One of the more common clichés in health & fitness is that ‘you can’t out train bad diet’. Meaning that however good your exercise regime is, it will only work if your nutrition is on point.
If you had to choose having a solid nutritional plan with zero exercise or a solid exercise plan with zero nutrition it would have to be the former. What goes into your body accounts for a massive percentage of what you get out of it, so to maximise the output the equation is pretty simple.
This post is an education in mentality not meals. By that I mean I will not be advising what nutritional plan to follow, but quite simply helping you adopt a mentality that can help you make good decisions whilst in the supermarket or grocery store.
It is very easy to understand that if the high sugar, processed food is not in your house then you cannot eat it, yet every week people open up the pantry and pull out sugary processed junk that constantly contributes to their negative cycle. The aim of this post is to keep the junk from the pantry!
Now the easy thing to say here would be “just don’t buy the junk in the first place”. Yea right…. Going to the supermarket and attempting to break a cycle that has been going on for years, whilst in a negative drive of “I won’t buy it so I don’t eat it”, and more than likely while your crazy hungry will never ever work. If you had learned the discipline to do that then you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.
It is crucial in this situation to adopt a very different mentality. A mentality that will allow you to make good decisions because you want to, as opposed to making good decisions because you feel you have to or are being forced to. A mentality of what I refer to as “shopping like an athlete”.
We all have an ideal of how we would like to appear. A certain body type, shape or look. It maybe based on a movie star or sports star but I would hazard a guess that whatever your holy grail is, it definitely appears athletic and in shape. Diametrically opposed to that will be the body type that you would hate to have. Probably a vision of somebody extremely overweight, slow-moving etc. So now lets move forward adopting the mentality of ‘you reap what you sow’.
Imagine both parties carrying out the weekly shop in the supermarket. The athletic, in shape version of you is making very healthy choices probably made up of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, so on and so forth. They are avoiding all processed junk and basically appear to be winning at many things. The train of thought you lean towards is that you become envious and wish that you could emulate what they are doing.
On the other side of the coin the obese, lazy version of you is stocked with sugary drinks, energy drinks, chips, white bread….. and the list goes on. You look on at their trolley glad that it is not you and potentially pass some judgement wondering how they can make such bad choices.
So now you have a decision to make. Who do you want to be? Not who do you want to be like, but who do you want to be? Because for me there is no middle ground in this. It basically comes down to justification, and that is how you justify both versions of yourself. It is very easy to look at the healthy ideal that you aspire to be and convince yourself that it is unachievable. To convince yourself that you will shop like that when you look like that, yet you cannot look like that until you shop like that. It is also very satisfying to look at the out of shape, obese character and use that as a way of justifying your bad choices by saying “at least I’m not that bad”. You automatically make yourself feel better about your own bad choices by lowering the standard of your baseline to an incredibly low-level.
So the choice as I see it is quite easy. If you shop as the in shape, healthy version of you would shop then that is what you will create. Alternatively if you shop in a fashion similar to the unhealthy version of you then that is what you will create. There is no middle ground, however much you want there to be and however much you want to use the biggest justification quote of all time which is “I just believe in moderation” to try to get rid of your guilt you must think of how that athlete would shop.
You can picture what the good trolley would look like. Now think about yours and think about how many steps you are from bridging that gap. Just 1. 1 single step from cleaning out the junk food from your house for good, and that step is… YOU DECIDE TO. That’s it, no miracle, no 5 steps, no secret code. You simply decide that you are going to shop as if you already had the body and lifestyle you want, and by doing that the results come in abundance.
The athlete enjoys selecting fresh fruit and vegetables, they enjoy walking past the aisle containing chips and snacks and they enjoy making the healthy choices. They enjoy it because they can look at it rationally. They know the healthy choices help them and the unhealthy ones don’t. The problem you face is that the unhealthy choices are easy. Easy in the entire way they are designed and manufactured, the way they are packaged and the way they are advertised. You know, hand on heart that if you never ate a dorito again for the rest of your life you would be fine and your health would actually be better for it. Yet you still buy them. Why? Because you are making irational choices as the version of you that is not happy but looking for excuses and reasons why being in shape is unattainable.
Make the choice now to shop like the version of you that you want to be. Create enjoyment in that and you will create the results you desire in next to no time.