Thursday, April 7, 2011

You Are What You Eat - Step 2 of Physically Awesome

You are what you eat.
Your body is a temple.
The body never lies.

There are more sayings relating to the human body, but these are the ones that stand out the most to me.  Like most sayings, they are true.  You can't fool someone into thinking you're fit when you're not - whether you're a bag of bones, a beached whale, or anything in between.

Yes, its true that everyone's body is different.  Yes it is also true that different bodies respond to things differently - food as well as exercise.  Thing is, the processes are still the same.  You still have to eat balanced meals and you still have to strength train and do cardio.  You can't get out of it.  And the reality is, it doesn't matter where you start, what your genes are, or how bad your habits are - you can still get physically fit.  If you want something badly enough, it will happen.  You just have to focus on making it a reality

I'm telling myself this after doing a strength training session focused on legs, interval training for 30 minutes, and 15 minutes of stretching.  If someone would have told me four years ago this would be a regular thing for me, I would have laughed.  Of course now, I have a workout journal that I take great pleasure in using to record my daily progress.  I also have a blaringly large set of goals with corresponding pictures on my goal board that I look at daily.  There's no getting around it.  Fitness is a part of my daily life, and I love it.  Still, I have a ways to go when it comes to eating.  That's the next thing I have to pick apart.

Everything I've read says to take things one step at a time when it comes to changing your life.  So far I've got the workouts in hand, even the cardio and the stretching.  Now I just need to make sure I'm eating 5-7 meals a day.  From everything I've read, my protein grams need to match my goal weight in order to build lean muscle mass.  That is definitely something I haven't been very good about.  So I've been checking out different eating plans of fitness models in order to gauge where my food intake needs to be. Ultimately, the goal is to have a fitness model physique so it makes sense that I would consider what successful fitness models have done in order to achieve their fitness goals.  Chiefly I've been looking at those with similar body types to mine (height and frame) because all frames are not created equal. It wouldn't make sense for me to eat the same as a 5'2 East Asian man.

Needless to say, it's a tedious process and one for which my journal doesn't work well. The space for food intake is only six lines, whereas the workout portion is 75% of the total daily entry page (it should be noted that I like it for the workout portion).  As for food intake, I've tried applications on my phone, but I find it irritating. This is because it takes 15 times longer for me to enter food items in my phone than if I wrote them down.  I'm just not sure what the best route is to get from where I am to where I want to be when it comes to food. 

Then of course, there is the realm of the supplement.  I have mixed feelings about supplements.  They're... well... odd.  The idea that you can't get what you need from eating regular well balanced meals seems strange.  Of course, like all American innovations in this post-industrial age, supplements are more efficient and effective at getting you to a specific goal.  So, do I forgo the philosophy that I should be able to eat my way to awesome? Or should I just bite the bullet and start ingesting creatine every day?  I'm beginning to think I should go for it because of the positive effects it apparently has.  Fitness models seem hooked on the stuff.  And after all, the body never lies and you are what you eat - even if its supplements.

The point is, I have to do something about my eating habits.  I also have to continue with my current workout regime which is clearly having some positive effects (I can see my muscles moving more clearly during basic everyday movement and I have much more tone than I did previously). You can't get away with just exercising or eating well.  You have to do them both.  The sacrifices you make by eliminating things like brownie fudge sundaes and blooming onions are more than made up for by your new found energy levels, your overall better mood, and just generally feeling good. 

Even a couple months ago I would have said, I like eating donuts.  Now, just thinking about it makes reminds me of how it spikes my blood sugar and makes me crash later in the day.  Ick!  Give me my protein shake or my yogurt and grape nuts pulease!

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