The All-Or-Nothing Myth Of Fitness

Did you know that 43fitness started out as a nutrition company? The first work I ever did as a fitness professional involved certified nutrition coaching, and the reason I prioritized nutrition over exercise was because it was the hardest thing for me personally to change. And the more I talked to people about what I was doing the more I understood, that for most folks, it was the hardest thing for them as well. So at the beginning, I wasn’t even planning on becoming a personal trainer because I could see how easy it was for people to get moving. The hardest part was the food, so that’s what I would focus on.

Flash forward 8 years and I am primarily known now as Cassye the trainer. And that wouldn’t be wrong. I AM a trainer, and I derive the majority of my income from teaching people how to exercise properly. Most of my days are spent programming, distributing and coaching workouts. But fitness is a holistic proposition. It’s certainly workouts and exercise, but it’s also nutrition. It’s so much MORE about nutrition than people ever, ever want to think that it is. Especially as it relates to goals around body composition.

And that’s what I want to address today. Even though 43fitness started out as a nutrition company, and it’s what I know people NEED, I quickly realized that’s not what people necessarily WANT. They just want to work out because they believe all they need to do is move more to reach their goals. At age 19 that was probably a reasonable assumption, but for my demographic, not so much. So I learned that if I can just get people in a gym environment, then I have the permission to backdoor a conversation about the food. It starts from day 1 with their free assessment session. If a potential client has listed fat loss or ‘being toned’ (code for fat loss) as a goal I initiate a kind but frank discussion around expectations and ask whether changing their eating habits would be something they’re open to. It’s a little sneaky because I have them captive in a room full of heavy things, so I take full advantage of the all-or-nothing proposition held by most. If you crush an hour-long resistance training session, you’re less likely to walk out and buy donuts. The big myth is that you can’t have one without the other. But I’m here to tell you that you can. It’s not as lopsided as you might think, and now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of it!

Given the fact that many of us are still home – still not able to work out like we want to, still not in gym settings, not in the classes that we love; we really do have the ability and the time to hone in on the nutrition piece of fitness. We can focus on eating better, even if we’re not crushing the workouts. I bet this new normal that you’ve had to create for yourself and your family has an upside. For instance, we walk our dogs almost every single day now, which I did many years ago when I wasn’t working, but had since abandoned because I didn’t have the time it wasn’t a priority. Going forward, this is something that I really want to keep in our routine as a thing. Likewise, some of my clients who aren’t able to train with me in the gym are really focusing on the food. We’ve discussed this, and as woeful as they were with the idea of cooking numerous meals, they are finally getting used to and even enjoying it. They’re truly understanding that to approach a meal that’s less processed, you’re going to have to put in a little bit of effort. A year from now they’ll look back and won’t even remember how they used to eat. Healthy habits are cool like that. So give it some thought. Think about this quote that I’ve seen emerge so often around coping with adversity:

If you can’t do what you do, do what you can.

How does your fitness equation stack up in this moment now that every aspect of your usual routine has come to a screeching halt without your permission? Are you exercising in some capacity on a consistent basis but lagging on the nutrition? Great! Keep after it because movement is medicine. Have you abandoned your workouts (and any associated nutrition program) because of the all-or-nothing fitness myth? Great! Forget the workouts. Yep, you heard that right. Flip the script and see what can happen if you focus ONLY on eating well. I’m being sneaky again, because feeling so good with the food just might inspire you to be more active. But if not, that’s OK too because you’ll still be reaping massive benefits and working toward a healthier lifestyle. I always tell my clients if they can only focus on one thing at a time, food is the fast track to their goals.

So how ’bout it? If you’re ready to flip the script I can run lines with you! I’m always here for the workouts, but if you’re ready to explore the role of just nutrition let’s build a plan. Coaching is a very customized thing. and I completely understand that everybody comes from a different place. Their goals are different, and the way they approach problem solving is different. It really just depends on what you want to do, but whatever it is, I will be there for you.

Because it’s never all-or-nothing.

Have you had success outside the all-or-nothing myth? How did you do it?