Stay tuned…. tomorrow I have a “Jennie Hansen’s Kona Prep” blog for you, just one day out of the Ironman World Championships! She’s safely settled in Kona and ready to go! Proud Coach!
I got a lot of great feedback from my Whole30 take two blog the other day. It was heartwarming to realize that so many of us share the same feelings when it comes to body weight, image and not just multisport but fitness in general. My issues with all of this, of course stemming back to growing up Bulimic…. allow me to completely relate. It becomes part of my coaching as well in a big way.
I am not one of these athletes or coaches who can gobble up bags of candy at will and are naturally very lean. I am not someone who can eat whatever I want because I am doing an Ironman. I am not the coach who judges people because they have trouble either. When athletes tell me they are eating well and still having difficulty getting lean I relate.
Believe it or not…. for many it is not as simple as calories in, calories out. If you’ve ever had a serious health issue, thyroid issue…. if you have ever been on any sort of long term medication…. from prednisone to chemotherapy to long term steroids and/ or hormone replacement…. that all wreaks havoc on your body and your metabolism.
I get it. I get that more than I will ever admit to you. Had I not lived that on many different levels I wouldn’t get it. Trust me.
My interest in the Whole30 challenge began when I lost my vision. As you might remember when we believed it to be optic neuritis as a potential symptom of MS…. I spend that entire weekend researching. I came accross a doctor named Terry Wahls. She was diagnosed in the early 2000’s with MS, and eventually became wheelchair bound. Through research she began to connect inflammation and nutrition’s role in it, and began to eat a plant based diet. (I am being VERY simplistic here. There is much more to her story). She got out of that wheelchair and leads a very full and active life. Read more about Dr. Wahls here.
While luckily MS was ruled out for me, it really started to turn my wheels. If I was willing to adopt this lifestyle if a diagnosis of MS came through, why was I not willing to adopt that lifestyle now? With the health issues that I have been through during the past 3 years…. what part did nutrition play in the creation of those issues?
At the time I did this research I was up to my eyeballs in Ironman training and just not at a point to make any drastic changes to a healthy diet at baseline…. that was intermixed with a lot of sport nutrition (and it had to be, this is Ironman).
Fast forward to now. I chose to do the Whole30 from a health standpoint first. The leaning out (notice I don’t say weight loss) comes with it and I am pleased to see the numbers on the scale trending down (you are not supposed to weigh yourself on this program, my bad). I found the Whole30 program appealing because their personalities seem to match mine: sarcastic, fun and to the point.
As I am closing in on week one I feel terrific. How you feel during the first week is a direct reflection of how your diet was preceding this adventure. Mine was pretty good minus those mellowcreme pumpkins. (I have not wanted any by the way!). My energy is good. My sleep is good. I feel….. GOOD. I feel less puffy which honestly I don’t even know if that makes sense.
I am on a recovery week from training, again aligned on purpose. I chose this week to begin so I’d get it under my belt before moving into my next running block. Fueling workouts has thus far been fine and I enlisted the help of one of my athletes Leslie Why, as this is her specialty.
Temptation surrounds me 100% of the time. Curt is one of those people who is naturally lean. He eats well but he can have ice cream every night. Luc is the same way. They have pumpkin bread and ice cream around and … I haven’t wanted any. I took the time over the weekend to prepare my own food so that during the week I just grab a snack and go. The further I get into this…. the farther away temptation falls.
This time around I reached out to people. I told people. I involved my family. My attitude is this: here is what I am doing, this means that the only one who needs to change is me. Not anyone around me. Weekends will be a new adventure, we tend to eat out Fri and Sat nights. While my menu is usually a salad of grilled chicken, I grab the bread stick and the roll. Beginning this last weekend has set me up to roll through the weekend with a plan. I will report on that Monday.
My ultimate goal through this Whole30 challenge is to “detox” so to speak. To clean house after a year of eating sportfood (and good food, no doubt). What I will do after this is done remains to be seen but I am using it as a foundation for a healthier more plant based lifestyle. The leaning out is part of it, always a goal and a thought.
One of the quotes on the Whole30 website goes something like this: Giving up sugar isn’t hard. Cancer is hard. Ain’t that the truth. I know better than anyone. If I was willing to adapt this lifestyle with a diagnosis…. why not without it. Is my health that important to me? Do I want to go through what I went through again?
I have found that resources are critical any time you are making a change. Here are some that have helped me:
1. Whole30 site. For $14.95 you can sign up to receive a daily email. It’s pre-generated, it’s not to you personally. But it’s become something to look forward to. It’s humorous, to the point and has a lot of good information.
2. Websites. Thank goodness for the internet. I have found several really good sites with great recipes. Here are a few of my favorites so far.
3. Friends: via facebook I realized one of my high school friends was on the journey. While I haven’t seen her in 20 years we’ve shared some recipes (this woman can COOK) and support. Go Mishelle!
This round I am really glad I opened up about my reasoning, my goals and my thoughts. There are MANY of you out there who don’t fall into the eat-whatever-I-want category. I know how that feels. Know that you aren’t alone. I hope that by hearing my journey…. which yes, will include pictures…. that I can help you on your journey. I am an athlete and a coach who gets it. Who understands what it’s like to be on the other side, and who can help.
On the flip side…. have anything that can help me on my journey? I am on the lookout for recipes, workout fueling, anything you can pass along. I have one disclaimer: I don’t do nutrition programs like Advocare, or Isagenix. I think they are wonderful programs and have wonderful opportunities…. just not for me.
If you have anything to share friend me on Facebook, follow on Twitter (@maryeggers) or send me an email to info at mary-eggers dot com. (note the hyphen between first and last name!).
And thanks…. so much for the support!