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Side Effects May Include...Leanness
Category: Happy Eating

There's an awesome article on the Precision Nutrition blog today: Side Effects May Include...Leanness. It talks about how getting and staying lean is a side effect of your lifestyle. Kind of like when I talk about "creating a new normal" versus going on a diet or starting a plan. I don't want to go on a diet. I want what I do every day, what's normal and enjoyable for me, to be what keeps me lean. My favorite quote in the article:

 "A 12 week diet/workout blitz will help you lose fat. But if the sole reason someone eats nutritious foods and exercises is to lose fat, what happens when there is no more fat to lose?"

I can answer that one. You regain everything, kick yourself for a while, and then look for a new/better/stricter plan to start. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Although there may be brief periods of control freak euphoria when you feel like you're "winning" the process of getting lean is never truly fun and so it never lasts long. There's always the urge to rebel, to go back to what makes you happy.
That's what I had to get past, especially coming off years of the Body for Life 12 week challenge mentality. I couldn't deal anymore with diets that I was on or off. Or plans that made me miserable for a number of weeks until the measurements were taken and the photos were snapped. You might look good for that one day, but then you immediately start backsliding because the methods you used to lean out quickly were so dreadful and unrealistic.
Now, I'm happily lean and getting leaner, but I'm doing it so slowly and pleasantly that I hardly notice. I'm talking 1 pound per month, and I expect that to eventually slow down and stop, at which point I'll just keep doing what I'm doing because the process itself makes me happy and makes me feel good. It's just what I do.
How has your track record been with diets? And especially transformation contests? Has anyone who's ever entered one of those before and after things with pictures easily maintained the "after photo" appearance? Has anyone done a contest and then rebounded horrifically? Has anyone vowed to never do a diet/contest/transformation again as long as they live? What are you doing differently now? Is your current lifestyle producing the results you want?
Lots to think about!         

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