[/caption] As promised, here’s how you can be a part of the Functional Fitness 204 Eat Less Crap challenge. Below, you’ll find four different levels of commitment. All are equal, and despite the numbering system, there is no hierarchy. If you struggle with your diet and give up pop for a month, we consider that just as valuable as completely eliminating sugar and processed food. Every change matters, no matter how small. In fact, the first small changes might be the most important of all. If you want to join in, post your commitment in the comments section below, whether you come to the gym or not. We’ll also write the commitments on a whiteboard at Functional Fitness 204, and we’ll hold each other accountable, because we’re building a fit community. As one word of advice, be specific when choosing your goals. Pick something concrete. “I will eat five more servings of vegetables a day” is way more effective than “I will eat better.” Be concise! With out further ado, here’s the deal: Level 1: The Thing That Sucks Most Level 1 is like the triage desk at the hospital: what’s the worst thing happening right now, and how do we fix it? If you look at your diet and can see something glaringly out of place for a person who’s working out and concerned about fitness, it’s time to deep-six that thing. Probable culprits include potato chips, candy, pop, ice cream, white bread, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, doughnuts, milkshakes, fried foods, fast food, Lucky Charms breakfast cereal, all-you-can-eat buffets and so on. These are the things that are truly and obviously out of place, the things you know are bad but haven’t gotten rid of. At Level 1, we’re asking you to give one bad thing up for a month. Giving up The Thing That Sucks Most can be tremendously empowering and will help you learn that change is possible. If you want to bring now-forbidden food items into the gym, we’ll keep them there as a statement of your goal, and at the end we’ll walk them over to the food-hamper bin at the next Bombers game. We’re not trying to pawn off crummy food on the poor, but bad food is better than no food at all, and throwing it out seems wasteful. Level 2: And Your Little Friend, Too In Level 2, you’re going to eliminate several Things That Suck. Now we’re getting into combos like chips and pop, ju-jubes and Twinkies, beer and cigarettes, country and Western music. You know, horrible pairs of things that have a negative effect on your life. You can, of course, eliminate a whole whack of things. We’ll take any number of bad dietary and lifestyle choices you want to eliminate. Level 3: Conscious Eating (Use Your Big Brain) In Level 3, we’re asking you commit to one “big-picture” change that’s part of a plan for revamping your diet. We’re not telling you to go Paleo or Zone or whatever. We’re asking you to commit to something that will implement a significant change in your eating habits for a month. You might commit to eating regular meals and not skipping breakfast. You might commit to cooking the week’s food Sunday night. You might commit to making a meal plan for the week and sticking to it. You might simply make time to shop for groceries twice a week so fresh, healthy food is always in the house. You might plan a way to avoid those god-awful office cake parties that happen with disturbing regularity. You can, of course, integrate some aspects of levels 1 and 2 with Level 3 if you have some crap in your diet. Level 4: Brave New World In Level 4, we’re asking you to take some larger steps toward overall health and fitness. At this level, we’ve already cut out the crap and we’re looking to really dial things in. We’re asking you to get busy addressing at least one big-picture item that represents a significant change in your life. Look at replacing grain-fed meat with grass-fed meat. Try out important things like kale and coconut oil. Consider adding a fish-oil supplement to your diet. Research good fats and figure out how to work them into your diet. Get rid of boxed food and processed food. Buy organic food. Shop two or three times a week for fresh food and stop going go down the aisles at the supermarket; the healthy stuff is around the edges. Try out new healthy recipes. Source out high-quality local foods and work out which combinations will make you feel the best and give you the best results in the gym. Read books on nutrition and put pictures of your meals on Facebook. You’re committing to fully eating like a real human athlete should eat—and you’re feeling great! Post goals and commitments to comments! Have fun!
It’s a mistake to wait for everything to be “perfect” to begin your fitness & nutrition journey. Life is a laundry list of events, holidays