Monday, August 24, 2015

Transitions


Protein pancake the other night to meet my numbers...topped with some butter and whipped cream. Yum

Do I have to eat all of the food???? YES, #forthemacros

My girl, LJ's before, 30-day and 60-day. Hard work pays off!!!!!

Not the best photo...but...1 Trader Joe's 95% lean hamburger patty + 1 oz Trader Joe's light brie + 1 over easy egg + 1 pepperidge farm hamburger bun + 1 TB organic ketchup. One of the best meals yet. Managed to make and eat it in 10 min before Olivia's football practice. Yes, football practice.

Transitions are possibly one of the hardest things life throws at us. 

Whether I'm looking at my 10-year old son who is getting ready to go to middle school this year or talking to someone who is working their way through the initial stages of the Macros, the transition time is tough.

Why is it that we can't just understand that we will settle in and therefore just accept our current state? But the reality is that we need to go through that process to 'earn' the right to stabilize. We are humans, and we don't have the ability to simply flip a switch and move on.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone ever gets 'good' or becomes a 'pro' at transitions...each state is unique due to it's circumstances. Our family is embarking on the biggest transition I've experienced to date - Bill coming home for good. But it's a process and simply having a date on the calendar for his return or establishing all of the knowns, that won't make it easier. The transition time will still need to run its' course.

So, is food and nutrition really something that bears that same weight? Possibly. For many food has been controlling their lives, for good or for worse. To transition into something like the Macros or any new relationship with how you eat, it's huge. You need time. 

The challenge is that we are impatient. We want to be perfect, like yesterday. We don't want to allow ourselves any leeway or cushion. We want to go from black to white. Immediately. However, the problem is when we force that and go struggle against a process that has to happen, it makes it more challenging for us. Surrender to the transition. Give it time. Acclimate. 

This is a good awareness to have on a constant basis in life - on a weekly basis we can all stand to ask ourselves if there is a transition we are undergoing at that time. It might not be the biggest factor in our lives, but it can still cause enough of a ripple that it is unsettling. So identify it, surrender a little to that fight, and let it run it's course. Then move on. 

Here's to change and to being more gentle with the transition to get there.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Diary stalking and focus


Still one of my favorite summer treats...cold brew with a little half and half topped with 2 TB whipped cream

Made a tray of these bad boys last week for the kids. Hadn't had them in years. Was a nice blast from the past.

Kids at the pool enjoying some packed lunch that ended with a homemade M&M chocolate chip cookie each

Today a good friend of mine made an interesting statement about the need to stay focused on yourself in any kind of nutrition challenge or even in terms of performance. CrossFit is naturally a competitive environment and as much as we all like to say that it's all support and only about encouraging each other, it can get a little more spicy than that. I do believe, it's not for any other reason than our Type A personalities and our desire to be 'better', but at what cost?

Focusing on others' diaries or progress as motivation, encouragement or even as a template to follow, is understandable. However, when it becomes a distraction from your own goals, it's counter productive.

I have spent a lot of my adult life comparing and worrying that everyone else was doing a better job than I was. In addition, second guessing my approach is something I often fall captive to. Should I be doing it 'this' way or 'that' way...should I be eating 'cleaner' or not having any alcohol at all, and the list goes on.

Commit, find your stride and then focus on doing the best job to serve your own goals. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Try that...see how it works!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What now?

The Guerrilla 60 challenge is coming again! As summer is winding down start thinking about what you want in terms of performance, body composition. Commit and you may just surprise yourself....

One of the things I appreciate about the Macros/ Flexible dieting approach is that it truly is a lifestyle shift. Although the G60 is 60-days of support and tracking to get you on track, it is something that should continue without a feeling of 'when is this going to end?!'

People who CrossFit are especially set up for success with this concept since with CrossFit there is never an 'end'. There is always tweaking, improving, setting new goals. You fall into a schedule and regardless of whether you 'feel like' working out that day, it's part of your life, and you just do it.

For me personally, I have definitely had days where I have less than zero motivation to do a workout or even to step foot in the gym. In the same way, over the past few months doing the macro experiment, I have had days where I don't want to meet numbers, count or give a shit!

While every now and then we need to respect this resistance - maybe go for a walk outside instead of workout or take a complete rest day - maybe record the food but accept that you will go over with a glass of wine or some 'unnecessary' treat. But to feel good, make progress and meet goals, this has to be occasional, not regular.

For me, I've reached my goal of finding balance and enjoyment in my food as well as hitting my body composition that I'm comfortable with. For me the journey continues with starting to add some food back with "Reverse dieting". The notion there is to add back in food while maintaining body comp. There is a ton of research and reading material on reverse dieting if you start down the rabbit hole of the internet. It's especially interesting for people who have had eating disorders to work themselves back to a healthy intake of calories while not gaining weight.

