Have you seen Ted Lasso yet? If not, it’s one of those uplifting, funny, touching, and totally quotable shows that we all needed during a pandemic (you know that we hoped would be settled down by now). I won’t get into the details of the show, but it’s SO good. I was watching recently and was struck by something that made me pause, rewind (do people still say rewind, or am I dating myself?), and watch again.
“The truth will set you free, but first, it’ll piss you off” Doc Sharon
I know this wasn’t an original Ted Lasso, Doc Sharon quote, but it got me thinking about our relationships with health, food, fitness…….all of it.
Here is the truth: most of us can’t eat and drink everything we want, all the time, with reckless abandon. I mean, we can, but when we choose to eat that way, our body and ability reflect it.
Another truth? We don’t hit our goals by doing everything exactly the same way we’ve always done it. Nothing changes, if nothing changes. We’ve all heard the definition of insanity quote, right? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So, if we want something different to happen, we have to DO something different. That is the truth whether we want it to be or not.
Pissed off yet? Not quite yet? OK, I’ll keep going. Here are some more truths:
- We can’t get stronger without lifting weights, and most of us won’t look “toned” without losing some body fat.
- Restaurant meals aren’t (and will never be) 300 calories.
- Alcohol affects our sleep, the way we eat, and it has calories (speaking of liquid calories, might want to double-check macros that peppermint mocha).
- Two tablespoons, by weight, of peanut butter is the listed serving size (and that is a really sad amount.)
- Weighing and tracking our food, even just for a while, is the best way to learn about portion sizes and what is IN our food. Our ability to eyeball portions without practice is inadequate…..like, we (all of us) are really not great at this.
- Most of us need more sleep than we get right now
- Finding a way to cope with stress is important; finding ways to decrease the stress itself can be life-altering.
- A lot of us need more movement in our daily lives (there’s an awesome SU podcast about this even)
- Carbs alone won’t make us gain weight. Fat alone doesn’t make us gain weight.
- We probably aren’t “addicted” to sugar but damnit if sugar/fat/salt don’t taste nearly irresistible together.
And the last one is the one I think is most important (although the peanut butter one is pretty disappointing): An ideal food environment takes some forethought and effort. Our current environment doesn’t set us up for success. Fast food is everywhere and the grocery store can be a minefield of snack food. Restaurant meals are cooked in extra fat to make them more delicious, so we want to come back. The lives we lead are busy and stressful and we look for escape with food and drinks. We want quick and easy, right?
We want something to help us forget the stress of the day so we can relax and unwind. We have bad days, we cheer ourselves up with food and have a glass of wine because we “deserve it”. We have good days, we celebrate with food and drinks. Do you see this never-ending cycle developing here?
Are You Pissed off Yet?
Are you mad yet? Ok. Me too. It can be easy to look at the list above and feel like the deck is stacked against you. For many, starting a Stronger U journey can feel like a mountain to climb without any clue about where to start. But here’s the truth, with one foot in front of the other, we can start to understand more about food, our environment, and so much more, to help us reach our goals.
What if we look at it like this instead: knowledge is power. Maybe, once we let go of the blame, the excuses, the idea that we have to be all or nothing with the way we eat, we are free to explore the possibility of balance. The truth is, we are in control. We have the power to make changes and choices that align with our goals. We can be the people we want to be if we start acting like them. This is a generalization, and there are always exceptions but, we have a lot more power and control than we give ourselves credit for. We can learn about the food we eat, we can move our bodies, and we can build healthy habits that will get us to our goals and beyond. These truths may piss you off right now, but I challenge you to look at it another way. Knowing the truth can set you free. Free to choose balance so you can enjoy the foods you love, within reason, while putting more focus and energy toward your health and your goals.
Your Next Step
Just like Ted Lasso, knowing the truth and getting mad about it is not the final outcome. With the help of Doc Sharon, Ted learns how to cope with his struggles and while it isn’t always pretty, growth rarely is, right? This season, I want to challenge you to look those things that piss you off dead in the eye and wrestle with them a little bit. Instead of turning a blind eye to the things that you don’t want to address, work with your Stronger U coach to overcome them and thrive despite them. Your future self will thank you!