How Our Decisions Affect the World: Nutrition Edition

by Brian

brian mark ripped“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs and medicine, but rather, will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” – Thomas Edison

Eating healthier foods has substantially increased my energy levels, my gains in the gym, and has made my overall outlook on life more positive.

I’ve been working out since I was 14 years old. Going to the gym and maintaining a strong, healthy figure has always been important to me. It started out being just for aesthetics, then I started playing football and had something to train for. As I studied various resources training I noticed that they all referred to diet being about 40% of the equation when it came to gaining weight and lifting heavier.

I figured if I could go to the gym 4–5 times per week and consistently increase the amount of weight that I was lifting that I would be able to eat whatever I wanted. This proved true for the years I did work out, I did get stronger and I did get bigger.

I’ve been paying attention to my diet since I got back from my Kelowna trip in October. I’ve seen more gains in my aesthetics, my strength and my weight in the last 4 months than I saw all of last year combined.

There are thousands upon thousands of external resources that people can use to improve their gains in the gym, lose the 50 pounds they’ve always wanted to, or increase their overall health and well being so they have the energy to live a happier life. The truth is – “how–to” is completely useless without reasons to stay motivated and stick out a healthy lifestyle throughout all the good times and the bad.

Reasons We Fail

As rational creatures often times we use our ability to rationalize to justify behaving irrationally.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say our goal is to lose 10 pounds. We decide that in order to lose 10 pounds, we’re going to have to eat cleaner, drink more water, and go to the gym 3 times a week.

In a valiant effort to set ourselves up for success we decide that we’re going to go to the gym at 6pm after we’re done work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our goal is to cook healthy food for ourselves every night and stop going to the store to pick up quick munchies that trick us with their delicious, sugary taste.

Monday rolls around and we succeed. We go to the gym, eat good food and feel great about our progress. Tuesday more of the same story, we eat good food and drink a healthy amount of water.

On Wednesday our boss dumps a bunch of extra work on us. With all of the extra work we forget about drinking water all day. 5pm rolls around and we’re tired, and we just had extra work dumped on us, so we decide that we’re going to skip out on the gym today.

“I’ll go tomorrow. I worked hard today… I’m too tired.”

We stop at 7-11 on the way home to pick up junk food.

“It was a long day, I need some food now. I’ll eat good tomorrow.”

We get home, munch on our bag of Doritos, and feel as good as we possibly can about our lack of integrity, inability to take action and lack of self-discipline. Our brains rationalize 4, 5, 6, 7, different reasons why we didn’t go to the gym, but underneath all the B.S. we know the truth.

We set a goal to go to the gym, eat healthy and drink lots of water, and we failed. This type of behavior can lead us down a self-destructive path and often because we don’t have a reason to stay continuously motivated we fall short of our initial goal.

There’s always going to be a reason not to do the things we need to do to accomplish the goals we set out for ourselves. The truth is, we need to find reasons TO do the things we need to do, otherwise we will engage ourselves in situations that will side-track us from our ideal, and we’ll justify our impulsive behaviors with countless valid excuses.

Why – To

I believe we all have a duty to be responsible for our health and well being.

Our current habits and behaviors have been and are continually being shaped by our environment. The choices the people in our life make day to day have an impact on our decision making process, and vice versa. The choices, habits and behaviors we carry with us have an impact on each and every person that we come in contact with, and each person they come in contact with, and so our choices, habits and behaviors ripple through society.

When we form the habit of living an unhealthy lifestyle, we are not only making that choice for ourselves, we are impacting everyone around us negatively.

yoloWhen I moved into my first house at 18 years old I decided I only had one life to live, and I was going to spend my life high 90% of the time. I smoked marijuana 3 times a day for 6 months straight.

My choice to smoke marijuana impacted my roommates, because each time I would get high they would see it and their brain would register that behavior as not only mine, but their own. Our brains have empathetic mirror neurons inside of them, when we watch someone else performing an action, the same neurons fire as if we were performing the action ourselves. And so the cycle of destructive behavior re-ran its course as I would watch them smoke weed, eat unhealthy and make decisions that harmed their quality of life.

When we make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle and we form the habit of consciously improving our health and well-being, we are not only making that choice for ourselves, we are positively impacting every person we come in contact with, and each person they come in contact with, thus, creating a cycle of constructive behavior witin our environment.

Since monitoring my health and well-being I’ve noticed an overall improvement in the quality of the health of everyone in my environment. More and more of my friends are cooking in bulk for themselves, going to the gym more, and breaking through long-time plateaus with their fitness goals.

