In my opinion, sometimes you need to take a view and stick to it – often based on what feels right rather than what other people tell you. I guess following what you believe rather than what can be proved beyond a doubt, is faith.
Take organic food. You can find ‘evidence’ that organic food is no healthier than non organic and plenty that says the complete opposite. To get any value from scientific studies you have to know how to read between the lines and interpret the motivations and scientific approach to the study to decide if it is valid. Really – who has time for that? I pay to learn from other people who do just that and have trust and faith that what I get from them is a pretty good reflection of the way things are.
Taking my advice on health related topics is a leap of faith for people too. You can look at the way I train, eat, drink, and live life and the results it gets and use that as a guide to whether it is worth listening to. In many cases I can tell you what I have observed, experienced, and been taught but I will not insist that I am ‘right’ or that I am the only person you should listen to. You can make your own decision about whether you want to follow my advice.
As such I thought it was worth sharing with you some beliefs I have that I use to guide me. I no longer need scientific proof or approval from friends and colleagues nor am I interested in debating with people on these topics – I am happy to live with these guiding principals and I will stick with them unless some overwhelming evidence debunking them is presented to me. You may find some of the useful too – you may not.
- I am healthier for eating meat. I am leaner, have better digestion, put on more muscle, and have more sustained energy for being a meat eater. I understand and dislike the industrial machine that mass produces meat these days but if I had to kill my own chicken – I really would.
- Organic is better than non organic. If I have to prioritise what products I go organic on (because of budget and availability) I go in this order (highest first): milk, eggs, meat, fish (i.e fresh not farmed), coffee, vegetables, and fruit. I no longer care what anyone says about organic – if I can afford it I will buy it.
- If I had to choose, I would choose weight training with a dumbbell and barbell over any other equipment or mode of exercise. I will always focus on squats, lunges, pulling, pushing and carrying stuff as this gets results. With these tools I build the foundation for everything I and my clients want – leaner, stronger, fitter, healthier, and more athletic bodies. I may use Kettle Bells, body weight, cables, bands, sleds, hammers, and bags too. I will generally avoid gimmicks which include things that wobble, things that pack away under your bed, things that ‘work your abs’, and almost anything ‘new’. Very few things are truly new and even fewer are really better.
- Dogs are better than cats – they make me happier – dogs always seem to want and need you and everyone likes to be appreciated.
- Seeking more money is not as satisfying as seeking intrinsic reward. A career that could pay well and that you get a buzz from is well worth making big changes in your life to find.
- We are all getting fatter and getting diseases earlier partly because of toxic chemicals that are nearly impossible to avoid (from plastics in particular). As such, I try to limit what chemicals I deliberately expose myself to (I feel this is even more important for women). Ditch skin creams, shampoos, moisturisers, hair spray, nail varnish, lipsticks, make-up, perfumes and anything else we put on our skin or breathe in that have ‘…parabens’ or phthalates in them (DBP, DEP, DEHP, BzBP, MEHP, DES, and DMP on labels).
- When you are not getting closer to a goal – something has to change. If you want to loose body fat and a scan tells you there is no change you should alter something – no matter how ‘good’ you think your approach is – it clearly is not good enough.
- When you are getting closer to your goal – stick with it. If you can prove you are getting stronger then stay with the program until the results start to drop off. Beware though that cheating reps and loosing good form does not mean you are getting stronger. Well meaning friends telling you that you look thinner does not mean it is true. If you are not accurately assessing you are just guessing …
- When looking to make changes to your life, make the ones that are easiest to implement with the biggest reward. For example, removing processed food from your daily intake is definitely easier and more beneficial than installing a reverse osmosis water system in your house. Coffee isn’t perfect but it isn’t evil either. The effort required to live without coffee, for me, simply is not worth the minor benefit I may get. However, that is because I already ditched sugar, alcohol, processed foods, grains and sweets.
- If you are a guy, put on muscle. I have never yet had a guy who complained of having too much muscle; or being too strong. Neither have I heard of a girlfriend complaining about their boyfriend having too much muscle or being too strong. Trust me – it takes years to build a lot of muscle so you aren’t going to be splitting jeans overnight. When guys build muscle – they get leaner, move better, tend to become more calm and more self assured, tend to be less aggressive, sleep better, can eat more food without getting fat, and have increased sex drive. Who doesn’t want that?
There you go – 10 things that reflect how I choose be. They are working quite well for me, they might for you …