Why un-learning is more important than learning
I spent four years at university, learning how to become the best teacher I could possibly be. I learned about how the brain works and learns best. I watched expert teachers do their thing. I read books, went to lectures, wrote papers and gained a lot of practical experience under the supervision of some amazing teachers along the way. I learned a hell of a lot in those four years. But I learned a whole lot more in my first two weeks as a qualified teacher.
The first time I stood in front of my own class, by myself, with a room full of kids relying on me and me alone to lead the way, I realised that no amount of studying and learning and practicing could’ve properly prepared me for this. I learned much more in that first two weeks as a teacher than I did in four years at university. I learned things couldn’t be found in books. I learned things that could only be learned by doing. When you’re in a classroom and a situation comes up that you’re not sure how best to handle, you just have to try something. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. No matter what happens, you keep what works and you leave what doesn’t. You tweak things, you change things, you adapt, you evolve. You repeat this process over and over until you feel like you belong in the classroom.
I wasted decades of my life looking for solutions to my weight problem. Consumed by the never ending search for that final piece of the puzzle that would make all my problems go away. I devoured nutrition and diet books, lectures and journal articles every day. I was certain that I just needed to keep filling gaps in my knowledge and the solution would reveal itself sooner or later.
I spent untold hours on learning, only to finally figure out that it was more important to un-learn.
I’d always known the basics of good health – eat fewer doughnuts and family sized cheesy pizzas, eat more veggies and fruits, stay hydrated and move more. But I couldn’t put this knowledge into action for any meaningful length of time because I was so confused by all the mixed messages and preconceived ideas that had been drilled into me by the diet industry over the course of my life.
Sure I learned a hell of a lot in the process of consuming all the health information I could find. But I learned much, MUCH more in my first two weeks of DOING. When I finally bit the bullet and just decided to give this crazy potato idea a go, that’s when I really started learning.
My experience taught me things I’d never seen written down before and never heard anyone say. My experience showed me that un-learning was perhaps more important than anything. All of the garbage that society had pushed on me about how to lose weight and get healthy, it all had to go.
I didn’t need more knowledge, recipes or meal plans. I needed to block out the noise and see through the stories that I’d come to accept as fact without even realising.
This remains at the heart of our whole approach. I’ve helped a lot of people un-learn stuff that seemed good to know but that was ultimately holding them back, just like me. I want to help you un-learn too.
Eat simply, live fully,
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