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By Christy Baroni
One thing I love about CrossFit is the pursuit of RX’ing a particular WOD. That goal is ever present on the whiteboard every single day. We chase this not out of pride or ego, but for the simple fact that as we level up we know we are getting stronger. We’ve done the work to push out of our comfort zones. As a Coach, seeing an athlete take that step and go RX’d for the first time is pretty freakin’ awesome. The awareness that they can handle the weight, the excitement of getting set up, and then the look of pure panic as the clock counts down. After the pain of the WOD has subsided, I enjoy hearing about every moment of the workout.
But in addition to RX’ing in the box, you have a chance at least 5 times a day to RX another aspect of your life. Your plate. Nutrition is the fundamental building block that most if not all of your other accomplishments can tie back to. At its most basic, nutrition gives you the energy to move throughout your day. But once you get in to the minutiae of your intake you learn that you can manage your mood, your sleep, your recovery time, even the appearance of your skin and hair can be manipulated by what and when you eat.
But who is willing to push out of your comfort zone when it comes to eating? How do we get there?
Habits versus Treats
The harsh reality is that if you are eating something every single day, it’s not a treat. It’s a habit. For something to be a treat it has to be infrequent and earned. To get to a level where your nutrition is assisting you in reaching your goals a level of intentional self-awareness has to be attained. Just like applying the ‘you pick it, you stick with it’ rule at the box, you can write down your goals and make a commitment to eat in a way that will help you get there. Keeping commitments to yourself is a character building experience, and much like other things that build character, it can hurt along the way. But you aren’t afraid of pain anymore, right? You just did Fran, forchrissake! So, set up a plan that allows you to truly enjoy the treat and savor it guilt-free.
Attacking the goats
We all have goats in the box. The ever elusive muscle-up. The double unders that make grown men throw jump ropes like they are on a grade school playground. One thing I enjoy about CFHH’s programming is that with consistent attendance we can’t hide from our goats for very long. But what goats do you have when it comes to nutrition? Are you willing to attack them with the same fervor that you do a physical skill?
For me, my own personal goat is midday snacking. For others it’s those 2 hours right before bed that the salty, empty carb snacks come out in force. Just like you didn’t try to do Murph RX’d on your first day out of 101, you can take a scaled and methodical approach to improving your nutritional goats as well. Small and sustainable changes are the way to see long lasting improvement.
So, what does this look like in real life? Here is an example of attacking a goat to get to an RX’d plate:
Example Habit: Drinking 3 sodas a day.
Example Plan of attack:
LI – commit to cut your intake in ½
LII – cut your intake in ½ once again
LIII – 1 soda every other day
RX – one soda per week
Competition level – the desire for soda has subsided enough that you don’t even crave them anymore.
This is just one example of taking a slow and methodical approach to making progress with nutrition. Just like at the box, you can stay at L1 as long as you need to. Just keep your eyes on what is next and with courage pursue it.
I’d love to learn what goals you have and help you craft a plan to use food and nutrition to help you get there!
Christy Baroni is the Head Nutrition Specialist at CrossFit Hilton Head. You can email Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org any time to learn more about how to make the small, sustainable diet changes that are right for you and your goals.