The 10 mantras below pretty much sum up how I do / want to live. Think of them as my affirmations and commitments to life.
1. I accept responsibility for my situation
The way my body looks, the amount of money I have, the quality of my life is determined by me alone. No-one but myself is responsible for the situation I am in now, or for deciding where I am headed. Fate, destiny and chance do not play a role in my life. Planning, dedication, hard work, determination and resolve do.
2. I eat when I am hungry
When I feel hungry I eat, when I feel full I stop. I don’t count calories. If one day all my body wants is one small meal, that’s all I give it. If the next it wants 3 large ones, that’s what I feed it.
3. I avoid refined sugars and grains
Years of eating processed foods, bread, pasta and other grains have not given me the body I want. They leave me feeling bloated, lethargic and hungry. Cutting them out makes me feel happier, healthier and makes it easy to maintain a low body fat all year round.
4. I limit my carbohydrate intake to 50g-150g per day
My primary source of carbs is vegetables and fruit. I enjoy having escaped from the blood sugar see-saw that affects so many of us today and inevitably leads to weight gain, disease and obesity. If I want to lose fat I stick to the lower end of my carb intake range, and to gain weight I eat at the higher end.
5. I eat plenty of protein and do not fear fat
These two macro-nutrients make up 80% of my diet. My protein staples are eggs, chicken, pork, beef and whey. My fat staples are olive oil, greek yogurt, flax seed, cheese, animal fat, butter, coconut oil, nuts. I vary sources as much as I can and am always on the lookout for new things to eat.
6. I practice intermittent fasting
I tend to eat between the hours of 12pm-8pm, in order to give my body 16 hours to use fatty acids for fuel and keep my body fat down. There is no need to be stuck in the bodybuilding mantra of eating 5-6 small meals per day. Sometimes I eat 1, sometimes I eat 4. It depends how I feel.
7. I resistance train at least 3 times per week
I enjoy the feeling of getting stronger and bigger. I think of training as a hobby rather than a chore. I keep my workouts short (40 mins max) and train with as much intensity as I can.
8. I limit my cardio
I believe excessive moderate to high intensity steady state cardio is detrimental to my goals of building muscle, losing fat and staying healthy. It places unnecessary stress on the body and hampers recovery. Instead, I engage in 2-5 hours of activity per week outside the gym at a heart rate between 50%-75% (walking, cycling, playing) and perform one high intensity workout per weak that lasts 15-20 minutes.
9. I take time to relax
I spend at least 1 hour per week relaxing. This may be getting a massage, going for a floatation tank session or meditating.
10. I strive to learn
I know my knowledge is finite. I have plenty more to learn. I use my results as feedback to ensure I stay on track to achieve my goals. I am open to new ideas and I experiment with new principles. If they work, I keep them. If they don’t suit my lifestyle or aren’t effective, I throw them out.