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I failed again.

A few weeks ago I launched a little free 28 day nutrition reset on my new website. I did this for a few reasons, I’m going to be running a lot of my online education through this channel and I wanted to battle test the software. Also when going through my recent OCR survey results it was clear that lots of people wanted help with nutrition. Possibly the largest and most selfish reason for running this challenge was a personal one. For months my nutrition has been fucking terrible. When I work long days and nights building things on the back end of OMR, it takes its toll. I can only handle so much cognitive load and when I get stressed, my exercise and nutrition usually slip up. Throughout the last few months my exercise has remained reasonably solid, perhaps that’s why my nutrition has spiraled even worse than usual. I don’t do things by halves, so when it goes bad it goes very bad, to the point where I'm getting fast food nearly every day. While I’m not too stressed about my body, getting a bit fat is a problem when you work in fitness and regularly wear as little clothing as I do. So, there were lots of reasons for me to run a nutrition reset. The challenge itself was a fairly simple one. It’s basically eliminating the things that do the most damage and replacing them with better options. No low fat or Keto nonsense, no counting calories, just getting rid of the crap. Everyone checks in daily in the app to report what they have eaten and whether they have stuck to the guidelines. Week one the rules were to eat none of the following; 📍Fast food - Maccas, KFC, pretty much anything you can get from a drive through is off the table this week.

📍Soft drink - No coke, Fanta or any sweetened sugar drinks. This includes zero sugar drinks too!

📍No takeaway or delivered food!

📍No desserts, candy or sweets (Things like dark chocolate are ok but use a lot of moderation. Don't take the piss 😂)

Takeaway coffees were allowed, mostly because I might go postal if I didn’t at least get them and I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone in my challenge stabbing a coworker in the neck with office stationery.

Each week the challenge escalates a little, week 2 rules were everything from week one, plus replacing any white things with brown things.

White bread, rice and pasta gets replaced by whole grain bread, brown rice etc.

This challenge hasn’t finished yet so I won’t give away any of the future surprises just yet.

Now back to my point.

I lasted strong in this nutrition reset for 8 days. Then I failed fucking miserably.

A late night maccas binge after an 11pm finish in my office led to a complete collapse of my resolve. Consecutive fast food binges for the next 3 days followed.

I’ve observed this rebound effect in myself many times then had the understanding amplified after training hundreds of clients.

Create too many hoops to jump through and not only will you eventually fail, when you do fall over you’ll take as much shit out on the way down as you can.

For three days I was very hard on myself, I even became a little nihilistic about my situation. What was the fucking point, why did I bother, nothing matters etc.

This is dangerous thinking that gets you fucking nowhere and I know it, so it didn’t take me long to resurface and come to terms with the reality of things.

For 8 days my nutrition had been dramatically better than it had been and after my little rebound my nutrition has settled to a position that I’m not too unhappy with. I’m losing weight at a steady pace and feeling good.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that if we can’t do something perfectly then it isn’t worth doing at all. I say we because I have these conversations with my clients regularly.

A common one is when someone gets injured, say rolls an ankle and can’t run. Instead of training around it and working on other weaknesses their training collapses altogether and I have to smack em around a little to get them thinking clearly again.

(I’m mostly kidding about the slapping around, I haven’t had to rough anyone up in months.)

So why share this today?

Because it’s basically my job. As a coach I spend a lot of time learning about things so that my clients don’t have to. I give them just enough information to get them to understand why they are doing something, then they can just focus on the actual doing. What I teach my clients in my running consults in an hour is the distillation of years of my own education.

A lot of the knowledge comes from either personal experience or the experience of those I coach. No small part of it is just me making lots of fuckups, then warning my clients about making the same fuckups.

I share this because I know it will help a few people I know personally and I hope it will help many more.

I share this because I fail things often and I think people NEED to understand that if you aren’t failing things, you probably aren’t trying hard enough to change anything.

As humans we have a tendency to put other people on pedestals, to measure ourselves against the immeasurable, instead of sizing ourselves up against who we used to be which is much more important.

Focus on yourself, where you used to be, how far you’ve come and where you’re going and you’ll have a much better time of things.

I shouldn’t be the one on your pedestal, you should be.


If you think someone else should hear this, share it around.

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1 Comment

Ryan Dowling
Ryan Dowling
Jun 17, 2021

That's bang on mate. I often find myself in the same mentality. Make one little stuff up and then mentally I'm like ah I stuffed it now. Might as well just ruin everything almost self destructing on purpose. But in reality, If your not too hard on yourself and just continue. Your in a hell of a lot better spot than if you were just not trying anything at all. Easier said than done to see that at the time. It's taken about 6 months for me to get out of a lull I was in. And it snowballed so hard off not much really when I look at it now.


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