The Six Random Pieces of Advice – Food, Gains & Life

I have been writing a post on productivity for awhile now, and can’t seem to complete that and my homework all at the same time… multitasking schoolwork is not my strong point. So, today, I started rambling on in my post on productivity and came up with this. It didn’t go a long with my point of focus for my future post, so I figured it deserves it’s own.

The Six Random Pieces of Advice from a 21-Year-Old Crossfit Chick

1. The better you eat, the better you’ll feel. How many times have you crushed that pizza and felt like absolute shit after it? And how many times have you felt like shit after eating a salad? Okay, so you all know how I feel about salad, but it is a good reference to a healthy combination of food. A healthy salad, stuffed with vegetables and chicken, can do no harm. A pizza, with sausage & pepperoni & bacon & yes, vegetables, will still send you right into hibernation stage. A nap will most likely occur. Your homework will be put off, and so will your workout. One dominos pizza & cheesy bread later and all of a sudden my life sucks, im so fat, I wish I didn’t do that, I have no friends, pizza is my boyfriend/girlfriend. And those are just some of the negative thoughts caused by overeating or binging on greasy food. Don’t act like you’ve never experienced that. Food makes you happy for a moment, then all of a sudden it plants you at the bottom of a black hole, that you eventually crave a few days later. Some people ask how I’m so “stable” all the time. I laugh because if they were in my head they’d realize I don’t always “have it all together”. But I do pride myself on my positivity, motivation & stable thoughts. I can thank food for that. No, not dominos. Chicken, beef, vegetables, fruits & other healthy carbs. Thank you for making me feel the best I can every day.
2. Fuel your body to fuel your workouts. Over the summer I experienced a serious change in my diet. Not only was I gluten & dairy free, but I learned to eat the right foods to fuel my workouts and inevitably make “gains”. Before I started to eat for performance, I typically ate around 1,500-1,800 calories a day. I tried to keep my caloric intake towards the lower end of that spectrum, and never even thought twice about upping my calories. The second I told one of my Crossfit trainers how much I typically ate, he responded with, “That’s rabbit food”. Over the summer I was eating 2400-2600 calories on high activity days, and about 2000 on low activity days. I didn’t gain a pound of fat, which went down 2%. Keep in mind, I wasn’t exactly eating for weightloss. I was eating to build muscle, which will lead to fat loss. Every meal had large servings of protein, veggies, and a healthy fat or carb. On heavy deadlift or squat days, I ate more carbs and red meat post wod. I brought a container or 4 oz ground turkey meat and 4 oz sweet potato to eat DIRECTLY after my workout. I used to love my pre-workout carbs. Banana’s with peanut butter on a piece of toast was my go-to. I started concentrating on eating almost no carbs before my workouts. My trainer explained to me that if you load yourself with carbs, the only thing your body will burn during your workouts is those carbs. By not eating carbs before a workout, your body becomes more efficient in burning fat throughout and after your workout. My pre-workout meal would typically be chicken/beef & avocado. I stopped eating nut butter and lara bars. With all the food I was eating, I was constantly energized. I never had headaches, I could make it through the day without a nap, and the groggy feeling during wods was very rare.
3. Making gains is not a bad thing, ladies. It’s kinda fun for me to say “make gains” because typically you use the word gain by saying “I don’t want to gain weight”. I had to put that statement out of my head, because I sure as hell did gain “weight” this summer, or muscle mass. My muscles grew, which inevitably replaced fat with muscle. Muscles appeared that I didn’t even knew existed. Yes, my back broadened, and my thighs became large and in charge, in the healthiest most satisfying way possible. I formed a great starting point for myself and my body. I was focusing strictly on strength, and I saw some serious improvements in that as well as performance. I’m currently focusing on endurance. Maintaining my strength while adding some cardio back in. I do not have a naturally lean, athletic build. Therefore; the cardio is helping to shape me. And no, I’m still not looking at the scale. What girls need to do is stop looking at the scale. Start measuring, start eating productively, and thinking positively. You don’t have to give up the sacred elliptical all together, if it’s what you like, continue to use it. Just add some weights in there. The more muscle you have, the more fat you lose, how much clearer does it have to be? Once I lose fat, replace it with muscle, I will become a better crossfitter instead of just being “really strong”…
4. Don’t be afraid of being powerful. …Which is what girls are typically afraid of…being strong. Yeah, it’s fun to be cutesy and flirtatious and innocent but who says you can’t be girly and be strong as F$%#. Do you know how empowering it is, as a women, to be able to lift really heavy shit and throw it back down? That satisfying & strong scream from the bottom to the top of your squat is enough adrenaline to last you the week, and the look on guys faces when they see you whipping out pull up after pull up? (Pull Ups…I’ve yet to perfect you, so maybe I’ll experience this one day). The more powerful state the body is in, the more powerful the mind is. That’s what gets girls in trouble, their mind. We are CRAZY. Girls are crazy, and we can thank our wandering minds for that. Let your body overpower your mind, and you will see results.
5. Listen to your trainers. There are so many times when I get to the gym and I just want to “take it easy”. I lower my weight on the barbell, and my mind is typically wandering elsewhere. Everybody has those days, but a good trainer knows the difference between needing a rest day and being lazy. I am so guilty of this. There have been many times that I’ve either underestimated myself or was feeling lazy and put less weight on my bar. After reflecting on these times, it’s a very good feeling when your trainer comes over and either tells you to put more weight on, or puts it on themselves. It feels good because it’s a sign that they see your potential and they know you can do better even if you don’t believe so. This is one out of a million ways that every trainer has inspired me. Make your trainers your best friend, tell them your worries and doubts because they will help you overcome them. Tell them your goals because they will be on your ass about completing them. In the end, there is only so much that the trainers can do. You have to be as dedicated to bettering yourself as they are to helping you.
6. Relax. This is advice that took me a long time to take. Don’t stress that you didn’t have time to get a workout in, if it’s actually a priority, you’ll make sure to get it in tomorrow. Don’t stress that you ate something a little unhealthy one night with your friends. You know how to eat healthy, you’re just living. Live in the moment. If you sit in your house and wait for results they won’t happen. The more you stress about losing weight, the less likely you’ll be able to lose weight. Don’t even think about losing weight…think about your workouts and your goals and the weight will come off naturally. Relax and take it day by day. Know when to say no to a cookie, and know when to let yourself eat something you typically don’t eat. Go out with friends and find adventure. It burns way more calories than sitting on the couch waiting for your next meal. And lastly, surround yourself with people that believe in your goals, not people that will roll their eyes at the sound of your drive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zvqNHDTf8Y <– Watch this.

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