I recently spoke with a colleague I've known for several years. He was there when my career turned to web design. He's a fellow veteran, a former American Forces Network journalist, and an outstanding resource when it comes to media and copywriting. He's been following the blog pretty much from the start. Needless to say, I respect his opinion.
I asked him for feedback about the blog. His response: our writing is "a little complicated".
I stewed on that for a while. It took me a little by surprise. Our whole mission has been to help people like us - people with no nutritional or medical background - to see that taking control of your health is really very simple. That the pop fitness industry depends on the idea that it's too complicated for you to do on your own.
But, ask a silly question.... I have seen more businesses go down simply because they didn't accept one fundamental truth: "The customer is always right." So - I'm determined to roll up my sleeves and dig back in again, with the core message back to where we started. The secret is: there is no secret.
Three things are all you need.
Our first trainer, Nick, gave us the best advice in our first week with him: "Protein and vegetables, protein and vegetables, protein and vegetables." Even after all we've learned about nutrition, metabolism, and training, this holds true. Whether you follow Paleo, low carb, keto, gluten-free, or even low-cal, "protein and veg" fits your plan. The fact is, most people would find it difficult to overeat on a menu that featured protein and vegetables as the "star" of the show.
Don't exercise; train. When you hit the gym (or your basement, or wherever you get your sweat on), ditch the idea that putting in the time will get you the results you want. Progress every day. Whether that means faster, longer, or heavier, you need to push yourself to get better. Having a goal helps, but progress is what really matters.
Rest and recover. We don't sleep enough. Period. This keeps your body playing "catch-up" day after day, week after week, year after year. Sleeping and down time are every bit as important to your health as diet and exercise.
That's it: Eat, Lift, Sleep, Repeat. The last 49 posts and a host of resources out there will explain why and how it works. But, at the end of the day, all that really matters is that it works.
So, what's next?
As we wrap up our year together, it's normal to take a look at how far we've come and where we are going. Fifty posts encompasses a lot of information. Did we hit the mark? Did you find what you need? Or are there more questions - more specific individual needs - that we can shed light on to help you become the best you can be?
Only you can answer that. After all, the customer is always right.
Starting now and through 2014, 40SomethingFitness will become a "dia-blog", where you, our readers shape the conversation. Whether you want individualized help or advice, or need a topic broken down into plain English, you set the tone. Tell us what you need. Start with the comments section on this post, or contact us directly on Google+, Facebook, or Fitocracy. We'll do what we can to respond to every question.
We're also going to add more media this year. Video blogs on YouTube will give us the chance to mix some "short and sweet" topics with the more technical stuff that might be better as a written article.
So, as we sign off, please accept our thanks for your support this year; it has been humbling. And also accept our very best wishes for your success in the coming year. We look forward to an exciting 2014 right here with you.