Okay so let me start off with a bit of a disclaimer by saying everyone is different and everyone has different goals. So if your goal is specific to a certain body composition – you probably shouldn’t just quit tracking and following your gym programme after reading this!haha.
I’m just talking about me and what I’m doing with myself at the minute when it comes to training and nutrition. As a coach I feel you are always expected to be tracking your food to the last gram, never straying from your gym programme, and just generally being a good leader.
But why does that have to mean doing what most of your clients are probably doing? Yes, a lot of my clients will track their food and train from a programme designed for them for their goals, but that doesn’t mean that’s what my goal is.
I have been tracking my food for a LONG time now, sometimes more loosely than others, but generally always thinking numbers, grams, calories etc. and although there are different stages of adherence and strictness depending on the goal in hand, it can become draining.
Up until recently I was back training in the gym doing 5 sessions/week in a programme mainly weights focused and I enjoyed it. For a while. It dawned on me that I was just making myself go do this programme for a goal that was simply to look and feel better – no specific goal of building more muscle, looking a certain way, just to train often and feel good in myself.
I found that I was actually just dragging myself through these sessions towards the end, still putting in the work and doing them properly but getting no real love from it – I wasn’t excited to train as such.
So why keep doing something that’s not really making you happy? Training is the part of the day you know you’ll definitely feel great afterwards, but you shouldn’t dread the actual session!
This led me to think about my nutrition as well. I was forever opening up Myfitnesspal app on my phone and monotonously inputting my breakfast, lunch, dinner, checking what numbers I had left to determine what snacks I was ‘allowed’ for the day, tracking my water etc.
I could literally tell you the nutrition breakdown of the majority of foods I eat on a daily basis at this stage!It wasn’t until one day I had to catch up on calories (shock – this usually NEVER happens me!) so I was force feeding myself a snack one evening after dinner, when I really wasn’t hungry (also not like me) when I thought to myself – why the hell are you eating if you’re not hungry?!
Tracking my food and hitting certain numbers for a goal that was really just to feel and look better (such a vague goal that I give out to my clients if they say that’s their goal!haha), but that’s the stage I was at. That’s currently my goal. I don’t have a massive amount of fat to lose, I don’t want to be 10% body fat, I don’t want to build enough muscle and strip down fat to step on stage, I’m not training for a specific event or performance based goal, so I really DON’T need to be tracking and training a certain way.
Like I said earlier, if you employ a coach to get you to a certain goal – more than likely you’re gonna have to track and train accordingly, all I am saying is that’s not me right now.
I was starting my online Learn’2’Lose programme 2 weeks ago and decided, you know what, I’m gonna join in with the girls and do it with them – not so much focused on my weight but more so just eating well and enjoying my training.
So I ditched myfitnesspal app, sacked off the gym programme and started doing some training that I fancied!
I eat according to the programme which is roughly 3 main meals and 2 snacks, standard enough BUT I don’t feel the need to eat when I’m not hungry or hit certain numbers that I really don’t give a crap about right now. If I feel I’m not getting enough water, that’s something I’ll work on improving, if I see I’m lacking veggies on a given day, I’ll make up for it with my next meal etc. I suppose you could say I’m really just going back to the basics! And it feels good.
I started training with a friend twice a week which is gym based, that’s helping to maintain my strength but also just enjoyable sessions – no specific plan as such. I started taking part in the kettlebell class I run weekly , I also do a spinning class once a week, as well as the bodyweight workouts from my online programme on the other day or 2 (one Live on Facebook with the group at the weekend).
I’ve set myself a goal for the month of August to get up and go for a half hour walk each morning before work, something I used to do religiously. Aside from waking my up and getting my brain going, it helps increase my steps and activity levels for the day as well as get a podcast or an audiobook in there too – always learning! 🙂
So that’s generally what I have started doing training and food wise. I’ve stripped things back to the basics. Stopped trying to do EVERYTHING at once.
Train 5 times a week, get enough daily activity in there too, do yoga, meditate, read, learn, work, coach, have a life?! We put too much focus on trying to do so much at once that we either get bogged down and don’t have a good life balance, or we give up completely and go through all or nothing phases which is never good!
I’ve decided to go back to basics with my food and nutrition, adding the walk each morning is a mini goal for the month as well as being something I enjoy, and I simply get a few 20 minute yoga sessions in when I feel like it, as well as meditate maybe once or twice a week for 10 mins max! (Calm or Headspace are good apps if you need some help with zoning out/learning to meditate).
So yeah, that’s just what I’m focusing on at the minute, nothing major, just trying to have a happy balance with food and enjoy my training.
If you are in the same boat, you aren’t focused on a specific body composition goal or competition, you have lost your love for your training but feel like you HAVE TO do it or you’re a failure if you don’t, cause let’s face it that’s what it’s made out like these days; then maybe it’s time to take a wee step back and look at what you really want.
What would you choose to do training wise every day that would really make you happy to know you were keeping fit and healthy but not dreading doing? Are you tracking aimlessly for no real reason? Why not just eat intuitively for a bit – I’m sure most people who track their food for a long period of time know that they should eat enough veg, drink plenty of water and eat a decent source of protein at each meal? Simples.
That’s my mini life update when it comes to food and fitness for now – who knows next month I might decide to train for a marathon! But for now this is what I’m happiest doing and that’s the most important thing!
I urge you to set yourself a mini goal for August, something you’ll feel better for, maybe something you’ve been putting off? The days go by too quickly which means we make excuse after excuse to put things off.
A simple example might be you have been meaning to read more but can’t seem to find the time. Well we know that’s bullshit as we easily lose hours of our days scrolling through our phones, but I know it’s easier said than done.
I made the decision to set my alarm 20mins earlier than usual – this was just a time that worked for me – it can be any time of the day obviously – and I set my timer to 20 mins, put phone on aeroplane mode and get stuck into a book.
That works out to be 2 hours 20 mins reading per week, which is over 9 hours per month and a whopping 121 hours 20 mins a year. From just 20 mins a day! Think of all the books you’ve been putting off reading! 😀 Or maybe you’d prefer to listen to your books – in which case download the app Audible. Buy your favourite books and LISTEN to them for 20mins a day!
There’s literally no excuses! 😛
That’s enough from me for one day!
Happy Monday! 🙂