Most things you do in a day to day life can be tracked by numbers somehow, either timing, weighing, counting, somewhere in your day you’ll be associating something with numbers.
Try and go a day without using numbers, impossible!
Using numbers uses your brain which is keeping it alert and active. Fantastic! We need numbers for everyday essential life such as, the obvious basic math one, time, money, distance, counting, weighing etc you get my drift… now these are the necessities, basically the same as if you where head out with a survival kit you would need to take your necessities, but on a subconscious level.
In a lot of cases what I find, is the more organised you are the more numbers can help you out, where as the more lazy you are numbers are more of a burden. Either way, whoever you may be, we use a lot of numbers.
Like in college or uni, your assignments, dissertations had to be a minimum of so many words?
Who the hell come up that!?
So many words for a beginning, a middle and an end and immediately putting pressure on the student to reach that target. Then comes the maths again when elaborating on how this amount can be give or take 10% but you will get points deducted if you write 10% less than required.
Learning should be enjoyable like everything else, I like seeing
“I’ve just handed in the best dissertation I’ve ever written!” Or
“A new trick I learned today” rather than “what even is business studies?”
Maybe this is down to the student opting for the wrong subject. Or if a person ends up in a job they may not have hoped for. If it’s something they don’t enjoy it will become a chore, and they’ll be using numbers more than ever, clock watching, word counting, tea breaks…
Numbers can mean pressure, pressure on yourself to do this, that and the other. Which for a majority of things is acceptable, and sometimes very useful especially when it comes to training for example, trying to better your last lap or your PB/PR. It gives you a goal or a target to push and achieve, and a pretty good feeling when when you accomplish it. But if you’re so focused on numbers with everything you do you’re mind can get fixated on them. Often unreliable, and inaccurate…
Take a few examples:
Maybe a PT taking a pair of callipers/pinchers to your skin to workout your Body Fat percentage, you’re currently 15%. Then two weeks later you’re now 16.5%. HOW?
You’ve been training so hard, sweated every time, your Fitbit/Apple watch has told you you’re burning so much off, how can the percentage go up!? Crazy right? This happens, everyday somewhere. Are you going to feel
better off that sort of answer?
The answer - NO. Unless you’re strong minded, not a chance you’ll feel better if your fat percentage has risen when your main goal is to lose it right?
The problem - How can we know that pincher was in EXACTLY the same spot? They HAVE to be in exactly the same spots to get a clear, accurate reading, people have to be well trained, highly qualified and have access to the correct (never cheap) equipment to even begin this pointless exam.
These numbers don’t have to matter…
Most people love food. We need it to survive and function as a human being, so when did it come a priority to start tracking what you eat?…
Oh I know, when people decided that crap was ‘OK’ to consume.
Allowing yourself the goodies you crave and still being in a calorific deficit…
Ask yourself these -
Do you have that unusual job? i.e. full time athlete
(if YES, your nutrition info should be provided)
Regardless of times you eat, do you eat a minimum of 3 meals a day?
(if YES/NO read below)
As children we are taught the basics about life, one being what's right and wrong, I never tell clients what to eat, I ask them to make their own minds up. I guide them and teach them about nutrition from and even prior they come to me as a client. I was once in the narrow mindedness that certain foods was FULL of ‘extra’ protein or so called healthy and carbs made you fat, yes believe it or not I once believed this hysterical myth. But then I started to study, I educated an even tested on myself, with fact based evidence about the nutrition as a whole rather than just what’s good and what’s bad. By the end of it (just a saying, I’m still learning) the GOOD and BAD food don’t cross paths in the same conversation.The whole food industry is in a complete and utter mess, therefore people think it’s now FINE to consume garbage because it’s "in moderation" and they count calories, eat crap and still be ‘on track’ to hit their goal.
They can sit there for hours researching how many calories are in what and how many they can actually consume in a daily allowance. There is actually apps for this now, basically a funky calculator. As long as they are still losing weight or not gaining weight they’re happy enough to keep counting…
You can be in great shape physically, but still be very unhealthy
You’re about to reach your amount of calories for the day with your final feed, but there is a plate full of extra delicious veg (200cal) that you can easy wolf down with your meal, does this mean “NO, quick hide the veg”, you’ll pass your calorie intake and gain fat?
No it doesn’t, I guarantee it. Unless your delicious veg is cooked in batter and fried to a crisp, these numbers shouldn’t matter.
