One upon a time…I was new to diet an exercise. Yes, I know it may surprise you to know that I wasn’t born in the gym as a result of a very heavy leg press.
But yes, once upon a time…my idea of exercise was nothing but Yoga.
Now, back in high school I ran track, played football and did ballet, but once I was left to my own, uninformed devices I was devoted to nothing but my Yoga and hardcore vegetarianism.
I became eager with the will to be healthy and learn more about diet and nutrition…I took on the advice of several ‘trusted’ sources and learned about the soul sucking qualities of foods like refined sugars and other animal products such as dairy. I vaguely heeded the warnings…enough so to live an entirely righteous, whole foods, soy-based life. Only to end up looking like this:
All my life I was a mop any house would be proud to have. A rigid stick body with a mass of tangled locks. Light and durable. That was me. When the Grass-Fed stage of my life began, big girl hormones played their cruel trick of putting weight on nowhere but my middle. No matter how much grass I ate or how long I held my warrior poses…it wouldn’t budge. I wasn't used to this. Action had to be taken.
This began stage two of my anaerobically challenged years.
Thanks to ‘heath and fitness’ magazines, spokespersons and uber-reliable internet articles written by people with very important sounding names, I learned this valuable lesson: only cardio burns fat and eating fat makes you fatter. So I got with the program. I started running again as well as jumping around with Barbie weights in front of the television with my favourite fitness instructors. I could feel the burn in my miniscule muscles. This had to be working. A treadmill and 3lbs weights was all I needed because I just wanted to be ‘toned’. I also consumed nothing but vegetarian, fat-free foods so I could have a fat-free tummy! That’s sound logic! I was on my way to be ripped!!!
Well…maybe not ripped but I acquired an impressive amount of forehead vascularity…
The Cardio Bunny adventures left me little but frustrated. I was faster, I was fitter…but my body assisted the new need for speed by creating an even lighter frame. This sounds desirable in theory but the problem was that my body took the weight from the places that didn’t need to be smaller. My arms and my legs.
Maybe I just needed to run for longer? Maybe it’s all of the gluten I was eating? I signed up for a ½ marathon and long story short, grass and fat free, gluten free soy burgers do not equal recovery. I busted my knee so badly and I was unable to race… this led me to:
The Bodybuilding Phase
I couldn’t run but I could still bend my legs. This meant that I could try standard weight lifting. It seemed daunting initially but the gym atmosphere and my about-to-be workout partner eventually piqued my curiosity enough to get me into the weight room. Of course…I could not just lift weights. I had to lift ALL THE WEIGHTS.
At this juncture, I learned what it meant to ‘lift like a vegetarian’ and I wanted to be the strongest 100lbs woman in the galaxy. I introduced animal protein back into my diet and finally saw some changes.
The problem was that there was so much conflicting information out there as to what the best bodybuilding diet was. I saw low fat, high carb diets. Hight fat, low carb. Grain free. Sugar free…the list went on. Just to be safe, I implemented them all.
I kept with it long enough to begin competing, get certified and pick up more and more 'game changing studies’ to help shape my body and diet into the healthiest, leanest person ever. There reached a point where I was 100%:
I also strictly adhered to all of the recommended guidelines as to when to eat in order to optimize my performance, muscular gains and fat burning potential (because all of these things can be achieved at the same time…) I made it certain that I:
Didn’t eat past 6pm.
Didn’t eat before morning training.
Ingested the optimal 30g of protein in the form of the quickest absorbing protein available on the market within 10 seconds of my workout’s cool down.
Didn’t mix my carbs and fats.
Didn’t eat carbs after lunch.
Didn’t eat carbs first thing in the morning.
Didn’t eat carbs EVER
So in short, I drank a lot of water.
I looked a lot like I did when I started out lifting. Maybe with less hair and slightly more pronounced eyeballs.
I was now lifting heavy. Eating ultra super world class clean and getting ultra super world class nowhere.
Then…I found myself on the path of the true elite: Paleo.
And so began the era of: The Paleo Tard
And so began the era of: The Paleo Tard
Paleo had studies! It made so much sense! I can eat nut butter again! But just a little! I can eat bacon! But I won’t! Maybe a bite! One mouthful of bacon had me 100% commited to Paleo. Any diet that includes bacon (but only nitrate free, grass fed, psychologically evaluated to be ‘happy’ cows, bacon of course) had to be right.
It’s so right…it has to be. Those diagrams of the angry looking whole grain hulls look so legit! Those would definitely bust a cap in my intestines if given the chance. Yes, it’s totally obvious that mankind remains un-evolved and our poop should be floating. Screw horoscopes! I want to subscribe to ass-trology!
And look at all of the lean people on Paleo. Just ignore the fat Crossfit people. They are obviously doing it wrong.
Yes…I had finally figured it out. Resorting to caveman habits was obviously smarter.
But why did I come DEAD LAST in my last bodybuilding show? Why did I grow ZERO muscle, always look bloated yet couldn’t possibly push any harder to change my body…
This is where I fell into a long, downward spiral of confusion and despair. I don’t even remember how I looked at this stage. Probably something like this:
I couldn’t take it any more. Why was nothing working? I became depressed and complacent towards the fact that I was obviously not genetically gifted. I was destined to be Mrs. Potato Head. Without being able to eat potatoes as consolation. Shattered and forlorn after yet another colossal flaming on the bodybuilding forums…one of the few places left on earth that I somewhat fit in with my endless knowledge of good-for-nothing nutritional info and my 'do you even lift' physique…I hit rock bottom.
Then finally it beamed down on me like an angel of mercy…
I never liked science in school…but I never doubted it’s correctness. It’s only science if it is fact. How did I miss this? Some of the theories on the internet were backed by actual evidence. Protocols based off of studies conducted by people who didn’t want to sell me anything! What wizardry was this?
Finally after some late nights and early mornings of peering at research through my exceedingly skeptical reading goggles (I'd be been burned enough after all)…I’ve found that the simplest principles are the ones that actually work. The things that you didn’t actually need science to tell you. Want to lose weight? Just eat less of whatever you are eating. Want to gain? Eat some more. Yes, it can get more technical than this when you are getting into body recomposition but even then it’s just basic math, basic formulas and old fashioned elbow grease in the gym. Thanks a lot for nothing **insert famous fitness personalities that I don’t want to be sued by**
To all of you who also fell victim to the money hungry, marketing ho-bags who sold their souls so you would buy their plans, supplements, workouts, useless pink gym gadgets or any other strategically pedaled pile of carefully labeled horse poop, join me in giving the two fisted finger to such media presences.
You may be asking yourself what has become of me now that science is in my life. Well now...you'll just have to check out future posts to find out won't you?