I remember thinking when I heard about JFK Jr. crashing his plane ”why do people think lawyers can fly?” It was sad, because he was young, and two other people died along with him. But it wasn’t that surprising to me, because he was a lawyer. He was a hobby pilot at best, and frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go flying with hobby pilots. If you want to fly, get an expert pilot to fly the plane.
I hold the same opinion when it comes to changing body composition. When I need to change something about the way my body looks; I ask an expert for their advice. I then follow their advice until I look the way I want to, or I realize that their advice doesn’t apply to me. It’s pretty simple. If I don’t look the way I want to it is because I don’t know how to make myself look that way. If I did know I would be doing what I needed to make it happen.
When I was a trainer at GoodLife it became obvious that almost everyone THINKS they know how to eat in order to change the way they look IN SPITE of the fact that they don’t already look the way they want to. When I asked them why they hadn’t achieved their fitness goals yet, their answers were all basically the same – it was due to a lack of effort and not a lack of knowledge. Hearing these excuses day in and day out was the main reason I made the decision to stop training people, and focus most of my energies on my own fitness and health related goals.
I give a lot of nutrition presentations to parents of young athletes, and I find it remarkable that so many sceptical people trust their children’s training to us, but don’t believe me when I offer them guidance concerning optimal nutrition for athletes. Sure there are some who agree with everything I say, and there are others who agree, but admit that it’s difficult and expensive to eat that way. But I’m baffled by the people who continue to tell me that fat is bad; that human beings need lots of grain; that too much protein will destroy the kidneys, and that supplements shouldn’t be given to young people. When I ask them how they know these things; they say that they don’t know how they know; they just know that they know. I don’t try to convince them, because my role is to educate, and people can only be educated when they are open to new information.
I try to win them over by saying that what they have been doing is not bad or dangerous because they are still alive. I suggest that it is just not optimal. I inject some science into what has traditionally been taught by parents. Serving size and food choices are perfect examples of this – we tend to eat the same foods and similar amounts of food that our parents feed us. In talking to these people, I try to make them doubt the scientific basis of their knowledge in an attempt to get them to open their minds a little. Over time, some of what I say may get in and make a difference at a later date – an approach that has worked with a number of my peers and clients. Those who are receptive to what I say begin to make the changes they have always wanted while those who remain sceptical tend to remain on the same path they have been on most of their lives.
I do consider myself an expert on nutrition; at least as it applies to body composition, because I have done everything that I recommend. I have also been a heavy guy who needed to learn the right way to eat, because my food choices were making me fat. It took a long time to figure it out, but once I did, I was able to bring about the changes I needed in order to improve the quality of my life, and to make my body look the way I had always wanted it to. But I only gained my knowledge because I remained open to what experts had to say about nutrition, and the results came only because I listened to their advice.
If you want to change the way you look, chances are that you are not an expert. Your first step is to accept that you don’t know how to make it happen. Your second step is to find someone who does know. And your final step is to follow their advice COMPLETELY. It’s very simple, the best people get the best results EVERY TIME.