What You Think You Need... May Not Be What You Actually Need.
Let me tell you a tale of my own body, so you can fully understand what YOU need.
I remember back in the dark ages, somewhere around the year 2000, I was living in Auckland and I decided I needed to lose weight. I did, I was overweight for my frame, and I had a big bloated belly that wouldn't contain itself in my pants. I had had this *ahem* physique since the day I was born.
- So, I did a starvation kinda diet. Stuck to it for a week and then quit.
- I did the gym thing. No results, so I quit.
I quit, until 2003, when I heard about a program called Body For Life. It was an eating and exercise program. So I gave it a go. I was living in Christchurch at the time.
- I lost 10kg. But then I regained it all back.
Fast forward to 2005. I started working out again, but nothing was happening. So I hired a trainer, and finally started getting results. But the diet I was eating was incredibly restrictive. I got the results, but I was sitting on a ticking time bomb.
In 2007/2008 I trained as a "bodybuilder". I use that term loosely (a topic for another day). Anyway, I had a banging bod, but I was constipated, had acne, moody, and still had that goddam bloated belly. In 2009 I broke my collar bone. Since then, my training had been sporatic. Slowly, over time, I began to just hate exercising. I was always in pain, my body wasn't recovering from workouts, I was inflamed and miserable.
Oh yeah, I was still caught in the grips of a 26 year battle with Binge Eating Disorder.
So, I quit exercise and focused on food, stress management and healing my body.
Now, backtrack a tiny bit. I lost 25kg bodybuilding, and regained 10 of those. I'm cool with that. I have maintained a 15kg weight loss now for over 10 years. There's no going back to the 2001 Stacey that's for sure.
Anyway, I soon discovered that the voices of the health world were keeping me stuck. Even though I was a size 10, I was still 30% body fat. Even though I was doing all the right things with food, and even though my Binge Eating Disorder was finally gone (after 26 years), my body did not change.
- "Lower your stress hormones and fat will melt off"
- "weight loss is 80% diet"
- "Abs are made in the kitchen"
- "eat less calories"
... and so on, the misguidance goes.
Now, we're going to take a giant plyometric jump forward to today - 27th Feb, 2017.
I'm standing in front of the mirror, looking at a body that is changing shape again, in a good way. My ass is shrinking (in a bad way), my waist is getting smaller.
Wanna know what the defining factor was?
Yep. Not the fad paleo diet, not the 5:2 fasting diet, not the bodybuilding diet.
None of those things.
You see, to have total 100% control over your body, you need to take a journey. And on that journey, you come to realise that it is Nutrition + Healthy Thinking + Exercise that will get you the body you need.
What you think you need, and what you really need are two different things.
If you knew enough, to know what you need, you'd have this problem solved by now. Just like me. I thought I knew what I needed, I told myself "I need a diet" / "I need to be a bodybuilder" / "I need to go paleo"...
Today, on this day, Feb 27th 2017. 80% of my results are coming from exercise. Will that change in the future? Maybe. My diet is fairly flexible right now, freedom you could say. But there may come a time that might change.
Fun fact, I used to be able to eat chocolate, but now - it gives me reflux and bottoms out my blood pressure. It makes me feel awful. I used to do well on Paleo, these days I do better with a higher carb, lower fat style of nutrition.
Know your body. Be flexible. Stop listening to one-eyed gurus who push trendy solutions. Be willing to assess your needs regularly.
What you think you need... is not what you really need. Stay open minded out there folks.