Pushing Your Vegetables Around The Plate…

When I was a kid, I hated vegetables. They were ALWAYS the last thing I ate. Salad consumed last. With lots of milk. I always ate the most enjoyable stuff first, while it was warm and yummy. If the veggies got in the way, I just pushed them around the plate – you know – to the edge – falling off on to the placemat.

But the problem was, Mom would never let me leave the dinner table until I ate the nasty things, so I was only making things worse for myself in the long run. Mom knew what was best for me and she wasn’t about to let me off the hook because she knew I’d suffer for it in the long run.

Today, I have usually between 1-2lbs of fruit and veggies a day. Veggies now get mixed in with the food (frozen spinach is awesome for this) and when my wife cooks dinner, I usually eat the veggies first. (Last night we had salmon and green beans sauteed in olive oil and they were gone before the salmon.)

Training is a lot like eating vegetables.

We usually only do the things we are good at or the things we like to do. All that other crap – you know, the stuff that’s actually good for you, that you body needs, gets pushed to the end of the workout or not done at all. This isn’t really a “problem” when you’re younger. But man, just like not eating your veggies for a long time and waking up fat with diabetes, you are going to run into some problems.

For the longest time, I hated ab work. Then I found an excuse not to do abs because “so-and-so” the “expert” said doing them is a waste of time. Ah, yes, the expert.

Here’s the deal.

Your “weak spots” – those are your vegetables.

You can ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, or use some “expert’s” opinion as justification for not addressing them.

But just like that fat guy, you’re going to pay for your short-sighted ignorance.

I know I have.

And it sucks.

It sucks to be in “the Game” for over 20 years and have to still learn this stuff the hard way.

Ultimately, we get to choose if and how many vegetables we eat. It’s funny to see myself become “that guy” – the guy who suddenly wakes up and starts caring more about his health than his performance. When you’re young, you think you’ll always be young. And you’ll always “perform.” But only if you eat your vegetables your entire life.

If you don’t, be prepared to go on a “vegetable fast” – because in order to perform again, you’re going to have detox and reload your system. The longer it’s been since you’ve done this, the longer the process is going to take.

Right now, my “vegetables” are regaining “core stability” (apparently it is a measurable quality and it does exist) and learning how to generate tension again. Yeah, weird I know, especially with all this talk about people worrying about generating “too much” tension. (That’s another post altogether…)

What are your “vegetables?”

15 comments… add one
  • Ron Jones Mar 17, 2010 @ 11:18

    Important comments! A lot of “fitness” people are not health people. As a fitness pro, we have an awesome opportunity to impact people with a positive message for the big picture–HEALTH! We’ve been getting into the sweet potato thing lately, so these are around a lot at our house. Of course, as a founding member of The Lean Berets, I must also favor the bright orange carrots!!!

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:07

      Ron – It’s amazing how we push out health in favor of fitness. I know I’ve done that in the past myself. It’s very similar to striking that balance between efficient movement and high performance – the two don’t necessarily go hand-in-glove.

      • robert Apr 24, 2010 @ 0:18

        How right you are. I could tell a story about a mentor of mine and his “nutritional” meeting with Reggie White. Needless to say Reggie didn’t listen. Health and fitness are 2 very different things.

  • PJ Mar 17, 2010 @ 15:17

    Great analogy. And I think one of my favorite quotes about food would also apply to exercise. “Just because you don’t eat it, doesn’t mean you don’t need it”.
    Hopefully that comment on proper tension will make its way into a post , as I would very much like to read that.
    Also I know you mentioned a while back that you were incorporating some forms of biofeedback into your training, and would like to hear about your experience with that too.

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:08

      Well said on the eating. Will post more about my experiences with the other stuff in a little while.

  • PJ Mar 17, 2010 @ 15:19

    almost forgot, congrats on making Master RKC

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:08


  • Gary Horn Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:59

    You wrote that “core stability is a measurable quality”. Could you elaborate? What is the measurement for core stability?

    • GEOFFN Mar 26, 2010 @ 23:23

      Hey Gary – I’m currently using the FMS as my standard.

  • Sarita Shoemaker Mar 18, 2010 @ 10:03

    Great writing – great point!

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:09

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sarita.

  • Russ Moon Mar 19, 2010 @ 15:06

    After my spinach…..

    Core stability – funny how what you focus on can rapidly improve, my abs no longer are the weak link during repetition snatches.

    Form – ETK goes with me nearly everywhere, I keep reading,re-reading, looking at the pictures and picking up smaller nuances.

    Geoff – after every TGU session, the next swing workout my shoulders suck in more, the bell is starting to take a better path (closer to the body for efficiency), helping refine the arc with the snatch because the anchor point at the shoulder moved inward (sucked in) therefore the arc became tighter.

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:10

      Focus – that missing ingredient in success! I like what you’re doing and where you’re heading Russ – Nothing but good stuff!

  • Don Jacobsen Mar 26, 2010 @ 21:35

    Hi Geoff:
    I was one of the weird kids, as I always was, who loved my veggies, spinach being my favorite and still is, however, I thought that all kettlebell work worked your core muscles no matter what you did because of the make up of the kettlebell. Am I wrong?

    • GEOFFN Mar 28, 2010 @ 14:11

      Don, Yes and no. It depends on the individual and their training history.

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