Here is the truth: more exercise is not the solution to the obesity epidemic.
There, I said it.
I am so tired of hearing over and over and over that we have to “get moving”, “play an hour a day”, “exercise more”. Exercise is important – but it is not answer to the weight issues in this country. Why? Because you can spend hours and hours running and lifting and “playing”, but if your food is not right, you’ll never – NEVER! – meet your bodily goals.
I really got riled up about this yesterday when I read a story of a personal trainer named Drew who, to prove a point, is going from fit, to fat and back to fit again. Before beginning this journey, Drew was not only in shape – he was in phenomenal shape. Now, 6 months later, with an unrestricted diet Drew has gained over 70 pounds! How? By consuming a “typical American diet” . (You can check him out, including week by week photos of his transformation here:www.fit2fat2fit.com.)
The reason why Drew’s story caught my attention is because it’s what my dad went through every time he went from off-season training to “competition physique”. As a child of a bodybuilder I saw first hand, year after year after year, that our food decisions dramatically impact our physique. My dad would effectuate changes in his body not with more exercise (he worked out long and hard both on and off season), but with food. Off season he ate as he pleased – but before competition his diet became very thoughtful, intentional and refined. Yes, he was exercising – but food was the key to his success each and every time.
Food is the foundation of all that we are. Whatever we look like on the outside is a reflection of what we’re putting on the inside. I get so frustrated by all these exercise campaigns because by making the conversation about exercise, it distracts us away from the source of the problem: that what we are eating is creating our body to begin with.
Take a step back and think of a house for a minute – a beautiful, home with great bones and great potential. The house has been left alone for years and is in desperate need of everything to bring it back into new life. It needs things as basic as paint and new fixtures and a new roof and windows. But, more importantly, the foundation is badly cracked and has significantly compromised a portion of the house.
Now, whether you’ve ever remodeled a house or not, it would go against all common sense to go in and repaint the walls, replace fixtures and re-roof the house without first addressing what’s holding the entire house up to begin with: the foundation. Right? I mean, no matter how much work you do to “pretty” things up, the fact the house is broken at it’s foundation means nothing you do will be long lasting.
The same thing applies to our bodily “house”. Until our food foundation is fixed, exercise is like painting a wall in that falling down house. It might make you feel a little better; and, because you’re doing “something”, it might help you to ignore the cracked foundation… at least for awhile. But until the foundation is addressed, you will be fighting an uphill battle to keep that house standing.
Now, am I saying don’t exercise? Of course not! We were created to move and use our bodies, not to mention that exercise makes you feel stronger and super awesome. What I am saying, however, is this: you can make leaps and bounds to better health without spending three hours in a gym everyday or running 50 miles a week if you simply STOP EATING, START NOURISHING.
It’s all about FOOD.
All you have to do is decide right now, right where you are, that you’re going to take control of what you take in. REBEL against the campaigns that burden you with one more thing to further burden your already scheduled-out life. Don’t think for one more minute that until you have time to step foot in a gym that you can’t do better. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE ONE THING THAT MATTERS… and I’ll say it again, what matters is F-O-O-D. You can start making changes right now!!
We are, plain and simple, what we eat… and it would do us good to remember that no amount of paint can fix up a broken house on a failing foundation.
That’s my rebel thought for the day.