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by Josh Halladay
As I page through different magazines and social media articles, I can’t help but notice the endless number of entries on “Healthy Pancakes,” “Healthy Brownies,” “Healthy Cookies,” “Blueberry Muffin Protein Shakes,” “Protein Pudding,” etc. What the hell is the point of these articles and recipes? Why would you feed this bullshit to your readers and followers? The answer is because people have grown soft. It blows my mind that people pay good money for blatant lies and misguidance.
News flash: that ice cream you are putting in your shake is NOT going to help you put on the weight that you are looking to gain; neither is the chocolate syrup or the blueberries that you just shoved into your blender with your protein powder. There is no magic powder or formula for this—it’s called stop short changing yourself and start working HARD. If you are dieting, then stop bitching and diet. It’s NOT easy. If it was easy everyone would be walking around with 20 inch arms and a shredded 6 pack all year long. It takes an unbelievable amount of self-control and motivation.
Know what it takes?
It takes a will power that is second to none: being at family parties, events, and social gatherings, and brining your Tupperware of grilled chicken with you; telling your friends you can’t go to dinner, or ordering water at the bar. It takes complete and utter focus at all times during the day because if at any time you lose focus of what your goal is you WILL fall off track, and once you fall off, it’s that much harder to get back on. You have to plan your meals out days in advance, and plan your schedule out weeks in advance. It takes hours and hours of cooking so that you are prepared for your day. It also takes a solid head on your shoulders and a rock hard outer shell because you will encounter the most ignorant people criticizing your every action
So take the criticism, the mocking, the name calling, and know that you are a stronger and more determined person than they could ever be.
I can promise you that you WILL walk around hungry sometimes. You will crave foods that you have never dreamed of before, foods that would have completely disgusted you. This is all part of the process so learn to enjoy it. But don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for everything. There is no doubt in my mind that you will catch me eating an entire pizza with a 2 liter of soda and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the offseason, but these times are few and far between. The off season is a time where you can eat all of the crap that you craved all year long and get it out of your system (in moderation).
Schedule your cheat meals in the off season for once a week or once every other week. After that, hop right back on track the very next day. Like I said before, when you get off track it makes it that much harder to get back on. DO NOT act like the off season is a free for all… IT’S NOT! Bodybuilders these days put on 70-80 lb of bad weight in the offseason, only to cut 65 lb right back off. What is the point of that? Why put your body trough that kind of rollercoaster when you could focus on gaining a solid 10-20 lb during your off season and transition into a healthier cut.
Let’s get something straight, I’m not criticizing ALL of these fluffy recipes and protein shakes during the off season. Sometimes exactly what you need is a fat scoop of peanut butter and some whole milk. What I’m talking about in this article is people who want to incorporate these ridiculous meals and shakes into their cutting and dieting schedules; people who are 3 weeks out and still posting these absurd recipes claiming that they are “healthy.” These are the same kind of people who are always looking for the easy way out, the next dieting trick, or loophole. Guess what, you’re only fooling yourself because there are no tricks. There are no magic recipes, pills, or powder. The only magic recipe I know of is the hands, feet, and brain that the good Lord gave you. Your hands and feet to press the weight, and your brain to motivate you through the whole process. Your brain is an extremely powerful weapon, use it to your advantage and watch how far it can take you.
You’re either in or you’re out. This goes for every aspect of life, not just bodybuilding or dieting. Make up your mind and do it; all in or all out. The worst place you can be is undecided. You want to shred up for your fist competition? Go buy some tilapia, chicken, rice, oats, broccoli, egg whites, and go to town. It is NOT that hard people, do not make it more difficult than it needs to be. Stop looking for secrets, stop looking for shortcuts, and give it 110% every day and you’ll end up in a place that you would have never imagined. The body is an amazing thing, treat it right and watch it transform to the body of your dreams.