I remember one evening from my childhood, my nan and grandad were babysitting and we’d stayed up late to watch a Disney film (I want to say the Little Mermaid) and after the film the news came on. The coverage was about the Gulf War.
I’d guess that meant this was around 1990 so I would have been around eight. Eight year old me watched the news about this war (with a limited concept of what war meant that was basically confined to the two World Wars) and imagined bombs would soon start falling just like the Blitz. What I vividly remember confusing me most however was what golf balls would have to do with a war.
This is what happens when you watch or listen to things where your understanding is limited and you put two and two together coming up with twelve.
It’s an extreme example, but in reality how many little misunderstandings over the years have crept into your brain and now exist, as ‘facts’ when they are actually not true at all.
Carbs are bad for you, eating carbs after 6pm will make you put on weight, fat is bad for you, lifting weights will make you bulky.
You think you understand how to eat and train to reach your goals, and on the whole you probably do, but perhaps there’s something in your head that you’ve just misunderstood, something that you are doing which you think is helping but is actually hindering your progress.
Often when having a chat with clients about their diet and setting some goals to work towards, the client will go away and make those changes but weeks later still be clinging onto an idea of something else they also should or shouldn’t be doing, largely because it has a mythical ‘fact’ status in their mind.
So perhaps they’ll have worked all week on hitting a calorie deficit and eating a certain amount of protein (agreed goals), but then even though they’ve done this be upset with themsleves because they don’t feel their macro split is exactly right (idea stuck in the head that precise macro splits are vitally important and not hitting that split means all the calorie deficit wins are pointless).
It takes time and effort to retrain yourself to not revert back to the misconceptions you have lived with for many years, but if you think about it my ridiculous misunderstanding of the word Gulf and Golf is no more ridiculous than some of the ideas we have developed over the years about how we should eat and move.