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In the Mood to Talk about Food

I may be taking a large gamble by attempting to communicate during this Mercury retrograde. Surprise! I'm one of those. But seriously, during a time where all forms of communication and technology are experiencing disconnect, I seem to be at more of a disadvantage.


Therefore, retrogrades are a time to revisit, revise, review, reevaluate, and release what isn't serving a benefit to the big picture.


It has been a while now that I felt the passion to talk about nutrition. The thought of communicating honestly about my views is frightening. This fear has to die for me to be the coach I desire to be for clients. So here is the ego driven blog I never wanted to write.


My discipline is extraordinary. I don't compliment myself regarding restraint or consistency because it is rooted in poverty, trauma, and spirituality. I feel inadequate talking to someone who has never gone through my experiences. Now, I'm accepting my life is a large reason I have the foundation for my career.


Beginning at age 14, I took part in annual fasts my church executed every January. I continued in a modified way up til now. 14 years old and 125lbs soaking wet, I completed 21 days of drinking nothing but water. Weeks leading to the fast the pastor would prep the congregation on the effects and the "whys" of a fast.


I was instilled with habits to take hunger as it was and preoccupy my mind and body with activity. I was trained to be a go-getter because I understood simple comforts are not promised. I was exposed to my own tolerance and thresholds for discomfort, much like how soldiers take a taser test to ensure the first time they feel that sensation isn't behind enemy lines.


More importantly to my story, the congregation was told of the poor behavior of the "Pharisees" who boasted about their fasts to prove how dedicated they were to God.


I am conditioned to keep my discipline to myself. I apologize. Once, I shared that I fasted with a Jewish friend and was told my church was abusing me. The emotional attachment to food can transcend bodies. While some would call it empathy or sympathy, I call it entitlement to be correct and wealthy. In other words, not coachable.


This friend later became a personal training client that lost a considerable amount of weight and gained flexibility and muscle. Yet, she was bold enough to tell me I should not promote I can assist with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Maybe because I'm a black single mother with only an associate's degree. Maybe because half the battle in training was finding an activity that brought the same fulfillment as her stash of candy next to her well worn spot in the couch. Behavioral change requires a level of manipulation that will make people think I never actually helped.



Let's talk about facts:


  1. A 154lb man can go 1-3 months without eating before he would starve to death.

  2. No being on this Earth can survive more than 72 hours without water.

  3. Humans cannot survive more that 264 hours or 10-11 consecutive days without sleep.

  4. The addiction that afflicts most United States residents is the addiction to sugar.

While prolonged starvation has adverse affects in the long run. 3-21 days without calorie intake isn't going to harm the body. The body uses water and rest more than it will use food calories. For me, that's enough to feel safe. When prompting food restriction people become incredibly emotional. That is why logic and reason are in a separate denotation than emotion.


Feelings aren't true to anyone but ourselves. The construct of a debate was developed to give emotional beings time to add reason to their argument.


Facts are provable. They can be verified and retested for the same outcome. Emotions are fleeting and can be trained or reframed.


Obesity is a first world problem tied to luxury, convenience and supply.


I've become irritated with financial advisors that cut the budget for food. We need to eat! But they are right. We don't have to eat in the way we are accustomed. The goal is to have a life where we have the most diverse 2000 calorie diet we can. "Can" being the word that encompasses budget, cooking ability, food availability and knowledge of the foods that serve our bodies best.


While broke, we spend money on junk and fast food that are cheap and convenient. Or we become upset for we spend lots of money on fresh fruits and vegetables that end up in the compost or garbage because we never mustered the energy to eat.


Would it be so crazy to infer investing more resources into creating resources would also add discipline to our nutrition habits? Would it be so crazy to say finding solace in our food is why our anxiety is at an all time high as a nation?


"Lish, you strange Gemini person, you told me that I don't eat enough." Damn right I did! A normal first world life comprises of tasks that require brain and muscular function. It is recommended to balance our input with our output. Facilitating muscle growth does require a specific diet and metabolism. I doubt I recommended alcohol, complex carbohydrates, high sodium, and excess sugar in that diet.


Once I spent 4 hours preparing 7 days of food for a friend based on her body type, and she quit because she said she couldn't "See myself eating that bland food." First world problem. People used to barter or pay great sums for salt. Imagine salt being a luxury. So she deserved every pound of 275 she was, the spoiled ungrateful bitch.


When it comes to the specifics of a diet however, discipline is required. Emotional attachment to certain foods may be strong. Just because a food is "healthy" doesn't mean it is compatible with the goals one has for their body.


After child birth, I dropped weight from the extra stress and calorie output of breastfeeding. I refused to stop feeding my baby because I was loosing weight. That's discipline. Many mothers cannot get past the discomfort of nursing. I know as I was the first mother in my family to nurse my children. I was able to explain away the naysaying with the benefits of breast milk. However, already being small, I had no idea how to gain that weight back.


Due to the pattern of fasting 21 days out of the year (not for weight loss), I was not emotionally attached to anything that I was eating. Turns out, my typical Standard American Diet of convenience did nothing to help me gain the muscle mass I lost due to my body making my child's health a priority. So at the age of 22, I had to completely relearn dietary habits in order to achieve my goal.


I had to learn to cook differently. I had to explore multiple lifestyle diets that exposed me to new foods. It took me 3 years to get to 125lbs from 105lbs in muscle mass, and another 7 to achieve 140lbs of lean muscle mass. Every single day I stared at the lack of progress. I understand wanting the gratification and success of seeing the body change. I am here to tell everyone it takes commitment. Quitting because results aren't there only ensures failure.


My promise to my community is to operate in the rigidity that I operate in my own life. My promise to my community is to point out that adverse affects that happen when foods are cut out mean that food or dish was never beneficial in the first place. My promise to the community is that I will be honest and tell everyone the truth. We can all have the body we deserve based on the effort we give that body.


I can change a program 10,000 times, but an emotional hold on food is futile. I take full responsibility for not smacking things out of hands, not coming to your house and throwing everything away and more importantly, not acquiring the data to help everyone meet the goals they want.


I am about to be unreasonably strict. I am happy to sacrifice my income to not be the nice lady I've been. All it means for me is that the people who want to do this will find me, and those who don't will understand what their is next step to take. An issue doesn't go away because we train new trainers. Most of us have the same accreditations, but not the same moral obligations.


It's okay to be stubborn.... just not here. I'm the Alpha and Omega of my business. I am the leader of my tribe. I am the protector of my reputation.


More importantly, I'm happy to give more transparency about my life.


I'm not lucky.


I work my ass off. Literally. Others still like my body, even if I know I probably wont be happy until I'm 70 years old.


So, if I can live with the fact that I'm flat chested and flat assed. Ya'll can live with the fact that restriction is a benefit and not a detriment.


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