In this day and age, being lean, toned, fit and healthy is NOT normal. It stands to reason that if you aspire to be lean, toned, fit and healthy then you have to do the things that ‘normal’ people don’t do, in fact it’s a pretty safe bet to do the exact opposite.
Now I understand that you’re all constantly bombarded with tid bits of information every day… one magazine article says this, your friend’s nutritionist told them that, the TV told you something else, I might tell you something different…I know it can get quite confusing!
I feel I have a very accurate ‘bullsh**t detector when it comes to these things, it’s easier for me to filter this information and determine whether it’s worth giving any notice to, but this is my job…
I think I have a pretty good understanding of the human body with an anatomy and physiology background at uni, and I stay well educated and researched and pay good money to keep up to date with what’s going on with nutrition, fat loss, and strength and conditioning through coaching and networking with some great trainers/coaches and sports nutritionists. I’m sure I have some degree of ADD as I can’t concentrate on many things, but I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with education on these topics – but again, this is also my job – I understand it’s not YOUR job.
Ask me about the stock market however, or how to fix a computer, or how to repair my front gate that’s been broken for the last 5 weeks or even just a simple general knowledge question and I’m probably not much use….(much to the amusement of my wife when I have a very inquisitive 5 year old son at the moment)
Many of our conversations look a lot like this one….damn those pesky rabbits in China
So whilst I completely understand that you might be confused as to who to listen to or what to do to lose weight, if we step back and just look at things from another perspective, sometimes the answer is more obvious than it seems.
WHAT IF WE DO THE OPPOSITE?
If any of you watch Seinfeld, you’ll know about the episode where George starts doing everything opposite to his natural instincts, in a bid to change his life around. He figured that if every decision he’s ever made has been wrong and led him down the wrong path in life, he’ll start doing the opposite to change this around. Not a bad idea.
So if most ‘normal’ people are struggling with their weight, they’re contantly tired and lack energy, they’re constantly in pain, are getting sick, and generally sub par in their health, then maybe there’s some clues as to why this may be, what do they all have in common?
Even if you struggle to work out what’s right and what you SHOULD be eating, you can certainly work out what’s WRONG and what you SHOULDNT be eating, just by taking a step back and observing the ‘normal’ majority of people around you.
Lets see how your ‘do the opposite’ world might look like from now on…
You wake up and it’s time to decide what to have for breakfast, most of your friends and work colleagues who don’t look how you want to look, nor represent the level of physical health or capabilities you aspire to are making something quick and easy.
95% of people will have a bowl of cereal or instant porridge, or they’ll have some toast with butter, or cheese, or peanut butter, or jam, or vegemite. This is quickest, easiest and makes people feel the fullest. Common theme here is a big hit of processed carbohydrates and sugar, along with some ‘bad fats’ like margarine or cheese OR some sugary spreads. No protein or veggies or good fats.
You decide to do the opposite, so you’re NOT going to have ANY processed carbs. You’re going to eat some protein and some veggies. This completely turns your world around and is a big change, but hey, you’re committed to doing the opposite to what everybody else is doing.
So instead of hitting the snooze button on your alarm you wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and scramble some eggs in a frying pan with some leg ham, spinach and mushrooms.’ Surprisingly tasty’ you think to yourself.
You get to work, most people have either purchased a latte before work or they’ll make one in the staff tea room. You can’t be like every body else, so you start to think ‘what is the opposite’? You thought about having green tea instead, but you decide today your going to have a black coffee with no milk, and no sugar. Black coffee is going to take some getting used to but it’s better than nothing, and you’re committed to doing the opposite to everyone else.
Lunchtime comes around… you knew everyone else in the office was going to head out to a local eatery to buy a sandwich, wrap, focaccia, noodles or something similar. Maybe a couple of people will eat a sandwich they’ve brought from home. Hmmm again it seems everybody is basing their meals around processed carbohydrates…
You decided last night that unlike the majority, you’re going to bring your own lunch so you know exactly what’s in it. So you’ve brought in some of last night’s left over lamb roast, mixed with your own BIG salad of baby spinach, cucumber, red onion, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, hommus, olive oil, and a tiny bit of dressing. You think to yourself, ‘wow that was awesome…and healthy….and surprisingly easy to make and bring to work’.
