Part One: You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

I’ve shared my fitness journey, but my journey with food & nutrition is a little more complex. Here is part 1 of my journey, on when I developed healthier eating habits.

In my last post I shared that unflattering photos served as my motivation to change things up in my nutrition; this was Thanksgiving three years ago. I had fallen in love with the physical aspect of fitness, but what I ate needed work. When I looked at those photos it just was not what I thought I should be seeing based on the amount of time & energy I spent working out. So I made the decision to really hold myself accountable with my food choices. I wanted to see what my body was truly capable of if I fueled it properly. I had been wasting the hours spent in the gym by eating whatever I wanted.

For years I told myself I’d make a change in my eating habits, but I didn’t want to be restricted by meal planning, calorie counting, etc. I’d finally reached the point of agreement with “you can’t out train a bad diet” {sorry, it IS a true statement} and was ready to commit to change.

In February 2014 I discovered a 10 week program, and really liked what it presented. It didn’t advocate calorie counting, macro counting, meal tracking, excessive meal prepping, etc. It simply presented what foods to eat; encouraged you to eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full {not novel concepts, I know}. I didn’t need to follow a regimented schedule of eating at certain times, or every so many hours.

For those curious I’d compare the program to a version of Paleo. {I am not 100% educated on Paleo, but from what I do know it’s a fair comparison} Here is a snapshot of what was on the plan:

  • Meat (all forms, except fried)
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Fats (avocado, nuts, butter, olive oil, etc)
  • Dairy & Fruit (only within a 30 minute window following your workout)

What was not on the menu – breads, pasta, potatoes, grains, sugars {in a nut shell, refined carbs & starches}. There was an encouraged cheat day once a week (same day each week) to keep you motivated, feeling unrestricted, and your metabolism burning.

I had a lot of success following this program. I lost weight, my body composition changed, my clothes fit different. But the biggest benefit was a change in how I felt. Good nutrition energizes you. You are what you eat. If you want your body to function optimally, you need to fuel it properly. I learned the benefits of good nutrition, and not just for weight control.

It was easier to wake up early, I slept better, I had less headaches, I was more focused, my workouts became easier & more productive, my hair grew faster, and my skin complexion improved.

I gained a better understanding of nutrition, something I was lacking because I never took the time to invest in it. Foods I previously would not have viewed as ‘unhealthy’ really don’t serve purpose in our diets. I try to avoid viewing food as good vs. bad, so I go with the saying they don’t have as much nutritional value.

We all make food choices based on our goals, and the best part is we can change them at any point we decide we are ready. I am not advocating any one way of eating. This is just a part of my story, and what allowed me to get results. Healthy eating looks different for each individual; every body has a unique make up and not every body responds the same to the same patterns of eating.

So there is the backstory on my commitment to better nutrition. And while I started this journey with the best of intentions, I’ll share in part 2 the slippery slope of healthy eating.

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