Did you think about what I told you yesterday? Did you go in front of the mirror? Good job! I know, it feels weird in the beginning but it does work. CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) can be a powerful tool. We will leverage that in the days to come. I’ll try to be less touchy-feely today, but no promises :). Today, we will continue to build on what we talked about yesterday.
Losing fat isn’t just “eat less, move more” like we’ve thought for generations. Though this concept is valid, saying that is incomplete, and if not done properly, ineffective. Like we talked about in the last article, you need to have your head in the game, be fully engaged and involved. This requires learning new things about the human body in general, and just as important, your body specifically. Learning, and the application of what you learned, is key to reversing the situation you are currently in. You learned stuff to get here that wasn’t very helpful. Wait. What? Hobbit, I didn’t learn how to get overweight and unhealthy! WTH you saying? Yes you did. You may not be aware of it, but you learned things along the way that have contributed to you current state. Things that you learned that are either partially false, complete lies, or unhelpful:
- The food pyramid published by the USDA was originally based off a Swedish model that was designed and created by a grocery chain co-op. The Swedish government rejected it, btw. The USDA decided to adopt it with some changes, but under intense pressure from the grain industry, it was heavily modified before release. The food pyramid you learned to follow was nothing more than a government-supplied marketing device.
- “Heart Healthy” foods became the tag line next. You learned that oats, high fiber, and whole grains were “heart healthy” and would lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks. You know what a company has to do to get that American Heart Association symbol on their foods? Write a check. That’s it. Surprisingly (that’s sarcasm, btw), with the adoption of a high-grain diet, the things it was supposed to prevent has actually skyrocketed.
- You learned – from a very flawed and biased study – that sodium, and therefore salt, causes high blood pressure and you should cut it from your diet. Blatantly false.
- You learned that eating fat was unhealthy. Blatantly false, though some fats are better than others, the attack on dietary fat focused specifically on saturated fats found in animal products. This attack was lead by… wait for it… you know the answer to this one. The grain industry.
- You learned that somehow, sugar and carbohydrates – especially in the form of starches or “complex sugars” – are somehow an essential nutrient. Blatantly false. You don’t need carbs, and once starch is metabolized, the body doesn’t know any difference in it from a spoon of Domino sugar.
- You learned that fruits are required for a healthy diet and are the epitome of healthy eating. Partially false. While fruits can have essential vitamins and minerals in them, they are not the only source of them. Additionally, the sugars in most fruits are both sucrose (sugar) and fructose (also a sugar). Fructose is extremely hard on the liver and is the number one cause of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease).
- You learned a serving size is whatever they put on your plate. The average American eats in a single sitting what most people in other countries consume in 2 meals.
- You learned that a 4lb bag of Tyson nuggets is not only healthy, it is more economical than unprepared chicken breast. False. Not only is the “meat” in those nuggets made up of the unused scraps from processing chickens, it is a chemical shitstorm. Yes, you get more “servings” for your $10 than buying unprepared food (and much less work), but I’d argue that the increased medical costs more than offset any savings. You also eat more of it and more often because it has actual less usable, sustainable nutrition.
- You learned that buying a box of Duncan Hines cake mix is “showing your family love” and “is just like grandma made it.” Yes, that’s how I show love. “Here honey, have a cake from a box. I have no idea what is in it but hey, they say it is good for you.” I can promise you, my grandmother, who was an amazing baker, never served me cake that was made from ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I could successfully argue that a cake made traditionally – eggs, wheat flour, oil, sugar – is still more healthy than one made with propylene glycol, non and diesters of fats, dicalcium phospate, monocalcium phosphate, wheat starch, modified food starch, and a bunch of ingredients clumped under “flavorings.”
- You learned that Snickers is not only satisfying (it isn’t, it triggers more eating because of the way the massive amount of sugar triggers dopamine and serotonin imbalance), and is a great snack to have on the run.
