I took the Challenge, the 28 Day Nutrition Challenge. I’m an endurance athlete (long distance cycling, trail running, triathlons) so for years I was super critical of CrossFit. In September I endured yet another injury (this time a stress fracture in my femur). Enough was enough, I needed to build strength.

Enter Crossfit Recursive! I’m not looking back. I don’t do things lightly. Since the stress fracture in September I quickly gained 8-10 pounds and lot sight of my nutrition success. Enter the 28 Day Nutrition Challenge!

Holidays are hard for me. I eat very cleanly most of the time. I don’t even crave fried cheese curds! But when I have the chance to splurge with alcohol and sweet treats, I go overboard. I look at a beer and a 7 layer bar (my favorite) and I gain weight. I’m goal oriented and competitive. The challenge’s point system kept me on track. It was a game to me! Plus, the Facebook group of my fellow Recursive Challenge folks kept me motivated. Thanks everybody!

About 6 years ago, 1 dropped over 40 lbs with Weight Watchers, so that I could train and complete an Ironman. (I completed IM Wisconsin in 2013.) It was what I needed at the time but it messed with my idea of nutrition. For years I consumed fake sugar (zero calories and zero weight watcher points) and I was scared of all fats. The concept of good fats did not register for me. I didn’t realize you have to burn fat to loose fat! I got skinny but I wasn’t strong!

During the 28 Day Nutrition Challenge I focused on protein and good fats. Guess what, avocado and cottage cheese and a burger tastes amazing! It is about moderation. It is about kicking my empty carb habit. I can plow through a package of rice cakes in no time. I realized I was consuming so much fruit and it was spiking my sugar needs. I also realized eating some nuts, turkey slices, and string cheese filled me up more than a banana or an apple. I now eat 1-2 pieces of fruit a day.

Before I was eating 4-6, never feeling full and managing a bloated stomach. I also learned that I don’t have a moderation button for sweets. I eat one piece of candy and it is over. I now just stay away, I say no. It’s my drug. I don’t miss it too much because I feel so much better! I still struggle with my new body since completing that Ironman in 2013. I’m 17 pounds heavier, my legs have more fat cover but I’m stronger and I am healthier.  Plus, it is amazing to focus on mindful eating and being in tune with your body, recognizing how individual foods affect the way I feel. The human body is remarkable!

2018 is all about being consistent in the gym, building strength, sticking to a nutrition plan that makes me feel good and allows for a treat every now and again. Plus, getting back to the healthy state where I can achieve my trail running and cycling goals! Nutrition and health is always a process. It never ends. That’s ok. That’s the challenge, that’s the fun!