The Black Mock Turtleneck of Health and Wellness

We are all very familiar with the iconic image of Steve Jobs, stoic in a black mock turtleneck, in front of a white background or delivering a speech on the new technology to be delivered by Apple in the coming months. I’m usually not one to point to the most successful people in the world and say, “Look at them! Do what they do! It’s easy!” It’s not easy. They aren’t like me or you. They’re wired differently. You and I can’t be Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Steve Jobs. Hate to bust your bubble. It’s not happening. But, I really wanted the analogy of that black mock turtleneck so I’m breaking my own little rule. I guess I could’ve gone more Maria Kondo, of ‘Tidying Up’ fame. Or maybe you caught wind of the ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things’. Those are more normal folks who didn’t completely revolutionize the world we live in and are more relatable. Regardless of whether you want to use the mock turtleneck, cleaning up your living area, or downsizing your life as the analogy…our nutrition and fitness programming could take a queue from Steve Jobs’ wardrobe choices (or lack thereof). Set it and forget it! 

You guys know that I lost 85 lbs over 7 years ago and have kept it off. I have clients who have lost 50 and 100 lbs and are, just as importantly, maintaining these new weights. Ask them what has allowed that type of success and they always point back to the basics. The ones that have success find what works for them and then just stick to it. They set it and forget it! 

Our days, more or less, look relatively the same. We have found our black mock turtlenecks. No, our programs don’t all look identical. We don’t all enjoy the same types of foods, workouts, have the same types of jobs, or sleep patterns. Some of us travel. We all have slightly different programs. I’m not arguing to turn yourself into a robot that looks like me or them. I’m urging you to find what works for you and then stick with it. These folks wake up at the same time, start out their days the same way, eat more or less the same foods for 2 out of their 3-4 meals a day, and have some type of bedtime routine. Every one of their programs looks slightly differently than the next, but they are consistent with themselves. 

Are they perfect…absolutely not. Do they have some meals that fall apart on them, trips where they get a little off-track, nights they don’t sleep, or days they can’t find time or don’t make time to workout? You’re damn right! This is life, after all. But, more or less, they have consistency in their days, weeks, and months. 

Here’s my day, roughly every day. 

My days usually start off with 30g of Protein from Premier Protein within 30 minutes of waking. You can get it at Costco. 

We get the boys off to school in the morning and then take a 3-5 mile walk. I follow that up with a bowl of oatmeal with vegan protein, hemp and chia seeds for fat, and blueberries for their health properties. It’s about 600 calories. I then sit down and hammer out some work before going for a midday workout. Sidenote: I used to be an early morning guy, but found I kept getting hurt, as I would get overzealous before my body was awake. The mid-day workout lets me find a little more vigor for the backend of the day. After that workout, I have a green smoothie, with spinach, a frozen banana, maybe another cup of frozen fruit, some vegan protein (No, I’m not a vegan), half an avocado, and lots of water. Again, it’s about 500-600 calories.

At dinner, we throw out a salad, roasted or steamed veggies, pickled or fermented veggies, some lean protein (usually some type of animal protein), and a whole grain, or other carbohydrate on the side, along with condiments to spice it up and make what some may consider boring food, a little more palatable. 

There aren’t too many decisions to be made on a normal day. Let’s go through the list of decisions I have to make..

In the AM…What flavor protein am I going to drink upon waking, chocolate or vanilla?

For breakfast…What flavor protein am I going to add to my oatmeal?

For lunch…What flavor protein am I going to add to my smoothie?

And Do I want frozen cherries, a tropical fruit blend or a berry blend in my smoothie?

For dinner…Which type of protein are we going to have?

What veggies are available to roast?

What type of carbohydrate sounds good today? 

We have a variety of frozen meats in our freezer. We buy whatever fresh veggies look good at the store (usually Costco) at the beginning of the week. We have an abundance of different types of carbs to choose from to add to a meal, whether they are wraps, noodles, grains, or whatever. They’re all the same for all I care. 

With workouts, that walk happens every day. The decision is…do I have time to walk 5 miles. Or will we stick with the 3.3 mile route? 

Am I going to have a cardio day at lunchtime or lift some weights? I switch them every other day. And it doesn’t have to be an elaborate workout to be effective. Just move, sweat, and get out of breath. Don’t think that the most basic workout won’t get you results. It certainly will if you hammer the basics. The results come from the effort, not the variety. 

And remember…your weight loss goals are more about what you don’t eat, rather than what you do physically (although it certainly matters for health). 

One of my coaches, Norv Turner, had a saying that I whole-heartedly believe. 

The best thing is you don't get bored with the basics! 

The best have figured out what they need to allow success and then stick with the fundamentals on a consistent basis over a long period of time. I know it’s not sexy. It’s probably a terrible sales tactic. But, it’s the truth. Consistency, predictability, and even a little monotony prevail in the long-run! 

Find what works for you and then work it!

If you want some help, I’m here for you. Hit me up in the DM’s of Instagram @nickhardwick or sign up for my Lose Like a Lineman program for $25 and gain access to me at any time through our Facebook Support Group!