A little over a month ago, I took my family to California for a vacation and to spend some time with my team, Team Zero Gravity. We surfed, went to Disney Land, visited “The Zoo,” (Bradley Martyn’s destination gym), shopped, and really enjoyed ourselves. It was spectacular family time, but I learned a personal lesson at the gym that translates into every part of my life as a father, professional, husband, friend, and this journey I’m on to compete in a physique show.
On the day that every plan seemed to be interrupted and my family was frustrated at me for planning the fun around my coaching session, Ryan, my coach sat me down and evaluated my diet and raked me over the coals. I thought that I had been doing great, and to my credit, I had hit all carb and protein numbers that he has asked me to and I had been strict with my diet as far as I understood it. He told me that my flavored rice cakes and things which make the amount of rice and chicken I need to eat more palatable, are out of the question because they contain sugar and he wants me sugar free. I listened to him tell me about his trial and error experiences of getting his body fat percentage down to competitive levels and he said there is only one way that really works and that is the HARD way. Then he said something that I will not soon forget.
He said, “If you are going to be in Hell, you may as well hug the devil.” What he was saying is that you need to eat the exact amounts of macros to get gains and be lean and everyone gets sick of just plain rice and chicken, but you just have to do it anyway to get the results. He and his buddy did a split test on the exact same diet to see which would yield lower body fat percentages for a show. They placed a bet that they both had to eat at IHOP for a month leading up to the show they were in. Who knows why IHOP, but Ryan told me that the main different in their diets was cream in coffee and tiny amounts of sugary flavorings like jams, but the results were exceptional. Ryan lost 40 lbs and his friend only lost five. Tiny taste luxuries were the only difference.
I relate this to life because tiny shortcuts cause course shifts and do not get us to our destination as fast or prevent us completely from getting there. One of my church leaders, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, also an airline pilot, explains that choices off by just 1 degree in life put us in a totally unrecognizable destination from our goal just like a pilot off by 1 degree will not land in the correct spot. We cannot cheat to get where we want to go. We have to do things the right way. My marriage only works awesome if both my wife and I put forth 100 percent effort and put each other first. My business will only grow and prosper if I follow sound principles and work as hard as I can. My children need me to be a firm and loving father all throughout their lives. I will only have a shot at winning a physique show if I follow to the letter everything my coach instructs me.
I did hear some good news from my coach, Ryan Benson. After having Joseph Lee, an IFBB pro, work with me on my poses, Ryan told me that I was getting the necessary gains to make it in the fitness world. He told me that my hard work was paying off and that tiny adjustments in my diet, NO sugar, would get me there. I looked him straight in the eye and told him not to Bullshit with me. “Was I going to be able to make it and earn a pro card?” He looked me right back and said, “Yes. Just do what I ask you to.” For almost 2 months now, I have still craved foods that I can’t eat, but it has been easy to tell myself that I can only accomplish my goal if I eat precisely what my coach tells me to.