At This Point Nutrition Feels Like a Moving Target

If there is one thing going to university as an adult taught me, it’s that I don’t know sh1t about sh1t.

Okay okay, I learned how to write essays and stories a lot better there too.  But my number one takeaway from post secondary was there is nearly an infinite amount of subjects one could become an expert in, of which I am an expert in none.  It was a humbling realization, of course.  But it was also freeing.  I discovered that the point wasn’t ever about having all the answers.  The point was to cultivate curiosity by continually asking questions.  And it was an excuse to practice breaking out alluring alliterations to amuse my reading audience too.  I loved it.

With some notable breaks, I’ve been on this fitness kick for 4 years now.  I love the way it has become part of who I am, and even though I definitely still struggle through periods of not wanting to move my butt at all, I love that strength training always welcomes me back with open arms.  My body feels natural doing it.  It feels joyful, playful, and empowered.  And just like refining my intellectual skills with curiosity, lifting refines my muscles by constantly asking my body questions like “can we do this?”

I’ll never finish a workout and think “That was it!  I’m now an expert and never have to lift again.”  Nope.  The questions will need to be continually posed.

Lately, I’ve been changing up some of my habits in the kitchen to adjust for my new nutrition needs.  Heading back to the drawing board about what I know/take for granted about fuelling myself.  I’m rowing and/or lifting 6 days a week right now and my body needs fuel.  For some reason for way too long I’ve been carrying around the story that I need to workout fasted early in my day.  This habit worked 4 years ago when I did a keto-like diet and my kids were small.  But since adding carbs back into my life it hasn’t been working nearly as well.  I realized this week that I’d been repeating this cycle over and over and setting myself up to fail in two ways:

1. If I didn’t manage to fast, I most often didn’t workout because it didn’t “count” as much.  Seriously Amber?  Typing that out was hard.  That’s some bull of the smelliest type.  Nonsense.

2. Working out for 60-120 minutes on an empty stomach (other than a few coffees, maybe) was not sustainable for me.  I got super hungry later, especially at night.  Binge city.  My body got tired.  My motivation and energy disappeared quickly.

What a crappy feedback loop to put myself in.  I’m actually embarrassed to admit this.  I know better!

Turns out, eating a balanced breakfast midmorning and having a basic protein shake with some veggies post workout both fuels my workouts really well AND helps me manage my hunger later on.  I’m still snacky in the evenings but it’s been easier to make more nutrient dense choices and/or exercise portion control for the more calorie dense stuff.  My energy levels are maintained throughout most of the day.  My muscles are popping as they get bigger and my body fat decreases.

I love carbs, and most importantly to me, my brain loves them.  It is so much easier to write when I eat them, which is something I value more than the body composition change that can come from cutting them out.  I’ve known this for a long time, but hadn’t stopped to consider the other habits I’d built around the no carb lifestyle that I hadn’t given up.  I’m excited to see what happens next.

My question for you today is: how much thought do you give to fuelling your workouts properly?  Do you have an pre or post workout favourites I should share with my people?  Hit reply and tell me all your secrets!

Comments are closed.