Of carrots and sticks

“ People start looking for shortcuts when they lose respect for their goals.  If you don’t care enough about the goal to do the work to achieve it, you should find a goal you are more passionate about.”  Chris Carmichael

I just had to start with this quote.

As a coach, nutritional consultant and personal trainer, I deal with people and their goals on a daily basis.  I truly enjoy helping people in anyway I can and it is a privilege to travel along the path as someone works toward their goals.  In terms of my coaching style, I am by far a carrot type coach.  I’m not not naturally a stick coach. Carrot coaching is encouragement through positivity.  Sticks are more negative and possibly even fear or embarrassment based – think Army fitness Sargeant or something like that.

But, today I write with a BIG stick in hand.  I’ve pussy footed around this issue politely for many a year.  I’ve said what I’m about to say politely, firmly, with humour and in many, many ways. Always fundamentally with carrots.  But today, only sticks and no carrots.

“I want to lose weight. I want to be healthy.  I don’t know what to eat or how to cook it or even maybe where to buy it.  will you  help me?  Will you write me a menu?  What do I eat?  Will this good stuff ever  taste as good as a burger or ice cream? I don’t have time to cook.  I just don’t have any discipline or willpower.  I don’t like fruit.  I don’t like vegetables.  I’m not giving up my beef.  My husband won’t eat that.  My kids won’t eat that.  I’ll bet you never eat things like “that”. I’m too busy.  I travel too much. Oh I can’t do that. I can’t give up that.  We are never home, always on the go. I’m so confused – some say no carbs, some say no protein, some say no fat, what’s true? I’d rather just take a pill instead of dealing with food.”

That is the kind of stuff I hear all the time.  All the time.

Seriously, do the WORK.

Sure, I can help you sort through the bunk that’s in the media about what to eat or not eat.  Ready? Because this won’t take long.

You need all the macronutrients – protein, carbs and fat.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Eat whole grains.

Eat lean protein.

Limit fat.

Keep sugar and alcohol to a minimum.

That’s the truth about nutrition right there.  Oh, we could debate some of the finer points to be very, very sure. But, I truly believe everyone knows what they should be eating in a macro, big scale sort of way. I’m more than happy to help with the finer points and guiding you.  But, in terms of the big brush strokes – DO THE WORK.

Find recipes.  Find solutions.  Invest time and effort.  Learn for yourself.  Experiment.

More than likely you plan to eat the rest of your life..well you do don’t you?  Then why not stop making it miserable for yourself?  Make choices that line up with your nutrition goals!! If you plan to eat, you are probably going to have to cook a bit – that’s a fact. I don’t enjoy vacuuming, but I do it anyway. You may not love to cook like I do and you may not yet love all the healthy foods..but I’ll bet that you’ll learn to tolerate, like and then love it when you realize it’s the means to an end. When you achieve your weight loss, when you reduce your cholesterol, when your Dr. takes you off your blood pressure meds, when you can finally get in those jeans, when you feel better, sleep better and just plain look better.  When food is no longer emotional therapy but health and longevity therapy.  When food is fuel instead of merely pleasure.  Oh sure, sometimes you’ll just crave something and you’ll reach out for emotional therapy or pleasure therapy..but more often, let’s say 80-90% of the time – food is health, food is youth, food is fuel to keep you going through your long and busy days.  Food becomes a means through which you have a higher quality of life and it’s no longer a frustrating, stressful thing that you must do 2-5 times per day.  I want this for YOU.  I want YOU to want this for you!!

Food that is good for you can taste superb – trust me.

Don’t diminish the time and effort and research and experimenting and adjusting and trying nearly every diet out there that I’ve done by asking me to just tell you what to do. It’s taken me my whole life to keep refining and improving my nutrition.  It’s important to me so I take the time.  There are other things I don’t spend my time, money and effort on so I can give time, money and effort to good nutrition.

You are in control of your time.  You are in control of what your kids eat (ask my Mom how to make a kid eat what she prepared.  She was very effective at it and she was a very young single mom who worked all day. In other words she too was busy and tired.) You are probably not in control of what your husband eats or vice versa – that’s their choice.  If you want to eat healthy  and they choose to not follow the path then you can either not achieve your goals or you can make 2 meals.

I’m starting to feel better already.  Yes, I’m like Sally Field at the Oscars, I suffer from approval suck and I want you to like me.  But, After nearly 15 years of doing this..I’ve had it on this subject.

If you are willing to do the work, I can guide and help you.  If you want me to do the work, you can forget about it.  You don’t respect your goal.  Period.  Amen.  ‘ nuff said.

And no, it won’t happen fast.  It’ll take time. Yep, it’ll take time.  Repeat after me – this will take time.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  I’ll put the stick down and find my carrots.

2 thoughts on “Of carrots and sticks”

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