Therefore, asking for help has never been my thing.
I have a MASTERS degree in fitness and nutrition, so what could a nutrition coach do for me that I couldn’t do for myself?
I’m not sure if I was too stubborn to admit I needed help getting my nutrition under control or that someone was better at my job than me.
Then, I opened one of the weekly newsletters from one of my favorite coaches to follow.
“FREE Coaching Assessment”
If there was one thing I was taught to never be stubborn about, it was something free.
I hit reply, and before I could even close my laptop I had a text from his assistant with some openings for a call.
There was NO WAY I was signing up for coaching, but I’ll take 30 minutes to gain a little insight and pick up some tips to be a better coach.
I answered and before I knew it I was hearing tips A through Z on how to look toned and beautiful for my wedding in two months and still set myself up to put up some big numbers at my meet in three months.
I swore I didn’t need any help, and that there wasn’t much he could teach me that I didn’t already know…
Well, here I am one year later having learned more about nutrition than I ever did in school. More importantly, I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.
If I were able to do it all over again, there would be a journal FULL of all that I learned….
Maybe for year 2?
Instead, I’ve put together a list of the 23 BIGGEST things I’ve learned in the past year working with a coach.
Ask Questions – LOTS
When it’s your journey, it’s just that, YOURS! It is great having someone tell you how much and how often to eat, but that doesn’t lead to long-term success.
Education and understanding drive adherence, and THAT is what leads to a healthy lifestyle, achieving body composition goals, and long-term success.
If you don’t understand, ASK.
If your schedule changes, ASK.
If you don’t feel great with the macros you’ve been given, ASK.
This is YOUR program. YOUR journey. Ask questions so it can be designed for you.
Be A Student
Do you ever ask a question and tune out for the answer?
Been there, done that.
I said it before, education and understanding drive adherence. You can ask all the questions you want, but if you aren’t committed to learning and understanding this process, then taking this lifestyle on will be difficult long-term.
My goal was fat loss, so according to everything I learned in school I needed to be in a caloric deficit.
Everything I learned as an athlete taught me that more was better.
When I started working with a coach, I learned that I had put myself in such a major deficit that I had cut my daily-recommended calories (WITHOUT exercise) in HALF.
I was quite literally starving myself.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that when you’re dieting, the goal is to eat as much as possible while still losing weight.
THAT was a hard lesson to learn, but I eat nearly 1,200 more calories now than I did a year ago.
While doing that, I lost 18 pounds.
I’d say mission accomplished.
Eat REAL Food
I never would have made it through the door of an audition for Top Chef, and because of that I resorted to supplements and products for “nourishment.”
My coach challenged me to eat real food and use supplements as a last resort, and after a year, my gut thanks me!
It’s one of those things you don’t realize in the moment, but now that my diet consists of 90% real foods I feel less bloated, gassy, and gut-healthy.
Cardio Isn’t THAT Bad
Weight lifting has always been my thing, and now it is quite literally my sport.
I skipped cardio as often as I could, and when I did it, it was because I seriously overate the day prior and was trying to sweat it all out.
30 to 40 minutes of a low-intensity walk, bike ride, or row is all I need to burn some additional calories WITHOUT trashing my body for my workouts.
Dieting is a stress to the system, and so is lack o sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night is necessary when dieting so the body can recover, hormones can reset, and the effects of dieting can set in.
Meditation – 5 Minutes Is Better Than 0
“How does meditation influence fat loss?”
That was my first question because I STINK at meditation.
Similar to sleep, meditation is a time for the body to relax and distress, and while I might only get 3 to 5 minutes, it’s still a break in the chaos of my day.
Track More Than Weight
The number on the scale has always meant a lot to me, and I’d be lying if I said that number didn’t matter today, but there’s more.
I’ve lost 3” off my chest, 7” off my belly, and 6” off my waist. I actually had to buy a new powerlifting belt that was TWO sizes smaller
How to Create a Positive Focus
Dieting is viewed as such a negative thing – can’t have this or can only have this.
When I was swallowed up in this mindset, I was challenged to start journaling and positively focusing on all that I’m doing for my body.
It’s not easy after a day of falling off plan, but it brought me to a place where I’m more grateful and appreciative of the good things I put into my body.
White Rice for the Win
Brown rice and quinoa were the staple carbs in my diet, but they made my stomach HURT. They’re health foods, and results are worth a little suffering, right?
