I’m kind of a jerk about books.
If a book isn’t fiction or isn’t written in a discernible order that must be followed, I tend to pick and choose what chapters to read and when.
For instance, when I was taking Exercise Physiology, I skimmed through my textbook the night I got it and immediately jumped to the chapter on nutrition & performance, because that’s my wheelhouse.
When I got the chance to read Tom Venuto’s new edition of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, I did something similar.
I read the intro, then I jumped around. I read the section on setting up a diet — including how to set calorie intakes, how to divide macros, and how to plan meals — before everything else. Then I read the sections on carbs, protein, fats, workouts.
And what did I save for last?
Chapter 6: Goal setting.
And take a wild guess which chapter eventually resonated with me the most: Chapter 6. The one I saved for last because I anticipated it being least likely to impact me.
Chapter 6 changed this book, for me, from a mere overview of how to apply bodybuilding diets and workouts to non-competitors to a book genuinely focused on lifestyle change for anyone who wanted it. I found myself nodding in agreement with Venuto’s discussions of calories, macros, flexibility, and workouts, but I found myself dog-earring pages in Chapter 6.
In this chapter, Venuto outlines the difficulty we often face when we set long-term fitness or health goals for ourselves — namely, in the short term, we tend to lose sight of those long-term commitments. He highly suggests writing down goals, to “provide direction and stimulate action,” and to “create energy and motivation.” Venuto insists on this, and his reasoning is simple: what we think about over and over again becomes reality. Or, in his words:
“If you know what to do but you can’t get yourself to do it, you’ve probably been giving negative or conflicting messages to your subconscious mind. Repeated behaviors produced by subconscious conditioning are more commonly referred to as habits. Fortunately you can reprogram your subconscious mind with positive instructions and become a creature of positive habit…”
If you think it, it will come.
Or, more accurately, if you repeatedly think positively about a lifestyle change, you will achieve that change.
Venuto wants us to connect with our goals emotionally, think about them positively, read them often and visualize them being achieved, and always frame them as present tense, positive (rather than future-tense, negative) behavior changes.
So instead of saying, “I won’t eat cookies tomorrow,” he’d rather we said, “I eat healthful foods that make my body perform and feel its best.”
I’ve been reading an awful lot about habits and behavior change lately, and Venuto’s ideas about goals and achieving them are right in line with everything else I have read. And this important goal-setting information comes wrapped in a highly useful package — a fitness and nutrition manual with information that will help make those goals reality.
Venuto’s book has a long history — it was originally written as an e-book in 2003, and Venuto himself is a well-respected voice in the fitness and nutrition industry. And tomorrow, December 10th, you can buy the book on Amazon for the first time!
This book has such a long history that, if you know anything about typical bodybuilding & fitness diets, the information in this book will seem very familiar to you — probably because most of the information out there in the industry stems from the ideas put forth in this book.
Venuto’s information, however, is highly applicable to just about anyone at any level — he offers hundreds of ways to make this lifestyle flexible and useful regardless of personal concerns or food limitations. He doesn’t make diet and food a question of following one singular plan; instead, he acknowledges that this will be different for everyone. Then he gives his readers the tools to customize his information to their own needs.
And that flexibility — plus Chapter 6 — is exactly why I feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone looking to get started on a fitness & nutrition change.
So to honor that recommendation, I am giving away my copy to one of you!
Just leave a blog comment telling me why you want to read the book, then make sure you click on the Rafflecopter widget to tell me you commented! Only comments that are also acknowledged through the widget will get a chance to win!
US residents only, please! And entries will close at midnight the night of December 16th.
Good luck — and good reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway