Nothing in this industry is black and white, I think I’m safe to say we should all know this by now. Yet every single day, I see more and more people take either side of the spectrum (quite defensively) in relation to a whole range of topics within the fitness industry. While it is absolutely fine to have your opinion, and I actually encourage it, putting people or groups down when you are looking at something from a strictly black and white viewpoint can be extremely close minded and disrespectful, in my opinion.
As I was walking into work the other morning, I read a status about how flexible dieting is ‘half assed dieting’, apparently. (Yeah, Hi, have you on Facey so if you read this and take offence, soz). After reading the post and some of the comments, it occurred to me that I see these status’ way too often, usually diet related, within the fitness ‘community’.
I’m going to set the scene.
Let’s say a year ago you met someone who follows the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros, I cannot stand this this term, FYI) approach and shovelled doughnuts in their face post workout every time you saw them because “it fits”.
Perhaps you met someone else who ordered a McFlurry (Oreo of course) at the end of the night because they had left over calories that needed to be filled and it totally wasn’t a ‘cheat’ day. *gasps*
Or, how about this, the one that people struggle to admit – maybe you tried it once, unsuccessfully. You did it for hmm, let’s say two weeks (that’s me being generous for newbies), and you couldn’t stand weighing out your food or popping it into your iPhone.
Let’s flip this around for a second.
How would you like it if I posted that I can’t stand meal plans because I think they set up every single person for long term failure?
That meal plans are actually ‘half assing’ it because someone is working it all out for you. (Didn’t think of it like that, huh?)
That meal plans put you into a mentality where you can only eat X, Y and Z to lose weight.
Or maybe, that meal plans create horrible relationships with food that people struggle to overcome.
And all because I knew a few people, or even personally, had this experience with them.
Bold statements, huh?
Bold, absolutely, and also completely from a black and white standpoint.
It may come as a surprise that this is a typical meal prep for me… No doughnuts, but potentially Yoghurtland.
The thing with these situations is that people struggle to draw the line between their own experiences and someone else’s. The lines are blurred, and we become extremely one sided.
The thing with these posts is that there is a huge lack of understanding. A lack of understanding that your peers will be at different stages of their lives, learning what works for them in regards to their nutrition. A lack of understanding that in this time period, its a given that mistakes will be made, but it also inhibits a period of growth. (Example – someone figuring out doughnuts may not be the BEST option post workout or establishing that meal plans just generally don’t suit their lifestyle).
Then that lack of understanding rolls in to the idea of support, or lack thereof. There is an absence of this when someone voices an opposing opinion, regardless of the difference in history and circumstances. Minimal support in the fact that this may be what genuinely works for the person, and they are happy doing so.
You can see this all, right? Just scroll your damn Facebook feed for a few moments and have a read.
The biggest flaw of all is that no one is seeking out the opportunity to talk and learn, even when we are in such a great position to do so, simply because we are not open to it.
I can guarantee a large chunk of us willing to talk at the gym who flexible diet don’t eat like an absolute tool daily. We eat our vegetables, we eat our fruit, we eat our chicken breast, we eat our tuna, and we eat our fucking broccoli. We most likely eat all the foods that are on your meal plan, it’s just never limited to which vegetable or which fruit and what time we consume them.
I can guarantee that I didn’t ‘half ass’ my prep because I didn’t eat just a small selection of ‘clean’ foods off a plan someone has written for me that told me what to eat and when. Instead, I ate wholesome foods and had a little bit of whipped cream in my oats when I felt like it. At the end of the day do you really think you could tell who used flexible dieting or not up on stage? … LOL, no.
Only have half an ass left because I was ‘full assing’ my prep.
I can also guarantee that flexible dieting is used as an amazing tool to reintroduce foods back into a person’s diet whilst they learn about nutritional content, and what fuel their body feels best on.
And of equal importance, we can flip this the other way.
I can guarantee that not every single meal plan is as rigid as people make it out to be, that things can indeed be flexible.
I can guarantee that not everyone is completely miserable with being told what to eat in a day if it means they can spend more time working on separate goals, or spending time with those they love.
I can guarantee that being on a plan can reduce a lot of stress from someones day to day, making them feel better mentally and emotionally.
AND I can guarantee that your experience with either method will not be the same as the person you are judging on the other end, regardless of whether or not you agree.
All of this is meaningless unless you start to wire your mind to be open to experiences that don’t necessarily align with your own.
All of this is meaningless unless you become a little more accepting, a little more understanding.
All of this is meaningless if you can’t get comfortable with the fact that you will never be right, but you will also never be wrong.
And all of this is completely meaningless unless you willingly invite a little more colour back into your mind, and re-configure that black and white spectrum that you are so used to drawing opinions from.
Yours in rants, dog pictures, regular Yoghurtland foodporn and a whole lotta love,