After I had my son, my body needed some major butt kicking back in the gym. I had only gained 24
pounds during my pregnancy and actually lost 35 lbs soon after he was born. I was skinny but weak and I
still had lingering fat pockets in ugly places.
I thought CrossFit would automatically replace fat with muscle, especially with the amount and intensity
I lifted. So why did I continue to lose pounds without gaining muscle?
A little thing called food. A little task called eating.
I didn’t realize this until (embarrassed to say) this July when I visited my parents. Total relaxation paved
the way for lots of eating. Now, I didn’t eat dirty, per say. I just ate more, a lot more. And in that short
week of 3 hot dogs and 2 hamburgers at a sitting, I looked in the mirror one morning and saw my biceps.
It was a magical moment.
It is obvious we must consume fuel to burn fuel, just like cars. The faster, harder, tougher we run, the
more fuel we will need.
So to track my actual intake and see how balanced (or lack there of) my diet is, I use Livestrong’s Daily
Plate. To start your calorie counter on the site, you put in your vitals, goal and activity level. For each
meal, you can search for the exact brand and item you ate. Include the quantity of that item and boom
– it will show you a breakdown of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein and sugars. At
the end of the day, it calculates your totals, puts your carbs, proteins and fats into a fancy percentage
pie chart and now you have an honest look at what fuel you are putting into your body.
For me it was obvious. I wasn’t eating enough. And when I was eating, it wasn’t simple carbs that could
be burned quickly. I was eating enough protein to build muscles but I wasn’t eating them at the right
time of day. Plus, too many calories before bed spelled fat storage. Boo.
As we move into the Whole 30 Challenge, I encourage you to track your eating habits – every ounce,
every crumb, every calorie. Play around with meals before and after WODs to maximize your energy
levels and recovery. Read the labels. Research the source. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth.
You never know…your Fran time might just depend on it.