Written by: Ricky Locci
Here’s the deal. Making changes to your body is difficult. We can use excuses like getting older, being busy, or just not having enough time, but the truth is you were never taught how to make changes to your body in a sustainable, time-efficient, and effective way. But it doesn’t have to be like this. You can learn the right way.
Now is the time to take matters into your own hands and figure out how you can achieve the body you want!
What you learned about health as a child no longer applies
You grew up in a time where “healthy” meant something different. Raisin Bran and Sunny D was a healthy breakfast. “Diet,” “Light,” and “Fat-free” were better for you than the natural version. The amount of calories, instead of the quality, was what mattered.
Gym class was awesome, but it was more of a time to play and run around with your friends. You learned how to play soccer, volleyball, dodge ball, and sometimes even line dancing, but you most likely didn’t learn how to lift weights, run with good form, and effective exercises to change your body. You definitely didn’t learn how to work out or build strength. No one evaluated you and made sure you were moving properly. They said go throw a ball (or if you’re like me you were just hoping the ball didn’t hit you in the face).
Maybe you were lucky. Maybe you did some weight training in a sport in school. Maybe you actually held a dumbbell before the age of 40. However, you probably got most of your "education" from a sports coach or a magazine, and you likely turned to machines instead of free weights.
You were probably never educated on why and how that workout was effective. You were probably only doing it to supplement your sport. And your coach probably wasn’t very effective. AND THAT’S IF YOU WERE LUCKY.
Quick question - Anyone else know high school and college athletes that were crazy fit, but the second they left school they had no idea how to work out (or eat) and their bodies shifted dramatically? Yeah, I know several…BUT IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT.
Our Understanding of Nutrition is constantly changing – the old ways no longer work
Do you remember the old food pyramid? Let me tell you a little secret, no one needs 2-3 servings of dairy a day….and you certainly don't need 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice & pasta. Sounds delicious, but I know my body would blow up if I had that much carbs & gluten!
Maybe if we were taught the following things, we would be better off today:
- how to eat to lose weight.
- how to eat to gain muscle.
- proper micro and macro nutrient needs for various goals and activity levels.
- heck, what a carb, fat, and protein is.
- which carb, fat, and protein sources are good, better, and best. There is a difference between taco bell meat and filet mignon!
No one evaluated our relationship with food. I don’t even know if there were nutritionists back then, and now I could give you a list of names to choose from. If your parents didn’t teach you (or they didn’t know), you probably didn’t learn the skills to cook or grocery shop for healthy food. You simply memorized some facts from health class (most of which are outdated) and then forgot them all. SO AGAIN, ITS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Science changes, as it always does. When you know better, you do better. Health and fitness seem to be the focus of way more people now than 20 years ago, so now we can do something about it.
Helping our future generations
We were not prepared to lead healthy lives as we became adults, and quite frankly the system is failing kids even worse today. Physical education, recess, and health class are some of the first programs to get cut when school budgets get tight. Technology usage is up, and our kids are more sedentary than ever before. Combine that with highly processed, low nutritional value foods, and it is no wonder childhood obesity is on the incline.
But, we haven't lost. We won't give up!
As much as it is our responsibility to learn what healthy living truly is for ourselves, it is our responsibility to teach and set an example for our children. Passing this gift on to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can provide them!
You are not alone - There are experts out there who can teach you healthy living
Now that you know it’s not your fault… listen up. You CAN take control of your life and make a change. You CAN find information and people and support systems to help you on your journey.
I did it. I lost 80 pounds and I’m stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life. It wasn’t easy.
Despite the current trends on health and the plethora of false information surrounding exercise and nutrition, there are people out there to teach you to live healthy and feel better!
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, it means the same thing for you that it meant for me 8 years ago. It means you’re lacking the skills and education to change your body because you just didn’t know how.
For me it meant trying every fad diet, running 7 times a week, and making myself miserable. When I lost the 80lbs, I hated every minute it of it. I was weak, couldn’t do a pull up, became a binge eater, and was wondering where my abs were. BUT I’M TELLING YOU THIS TO SAVE YOUR TIME AND RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD AND EXERCISE.
I did everything wrong - and you can benefit from my trials and errors. Over the past 8 years, I have found what works and doesn't. I have educated myself. And, I have dedicated myself to helping as many people discover their healthiest, best self.
My advice to you is to invest in your education so you can do everything right the first time. This will get you going in the right direction, will increase your chances of sticking with it, and will ultimately get you the results you want faster.
The analogy I like to use is about learning to drive. You can try to teach yourself to drive but this will be very dangerous for you (and others!). You may not even get the car started (most people give up before they even try). But say you do get started. You’re likely to hit potholes left and right trying every fad diet out there. You’re confusing the break with the gas as you start and stop every 6 weeks failing at an overly ambitious workout plan you haven’t built up too. You’re doing a number on the mechanics of your body jumping into workout classes without proper stability, pacing, or onboarding. And if you’re like most people, you will run out gas, get stuck, and want to give up.
Hire an expert, or experts, to help you
So, what’s the answer?
Education, education, education!
You can do the research on your own to figure out what is healthy and works for you.
Or you can spend money on real trainers and real people who know what they are doing. You can pay someone to teach you how to be healthy. There are good, and I mean VERY good, nutrition coaches and personal trainers out there. Ones that not only help you make changes but teach you HOW to make changes. Trainers and coaches that will educate you and give you the skills to be able to do more on your own (PS don’t settle for trainers that don’t do that).
But yes, it is an investment. And yes, it’s possible to do on your own. You can read everything out there (but that sounds exhausting to me). But hey, if that’s your system go for it! BUT BEWARE THE FADS! THERE IS SO MUCH CRAP OUT THERE!
Personally, I’d rather hire someone for $200 a month (that’s 50 a week - aka your bar tab) for 3-6 months that will educate the crap out of me to save me $100,000 on health care costs down the road, get rid of my high blood pressure medication, give me more energy, and have a higher quality of life.
It's up to YOU to educate yourself in the right way to fix it. And maybe, just maybe, you can fix it for yourself and the next generation you’re raising too.
About the Author
Ricky Locci - Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), Certified Nutrition Coach (Precision Nutrition Level 2), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Student, Masters of Public Health Graduate Student (Northwestern University)
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