For as long as I can remember, I have been a yo-yo dieter. One of my first memories of dieting was in my early teens. My friend and I went to the local track in my small town of Iowa. We took a tub of cottage cheese because that’s healthy right? Maybe we ran around the track once or twice. We definitely didn’t make it more than a one-time occurrence and deemed ourselves nutritious. Looking back, the event is comical, and I wish I could say that was the end of my silly ways, but the truth is, nutrition (or lack of) has always been a battle. Fast forward to 2019 and Kayla enters my life with her nutrition guidance.
Last December, flyers started appearing around the gym for the January nutrition challenge. Up to this point, I had been consistently going to the gym but at home I was sabotaging any gym gains with my eating habits. I was uncomfortable in my clothes; I was uncomfortable in social situations (especially if food was involved). Imagine telling others about where you work out as you pile up a plate of food that could feed three people! My last straw was when I no longer could look at myself in pictures without cringing. That is when I knew it was time to sign up for the nutrition program. After all, I had nothing to lose but the extra weight I was carrying.
I entered the program on Jan. 1 with an open mind. To be frank, that mind set was challenging to maintain as the program began. My feelings changed from elation as the energy level increased to moments of frustration when food prep and grocery gathering seemed daunting. Frustration loomed when cravings for food would just not go away. Kayla was never more than a text away and she was always quick to the rescue with a backup plan or solution to any frustrations or hiccups. As the program went on, I discovered how adventurous my eating habits had become. I developed patterns of eating, drinking water, logging my food and checking in with myself. I learned to eat or at the very least check in with myself every 3 hours (sometimes setting an alarm) to stay on top of hunger. I learned to appreciate new foods. Things I disliked before, I was willing to give another try: Almond Milk, Greek yogurt, egg whites, fish, and hummus just to name a few. Once I started to notice physical changes it was easier to keep doing what was working.
I still struggle with getting all the protein in. Tracking my food in MyFitnessPal is a great way to see where I stand on my daily food intake.
The program has helped me lose and keep off 26 pounds off weight. My confidence has been restored. Taking the time to put myself first by putting in the effort of what and when I eat and how I train has made me all around better. It has been baby steps, but the entire family has jumped on the nutrition wagon. We don’t dine out as often and when we do, we want high quality food. We’ve learned to make our favorite foods at home, using quality ingredients and portioning them. The kids have started to help cook. What started as smoothies as an after-school snack has transitioned into creating new flavors of smoothies and experimenting with fruits and vegetables. Eventually, they began willingly adding vegetables to the food we cooked. They were trying asparagus, green beans and Brussel sprouts. Teaching my family portion control, how to properly balance fats, carbs and protein and healthy snacking is a huge success.
Inside the gym I graduated to a higher box, hit new PR’s by picking up heavier weights, attempted and even completed my first RX WOD in The Open and during classes. This past month, I signed up for my first Gymnastics class and got my first strict pull up.
When you work with Kayla you are not just weighing in, getting measurements and receiving a check list of goals. She will listen to your habits, what is working or not and work with you to help you achieve your success. She is extremely knowledgeable in helping you reach your goals, whether it is gaining muscle or losing weight. Ultimately the choice is yours to hold yourself accountable for the food you fuel your body with and the work you put in at the gym. Kayla will be there every step of the way to help guide you to success.
Set yourself a realistic goal, one you know you can hold yourself to, share it with Kayla and be kind to yourself along your journey. Don’t sabotage yourself by saying you will commit to your nutrition later because of XYZ. Commit now and begin the work with Kayla to get the tools to succeed with whatever is holding you back.