I was speaking with a new client recently and she wants to improve her diet. She’s very strong in class, oveall a lean physique, and generally fit in most areas of training. One would think, “What does she need to work on? She’s already fit!” She said she doesn’t eat as healthy as she looks (good genes and a strong workout ethic have helped her look fit). However, she is worried about her health. When I asked her where she was having issues she said, “Well, I eat very well during the week but things go south on the weekends.” So, I dove deeper to find out where the bad eating began and how to fix it. Here’s the exchange…
Me: What day is the worst day of eating?
Me: Do you want to work on eating better on Saturday?
Me: OK, what’s the next worst day?
Me: Do you want to work on eating better on Sunday?
Client: Yes, let’s work on Friday.
Me: What meal on Friday do things start falling apart?
Client: While I’m at work…lunch time.
Me: What happens at lunch on Friday that’s different from Mon-Thu.?
Client: Well, I get the burgers, fries, hot dogs, whatever. Basically, all the “unhealthy” foods.
Me: What happens on the other day?
Client: Oh, I get the grilled chicken and veggies. I don’t mind it at all.
Me: Wait a second. You like the grilled chicken and veggies you get from the same job cafeteria you go to on Fridays? And you don’t mind it? Why don’t you just get the same meal on Friday?
Client: It takes 10 min. for the chefs to cook up the grilled chicken since it’s not readily available.
Me: (confused look on my face) So, why don’t you wait for the chicken like the other days?
Client: That’s the only day I eat with my co-workers….and I don’t want to miss out on the conversations…and, OMG! That’s why I’m not waiting for the chicken! I didn’t even know that’s why I was getting the burgers and fries!
Me: (laughing) Ok, now that we know the ‘why’ we nee to figure out the ‘how’. How are we going to change this habit? Do you want to change it?
Client: Yes. Just not sure how.
Me: Looks like you have 2 options. 1) You bring a pre-made meal to work on Fridays or 2) You stand around and wait for those 10 min.
Client: I’d rather bring a pre-made meal. I’d rather spend some time cooking the meal earlier in the week than wait the 10 min.
Me: And THAT’S your 1-month goal!
What you just read (assuming you’re still with me) is that most of us are unaware of the behaviors that sabotage our health and fitness goals. This was an example of someone coming to the realization of where they were screwing up and needed very little guidance on what to do moving forward.
Now, let’s try a little exercise…the mental kind. Think of one area of your life where you feel an obstacle is in your way and it prevents you from moving toward a healthier, fitter you. It could be a BIG item like work, diet, family, sleep, and so on. Step 1: pick the one that you want to work on, not what you think the correct answer is, but what you desire to change. Step 2: make the item small. If it’s your diet don’t try to meal prep all of your meals. Make it small. Pick one meal or one snack. The smaller the item, the greater your chance of success. Step 3: find a way to fix it. Sounds simple but, second to step 1, this is the hardest part of the whole process. We will discuss this in an article later next week.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!