Monday, August 12, 2013

Tales From the Cycle Diet

One of the things I always liked about developing The Cycle Diet is the way it was born. Unlike most modern diet approaches, The Cycle Diet didn’t come from research and theory and then the suggestion that therefore this “should” work. The Cycle Diet was born from experience. I was already doing The Cycle Diet with great success – even before it had a name; I was doing it even before I knew the science behind why and how it was working. (That stuff came later.) This is one reason I still remain so enamored with it. It was already working in the real world AND THEN followed the science and research that explained it. 

So many diets these days come with research, science and speculation first – and then a proposal as to why a certain approach based on all this supposition ‘should’ work. I didn’t have to ‘propose’ the Cycle Diet ‘should’ work. It was already working excellently thank you. But the reaction to the Cycle Diet approach in the early days showed me just how different I was in terms of my diet psychology than most other people in the industry. And this diet-psychology formed the ground work for my later books like “Beyond Metabolism: Understanding Your Modern Diet Dilemma”, “Food Issues and You: Finally Facing Your Phantom Menace” and my latest book dealing with diet-psychology, “The Anti-Diet Approach to Weight-Loss and Weight-Control.” 
 So, in short, I can say that is wasn’t just the science behind the Cycle Diet that informed my later work. It was the psychology behind it as well. I just didn’t understand how and why people were  so afraid of food! 

So, with that said, here is one of the tales of the early days of The Cycle Diet. I still laugh AND scratch my head when I think about it.
I was attending a pro show where I had a few to several clients competing. I had already made quite a name for myself locally, so lots of people were looking for me in the audience. But this was also an International show, so there were many people less aware of my reputation for helping people with physique enhancement and making champions. And I should point out that at the same time, there was no question I had a world-class physique myself. People were always stopping me to ask for pictures and what not. During this time I was also following The Cycle Diet, even though it didn’t really have a name at the time. But what I observed around me just didn’t make much sense. People were either out of shape or in shape with no in-between – and no one staying in shape. That just didn’t make sense to me – to balloon up in weight after a diet, only to have to starve and deny yourself back into shape again. And then with the starvation this scenario created – to go back to gaining a ton of weight off-season again. None of that made sense to me. So I developed The Cycle Diet as a way to stay at or near contest-conditioning year round. And I was forging quite a reputation for myself by doing so. But I digress:
So here I am sitting in the audience of this pro show. Everyone starts pulling out their Tupperware of canned tuna, or dry chicken and whatever. I pull out this huge family size bag of red licorice. It was really fresh, which is why I bought it and the smell permeated the room. To my surprise everyone started talking about it and pointing at me etc. There was a look of puzzlement and bewilderment in their eyes as if to ask either, “Is this guy crazy?” – or more like – “How can he eat that and look the way he does?”
Soon one person approached me to ask about my eating the licorice – then another. Then some people actually wanted to take a picture with me eating the licorice because “otherwise no one would believe it.” I found all this reaction very strange. People were asking why I would blow all my hard work eating that food. Others would say something lame like they wished they had a metabolism that allowed them to eat some food like that. Here I was just going about my day, following The Cycle Diet cheat day, and what I was eating was blowing people’s minds. I couldn’t believe all the fervor and confusion. It would be years later before I realized that what was at the center of all this was the difference between a healthy diet-psychology and the typical North American diet-mentality and it’s component ‘fear of food.’
I ended up giving this impromptu on the spot lecture. I had to explain to them how they all focused on getting lean, but never focused on supporting their metabolisms at the same time. I had to ask them if they really though they could get fat in a meal, or in a day? I explained to them that BECAUSE I indulged in food at the right time, my metabolism was always optimized to burn excess calories, and not store them. It became clear to me that people really did not, and do not have a very good understanding of metabolism. They just see food as either good or bad. My explanations were making sense to some of them. Some just looked at me like a deer in headlights – and others were just salivating over my licorice. But I remember leaving that day being struck with curiosity that these people were so afraid of food the way they were. None of them were as lean as I was at the time either – not even close. And yet most of them considered themselves to be “in fitness” – but their diet-mentalities were anything but fit and healthy.
I remember thinking to myself how glad I was that I could healthily and that I could happily consume food – and that I was so grateful that food would never consume me, in the way I witnessed that day. Years, later in my research I uncovered that we are indeed “cerebrally wired” to enjoy food and be emotionally invested in the act of eating. To this day when people see me enjoying eating something indulgent they make comments like “I didn’t think you would eat anything like that.” Comments like that these days just show me how trapped people are in their diet-mentalities. One of the pleasures in life is to be able to enjoy food – all food. And what the Cycle Diet delivers is the emotional connection that food is meant to be pleasurable and indulgent – and not schizophrenically ‘special but forbidden.’ That is what I always liked about the Cycle Diet – to be able to enjoy food “guilt-free” as you/we are meant to – as we were evolved to do. In fact in the early days I named The Cycle Diet – the “have your cake and eat it too, diet.” And so much has changed since then – but sadly, so much hasn’t either.
And this is just one of many of my tales from my days and experiences in the industry.
And when it comes to healthy vs. unhealthy diet psychology unfortunately as I always say:
Some of you will get it; some of you will not.