Updated: Aug 13
My last post I wrote about my fitness journey and my own personal struggles. My name is Herman Hildo and I am a certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and a certified group fitness instructor. More importantly, I am just like you...human. I struggled and I still struggle with the "fitness lifestyle" - if that's even a real thing; how about we just say "lifestyle" instead. Somedays I am on point and other days I am way off target. But how can this be? I am a fitness professional and I manage a fitness company...
Fitness can be mentally frustrating and tiresome, but I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be. Yes, fitness is a lifestyle and it it completely okay to be way off course. Don't be hard on yourself and remember you are human and we have emotions. How we choose to address those emotions is what we need to focus on. Let's get started.
Don't Be Hard On Yourself
I have clients, family members, and friends who confess their eating habits to me. I always tell them, "go for it, eat what you want and enjoy it!" The response I typically get is, "...but isn't it bad that I am eating like this?" Here is the short answer: as a fitness trainer, of course I don't want you to eat that double-double cheese burger smothered in secret special sauce, but eating that isn't the problem. Its hardly a problem at all, because one "bad" meal out out of the 1,095 meals you will eat this year isn't bad. Assuming a person eats 3 meals a day for one year (365 days), that equals to one thousand and ninety-five meals in a year (3 x 365 = 1095). So no, a few days of making bad food decisions out of 365 days isn't that big of a deal.
The real question could be, "why are you choosing to eat those high-calorie processed foods?" Find out the root of your eating habit. Ask yourself these questions:
What emotion am I experiencing that encourages me to eat this [unhealthy] food?
Why am I experiencing this emotion?
What led me to experience this emotion?
Take a few moments and ask yourself those questions. Perhaps you, like the rest of us, experienced a difficult day and nothing sounds better than to eat a juicy cheeseburger and fries. I say this...eat the cheeseburger and fries and don't feel bad about it. If you punish yourself for eating it, you will just be repeating the emotional process over again. Instead, be in the moment and enjoy everything. Tomorrow is a new day and the sun will surely rise. However, we are not promised tomorrow, so enjoy being in the moment with the food you have been craving. Remember, there is more to life than beating yourself up. Take life as it comes.
It's a Facade
So here we are again, beating ourself up for having a few more alcoholic beverages over the weekend or consuming the extra serving of French fries. I have heard this statement before: "My coach is going to be so angry at me." Truth be told, most of us aren't and we honestly could careless that you partied hard over the weekend. Good! It just means you're going to be struggling during our workout session and watching you struggle is entertaining to us.
The facade of the fitness [industry] is real! It's a business and businesses have a product to sell. The industry is going to sell you the idea that you need this type of training program with this type of nutrition program to look fit and be fit. I have seen it over and over used in marketing by which one idea discredits the other and so on and so forth. Thus, causing confusion with the general public and that confusion is exactly what the industry wants. With an overload of different fitness ideologies some on-lookers may become confused from what will and will not work. That confusion is played upon because that gives the opportunity to create a new method of fitness ideologies and discrediting the ones before it...and the cycle repeats itself.
With that being said, the marketing practices in the fitness industry is to make it seem like you NEED us. It's quite opposite actually; we need you more than you need us. Without you, there would be no product [service] to sell. But, what is invaluable are the coaches and trainers who are going to teach you to develop healthy habits. If you can see past all the marketing practices and the smoke screens that the fitness industry deploys, you can focus on what will actually help you develop habits. Don't get rid of one bad habit to become dependent on another habit that doesn't address the root of the problem.
Yes, that is the ugly truth about the fitness industry. We don't care if you ate something you shouldn't have or missed a workout. Just like all these different "diet plans' to help you lose weight only teaches you enough to lose unwanted pounds, but is designed to keep you coming back. "Here, pay me $600 a month and I'll create a keto diet plan for you." The prescribed diet plan will teach you just enough, but doesn't address the underlying problem and it won't teach you how to be self-sufficient. Referring back to habits: your habits is what is going to help you or get in your way of your fitness goals. Truth is, any "diet" or workout plan will help you lose weight, as long as you keep yourself in calorie deficit and keep your body moving. So, what is calories deficit, you ask?
