Because being healthy can be cute too.
When people find out that I figure skate, they always proceed to ask me three questions without fail. 1. Were you in the Olympics? 2. Can you do a Triple Axel? 3. Are you on some kind of crazy diet? The first two are always an easy answer (“ yes” and “I built a career off of smoke and mirrors not talent so no”) but the third gets a bit more complicated. While it is definitely true that some people in the world of sport can get pretty intense with their diets, I was always kind of doing my own thing. I have never had any really special relationship with food. In a perfect world I would live off of Pad Thai and potato chips, fueled partially by cappuccinos, and I was perfectly content with that. I ate whatever I really felt like eating, mostly settling for pasta and some kind of dry bland chicken. I was totally set living my life like a college frat boy, I trained hard enough every single day that I burned through the carbs and the calories, so I never felt like my body really needed all that much more. Could I have done way more to fuel my body? Probably yes, but hindsight is 20/20 and I can’t change the past.
Things changed in a big, big way when I stopped training like an elite athlete every single day. I was still scarfing up carbs like I was in full blown skating mode, but not adjusting to my less active lifestyle. Essentially, I went from being an Olympic level athlete who could consume whatever they wanted, to something close to what I would call my “natural” body composition. Also, before I get too deep into this post, I in no way think that I’m fat or unhealthy. This is not being written to invoke eyerolls, it is more being written to start up the conversation about healthy change, and how to find your own way within that. My relationship with food is one that is ever evolving, but I felt like this post was relevant because we all love to promise a better version of ourselves to the world in the coming new year. I’m also writing this post with my last self-promised bowl of Ruffles potato chips before I start on this food journey, FYI.
I don’t think that anyone who is not training to be an elite level athlete should EVER follow an elite level athlete’s diet. For real guys. Does anyone need to follow competitive Michael Phelps diet? Michael Phelps doesn’t even follow that diet right now. Food is fuel for athletes, and carb/energy consumption is something that is totally off scale for the average person who might be reading this. I am the furthest thing away from any kind of food expert but I want to document this experiment to see how I feel afterwards ,and obvi report back. I have never weighed myself, I always kept myself in check based on how easy long programs were for me to get through. Now that I’m not on the ice full time, I still really do not believe in attaching a number to your own health, but I know I need a way to just overall make myself feel a lot more wholesome and balanced within my diet. I’ve done some research, and this is what I am going to commit to for January, and see how my body responds to it!
Water every day, all the time
I don’t drink enough water ever. Fact. I consume about as much as a camel needs to get through the desert in a few months, and that is about it. My body is being pushed to the limits of its survival capabilities, only I’m not a contestant on Naked and Afraid and I have no excuse for stressing out my organs this much. Water is life. Your body needs it to function. Have you ever seen those before and after photos of 50 year old women who started drinking enough water regularly? MIRACLE WORKER. I’m starting with my water consumption because frankly, it is a huge problem in my life. The benefits of drinking water are constantly being preached to all of us, we’ve all heard the rumors. Somehow through the magic of the universe, water promotes energy, which I’m lacking. I’m a skincare nerd, and good ol’ H2O clears up your skin. I’ve also heard (but not researched bc this is still low budget AF) that most of the time when you feel hungry you are probably just thirsty. Either that is true or my intense Russian coaches are getting inside my head. LOL to that one.
2. Start the day off with anything other than coffee
I am a coffee fiend, a java fanatic if you are feeling sassy. My day starts off with me crawling out of bed, getting tripped down the stairs by my cat, taking a moment to think about what is going to happen to my cat when he finally manages to kill me, and then making myself a cappuccino. I could write poetry about coffee, but this love story is coming to an end. I have become so dependent on caffeine to get my day started that I feel like I can’t even function until I have java running through my dehydrated, dusty veins. I don’t feel clear minded until it hits my system, and I am all about becoming an independent woman who takes over the world this year so why do I need to be dependent on something else to make that happen? I have actually already started swapping out cappuccinos for hot water with lemon juice and honey, and I have to be completely honest, I’m loving it. Don’t roll your eyes at me. No it is not as delicious and no it does not make me as happy. I pretend I’m the bougie grandma from Anastasia (that’s totes something she would do) and I go about my day. I’m realizing more than anything I just want something warm in the morning, and being able to use coffee as more of a treat has been helping me get less dependent on it without completely giving it up.
So, sugar, let’s talk about it. It is in everything, and I am hopelessly addicted. I plan on cutting my sugar intake WAY, WAY down because it is time to be an adult who functions on a well balanced diet. Ugh. K. The thing about sugar is that it is absolutely alright in small doses, I’m here in full support of a little bit of natural sugar (hello fruit). The sugar I’m here talking about is the sneaky sugar. The sugars in the white pasta that I live on, in my store bought tomato sauce. Look at the label and sugar is in just about everything. I am not one of those all or nothing people, I really believe in balance but my goal is to be much more mindful of what I am putting into my body. Excess sugar gets turned into fat, it also isn’t really a great or dependable source of energy. My goal for January is to cut down on all of that extra sugar, and find more reliable energy sources!
4. Cook More at home
It’s hard to get into a rhythm of working all day and then coming home and cooking some food up for dinner, but new year, new me. I am the worst at finding the inspiration to make myself a meal from home. In this day and age it is so easy to dial up your fav Chinese takeout, or log in to whatever app and have just about anything delivered to you. I fall into that trap constantly. I think my main issue is that I don’t have a plan, and by the time I’m hungry it’s too late to do anything about it. I’m kicking off January with a weekly meal plan for myself. I’m going to spend the weekend researching the meals I want to make for myself, and get my shopping done in advance. I’ve always been the kind of person who will follow a list and a plan to a t if I actually have something written out. I got myself a notebook, but you can also find week to week meal plan sheets to help you stay on track. I went onto Pinterest (the mother land for every basic betch) and researched some easy meals to start off with. I wanted to include a lot more greens into my diet, and started off searching for some hearty salads. The irony of a “hearty salad” is not lost on me. If I can throw it all in a bowl and call it a meal you guys, I will absolutely do that. I saved a couple of recipes, and then started looking for meals that I could make that included the ingredients I would already need to make my Pinterest meals. TBD if this works out. My goal is to be more organized with food, and plan ahead instead of reacting to hunger. That will make it a lot easier to make healthy wholesome choices, and hopefully Pinterest will save the day.
Ok there it is, my January nutrition goals! I guess now that it has been written down I actually have to do this now. Yikes. Comment below with your nutrition goals for just January, or all of 2019!