PATTERNS CREATE PATTERNS
Albert Einstein said that anyone who does the same thing over and over again, yet expects a different result, is insane. We’ve seen it before – people get stuck in the same type of relationships over and over only to get hurt in the end. Or the person who can’t stand their job, but they go in day after day performing the same mundane tasks with the hope that things will eventually get better.
It’s the same for perpetual dieters who buy into every new diet fad that hits the market. They see something advertised on TV, in a magazine, or a new book at the bookstore and think that they have found the Holy Grail to losing weight. You’ve probably heard the term “yoyo dieters.” These are people who kick off a new diet with total excitement that this is finally going to be the one that works. They may lose some weight – maybe even lose a lot of weight, only to gain it all back (and more) several months later. What did they do wrong?
Let’s start with what they did right, which is making the decision to try something new and dedicating themselves to it. Where they went wrong is getting stuck in the same old patterns that have served them for years. Many times this is a form of subconscious self sabotage, which leaves one saying, “Why does this always happen to me?” The truth is that most of these fad diets are not sustainable. You can do them for a while, but they become nearly impossible to maintain without feeling completely miserable, and this leads to the inevitable crash and burn (Twinkies and cupcakes). By the way, I just read that 500 million Twinkies are baked each year? C’mon people – really!
The same holds true for the perpetual weight trainer, gym rat, or cardio queen who does the same workout and/or cardio routine day-after-day, month-after-month, year-in-year-out with the expectation to change themselves. The bottom line is if you do the same things you’ve always done, you’re going to get the same result you’ve always gotten! The truth whether you believe it or not, is that many people are perfectly content maintaining where they are. Their workouts allow them to eat what they want and fit in their clothes – and that seems to be good enough (even if their wearing XXL). But others see this as stale and uninspiring. They remember the results they achieved in the beginning and want more of that. I’m on your side!
GET OFF THE HAMSTER WHEEL
It’s time to break patterns and get off the hamster wheel, so here are some adjustments to help you to forge ahead. The best way to get results with your diet is to keep your body off guard just enough to ramp-up your metabolism so it can fire on all cylinders. The following are three of the most popular categories that most of us fall into. Which one are you?
If you’re a hard-gainer (someone that has a difficult time gaining weight), you need to take in enough calories from all three macronutrients; proteins, carbohydrates and fats to put on lbs. The key with any nutrition plan is to eat from high quality sources and stay away from empty sources of calories. This is a pattern I see often with people who fall into the hard-gainer category. They live on fast food, pizza, ice cream and sweets. Why…because they can get away with it – and that’s just not a smart way to eat. Hard-gainers will do very well by adding a high caloric protein shake or smoothie as a supplement to their daily meals and snacks. This helps ensure that they’re getting those extra calories to help facilitate muscle gains. In my book Muscle Chow I offer several different protein shakes and smoothies (the Muscle Juice recipe on page 199 packs nearly 800 calories). Along with that, eating quality foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and lean cuts of red meat are the best choices to make that will pay dividends over time.
If you’re someone who needs to lose those last few pounds to take your body fat into single digits, by making a few simple adjustments it will go a long way. First adjustment: pull back to half of what you’re currently consuming in a week of simple and starchy carbs like cereals, pasta, rice, and breads. Second adjustment: take out the excess fats like peanut butter, fatty cuts of red meat, and cheese. And the third adjustment: hydrate with plenty of water and watch your sodium intake. Read labels and you’ll be amazed at how much sodium is in the average foods you consume. Sodium makes you hold water and will keep you looking bloated! If you follow those few minor adjustments you’ll begin to see your abs pop.
For those overweight individuals that need to drop 15 or more pounds it’s about changing your eating patterns. A lot of these individuals are stuck in an emotional eating rut. They eat because they’re depressed about how they look, or because they’re bored, tired or upset about something. A common pattern I see is individuals that do well all day and then binge eat at night. If this is you, it’s time to break these self-defeating patterns and get a hold of your life. Dropping pounds quickly is only a few pattern-breaking adjustments away. First adjustment: begin to recognize that your eating just to eat and not because your hungry. Pay attention the next time you’re looking for grub to stuff your face with and ask yourself if you really need this. Second adjustment: balance out your meals throughout the day into smaller more manageable meals. This will help keep you satiated and will help ramp up your metabolism (You’ll feel less hungry and burn more fat!) Third adjustment: don’t eat after 8 pm. This is what is called an “evening fast” and it will work wonders for you. At first it will be super hard because the evening time is when you’re used to grazing the kitchen cupboards. But if you make it a habit it will be one of the best self-defeating patterns you can break free from. Have hot herbal tea at night to help soothe your cravings. Fourth adjustment: drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water offers a host of benefits including aiding in the function of your organs, your digestion, metabolism and flushes your system. It helps shuttle nutrients throughout your body, removes toxins and will help give you a calming sense of health and wellbeing.
At some level everyone can get complacent in life – it’s natural. There are times we may find ourselves so far off course from our true ideals and think, “How in the heck did I get here?” Like the ex-football player who worked so hard for years to stay at the top of his game. He trained with dedication, ate the right foods, took the right nutrients, got proper sleep and stayed mentally focused. Then the season ends and he says I’m going to stay in shape and even get better for next season. What happens? He takes a week off to relax, keeps eating a high calorie diet, starts to slide on his food choices, slacks on taking his supplements, chooses video games over proper rest and gets downright lazy. A week off turns into two weeks, then a month and before you know it spring practice rolls around and he’s completely de-conditioned.
It’s easy to get comfortable because subconsciously we all seek pleasure and avoid pain. We like easy. We enjoy the things that make us feel good. And without fully realizing it we begin to settle for mediocrity. Until one day we wake up and see that the habits we’ve accumulated over time aren’t serving us anymore. Don’t freak out! Just make the decision to break the pattern – then get motivated for change and excited to reach your next highest potential.
“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.”
Live a High Integrity Life,