Back in 2001, I went on an amazing trip to Lebanon with the family that lasted 4 weeks. I remember going from one restaurant to the other, eating and splurging on mouthwatering Lebanese food. We ate lunch at a place in the mountains, then went down to Beirut where we were suggested to eat dessert at another; after that we looked for any café that served good fatty carby coffee. Our blood sugar levels would definitely drop after our marathon eating spree, so we translated that crash into “let’s go back to the apartment and rest; we didn’t get enough sleep.” We got more than 10 hours of sleep per night and we traveled in a mini-bus, so exhaustion was definitely not the problem. Whenever we went on long trips, we ate a lot of soft-serve ice cream in between huge meals; and for some reason there was a lot of soft-serve ice cream in Lebanon. Yes, we needed the energy to survive those agonizing trips that were spent seated in a mini-bus.
We went on for an entire month on that exact routine and it was amazing up until I got a welcome home message from my dad: “My God. You’re fat.” He said that when he first saw me arriving to Kuwait from the airport. I wanted to hug my dad after of a month of not seeing him, but all he could emphasize was my increase in size (particularly the lower area). It was bad and my dad annoyed me about it. I was already big to begin with since all I did before my trip to Lebanon was eat whatever was infront of me and spend 2-3 hours lifting the heaviest weights at the gym. I went from 100kg of fat and a bit of muscle to 130kg of fat and absolutely no muscle in a span of a month.
After my dad started emphasizing how fat I got (my love handles…my God), my family and friends noticed the difference and laughed it off. It literally took me a few seconds to do something about it. I had no knowledge of nutrition or training, so I just winged it and took my chances since I knew I could not get any lower than this (my God…the love handles). I ate 3 meals a day, consisting of Nestle Fitness Cereal and skimmed milk for breakfast, a chicken salad with a lot of ketchup for lunch, pineapple juice after a workout and a tuna salad with also a lot of ketchup for dinner. I did a minimum of 2 hours a day of cardio, abs and weight-lifting (in that order) 7 times a week and increased the time spent at the gym when results started to slow down. Obviously, I was a ketchup addict and used copious amounts of it; the training lasted forever too.
12 weeks and 60kg later, my weight went down to an all-time low of exactly 80kg. I stand 190cm, so 80kg is extremely skrawny for a guy my height. After that, I researched, experimented and practiced and lived happily ever after.
What differentiates me from other nutritionist/dietitians/gurus/doctors/professionals? The story above. I know how it feels to be fat and how to overcome that obstacle. I know how it feels to look at that molten chocolate from Chili’s and not the cute girl devouring it. I know how to psychologically deal with stress that might hinder my fitness goals. I also know when my bodies tells me that the current technique is no longer working. A health practitioner has to know all these things before preaching to clients. You can’t expect to take advice from an overweight professional who can’t seem to keep his life in order.
Middle English diete, from Old French, from Latin diaeta, way of living, diet, from Greek diaita, back-formation from diaitsthai, to live one’s life, middle voice of diaitn, to treat.
A dietitian provides you with a modified way of living based on your current lifestyle. Dietitians are supposed to:
1) Teach you how to psychologically deal with your life in order to eat, sleep, and exercise correctly.
2) Provide immediate solutions based on their own experiences and education in order to overcome a client’s obstacles and challenges.
3) Be in control of their lifestyles and know how to deal with stress, which clearly projects their presentable appearance.
4) Understand your body and how it reacts to certain factors, including stress, nutrient and exercise (this requires time).
5) Practice what they preach.
If your current dietitian does not have any of these characteristics then I’d suggest you take the time to look for another. The same rule applies to a trainer. You wouldn’t want to hire a person who doesn’t look the part. Moreover, look for a trainer that was born with bad genetics and excelled into something presentable. The genetically gifted ones have it easy since their bodies are prone to muscle growth and fat-loss no matter what they do.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with the best genetics at all; I had to work hard for what I achieved. I started out with a plan and a journal, and throughout the years I soon realized that I can’t force my body into a fixed routine. I had to use an instinctive approach and listen to my body; my workouts are literally planned once I set foot in the gym.
The point is, this whole process doesn’t take a few days or months; it takes years to understand. Once you think you’ve got it all together, some study comes out that falsifies the entire method, which makes it even more frustrating, confusing and agonizing. Then you try as hard as you can to muster up the patience to dig into more knowledge, causing more perplexity than an episode of Lost. Pat yourself on the back, because this is when you successfully know too much.
That was a brief introduction of myself and what you can expect in terms of knowledge and credibility.
Posted by Fahad AlYehya
Core Fitness – Kuwait
Picture by tachikoma