Good Enough, Better, Trying
It’s a tough world to live in. On one hand, we have cover models and Hollywood superstars that we catch glimpses of on the cover of magazines and the red carpet. On the other hand, we are at an almost 70% obesity rate in the U.S. Fad diets and the next new workout promise to take us from overweight to perfect model body. I’m not sold on either. I’m not prepared to say that I'll never have another donut. And I don’t want to spin on a bike in a pitch-black, 80-degree room for an hour and a half.
The cost of being 5% body fat and runway-ready are not all they’re cracked up to be. The effects on our hormones, body, and lifestyle likely aren’t worth the six-pack of abs. With men under 10% body fat having significantly lower testerone, we see a cascade of imbalances occur, which result in less desire to train, a drop in human growth hormone, increase in injury, and a significant decrease in sex drive. Women, under 15% body fat, see a huge drop in estrogen and progesterone, as well as metabolic issues that show up in lack of sleep, depression, and sluggish recovery and performance.
I spent about 20 days limiting carbs, counting calories, and watching everything I ate very closely. I was the guy eating chicken out of a tupperware dish at the family BBQ. I trained twice a day and kept track of calories burned, loads lifted, distances covered, and everything else. I got below 7% body fat. I was miserable! I couldn’t enjoy food, I had no energy to play with my kids, and I had to be obsessed with training and calories 24 hours a day. I realized that the price of six pack abs isn’t worth it. I realized a balanced approach is more sustainable and allows you to actually enjoy life!
The standards shouldn’t be how many carbs do I need each day or how many burpees can I do it a minute or how fast is my mile. The real standards should be all about you! Is it good enough? Is it just a little bit better? Are you trying? I find that, when you go by these standards, it gives you the freedom to mess up on any given day and hit the restart button the next day. Maybe you had a bad training session or workout. Instead of having that be a controlling factor, you now get a chance to make it a little bit better the next day. Likewise, instead of giving up alcohol for good and never having another drink, isn’t it better to make it a little bit better each day until it’s good enough? Good enough means that it works for you in the lifestyle that you pick. At the same time, it might not always be a little better from day to day, but as long as you are trying, then you are moving in the right direction.