Wheaton, IL June 13, 2015
Three weeks before my CrossFit L1 Class, only 30 pages into the study manual, I was introduced to Greg Glassman's Fitness in 100 Words. It reads as such:
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.
■ Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
■ Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
■ Regularly learn and play new sports.
It was that first sentence that caught my eye. The coaching manual then proceeds to outline a way of eating that combines the nutritional research of Dr. Barry Sears' Zone Diet with a macronutrient Block methodology.
Between the manual, past articles, and videos, Glassman makes the case for a level of precise eating I had never encountered . . . one he claimed could be the difference between being an average athlete and an exceptional one.
Really? If this was true, I wanted to see for myself.
For the next three weeks, I followed this way of eating to the T. And it turns out he was right. Within that short time, not only did I catapult from the back of the workouts to sometimes being at the front, I leaned out, became defined, and was a beacon of fitness for those who wanted the same for themselves.
In this case, I used the "Barnblazer" method for creating a new habit. I charged in and didn't look back.
Wiping out an old habit cold turkey has it's benefits. Armed with credible data and a really good reason (i.e. your son's upcoming wedding . . . or something more urgent like a doctor's ultimatum to avoid an untimely death), charging in with singleminded intent is swift and to the point.
As for my own story, this eating habit isn't with me 100% of the time. Some days it isn't even with me at a 50% level of compliance. But what I do have, is a strong association with a success that felt absolutely incredible . . . one that is completely within my reach and ability.
The path was quickly and deeply worn with positive memories . . . and I will always know it's a place worth visiting again. Each time I follow these eating guidelines, I reinforce the habits . . . making it easier and easier to comply.
If you have a habit that needs to be extinguished . . . and fast . . . get support, charge in, get results, and burn in new grooves. Don't let the fear of failure or not being able to sustain it be the enemy of trying. Wiring your brain to the success is the important part.
When you're ready to go again, you'll already have the map in hand . . . and it will be connected directly to your heart.