[/caption] Summer is officially here, and we’re already three weeks into the Functional Fitness 204 Nutrition Challenge. Participation has been outstanding! Everyone has been tracking intake diligently, and for those of you who have been sticking to the plan, the results are already evident. Performance has improved, and changes are happening with body composition. More importantly, we are all starting to recognize what an impact our food choices have on our mood, our energy levels and our WODS. We didn’t just sign up for a six-week challenge. We signed up for a lifestyle education that will forever impact how we look at nutrition. Success doesn’t come without hardships. I can tell you personally I have had some less-than-stellar days. I’ve known for a while that stress is the sugar trigger for me. But in recognizing that fact, I’ve developed a mechanism for overcoming the desire to stuff my face full of ju-jubes. Why do I want sugar right now? What is bothering me? I don’t particularly like the way candy sticks to my teeth or the feeling of gut rot I have when I eat it. Having a scheduled treat is one thing, but regularly blowing your nutrition goals up because you’re stressed, or because you “earned” it, is another thing altogether. Giving in does nothing to help your stress; in fact it causes insulin imbalances which make you feel worse, and what have you earned exactly? Are you a pet? Do you need treats to reinforce good behaviour? Should someone scratch your head, too? These are all things to consider the next time you want to just chow down. When I posted my goals I promised myself I would cut cheese, drink less wine (what was I thinking?), pay attention to my protein intake and concentrate on performance nutrition. I also promised to finish reading my book. I have for the most part, stuck to my goals. A couple of days got away from me, where I know I didn’t eat enough, I chowed down on Mini-Eggs one day (excused myself because of a stressful life situation), I and mistimed some of my pre-WOD meals because I didn’t plan ahead. This was truthfully all my bad behaviour. In terms of what I have accomplished, there have been some significant achievements. Cheese has vanished from my diet as though it was never there. I finished my book, Advanced Sports Nutrition, and as a result I’ve made improvements with timed nutrition for performance. The sweet potato has become a staple, and overall more favourable carbohydrates have crept into my diet. I had forgotten the importance of this staple in an athlete’s diet. I realized that my protein intake was essentially bang on even before I started measuring. And I have tried some fantastic sports beverages. My favorites have been the pre-workout drink from Vega, as well as a drink from Thrive introduced to me by one of our members (thanks, Kim!). I’m sticking to my plan, and as a result, I am benefiting. I feel like my performance is steadily improving. I have more gas and I’m pushing through WODS where before I might have stopped. My workout volume is increasing, but not to my detriment. I can handle it. I have the nutrition in place to back me up. Going forward, remember this: your weekly intake log is not a confession. Just because you write it down and allow us to read it doesn’t mean you’re absolved of all the bad choices you made. Those decisions stick with you—literally. Re-visit your goals. This challenge is six weeks long, but we’re setting up behaviour for the rest of our lives! Don’t give up because you had a bad day, or a bad week. Move on and be better. Do some research, read some nutrition books, educate yourself fine-tune your eating for your unique body. This is just like a WOD. Fight through it! Develop strength of character that will help you live well for the rest of your life. For those of you interested in reading my intake for the last couple of weeks, I will have a spread-sheet available at the gym, or e-mail me and I will send it to you. Three more weeks until we hammer Bigger than Baseline again. Let’s go hard and beat our old scores! –Crystal
How are we using the gym to prepare for the sport of biathlon? Check out two different training programs used by two novice biathletes.