If you still feel the need you have to have this garbage on a daily basis, then I can guarantee you are not doing the best you can for your own health & wellbeing.
We are NOT children anymore we can make grown up decisions on making better choices throughout our days, months and years. It’s our choice to eat that food high in trans fat, it’s our choice to be late for work, it’s our choice to convince yourself you’re having a bad day…
Or WE as humans, WE as people, WE as everyday average Joe’s can make BETTER CHOICES. Making better choices not just in nutrition, in everything we do, it then becomes a habit, a habit becomes a lifestyle.
A BETTER LIFESTYLE,
A lifestyle where you don’t need to track no food.
We can live normal again. NORMAL food will have the best factor on your health and wellbeing.
Is that not enough?
Well as bonus, it can get you in the best physical shape with a happy state of mind too :)
These numbers don’t have to matter…
When weighing yourself, whether it’s you, you’re trainer, you’re class you attend, immediately you set yourself a goal. Great. Goals get you results, if you have the mindset.
Some guys want to gain weight and girls want to lose weight. You start by writing your weight in numbers, and then you are told how you get your goal, and again you track this by using numbers (eating less calories) and then you maintain your weight control by using even more numbers (calorific deficit). You count your days until you next step on the scales using even more numbers, it’s approaching D-Day.
You’ve weighed yourself, you’ve lost 1,2,3 pound(s) of weight you’re happy with your results. The numbers are heading in the right direction, you go home you stand on your scales you’ve not lost a thing according to your scales, “they’re broke” which they might be but doesn’t make you happier and again you’ve used numbers to account for your system. You throw the ‘broke’ scales out and replace them using more numbers working out that they’ll be worth the price you pay. Using numbers they say the same as the original scales, you feel better.
Two days pass by ‘you’re back on track’, them scales are looking at you, you count the odds using more numbers on chance you’ve hopefully lost more weight.
You’ve lost 1 more pound! You’re on a roll, you can’t wait to get back in later an post/boast about your achievement using numbers thinking about the amount of ‘likes’ you’ll get.
Later that day, you're ready for your big post, you stand on the scales. Using numbers you’ve Gained 4lbs. WTF! You try 4,5,6,7 times using numbers, standing differently, taking more clothes off item by item using numbers.
You’re mind then turns upside down.
And to finish it off all that hard work you’ve put in, you’ll happily open the ‘cheat drawer’ you secretly have, go and indulge because “nothing works anyway”
The problem -
How much you drank that day?
How much have you eaten that day?
Have you gained muscle?
Are them scales too cheap?
These numbers don’t have to matter…
It comes back to my last blog of overthinking, if you’re so busy concentrating on getting the numbers where you want them to be, you’re missing out on the most important part of what your doing - LEARNING & ENJOYING IT. Imagine counting your calories in a restaurant on a first date, “taxi home please”
Your number game can completely take over your life. It can control your feelings, the way you act and your judgement. As I’ve stated before, numbers can be essential but over using them for EVERYthing in life can lead you to live like a robot and it certainly isn’t fun.
People think that your diet is your identity - if you’re a vegan, that becomes an identity, if you eat meat in mass for your protein that becomes an identity, if you eat salads instead of pasta that is now an identity.
When we come to eat a plate of food, or have a meal in a restaurant or have a quick snack from the local shop… by opting for the bag of fruit over the bags of crisp is the ‘grown-up’ thing to do - it’s the BETTER CHOICE. Make your life easy, enjoy it, and don’t get so caught up in the fake world of MEME’s that tell you what to do.
If your trainer, coach or mentor is telling you to lose weight via “eating less calories” I can almost say for certain, this is a process that can have unhappy side effects and is very unsustainable. Will you lose weight? Probably. When you have your perfect profile pic, are you going to ‘go back to normal eating’ and start the process all over again next year?
“Throwback to this bod”
“Can I have these abs back please”
When it comes to meal times, look at your plate, add the right whole food carbs. Include almost too much veg, add legumes if you’ve not already had some that day, top with herbs and spices making it delicious, train when you can but be active every single day. Tell yourself “make the better choice”. Give it time, let the process work, look for a LIFESTYLE change not a SUMMER BODY. 52 weeks In the year and you’re happy with NOT looking and feeling great for 50 of them? Bonkers.
STAY HAPPY, LIVE HEALTHY, BE ACTIVE.