Mallory and I want to take you through our personal journey’s heading into Summer and answer all of these questions and more! We have both periodized our nutrition properly throughout the year, are ending a maintenance phase focusing on performance and are now ready to cut back a bit, get ready for the sunny months (we have to take full advantage of them here in WA!) and lean down a bit!
Is this process always easy? Of coarse not! If it was, everyone would breeze right through it (but we know you CAN do it too!)!
Are we going to be perfect every day? We are human- heck no!
Will the process test our self control, will power and be a rewarding challlenge? YES!
Make sure you follow us on social media because we will both be posting all about our day to day- how we eat, how we are feeling, what challenges we come across and how we handle it all! If you are in the same phase, this will be a great way to learn, ask questions, have added support and stay motivated… and even keep us accountable and motivated! If you aren’t in this phase, it’s likely you will be at some point, so soak it all in!
Let us know and we will add you to our private, members only Flex Fuel Facebook group!
This week, im going to tell you a little bit about me, Katy, and my journey to where I am today with my nutrition! Mallory and I want to get to know you guys, we want to build relationships and in order to do that, we believe we should be transparent and open about ourselves! It’s always a little scary opening up and telling the world about yourself, but we hope in doing so, we can help others in some way. Always know we strive to be open, honest and want to communicate with you guys- never be afraid to shoot us a message, we are just like you:)
So, here I go! Im going to try and tell you my story without rambling TOO much!
Just to touch on my life growing up, I was a lucky girl. I have an amazing family, I have one older sister (yes, we love each other but also had a good number of knock down drag outs) and two parents that have been nothing but supportive my entire life. I tried different sports growing up, but never really excelled in any of them. I could hold my own but I was far from a star athlete. I was attracted to more indiviual sports like gymnastics and track. I was in gymnatics through the majority of my childhood and I still attribute my athleticism today to having that base.
When it came to eating habits in our home, again, I was lucky that I grew up with a pretty good sense of balance. My mom cooked often, we had good meals, got in our veggies and usually had breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sure, we had pizza and TGIF marathons on Friday nights, we had dessert after dinner from time to time and mac n cheese for dinner on a busy night, but as a whole, I think I grew up with a good idea of what healthy eating looked like. We played outside often and stayed active and had to “eat 10 more bites (or however old we were)” of our veggies before we could leave the table. However, I do believe that even if you are or are not raised with a healthy mindset around food, you will slowly develop your own habits and relationship with food over time.
Looking back now, I definitely had a skewed relationship with food, to a point. It wasn’t anything severe, but I did develop some unhealthy habits. I remember sitting at lunch in high school, eating a LUNA bar and picking at it slowly, taking forever to eat it because that’s all I would allow myself because the day before I ate a Frito pie (yum)! All through high school, I could put down a lot of food and still stay small, but it would be a battle of eating a big, “bad” meal and then eating like a bird for several days because I felt guilty about it. I was super small in high school, yet I rarely saw myself that way. Later in high school and into college, I took to running. I was notorious for eating something I felt bad about, like a huge ass meal at Olive garden or a bunch of sweets, then I would go run miles and miles to “run it off.” I lived in Portland, OR where I went to cosmetology school and lived off of Special K cereal, non fat milk, yogurt and toast for breakfast. I did fall into the trap of “non-fat or low-fat” was the healthier option, when in reality it was giving me no real nutrient value. I would still try to “run it off” when I felt like I ate too much and I remember trying to do a couple cleanses as well, but could never stick to them because, well, they were miserable, haha! Regardless, I never quite felt like my body was good enough and I identified way too much with my physical appearance.
I was never over weight, but I constantly felt inflammed, unhealthy and I knew I could feel better than I did, I just didn’t know how. Once I lived back at home, of coarse I went through a phase where there was too much alcohol consumed in my early twenties and although I did slowly start to develop some better habits, eating more balaned meals, I often under ate in fear of gaining. I came across Crossfit in 2010 and that’s when everything started to take a shift. As most of you know, Paleo was deemed the main diet of Crossfit (this is now slowly changing thank goodness!), so naturally I hopped on that train! I got my CF Level 1 and began instructing. I have always had a love for helping others so, doing hair I got to help others feel good and through Crossfit I could do the same! My boyfriend started the Crossfit gym in our town and I helped alongside him. We started holding Paleo challenges, 30 days of coarse and yes, it was a great way to eat cleaner and healthier! I was probably 80% Paleo but of coarse ate almond butter like it was my job and had no sense of portion control! Eating this way, I still had had a level of imbalance in my diet, I would often be super strict during the week, then go buck wild and eat all the cake or whatever “bad” food I was craving on the weekend. Paleo evolved into Whole30, which was even more strict! I remember one time I was about to start the Whole30 so as one last hoorah, I bought a big pack of fresh baked Safeway M&M cookies and I don’t even want to say how many I ate!
