This past weekend, I had the honor of speaking at the Personal Trainer Development Center Fat Loss conference in Toronto. If you are a fitness pro and you don’t know about the PTDC, they are an amazing resource for trainers, both for training info and business education. Check them.
I was speaking on what else? Female mindset :) And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the tone of the conference. Admittedly, I expected the usual “Just eat this at this time” and “This exercise is the best” and people getting on nutrition and training teams, and all sorts of rules that we, as trainers, often list out to our clients. The what-to-do’s.
And the reason I was impressed was because many of the speakers did NOT talk about to-dos, but instead HOW-to-do. Implementation. Actually doing what we know. What works in the long term. How we can help our clients actually implement this stuff in a real way to see change, rather than simply choking them with more and more information until they get so overwhelmed that OF COURSE they can’t do anything.
There seems to be a shift in our industry away from what I call the “Comply-or-Die” culture and more toward the center. Moderation. Self-compassion. Giving yourself the win. Picking your battles. Not needing to be perfect every second with eating. And it’s refreshing. Dr. Yoni Freedoff said, “Instead of needing to get A+ in our nutrition compliance, you can still see improvement and get great results at a B+.” And I agree.
You have to actually enjoy how you eat or else you won’t be eating like that for long.
We know this on an intellectual level, and yet we don’t like it. Like Neghar says: #idontlikeit. We feel like we need to suffer for results. Moderation doesn’t feel hardcore enough. It feels like wimping out. It feels like, C’mon! How am I really going to get results drinking wine??
Well, I would argue that you depriving yourself of a single glass of red wine and as a result, you end up binging on sweets and treats later on, is much worse.
You have to pick your nutrition battles. Is a banana too fast-absorbing? Who cares. If it keeps you from eating the real crap later, then eat it. Someone recently asked me about sugar-free gum, and can she chew it? Well, is it ideal? No. But I would argue that if having a couple pieces of SF gum will keep you from eating cupcakes and cookies later, then do it.
Why do we feel that anything less than perfection with our eating means we suck?
I posted this pic below on Instagram over the weekend, along with a caption about my very unsexy moderate eating method, and I was floored by the response. That kind of response serves to reinforce to me that we all need to hear this message more, and really, really hear it. Implement it. Try it. The old way of the weekly deprive-the-binge cycle will always be there if you need it, so I challenge you to TRY a new way. Have a freaking glass of wine TO CURB your cravings for tons of sugar later.
If you can eat perfectly 24/7, good for you. But for the 99% of us left (and whose lives would absolutely suck if we couldn’t enjoy food every once in a while), we need to find a better way. ‘Cause the old all-or-nothing approach is not working. It always ends up being nothing.
Getting over your fear of “the gray” and practicing the in-between stuff can be extremely liberating. You don’t need to get ALL THE RESULTS RIGHT NOW. It took you years to develop the body you have now (whether you’re happy with it or not) and the choices you make now and moving forward will dictate how your body will look in the future.
You can’t control outcomes–how much you lose, how fast you lose it, what size you’ll end up. BUT, you can ALWAYS control what goes in your mouth at your next meal. Do your best. Because that’s all you can do. And your best might be different day-to-day and that’s just fine. More clean choices move you toward fat loss, while poorer choices move you away. That’s about all the guarantee I can give you, but it’ll have to be enough.
You don’t have to be perfect. Just be a little better, and you’re already moving in the right direction :) Ox, Jill