Friday, November 18, 2011

Give yourself permission.

So often in body composition a person's ego gets in the way. They do what they are expected to do, and not what gets them closer to their goals. If they would just give themselves permission to do less, or more; to follow their goals. They would ultimately get there. However, people get caught up in other people's perception, in how they want other people to view them. This leads them away from their goals.
Convoluted? not really. Here are some examples:

Big time Boss at the company I work for. He has a weight problem.. he's fat, but that's not the problem. The problem is he is drowning under the weight of his ego. He was a high level wrestler, and is an executive. He thinks those things qualify him to diagnose and fix his own body composition. He's tried exercising more, and he's gone on diets, but his net has been weight gain. He's not willing to admit that the way he is, the way he lives is the way a fat person is and lives. He's not willing to slog through the dozens of incremental changes required to change his lifestyle. He's not willing to admit that this is a problem he cannot fix by himself. He needs to give himself permission to ask for help.

Rack pulls. There is a guy who trains at my gym. He's pretty strong.. I think. He benches a lot. The only lower body movement I have seen him do is rack pulls. Very HIGH rack pulls. Like 2-3 inches above the knee. He hasn't made any progress in composition or strength in a while because his ego is in the way. Doesn't matter how much weight you pull if you're only moving it 4 inches. The time under tension is going to be minuscule (not to mention the fact that your muscles aren't actually moving) so he's not making any progress. If he gave himself permission to peel some of the weight off of the bar and actually move it he'd do much better.

Biggest loser. I watch this show, not because I think their methods are great.. or even good. I think that putting people into a pressure cooker like that and isolating them from their problems is not going to lead to long term success. I watch the show because it is an excellent way to look into the minds and emotions of sedentary people. To see why people give up and stop exercising and resign themselves to sloth, and unhappiness. A vast majority of these people say "I just don't have time to exercise." They have kids, and I'll admit that kids take time (I have one and he's three hands full). Kids take energy. These people need to give themselves permission to say "I'm going to the gym and the kids will have to be without me for 4-6 hours a week." That doesn't mean that my kids aren't important. It means they deserve a mom/dad who is happy and healthy and alive (figuratively and literally). They need to give themselves permission to be something other than supermom/dad, and ultimately they will end up being a better parent, longer.

Birthday cake. I never eat birthday cake around the office, and rarely elsewhere. It's usually not good, and I save my "off menu" items for things that I really enjoy, and times that have meaning for me (but we'll get to that in a minute). People get feisty (or do before they know me very well) . Overtly they say something about "It's {someone's} birthday, you can have a piece" as if that person will have a better birthday if I eat cake. Internally the truth is; that cake isn't very good, and they know it's a big ole bomb of not nutrition that they themselves don't want to eat.. or at least know they shouldn't and they'd feel better about it if they can make it "normal." They haven't given themselves permission to turn it down.. but I have.

Turkey day. Body composition is about net, not gross. If I gain 3 lbs over thanksgiving weekend, but lose 5 during November, I've still lost weight. This is generally my plan for this month. I eat quite strictly 27 out of the 30 days of the month, and Thursday thru Sunday I indulge. Not in whatever I want, but in the things that I fantasize about the other 11 months of the year. Cornbread stuffing, sweet potato pie, probably a few other thing. It's thanksgiving. It is important, and wouldn't feel the same without those dishes. Those foods take me back home, and they are a part of my history and culture. I want to share them with my family. However, I'm not going to eat a bunch of rolls and stuffing and pecan pie that I don't like. I'm going to make it count. I'm going to give myself permission to have the important things. The things I like. The things I would feel deprived without, and then Monday, it's right back on the horse. It's not a moral failing to have a few things that I don't normally eat, it's Thanksgiving, and that doesn't happen very often. The key is that it doesn't start on the 18th. It starts on the 24th. It doesn't end on the 30th, it ends on the 27th.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving,

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