So Many Diets, So Little Time

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Last week, I was scrolling through the news topics on Yahoo and, as always, one of the health highlights caught my eye.  A self-proclaimed “yo-yo dieter” wrote an article about his unsuccessful attempts at losing weight and staying on a diet; nothing new since so many people are always searching for the instant-magic pill that solves all weight and food issues (spoiler: there is no such thing).  However, this guy decided to try out 10 diets in 50 days; these were only diets that were made up of “real” food with no shakes, pills, or cleanses; he switched diets every 5 days and recorded his weight loss with each of them.

Read it here: https://www.yahoo.com/health/i-tried-10-diets-in-50-days-heres-what-actually-108173225142.html

Want to know how many red flags were shooting out of my head by the end of paragraph 3?! Here:

1.) 10 Diets.  10!

Since when did we start to coin the way we eat?  I bet 5,000 years ago, people didn’t argue over the ‘right’ way to eat.  Thanks to science, new foods have been created and marketed with one goal in mind: money.  And then the government takes over and promotes guidelines for us to follow so we stay healthy, yet the base of the pyramid is full of man-made-chemcical creations (aka bread, pasta…) that plugs money back into the system.  All these diets go against what the government and it’s experts promote.  Confused?  Yeah, I always am, too.  What about real food without nutrition labels?  Why is that food ‘set’ for us to eat at lower percentages than the Frankenfood?  Just think of how many diets are out there… Too many.

2.) What was he eating prior to this?

Yes, he lost 25 pounds in 50 days.  Did he have his body fat tested before to see if what he lost was muscle (a lot of the diets had minimal protein), water-weight, or fat?  When we step on a scale, it reads our bodies as one whole piece and can’t tell us the important information such as visceral fat (bad!), subcutaneous fat, bone density, etc.  If he was eating high-carb and high-fat prior to starting these diets, he most likely lost a lot of water weight.  If he was eating a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs, then he may have lost a good amount of muscle when he switched.  Delving deeper into his past could reveal a lot!

3.) 5 Days is like a grain of sand on the beach.

Think of how many time throughout our lifetime we eat.  I eat about 5 meals a day, 7 times a week, 4 weeks per month; that’s  140 times I spend eating in one month.  Now multiply that by how many years you’ve lived – we eat a lot!  5 days of dieting does not give our bodies a chance to adjust to the food we are eating, let alone 50 days!  When we introduce new things into our bodies, they can be rejected for a while until we get used to continually doing it.  Think of it like walking.  We don’t just stand up one day and learn to coordinate our arms and legs to move in a perfect gait.  One meal we eat is like a small grain of sand on a beach… you need many many grains to make a sand castle!

4.) How did his stomach hold up?

There are a couple diets that he tries which are all liquid.  Not to go into too much detail on this topic, but I hope he carried air freshener around with him.

5.) His problem of ‘boredom with diets’ needs addressed.

Yo-Yo Dieting is such an awful experience and many people who have been through this usually have some other issues that need to be dealt with before committing to more quick-fixes.  Eating creates chemical reactions in the brain that give us that feeling of being happy and help us feel satisfied and full.  The majority of the time, people’s hormones are not functioning to their peak potential, so the chemicals don’t fire properly and we can’t seem to control the food we put in our mouth (and tons of other problems besides food).  Many times, the other issues in our life (stress, emotion, stress, drama, did I say stress?) can be fixed and we can learn to feel better about other areas in life.  We have control on what we eat, so it’s an easy outlet to feel like we are in charge; whereas you may not always feel in charge in other areas like your job, living situation, traffic, etc.  So we take it out on our food – emotional eating, anyone?  When we don’t feel in control in the other areas of life, it feels good to be the boss of feeding yourself.  BUT, you are in control of every situation in life.  It’s your life and you can change it (that’s a whole other topic).

6.) Thanks for continuing the viscous cycle!

For those who are constantly searching for the next fad weight loss trial, this author just plugged 10 more failing diet plans into all the reader’s heads.  “Oh, he lost 5 pounds eating Special K for some meals in 5 days. Now I can lose 20 pounds in one month by eating cereal!”.  Sigh, if only it worked that way.  You can’t expect to get results if what you put in your mouth is a temporary fix.  Your weight change will also only be temporary.

The bottom line is that we need to make smart decisions with every meal and realize that we are either eating towards health or we are eating towards sickness.  It’s a little extreme, but if we can fill up our healthy cup more than our sickness cup, you will be on a path towards a disease-free life.

He did make great points throughout the article, but those can be easily overlooked by the reader searching how to lose weight fast.  His last paragraph states, “It is not so much a diet, as a way of life; a basic principle that you should stick to”.  He saved the best point for last, but it may be too late for many people to listen to those ever important words.

