If you’re “blessed” to work with me you’ll hear a few expressions over and over.

(Kinda like your 90-something-year-old uncle who tells the same war stories every Thanksgiving despite never serving in the military—though he can sure build a cool replica German bunker out of mashed potatoes so props for that.)

One such expression from me is “everything is connected,” meaning if something happens in one zone of your life, it will affect the others.

Too much stress affects sleep and cravings, which affects training and food choices, which affects mood and body composition, which leads to… more stress.

Younger people can get away with compartmentalization. Think of the 19-year-old who drinks ’til 3 a.m. and sets a squat PR the next day.

But this ability declines with age. Not many 50-year-olds can make it happen at the gym the morning after making it rain at the strip club. Please don’t try to prove me wrong.

A similar expression I often say is “you can’t keep adding.” Usually it’s an exercise context (more exercise isn’t better) but also applies to stress.

Keeping adding stressors, both positive (new baby) and negative (new baby) and you’ll eventually reach a tipping point where you stop handling everything well, or worse.

But when it’s subtle and prolonged stress (like this damn lockdown) you may not even notice you’re underperforming and at your tipping point. Or you may not notice you’re already past it and slowly coming apart at the seams.

So you have to have a sense of self awareness, especially when you’re tempted to add a strict diet or demanding training program to the mix.

Is it REALLY a good time?

Is it wise to take this on right now?

How well are you performing everywhere else in your life?

Are you doing fine or already feeling a little frayed?

Do you crave being much leaner or in phenomenal shape?

Or do you just crave something positive in your life thats fully within your control?

Because in times of prolonged stress (like this never-ending lockdown) it can seem like nothing is under your control, and it’s therefore very tempting to latch onto something that is, like a strict diet.

Except… you only control the process.

You don’t control how your body will respond, which in times of stress can be a crapshoot.

So your quest for control is really just setting yourself up for even greater disappointment and rebounds.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can train and eat well and get through stress without falling for the control trap.

All it takes is self awareness and a commitment to treat yourself better.

– Coach Bryan