The pictures above are a demonstration of nutrient planning, preparation, hard work, sacrifices, and dedication.
The picture on the left is me On June 29th. I weighed in at 136.6 Lbs
Lean Lbs (muscle weight) of 113.15
Fat weight = 23.45'
Body fat % was 17.2
(All courtesy of a water displacement test by Body Fat Test Business)
You basically get in a tub of water, exhale all your air, then slowly lay down in the water. The machine calculates your body fat and lean muscle.
What's pretty crazy is, when you do the math, I only lost 2 lbs. In a society that's obsessed with diet's and numbers, 2 lbs isn't a cause for celebration. However, my clothes are loose and I've noticed a HUGE difference. I don't care about the number. The numbers I do care about apply to my running. This summer running season has been my BEST ever. I've set personal records at every race and have won 2 overall titles! THOSE are the numbers I love and care about.
JULY 1ST-THE BEGINNING
My goal was to lose as much body fat (while retaining as much muscle as I can) to get down to "race weight". I had been working out a lot and I still had not seen much result. That's when I was introduced to a company called Renaissance Periodization . A company that dedicated to helping people with their "scientific approach to nutrition and training."
ENTER RENAISSANCE PERIODIZATION:
I entered in my goals and received a personal designed template to follow for my nutrition. Everyday was different depending on what time of the day I would workout as well as how hard I would work out. I used my fitbit to gauge the intensity. My running also factored into the intensity as well. The template REALLY focuses on proper fueling before the workout, after, and for the rest of the day. It doesn't tell you exactly what to eat for every meal but more so what amount of each macro nutrient (Protein, carbs, and fat, as well as veggies) you need to eat for each meal. The nutrients are listed in grams and ounces aka you must measure your food. It sounds annoying but really takes 5 seconds per item.
If you look at the template you can see I'M EATING. On days I burn more than 900 calories with my workout (anything over 9 miles, every weekend during marathon training) I came home and got to eat 3oz of protein, 90 grams of CARBS, 2 handfuls of vegetables and depending on what stage I am in my cutting, sometimes 15 grams of fat (equivalent to 2 table spoons of almond butter). That's like chicken, 1 cup of rice, an apple, a banana, sliced cucumber, carrots, almond butter, AND a protein shake within an hour time frame of finishing a run...That's HUGE...so for those that thing I'm starving myself... nope..and guess what, If i wanted something sweet, I ate a Milano cookie (my go to sweet) If I was craving candy, I would sneak a few gummy bears. It wasn't an every day occurrence but I didn't limit myself to no sweets at all. This wasn't a diet, but a lifestyle of understanding whole food and the quality of eating food that will fuel me and help my body body recover.
MAKING IT A ROUTINE
At first following the templates seemed like a really intense process. In a week or two it became a routine. In the mornings before work I would plan my day (when do I work? is today a Crossfit day? am I running today?..How hard? when am I working out? or is today a rest day?). I would find the appropriate intensity page, (Non, Light, Moderate, and hard, defined by their program) then look for the time of day I would be working out. Ok, I'm working out at 5:30pm which leaves me one more meal before I go to bed. I would pick out the appropriate food, weigh and measure it out, pack it up , then leave for work. It usually takes 30-45 minutes but then I don't have to think about my meals for the rest of the day. No standing in front of the fridge "um..what sounds good" . It's ready and done. I feel good about what I've planned and it's one less decision I have to make 3 times a day.
The picture on the left was the beginning of my Paleo Challenge, started by my Crossfit Gym. I considered myself healthy, why not try to eat better.
I did, lost some fat, but gained some of it back when I finished my marathon in May. I took a few weeks off and ate poorly.
The middle was June 29th, a base picture to base my growth at the end of the 12 weeks.
The right picture is today.
This process has really sparked a HUGE passion in general nutrition. I love learning how each nutrient affects and nourishes the body. It's amazing how much we think we know and how little we really do! Leaning about nutrition really helps us listen more to our body and how we respond to certain types of food. Food is not entertainment, it's fuel, energy, and nourishment. When we listen to our body, not our cravings, we can give it what it needs to grow bones, develop healthy cells and fight off diseases. When given proper nourishment our bodies create a balance within a system (mind, muscles, personality, organs, etc etc ) that function together instead of continually fighting. Together, they can achieve great things!
I'm passionate about running, fitness, nutrition and all things that make me and everyone else a better version of ourselves.