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Wendy’s Story – CrossFit Lobo Nutrition Challenge (3/2/15 – 5/23/15)

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Jun

Wendy’s Story – CrossFit Lobo Nutrition Challenge (3/2/15 – 5/23/15)

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The Nutrition Challenge for past 12 weeks has been an absolutely wonderful experience.
 
I was hesitant to join initially, not knowing if I was ready to commit to the requirements. However, I knew that I would be more committed to making some lasting changes if I had the support and accountability in place. In deciding how to proceed with my planned nutritional goals, I took a “wade in the shallow end before diving in the deep end” approach.
 
For the first two weeks, I took a “clean eating” approach – basically stopped eating bread and wheat, and ate more whole (non-processed) foods, and dairy. The initial shock at how many foods include wheat wore off fairly quickly, and it was not hard to transition to this type of food prep and eating as long as I shopped and made sure there were plenty of healthy choices available. By eating more whole foods, things were moving toward Paleo without this being an intentional goal, because I found these items to be easy to prepare and noticed that I was feeling better overall. By mid-March, I decided to transition almost completely off dairy (with the exception of very occasional whole-fat dairy included in small amounts in some recipes). It was actually much easier to do than I had anticipated, and I don’t miss it. I am eating about 95% Paleo now.
 
Challenges: Eating out – even if I make healthy choices, I am not in control of how food is prepared. There tends to be a lot of salt in restaurant preparation, even on whole or steamed foods. Planning ahead – shopping for the week, and shopping again mid-week for more fresh produce. It takes a little getting used to, but it’s easy now.
 
Lessons learned: Goals need to be objective, measurable, realistic and sustainable. A little planning goes a long way. It was more challenging in the beginning, but has become second nature now. I can assemble my food for a workday in under five minutes, including lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and post-workout snack. Healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.  The food journal and feedback from Elizabeth helps tremendously. I used a spiral notebook initially, and then added the My Fitness Pal app at Elizabeth’s suggestion in order to break down the macronutrients. This helps me see where I’m doing well, and where I need to focus more effort. Drink water. Then drink more water. Ranch dressing is not a food group. It’s actually harder to reach calorie and macronutrient goals when eating whole foods. A lot of very filling and satisfying whole foods do not have many calories. I find I’m often not hungry and actually have to make an effort to eat in order to work toward the goals. My sleep is more restful, and my energy levels are considerably higher. I’m stronger and leaner. I was able to discontinue one of two blood pressure medications, and my blood pressure is now consistently lower than when I was taking both medications.
 
I didn’t imagine that I could feel this much better on a daily basis. The whole process was much easier than I thought… just do it. It’s worth it. -Wendy

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