Monday, September 1, 2008

The Nutritionist

Okay, by this point you should have picked up on a few things about me:

1. I am an anal-retentive perfectionist.
2. I have unrealistic expectations for myself and others.
3. I spend a lot of time being frustrated by the side effects of #1 and #2.

So it should not come as a surprise that I also spend a lot of time agonizing over things that I have no control over, despite my mother's repeated reminders to, "worry about things you can change, not things you can't." But it's the things I can't change that most need changing!

One of the things I can't change is my basic genetic makeup - a body that is almost as stubborn as I am. As I try, mostly in vain, to beat it into submission, I make calculated lists about what I have control over and what I don't. And then I go and cross some things off because they were, suprisingly, unrealistic. It's a vicious cycle.

But I have a firm belief that one of the things I have control over is my nutrition. We are fortunate enough to live in a country and economy where finding quality food and water is not an issue, and I am grateful for that. And, I am a staunch believer that for me, nutrition trumps workout every time. Solid nutrition is the foundation for a successful exercise program. Without a diet based on healthy, natural, clean food, physical effort is only going to be moderately effective. And since my workouts require me to get out of my warm cozy bed at 4:15 in the morning, I don't want to erase my hard work by eating crap all day.

I feel pretty confident with my diet, but I haven't been seeing the results I expect for all of my hard work (see #2, above). As I indignantly explained to my bemused husband, "I am sick of busting my butt every day to earn the opposite of success." To which he replied, "you're so cute when you're angry." And then he reminded me that I bust my butt every day because I like busting my butt to get stronger and healthier, and not to reach an unrealistic physical goal. And in all honesty, it's a little of both. Is that so wrong?

So I decided to stop having a temper tantrum and take control. I called in reinforcements - a nutritionist at a local training facility. She consults with professional athletes, Olympic hopefuls, and....me. I was super-pumped about meeting her and as I explained my goals and current situation over the phone, she sounded excited to meet me, too. I dove head-first into putting together detailed reports of my training, diet, and progress over the past year (see #1, above).

After a 90-minute meeting last Friday, we had evaluated my plan, tweaked it a little, and made plans to meet again in a week. I have my marching orders - new macros and new calorie goals - as well as a pat on the back. I felt so proud that the nutrition plan I had created had been pretty up to par, and that I had found a kindred spirit who seemed to relate to my goals.

It's only been a few days and I am still working out the details, and I am looking forward to seeing how these changes affect my training. But a few things surely won't change:

1. I am still an anal-retentive perfectionist.
2. I still have unrealistic expectations for myself and others.
3. It's totally worth it.

1 comment:

EDP said...

You say "anal retentive perfectionist" like it's a bad thing!