The choices that I’ve made over the last 4 months to get healthier and healthier day by day have formed healthy habits, and these habits have impacted my environment around me. As I watch measurable improvements in the quality of health in the people I love, I am inspired to reach for more health, vitality and wellness.

What’s Your Goal?

Nutrition is one of the most important areas of our life. The healthier we eat, the more energy we have, the better we feel, and the better our body responds to the goals our mind sets for it. Each one of us lives a unique lifestyle, and each one of us will have a unique goal based on our individual circumstance.

I play football so my goal is to get stronger, lift heavier and move faster. My diet regime and workout routine reflect my goal.

Perhaps your goal is to lose 50 pounds so you have the energy to play with your children. Maybe you want to gain 10 pounds and have a leaner, more aesthetic look. Perhaps you just want to have more energy and you don’t care about how much weight you lift.

No matter what your goal is, get specific about your goal. Set a realistic, obtainable goal and this will be your first step in giving yourself a reason “why–to”.

Instead of just stating “I want to lose 10 pounds”, set a realistic time frame for you to lose that weight. Dieticians typically recommend healthy weight loss to be 0.5–2 pounds per week, so realistically, losing 10 pounds would take you about 10 weeks. Your goal would look something like this.

“I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. I will be 170 pounds by April 12th 2013.”

Let’s say your goal is to gain weight. Bodybuilders recommend you aim to gain about 0.5 pounds of lean muscle mass per week. If you want to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, your goal would be 20 weeks. Your goal would look something like this.

“I want to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle in 20 weeks. I will be 190 pounds by June 21st 2013.”

Get Serious

Life doesn’t give you the things you want on a silver platter, unless you actually believe you can wish yourself into achieving your goals.

Any goal that has ever been accomplished has come with time, energy, patience, consistent effort, discipline, integrity and willpower. There is always going to be a reason for you not to do the things you must do to realize your goals, no matter what they may be. Get serious. Your decisions to be lazy and procrastinate on one of the most important areas of your life – your health – impact your environment, and create habits that ripple through society and negatively impact everyone around you. Your decisions to be healthy over time create habits that positively impact the people you love, the people they love, etc. No matter what you decide to do, you will be influencing those around you.

Get serious. Stop making excuses and start making it happen.

What’s your “why-to?” Leave a comment and let us know.

By the way… applications for our Mentorship Coaching program will be closing soon. There are a limited number of spots left, so if you want to accelerate your success in implementing the strategies of Social Dynamics to live a more badass life, apply today.

About Brian
Brian is a firm believer in living in the present. Brian lives his life by the philosophy “Act for the future, not because of the past.” He is a passionate writer, a sober socialite and aspires to be a positive influence to everyone he interacts with. Read more about Brian here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Arthur February 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

I’m glad you picked that theme, nutrition and health is one of the areas that we often don’t give much attention unless things get critically bad. But the best part of working on it, are the results. It heavily affects our social and professorial life.

Cam February 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm

@ Arthur – Thanks for commenting man. Glad you enjoyed the article. I’ve certainly seen massive improvements in my life as I’ve taken diet and nutrition more seriously. 🙂

Max Nachamkin February 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Good stuff, Brian. You’re right — we rationalize our lack of action. I just did this the other week when I decided not to go to the gym because it was freezing cold out.

Here is the best advice I’ve ever gotten on this subject:

A boy let’s his emotions control his actions. A man let’s his actions control his emotions.

Don’t want to go the gym because you’re tired? Imagine how you feel after you complete that 300lb deadlift you’ve been aiming towards.

Want to eat that slice of pizza? Yeah, but remember how shitty you’ll feel after you eat it.

It’s best to set up a system that causes you to succeed regardless of your mood (a.k.a. removing junk food from your house), but when we face these decisions, we gotta make the right choice and suck it up.

Ludvig Sunström November 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

I agree with most of the things you say Brian. Well written and thought out post.

I’m a pretty avid gym-goer and nutrition freak myself. I’ve never really had much of a problem sticking to eating healthy and doing well in the gym due to my consistency.

I understood that consistency was going to be the foundation for everything so that’s what I focused on with a fanatical intensity for my first year of starting to eat healthier and going to the gym when I was 18 or something. Ever since it’s never been a problem.

I think most people fail because they underestimate the importance of consistency and think they will get the best results by knowing “secret tricks” learned online about eating some weird foods that will increase their metabolism by 0.01 %. Heh.

Cheers,
Ludvig

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