I’ve been known to overdo things a little bit from time to time. There was the time that my wife, Christine, and I decided to go vegetarian for a week… It turned into a summer of raw, vegan eating. Or there was the time we wanted to go into ketosis. I couldn’t get there so I spent 21 days lowering carbs down to 7 grams a day when I finally got into deep ketosis, only to have no energy, no sleep, and the body of a depleted marathoner. Not what I was going for! Then there was the time that our old coach, Willis, and I did a workout that had 200 kettlebell swings in it. I decided that I was going to try to double the work and do 400 kettlebell swings just to prove that I could. I ended up ripping all the skin off of my hands and not being able to walk for 3 days. Again, it was not exactly what I was hoping to get out of the workout. However, I will say that taking all of these things to the extreme gave me some great perspective on what works for me and what is actually sustainable. The raw, vegan eating landed at more of a plant based diet, which I still follow. The 7 grams of carbs landed closer to 75 grams a day, which was better than 250 grams a day. Again, I’m still following that. Finally, I now know that I can swing a 70lb kettlebell about 200 times and anything after that won’t work for me. I know that 30-40 reps at a time is my limit for one set.
My point in telling you this is that I hope you will tinker around with the way you eat and what you do in the gym in order to find what your limits are. It’s important to take advantage of these windows from time to time and play around with what it’s like to cut out certain foods or get an idea of what fitness capacity is. What you learn at the end of the experience is really priceless and can be applied in a meaningful way that becomes sustainable.
I love the fact that so many of us have set new year goals. Many of us are participating in some sort of diet change or training program as we work our way into the new year. It’s great! However, we have a better chance of creating sustainable change when we see what we are doing now, in this short window of time, as something that is experimental, as something that will give you feedback. Then, you can use what you’ve learned and apply it in a sustainable way rather than seeing what you are doing in the short window as something that you have to sustain forever. If that were the case, I would be eating 7 grams of carbs a day, all from raw, vegan foods, and trying to swing a 70lb kettlebell 400 times with a broken back and no skin on my hands!