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How To Fix Your Crappy Relationship… With Food - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

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How To Fix Your Crappy Relationship… With Food - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

For some folks… diet, food, and bodyweight are very emotionally driven:

“I hated the number on the scale, so I went off the plan!”

“I loved the number on the scale, so I rewarded myself and went off the plan!”

Dieters often worship at the altar of the almighty scale. Good coaches, on the other hand, like to challenge their students to take on process-oriented goals instead of outcome-based ones. For example, “I want to lose 20 pounds” is an outcome goal. An example of a process-driven goal is, “I want to eat 8 different vegetables every day for the next 12 weeks and see what happens.”

As a coach, I’m a ‘journey’ guy; always looking for the processes that will facilitate the outcome a student is looking to achieve. For some, weight loss simply isn’t important. And that’s fine. We live in a strange fitness culture that like to cram vanity and physical activity into the same box. These two are not the same.

Getting too caught up in the goal itself can sometimes illicit strange processes. In the example of the 20-pound weight-loss goal, a few boxes of laxatives and a very uncomfortable week can accomplish the goal. Unfortunately, this is neither safe nor sustainable. And the 20 pounds lost will find its way back very quickly. Sustainability comes from making small changes that are easily doable, and work with your current lifestyle. Once a particular change starts to stick, continue adding additional small changes until the results are achieved.

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In weight training, good coaches use periodization to get people started on the right track to strength training. It starts off pretty boring… we teach someone a new lift… say the squat. All we care about initially is mastering the movement pattern. Next, we add a small amount of weight. In the coming weeks, the weight slowly gets heavier and heavier. This can be subtle… maybe 5 pounds a week. But low-and-behold, soon we have a guy who has never touched a weight in his life squatting 200 pounds!

Now, imagine a trainer took that same guy and showed him a 200-pound barbell on day one and said, “Here… squat this.” If the student was smart, he’d tell the trainer to go pound sand. Any attempt to do something with this weight on day one could spell disaster (and is also the sign of a rookie trainer trying to kill his client on the first day).

Nothing mentioned in the above example sounds strange to anyone… when we’re talking about weight lifting. Yet somehow, when the subject changes to dieting, this theory gets thrown out the window. Most diets are basically the nutritional equivalent of the 200-pound squat on day one…

“Starting tomorrow… no sugar, candy, soda, carbs, fat, red meat or alcohol ever again! Each meal is an unseasoned chicken breast on top of a big salad. The dressing will be your own tears. Enjoy!”  

Why do diets do this? I’m not 100% sure, but I’d venture to guess it has something to do with our fascination with instant gratification. Plain salad using your tears as dressing certainly works to accomplish weight loss. The question becomes whether or not you can do it. Hence the reason 97% of diets fail in the long-term.

The wake-up call usually comes when someone who has spent years struggling to lose weight to no avail, bumps into someone who effortlessly maintains healthy weight without much struggle…

“OMG! How do you do that?”  

“Umm…. I sleep 8 hours per night and I don’t eat more than I should.”

“Oh. Ok.”

I guess there are no books singing the praises of this diet because it would be a really short book.

In Marie’s nutrition coaching, this is precisely her style. I’ll let her tell you in her own words…

HA! Well, Jerry certainly loves putting me on the spot. Here are some nutrition principles:

  • Ask yourself WHY you want to make changes. Then ask again. Keep asking until you have the REAL answer (it may surprise you, and have nothing to do with weight loss).
  • Don’t try to change everything at once. Start small, with one thing. Add something else when the first becomes easy.
  • Remind yourself that it can take a while, there are no quick fixes.
  • Enjoy the food you eat.
  • Love yourself.

    Tactics can vary from person to person. Some of these may sound too vague, but here are some common ones we use…

  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Eat protein at every meal
  • Eat slowly. Chew each bite (a lot). Put the fork/spoon down between bites.
  • Don’t eat when distracted (TV, phone, etc.)
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Ensure your sleep hygiene is good.

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The Strangest Thing I’ve Noticed In My Career…

Since most of what we do in our facility is done in small groups, just about everyone follows more-or-less the same programming. Sure, there are some modifications here and there, but nothing major. It never ceases to amaze me how some people achieve incredible results in a fairly short amount of time (I consider a year or two a short amount of time), while others don’t.

Here’s one of our students, John…

John has been with us for about 6 months. In that time, he’s lost 63 pounds (from 310 to 247). Did he pay Marie and I a bunch of money for a super-secret program that no one else in our gym has access to? Nope. He followed the same programming and the same nutrition coaching everyone else has access to. We’ve had many others like John who have achieved incredible results. And… we’ve also had many that haven’t changed a bit.

If they’re all following the same program, how can this be? Like many things, there are a variety of factors… some are within the controls of the individual, others not. But ultimately the decision is in the hands of the student.

Awkward Google Reviews

This is precisely the reason why I find it uncomfortable to read all of our 5-star reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate every one of them. It’s just awkward to read review after review of students saying how wonderful we are when THEY’RE the ones who did all the work! If it was really me that was so great, shouldn’t I be getting these results from everyone?

In summary, fixing you crappy relationship with food starts, and ends, with you. We’ve all seen the meme that reads, “I don’t need a dietitian. What I really need is someone to follow me around all day and slap unhealthy food out of my hands.”

Since most of us can’t afford a full-time food-slapper, we need to resort to the next best thing…

Until next time, 

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Marie, and dog, Asher. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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