I have almost nothing helpful to say about nutrition.
Everybody who reads this probably knows more about it than I do. My study of it pretty much stopped after a class I took my freshman year in college. I did well in the class, though. The professor made copies of an essay I wrote and gave them to the rest of the class…told them I had a “heightened understanding” of how to eat for performance. I didn’t tell her I was eating Oatmeal Crème Pies when I wrote it. That probably would have disappointed her, but it would have been funny.
When I was doing the best lifting of my career, I ate a fairly undisciplined diet. It wasn’t 100% garbage, but it probably wasn’t nearly as strict as what most of you are following now. Would I have been better if I would have cleaned it up? I don’t know, probably. But I was a superheavyweight, which changes everything. And you have to be a super to understand that.
Funny story- I was walking through a mall with my dad once, and we saw a guy who probably weighed five hundred pounds. I nudged my dad and said, “Look at that guy, he’s in pretty bad shape.” My dad said, “Yeah, but I bet he had fun getting that way.”
I just found out what the word “paleo” means about three weeks ago. That’s probably the first nutritional learning moment I’ve had in ten years. I think it’s got something to do with only eating things that were on the earth back in caveman days. I’ve seen pictures of cavemen, and I don’t want to look like that. Their foreheads are too big and they look like they’ve got poop smeared all over them.
I did start taking fish oil about four years ago. Holy hell…that stuff makes a big difference. It’s definitely something I wish I would have started a lot earlier.
Being a vegetarian is always an option. I thought about being a vegetarian once. But then I realized that I want to enjoy my life.
One of the quirky little catch phrases people use these days when they’re talking about fitness is how they “want to look good naked.” Looking good naked is obviously connected to a nutritious diet. I want to look good naked too, but I’m not obsessed with it. During those times when I’m gonna be naked, I think I can rely on my charm, even if the visuals aren’t perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete slacker in this area. Hell, I was just at Subway yesterday and I had a pretty good moment of discipline. The guy who was making my double-meat Chicken Bacon sandwich gave me the ranch dressing I wanted, then he looked up and asked me if I wanted more while I was picking out my cookies. I felt like barking out, “Hey!! I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I’m trying to decide between white chocolate and peanut butter here!! I trust you with the ranch, okay pal?! Just use your best judgment!!” But I didn’t. I just said, “No thanks, no extra ranch.” If that’s not self-control, I don’t know what is.
Okay, all kidding aside…
I didn’t pay enough attention to nutrition when I was younger, and I do think I would have been better if I had tightened it up a little. I’ve improved as I’ve gotten older, and I think I’m probably eating a better diet now than I ever have. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, tuna and cottage cheese for lunch every day, only eating dessert once a week, some fast food here and there but not huge amounts of it, etc. My doctor says all of my levels are fine (including cholesterol) but my blood sugar gets high occasionally. I’ve found that blood sugar readings can be pretty wacky. It seems like they can spike dramatically based on something you ate the day before you get your blood tested. That’s been my experience, anyway.
Eating is a huge source of pleasure for all of us. We love it more than most of the things we do. Because of this, I’m not gonna turn eating into a source of dread. I’ll continue to eat things that make me happy, while still maintaining basic responsibility and discipline. I don’t want to get diabetes or heart disease, even though I know these things can potentially hit you even if you’re doing everything right. I feel a lot better when I eat healthy, and feeling good on a daily basis is a nice thing. Being able to train well without a lot of pain is nice too, and diet plays a big part in this. I’ve actually found that hydration is probably the most important factor in all of it, to tell you the truth.
You can do whatever the hell you want, and that includes disagreeing with this post. Your life is yours, and mine is mine. I advise you to eat with willpower if you want to be a successful lifter. That’s my recommendation as an athlete and a coach. But I also don’t think you should eliminate happiness from your eating. That’s my recommendation as a human being. We only get one shot at this thing…life. Personally, I want mine to be fun.
Taquitos are fun. They never stop making me happy. That’s more than I can say for some of the people I know, for crying out loud. So I’ll never turn my back on Taquitos. You stay loyal to the ones who have been loyal to you.