Let's face it though, much of the fitness realm as far as business is concerned is predicated on the fact that you are SUPPOSED to fail. Let's look at it from a realistic standpoint, shall we? Without going into too much of a rant (trust me, it bothers me too), marketers are paid good money to make you spend your money because they make you feel bad about yourself. People do not buy on rationality, they buy on emotion! You could make someone buy a Pickled Pig's Foot Popsicle if you could convince them it would make them younger, more vibrant (whatever that means...) or get some celebrity to endorse it.
Fear not though, for I am not here to chastise you too bad...I know that I have suffered from the same problem, and very well still do to this day sometimes. I know what it is like to go into a restaurant, look at the menu, pick something out that sounds good, gobble it down, and then feel infinitely guilty afterward to the point of corner-cowering 24 hour depression-like sulking that only the beautiful Ms. Owen can bring me out of.
Warrior's leave no detail unchecked or unaccounted for. Check out this video from the movie Last Samurai:
In the terms of health and overall beast status, this means having discipline in two very general areas: Strength Training and Diet. Like the proverbial Yin-Yang balance, true potential cannot be reached without the integration of each. Where strength training (or training/practice) in general provides us with our power and agressiveness, our diet balances us by providing the right fuel for recovery and longevity.
We have so many people claiming to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life when it comes to dietary guidelines that it makes people's head spin. Paleo has become a sort of cult religion with more fanatics in it than an Iranian summer camp, and have developed quite the in crowd and out crowd.
Here are a few points that I want to touch on, brought to you by the father of Warrior Philosophy Sun Tzu...
Sun Tzu Quote #1: Know Your Enemy
Where are your hitching points? What are your weaknesses?
You need to slowly get rid of all the foods that are your 'triggers' in your life! If you like candy, stay as far away from it as possible! If 8 boxes of Hostess cupcakes with the little swirly white frosting on top somehow find their way into your cart and only half make it home with you, avoid that aisle as if it were plagued by a hideous beast!
Does denying yourself what tempts you remove the sense of temptation? No, definitely not! But, what it does help remove is that choice. Not having the ability to make the choice in essence saves your from falling into the temptation of that cupcake or that whole pitcher of Kool-Aid. By removing the choice, we essentially win the battle for that day.
Psychologically, yes, it will hurt for a time. All denial comes with some pain. This pain will pass and it will be replaced with victory. Self-denial is usually, if not always, better than self-aggrandizement. The ultimate form of this is pretty much doing what I am doing now...Fast for a 12 hour day filled with writing citations, doing traffic crash reports, shooting guns, handcuffing people, and doing all the things requested of police recruits while fasting all day. I come home slightly mentally drained, down some pre-workout, do what I can, eat, and practice my defensive tactics and firearms movements on air....Liz Owen gets a little cranky when I draw down on the Rabbit. I don't have time for temptation...
Sun Tzu Quote #2: Measurement = Victory!
Vince Lombardi once said, "If winning isn't everything, than why the hell do we keep score!?" You need to have some system in place by which to hold yourself accountable. One of the most often neglected systems for measuring success, the food journal.
Writing down or taking pictures of everything you eat may be the ultimate way to hold yourself accountable for what you shove in your piehole. Like I was always told when I played football, the film never lies. With these food journals, be as specific as possible! I'm not saying compute a million variables, but take things like water intake and alcoholic beverages into account as well...
Some program of training is great for measuring success too, but I may talk about that next time...for right now, just concentrate on removing those triggers and tracking everything you eat. You will be amazed by the results.
I challenge you to write everything down that you eat after removing your triggers for two weeks and you will truly know what it takes to win at the Fork War.