As a coach, I have heard every excuse in the book. I have heard every complaint, every bitch and every moan. I should have a PhD in clinical psychology from the thousands of hours of emotional counseling Iʼve done. The one excuse I cannot condone, the one that makes my blood boil, is when an athlete says something absurd like, “I forgot to eat lunch today.”
You forgot to eat? You forgot?? To EAT??!!!
Nothing makes me want to punch an athlete in the face more than that phrase. If you are adhering to any kind of rigorous training program your diet should be your first priority. Make a plan and stick to it. Nothing will hinder progress in the gym more than poor dietary planning.
Routine is key. Donʼt go to bed on Monday night until you have cooked enough food to cover Monday nightʼs dinner and at the very least all of Tuesdayʼs meals. Tuesdayʼs meals are prepared and packaged in portable containers. Have your protein powder and shaker prepped and ready. There should never be a time during the day that you are starving. There should always be a protein-rich meal close by.
You need to have a plan for every contingency. For example: Itʼs late Monday morning at your office. You are feeling good because you ate a half-dozen eggs and a half-pound of grass-fed beef for breakfast. You are equally proud of your mid-morning protein shake and the one you have ready for later this afternoon. You have planned well. Your dietary needs are covered.
But wait! Whatʼs this? It appears as though some douchebag from your office has eaten your mid-day meal. Clearly this asshole did not plan ahead and thatʼs why the thickest part of his legs are his wobbly knees.
Not to worry. You have planned for just this eventuality. In the trunk of your car there is a bag. In that bag you will find a large tub of protein powder, a large sack of almonds and a huge jar of peanut butter. There are a few bottles of water and a shaker. There might also be some ninja throwing stars or a club of some kind. After youʼve cleaned your coworker’s blood from your hands, you can enjoy an impromptu tailgate party as you prepare your protein shake in the parking lot.
Itʼs also important to enjoy your life. Donʼt let your diet or lifestyle interfere with your quality of life. There will be parties and dinners. The savage and savvy planner will call ahead to a restaurant to make sure thereʼs a steak on the menu. If thereʼs no high-protein option, he will plan accordingly by bringing a pre-made meal and consume it in the car before his dinner date. Inside he will enjoy a salad and quinoa loaf and still manage to be social despite the lack of flesh on the menu.
So donʼt tell me you forgot to eat. Donʼt tell me you donʼt have time. Make the time. Make a plan. Be ready for anything. Have enough pre-made, protein rich meals in containers to cover your day. Have a back-up plan like a backup-bag. Always have enough healthy food on hand to make sure you are never hungry.
Plan ahead. Prepare to succeed.