The Affliction Known as Diet

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Crossfit fanatic. I train 5 days a week and compete any chance I get. Do I win? Well no. I don’t do terrible but I definitely don’t do as well as I see myself doing in my head. In my head I beat everyone; in reality I manage to not come in last. My problem is my diet. After nearly a year of trying to prove my coach wrong when it comes to the correlation between healthy eating and better results I’ve come to the conclusion that I suppose he may be on to something. Every so often my gym does a nutrition challenge and because I’ve always believed I could somehow defy the laws of anything that has to do with being healthy I opted out of all of them, until now. We’re starting one this coming Monday, May 9th and I’m going to try it, primarily because our summer competitions start at the beginning of June and I would like to do better than “well at least I didn’t come in last”. I also didn’t think it would be that hard because it’s not like I eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner, my eating habits aren’t so bad that I can’t substitute something with a vegetable.

Then I got the packet that detailed the rules, the points scale, and the foods we’re allowed to eat. Here’s how it works: you earn points in 6 categories – Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Hydration, Sleep and a Daily Challenge. Whoever earns the most points at the end of the 6 weeks wins money, and possibly a new body. Each category is worth 5 points and, obviously, you deduct points for not doing what’s required of each category. Exercise isn’t a problem, I’m at the gym everyday already. Mobility won’t be a problem either, it’s just stretching for 10 minutes a day. Easy. I drink shit tons of water a day so Hydration won’t get me. The Daily Challenge is things that they’ll ask us to do like meditate or make eye contact with a stranger, I think I can manage that. Then we get to the Sleep category. I’m usually in bed by about 10pm, but my insomnia wakes me up at midnight and then again at around 3am, so I need to get specifics on how that works because we’re supposed to get 7 straight hours and my brain doesn’t agree. Then there’s Nutrition. The whole reason I’m doing this is to clean up my diet for these competitions but it wasn’t until I actually saw the list of what we’re allowed to eat that I realized 2 things: 1) I eat like shit, and 2) I’m probably going to starve to death. The list of things I can eat is the exact opposite of what I eat/like to eat. I’m practically crying just thinking about Monday.

Before I go into what I can eat let me just explain my thought process when it comes to food. I don’t eat incredibly terrible, just like I don’t do too terrible in my competitions. But I love to eat and when the weekend comes around my food conscience goes completely out the window I eat whatever the hell I want with the mentality that Monday starts a new week of eating better. Eating better for me means protein, a vegetable, and then mac and cheese or something else delicious. In my head it counterbalances the protein and vegetable, so it cancels everything out and it’s like I didn’t eat at all. Brilliant, huh? Well apparently it doesn’t work like that.

This Monday really DOES mean the start of not just one week of eating better, but 6 weeks. Weekends included. 6 whole weeks. 6 weeks of no mac and cheese. 6 weeks of no mashed potatoes. 6 weeks of no soda. I’m not even much of a soda drinker but now that I can’t drink it I would like all the soda. I can’t have cheese which is basically a condiment in our household. No ice cream, no french fries, no cake, no chips, no anything that tastes like happiness. Wait! I haven’t gotten to the worst part. I can’t. Drink. Beer. No beer. Not one drop. That cool, refreshing beverage that serves as the best way to kick off a weekend will soon be a distant memory. I can drink wine but that’s not beer. No beer. I’m getting sadder and sadder.

Here’s what I can eat: things that stink, things that would taste better if they were fried, things that sound like I might be allergic to them, things that don’t sound like food, and for some reason I’m allowed butter and pork rinds. If I want something sweet I can eat fruit in the morning or I can have honey, but the list doesn’t have anything I can put honey on so it looks like I’ll have to drink it out of the bottle similar to an alcoholic who drinks mouthwash when they’ve run out of alcohol.

Now here’s the REALLY fun part: I have to do this unofficially (which means even if I make it I win nothing) because the program requires that you download Whatsapp and use it to post about the Daily Challenge or something. I’m not downloading that. I didn’t even know what it was until my coach explained it to me. Based on his explanation it’s my understanding that it works as sort of a private group message only you don’t have to get the notifications, you’re just bombarded with a million posts whenever you check it. I hate group text messages and when I get roped into one it makes me want my Nokia back, so I’m not going to use an app that makes me have to participate in text messaging’s worst feature. I get that I’m being a 5-year-old about the whole thing but that’s just one more app that I have to waste time staring at and I’m not interested. Besides, if that thing allows for more than 140 characters then the group is going to be real annoyed when they log on and find that rather than posting a simple message I have typed out a blog-like post that goes on for hours about how this diet is slowly killing me inside. Instead I’ll just share that on here with all of you, my tens of readers.

This nutrition challenge is supposed to be the start of a complete lifestyle change; I’ll be lucky if I make it a week. So at no point will this blog turn into a health and fitness blog. You won’t find healthy, delicious recipes here. You won’t read about any life altering epiphanies I’ve had, and if you do they’re coming from a state of delirium and I should probably seek medical treatment. And I hope you’re not looking for inspirational quotes to help you get through your own lifestyle change journey because if you are you need to stop reading and get on Instagram where you’ll find those horrendous profiles that share nothing but positive, babbling nonsense that are created by people who are one post away from a complete mental breakdown.

If you are, however, looking for something that serves as reinforcement that you’re not the only one suffering from the affliction known as “diet”, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s complain and take this journey together. My goal is to write a weekly update and also make it through the first day. So stay tuned to find out how deep into a diet you have to be to completely lose your mind. Enjoy your weekend!

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