For 48 years of my life, I was in love with oats, bread, pasta, rice, fruit, and all that ‘healthy’ food that I was led to believe was great for me; it would keep me fit and lean and provide me with sufficient energy for the day.
I was deeply in love and I would get anxious whenever we were apart. When I traveled overseas for business meetings, I would be desperate to keep my love as close as possible. I would often take pastries and muffins from the buffet at the hotel and carry them in my bag to work so I could maintain my energy levels throughout those long days.
However, I was putting on weight no matter how many hours I spent trying to lose it, and I was ALWAYS starving. I started to think this love affair wasn’t giving me what I wanted and that a change was in order.
The next step I took was to engage a ‘marriage counselor’. She begged me to continue and told me I was on the right path – I just needed to adjust my expectations a little, and as I was getting older, the love affair would hopefully diminish.
The ‘marriage counselor’ was, of course, a highly qualified dietitian. I was paying her $200 a session to keep me in love, FAT, and UNHEALTHY.
Here I am in 2011 when I was in love with oats, bread, pasta, and all those ‘health’ foods. I even carried my Endura Carbs-filled drink with me around a 42.2 km race. I was close to 75 kg and not feeling full of energy.
I was sucked in by experts trying to save me from a messy divorce; by the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) who told me my brain would stop working if I didn’t have enough carbs on board, by running experts, by fitness industry experts – the list goes on. I was convinced I needed to stay in this toxic relationship or there would be no way I would be able to run a marathon without bonking about 3 hours into the race.
Bonking describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy. It’s what endurance athletes are talking about when they use the term ‘hitting the wall’.
One of those experts happened to be Professor Tim Noakes. Professor Noakes wrote the world-famous “The Lore of Running”, a runner’s bible, and as a running expert, he was adamant that you needed to fuel on carbs.
He was afflicted by the same love affair as me, but when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he divorced for good and disregarded the nutrition chapter of “The Lore of Running” completely. He came out with this:
“If you’ve got The Lore of Running, tear out the section on nutrition.”
So, after many years of running for hours but not losing weight, being happily married to ‘health’ foods but not getting healthier, and wasting a lot of money on expert advice that didn’t change anything, I decided I was following what I like to call the Conventional Stupidity approach and it just wasn’t right.
I’ve always admired Tim Noakes for his expertise, and now even more so. It takes a certain kind of person to put their hands up and say they got it wrong on a topic they’ve been promoting for years.
It’s a pity that the ‘experts’ have not done the same. You can thank them all for keeping you unhealthy. I had the pleasure of having lunch with Tim recently when I was in South Africa speaking at the initial Nutrition Network Training session.
With Professor Noakes leading the way, I was ready for this unhealthy relationship to end, especially after discovering that my true love was having an affair with processed food companies, the fitness industry, sports drink companies, and the supplement industry.
The divorce papers were filed and I made a clean break. No affairs on the side or running back to my old ways. We split, and I said goodbye and fell out of love immediately.
*Note that I also took much advice from other amazing people such as Dr. Stephen Phinney, Prof. Grant Schofield, Peter Defty, Ken Sikaris, and Dr. Jeff Volek.
The moment I made that decision, I found my new love, and it has been a tremendous marriage since day one. It’s a relationship that’s rock-solid – almost as solid as my new-found physicality, endurance, and health. Read more here about exercising less and still losing weight.
My weight loss was easy, fast, and totally sustainable. It became clear just how trapped I’d been. Maybe it’s the polypeptides that addict us to processed foods and grains that make it so hard to take that first step. My old love had me in a trance that was hard to break free from, but once I did, I never looked back.
Here I am in December 2016 finishing a 70.3 Ironman in 5 hours, 3 minutes. I’m 64 kg with no inflammation, running close to 15 minutes faster in a marathon than in the photo at the top of the blog in 2011. The best thing of all: my brain has not stopped working and I am still full of energy.
Plus, at the end of the 2017 endurance running season, I was ranked 10th in the 50-54 age group in the Ironman All World Athlete rankings for Australia in the 70.3 Ironman category (this is the top 5% of my age group). I had clearly made the right decision.
There are many highly successful athletes who have shifted away from Conventional Stupidity, and there’s no telling how much they can achieve now they have the fuel their bodies need to excel. Are you ready to sign the papers?
If you’re in love with porridge, bread, cereal, and processed foods, if you’re constantly exercising but not losing weight, or if you’re spending money on advice that doesn’t seem to be working, then it’s time to get a divorce!
It’s time to get rid of those love handles and get lean. It’s time to find a new, healthy relationship – a relationship that will keep you happy forever and satisfied all day and all night. I can be your matchmaker and help you find TRUE love.
If you’re ready, so am I.
I’m cheaper than a lawyer BUT I am not here to argue with you. I have no interest in trying to convince you that a divorce is the right decision, so please only get in contact if you’re ready to sign the papers and say goodbye to a toxic relationship!
If you’re ready, drop me an email at [email protected]
Andre Obradovic is an ICF Leadership PPC Level Coach, A Primal Health Coach, a Certified Low Carb Healthy Fat Coach, & a Certified Personal Trainer. Andre is also a Founding member of the Dr. Phil Maffetone MAF certified Coach. He is an Ambassador for the Noakes Foundation, and a regular subject matter expert lecturer for the Nutrition Network (a part of the Noakes Foundation) Andre has completed 16 x 70.3 Ironmans and in 2017 he competed in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships. He has completed 18 Marathons and over 30 Half Marathons. Andre currently focuses his athletic competition on Track and Field with the occasional Marathon.