Mid afternoon comes along and many people are starting to rebound from the big insulin hit from all the carbs with lunch, and blood sugar levels are causing a slump in energy. Cravings for sweet foods like lollies and chocolate are starting to appear amongst your work colleagues, and as usual somebody brings out a big bowl of sugary snacks to share around.
It’s hard to resist, but you see nearly everybody getting stuck in to the sweets. You’ve committed to doing the opposite to everybody else – no sweets for you. You open your drawer, grab a handful of mixed nuts and an apple.
30 minutes later and you don’t even feel like sweets, in fact you’re surprised you’ve got a lot more energy than usual even though you didn’t hit the snooze button this morning and you got up 15 minutes earlier. That’s strange you think to yourself, ‘I wonder if it’s got to do with the type of food I’m eating…or not eating?’
530pm ticks around and it’s time to go home. You say bye to your work colleagues, most of them are tired from their day and now they’re rebounding from their afternoon sugary sweets. Most people will get home and they’ll probably have a snack for a bit of a pick-me-up, maybe a couple of pieces of toast, maybe some biscuits and dip, and relax from their days work in front of the TV. Many will have a glass or two of wine to help them relax and wind down.
You decide you’re going to do the opposite and you’ll do some exercise, so you head down to the footy oval near your place, do a mini circuit of squats, push up and burpees, then finish off with some interval training by sprinting a few laps with rest in between. You’re quite content that’s the opposite of going home to eat toast in front of the television. You head off home for dinner, and you surprisingly feel really energetic and you’re in a great mood.
It’s time to prepare dinner, usually in the ‘normal’ world you’d get some takeaway, or you’d cook yourself something quick and easy like pasta or heat up a meal in the microwave.
You decided earlier you’re going to prepare your own healthy dinner, so you threw some free range chicken, sweet potato, and veggies in your slow cooker, and left it to cook whilst you were out, sprinkle your favourite herbs over it and it’s ready to go. No wine tonight either, that’s what everyone else is doing you think to yourself.
You finish up dinner and leave it at that, no chocolate, no chips; you’re committed to doing the opposite to see what happens.
3 months has passed in opposite world, it doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything too much different anymore though, you’re in a routine now and its funny how you’ve just developed these same daily habits after a few weeks of sticking to it.
You’ve lost 8kg of body fat, you’re much stronger and fitter and you feel full of energy, your skin is glowing and your blood tests show all your biomarkers for good health are much improved and your doctor is astounded. You no longer have the pain in your left knee and shoulder since you’ve stopped eating highly inflammatory processed foods, and you feel fantastic.
You feel as though you’ve discovered some sort of secret to living that nobody else knows about, and you start to wonder why it took you so long to change your lifestyle. It’s funny that it took you so long to make these changes in your life when there’s literally zero possibility that you’ll regret the decision and every possibility it will benefit you greatly. When was the last time you heard someone say “I wish I ate that chocolate bar yesterday”.
All this time, picking up random weight loss tips and facts here and there from different magazines and books, jumping on board fad diets or exercise programs, counting calories, and even trying fat burning pills….always looking for that one simple solution which will get you extraordinary results with as little disruption to your current eating habits and activity levels as possible. ‘What was I thinking? you say to yourself.
…All you had to do was sit down and think about it from another perspective, using logic, and reasoning with the clues staring you straight in the face the whole time, you just had to stop and observe the world around you…
Why did it take you so long to figure this out? You’re an intelligent person, you have a good well paying job and a good education, why did it take you so long to look around at what 99% of everyone around you is doing, the same people who don’t represent the level of health you want for yourself, who don’t look how you want to look, who don’t feel how you want to feel, who struggle with their health and fitness…
…and just do the opposite.