A few weeks ago I did my Crossfit Level 1 trainer certification course. It was all kinds of amazing and I passed my exam (yeah!) but for now I wanted to talk about just one thing – tracking your nutrition.
As part of the nutrition lecture we were asked how many knew our deadlift 1 rep max. Everyone knew. Then we were asked how many knew how many grams of protein, fat and carbs we ate for breakfast that day. Not many knew.
“So how do you expect to perform at your best if you only track your output and not your input?” was the following question.
And it sounded like “You’re not a proper Crossfitter if you do not track your macros.”
So I tracked them. Again. For a week.
All was fine and dandy, I didn’t really have to change much other than curb some of my evening snacking, but then again I always knew that evening snacking is my thing… the love-hate thing. The thing that makes sure my muffin top stays in place. The thing that makes sure I regain my sanity after the kids are in bed (hello, glass of red and some cheese).
Then the weekend came and boom – my brain said “Enough of being controlled by My Fitness Pal and it’s colourful pie charts! You are a free person, eat, drink and be merry! Don’t be a slave to the numbers!”
And I ate big time. It was a good old proper bingey weekend. And of course I felt physically very unwell and mentally even worse.
The week after that I didn’t track my macros again.
I have a feeling that for a lot of people who have an eating disorder or disordered eating (technically different things) in the past, counting and measuring food is all kinds of triggering.
It consumes you, it obsesses you, it makes you feel trapped, it makes you eat weird combinations of foods just because the numbers only add up like that, it sucks all the joy out of life, it makes you feel worthless if your numbers don’t add up.
It makes you just focus on calories in / calories out. Every little walk you take is calories out. Fitness is no longer for fun and health and happiness, it’s to Get Those Calories Out!
So I’m ok to not be a proper Crossfitter.
Instead of measuring and logging my food, I focus on the quality of my food and not the quantity.
Monday to Friday I eat very little dairy, sugar or gluten, most days none. Just because I feel the best that way. On weekends I deviate some but don’t usually have crazy binges. With some deviation I can live with the bloating and discomfort without beating myself up about it and on Monday I get back on track again.
It seems to work for my brain like that (most of the time: my brain’s not my friend a 100% of the time).
Of course my body fat is still hovering around 22% and will not decrease, BUT I like to eat the quantities that I eat (note: it’s all good stuff, I don’t go near fast food / soft drinks / cake / etc.) and my mental wellbeing is more important to me than being totally ripped and having minimal body fat.
I write this as the giant shitstorm called Brexit is blowing through the UK and Europe. It’s affecting me quite personally but I can’t talk about it just yet. So let’s just discuss macros in the comments and not Brexit? ;)