Monday, July 11, 2016

Training Ride 7/11/16

Naturally Skinny!

Barring serious medical issues, no one is “naturally skinny” or “naturally fat.”  I hear this a great deal from people in my personal life.  “Oh well, you can eat anything you want because you’re naturally skinny.  If I ate what you ate I would be huge!”  I find this absolutely incorrect, and in a sense, insulting.

First I will talk about me because I’m a wonderful topic.  11 years ago I didn’t exercise and I ate fast food at least once a day.  And the meals I ate at home were hardly healthy.  Some people would have called me ‘skinny’ because I have thin arms and legs.  That’s simply a genetic quirk, I gain weight in my belly and face.  So yeah, people may have said I was skinny, but I had a relatively big belly and a fat face.  I weighed about 210-215 pounds.  I was skinny growing up (and fairly athletic) and being a tall bean pole I had this false idea in my head that if I gained weight I would look “more normal.”  Suffice it to say I didn’t look better at 215 pounds and 30% body fat than I did at 170 and 20% like I was in high school.

Now, after a decade of improving (always improving!) diet and exercise I am 50 pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest.  I’m weighing in at around 165 now and 13% body fat and it feels correct, no special maintenance.  When I was racing competitively I was at 155 and 9% and it felt like starvation to maintain, so this is much better.  The moral of this story is, I was once fat and out of shape and through diet and exercise I’ve gotten lean and fit.  

To say I am naturally skinny ignores the discipline I apply to my diet and exercise.  Sure, you see me eating the big dinner Saturday night at the restaurant but what you DON’T see is me waking up at 3am on Saturday morning to bike for 100 miles.  You don’t see me eating 6 bananas for breakfast.  You don’t see my rice and beans/lentils dinners 5 nights a week.  You see me eating a lot of food on the nights where I burned 3000 calories working out.  Without seeing the sacrifice and dedication, you don’t understand the results.  Professional athletes rarely show their training time in the gym or practice sessions.  You only see the finished product on the gridiron or courts.  Those guys are “naturally talented” to continue the metaphor.  It ignores the 6 hours a day of practice and gym time it took to harness their natural ability.  So no, I am not naturally skinny.  I eat relatively cleanly and work out 10-12 hours a week.  

No one is naturally anything.

If you think “oh I could never be athletic, I’m big boned, or I have a big frame or I gain weight too easily,” that is all BS.  If you think you’re naturally heavy and could never get lean take the challenge: eat a clean plant based 2,500 calories per day diet  and do 7 hours of cycling per week.  If you can adhere to that for 60 days and not make enormous gains I’ll admit you’re actually naturally fat.  

People who are “naturally heavy” tend to be sedentary and eat poorly.  I’ve never met a disciplined person who was strict with their clean diet and worked out religiously who was obese.  It just isn’t possible.  

No one is “naturally” anything.  You are a combination of what you eat and what you do.  Calling a fit person “naturally skinny” is an insult to their hardwork and right living.  Calling fat person “naturally heavy” is an insult to their human ability to change and improve, and allows them an easy excuse for failure.  Your weight and body composition aren’t innate traits, you choose what you are every moment of the day.  When you eat extra cheese pan pizza for dinner, when you go to bed without exercise that day you choose.  Make good choices.