Wow. The changes that have taken place over the last few centuries are amazing.
Pre 1800’s (all the way up to the 1940’s actually) man was a working machine. Manual labor was abundant and food was scarce.
To put it in simple terms, we worked out all of the time – and often ate in a calorie deficit. That sounds an awful lot like what we call a “fitness program” nowadays huh?
Well that’s because it was…you see actually we are designed to be on a fitness program genetically.
Our bodies are designed to work and run on very little food. Our bodies have adapted over hundreds and thousands of years to run on small amounts of fuel and do maximum work.
But something tragic has happened over the last 100 years or so – food has become easy to get and manual work has become scarce. This shift has caused what was a perfectly designed machine (our bodies) to become inefficient in today’s world.
If we had our way – we would elect to absorb roughly half of the food we consume on a daily basis – and we’d be all the better for it. We’d all be slim and trim, and even absorbing half of our daily intake most of us would have plenty of fuel to survive.
Unfortunately your body doesn’t adapt that quickly. Thousands of years of survival based evolution can’t be undone in a mere 100 years of plenty. So your body continues to sock away all of the excess fuel you consume with perfect efficiency – and you end up looking like the Michelin Man (or woman).
Here’s a little factoid – in the 1970’s the average American consumed around 2300 calories daily. Today the average American consumes around 2800 calories! We are eating 500 calories more a day than we were 30 years ago…
Not only that but activity level is way down – and manual labor is getting less manual by the day. Our machinery and technology are taking over more and more of our calorie burning activity – and that’s a bad formula.
In fact it’s a formula for obesity – and that’s exactly what we are getting (I guess we know the formula is working). So basically if we put it into an equation:
More Food + Less Work = Thunder Thighs
It’s a simple equation – but one that isn’t easily solved.
So what’s the answer to undoing this nasty bit of arithmetic? Well, since your body isn’t going to evolve over the course of your lifetime, or your kids or your kids, kids, kids lifetime – you need to go up the chain of command. You need to take this to the head honcho, the big cheese, The Godfather…
You see, you have the ability to do anything you like with your body – with the use of your mind. Your mind truly is The Godfather, and you have the power to give your body an “offer it can’t refuse.”
So your body refused to adapt to the new circumstances of the world and it’s environment? So what. Put a horse head in its bed. You are in control.
When it comes to weight loss you are the one who has the power. Your mind tells your hands to pick up the cake, your mind tells your hand to lift it to your mouth, and your mind tells your mouth to chew and swallow it (I mention cake because I had some last night, hey, nobody’s perfect). Your mind can also tell you not to.
You have to eat less and you have to make “artificial work”. You have to get out and run, walk or garden. You have to keep your mind on other things besides your next meal.
You don’t have the luxury of the self-sustaining “fitness program” that your ancestors enjoyed. You don’t have 10 cows to milk, a field to be plowed by hand or with a mule – or timber to be cut to keep you from freezing to death. You have to make a fitness program yourself (or hire a taskmaster…er trainer like me to do it for you and hold you accountable)!
And food? Why do we think about it all the time? Probably because that’s what kept us alive back in the day. Our ancestors had to sit and think about food – because if they didn’t think about whether or not they could eat an opossums larynx, then they probably didn’t eat squat that day. And an opossums larynx probably has a whopping 23 calories.
Now we sit around and think about which drive through we want to go through and get 1000 calories handed to us.
I truly think it’s the same mechanism of evolution. We still want to get as much food as possible, and we still want to think about it all the time.
We still want to avoid as much manual work as possible, which was fantastic thing when you had 100 acres to plow – but now we think of ways not to get up and turn off the T.V. We even think of ways to speak to the computer to keep from typing.
This whole thing has gone waaaaaayyyy too far! And the only one that can stop it is you…or actually – The Godfather. Your mind.
You have to make manual labor – reduce the amount of food you consume, so you can enjoy it and appreciate it – and stay busy enough not to think about food all day long.
You have to, or else you will acquire disease, grow worthless floppy tissue all over your body, and eventually become disabled. You have to because if you eat it and don’t burn it off, you wear it – and no two ways about it – it’s ugly. You have to because you don’t want to leave your kids early, or worse yet contribute to their destruction by giving them the same habits.
You have to because you can fix it. Because your mind is so much more powerful than an extra slice of pizza or a doughnut. You have to because your life, the lives of your family and the life of our culture depend on it.
But mostly you have to because it’s what you really want; it’s the way you want to be. In control, the boss, The Godfather. So give that fat an offer it can’t refuse – more exercise and less food – and take back control from evolution. Trust me, evolution is not going to do the work for you - so you have to show it who’s boss…
Jay Scott is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, NPC National Level Bodybuilder, Fitness Model, Author and Nutrition Coach. Jay owns CE-Fitness, a Personal Training business in Lexington, KY. Jay has been helping people lose weight and transform their bodies since 1998. Contact him at email@example.com or visit his site at www.cefitness.net for books, products, training options and more.