After studying nutrition and exercise physiology I have come to the conclusion that most people that start reading about diet and fitness eventually lose sight of their original goal of ‘getting in great shape’ and quickly get lost in the process of diet or fitness as their identity.
People seem to latch onto a label or community or identity to become a part of regardless of the result it produces (and I believe they do this precisely because of a lack of results).
All of my research and interactions with clients leads me to believe that all people just want to look and feel better about themselves and their body. And to be specific, they want to be in great shape.
Nobody would workout or pay attention to their diet if it somehow made their body look worse (even if it made them feel better).
So there is no way to detach what diet and exercise does for the physical appearance of your body. Looking good and feeling good are one and the same.
But a strange thing happens when people fail to see the results they were hoping for…they start adopting the lifestyle of dieting or exercise itself as the goal, and give up on the original goal of getting the body they’ve always wanted.
This is how people can get lost in a particular style of training or a way of eating that was never their original intention. Sure there are some people who really do want to be a power lifter or a ‘crossfitter’ (whatever that is)…and some people who really feel better eating vegetarian or ‘paleo’ style etc.
But it’s likely that the majority of people who attempt any of these diet or training styles are really just people who want to look better and have so far failed to do so. Then they turn to these ‘alternative’ ways of exercising and eating, and before long get caught up with the identity and forget why they started dieting and working out in the first place.
The truth is that none of these identities are meant to produce a specific body shape or look, they’re an identity in and of themselves.
I wonder how many people who are living within one of these identities would trade it in a nano second if they could be guaranteed to get the body they’ve always wanted another way. I bet most wouldn’t even think twice about it.
So my challenge to you is to take an introspective look at what you’re doing with your diet and fitness lifestyle and decide if you’re latching onto an identity or are you actually trying to get results. You might surprise yourself with your answer.