The past few weeks I’ve been training hard at the gym, rediscovering running and just trying to be more active overall. Even though I normally start my day with a good workout, sitting at my desk for hours upon hours isn’t doing me any good. That’s why I really embraced the Fitbit (and our 100kSteps Challenge). It makes me much more aware of my inactivity throughout the day.
In addition, I’m starting more and more to see how my diet affects my performance at the gym. I’ve been CrossFitting now for about 18 months. I’m by no means an elite athlete, but when you lift weights and challenge yourself physically on a consistent basis, there are quite a few changes your body goes through.
You guys probably know this about me already, but my diet has always been far from perfect. I have no desire to eat like a rabbit, bird or any other animal that doesn’t indulge in a McDonald’s cone or a bacon cheeseburger from time to time. I do my best to eat well rounded, vegetable-filled, and home cooked meals, but I’m not a stickler about it for me or my kids. I feel like life is too short — sometimes you have to just go with the flow.
Interesting enough, my diet is much “cleaner” now then it has ever been, even when I initially lost weight. Back then I depended much more on processed foods and convenient items, which I’ve been slowly phasing out over the years.
My goal from the beginning has always been to eat consciously. We always say/hear things like, “There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods blah blah blah…” but the truth is, there is. Some things are just not good for you. And somethings we think are good for us may not be. And somethings we think are bad for us really aren’t that big of a deal.
Am I right?
Anyway, I’m losing my focus here, aren’t I?
What I mean to say is I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “bad” foods. The problem doesn’t lie with food, it lies in our reaction to the food.
Eating consciously means if I want something “bad” I eat something “bad” with no guilt or fear or punishment. There’s no desperation afterward or extra exercise or cleanse or “might as well” moments — you know, the I-already-ate-a-cookie-I-MIGHT-AS-WELL-finish-the-bag-now moment. There’s just a very conscious decision to enjoy the “bad” thing and then move on.
In my 9 years of maintenance I’m still trying to master this conscious eating thing. I’m not a Jedi Master YET, but what I’ve learned in my practice is, as long as you do the “moving on” thing you’re golden. That’s the secret: continuing to move on to your next “good” choice despite your indiscretion. Don’t use the indiscretion as an excuse to walk away.
This approach has worked for me for, well, 9 years but now I’m finding I don’t want to indulge in the “bad” things as much because I really do see a correlation between my athletic performance and my diet.
You would think this would be a good thing, leading to making better and better food choices and, in a way, it is. But I’ve taken a step backward in my conscious eating progress. With the added pressure of wanting to perform better at the gym, I am starting to feel guilty again about “bad” food choices. This is resulting in a return to the dieting mentality more and more.
And I don’t like it.