"I don't know much, but I know that."
Ben Affleck's words of wisdom to wicked smaht kid Matt Damon never rang truer to me than this morning when a co-worker here at Super-Rad Fitness Spa (trademark pending) asked me something like what are some good apps to get in shape?
I don't know much, but I know something about this.
Now I know this is kinda rude, but to me it didn't matter so much exactly what words she used in her question as much as it mattered what I heard, and what I hear over and over from everyone I train...
"I'm softer, sadder, and weaker than I want to be, and I don't know how to fix it. Please tell me how to fix it... and DON'T waste my time."
So with that said, here's the best advice I can give you if you are Softer, Sadder, and Weaker than you want to be... and are maybe hoping you can end up Harder, Happier, and Stronger.
- Track EVERYTHING. You cannot improve what you cannot measure, and that holds true especially for fat loss. The best tools I've found to keep me honest and accountable with my fitness are Gym-pact.com (to track and get rewarded for workouts) and LoseIt.com (to track everything I eat in a really quick and easy way and see nutrient breakdowns). Making sure you get to the gym as a regular habit will make it easier to keep and improve muscle mass (which in turn makes you stronger and leaner as muscle does make it easier to lose fat), and tracking what you eat is the key to making the next step work, which is...
- Eat things that DON'T make you FAT. This one can be tricky, because with all the fad diets and crazy things I've done to get lean (and this starts with a really unfortunate bout of aenorexia back in summer of 1985) the key thing I've learned through research and experience is you have to find out what kind of nutrients work for you, and what kind doesn't. Then it's up to you to choose wisely. For me, it's actually pretty simple. If I don't pay attention to carbs, I get fat. Now how I work with that is where the science comes in, and after finding some success with Atkins and Hi-Fat/Low-Carb, I have good expectations for CarbNite to help me cut the last 3 pounds I need before the Men's Nationals on November 9th. But here's the thing: it may be different for you, and you won't know unless you track what you eat and drink and check the results. Body composition really is about 80% nutrition and 20% training, so don't skimp on that 80%, even if your amazing trainer tells you otherwise... because of Rule 3.
- Take advice ONLY from people who've been where you've been. If your trainer has never had to lose that flabby 50 that somehow crept up on you over the years... if they've never driven by a Dunkin Donuts or a Dairy Queen or a KFC and had to look away to keep from crying... or if they try to teach you workouts that they themselves don't do... DON'T LISTEN. Take advice only from people who have been where you have been, and have gone where you want to go. Take it from someone who struggles every day with recovery of many sorts, you can only get better with the help of someone who has done the work themselves. Skinny people are great at many things, but helping us fatties get lean ain't one of them. :)