Dieting is really hard.
It’s been just over two weeks and I would have to say that’s my biggest takeaway from 14 days of prep work for my first show. I thought for sure that I had things covered but man was I wrong.
Thing is, I knew what to expect going in. I chronicled it already but still, writing it down and experiencing it are two completely different things.
For the past year or so, I’ve been reverse dieting and eating to perform which is completely different than the road I’m on currently. Eating to perform is all about eating enough to make sure you’re fueling your workouts and recovering after them. It’s super important, especially when you’re competing in a sport like CrossFit (yes that means calorie deficits during your CrossFit competition season is a bad idea).
Now however, I’m eating totally for aethetics and although I knew I would be hungry, a little more irritable and tired, this hunger is...well...for lack of a better word, a mind-fuck.
I guess it’s just different though. Whereas before I didn’t really want to feel hungry, now feeling hungry is a good thing for my progress. A hunger response means that my metabolism still thinks we need more calories to maintain my current weight (side note, your body hates change more than you can possibly imagine) which is what I’m intentionally trying not to do.
This means that I have to be able to fight off my hunger though. And I’ll be damned if it’s not hard. See, my girlfriend just moved back to the area for the summer and I want to enjoy a lot of things with her. If she wants ice cream, I want to go for ice cream. If she wants to have a big dinner, guess what I want to have?
Add onto this, I’m currently house sitting for two of my friends who have kids and they have food all over the house. Seriously, M and Ms like they’re going out of stock. It takes everything I have not to grab a handful everytime I walk by them in the house.
What stops me though is my goal. After one week on a calorie deficit, I dropped from 185 to 183 which is right where I want to be but on week two, due to the above circumstances, I often went over my macros and didn’t see any weight loss. Blah.
All I can do is get back on the wagon and get going again on my goals. I know I have probably 13 pounds left to lose at least before I step on stage and that’s not an insignificant number. It’s going to take a lot of hard work in the gym to get it off and more importantly, it’s going to take some self-discipline in the kitchen to endure as well.
But it was a great point I got when listening to Angela Hauck’s podcast, who’s also my nutrition coach, when she was interviewing pro bodybuilder Adam Wilks. They talked about how if you were forced to do it, you wouldn’t think about it or try to rationalize it, you’d just do it.
If someone had a gun to your mom’s head (sorry to the moms out there) and they said don’t overeat or else, I’m sure you’d be able to put the fork down.
Sometimes that’s the mindset you need to get into to be successful when dieting or really anything in life. Get to the gym or else. Pick up the broccoli or else. Cut out the sugar or else. Sure, there's times and places for this mentality and that time ISN'T all the time, but you get what I mean and I’m sure I’ll have to implement it many times along the road over the next three months.
Now, being a nutrition coach with active clients looking for weight loss, know this--unless you have a defined goal with a defined timeline, you do not NEED to think this way. Sure, there’s a little bit of motivation that you need to stick to but don’t feel like your mom will die if you go off the rails for a day or two. The long-game is what we are after here, not a temporary goal.
When you have a short-term goal directly on the calendar, that’s when things need to be more dialled in and you need to care more about the minutia of what it is that’s going into your mouth and how much.
For now, it's one of the ways I'm getting through my prep. Onto the next couple of days though.
A former journalist and sports blogger, I've turned my writing prowess and love of fitness and nutrition into a personal blog where you can find anything you are looking for on the world of health, nutrition and fitness.