100 Pull Up
100 Push Up
100 Sit Up
To eat real food a.k.a go Paleo/Primal or not…that is the question. Or maybe the question for you is simply whether to avoid the donuts in the break room this morning. When it comes to food, we all struggle. It’s infinitely simpler to commit to CrossFit workouts and get your butt into the gym three times a week than it is to make a change when it comes to our eating habits…mainly because the gym only constitutes 1 hour out of 24, but food is a huge part of our life; three times a day…with snacks…and dessert…and beer… There are so many temptations with food: it tastes delicious, it’s fast enough to accommodate our busy lives, it’s there in our cupboards; and making the decision to change our eating habits can be one of the hardest and most frustrating we will make. But it’s absolutely worth it.
While my transition to a real food diet was not a quick or easy affair, I can tell you that it has made a huge difference in the way I feel during the day. I don’t get hungry between breakfast and lunch anymore because I’m actually eating protein first thing in the morning. I don’t feel the 2:30 crash (as advertised in the 5-hour energy commercials) because my lunch isn’t loaded with sugar and processed carbs. And my body feels fueled and ready to compete at WOD time. And speaking about my WODs, I can absolutely tell when I have had a “cheat” day because I feel heavy, lethargic, and out of breath almost immediately after 3-2-1-Go! One of my worst workouts ever was “Angie” (100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, and 100 squats for time) just after I had traveled back to Florida for my college’s homecoming game. I ate whatever I felt like during that weekend and absolutely paid the price the next day I was in the box. I finished the WOD in 22:58 which was three and a half minutes slower than the first time I had done Angie, nearly 8 months earlier. I knew in the middle of the workout that I was sucking and didn’t need to guess at the reason why.
I know that Amy could give you all of the science about why a diet devoid of grain, processed foods, and sugar is beneficial to your body and believe me, I have read the science and listened to her lectures and know exactly why I have chosen to live my life eating real foods (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, and Cancer terrify me!). But the daily benefits that I get from my real food diet are what make it possible for me to keep from falling off the wagon. Sure, I get tempted by the chocolate on my co-worker’s desk or the $2 frappuccino specials at Starbucks, but all I need to do is remind myself that I’m headed to the gym later that afternoon to keep me on track. Don’t get me wrong, I do still have days that I “cheat” and splurge on a milkshake, Doritos, or the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under at Outback, but I make sure that my cheats are during a rest day so that my body will have some time to recover before the next WOD.
So if you’re considering making a change to your diet, I encourage you to get as much scientific information from Amy as you can, talk to other members at the gym for good recipes and food prep tips, and get on it! The journey won’t be fun or easy, but you’ll feel great and perform better than you have in WODs past. And for me, those types of results are an instant gratification way better than the sugar high I’ll get from eating a donut.