Challenges with Nutrition
We all have challenges within our fitness journey – those aspects where progress is more or most difficult. For me, it is nutrition. I know what proper nutrition looks like, and I know what works best for me. I tell people if you put a piece of chocolate cake next to a serving of broccoli and asked me to choose, I would happily choose the broccoli. I have come to realize that I am fairly “careless” about my eating habits. And as a result, I struggle with my weight and often feel defeated over how my body looks.
In my mid-40ʼs, I had an epiphany that changed the course of my life. I dumped a career and lifestyle that made me miserable and overweight (70+ pounds worth) and set off on a new path. In the midst of this “redesign” of my life, I took a look at how I was eating and saw how my daily diet was filled with poor choices and how I kept myself disconnected from the realities of the situation. I was overweight because I ate poorly.
So I decided to modify my diet. My “new” meals consisted of lean protein, veggies, fruit, healthy fats, and minimal grains and starchy carbs. Of the changes I made in my life, these nutritional changes had the most profound results to the way my body looked, felt, and performed.
With nutrition at the core of my fitness, my body transformation was mind-boggling to me. I built an incredibly strong, lean, and young body. My gym workouts were more effective at building strength and creating great muscle tone. I lost those 70+ pounds, and my muscles were “ripped.” I swam faster than I swam in my teens. I even placed in the top ten nationally in an event. A biological age test done when I was 45 measured my body age at 30. My doctor told me I was the healthiest person she knew. I was on top of the world!
Then something happened to me – I turned 50! With that, everything with my body seemed to go awry. Every form of exercise I was doing hurt. I began having problems sleeping. I felt like I was having an “out of body” experience. And I gained 25 pounds just like that. Nothing I did seemed to shed the extra pounds. What a cruel joke Mother Nature was playing on me!
I licked my wounds for a year or two, blaming my weight gain on being 50. I rationalized that it is very typical for a 50-something woman to feel like a stranger in her own body, to gain weight, and to find it more difficult to lose weight. But in the end, my rationalization was just a form of denial. Truth be told, nothing was going to changed for the positive until I put my nutritional house in order. I had gotten careless again. Not only had I gained weight, but this time around, I felt horrible physically. It was no fun to be in my body. I knew I was robbing it of the essential nutrients that it needed now more than ever to stay strong, healthy, and lean.
Benefits of Precision Nutrition
I reached out to Precision Nutrition and signed up for their nutrition coaching program. New knowledge and the steady hand of a coach were what I needed this time around. Here are the most important nutrition strategies I learned to put in place:
- Planning for a complete meal every 4 hours, consisting of lean protein, veggies, healthy fats with slow digesting carbs to help replenish nutrients used by my level of activity. When I do this, I have an amazing amount of energy and stamina for my day. I never feel old when I eat this way.
- Working as hard as I can to get 5 servings of vegetables a day. A “slightly older” body need these essential minerals and vitamins more than ever. I also find it easier to maintain a healthy weight when I am eating my vegetables.
- Turning away from the internal distractions of my “shuddaʼs” – what the scale
should say, how disciplined I should be, what I should look like, what size clothes I should wear. “Shuddaʼs” donʼt get me where I want to be.
- Staying true to what is most important to me in my fitness journey – being strong, staying healthy, and enjoying the process. In the end, that is more important to me than any number on the scale!
To your fitness and health,