Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making Your Own Rules

Why did my diet work for me?  Well, if you would have asked me in 2006 my answer would have been different than my answer in 2010, which would be different than my answer in 2012, which, again is different than my answer today, 2013.  Amazing what happens over the course of less than a decade, much less what can happen over night.

In the beginning it was simply calories in, calories out....a diet.  "My" diet, no one else's.  I devised a plan, based on my experience, of what I knew about food and nutrition, AND how I wanted to live my life.  I knew fast food was shit, so I stopped eating it.  I knew I ate a ton (literally) of food, so I cut back...waaaaay back.  I knew there were plenty of other people in the world that enjoyed all foods, carbs included, and didn't have a "weight problem".  So restricting entire food groups was not anything I ever considered.  I never, ever felt that any one particular food, or food group I ate was making me sick, but I was sick, seriously sick, and actually damaging my health, from the fake processed foods and amounts of it that I ate....and more, much much more.

My plan, my new rules of eating differently and eating less, became a "lifestyle". The change in my lifestyle had to do with the new habits, eating and training habits, that came from, some would say, "discipline, motivation, and hard work".  But that never really sat well with me. It didn't feel hard, (because of the new rules I lived by) and the motivation seemed to come from out of nowhere, but it was there. The "hard" work was "fun " work!  I was on a roll, my momentum was moving forwards, and fast!  My life had changed, permanently.  Even more permanent than my diet was that my physical identity had changed.  I was now capable of doing and accomplishing anything I wanted to....or at least I felt like I could! And really, what else matters?  I would never again be as fat as I once was, not even close.  I was not that person anymore.  

Eating differently, and exercising regularly was just the beginning.  At a certain point I realized I was thinking differently.  My thoughts were more in line with how I wanted to feel and how I wanted to look.  Yep, I admit it all the time, just like a girl, of course I wanted to look good, but I had previously thought that it was too late for that. (and that was okay, really I would have settled for just being skinny)  Once I saw, through some miracle, that I got another chance (through kettlebell training and eating much better and nutritiously), nothing could stop me.  This was a big part of my motivation.  I changed the title of my blog to "Training Food and Thought" from it's original title of just, "Food and Thought".  "Training" had more than a single meaning.  "Training" as in actual physical workouts, and "training" as in training how you ate, and "training" how you thought.  "Training" to me is the process of establishing or forming habits, routines, rituals, that move you through your life in an organized, thoughtful, and conscious way.  Never a victim of circumstance, but instead always a creator of choosing how to react to any situation....or at least working towards thinking about positive outcomes.  Training, practice, repetition.....all of my favorite things!

Before we can change old habits that no longer serve our best interest we have to first live by some new rules!  Yes, WE establish some the rules!  WE like rules!  WE thrive on rules!  How do I know?  I'm sure there are some brilliant books on how humans love rules, just like there are brilliant books about habits (usually how hard they are to break or how hard different habits are to establish....bullshit by the way imo), and I'm sure there are brilliant books on exercise, and more brilliant books on diets!  WE love rules so much that when other people give them to us we are relieved!  Whew!  Thank God, someone gave me some rules, now all I have to do is follow them and all will be right with the world!

Rules!  I believe rules are the answer.  But who's rules?  YOUR rules!  Make your own rules. It's the only way for lasting permanent change.  It's perfectly OK to set some of your rules based on someone else's rules!  If some one else makes a suggestion that sounds really great to you then copy it!  The only question is can you live by it?  The key is to find the rules that get you to where you want to go, or where you want to be!  

I've got more about this subject to share, and I plan to elaborate in my next blog post.  If your life is working great then you must have some really good rules you live by!  If not, and you want to change some things start thinking about the areas of you life where you don't have any rules, and guaranteed that's where the disconnect is.  Rules, habits, routine, no choice....but choosing no choice is a choice, so don't get depressed! It's a good thing!

Here are a few rules I set for myself, from the beginning, that I still live by...because they are easy for me to follow AND they give me the things that I need and find most important for my healthy life.

#1 no fast food
#2 I don't eat after 6:00pm
#3 I never miss a workout

I know myself pretty good, and I trust that you know yourself pretty good!  Think about a part of your life that needs to change.  How are you going to do it?  Know what you can live without, and know the things you don't want to live without.  Personally I have a vision for my life, and I make the rules, and I know you can too!


Kelley Riebel said...

These are my rules:

I. Carbs:

1.) No carbs before 6 p.m.
2.) No carbs before 6 p.m. AND if I had just had a heavy workout
3.) No flour anything (regardless of provenance)
4.) Only grain is the VERY occasional rice.

II. Breakfast:

1.) No breakfast within 3-4 hours of waking up.
2.) Unless I had a heavy swing session, but 9 times out of 10 that's at night.

III. Calories
1.) Weigh Everything
2.) Track Everything
3.) Watch my macros.

Maribel said...

I remember when I met you and I started using kettlebells...it wasn't until a few months later that I was ready to work on my nutrition (notice I didn't say diet?). The first thing you told me was that I probably knew a lot about diet and to start picking and choosing what I like rather than following a diet. You probably don't remember that, but it was one of those epiphany moments for me. I always followed a diet fad whether I liked the food or not and it never lasted. When you said that it was like "duh"!

And that's how I started making my own rules.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Kelley...so when do you include some carbs?

The bottom line is if it's working for you then it's working for you! It's when a person makes rules that aren't working! Time to change the rules! lol

Tracy Reifkind said...


You are right, I don't remember!

If I wanted to tell people exactly what to do I could write a diet, give it a fancy (or simple) name and probably make a ton of money. I could tell you right now it would consist of

#1 shakes (liquid)
#2 celery (lol!)
#3 soup

Kidding...maybe not....

At the end of the day I really want people to trust themselves, eat real foods and stop torturing themselves, or at least thinking it's going to be torturous.

I can't go home with, or follow everybody around, but I feel confident in saying that if I could everybody would lose weight! 100%

Kelley Riebel said...

Hi Tracy!

I include carbs [no more than 100g plant based] at night, after swinging.

There's one exception: if its been more than 3 days between practice/training (like when I was ill) and I am glycogen depleted, then I'll have some carbs the night before the next day's session.

This came out last year about carb timing:


Funny, when I have carbs after swinging, I sleep really well. And I lost 5 inches in 6 weeks.

I was super low carb for 6 months and it worked really well then stopped working completely. But I felt better in terms of energy and mood stability on super low carb, so it was important for me to keep most of the principles.

Now, these time restricted carbs help me feel just as good, with better performance and improved fat loss results.

Teresa G said...

Found it.

I think you need to move in with me for a few months. :D

Can't wait for TSQ!