For a lot of us, fitness is difficult.
Being overweight is hard.
Losing fat is hard.
Staying lean is hard.
Some people are of the mindset that well, everything’s hard no matter how you slice it, so might as well just stay put and wallow in misery.
Others put themselves in a real pickle: lose a little bit of fat, decide it’s too hard to keep going, and then throw in the towel and land back at square one, only to change their minds again a month later and try to lean out again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Still others – a select minority, I might add – have the guts to stick it out through the end, pushing through doubts and naysayers and insecurities, and eventually find themselves on the other side of the tunnel thinking, Is this really me? I have abs!
I write this today not because I want to bemoan the hardships of fitness, but rather, invite you to try to see things in a different light.
You see, those who truly succeed in their fitness endeavors view fat loss (or strength gain, or hypertrophy, or increased performance) not as a daunting obstacle but rather as a welcoming challenging. Pushing yourself to a level of unchartered territory necessarily requires that you step outside your comfort zone in order to achieve what you’ve never done before. Will you shy away, or will you strap on your big-boy boots and get to work?
I get it. There’s that voice inside your head that tries to whisper that you don’t have what it takes, that it’s not worth it, that the program you’re on isn’t working.
Only three days deep and the doubt is already creeping in. You second-guess what you’re doing and you’re tempted to give everything the ‘ole switch-a-roo because you feel like maybe you’re eating too many carbs still. Or maybe not enough fats.
You know what’s easy? Extremes.
[Tweet "Extremes are so easy. All-or-nothing is mindless."]
But moderation – ah, moderation is something just about all of us struggle with.
Because moderation is unappealing. There’s nothing sexy about it. How can you brag to your friends that you lost fat at a dull rate of 1lb/week when TV shows are bragging about their 13lbs/week sensational transformations?
Choosing to walk down the moderate path is the harder route.
What’s more, making the decision to stay on that path day in and day out is even more difficult.
But the results can be pretty amazing.
Here’s Mark Paul, one of my nutrition clients whom I’ve been working with since January of this year. In 14 weeks, he has achieved the following:
Bodyweight: 185lbs --> 172lbs
Waist: 36in --> 33in
Hips: 38in --> 35in
Chest: 43in --> 40.5in
With Mark, we started off at the high end of dieting calories and amazingly enough, have had to drop not even 200kcals/day. We’ve recently introduced refeeds into his diet as well to offset the lower carbs.
You can see in his photos that he looks much more athletic now and his abs are really starting to come out.
Sean hopped on board with me about a month after Mark, and the two friends have been battling it out for highest dietary adherence.
Sean’s 14-week transformation thus far:
Bodyweight: 186lbs --> 178lbs
Waist: 33in --> 30.5in
Hips: 34in --> 31.5in
Thighs: 22in --> 24.8in
The visual changes are more subtle with Sean, but what's worth noting is that his strength in the gym has continued to increase over the past few months, and he's been setting PRs on an almost weekly basis.
“Amazing,” writes Sean in his most recently biweekly report. “Honestly, still doesn’t even feel like I’m dieting. I PR’ed on dips (bw + 135x10, 160x7, 180x4), flat bench 275x4, 285x3, and weighted pullups bw+45x12, 70x7.”
His macros started in the 400g carbs/day range (and over 3,000kcal/day) and we’ve since only had to drop less than 500kcal down to 220-320g carbs/day.
Sean’s already looking pretty lean at this point, and I imagine we’re just a few pounds of fat away from getting that sixpack to come on out.
These two clients of mine stand out not because they’re male (yes, I do actually have male clients!) but because their adherence to the program has been amazing.
Both of their macro adherences have been in the 95-100% range with each biweekly they’ve submitted, and as you can see, they’ve certainly been reaping the benefits of that.
I’m really proud of both of them not only for their results, but for their incredible attitudes.
Not once did they question the program.
Not once did they lose faith in the process.
Instead, they trusted the journey and stuck to the given path.
[Tweet "Moderation itself may not be sexy, but damn, can it make you look good."]
They embraced moderation and fully adopted the flexible dieting lifestyle – and now they’re ready for beach season.
The kind of results that Mark and Sean have achieved thus far can be possible for just about anyone.
Their secret weapon: consistency.
Week in and week out, they were consistent with the given program. They didn’t let weekends derail them; they learned how to make their diet fit their lives.
Ah yes, flexible dieting is nice.
To get started on your own unique path to your fitness goals, head to soheefit.com/coaching.