When it comes to eating and lifting weights, I have always heard about how important it is to fuel your body with natural, good ingredients in order to get the best performance. Let’s just say as much as I have always heard this, I never really fully embraced the idea. As far as losing weight was concerned, I thought that by working out they would balance each other out. I remember thinking to myself, “I can eat this candy bar because I just worked out.” As I have found out, this really doesn’t work. I didn’t even put thought into how eating better could help me gain more strength.
In the eating world, I’m what you would call a junk food junkie or a carboholic. If it was sugary, breaded, candy-coated or had anything to do with chocolate, then I was game. Potatoes, pasta and rice were also favorites of mine. Needless to say I felt sluggish all the time, and my energy during workouts faded quickly. For a long time I never associated the two as being cause and effect. I just figured this was who I was and that it was part of my genetic makeup. WRONG!! Even after about a year of regular workouts three and four times a week, I thought I should look better and even feel better. I just couldn’t seem to grasp why I hadn’t seen more change with my regular efforts.
Being with the group of girls that I work out with regularly (which now are several of the Miss Fits), we routinely talk about what we eat and how we can meet certain goals. In January several of us decided to take a closer look at what we put in our mouths to fuel our bodies. We chose a program that lasted thirty days called the Whole30 http://whole9life.com/category/whole-30/ and completely eliminated grains, sugar, and artificial and processed ingredients from our diet. Let me just say I was a little more than concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stick to this kind of plan … carboholic, remember?
The first seven days were by far the worst. I was craving everything I couldn’t have and was used to eating, including my diet pop. My energy in the gym was still a little less than stellar. If you were one of the few that had to be around me, you might have described me as being “cranky” during this time. It wasn’t until about the 12th day that something very interesting happened. I actually started feeling good; better than I could ever remember. My cravings for junk had almost disappeared, my energy levels had increased, and my mind felt clear. I no longer had that mid afternoon crash. I was also starting to feel stronger in the gym. It was almost as if something had awakened parts of my body that had been asleep for way too long. I had the drive to push myself longer and even harder than I had before.
By the time the end of the thirty days rolled around, I could tell a dramatic difference in the way I was performing in the gym, and the small changes in my body appearance were also evident. This is not to say that I was completely on par for the entire thirty days. There were a few times that I fell off the plan, but I chose to pick myself back up and get right back to it. What it did teach me was the difference that I felt by eating more nutritious, natural foods and how they really do affect my gym performance. I think it’s difficult to say that I’ll never eat another chocolate chip cookie again. But maybe just as a treat every great now and then instead of every day. I feel so much better without all the other junk, and even perform better too. Have you noticed a difference in the way you feel at the gym depending on what you eat?