For those that don’t know me (and even after 4.5 years here I feel like if you aren’t a 6am or 7am client or in DP or named Wendy, then you probably don’t know who the heck I am) my name is Caron and I am a MadLab Apprentice Coach. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the whole community and to share my story with you all as well as my passion for nutrition.
I joined MadLab 4.5 years ago as a Half Marathon coach and runner and was a wee little 125lb thing looking to ‘tone up’ and maybe get some upper body strength. I had just done a Tough Mudder and I struggled with getting myself up and over walls or up ropes or basically anything that required physical strength.
But my health and fitness journey didn’t start there. In fact, exactly a year before I started I was a completely different person. Weighing nearly 200lbs, I did no physical activity. I was a work-a-holic, traveling all the time for my job, working in the field, eating crap food and drinking every night. I was 38 years old and after seeing myself in some family Christmas photos, I didn’t recognize who I was anymore and I decided it was time to make a change.
I used to be healthy and fit. Since I was 9 years old I was a little karate champ. I competed internationally and I had a room full of medals and trophies. As an adult I was an undefeated amateur boxer. I loved sport and I loved to compete. But life got in the way and I stopped doing the things I was passionate about.
So, in January 2014 I made the one and only New Year’s Resolution that I have ever kept. I was going to lose the weight. I signed my mom and I up for a learn to run clinic and I read my first nutrition book. No, I devoured it. And then another. And another. And I started to apply the things I was learning. And I ran. 5k. 10k. 20k. And the weight started to drop off. Quickly. And by November 2014 when I first walked into through the MadLab doors I was that 125lb little runner girl that some of you may remember.
My main nutrition ‘dogma’ when I was losing weight was keto. I learned that cutting out all carbs from my diet meant that the fat just melted off my body. It felt effortless. I was never super hungry and when I was I could eat a 2lb T-bone steak drizzled in butter for dinner and not gain weight. And keto served me well. I felt energized, clear headed and sharp. Any time I came off keto even briefly my weight went up. So, I figured there was no reason to ever change. Bacon for life. Carbs are the devil.
I also started weighing and tracking my food. I had my Fitbit or Garmin or whatever device that told me how much food I had ‘earned’ that day with my steps and my fitness. I would weight myself daily to make sure the weight didn’t somehow creep back on overnight (full transparency here I still do this today). I would only eat at restaurants that shared their nutrition data so I could track my meal. If my friends wanted to go elsewhere I would back out and say I was too busy. I wouldn’t go to someone else’s home for dinner because I couldn’t control what they put in the food. I once took my own meal to a family friends house when invited for Boxing Day brunch (that really didn’t go over too well). I would pre-portion out all my food, treats, snacks. I would measure out (yup with a measuring cup) 4oz of red wine when I wanted a treat or on holidays like Christmas. I didn’t have cheat meals or refeed days because those were for people that were too weak to stay on track and I had way more willpower than they did so I didn’t need them.
I had taken back control of my life, my nutrition and my weight. I was the perfect picture of health and fitness.
Except anyone reading this would probably agree that my relationship with food was anything but healthy.
Next post – disordered eating, the long and winding road to recovery and why I want to be a MadLab and nutrition coach.
Finally, I want you all to know that we are now offering MadLab Nutrition Coaching.
There will be different packages available depending on your needs.
This isn’t about handing out meal plans and sending you on your way. It’s working together in an environment of compassion, understanding and empathy.
If you want to do a bodybuilding or physique competition then I am probably not the coach for you.
If you or anyone you know are interested in a collaborative effort in developing good habits, making smart choices, lose some weight (yes, it is ok if you want to walk this earth on a lighter frame and I can help you do that the right way!) and learning to eat for health and hunger, then speak to me or your coach or Dash.
More info on the programs coming Mid April.