I’d like to start out by congratulating the first graduating class of NutritionNOW.
Well done, all. We’re extremely proud of you!
We began to conceptualize this nutrition program a little over a year ago.
As a coach, this was probably the most difficult undertaking I’ve experienced to date. Compared to behavior around nutrition, developing athletes physically is much easier. If you stick to a program, we can usually get you stronger, develop higher work capacity, and increase your endurance in 8-12 week increments. Nutrition is another beast.
My early thoughts on nutrition were to address it on an individual level. Then, I thought we could outsource it by using one of the online “challenges” out there. But, we kept coming up against this pesky roadblock: the research. I needed someone smarter than I (not hard to find), so I brought Sabrena into the mix to put some tangibles around the program.
We chatted about a 30 day diet “challenge.” Again, the research kept showing us that elimination challenges actually have adverse effects on long-term body composition. Being trusted stewards of health information, we couldn’t fly in the face of science and feel OK about it.
Here’s the thing about body composition change – it’s hard. REALLY hard.
When I speak to groups about wellness, I use my “Flossing Analogy.” Let’s break down flossing (your teeth): 1. We all know we need to do it. 2. The science is widely accepted. 3. It costs us somewhere around $2 a month. 4. It takes 60 seconds a day. 5. We rarely do it. I’m guilty. It’s much easier to rush out the door or jump into bed without flossing.
Use flossing to frame your health journey. Adopting a research-supported diet requires months – years – of habit change. It takes planning, meal prep, grocery shopping, cooking, and saying “just a little” to quite a few pleasurable things. It requires social supports. It requires very delayed gratification. I mean VERY.
Research supported dietary habits are NOT sexy.
It takes time, diligence, and consistency. So why are all the fad diets and challenges so popular? Because they ARE sexy! Trust me – it’s really hard to sell sustained lifestyle change. It’s not fun and certainly not profitable. 30-day challenges, belly wraps, and supplements are much easier to sell because it allows us to ignore the reality that body composition change can take years of consistent effort to achieve.
Armed for life.
Where we are most proud of the first class of NutritionNOW participants is that you know – definitively – what the science says. You have all the tools you will ever need for the rest of your life. No more distractions. No more quick-fixes. No more shame or guilt for having “bad foods.”
This is the heart of what NutritionNOW – and The Hill – is all about. An ecosystem where the most reliable information in a noisy world of “experts”- pulling you toward their products or systems – can be aggregated and understood in a responsible manner. A place where we don’t shy away from the research – no matter how un-sexy it can be.
Graduates – well done. To coach Sabrena and Brianna – thank you for being available at the drop of a hat in a supportive and engaging way. You truly went above and beyond. We all thank you for showing us that a lifestyle of healthful eating can be enjoyable and guilt-free.
We’re always here for you. And you can be there for each other. Dialing in your nutrition can feel like a tremendous undertaking. Go forward knowing that you’re armed with all the information and supports to be successful. And, thank you for trusting us on this journey.