There is a certain level of knowledge you need to have before you try something new. You have to at least have the faintest idea of how it works. That’s all I had when I first started on my fitness journey.
I knew I was not happy with my physical state and I knew that being more active and eating better was what I needed to do. This was all the information I was armed with when I was starting out. So, you know what I did? I started working out and I started to make better food choices to the best of my knowledge.
Looking back, I would not recommend any of the exercise routines I did or whatever diet I came up with, but I was doing something and that was better than nothing.
Then I went off to college to study exercise science. The summer after my freshman year I added a little bit of knowledge to my repertoire, mostly in the area of nutrition. To sum it up, basically, eat food you have prepared yourself and limit your sugar intake.
Armed with new information, I now knew I should move more, prepare my meals, and limit sugar intake. In my ignorant bliss, I ran with this new ground-breaking knowledge. As if it were an epiphany from the Lord, I didn’t question it, I didn’t come up with some reason of why it might not work, I just took it and said OK.
I wound up in the best shape of my life after that summer, though sadly I never got to enjoy it due to some self-image problems (you can read more on that here).
The Curse of Information
Over the years I have learned a lot; I’ve improved my exercise selection, coaching, and nutritional knowledge. You would think that more knowledge means I can live a healthier better life.
There is some truth to that, but more often than not you become bogged down with too much information. You are always looking for the next best thing when the next best thing is built into us (move more and stop eating shit).
When you question good information, it leads to you not putting your full effort into an exercise program or a nutritional change. You are questioning, is this really the best? I just read online or in some magazine that [put celebrity’s name here] did this diet or this exact exercise routine so I am going to do that instead.
Or, this idea of adding more protein sounds OK, but this ghost pepper, lemon juice, yogurt cleanse seems much more extreme and we all know extreme is better. So yeah, I am going to do that instead.
You may laugh but that is essentially how we think. We don’t focus when it comes to exercise and nutrition; we often last only a week or two with something before we say, nope not working, and jump ship.
Trusting the Basics
For myself, and the hundreds of clients I have helped, the people who get results are the ones who took to the basics of exercise consistently and made small nutritional changes over time. The ones that are always looking for excuses and trying to find the next best thing are the ones who yo-yo, lose some, gain some, and wind up frustrated and wondering why nothing is working.
You need to have a small level of good information to get started, but more doesn’t equal better, it equals I got all this information and have no idea how to tell what is good and bad so I guess I’ll try a little bit of everything. This will make you feel like you just left a Chinese buffet, bloated and unsatisfied.
Knowledge is power, information combined with ignorance is a dangerous combination.
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