WRONG. My coach recommended I make the switch to white rice, and I am free of all that stomach pain AND seeing results.
Sweet Potatoes Are Dangerously Magical
Sweet potatoes were another recommendation for a carb source, and while I nearly lost a finger slicing them up, they have consistently found their way into my weekly meal plan.
Spinach Isn’t The Only Veggie
Veggies have never been something I really like, so when I found spinach can be added to anything, I added it to everything.
But there really isn’t that much in spinach when it comes to calories and nutrients, so I opened up to learning to how to add things like broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, and onions to my recipes and diversify my veggie selection.
Daily Greens Drink
I’ve added more veggies to my diet, but I’ve also added a daily greens drink to my morning routine. This ensures I’m starting off my morning on the right foot with a shake full of veggies and micronutrients.
Not Pooping Daily IS a Problem
After about a month, I had virtually stopped pooping and it SUCKED. With how much I was eating, there was no reason for this irregularity. I added in a probiotic, an apple cider vinegar tablet, and focused on managing my stress and I’m almost a guaranteed regular.
Food Doesn’t NEED to be Pinterest Perfect
Top Chef wouldn’t take me and neither would Pinterest because you would never think what I prepared was the same as the recipe on Pinterest.
At first that made me nervous and afraid to eat it because it must taste bad if it looks bad, right?
Nope. My food doesn’t need to be picture perfect because those pictures you see are made by people with some serious culinary talent, so I just need to follow the recipe and enjoy the flavor!
Post Workout Shakes Don’t Make or Break Me
I always believed in “The Window,” and I thought if I missed it that I just threw away the progress from my workout.
Not the case. If I’m nourishing myself and getting the right amount of macronutrients throughout the day, an immediate post workout shake doesn’t make or break my progress.
Adding Salt Isn’t BAD
I grew up with a family worried about how much salt was added to things, so much that my grandpa used to hold onto the salt shaker so no one could use it.
Yes, TOO MUCH salt is bad, but with my active lifestyle and style of workouts, adding salt only adds electrolytes to my system, which can reduce cramping and improve performance.
How to Make an Omelet
Breakfast food is a must in my life, but I only knew how to make scrambled eggs and egg bake.
In the last year, I’ve added omelets to my breakfast repertoire, and it is AWESOME. I can add meats, veggies, rice, and cheese and it’s just a different style of eggs that is sometimes a little cleaner than scrambled eggs.
Epsom Salt Baths
A year ago there’s was no semblance of balance between my training and recovery, so one of the biggest shifts we made was utilizing nutrition as a tool for recovery until additional recovery tactics were set in place.
Now, I’m still not too keen on the idea of sitting in a tub of my own filth, but a warm bath really does enhance recovery, especially for my lower half.
I Can Lose Weight and PR
There’s always this idea that it has to be one or the other. My goal is to be lean and strong, and our plan was perfectly designed for that. On top of shredding some body fat and gaining some true muscle definition, I’ve PR’d in both meets and qualified myself for Raw Nationals.
Ice Cream Doesn’t Ruin Progress
The All or Nothing Mentality ruled my life, so I always thought that if I wanted to see changes in my body composition, then I needed to cut things out of my life like ice cream.
NOT TRUE! It just means I need to plan it in and be realistic in knowing that a one day jump in the scale doesn’t define my overall progress.
It’s Okay to Invest in Myself
Sure, I was stubborn in asking for help from someone in my field, but I was always the kid who saved her pennies. I didn’t understand why I needed to pay for a coach in an area I coached in.
Now I look at it as an investment in my health and my future, and because it’s important to me, I will find a way to make it work.
I Am NOT Alone
A year ago I believed dieting was a solo journey – it’s MY body I’m trying to change so no one else could really embark this journey with me.
I could not have been more wrong. The best part of having a coach is knowing that there is always someone who has my back, to pick me up when I stumble, and celebrate every major milestone with me.
Ask me a year ago if I’d be where I am today and I would say “HECK NO!”
This year has been filled with countless highs and lows, but I would not even think to trade it for anything else.
Taking on a coach has truly helped me take back control of my nutrition, discover more about myself and my potential, and change my life for the better.
Major shout out to Cody Boom Boom McBroom for embarking on this journey with me, and I cannot wait to see what more is to come!
If you’re looking for a year of growth and learning on how to take control of your nutrition, click HERE to start that first year TODAY.