So I’ve always thought of myself as generally a pretty healthy eater. I pride myself on feeding my kids a vegetable, a fruit and a protein every dinner. I eat left overs which consist of the same and deny offerings of sweets at work easily. I’m not a saint by any means.
I have yo-yo’d between bread, no-bread, bread phases throughout the years depending on what I’m training for. I’ve tried high sugar products on training rides and during races which worked well for me. I’ve tried vegan, vegetarian, and plant based diets.
These changes are usually triggered by a new movie that is coming out talking about health benefits and I go 1000% in because I believe what’s on the tv must be just as real as what’s on the internet. So I change... and drag my sweet, forgiving family with me.
My kids and Jeremy, for that matter, will roll their eyes yet roll (Tide) along with me. The problem is I hate to cook. Hate it. And I hate hate, but I hate cooking more than I hate hate. So that’s when my new “lifestyle change” (we use quotes when we say it in my house) happened.
When I visited my friends, Juliana and Steven in Pensacola this past summer, they were eating keto. Plant and meat based diet. I thought, this I CAN DO! She was cooking bacon, spinach, eggs (This was my for sure sign bc I have been eating 2 eggs every morning for at least the past 10 years. I know it’s crazy), nuts...all things that I already eat and love. BUT no bread. No sugar. No WINE. No Wine? Wait, I’m not sure I can do that. I have boundaries.
I grew up on a meat based diet so I do love meat but I also know how important veggies and fruits (side note, huge pet peeve of mine is when people say “I’m not eating fruit bc it has too much sugar” then they eat processed sugar free foods that are worse for your body than nature...off my box) are and how of little importance sugar is.
I cut out everything...except wine, of course. I thought, I’ll see if this works even with my wine habit.
We start eating basically the same as we were without any processed foods. No chips (hard to do when drinking margaritas) No tacos. No tortillas. No fries. No popcorn. No bun with my burger. No more bread and butter. No more toast and jam. No more...you get the idea. I don’t even like jam.
So we were 100000% in. Then...I get on the bike. The bike that I had worked sooo hard to improve. The bike that I loved to be on.
And the bike...that now I hate. And you know how I feel about hate.
I felt sluggish. More than sluggish. Weak, irritable and frustrated. Not hitting power numbers set after set for over a month. Over a month. Seriously. What is happening. I have IMFL in 6 weeks. I’ll never be back to where I was.
Detox was happening. Sugar detox. Time was what it was going to take to get me passed this stage.
Who has time? Not me. I have a family and work and training numbers to hit. I can’t wait. I should eat sugar, bread, Oreos. Yes, Oreos. This isn’t working.
But I fought that urge. Mentally I had to buy into it. I had to let go of the present and look toward the future. My logical brain told me this was right. This is best. So I fought. And slowly I recovered quicker, got stronger, less irritable, well, less ups and downs AND I was losing weight.
Here’s the deal. I NEVER use a scale. It’s in my garage just so I don’t ever step on it. My logical, very logical brain says the numbers don’t matter and honestly they don’t. My dad says we have “big bones” and muscles scientifically weigh more than fat so what matters to me is how my clothes fit. I don’t buy clothes. I’m not a shopper. I hate cooking and shopping equally. This “lifestyle change” is now increasing the lifespan of my clothes. And that to me is pure bonus without effort.
Now, I realize every body’s metabolism is different. I know logically and realistically this might not work for everyone but this HAS worked for me. There’s definitely times I’ve fallen off. Eaten sugar and lots of it, but coming back is a mind set.
I have to remind myself of what’s important. My health. My training (Which keeps my mental health in check) and most importantly my family. I am happiest when I am healthy and my family is happiest when we are all healthy. Love. Health. Happiness.
- Kendall Gill
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