grocery store doesn't have any packaging at all (fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of protein).

And for the food you buy that does have packaging, take a look at the label. Look at the label not to see how many calories are in a serving, but to see what ingredients comprise this food item.

Dieting: You SHOULD Feel Hungry

I have said before that I am not a fan of counting calories. I just think there is no need to track them if you simply focus on eating the right things. Eat high quality, nutrient-dense foods and everything falls into place.

Although I will always feel this way, at the end of the day calories do matter. If you are dieting and want to be successful, you will need to be in a caloric deficit. Being in a caloric deficit simply means that you will be expending more energy (calories) than you are consuming. 

Lets assume that your goal is to lose weight, and you don't want to work out. It is obvious that to lose weight without exercise you will need to eat less food than what you are eating at your current state. Since you won't be exercising to expend any extra calories, consuming fewer calories is what you will need to do in order to get you to a deficit. 

Most people understand everything up to this point.

What tends to confuse and frustrate people when they are dieting is why they feel hungry all the time.

Well, the reason is simple. You are eating (sometimes considerably) less than you are used to.

You shouldn't feel full.

You shouldn't feel satiated.

You should feel hungry often.

When dieting, you are training your body to operate on fewer calories consumed. You are forcing your body to tap into stored energy. 

The overall message is that you want to feel hungry when you are dieting. It is actually a good thing and is an indication that the right processes are taking place in your body. People are quick to give up on their diet when hunger comes around. If only they recognized that this is a sign they are on the right track.