I sat down with my coach (because every coach needs a coach!) to craft my master plan. I already knew counting calories made me INSANE so we decided to use hand measurements and a food diary instead. I only had three weeks to lose these last few pounds so my guidelines were far more strict than how he or I would normally coach clients but after our meeting, I knew exactly how many veggies, lean proteins and good fats I needed to consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner on days I didn't train, on moderate training days and on hard training days. I would have absolutely nothing processed, zero added sugar, zero alcohol. CLEAR RULES. I can follow rules in my sleep!
But FOOD. I also love FOOD. Once I left the gym, I got a little sad as I immediately started thinking about everything I couldn't eat: Cake or chocolate (or even fruit), bread, creamy sauces, glasses of wine. I knew I had a lot of travel and big networking events right before my certification that would involve all of the above and I just cringed.
But then a Valerie Waters quote came to mind: "The rules are not meant to make you feel deprived in some way. It's exactly the opposite -- it's your ticket to freedom." (This is from the foreword in Josh Hillis' book Fat Loss Happens on Monday) Suddenly, I started to think of all the recipes I had on hand (on my Pinterest page) that fit all of my requirements and it turns out I had tons of options! Deprivation, be gone! I went home and wrote out a weekly food plan, went to the grocery store and executed. (And to those of you who, like me, are mega tight on time: I made one-pot meals and had a lot of the same food every day but that was OK because my goal was important enough for me to do this for the short-term. You can't imagine the amount of spinach I went through...).
First I went to Louisville, KY for a two-day meeting. I decided to drive which allowed me to pack lots of healthy snacks to have on hand to make sure I didn't get to a point where I got so hungry I'd cave and reach for all the donuts in the world. Going out to lunch and dinner with my colleagues was a little challenging, sure, but since I knew the rules, I knew what to look for on the menu: Lots of veggies, a lean protein and a healthy fat. (If you're curious I had turkey slices, hardboiled eggs and cherry tomatoes for breakfast; a field greens salad with salmon for lunch; and a bunless burger with avocado, lettuce, tomato and a side of grilled asparagus for dinner the first day of meetings and all of that food was awesome and tasty and I was absolutely satisfied).
If you're curious, I lost those last few pounds successfully and passed my certification (subject for another post). This entire experience has not only made me physically stronger but I think it's also made me a better coach. And I'm honored to get to share some of what I learn with all of you!