I'm not sure what is most helpful at this point for folks interested in starting. I think it's crucial if you are thinking of giving it a try that you consider a few things:

  • Why not? What is there to lose in doing this for a week? In the least you'll gain some awareness on your food intake for general health and performance by recording food in MyFitnessPal. At the best you'll find a way to eat with balance and still achieve your goals.
  • It requires effort. I am continuing to run into folks dabbling in this who simply aren't giving it the effort it requires. At the end of the night when you have 10g of carbs left and you 'want' a donut...YOU CAN'T HAVE IT AND MEET YOUR NUMBERS. This seems to be a simple concept. This is not a free for all, you will need to plan, make choices and put effort forth to hit your numbers. It's not that hard, but nothing in life is free!
  • You will drive your friends and family crazy. Remember when you started CrossFit? How everyone who didn't CrossFit who you knew wanted to kill you because you wouldn't stop talking about it? Well...be prepared to be potentially worse with the Macros. Chatting about your success with folks who ask is great, but try not to turn every meal into a math experiment in front of friends...
  • Strike "Bad vs Good" out of your vernacular. Quality is still important, but just eating 'clean' with no regard to quantity is not enough to make changes in your body composition! Allowing yourself a balance of good quality and less great quality foods is something liberating in the process, but you need to accept it to make it all fit. If you are completely committed to Paleo/ no sugar, vegetarian, vegan - whatever! -  not a problem - you can still macro that approach and pay attention to 'how much?'
  • It works. If you do it, it will work. The closer you get to "0's" every day, the more success you will have. 
I got on a scale yesterday after many months and years of being at 130-135 lbs. The first success was that I wasn't anxious about the number because I've been comfortable with how I look. The second success was that I was at 125 lbs. Irrelevant number, but the point is I got to a place I had tried to starve myself to by enjoying food and still having balance. I am still tweaking and ensuring performance stays up and quality remains paramount. 

There is always a "what now?" - whether you are starting this journey or in the midst of it. Where you at?!






Monday, August 10, 2015

Taking inventory

I need to read this daily

1 tortilla heated in a pan with cooking spray + 1 egg and 1 egg white + 1 oz reduced fat goat cheese - sooo good.

This mug is great. No need to say more...

As is this one....

Olivia has had a weekend celebration for her 8th birthday! Friday trip to the city, Sunday family celebration and today is her actual day...



I've been giving a lot of thought to this blog, the Macros and friends/ clients who are doing the experiment these days. I've thought about my own personal struggles with food and also with the things others get hung up on when attempting to follow this way of eating.

I will start with my own - it's nothing new - it's the 'what's next' syndrome. I've had tremendous success on Macros and feel most comfortable with my body composition than in a long time. I've figured out how to manage my intake and find a balance. Getting close to zero isn't a challenge anymore nor a mystery.

For me it's wanting more and better all the time. If this is great, then there's something 'greater'. It's a problem. Feeling like things always need to be better, closer to perfect. It's a self fulfilling nightmare. I love that quote about perfection from Steinbeck because it reminds me that perfection gets in the way of 'goodness'. The quest for something unattainable and subjective like that interferes with truly enjoying life and appreciating all that is good around you.

So for me, relative to Macros, the question is, "Do I need to tweak something?" I texted Jason the other night asking this and I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy. And the answer, if I want 'more' (or less I guess!) is to cut back on carbs and/or fat. What else did I expect?! But reading that I had some awareness:

1. I can't cut back more and still keep my performance and energy at a healthy level. Nor can I stay sane with less

2. There's other areas to improve on (QUALITY) before I go short cutting it with less intake. I have been riding that line and pushing the boundaries with quality because I can, and it's time to come back to better choices if I want to see better results. 

That last realization about quality is a big one. Everyone 'wants it all'. Everyone, whether we admit it or not, want the 'magic pill'. For me, the last few months of Macros has been really great in realizing that there is nothing off the list and I can enjoy foods without guilt while still remaining happy with my body composition. However, at a certain point we have to admit that it's not a free for all. 

I realized last night that almost every day I've been having a drink and a 'treat'. Although I have never been someone that does well with 'burning it down' once a week with a big cheat, having sugar and processed foods every day isn't ideal either. So for me, I have to reign it in for health and quality. 

Awareness and holding yourself accountable is important in everything in life, not just Macros. So for me, I need to be honest with myself and remember what is important to me and what aligns with my beliefs, not just what is easy or what shortcuts get you to the same place.

Now for some recognition of others' struggles...What boggles my mind is that people struggle to find 'options' on macros. It's not that there aren't enough options...it's that you HAVE TO PLAN. I was thinking about the planning piece and a great way to think about it is that most days you should really have a good sense of what you are eating in advance. Most of us have the same breakfast/ lunch options during the week. Weekend and meals that you eat out are the ones that you need to work around. 

I also realize that the challenge of being perfect is not only my challenge. Every day isn't going to be zeros! You are going to have days where you go way over - BUT it's probably still much better than it would have been otherwise. Or better than having that day EVERY day. Keep in mind that the progress you have made in a few weeks won't and can't be undone in 1 day of eating. 

My last thought for the day is how the macros have brought awareness to how invested we get in food as a connection to celebrating, stress, or just trying to help us be in a better mood. Solving our shitty day with a drink or a treat...it certainly has made me think twice. The past month has been one of the most stressful in my life, and I'm grateful for the fact that I've been forced to stay accountable with the Macros. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Be your own person



Great salad! Watermelon, tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, fresh basil and mint with some balsamic vinegar sprinkled over it all right before serving.

