2012 -> 2017.
Oh yeah, that is a real photo of me during my senior year of college. Don’t worry, I too can hardly believe it.
Nutrition is one of the most difficult arenas of life to navigate. It takes but only a small detour and you find yourself so far off the beaten path that you don’t recognize anything you see. Toss in a little bit of “intentional” weight gain or loss and an unhealthy relationship with food, and you just conjured up a recipe for disaster.
When it comes to food we must be extremely mindful of what we are doing, how we are doing it, and why we are doing it. If we cannot identify those with a strong sense of purpose, we will keep wondering why we are not seeing the results we seek. Or worse, we may come to our senses 20 years down the road and wonder how we got there.
I cannot reiterate enough the importance of an accountability tool to help us stay focused on our nutrition goals and maintaining a healthy view on food. This is something that I did not have through college or my early years of CrossFit. It was not until I joined Working Against Gravity in 2016 that I realized just how much help I needed.
My relationship with food was my BIGGEST battle in college.
I had such an unhealthy relationship with food that it consumed my thoughts, actions, and feelings. However, I didn’t look like the photo on the left until my senior year of college.
Prior to that I was OBSESSED with becoming lean and shredded.
I thought, “If I could just get lean like the other running backs, I would perform much better.” My mind became so consumed that I judged anyone who was not eating how I was and was appalled at the thought of someone indulging in dessert. On a few occasions, I had such a bad craving for sugar that I snuck a bite of whatever treat was nearby, chewed it up, and spit it out.
Therefore, I obsessed over nutrition and took in any bit of information I could, whether it was true or not. I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to get lean and shredded. I went on a severe calorie-restrictive diet, did not consume nearly enough carbs, and slowly watched my performance tank. At one point my energy levels were so low that I became slightly narcoleptic, falling asleep randomly and frequently.
Fast forward to my senior year of football when my coach told me that I needed to gain 35 pounds in order to move positions to fullback. I quickly changed my nutrition approach.
It is amazing how external goals and passions can drastically change the way you live your daily life. Topic for another day.
I want to make this clear: I chose the body in the photo on the left. I had a goal and I was not going to let my twisted view on how I thought I should look get in the way. Now, I do have to admit that my heart sank when I realized that I was going to be giving up the lean, 6% body fat, six pack abs I had been working so hard for. But no matter how obsessed I was with nutrition, I was far more obsessed with achieving my goal.
The problem was that my unhealthy relationship with food did not leave with my transition to fullback. It simply reared a different, ugly face. Gaining 35 pounds was much more difficult than I ever imagined. I ate until I would vomit. I consumed massive meals comprised of the unhealthiest of foods, simply to gain a few more pounds.
Thankfully, the weight gain only lasted one football season and I quickly dropped back down to 200 pounds once the season was over. However, that nutrition mindset later led to me living out the “eat clean during the weak, have a massive cheat ‘day’ on the weekend” mentality, even when I was leaning out again.
I am SOOO thankful that I was connected with people who could help guide me to a better understanding of how food is intended to be used!
I VERY highly recommend reaching out to Working Against Gravity and seeing how they can help you reach your goals. They have been monumental in helping me achieve the healthy relationship with food that I now have. They have given me the tools to understand how to achieve a great physique that not only looks good, but performs well too! Follow the link below – I know you will be happy you did.
I encourage you to ask yourself the tough questions. What are you trying to achieve with nutrition? How are you going to achieve it? Why do you want to achieve it? Once you have a strong sense of purpose behind you, I know you will be unstoppable!
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