In a recent conversation with a client we discussed the concept of “accountability” and the importance of this in success. Sometimes we have the resolve to simply be accountable to ourselves. But often it is being accountable to an external source that can really give us that extra push to follow through. I know in my years of racing that when I saw training on the plan that needed to be done, (barring I was not feeling good and didn’t truly need to take an extra rest day), it pushed me to GET IT DONE. Besides, the coach was going to be looking! THAT WORKS! It sure did for me!
I find that accountability works wonders when it comes to many things including nutrition. A funny story that comes to mind that is for sure the “extreme” is a bet I once had with my friend Wayne in 2003. We decided NO JUNK FOOD. The bet had a 6 month time frame. Based on pure honesty. The loser had to….EAT A CAN OF WET ALPO DOG FOOD! Yep…you got it! The best part was that MONTHS into the bet, (which was really quite healthy as we ate very well, we just stopped eating empty crappy foods), he lost it in the most unintentional way! A bunch of us had just finished a ride and went for lunch When the bill came he reached out and grabbed the mint on the tray…i watched in disbelief..excitement and AMAZEMENT…oh my God he was going to LOSE ON A MINT!!! After all of this effort! And tadah! The end. If you are wondering…I DID let him add salt to the can of chicken ALPO..and I DID let him stop half way through :). You see..I’m a nice person, really :)! The point is…we didn’t eat junk for a LONG TIME. It became very normal. We had no other restrictions, but we were accountable to one another to stick to it! And of course this particular example came with a….”punishment” which I am NOT RECOMMENDING :). I’m just sharing a story.
Now of course that is an extreme :). However the point is there is something to be said about doing something like embarking on improved nutrition, with a friend or nutrition councillor or FB PAGE…TELL US WHAT YOU ARE DOING! You want to be able to say “Hey I did it! Another great day!” and share that with one another. And have someone say “Me too! Feeling awesome!” It’s SUPPORT. And we ALL NEED SUPPORT. We can’t always be the ones to pat ourselves on the back. And we often forget to do this anyways.
So my suggestion to you is to call up a friend, family member or teammate and suggest starting a weekly positive nutrition change TOGETHER! Perhaps you will both support one another in an idea similar to those listed here;
-begin to drink more water during the day? 2 liters instead of 1?
-make a deal that you will finish at least 1 bottle of a quality sports drink per hour on every quality training ride you do in the next 21 days! (It takes 21 days to create a NEW HABIT!)
-decide that for the next 21 days you will have 3 cups of vegetables with every dinner you have? (actually not as common as we think!)
-you will eat your high glycemic recovery meal (see my last FB post) withing 30-60minutes after training to reap the benefits of eating with in the “window of opportunity”.
-you will consume 60grams of carbohydrates per hour on training rides over 90minutes
-you will eat breakfast (also not as common as you think!)
-you will journal your food in Training Peaks for a month to get a better idea of what you are actually consuming?
Just a few ideas to get you rolling. Who can you be accountable to and with? Do you remember a time where you wanted to do something but you only had you to say “ah forget it” to? And you didn’t do it? It really can make that difference to know that Bob is ALSO doing this tonight. And tomorrow when you talk to Bob you can feel good that you did it too!
So, let’s partner up and start not only feeling accountable to ourselves but to our teammates or a family member or friend. Let’s support each other on our quest for improved health and be each other’s motivations! Besides isn’t that what friends, teammates and family are for!
Until next time….I’ll be watching 🙂
Feel free to post what you plan to start as your nutritional change and be accountable RIGHT HERE WITH THE 223 OTHER members of this FB PAGE! We will be happy to cheer you on! I know I will!