Merging Health Enhancement With Physique Enhancement

She is denying me from dropping my hand a little lower??

The other day — I assume in trying to figure out his own future training niche — a young colleague was asking me what it is that I do?  I kick a$$, that’s what I do, hahaha…

More specifically, he was asking me who my target audience is, what types of people I advise, what my “specialty” or “area of focus” is, what is the foundation of my overall approach, the elevator pitch of my business, etc.

Basically, he wanted to know what is the primary focus of my life’s work — at least at this moment in time? Either that, or he was bored as sh*t and was just trying to make conversation.

Either way, it’s cool.  It got me to thinking.  Beyond the day-to-day tasks of my business, what is the larger goal I’m trying to accomplish?  What is the overall purpose of my articles, books, and products?  What is the problem I am trying to solve?

Now don’t get me wrong.  This is not going to be one of these articles that seem so regular in the fitness industry today — self-praise about how great I am, how much I know, how noble my message is, or some other ego hand-job pumped out by the “gurus” of today that think they are way more important than they actually are.

Besides, once you get through the mysticism that they are very good at promoting, and look at the science (or even just use common sense), it turns out that most of their stuff is 3 parts bullsh*t for every 1 part half-truth.

I don’t roll like that, and I definitely don’t take myself, or life in general, that seriously.  I’m a beach bum too lazy to be a guru — remember?

I just want to be clear about what, specifically, I am interested in, what the overall focus of my content is, so if that’s NOT what you are interested in, you don’t need to waste your time listening to what I have to say.

If you’re willing to mess up your life, sacrifice your career, and damage your health trying to be the next Arnold or female fitness celebrity, or both (??????), I’m probably not the guy to follow.

At the same time, if you’re willing to have the personality of a snail, the brainpower of a gnat, the energy of a zombie, and the sex drive of a corpse just to try and live as long as Yoda, I’m probably not the guy to follow either.

I would say my main interest and overall goal is to:  MERGE HEALTH ENHANCEMENT WITH PHYSIQUE ENHANCEMENT

A. THE PROBLEM – MANY BELIEVE THAT THESE GOALS NEED TO BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

  • There are two extremes in the health & fitness industry, and both give taking a healthy approach to physique enhancement/building a quality beach body a bad name.
  • At one end, there are plenty of “hardcore” bodybuilders and fitness divas (and even Hollywood celebrities and models) who will follow extreme drug, training, and diet protocols to get the coveted beach-body look, unknowingly (or knowingly) compromising their long-term metabolic, hormonal, mental, and overall health.   In other words, they are only ever thinking about the short-term, in-season, pre-photo shoot, pre-beach season quick fixes, never about the long-term effects of their diet and training protocols.
  • They may look great on the outside, but are train wrecks internally. They are extremely unhealthy and dealing with side effects such as sleep disturbances, depression, elevated disease risk factors (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar), metabolic damage, digestive disorders, and a lack of natural hormonal production/control as a result of performance enhancing drug usage, recreational drug usage, pharmaceutical drugs to combat medical symptoms, and poor food choices. And lets clarify my stance right now — that’s not hardcore or tough, although often times it is marketed as such.  It’s just plain stupid.
  • It’s a good reason why you should never just follow someone because of the way they look (except for me of course).  The process to get there is infinitely more important than the end result, and there are both positive and destructive ways to go about your fat shedding, muscle-building business.
  • On the other end, you have many “life-extensionists” who obsess over improving every decimal point in their biomarkers of health, but leave any thought of physique enhancement behind.  These guys will take research on dietary approaches that are beneficial for specific  populations in severely diseased states, and dogmatically demand that they are equally applicable and beneficial to healthy athletes.   There is no such thing as a Universal, one-size-fits-all diet.
  • Besides, what good is starving yourself to survive if you can’t even function in the real world? What good is avoiding death an extra 2 years, if you look and feel like death for the other 90?
  • You also have the new wave of so-called health gurus.  The creepy dude promoting some miracle pill, exotic herb from the jungles, how great it is for fat loss and vitality, and can quote every science study known to man, but actually looks more sickly and Charles Manson-ish than vital and energetic.  The lady who promotes raw, vegan, organic cookies forgetting that they are still frickin’ cookies and are probably the reason she is about 50lbs overweight.  Just because someone markets him/herself as “a holistic healing health guru” doesn’t mean they actually are.

B. THE SOLUTION — PROPER FOOD CHOICES MERGES THESE GOALS

  • I’m a vain piece of crap, so I, more than anyone, get that it is dropping fat and building a physique that turns heads, makes the opposite sex lust, blush, or stumble, etc., that really motivates us.  Health concerns seem meaningless when you are about to star in your own gun show or thong song.
  • But it is the health impacts of food that matter most in the long run, and should lie at the core of any worthwhile dietary approach.  My whole functional fat loss for busy professionals “thang” is about taking a healthy approach to physique enhancement.  Who cares if you can look good at the beach if you are too sick to get there, or too depressed to enjoy it while you’re there? At the same time, I don’t care if I make it to 120 years old if I have to live and look like a goblin to do so.
  • These goals, however, do NOT have to be mutually exclusive; as many uninformed athletes or non-athletic scientists would have you believe.  Its not an either or situation.  You can improve your health and improve your physique at the same time.  The food choices we make can merge those two goals together.  Its all about your lifestyle habits, not reliance on a pill or product manufacturer.
  • The answer to America’s health problems and obesity epidemic, and the majority of your fat loss and beach body questions, is actually quite simple — reduce your consumption of refined foods, even refined “health foods”, and do your best to emphasize nature’s real foods as the foundation of your diet.  It’s not an easy strategy to execute in Y2K America, but it is worth the extra effort.
  • So when I say that if you are sedentary, a great diet template is a Caveman-style Diet (lean protein, vegetables, whole fruit, and/or whole food fats = nuts, avocado, coconut, etc.) or if you exercise, additional templates include a Japanese Village or Irish-Farmer’s-style Diet (lean protein, vegetables, whole fruit, and adding back in a select few low sugar, gluten-free starch foods = sweet potatoes, potatoes, and for some, rice); its not some kind of marketing ploy or cute thing I’m trying to make a name off of.  It’s because I truly believe these various dietary approaches are how we can merge health enhancement with physique enhancement.
  • It is my belief that nothing can make up for this foundational dietary step, when factoring in BOTH fat loss AND health enhancement goals: not drugs (performance enhancing or pharmaceutical industry), not miracle supplements, not revolutionary detox/cleansing programs, not demonizing a specific macronutrient (low carbs or low fat) so you can indiscriminately gorge on the others, etc., NOTHING!

But I don’t know man, I could be completely wrong.

3 thoughts on “Merging Health Enhancement With Physique Enhancement

  1. Scott Crossland (@scottcross7)

    Always appreciate your articles, Nate. Saw a recent post where you wrote about lean protein only for breakfast, a Paleo lunch, then a Japanese Village dinner. Would like more information on the Japanese Village meal plan.

  2. Paul d

    Great points Nate and good flow to the article. I have come to the conclusion that I need to be imbalanced in my pursuit of balance to manage these competing drives. You seem to walk you talk. Ye. Trying to make a living in the health and fitness world and keep you cred intact – very hard. Pd