So where was I…ah yes, November 2014 I walked through the MadLab doors for the first time. I was a 125lb food and diet obsessed mess.
I recall just months after I started I joined my first Whole Life Challenge. This was made for me. Performance level was basically how I was living my life. I literally gave up nothing. It fueled me to restrict even more. I obviously was doing something right if I could do the hardest level so easily. I was the champ at restricting. I wasn’t losing weight any more so the only thing to do was restrict more. Or even better I could work out twice a day an ‘earn’ a bigger deficit! 6am class in the morning and run at night. T-bone steak with butter for dinner. Sure I lost points on some of the other WLC stuff – who has time to mobilize and meditate and journal when you are working out twice a day and spending the rest of your time and energy thinking and obsessing over food. That stuff doesn’t really do anything anyways. Just a bunch of woo woo hippy stuff.
Something weird started happening to me though. My weight started to go up. But so did my strength. And I started to feel stronger. My size XS started to feel snug. Since when did I have shoulders? Why won’t my ass fit into these size 4 skinny jeans anymore? I started to see muscles. I wanted to lift heavier. I wanted to feel more powerful. I liked how it felt. I worried less about the pounds on the scale and worried more about the pounds on the bar.
My desire to compete didn’t change either. My first year at MadLab I had a Nutts Cup Team. We came last. It was amazing. I did the Open. More WLCs. Festivus. I never did really well but it was so much fun.
The 2 a day workouts were killing me. Suddenly I didn’t want to run 20k on Sunday because I knew it would mess up my ability to squat Monday morning. And Wednesday morning workouts meant Wednesday night hill training was going to suck bad. I didn’t have enough energy for both. I had to choose. So, 2.5 years ago I joined the Development Program and stopped running. One of my best decisions.
Throughout all of this I continued to devour books, podcasts and articles on nutrition. I kept reading a similar theme – that high intensity training needed carbs. Keto and paleo were not enough. I still thought it didn’t apply to me. Bacon for life. Carbs are the devil. Keto was a part of my identity and I was not willing to give it up.
As I reduced my training shockingly I started to have more energy. Not that coaches didn’t try to get me to take more days off (hell they still do!) but I was fine. I didn’t need rest. Other people needed rest but I wasn’t like other people. I needed to train more to get better. And it was working.
Until it stopped.
Part 1 - My Relationship with food was anything but healthy - https://www.madlab.ca/madlab-nutrition-coaching.html