Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nutrition week

Earlier this week I went to see a Natropath. I have two main concerns that I want to focus on this season and I need help to get me on track. The issues are nutrition and low back pain. Two things that are a permemenent fixture in my day to day and have been for many, many years.

Like so many, my weight has always been an issue for me. I constantly watch my weight and everything that I eat has to first plead it's case to my self-concious before making itself welcome in my body. Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy appetite and for the most part, see food as fuel, but it can be exhausting constantly battling yourself trying to get somewhere weight wise that's oh-so-close and yet still never quite there. I sometimes feel that I tetter on the edge of healthy vs unheathy self image - I'm buildt on a big frame, I'm muscular and most of all I'm healthy, which is important, but I've never really been completely happy, always just a few (2-3) lbs from where I'd like to be.

Here's something I'm not always willing to do... but for the sake of tracking this journey in great detail, here it is... I currently weigh 162 lbs. Shocker I know. This time last year, I finally lost the 3 nagging pounds that I just couldn't shake and things were looking great all the way through the summer. Naturally, as most people do, I lost a few more pounds in the summer and I did get down to 155lbs. That was the lightest I've been in many years, and of course, I still wasn't perfectly happy, but I was content.

Somehow, and I REALLY have no idea how, since December I've put on a few extras and I'm back to 162-163. How does someone train 8-10 workouts a week and PUT ON WEIGHT????? I'm at a loss. I really don't have time to be frustrated anymore, life's too busy right now, so I've enlisted the help of Dr. Ryan Oughtred, Naturopath. His background as a pro ski racer and his extensive work with athletes helps him relate to what I'm trying to achieve and gives him great insight into what I'm looking for from him.

First things first, he's having me keep a Diet Diary for the week. I've done these in the past, and they really do work. It's a bit of a pain at first, but after the first day or two, you really get a sense of what your really eating, and most of all, how much your actually eating. What they allow you to do is become accountable for what your consuming. If you keep track of everything you put into you body, your all of a sudden very aware of how many "exceptions" you make. But let me tell you, if your being honest with yourself, and sticking with the diary, you'll find yourself opting to skip the 3pm chocolate chip banana bread rather than face the reality of having to write it down in your log. It's simple, but it works.

I've developed pretty healthy eating habits and don't find myself reaching for that afternoon sugar fix all that often anymore. I've got great healthy alternatives and have been 'brown-bagging' my lunch for a long time now. I cook quite a bit (mostly spend an afternoon on the weekends making food for the whole week), I eat "clean" (mostly fresh, organic, no additives food), I make healthy snacking options, I eat little and often (and I mean really often - I rarely go more than 2 hours without eating), I drink a ton of water and I exercise regularly (duh). It's for all these reasons, I can't figure out why I'm not leaning out as I'd like, and actually going in the OTHER direction. But - that's for Dr. O to figure out, I just have to record it.

So starting next week when I'm back, Dr O will have reviewed my diary and get me on a plan to lean out my naturally "cushioned" body composition helping be to be a bit more 'stealth-like' in my racing.

My other issue is with my chronic lower back pain. That's a whole other situation and I'll save it for another post, likely after I've had the chance to work with the Good Doctor to asses what he thinks he can do to help there.

Training this week has been a little slow, but that was on purpose. The consensus throughout my coach, the Doc, and myself is that I may be pushing a bit to hard for this early in the season. I'm spending a bit to much time in the anaerobic heart rate zone (that's the high 70-80% of your Max HR). Doing this can burn you out quick and will usually hinder any kind of success in training. Mostly the consequence is a variety of different overuse injuries or over training symptoms life fatigue, plateau or other random challenges that pop up in your life that you wouldn't necessarily connect to your training - like irritability.

So this week I cut out the track workout (run) and took it nice and easy in the pool on Tuesday. It felt great actually. This comes at good time, since tomorrow I'll be heading up to Whistler for the whole week. I'm working at the IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country World Cup and won't be able to get many workouts in. I'll get up (super) early tomorrow to get in a long run before I leave at 8am, but who knows if I'll be able to get anything else in for the next week.

Despite the missing of the workouts - it's going to be a great week. Oh! and I went on a great long ride out to Deep Cove today. I finally witnessed the "Honey's Donuts" phenomenon. They looked/smelled delish.. but I wasn't about to log "1 Giant-doughy-sugar-glazed-doughnut" into my diary. No matter how many kilometers I peddled to get there.


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