OFM Mental Roadmap
Curiosity: You may have heard about OFM the concept of “fat as fuel” for performance and health makes sense even if it counters conventional wisdom.
Information: Precisely because OFM runs counter to convention it is crucial you gather information and understand the basics so there is no doubt this approach not only make sense but is right for you. When you separate yourself from the herd you need to be armed and dangerous because people will want to take you down, especially concerned “loved” ones. You need answers to not only quell their doubts but mostly to flush out and kill off any lingering ones tucked deep away in your psyche.
Assessment: Once you have gathered information it’s time to assess where you are metabolically along with your environment, lifestyle and sport you are doing. You may want to fill out the OFM Questionnaire, get some blood work, or hire a personal OFM coach to help with assessment. Most of all you have to be willing to step outside yourself and your belief systems yet again to objectively assess where you, where you want to go and how to get there in a realistic, objective way. Assessment then becomes a subconscious part of the OFM journey.
Decision: This is key for the mental game and key to following through on action particularly when one is going against conventional wisdom/methods. Making the decision to embrace the OFM journey is a big step because it is a life-transforming journey. It is stepping out of not only your comfort zone but stepping away from the herd mentality and becoming an individual. Such conscious decision means you are taking responsibility, committing and recognizing this is your journey, not a quick fix.
Action: For long term success and follow through Information?Assessment?Decision are necessary to lead action. Action alone is reaction. Set the things in motion you need to get your OFM journey on its way.
Reset: This is the period of severe carbohydrate restriction to make the physiological shift back to fat as fuel for most of your aerobic activity, including higher intensity. This may take as little as a few days to 3 weeks. OFM’s Hard Reset plan is the roadmap for getting you fat-adapted.
Transition: The Hard Reset is just the first step in shifting the physiology to a fat-based energy source. Once this occurs there is a period of approximately 4-8 weeks of “upregulation” of the hormones and enzymes necessary to optimize fat metabolism. Some limited “strategic” use of carbohydrates are introduced during this period. This means you can now begin to train up from your base but using an approach which increases your fat burning capability as you train up. Patience and diligence are key to seeing this phase through to the first level of OFM.
Individualization: After the Hard Reset and throughout your OFM journey you will be individualizing OFM to meet your specific genetics, athletic goals, environmental conditions and lifestyle. This is a highly dynamic process so understand there is no end point but a state of constant discovery, experimentation, and learning.
Awareness: Understanding the true meaning of awareness is critical to success in any endeavor. For most serious athletes this is not as simple as it seems on its face value because of the subtle and nuanced differences between being simply “aware” rather than OCD, overthinking, anal etc. …..all of which are easily mistaken as awareness. These states go beyond awareness and their thoughts become distractions. Awareness allows one to remain focused on the task at hand yet cognizant of other factors which influence the task at hand.
Transformation: After the initial physiological changes of the Hard Reset followed by the transition you are now on a journey of transformation. As both your physiology and lifestyle become more adapted to OFM everything about this approach becomes simpler and more sustainable. The longer you are in it the simpler it becomes. Most changes will be minute and unnoticed because when you burn fat as fuel at higher metabolic levels perceived effort is less so you don’t think you are actually going as fast or putting out the wattage even though you are faster, stronger, performing better. You will also make conscious changes in what you eat, how you eat and when you eat and over time this will transform your dietary patterns. You will learn to Intermittent Fast with ease. Mentally you will be more focused and emotionally stable. You will easily be able to adapt to situations and changes in environment and easily find ways to maintain yourself in an OFM state. You will be in control of your journey amidst the chaos of modern life.
OFM:When the OFM athlete integrates these 10 mental elements into their OFM Program they achieve a certain level of “OFM Zen” or “The Zen of OFM”. Athletes who achieve this state intuitively and instinctively know what to do (how to eat, what to eat and when, how to train, when and how to recover) and achieve a balance in their lives which allows them to face the challenges in their sport, profession and personal lives with focus, quiet confidence and resolve. As any athlete knows performance is as much mental as physical and, at times, more so.
This is possible through the fundamental physiological shift VESPA and fat-adaptation / keto-adaptation provide the brain. The mental focus and clarity of thought are some of the benefits most athletes comment on when they first begin using VESPA and as they adapt more and more to “fat as fuel”. This consistently heightened level of mental clarity only improves over time.
The fat-adapted physiology of the OFM athlete is such that a large reserve of aerobic capacity primed to burn fat actually allows a large range of tolerance for occasional less than optimal dietary choices and/or availability. Largely due to the sharply reduced inflammation, OFM athletes develop the sensitivity to recognize the impacts of poor diet, overtraining, chronic or acute stress, or a lack of rest/recovery.
While arriving at “The Zen of OFM” is the pinnacle of the OFM program it is “The Awakening” or “The Beginning” for the athlete into a new realm of overall fitness, performance and health.