“In 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, which would put the plane 28 miles east of where the pilots assumed it was going to be.

    Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano Mount Erebus.

    The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano, killing everyone on board.

    An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

    Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

    (Benjamin P. Hardy, If You’re Too Busy for These 5 Things, Your Life Is More Off Course Than You Think, Inc.com)

    This week in our Nutrition Challenge participants are learning about tracking macronutrients. You may have heard the term “macros” flying around the fitness space over the last few years- or, it could be something completely new to you.

    “Macros” is just a short form for macronutrients- which are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Based on our goals and current body composition, there are ranges of ideal macronutrient balance that will work best. An example of 40-30-30 would be that 40% of calories are coming from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, 30% from fats.

    We don’t particularly like the word “diet”. It’s got so many connotations that come along with it. Many of you have probably had a bad experience with a “diet”. Others will be turned off the idea of having to change the way your eating entirely, or enter a super restrictive mode- but that’s not that case at all.

    Even the name we use with our nutrition coaching program was carefully thought out; “Feed Your Lifestyle”.

    We want you to be mindful of your nutrition, of course- but more in a way that supports your goals and fits with your lifestyle.

    Too often, when we think about fitness and nutrition, we take on an “all or nothing” approach. This rarely works, nor is it meant to be a long term approach. Think of an elite level athlete doing what they need to do to reach the pinnacle of their sport. This is where that approach can work well.

    Note: Athletes also have dedicated in season and out of season times where they back off and ramp up.

    Back to our example.

    You my friend, are the airplane.

    Each flight represents your nutrition. Using the myfitnesspal app is checking all your gear and gauges and make sure you understand the equipment. You need to do it before each flight- but in our case let’s say “flights” can be periods of weeks or months at a time.  Once in flight, you monitor the controls but you don’t obsess. There are other things to do after all. You must work with the crew (family time) and of course give the passengers updates and keep them happy (friends & social life). Every now and again you peek at the controls and adjust course as needed. We will hit turbulence now and again- that’s inevitable. Correcting the path is easy enough though.

    You can’t ignore the controls. You can wing it (airplane pun…) but without proper information and understanding you’re in for a bumpy ride, perhaps worse.

    Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

    An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

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