What’s Your Answer?

A few years back I was working security at two parties each year. The parties were hosted at the Georgetown (Washington DC) home of a VERY rich guy and each Independence Day and Halloween he hired a team of security personnel. Every one of us was current or former law enforcement and most of us had executive protection training / experience as well. Those party assignments were the one occasion where I’d see a few people I knew; guys I’d worked with but we lived in different states and our work paths didn’t cross.

Between Halloween parties, one year to the next, I’d undertaken a fitness regimen and lost about twenty pounds. When one guy saw me he demanded to know how I’d done it. I gestured him in close so I could whisper in his ear. I very quietly said, “I did a lot of research and discovered an ancient science dating back to the Egyptian Pharaohs.” I got quieter and he leaned in even closer. “It’s called… diet and exercise,” I finished.  He jerked back, laughed and gave me a punch in the shoulder. His reaction, when you think about it, is very common among people who want to lose weight and get in better shape. For some reason, the idea of actually eating cleaner and training their bodies is funny? It’s somehow ridiculous?

I thought a bit about the answer though. “Diet and exercise.” All too often when people hear that they think about cutting what they eat each day in half, starving themselves, and doing a lot of running, push-ups, sit-ups and more. I’ve often been told that “diet is just ‘die’ with a T added on.” It’s no wonder, with the stereotypes that exist, that when you say “diet and exercise” some people cringe away from you.

I did a search on Google to see what images came up for “diet and exercise” and the large majority of them pictured healthy foods and someone running.

Then I thought about what I’m doing at the moment. As a brand new Beach Body Coach and Shakeology devotee, am I dieting and exercising?  Of course, I am. The one thing that might be funnier than seeing people’s response to “diet and exercise” is to see their reaction to “Shakeology and Beach Body.”

Now my response, when asked what I’m doing to lose weight and get in shape is, “Improving my nutrition and training.” That answer, for whatever reason, elicits an entirely different response. Instead of laughing or cringing away, people tend to say, “Really? Is it hard?” Their curiosity is piqued. It has spawned conversations about various programs designed to help people lose weight, the long term sustainability of those plans and how easy the Shakeology / Beach Body program is.

Interestingly, there’s a distinct difference of perception when the words “exercise” versus “training” are used. Exercise seems to be perceived as this generic movement of your body designed to burn fat and support muscle tone… maybe. Some people hear “exercise” and all their mind sees is running, walking, jumping jacks, etc. They see pure cardio. But when that same person hears “training,” they start to think about a structured approach to training the body for a specific fitness performance; as if somehow anyone who “trains” is an Olympic athlete in the making. Don’t we all wish, right?

But the reality is this: the difference between exercise and training is mostly in your mind. It depends on your goals and how you approach attaining them. If your ONLY goal is losing weight and increasing your cardiac health, you have at all the running, walking, swimming, etc. that you want. But if your end goal is a healthier body to include strength, flexibility AND cardiac health, then you need to really understand nutrition and undertake a proper training program.

When you search Google for “nutrition and training” you get images of healthy foods and weights, resistance bands, a universal weight machine or other similar items that imply strength training.

That was what drew me to Shakeology and the Beach Body training programs. It was the only program I could find that offered guidance and training both for nutrition and for various fitness goals. I didn’t (don’t) want to just lose weight, but wanted to increase my strength, increase my flexibility, maintain or improve my cardiac health and I didn’t want to starve myself along the way. As I type this, I still have about 700 more calories I can eat today but I’m so full, I’m not hungry. I’m sore across my chest, shoulders, back and abs. Why? Training. I’m in week two of the LIIFT4 8-week challenge. It combines strength training with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for cardio. It’s working. I’m not hungry and it’s not boring.

If you wanna know more, let me know.


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