What I Learned With Pump & Shred
I have never considered myself a natural athlete. I always assumed I would have to be good with some kind of ball to be considered an athlete. I tried baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer and various other sports, but I was not very good.
In college, I started to focus on my health and starting running (little to no coordination was needed). I changed some of my eating habits. It took me years to go from running a mile to running marathons. I finally figured out what I was good at – running quickly and efficiently in one direction. I joined running clubs, boot camps and triathlons groups to enhancing my level of performance and fitness. There was one thing I still was struggling with and was crucial to me being my best at what I love to do. Nutrition. Not food or diet, but the way in which I nourished my body.
I tried to figure it out on my own, but then it hit me – I really grew as an athlete when I sought outside help, why wouldn’t I take the same approach here. So I did. Luckily I knew of a program and talented athlete that could help me, Pump & Shred. Courtney Carlisle took me on as a client knowing I was trying to enhance my performance, that I was a runner not a lifter and that I LOVED sweets.
I enrolled in the 6 week program with a goal of getting under 140 lbs. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew it would take an adjustment period. I was right about those things, but I was wrong about others. Coach Courtney did not present this as a diet or even a life style change. For me it was a strategy.
I know, weird, right? It made perfect sense to me. This was more about the food I would use to fuel me to become the best athlete I could be. It was about enjoying food as it is, but giving it more than just a caloric value.
It wasn’t about calories, it was about macro-nutrients (there is that word again, nutrition) and timing. It wasn’t about the foods I couldn’t eat, it was about the foods I never even considered and the foods I know I enjoy. I wasn’t about giving up what I love, but finding news way to enjoy what I love. Lastly, it wasn’t about restraint, it was about control. In one word, it was a strategy.
Just like my training strategy, Coach Courtney gave me a nutrition strategy.
At the end of it all I lost 7.6 lbs, 2% body fat and 8.25 inches. I gained back confidence, part of wardrobe and more importantly a true athlete mentality.
I also learned a few things along the way:
- Food prep is not that difficult or time consuming. I thought it would take me hours each night to prep my foods for a few days. It took me less than an hour, saved me time in the morning and gave a sense of purpose. It also saved me time and money in the grocery store, knowing what I was going to eat each day.
- You really don’t need something sweet every day. I thought I would die without something sweet at the end of each night. Well, I am still breathing. I also found other alternatives with less sugar to enjoy at night.
- That not being “stuffed” when I go to bed makes my evening, sleep and morning better. I used to be exhausted from eating so much. I would train from 6:30-8 pm and I would come home ready to tear the hinges off the refrigerator door. Now I eat to refuel for the next day.
- That there are a ton of really delicious vegetables out there. Why did no one tell me about squashes? Seriously. Not cool. I used to buy vegetables every now and then to give them a try. Now that I have had at least 2-3 vegetables in every meal plan I can’t get enough of them. Side note: cauliflower is still pretty gross though, even mashed.
- Doing something right takes time and patience. I have never been a patient person. This took patience and there was little to no instant gratification. I figured I was always willing to run one more mile or lift 5 extra pounds, what is different about this? Nothing. Think of anything in your life that you worked hard for and remember it took time, dedication and patience to get there.
- That I don’t need as many carbohydrates as I need to perform well. Carbohydrates were my staple nutrition. Well, sugar. Carbohydrates do not equal sugar. I was eating over 250 grams of carbohydrates a day. I have now found a balance of 130 carbohydrates a day while still maintaining my performance and making me more efficient.
In the end, I am not done. Nor will I ever be done. I have found a nutrition strategy that works for me and I will continue to create meal plans to get me to my goals. I have Pump & Shred, and Courtney, to thank for that. Now nothing should be holding me back. No more excuses. I truly feel like an athlete now (no ball necessary).