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Here’s Dan John’s 4th Commandment of Lifting, “Did you eat breakfast? If not, don’t ask me anything about nutrition.”
Oh, this one really hits home and reveals my own inner flip-flopper. At it’s core it reveals the more of the debate between ability and appearance (are you eating for function or form?) and exposes my own inner conflict.
See, I’m just as fallible as anyone else. Being the big guy in the gym challenges my own insecurities all the time. From the beginning in this business I’ve always pushed the edge of “looking the part.” Occasionally, I worry, “Maybe I would be more successful if I was thinner.”
And there is no shortage of evidence to support that conclusion, co-workers, blessed by the right genes, who easily maintain single digit body fat percentages. Their appearance clearly attracts clients who seem not at all bothered that their trainer never seems to workout and yet are convinced that this man knows the secrets that will transform their bodies into rock hard mountains of sex appeal.
Due entirely to this insecurity, I have tried a wide variety of eating strategies, Paleo, high carb-low fat, fasting, the Warrior Diet — you name it and I probably have at least a passing acquaintance with that particular diet or eating methodology.
My conclusions? They all work, to a limited degree for about six weeks. In the end, while I might see a slight shift in body fat I’ve never seen the earth shattering, ripped physique my insecurities tell me I want or need.
So here’s what I’m doing now. I’m saying, “To hell with my insecurity. It’s never served me anyway.”
My shape is my shape and in all honesty, as long as it pleases my wife, I don’t need to be worried about it.
What I do need to worry about is maintaining my own integrity with my message. I serve no one promoting function over form if secretly I’m obsessing over my own waistline. It’s dishonest and hypocritical and that’s a reflection I’m not proud of.
Over the past year I’ve met remarkable athletes who adhere to a wide variety of diets. The only conclusion I can find that binds them all together into a “unified theory of diet” is that we each must learn to listen to our own bodies. Once we rediscover that internal dialog and stop shutting down those signals we can feed our bodies what they need and begin to reap the power of our abilities.
THINK! And Lose Weight does not prescribe any particular diet. What it does is give you the tools to make change. You get to decide what those changes are.