Fit or fat, it doesn’t matter to me as long as you are happy with how you look and feel. My best friend from high school is 5’8″ and 300+ pounds and I love him the way he is. In fact, I prefer his company to that of a neurotic, narcissistic fitness addict who can think of nothing else but how good he looks in the mirror. What I don’t love is the fact that my friend suffers from diabetes, chronic – often debilitating – joint pain and feels terrible and helpless about his physical condition. I like to think that if we were not half a continent apart I could maybe help him turn things around. But if I can’t reach him, perhaps I can help you.
First off, it isn’t your fault. For too long we’ve been led to believe that obesity is a disease of sloth or gluttony. But that isn’t true. It’s a disease of misinformation. Through high school my friend was far more involved with sports than I was and he never ate as much as me either but he was overweight even then. It’s tempting to blame metabolism but that’s not it either. My friend tried to eat the way he was told to but it left him feeling hungry and depressed and low on energy because the information he received was wrong. His body wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed so he found himself craving more of the wrong thing. It’s happening to you too.
Your body is cleverly designed to crave the nutrients you need. Unfortunately, in our world of packaged products, foods are designed to confuse your body. The fats you’re craving from that package of cookies aren’t packed with the dense nutrients found in naturally occurring fats like olives, avocados and coconuts. The sweet candies you’re snacking on are higher in sugar, bereft of fibre and empty of the nutrients you would get eating a ripe mango. You’re putting calories in and they’re filling your belly but they’re calories empty of the nutrients your body needs so you feel unsatisfied and are soon hungry again.
The only way to break this cycle is to retrain yourself to build your meals on real, whole, unprocessed foods. That means foods that do not come with an ingredients label. I make sure each meal has a good source of protein (fish or meat), a bunch of high fibre vegetables (think greens and other colourful plants), some high quality fat (nuts, seeds, olives, avocado) and I finish with fresh fruit. I don’t worry about quantity, I don’t stuff myself but I stop eating when I’m no longer hungry. After I’ve eaten a complete meal if I still want a little snack, I don’t feel guilty because I know I’ve covered off all my nutritional needs with real food. Do this for a few weeks and you’ll start becoming sensitive to your body’s cravings and you’ll be surprised to discover it’s not for chips and soda. When you cut out all the noise and interference from processed foods you’ll notice your body craves real healthful foods first.
Give it a try. Other than a few unwanted pounds and some self-destructive cravings, what do you have to lose?
Overhead Squat 1-1-1-1-1
Front Squat 1-1-1-1-1
Back Squat 1-1-1-1-1
Anyway you cut it, this is a tough workout to execute as written. Even pre-COVID, a 1-hour class is not enough time to get through 15 near max lifts. With warm up and cool down it took me 75 minutes to get through and I was rushing. Add in that we do not have enough racks for everyone and that means some of you will be lifting from the floor seriously limiting the loads you can squat. Instead of trying to play this game as written, we are going to use Saturday as a skill development day taking 15 minutes to focus on technical excellence in each of these lifts. I realize that this won’t satisfy everyone but I’d rather have a good quality tech session than a half-assed strength day.