Sunday, May 1, 2011

Food For Thought

After my marathon debacle last September I took a week or so to lick my wounds and then I started to think. How had I gotten so slow? What on earth happened to the girl who wasn't afraid to throw it down? The girl who ran like her life depended on it? Who wasn't afraid to mix things up workout wise?

She somehow got lost in long slow and easy. I had to find her again.

Finding her again meant taking a look at my current routine, from how I was training to how I was eating. I was already formulating a plan regarding my training but my eating, well, I thought I was already eating healthfully. Sure I weighed more than I had in years but I attributed that to 1) all the fertility drugs I had been on and 2) just plain getting older. I figured once I got back to the gym, the weight would start coming off.

It didn't.

It was time to take action. I just wasn't sure what to do. I've never been a dieter and I wasn't going to start now. Then one day on CP24, I happened to be watching Wylde On Health and he was interviewing a guy by the name of Dr. John Berardi. Dr. Berardi was talking about a program he designed called Precision Nutrition. The basic principle of it made complete sense to me. It was all about nutrient timing. What you ate was just as important as when you ate it. So I googled Precision Nutrition. My interest was piqued. This was something that made sense to me. Perhaps I was eating the wrong things at the wrong time? I ordered my binder (it was $100 and it included a cookbook + some more 5 minute meals in a separate section). I figured $100 was a small price to pay if this program was as good as it sounded. The binder came a couple of days later and I started reading. There was a LOT of info to take in. There were 10 key habits that he outlined. At first it all seemed incredibly overwhelming but Dr. Berardi suggests getting one habit under your belt before tackling another. Which is exactly what I did.

The big thing I noticed with this program was that starchy carbohydrates were limited to POST workout. Really? As an endurance athlete this was almost blasphemy to me. But I knew I needed a change so I figured I'd give it a go. I struggled a lot with what to eat for breakfast. Eggs and vegetables were the recommended things but they didn't always sit well before for a swim or a run. Luckily the PN package also came with a membership to their online forum where I found a whole bunch of incredibly helpful folks. Granted the majority of them are lifters vs. endurance athletes but there were a few folks who offered some great suggestions. I discovered a whole new way of eating. Simpler was better. Meals became easier to prepare and just a flavourful if not more. I also started using protein powder. I realized that my previous way of eating barely even covered my protein needs. I now made a conscious effort to get protein in at every meal, along with veggies.

An amazing thing happened. I no longer had those unpleasant afternoon crashes I used to have. My energy levels remained constant throughout the day.

And I started to lose inches. The weight came off as well but what started to change first was the shape of my body. I really started to notice it through my bust & mid-section, which was where I carried most of my weight.

At my heaviest last May I was 138lbs. Which at 5ft 5in is still within "normal" range. But that was not normal for me. I was normally around 130lbs. I managed to lose a few of those lbs during my marathon training. I think I got down to 134. After 7 months of following PN, I have gone down to 125lbs. The biggest change is not on the scale. It's in my body composition. I am the leanest I've ever been. I'm stronger than I've ever been. And, I think I've managed to coax that girl who ran like her life depended on it out of hiding.

I did vow that 40 was going to be the best year of my life so far. And so far, I'd have to say I'm right on track.

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