Fit Food: Eat Like It’s Your Job

12326_119759868037137_4312197_nImagine you are looking for a job and you come across this ad.

“Seeking a completely inexperienced individual for a top management position to start immediately. No training given, applicant must figure it out on their own. Job requirements include doing anything and everything and any mistakes will result in termination.”

Would you apply? Of course not! This is absolutely ridiculous! And yet, this is exactly how many of us approach the “job” of changing our diets. We expect to get it perfectly right all the time, right from the beginning and often give up after just one slip up. Continue along with this imaginary scenario with me.

Have you ever had to train a new employee at your place of work or teach something you are skilled at to someone who is not skilled? How do you approach it? Do you hand that new employee a stack of papers and say “have this finished by 3pm” and leave? Or maybe you play a chord progression on a guitar and then hand it to your student and say “just do what I did.” And if that student takes the guitar from you, tries to copy you and makes a mistake, would you let them just give up and never try again?

So far I hope you are agreeing with me that all of these scenarios are rather silly. Now let’s think about the typical career path. First you have to decide what kind of work you would like to do, then you have to get some sort of education in your chosen field and finally you start at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up as you gain skill and experience. This process can be directly applied to changing your diet. First, decide why you want to change your diet. Weight loss, muscle gain, performance enhancement, or perhaps just overall health. Then you have to get some education on how to do this (many people skip this part and thus their dietary “career” becomes the equivalent of flipping burgers for a living) and finally you start to apply your new knowledge to your diet and life. And, just as no one expects a graduate fresh out of school to know everything, you don’t have to be perfect right from the beginning. straNo one starts at the top. You need to know enough to be able to reach that bottom rung and start climbing, but from there what you know will grow and change just as you do. As long as you never give up and are always open to learning from your mistakes you will continue to improve.

There are other lessons we can learn from successful career tactics.

1) Find a mentor. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn from someone who has walked that road before you and can help you along.

2) Education isn’t a golden ticket to success. There is a reason why obesity rates and the sales of diet books are both skyrocketing. You can read and learn about diets all you want, but if you don’t apply changes to your life and make them stick it’s all for nought.

3) Make sure your goals align with the way you want to live your life. Perhaps that high salary job is tempting, but do you really want to spend the long hours at work away from your family? You may feel an artistic career is the only way for you, but are you prepared to live on much less money for life? Similarly, you may want to look like a fitness model, but are you realistically prepared to put in the work required?

4) Don’t be afraid to change careers. Perhaps you find something else that you love or you just hate your job. Don’t let yourself get stuck with something that isn’t working or makes you miserable. Always been a runner but want to try body building? Always lifted weights but want to try yoga? Does the state of the food industry make you want to try being vegetarian? Go after what interests you and pursue that which ignites your passion.

15140847-vegetable-and-fruit-fitness-and-blue-skyThe most important point here is to strive for progress, not perfection. Every job has a learning curve and there will always be mistakes made and lessons learned. Be open to feedback from those higher up the ladder than you and take on new responsibilities as you improve. Give yourself regular “performance reviews” and be very honest with yourself about how you are doing. Change what needs to be changed and stick to what is working. This process works in the office and can work for your healthy habits as well.

Happy Lifting!

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7 comments for “Fit Food: Eat Like It’s Your Job

  1. JojoToronto
    July 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I like this article. Very interesting perspective that I will remember next time I have a ‘slip up’

    • daracoxpt
      July 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Jojo! Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. July 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Good advice as always Dara! Another thing that comes to mind for me and is something I’ve blogged about before is your passion. Just like your job, family, or anything else in life, you succeed in the things your REALLY want and work at. How bad do you want to succeed with your health and fitness goals?

    • daracoxpt
      July 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Very true Colin!

  3. July 13, 2013 at 6:37 am

    You’ve alluded to this before and it makes sense that if you want to essentially make fitness your life that you should choose a career in it as well. It’s a logical conclusion to come to if that is your true passion.

    • daracoxpt
      July 18, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Well said Matt!

  4. Anonymous
    July 13, 2013 at 6:03 am

    great bodies starts from inside

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