Part 3: Lack of Freedom
Isn’t that the same as restriction? Well.. kinda. Restriction is more in the sense of deprivation. Whereas lack of freedom is more about feeling confined to a set of rules.
You’ve probably heard the word “balance” thrown around quite a bit. You’ve probably heard it from me.
Admittedly, it’s rather vague to say “you need to have balance in your life.” But the truth is.. You need to have balance in your life!
Especially when it comes to your fitness and nutrition. The reality is that balance looks different for everyone, but this is yet another area where the industry has failed you.
Have you ever felt guilty for eating a donut? This is due to many programs having a “good vs bad” list of foods.
Have you ever felt like you can’t sustain your diet plan on the weekends? This is due to many programs creating rules that don’t allow for a social life.
A System of Rules
Lack of freedom shows up in a number of ways when it comes to the fitness and nutrition industry. That’s because by their very nature, they create a system of rules that everyone must follow.
It’s human nature to want to rebel. If I told you that you can’t eat a donut. Or that broccoli is morally superior to pizza… you’d likely ONLY want to eat donuts and pizza.
The other issue with a lack of freedom in most dietary protocols is the all or nothing mindset it creates.
You’re either following the rules to a tee and trying to be perfect…
OR you’re a human and you slip up once and feel like a failure.
Lack of freedom doesn’t allow for a gray area. It doesn’t allow for a focus on consistency over perfection.
You’re either good or bad. Successful or a failure.
Breaking the Rules
The reason the industry sets things up this way is because when you inevitably “break the rules” and don’t see the results you want.. They get to blame you!
If only you were compliant…
It’s like they get to push all responsibility off of themselves and on to you. If only you hit your macros perfectly, followed this meal plan, or completely avoided all of the bad foods.. then you would have been successful!
The truth is, you were set up. It’s their fault for creating arbitrary rules that don’t allow for freedom or balance.
It’s your responsibility to create your own rules. You’ll understand what I mean as we continue through this series.
Individual Context (Neurotype Training)
In short, your fitness and nutrition plan should allow space for the things that are meaningful in your life, factor in the individual context of your life, and feel sustainable long term.
Yes, change is required. That doesn’t mean dropping everything in your life to follow some standardized rule book so someone can grab your 6 week before and after pics only to ignore the fact that 6 months later you’re still stuck, frustrated, and confused.
Consider that the more you have to overhaul in your life to fit into someone else’s way of doing things, the less likely you are to succeed over the long haul.
Small changes and consistency over time is the tried and true method. Being able to eat foods you enjoy and spend time with the people you love while making progress towards your fitness goals is actually not that difficult.
There seems to be this false narrative that you need to choose between abs or a social life.