Tuesday 31 July 2012

Passion, dropping weight, making weight and 'guru's'

This blog post comes more on reflection after what was a very busy and rewarding week for me in which certain goals were hit and made me proud for very different reasons. I’m not one to be in the limelight about my work I just enjoy what I do and value the job satisfaction I get. I think for a lot of people who work for themselves the stress can define them, either they thrive or crumble, luckily I don’t find my job stressful, maybe I would if all I did was ‘nutrition’ however I’m fortunate to have other business interests. I think these other interests are what keep me grounded.

I follow and read a lot of what other fitness and nutrition professionals have to say, their weekly blogs, tweets and Facebook updates, sometimes I envy how much time they put in to creating this all knowing guru status, then I have a reality check and realise that’s just not me, I don’t do this for recognition and if I could I would work for free (I answer enough emails and messages for free each week!) all I ever expect is a ‘thank you’ when helping people out for free.

There has long been a trend in nutrition to sell certain ways of dieting as being the only effective way, not rubbishing other methods as such but certainly making them out to be inferior. This is usually just down to marketing and money, I hope the people selling these ways don’t really believe this because everyone is different and this last week showed me that getting results is not just about using one method but finding what works for the client.

My week started off worrying about the progress of one of my clients, during our 1:1 strength & conditioning sessions he works very hard, there’s no let up with me and the session gets done, no early finish and no going easy, however in 5 weeks there had only been a weight loss of 6lbs, not bad for some but in context this wasn’t very good as the person in question started at over 30% bodyfat. Frustration was definitely kicking in for me; I’d tried a couple of subtle tricks to speed things up but got nothing. So my next step was to start afresh, go back to basics but also ask another nutritionist and friend to have a look and see if I was missing anything. Results are all I care about it’s what I’m paid for and I’m not driven by ego so asking for a fresh pair of eyes to look over my work is not something I’m afraid of doing. I respect my peers and value their knowledge and also their experience too, so why not use it.

So after a couple of emails I’d had chance to think about the new approach and sat down and put it all together, the result was a 7lb loss in 6 days. Strangely I did nothing revolutionary to change it up, certainly nothing worth writing a book or even an e-book about anyway. I changed the macronutrient split around slightly increasing calories, I also increased output slightly and focussed more on recovery to make sure output intensity levels could be kept high, I also made the client record every rep, weight used and mile ran as well as taking a photo of every meal and snack eaten. The result at weigh in yesterday certainly gave me a good start to this week.

Towards the end of the week I had a very different problem to deal with, it came from an old client who called me at 8am on Friday stating he had made a mess of his prep and he had woke up nowhere near the weight he expected and he wasn’t going to make weight for his weigh in so he had been given until 10am Saturday to make weight, which meant losing 19lbs in 26 hours.

No mean feat but I had a couple of things in my favour in the fact I had worked with this client before thus knew his body well enough to know that what he had done leading up to this point would be enough for me to work with and also the fact we had plenty of time (joke –we were under pressure but I couldn’t let him know that as stress makes you hold water). Off he went with a shopping list and I went to the shop, what usually happens here is I travel to the clients home or hotel and we get to work, as I had to work in the shop I was going to travel down after. However things went as expected and he was on course without me, so I stayed in contact via Skype when needed throughout Friday night. He weighed in at 10:11am at 19.3lbs lighter than when he called me. The hard part after this however is making sure the weight goes back on the right way and performance is not affected. Again this was achieved and the desired result came.

Now this all sounds very extreme to most people, 19lbs in a day and then rebounding 24lbs from weigh in only 10 hours later, yes it’s crazy but again it’s no magic voodoo like some guru’s try to sell as if they are the only one’s who understand the human body and the magical ways of nutrition manipulation. We simply utilised 2 methods in this case, thermoregulation and electrolyte balance manipulation. I will state however that trying this out is hard, yes I have done it but that’s just because I want to understand what my clients go through mentally, if you don’t need to then don’t. It’s very taxing on the body. I’m also not a fan of the whole business of trying to come in to the ring as the heaviest fighter, there’s more to both mma and boxing than being heavier than the other guy. Performance is what matters and I’ve written an article which I’ll publish soon on this aspect of the sport.

So that was my week, it was very rewarding and I thoroughly enjoyed it and at no point did I have to make any outlandish claims or declare myself to be a guru and sell off false ideals, all I did was my job which I enjoy.

The most expensive thing I own is my passion for my work.

Yes I did actually just write that too…..

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