Its actually, quite simple. Eat to satisfy your bodies nutritional needs and learn to understand the symptoms of what your body is craving. If you are unsure where to start with how much to eat, it's not a problem, because I can get you in the ball park. There is a math formula to get you started in figuring out your daily caloric needs:
Bodyweight x 12 ≈ Your Daily Caloric Needs (Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR). So, what is the "12" for in the formula? It represent 12 calories per pound.
Once you figure out your own BMR that is a good starting point. Now, this is where the fun begins. Remember, fitness is a marathon and not a sprint. There is no magic to it or a get fit quick pill. Our bodies don't work like that.
Okay, so you figured out your BMR, now count your macros (carbohydrates, proteins and fats - us nutrition gurus like to call fats "lipids", which is the scientific term for fats). Basically, read the back of the nutrition label and pull out your calculator. Take notes on what you ate or simply download a fitness app with a nutrition tracker and input what you ate. See how your body responds to the first four weeks of your new caloric intake, then do the same thing again in four weeks. Weigh yourself and compare that weight to when you started four weeks ago. Did you lose weight or did you stay the same? If you are losing weight, stay at that caloric intake for another few weeks. If you are not losing weight, minus 200 calories from your nutrition intake. Use this formula:
Bodyweight x 12 - 200 ≈ Calorie Deficit
Then repeat the process over again. Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Changes don't happen overnight. Be patient and stay consistent.
Keep it Simple
This can really seem overwhelming, but like anything, keep practicing and living in the moment. Nutrition choices will come naturally after a while. When I first started my fitness journey, everything seemed so foreign, but it does seemingly get easier to manage and truly, its not getting easier...you're actually getting stronger and developing discipline. Keep nutrition simple and don't over complicate it. This is one of the reasons I am vegan. Of course its for the planet and the animals and blah, blah, blah...but it is also for me. It defines my limitations on foods to only fruits, vegetables, and other like-foods that contain fruits and vegetables. I noticed I italicized "like-foods"? I did this for a couple reasons and it's worth explaining. I like to partake in vegan burgers. I categorize nutrition to "real-foods" and "like-foods".
In my mind, with simplicity and neanderthal-like thinking that do. I categorize real-foods such as whole fruits and vegetables. The "like-foods" categorization are "processed" foods. Basically any foods that was created or developed by a human being, such as: vegan burgers, cookies, cake, [etc.] - I think you get the point. I developed these categorizations to help give meaning to the foods of which I consume. I look at "real-foods" as energy and "like-foods" as an enjoyment. I do love some dark chocolate covered almonds though, but its not something I would consider "healthy". Simply put, you can eat to health or you can eat yourself to sickness. Make sense?
Mostly, I eat fruits and vegetables because it takes the guesswork out of "what am I going to eat". I already know that I have black beans cooking in the crockpot, so I will simply grab a cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, and some frozen veggies (apply heat). Viola, my meal is done. It probably took me 5 minutes to prepare it and put it all together.
I hope this has gave you some insight. The key takeaways are don't beat yourself up when you fall short on your daily or weekly fitness goals. We are human and that's the best part of it. Enjoy the life you have and enjoy the fitness process. Don't fall for the fitness industry facades and remember, the industry is a business and just that. Don't believe everything you see pertaining to fitness do's and don't's, especially when its comes from marketing. There is always a hidden agenda behind marketing and it mostly benefits the business. Remember that nutrition plays a vital role in fitness, because what you put into your body can lead you away or take you closer to your fitness goals. Keep your nutrition simple and don't overcomplicate it. Complication is a recipe for disaster. Keep it all simple, from working out to nutrition.
One thing that the National Academy of Sports Medicine taught me and I have incorporated it with my clients and my personal fitness goals is to be realistic in my fitness goals. Ultimately, always shoot for the stars, but also remember to be realistic with it. Have realistic goals and once you've accomplished that set the bar higher and keep climbing that ladder of success.
Stay tuned for my next blogpost, I will share some simple recipes with you that will make your tummy happy and you will feel amazing!
My name is Herman Hildo and I am a fitness professional, but more importantly I am human.
I would love to speak to you about your fitness goals and help you develop a plan to reach! Learn more about my fitness company, Rooted Kingdom, by visiting www.rootedkingdom.com