The game of numbers… with a picture.

Life is a numbers game, wherever you turn.  Money = numbers.  Work = hours (numbers).  Food = calories (numbers).  Age = numbers.  Health = numbers.  One of the more important ‘numbers’ that we should be aware of is our health number… Blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, weight, body fat, bone density, and so on.  Although these numbers should not consume you, it is crucial to be aware of what makes you up!  I remember learning about body fat and suitable levels for ages and lifestyles (athlete vs. non-athlete) and being surprised on what these percentages translate into physically. Since learning this reality, it is sometimes tough to hear people talk about what they think their percentage is around.  The media likes to make it seem as if every celebrity is perfect and skinny; truth is, they most likely are NOT and it’s some extra camera-magic and less-than-informed reporter talking.  I’ve heard football announcer state announce how “this player has 0% body fat!”… Nope.  Never true.  He wouldn’t be human.
This post isn’t to make you feel down about where you might be… this post is to show you how these percentages look and that you shouldn’t look down upon someone who may be 25% body fat.  Or as my professor would say, 75% lean!
On a side note… Ladies, getting under 12% is DANGEROUS and harmful for you and your hormones.  We were built to carry extra fat to support the babies we were blessed with being able to carry.  It is just as dangerous being under-fat than it is to be over-fat.  Men have different hormones than women, that’s why the percentages look so different between the two.  Don’t look at this as “wow, my body fat is high/low”.  Look at it as another number that can help keep you on the healthy end of life’s spectrum.

Live Like a Dog

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During Saturday’s class, the QOD (question of the day) was “Who inspires you?”; each person’s answer was great and added a positive vibe to get class going. One of the last answers one of our athletes said was her dog; I could not agree more.

It is so easy to get caught up in everyday activities and the routine of life. Wake up early, eat, work, work out, eat, work, eat, work, shower, sleep. Day after day, you see the same people, hear the same comments about how their day is going (ever realize how many times you say you’re ‘good’?), and hear the same negative news stories. My new goal is to stop living in the past or planning too much of my future and be like my dog – stay in the moment. She is always in a happy mood and never disappointed to see me. How great is it to know that there is always someone (yes, my dog is a ‘someone’) patiently waiting for you to step foot inside the door?

She takes it one moment at a time. Always happy to go for a walk and to receive food. The biggest lesson learned from my roomie, Lizzy, is to stay present and stay grateful, even for the smallest of treats.

Thanks!….I think?

Have you ever had someone say something to you and you don’t know if it was a compliment or an insult? I guess having hot pink hair makes people want to be honest with me, which is totally fine because I am comfortable with the crazy ‘do that I have now; but do people not have mouth-filters anymore? I’ve heard it all, from me looking like Cindy Lauper to “Well at least it’s temporary” to old women giving me a thumbs-up. Like I said, I was ready to hear the reviews and get the stares. Going beyond hair, social media has blown up the chance for people to judge others, like how they workout, what they eat, who they hang out with, and so on. Has our world turned into an eye that constantly moves up and down judging everything?

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself” – Wayne Dyer

There are some CrossFit and Paleo articles that surface every so often and make there way to top headline stories and it makes me excited to see 2 of my passions get some attention. Usually I’ll glance through the story and finish reading with it with a smile…that is until I see the “(6,743 comments)” right under the article. I used to read through these comments to see if other people were as excited I was to read it. I quickly learned to never read through those comments. Probably 3/4 of them were all hating and judging not only the main concepts of the article, but bashing the PEOPLE who are featured in the story! These people who comment don’t even know the faces of the article besides a few paragraphs and they are telling them how awful of people they are. What?!

Since I have been coaching and been on the ‘other side’ of the whiteboard, my views of people have changed. Since I have to be constantly assessing someone, I have learned to look at the full picture; watching people squat to a 24″ box and over time, doing a squat slightly above parallel is not ‘ideal’ form, but it is AMAZING progress that is something to be proud and excited about (as an athlete and coach). The picture someone sees at first sight isn’t always the full story. Sometimes the best way to learn is to keep your mouth shut, listen, and observe.

Time and time again, this shows up and it just makes me wonder… What’s the point of saying something that won’t make someone feel good about themselves? Does it really do any good to make someone question their own ability? Do you know their full story or are you just letting your ego run your mouth?

I remember a sign that was posted in my first grade classroom (first grade was an amazing time!) and it was a kiddie version of the Golden Rule (yay St. Agnes)… “Treat others as you would like to be treated”.  Maybe next time you want to say something to someone, or make a thought about someone, think how it would feel if it was the other way around.  I believe that the more people who can be like this, the better the world can be (or at least my small Springfield world).  

How’s that for a world peace Fourth of July post?  Hope you have a judge-free happy holiday!  :)  

 

…And so it ends.