 
This was a great way to use up these little "teeny weeny" potatoes that were leftovers. 4 egg whites with 1 oz of truffle brie cooked in over these reheated gems



This recipe looks AWESOME! I love the coconut thai influence with the meaty halibut poached in it



I remember learning about "peer pressure" throughout most of middle school and having it be the constant threat in high school and beyond. I distinctly remember my Mom asking me, "If your friends jumped off the George Washington bridge, would you jump too?"

We think that this is something we grow out of and only a fear throughout our youth. Boy are we wrong. Perhaps it's not so much direct pressure and probing from others in our lives so much as it is our own lack of conviction to things.

Committing to anything in life - a way of eating, your needs, your morals and beliefs...it's easy for it to be swayed by others. Unfortunately, 'others' are sometimes friends and loved ones, not bullies or strangers. 

We talk about CrossFit being a metaphor: "Who you are in CrossFit is who you are in life". That notion is not lip service to me. In that same way we can apply that to anything we engage in, diet included. It is too easy to point fingers and find reasons for why the Macros or Paleo or whatever your goals align with, are not working. It could be because your kids have too many treats in the house that tempt you or your spouse likes to have a glass of wine with you at night. I know for me there are times where people tease me over the lack of participation in dessert or in my 'counting' of food. But at the end of the day, I lay my head down on the pillow and I am the only one who can make the right decisions for myself.

This may seem like an awfully heavy notion for food. But I promise you it's not. How you approach your health, your workouts, your commitment to family, business...you need to be your own person. Challenge yourself to have your convictions and stick by them. Challenges and questioning will always come, but you must do what's right for you. 

Be your own person. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Where to begin?


Plane ride home from CF Games - desperate for protein - these edamame snacks had a ton of pea protein surprisingly!

Saw this in the airport as part of a display of a local artist's work. 

I literally lived on Quest Bars while working the Games. Sometimes really really old Quest bars like this one that I had to peel from being one with the wrapper....

Visited this bakery to get The Dave Castro's birthday cake....it smelled like butter and sugar and everything looked amazing. Cake was delicious!

My friend, Sharon, sent this pic after her trip to the Farmer's market in Morristown - they have amazing produce and lots more for amazingly reasonable prices. And, it's literally IN the parking lot of our gym!

Last night made this chopped salad that was beautiful. I haven't been eating as many salads these days but this one hit the spot: chopped two kinds of lettuce, reduced fat goat cheese, green figs, beets, roasted corn, homemade balsamic dressing.

Last but not least. I love this.


I am back from my blogging hiatus! While at the Games I was discussing blogs with someone and they said "who even blogs anymore?" Well, I do!. As I've posted before, this blog is cathartic to write, but I also feel like there is value for others in reading everything from recipes, tips, experiences, challenges and general thoughts in the journey of 'dieting' and life in general. So, "I blog!"

The CrossFit Games were my first experience since starting the Macros where I really struggled for a consistent stretch. On vacation, while my quality was lower, I was still in a home and in control of measuring, calculating, planning timing etc. Working the Games there is no control over any of those things. We lived in a hotel room, ate when we had a free 2 minutes, tried to eat a meal at the very start of the day (530am) or the very end of the day (1030pm), and hoped for something in between. I didn't workout for 4 days straight and sleep was minimal.  BUT! I loved working hard and am so grateful to be part of the team that gets to do so. 

I did my best and likely was over +/- 10-20g of carbs or fat on many of the days. After the awards ceremony on Sunday night Bill and I got to go have a nice dinner and catch up since we had very little face time all week. Although I did not treat it as a free for all, I was not sitting at the table with the app out nor making decisions on what to order based on numbers. I let it go for the night to close out a crazy week. Monday morning we started our journey back and were on track with Macros. 

This week has been an extremely stressful one, however, for the first time that stress has not been exponential due to my eating issues. In the past when there is conflict or high stress in my life, my need for perfection in my diet becomes a focus and only adds to my situation. I can honestly say that the Macros have been a solution to this pitfall. 

Knowing I don't have to be perfect or have 100% willpower or resist anything in the 'bad' list has been liberating. The limits on the deviations from quality are the numbers. Clearly I can't fall off a cliff and eat 10 donuts because it simply doesn't fit the numbers. However, I can have half a bagel or some frozen yogurt or a sandwich and be fine. 

The notion that this can be a free for all is simply wrong. Yesterday I only had 'room' for half a cupcake despite wanting 3 whole ones! The moral of the story in Macros and life is: You can't have it all. 

This week I was right on track +/- 5 at the most and I feel like I am still making progress even beyond where I was when I left. However, I do think there is something to be said about still recording at the Games and still trying. Despite being over on most days, I was still aware. To throw out the app and continue to start/ stop is not the solution. Continue recording and continue consistency as much as you can.

I have received several emails from friends who have shared their success to date - it's great to see that break through. It's also great to help and support people who have been struggling for a long time and are now finally finding a solution. 

So...I'm back to blogging and back on track!