How’s Your Relationship with Food? PART 2

Last week I gave you the rundown with my past relationship with food and how my goals as an athlete/fighter, along with my child hood bullying and my perception of what weight class I should be in and what I should look like created a monster. How it turned to an obsession and How my relationship with food got all outta whack.

Today I’ll talk to you about how I brought the balance back into my life and how I’ve been able to change that relationship into a much more healthier one.

Let me start by saying that I’m not magically healed and have all the answers, for me it will always be a bit of a struggle not going to far off the deep end at one end of the spectrum and I’ll always have to fight for balance.

So after I stopped competing and fighting I swore I would never cut weight again and I would eat what I wanted. I started CrossFitting about 6 months after my concussion symptoms had subsided and fell in love with training again and I ate like an animal. Typically when the pendulum swings really high and hard in one direction, whenever the switch happens it comes back hot and heavy in the other direction. I wanted to get strong and I ate hard to get strong, everything and anything. Donuts, LOTS and LOTS of donuts. For a while it worked, the guys at the gym had a # for me #eatlikedan, cause it seemed like I could eat anything and never gain weight and still have abs. 

This lasted for a while and then I started to get a bit chunky, feel slow, lethargic and for the first time in my life injuries started to pile up. I was feeding myself bad things and reaping the consequences of those actions but it was hard, I couldn’t see myself swinging back so hard in the other direction again. So what should I do?

#1 Educate yourself, one of the biggest things that’s help me find balance in my relationship with food is knowing what I was eating and why I was eating it and how much of it was needed. So I read everything I could get my hands on, sat down with multiple sports nutritionists who worked with high profile athletes and I read some more. 

#2 It’s NOT a one size fits all approach, Knowing that your body is unique and special in it’s own way goes a long way. I’ve read books on every fad diet there ever was. Low carb, High carb, Keto, Flexible Dieting, Low Carb… What works for one person might not work for you, the key is finding what will be sustainable for you long term!

#3 Become a scientist and experiment, Figuring out what works for you is going to take some time and experiments but here’s what you need to think of, how did that meal or food make me feel? Do I feel more energized? Am I sleeping better? Am I recovering better? Am I getting hangry? Food should make me feel good not bad, you should feel satisfied and not starving or stuffed. It’s there to help you not hinder you!

#4 Knowing when its too much or not enough- This is a hard one , I spent so many years under-eating that I got used to being hangry and hungry all the time. Then my next reaction was to eat too much all the time, not a good balance or a healthy way of living, either way. Learning to track your macros is a great step in the right direction. Having someone knowledgable figure out how much you need on a daily basis to sustain a healthy lifestyle then giving you those macros for you to hit on a daily basis and you tracking and making sure your eating the right amount is key to healthy weight loss or gain. The more you do it the more you get to know yourself better and then you can transition better into intuitive eating, where you listen to what and how much your body needs. That’s the ultimate goal.

#5 Eating Primarily Whole Foods- No not AT Whole Foods, that might bankrupt you, but eating all that awesome produce, healthy meats and fats around the outside of your grocery stores should be the primary source of what you eat. Filling in the rest with some things you enjoy.

#6 Don’t Sweat the small stuff, hey man I still eat a donut here and there and once a year a whole 2400 calrie pie in under 5 mins during a challenge, but do I sweat it? Nope, I keep my diet clean most of the time, I eat enough for my output most of the time so I can afford to enjoy some treats sometimes, It doesn’t stress me out one bit. 

#7- Know WHY you’re doing this, My lil man deserves a Father who lives as an example to him, who has energy and can teach him things, who will be able to keep up to his pace and that’s why I will always stay in shape and take care of myself.

These are the steps I’ve taken to finding balance, its not perfect but it doesn’t need to be, I’m not perfect but I give everyday 100% of what I am. I live way closer to balance then I ever have and when I need to get super lean for the beach its easier and then I come back to normal.

Finding Balance in this crazy life is tough and you’re not alone, figuring out the best approach for you can feel tough but treat it like a game, a game you’re determined to win and not lose, cause losing stinks. Never ever give up on who you want to be cause if you don’t believe in you who else will?

If your struggling with it and need to talk I always have an open ear cause I know how hard it can be.-Coach Dan