The Myth of Moderation
Everything in moderation," is something I hear everyday and it makes me crazy. This ridiculous and illogical saying has gained traction in our culture of, "I deserve it," and today I'm calling bullshit on the myth of moderation.
The problem with "everything in moderation," is that it's a moving target. There is no objective, one size fits all, definitive Moderation. What we consider moderate today, while we're on the first week of a cut and kicking ass, taking names, just crushed Femme Fatale week, and counting our macros, Thank-You-Very-Much is VASTLY different than what we consider moderate, now, in that last week of December between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Right? Think about that for a moment. If there wasn't a huge cavernous span in our decision between what's moderate now versus January 30th, we wouldn't need to be doing, yet another, cleanse, or fast, or diet.
"Everything in moderation," is a LIE that we tell ourselves to justify a decision we know is not moving us toward our goal. It is the justification we use to allow ourselves to eat the thing, drink the drink, take the days off from the gym, and do whatever we want to do right now, "'Cause YOLO." This simple lie enables us to dodge discipline, avoid accountability, and trick ourselves out of temperance.
It is also used by other people to pressure us into a behavior that makes THEM feel better. Far too any times have I been pressured by friends, co-workers, and family to eat the cookies, cakes, pies, candy, etc., because it makes them feel better to see me do it. Why? Because my discipline makes people uncomfortable. Our actions and decisions often are a mirror for the people around us. So many times have I seen people wrestle with the consequences of their decisions once they see me stand-firm with mine.
Our culture resolutely accepts that moderation does not work for an alcoholic. Rarely do you see people pressuring sober folks into having "just one, because everything in moderation, yo." Why do we not afford this same consideration to people who don't want to eat sugar? Or grains? Or meat? Or anything else about which they have personally decided that abstinence is their moderation?
Everything in moderation is a myth because some things, even in moderation, will kill you. Everything in moderation is a myth because some things we need in more than moderate amounts, like 78% nitrogen and some in less than moderate amounts, like 21% oxygen. Everything in moderation is a myth because some things we want to achieve, i.e. our goals, require discipline. Everything in moderation is a myth that keeps us bound to the hell of our own status quo.
The Myth of the New Year's Resolution
It happens every year. We all declare some grandiose plan such as "This is my year! I will finally lose 10 pounds!," or "This year I'm not going to drink every night," or "This year I really will go to the gym 3 times a week." Then, by February we're back to old habits. We've stepped on the scale and "Uh OH." We've looked back at our workouts on Beyond the Whiteboard and have only made it to 15 classes since Jan.
There's nothing wrong with making New Year's Resolutions. The New Year is a natural transition time. It's a time for us to reflect and challenge ourselves to be better. The problem with most New Year's Resolutions is that we make a big fat hairy goal and we have no idea how to achieve it.
If you want to make your New Year's Resolution stick until the spring, you need to break it down it manageable steps. In other words, you need to shrink the change.
Let's say your New Year's Resolution is to eat better. First define what that means. Are you eating Paleo? Are you eating only low-insulin foods? Are you eating vegan? You need to decide what eating better means for you, because I can assure you that my definition of eating better is very different from yours.
Next, decide why you need to eat better. Do you want to do it because you believe it will make you feel better or look better? Write that down. This is your WHY and you need to be super clear about it.
Next, decide how you will know if you're successful. You want this to be something you can measure. It can be weight, inches, your ability to do 70 burpees in 7 minutes, whatever. It just needs to be meaningful to you and something you can measure.
Once you've defined your goal, developed why you're doing it, and determined what success looks like (through measurements), let's assign a timeline to it. Do you want to start eating better today? Do you want to start eating better next week? Put some time constraints on it, and determine when you'll know yo've been successful. Then, shrink the change. Eating better all at once can bet overwhelming.
What if you commit to eating just one meal per day according to your new eating better standard? Eat one "good" meal every day for a week. Then in week two start eating 2 "good" meals every day. Then, in week, 3 increase that to 16 meals for the entire week. This will give you 80% "good" meals. This is a better strategy than 3 "good" meals everyday for a week because well, life happens. Commit to 16 healthy and amazing meals every week for two weeks and see how you feel.
Then measure your success. If you're not where you wanted to be reassess your processes. Perhaps you really do need to eat 90% of your meals according to your new standard. Or, perhaps 80% if just perfect. You're making progress and you can still go out to Map Brewery after skiing. Win Win!
New Year's Resolutions can be motivating and fun. However, motivation alone is not enough to make us commit to a goal. We need small successes that build into larger successes that create huge, fantastic momentum. Success will keep your motivation high, not the other way around.
So set your New Year's Resolution up for success! Shrink the change and make your resolution measurable and time bound. Let's see how many of us can stick with our New Year's Resolutions until our April Check-ins!
Carl deadlifts in the 6am class.
The Myth that You Can Out-Exercise Your Diet
If I had a dollar every time someone said to me they need to do more "cardio" to loose weight, I could sell the gym and retire. The myth of being able to out-exercise, out-run or out-lift your diet is so frustrating. It's not true, and there is plenty of scientific research debunking this ridiculous myth. Read this, this, or this, to learn why you can't outrun your diet.
The CrossFit nutrition protocol is to "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat." While this protocol is simple, it's surprisingly difficult for most folks to follow. What about alcohol? What about french fries, pizza, burgers, cakes, brownies, cookies, and potato chips? While I love those foods, too, and in absolutely no nutrition program do these tasty treats classify as high quality nutritious food. They are treats, foods that we love and don't eat on a regular basis.
What you'll notice in the CrossFit nutrition program is an emphasis on whole foods. Meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, and little starch do not come in a bags, boxes, envelopes, or any other containers. It comes from the farmers hand to yours via the farmers' market, CSA, or local grocery store. It's whole unprocessed foods that you can eat raw or cook. It's not a powder or pill; it's real, whole food.
The hard, tough love truth is this: you have to change what you're eating and how much you're eating if you want to change how you look. If you change what you're eating and do constantly varied high intensity functional movement exercise (AKA CrossFit) you're going to change how you look even faster. Read this, this and watch this to see how others have done it.
Nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't matter of you do yoga, Pure Barre, or CrossFit, what you eat (quality) and how much you eat (quantity) matters.
Brian has an outstanding squat!
Myth: Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees.
I have this pet peeve. It's when one of you post some fantastic image of you doing something amazing in our gym and your Facebook friends tell you how unsafe it is. Oh really? I'm so glad people outside the gym have such a grasp of human movement and the science of strength and conditioning.
You know what I'm talking about, "Deadlifts are bad for your back," and my all time favorite, "Squats are bad for your knees." I always want to ask these Facebook experts how to pick up something heavy and how to get off the toilet. Taking a crap is a squat exercise.
We are born with the natural ability to squat below parallel. Our natural range of motion is to squat below parallel. Squatting below parallel is only bad for your knees if you do it wrong! Check out the image below and then watch the video from Barbell Logic on the safety and efficacy of squats.
Row'd Royalty - Jan 17 - Feb 7
Olympic Weightlifting Seminar - Feb 2
Femme Fatale Week - Feb 10-15
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
Do you need CrossFit or yoga gear? Click on the links below to buy through our Just Strong, Reebok, Rogue or Hylete Affiliate share sale programs. These are affiliate links and our gym will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
Check out our Flickr page!