Today’s article counts as more of a rant than anything, but I feel that this needs to be said lest I crack my forehead open from banging my head against the wall too many times. I’ve noticed a very common trend in the fitness community and beyond. I’ll keep this one relatively short for ease of read; I have a feeling I’ll find myself referring many individuals back to this piece.
Before you go on and make any kind of claim that you did x and therefore y happened, I urge you to please, please consider the difference between correlation and causation.
Is it possible to look the way you want without relying on a food scale? For the large majority of us, yes, it is absolutely possible. Unless you’re trying to get freaky-shredded, I don’t think calorie counting is by any means necessary. Some, however, may find this a useful tool to accurately move along.
What initially started out as an article to explain the reasons behind why I personally choose to count calories turned into a piece that presents both sides of the argument. The following lists are not exhaustive, but I believe I’ve hit the main points for and against calorie counting. Keep in mind that I speak from personal experience. If I would have known what I know now, I would not have been counting calories years ago.
It’s been a while since I’ve worked with a formal coach. I haven’t paid someone to tell me what to eat and what to lift in a number of months. This past December, Rog and I got to talking – what if we became each other’s accountability partners?
Fast forward to today, and we’ve agreed to take it one step further. I guess in a way, we’ll be making the whole Internet our accountability partner. You. Keeping eyes on us.
So what’s going on in my world?
So you want to be lean and sexy, eh? You’re not alone. I’m sure you have, at one point or another, looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “Damn, I wish I could see my abs more,” or, “These loves handles have to go.”
Yet despite this ubiquitous desire to sport a beach body year-round, very few of us actually manage to get to that point. Seriously, just take a look around for proof. I had a friend the other day talk to me for about the 10th time about wanting to slim down the size of his legs. Every time he brings up this topic, we find ourselves in 20-minute arguments about how he should be eating, how much cardio he should be doing, and how (and if) he should be training his legs. And then later that night, he says, “Hey, does anyone want to order Domino’s Pizza?”
When I first got involved in fitness four years ago, I learned all about “clean eating,” weighing out every morsel of your food, the “importance” of meal-timing (yes, there’s a reason why that’s in quotations), and the dozens of supplements you absolutely had to take in order to be fit. I fell for all of it, and it took a toll on me without my even realizing it. I became almost instantly obsessed with being PERFECTLY FIT and emulating my newfound role models and turned a blind eye to how that was affecting my life. Before I knew it, I was dodging social opportunities out of fear that I would be presented with a platter of food that didn’t fit my meal plan. I became anxious whenever I had to eat out; God forbid my chicken be cooked with butter! I started spending my evenings alone at home as I told myself that I’d rather be reading about fitness than working on my relationships with my friends. I’d alienated myself from everyone – and although I was aware of this on a subconscious level, I kept telling myself that I was just fine.
But it sucked. It really, really sucked.
I want to kick off today’s post by introducing the Fit Habit series. There’s that word again: habit. For years, I’ve carried around more bad habits with me than I care to recall without making any kind of active effort to rid myself of them. But now I realize that they’ve been taking over my life and effectively eliminating any chance I have of achieving my goals I’ve set, both in and out of the gym. Below are just a few:
- Multitasking (I’ve gotten much better at this as of late but still have plenty of room for improvement)
- Being impatient
- Letting myself become attached to certain people and things
- Automatically correcting people’s spelling and grammar
[Tweet “If you want to live a fit and healthy life, it’s not enough to just exercise and eat right. “]You’re so diligent about getting in your workouts and tossing back your fish oil, but then one particularly stressful day, you find yourself wrist-deep in a box of donuts. You look solemnly at your powder-covered face in the mirror (yeah, you do look ridiculous like that) and vow to yourself that tomorrow you’ll be better. Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of your life and you’ll never, ever have a slip up like that again. Ever. Until you do. Then you look solemnly at your chocolate-stained face in the mirror….