January 31st marked my 30th day of my second Whole30 journey. Not only have I felt extra energized, but it was the easiest ‘challenge’ that I have done. In my previous post, I went through a few of my nutrition transitions and even after all of those, this Whole30 was simply awesome.

The first couple of weeks, I felt pretty bloated and was kind of disappointed because I knew I shouldn’t feel that way. I went out and bought a probiotic and after about 5 days, the bloating went away. Since then, I have had zero issues, barely any cravings at all, and my meals (no matter how complex or simple) seem to taste so good! If you have any allergies, sinus problems, acne troubles, bloating, or hormone issues, I would highly recommend completing 30 days of this reset program.

So what happens on day 31? Personally, I am not going to change much at all. Yesterday, my friend had a birthday party and the only non-Whole30 goodies I had were a couple bacon-wrapped chicken pieces and a tiny piece of paleo bread. Bacon not Whole30?? Here in Springpatch, we don’t carry the highest quality bacon that Whole30 allows and any paleo-fied foods aren’t allowed. So those were my ‘cheats’, but it did not affect me in a bad way.

The only changes I am going to make from the Whole30 rules are adding bacon (Gluten-Free, Nitrate-Free, Hormone-Free…) and maybe some honey. Still undecided on honey, but it wouldn’t be much. I am grateful that I took on the Real Life Eating challenge that started between me and my two sisters over Christmas!

Day 25 & My Nutrition Journey

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Day 25 started off with a cup full of bulletproof coffee, some eggs, and roasted broccoli.

I bought around 3 pounds of raw broccoli on Thursday and finished it this morning… Granted those 3 pounds included the stems I chopped off and I cooked it, but still. I’ve always like broccoli, but I have been obsessed with it the past two weeks. I guess that’s one perk of Whole30; craving roasted broccoli and not chocolate!

It’s pretty unbelievable that I only have 5 more days of my challenge left. It’s been the easiest few weeks of strict eating that I’ve done since transitioning to clean eating. My nutrition has been a journey for a long time. I remember trying to learn and count calories in grade school and adding up my Go-Gurts, rice cakes with cheese, and whole wheat dinner rolls into my daily intake. Quantity was always more important to me up until my Freshman/Sophomore year in college.

I remember going to dinner with my dad on a Wednesday night and him telling me how my sister had convinced him to try out this ‘Paleo’ thing and how you can’t have dressings, whole wheat anything, or much fruit. Of course I was like, “psh. Yeah right, how is that realistic?! I follow The Zone Diet and feel great!” But it intrigued me to find out more about it. After he dropped me off at my dorm room, I got to my room and instantly Googled “The Paleo Diet”. After countless books, articles, and discussions, I was ready. And what a journey it has been.

CrossFit was next. Prior to starting Paleo and CrossFit, I weighed about 152. Almost 3.5 years later, I am 20 pounds heavier, can lift way more (and faster), and my clothes stopped fitting my shoulders and legs and are looser in my waist. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in 3 more years compared to today! I am thankful every day for the knowledge I have acquired and the people’s stories that have motivated me. On that note, time to make a mini grocery list and get ready to rock this last week of my Whole30!

Oh, and I had to put some Lizzy Love in my post. Here she is with me yesterday morning on the way to the gym. She brought her two babies with her and wanted to hold them the whole way there!
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And here she is this morning, cuddled up after her Paleo breakfast!
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I gave in…

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…and had some vanilla cake with blue frosting, a nice drink of club soda and vodka with a lime, and a piece of gum afterwards. Three non-Whole30 cheats and I felt so disappointed in myself and felt so guilty. Thank God it was all a dream! The past two nights I have had dreams that I unknowingly ate food that does not comply with Whole30; I remember having these dreams the last time I did this detox. Honestly, I have not had any cravings that would make me want to dream about that stuff! So weird.

This time around, Whole30 seems so much easier. I think the biggest change is the mental aspect of it all. Knowing that I have done it before gives me hope and drive to complete another 30 days! I feel a lot more energetic and can tell my body is healthier all together. What’s changed the most for me is nighttime eating; since some days I work pretty long hours, I would just want to come home and eat a meal and chill. Usually it would be a sweet potato or some veggies, meat, and sometimes some paleo treats or something else as a ‘dessert’.

With Whole30, I only eat a sweet potato post-workout and cut out dessert. Today is day 8, so I’m looking forward to how day 30 will feel! :)

WODs have been crazy lately. With the CrossFit Open starting (way too) soon, training purposes have switched! Yesterday, we did 5 rounds: 1k row, 15 pullups, 15 thrusters, 15 burpees. Do the math… Maybe my dreams are telling me I need more carbs? ;-) Today was a nice rest day and I am anxious to see what tomorrow brings!