November 10th, 2013
You are not responsible for your behaviour when you are hungry.
I first heard those words from Paul Balsom the “head of it all” (Director of Athlete Performance & Coach Development) at The Athlete Factory where I train. He has said these words a few times. The first few times I don’t think it registered at all, mainly because he intimated the crap out of me (my issues, not him) but slowly I started hearing the words. I would smile and nod but internally I was thinking…
- Yeah, because I have zero will power.
- Yeah, because I suck.
- Yeah, because I can’t control myself and obviously don’t want it badly enough.
I am sure you are picking up on the theme here. Too many “fitspiration” meme’s combined with some self esteem issue and not enough listening to what was actually being said.
To start let’s take out of the equation eating for emotional reasons, this post isn’t about that. This post isn’t about being skinny either. It isn’t about the number on the scale and it isn’t about losing muscle along with the fat. This post is about health and performance. If your goal involves wearing a size 0 but also having 0 muscle and 0 concern about your health read this blog here.. it’s funny and involves crazy family stories and my weird eyes.
This is about understanding that if you have started on a road that includes exercising, that body is going to need sustenance, or dare I say calories! When I am following my proper eating plan it involves meals with protein, fat, fibre and even dare I say CARBS!
Under that criteria that could equal a Big Mac meal, but the other part of my eating plan involves what people call “whole” food. Stop rolling your eyes. If you give your body the food it needs to be healthy. It will be healthy.
Eat food that is good for you and good things will happen.
Eat food. REAL food. Give your body what it needs before it needs it. Give your body food that actually offers something to your body that does more than just shut off the hungry switch for a short period of time.
When you are hungry you body is telling your brain one thing.
Sometimes it is yelling so loudly that any common sense your brain is sending out is overridden and you do exactly that. You EAT.
You EAT in an all caps EAT kinda way.
For some people this can head into binge territory and quickly escalate into an eating disorder that turns into a much worse situation. (Get more info on that here)
For others, like myself. it turns into the random grazing situation. If I come home from work hungry I will suddenly find myself munching on cheese and crackers. If I am hungry at the grocery store those check out chocolate bars become irresistible. The radio station I work at seems to have a constant supply of donuts, cookies, candy and other treats. If I come into work right after a work out I shovel something into my face that is not a “whole” food.
Imagine there is a massive winter storm outside. You have to walk the dogs. Do you go outside in a t.shirt and shorts to determine how many more layers to put on? No. You head out prepped and good to go with a toque, scarf, mittens, boots and winter jacket. This way your body doesn’t give you frost bite so your brain understands next time to dress properly.
When the time comes that health is priority one, or you are making a lifetime change, or you have an athletic goal, it is time to step up and address the situation with changes that make big picture sense.
It will not happen quickly, it will take a time of adjustment. You will experience other health benefits before you start to drop fat. It will be frustrating. SO frustrating. INCREDIBLY frustrating. People will taunt you with fad diets and age old cliches like “calories in, calories out” or better yet “just eat less and move more!”
Your goal is long term.
Think of how you want to feel at 20, 30, 60 or 70. Give your body what it needs. Give your body time to process that you are truly making a change and it isn’t a “fad” let your body acclimatize to food it instinctively knows how to process. One day your body will shout to your brain that you have come to your senses and that it will be nourished properly for the rest of it’s life, therefore it’s OK to release what it has stored for “in case of an emergency.” (Buh Bye fat!) Here is what I want you to take away from this blog post:
You are NOT responsible for your behaviour when you are hungry.
You ARE responsible for keeping your body from getting hungry.
Michele Helmeczi ~ Trainer at The Athlete Factory and has a athlete focused cookbook coming out before Christmas
The Whole Life Nutrition Cook Book ~ Excellent recipes and information