- You learned that all you need to do to lose weight is to buy “special” products, count points, and spend dollars. The industry focused on dieting is a massive cash cow. Not only are the plans and foods expensive, the foods themselves are no more “healthy” than other chemical shitstorms on the market. But, the biggest lie out of this industry? That you will succeed. You may see a weight lose, yes, but that is more because you are paying closer attention to what you eat (so YOU’RE the success, not the plan) than anything you are paying for. And, what good is an industry that cannot generate reoccurring revenue? The whole business model is not for you to lose weight and live a healthy life for years and years, it is for you to see quick results, then continue to pay them as you yo-yo all over the place. They don’t teach you anything other than how to spend your money.
- You learned that body builders are lunkheads who have high testosterone, small brains (and small, well, you know…), and are one step above primitive man, and that one step is only because Gronk back in 1,000,000BC couldn’t drive (poorly) a lifted Dodge Ram. Wrong. Bodybuilders spend a lot of time studying science. They understand muscle fibers, conservation of energy, amino acids, glycogen, and how to leverage all of that to achieve their goals safely. Yes, there’s some that will use steroids, but it isn’t as many as you are lead to believe. You learned that they are genetic freaks and nothing that they do has application to your life. Wrong.
- You learned that “big boned” is a thing. It isn’t. Human bone structure is proportionate to height. Period. “Big boned” is not a thing for 95% of the world population. Because of genetics, those people will have slightly larger diameter bones than typical. Those bones also are typically less dense. Those people are typically above average in height. Serena Williams isn’t “big boned,” she’s muscular AF. She’s also of African descent, with that comes a genetic difference in muscle distribution due to evolutionary needs specific to the environment. While excessively obese people will have larger bones to support their structure without collapsing, when the weight drops, so does the bone size. The body knows what it doesn’t need and will get rid of it.
- You learned that cardio will melt the fat off you. Nope, that is false as well. Unless it is extremely high intensity cardio, extended low-impact cardio can actually be counter-productive. We will talk about this in a later installment.
- You learned that women can’t build muscle. Wrong. Women can build muscle, it just takes a different approach than men. Actually, because of the hormonal difference, women can build more of one type of muscles faster than men if done properly.
- You learned that if you have an illness, the only solution is pills. While there are illnesses and diseases that should be treated with pharmaceuticals, diet can be a major player in health.
- You learned that protein will elevate blood sugar. It doesn’t.
- You learned that one size fits all, do what I do and you will be fine. Nope.
- You learned that getting the Super Sized Value Meal will cure your hunger, give you energy throughout the day, and is an acceptable replacement for anything you can make at home. Nope. Those meals are specifically designed to give you a quick fix, a burst of energy from the carbs, then come back in a few hours and do it all over again, while at the same time giving you way more calories than you need at one time, which results in fat storage.
- Finally, this is the most important piece you learned: that all of this is your fault. You’re unhealthy because you are fat. You are fat because you are lazy, weak, and unmotivated. NO. You are fat because you are unhealthy. You are fat because you are addicted – in a biological and neurological way – to the foods you have been eating. You are unhealthy and addicted because you have been specifically marketed and targeted to sell you more and more stuff. You are fat because that’s less important to the shareholders than their bank accounts. You are fat because you have been used.
When I first started typing this out, I thought the list would be hard to reach 10 items. Man, was I wrong :(. Yes, most of the stuff I do starts off as a general idea that pops in my head – usually about 3am when I’m crawling back into bed from a call and need to unwind from the stress – from something I’ve seen or read as a rough idea that I put together on the fly. I had the plan to cover more than just this in this post, but because it morphed into something a lot longer, I’ll do a part 3 (and 4 and 5, maybe 6 lol) of this series building off what we’ve talked about so far. I don’t want to overwhelm you with information all at once. I understand you have a life and time is precious. I’ll leave you with this:
Look that person in the mirror tonight. Tell them you love them. Tell them that you forgive them. Tell them that you now understand this isn’t all their fault. They were played. Tell them you know better now, and that together, you will work to better your life. Tell them that Hobbit has their back, he knows the two of you can do this, and he will help. Believe it.