If you find yourself overwhelmed with questions about nutrition and exercise and what’s best for you, I get it. I get asked these questions, as a health and fitness professional, all the time. Weird ones once in awhile. I’m not judging - I know that it’s information overload out there. Some stuff I haven’t even heard of and I’ve heard some very strange ideas. Here are some examples of what people may or may not have asked me:
- Should I drink this turqoise beet powder with my protein to lose weight faster? (are there even turquoise beets? What are those?)
- What time do I need to drink my pre workout supplement?
- Is Intermittent Fasting going to reset my cellular processes and keep me lean forever?
- How many grams of protein and what is my window?
- What exactly should my heart rate be in a fat burning zone if I want to lose 18.35 pounds?
- If I rub the purple crystal on my forehead before exercising will it make me more alert?
I too am guilty of wondering if the latest idea that’s bustling through the internet feed might save me more time, show me better results, or expedite the process. But it doesn’t work that way. No amount of super clarified vinegar consumed with my meals or coconut oil in my coffee can replace good nutrition day in and day out. No fancy new glute exercise or complicated assessment is going to make my butt look bigger and better faster than yours can. It’s ok if you’ve had similar questions. As a Personal Trainer my job is to help you figure out what you need and what will work the best. But the reality of many of those questions and the ones that I hear - is that they are the itty bitty small rocks … and we have got to move the big ones first.
We could focus on some small things. But it probably won’t do much good. The itty bitty rocks can be moved all around but if the big ones haven’t budged we still have the same problem, it just looks a little different. Maybe better, maybe worse. If you haven’t yet stuck to a weight training plan for several months in a row, do you really think it matters how many sets of bicep curls and how long the eccentric part of the rep is? Small rocks. Okay, Okay - but what then, are the big rocks and how do you know they’re not just medium sized or small but seem big?
It depends. Your picture might look slightly different than mine but let’s start with the basics. These are the things that if you can change, will have a large impact on your goals. Let’s go through this and make you a plan.
- Are you sleeping at least 7ish-8 hours per night, consistently?
- Are you fueling your body with good nutrition?
- Are you managing stress in your life and aware of your triggers, patterns, and rabbit holes?
- Are you exercising at least twice per week with progressive and safe resistance training?
- Are you drinking enough water to stay hydrated every single day?
Draw this little picture below that I found on the web. Or make a list. I drew the picture b/c it was more fun.
But leave your rocks blank. Sit for a little bit and get honest. As one of my favorites, Lisbeth Darsh, wrote recently: “Call yourself on your own bullshit today.” Fill in your big rocks. Maybe there is 5, maybe 6 or 7. Be real. Then ask yourself which ones you are ignoring and why you’re having trouble touching them. Pick one big rock that you need to move and make a list of action steps. Find a way to hold yourself accountable to your rock that’s about to be in motion.
It’s sometimes just a distraction for us to focus on those little rocks and pesky questions rather than dealin with the biggins. Change and growth can be uncomfortable. It took me a while to realize that I am not good with under 8 hours of sleep. Maybe it’s because I struggle with autoimmunity, maybe it’s because I go hard sometimes - whatever. I wanted to buy into busy is better. But it’s not. When I don’t get enough sleep consistently, everything else in my life starts to quickly deteriorate. If I fix that - all the other stuff is a lot easier. If my nutrition is 80% good, I don’t really need to think about supplements and the timing of my sweet potato and it’s glycemic index.
Some of the little rocks you’ve been worrying about - you might realize they don’t matter that much to you either. Tossing a few of those small ones into the trash can - or ocean - or whatever you want to imagine - might really do some good. Make space and room to tackle the big ones. Get help if you’re still confused. I’ve always had coaches - and damn good ones - mentoring me. It’s not a failure. It’s taking care of yourself and breaking old patterns for good. Pick one big rock today - make it fun and make a plan. Get it