Screwed up way of viewing food, ya think? I do love the Paleo and Whole30 diets because they are an amazing way to clean up your eating habits and make sure you are eating whole foods and I still use many principles from those diets to this day. However, when it comes to portion control and fueling any kind of higher intensity workout, they fall short. I started competing in Crossfit in 2012 and it was a blast, I was immediately addicted to the rush of it all and pushing myself to my limits. However, although I was eating clean I was by no means fueling to compete. At many, many of my competitions, I remember getting halfway through the day and just being tanked, not even wanting to finish it out because my energy was so shot. I’d go to dinner after and be so depleted, I wanted to eat all the food and at the same time it would kind of make me sick because my body was just shot. I would be so delirious after a day of competing because I was working so hard all day, sometimes multiple days and not getting anywhere near the appropriate fuel. Talk about underfed and underfueled!
The first time I ever reached out to a nutrition coach was when Crossfit Invictus released their nutrition program online. I jumped on it and it was basically structured around the Zone diet. Basically, I still ate paleo with a little more portion control. It taught me a little more balance and what proper portions looked like, but I still wasn’t getting what I needed. Honestly, at this point, I wanted abs. I worked HARD in the gym and it made me mad I couldn’t get a six pack. Yes, my goals were contradicting, I wanted to be shredded and I wanted to win all the Crossfit things, haha, but no one taught me any better at that point. Not long after, I stumbled across another nutrition program that was macro based. I immediately fell in love. I finally felt in control and freedom in my food. I got SHREDDED fast. I was performing well, and we went to Crossfit Regionals on a team that year. There was one problem, I was in a severe deficit, I was uneducated, underfueled and overworked. I felt awesome about my body but over time, it caught up to me. My body was resilient at first but eventually I just thought that feeling of low energy all the time was normal. Being sore 24/7 was normal. Not have a period for over a year was fine because I was “athletic” and I really didn’t know where to go from there. The funny thing is, even at my most shredded moment, I still wasn’t satisfied with my body. I always wanted more.
Once I started educating myself, I stepped away from that program and in the next year that was when Flex Fuel was formed. I didn’t want anyone have to go through that process without being educated and knowing what’s happening with their body. I coached myself for a little while and shortly hired on a Crossfit coach through OPEX. I had switched my goals solely to performance so my coach quickly gave me macros that were super high and, looking back now, a little too high, too fast, but I also believe it was my body’s saving grace. I would have had a hard time making myself do that on my own. I knew being a small athlete I needed to put on weight, but because I jumped from low to high so fast, I did put on a lot of body fat that I wasn’t used to. I did this for a year and had an internal battle the whole time, I felt uncomfortable in my skin, it was a hard year mentally and physically, but I absolutely needed to go through that. I learned SO much about myself in that year as an athlete, a coach and a person. I had trained by myself for hours a day for that entire year and it really taught me a lot. This period of time allowed my hormones and metabolism to start to repair themselves and I finally got my period back after almost 2 years.
That year was a pivotal moment for me, I realized that competing in Crossfit at a higher level was not what I wanted, I wanted to be healthy, feel good in my skin, workout with my friends and just enjoy the sport again, so I closed that chapter. Meanwhile, I had been searching around for someone to be my next nutrition coach, I absolutely love having a coach, I learn more about myself, the process and it helps me makes sure im on the right path with someone guiding me. It can be so easy to make decisions based on temporary feeling or emotion in our personal nutriton journey, so I wanted to find the right fit for me and the next phase. Mallory and I tried to hire each other as coaches- ha!…. best friends and business partners coaching each other just didn’t work! Enter, Jessica. Game changer!
Working with Jessica, I have focused on my health, wellness and mindset around food more than ever. We continued to prioritize my hormones over everything and I finally got my cycle consistently back after almost a two year stretch of it disappearing. Most recently I have gone through the different phases of nutritional periodization and have come to develop the healthiest relationship with food i’ve ever had, learning to love my body at each phase. I’m still learning everyday about the process, about my body and my mind- no matter how experienced we are, we can always learn something new! Most of all, it’s important to know we are more than just physical beings. Although part of the process is the physical, I truly believe if we focus on the mental and emotional side, the physcial will always follow!
This time around, my goal is yes, to set a physical challenge for myself to lean down and feel good in that aspect and I always like going through the process just to change things up as well! I also think it’s great for me to experience it for my clients and remember what they are going through in the dieting process. Another major aspect I want to work on and document through this is the mindset piece. Making sure im keeping a healthy mindset and a healthy relationship with food throughout and you can all hold me to it!:)
Each time I go through a different dieting phase, I learn something new about my body, maybe it’s self love at a higher weight, maybe it’s not being so obsessive at a lower weight, maybe it’s not giving a #%$* about my weight at all! Maybe it’s using my experiences to help others but most of all, I just have a burning passion for nutrition, constantly learning about myself, my health and my body. I want to constanly learn and evolve so that I can help others through their journey.
P.S.- Catch us on Facebook like tonight 4/9/18 @ 7pm pst. for an open Q&A!