To Carb or Not to Carb? That is the Question…

On a daily basis we are bombarded with the idea Carbs are bad for us, Products claiming “new low carb formula”  Should we eat low carb? what is a carb?

What is a Carb? (Carbohydrate)

I asked a few people this question recently and most people responded Bread, Pasta and Potato a few people even believing “gluten free” food was free of carbs, I also find people perceive low carb as low calorie this is not always the case. Yes carbohydrates can be found in this food but typically foods like Yogurt, Milk, Sugary Foods (chocolate, candy) and Broccoli also contain the demonized “carb” just in different ratios and are made up of different Molecules.

There are also two types of carbs,

Simple- Generally found in processed foods like pasta, lollies and white breads. these carbs are relativity quick digesting.

Complex- Found in wholegrain and Natural foods like Sweet potato and other vegetables, rice and multi grain bread.

Carbohydrates specifically “glucose” are essential for us to live, let alone preform athletic activity’s it is the body’s preferred fuel. So with out Glucose there is no you and me.

 

In Scales we Trust???

Society’s fixation on putting a measurement on what is a “healthy” or “Ideal” weight has always astonished me, the pressure we endure trying to reach a particular number on the scales, Maybe its jealousy, I have never managed to get below 60kgs my entire life (and for me this was the hardest body weight to maintain, I was a cardio junky, i was clocking about 30ks min a week with light strength training and a calorie controlled diet, but not long after starting a more Strength based program I put on 4kgs like that, mind you all of my cloths still fit, so lets assume I was gaining muscle, at 64kgs it was easy to maintain I went on holidays for 6 weeks and went for the occasional run but being out 8-12pm each night doesn’t  really leave a lot of time to fit in workouts. After my return home I decided to start crossfit, this is something I have dabbled in over the years but I really wanted the challenge of starting to look at competing in the next 6-9 months, Lets me warn you…..if you start crossfit you might want to throw away your scales…After 2 months of crossfit I decided to step on them whilst looking after a friends house…..well i nearly fell over! 70KGS What The F**K! I was hitting Lift PBs, Moving Fast, Beginning to nail complex moves but what was with the weight gain, to look at me I could tell I had more “shape” in particular parts of my body particularly through the legs, bootay and shoulders I looked athletic and I hadn’t noticed a massive increase in fat on my body but we don’t always see clearly when we hit a set back or think we have failed at something.

After thinking about this in my head I knew some of this weight fluctuation was due to an increase of lean muscle mass was I beginning to beat myself up about not working hard enough or becoming fat again (When i was 21 i weighed 98Kgs at my heaviest) is it that we are told we should be a specific number on the scales? that we are always in the massive struggle to always be “dieting” or “working out” to loose those last few KGs, how about eating to nourish and support an active lifestyle, the min we dramatically decrease our caloric intake that’s less energy that can be used during a HITT workout and quite often get knocked on our ass a few days after a killer workout !   It took a few trusted people and a Dexa scan to bring me back down to earth. Finding out i was an incredible 51Kgs of muscle astonished me!

I will never know and or understand how celebrities on the cover of  trash magazines get down to 40kgs, I can guarantee they don’t exercise, But unfortunately these are the people that our young people look up too they are their “inspiration” I could never have the body of Kendal Jenner, to start with I am only 165cm tall, I am also a different build, plus lets face it shes not built to do the type of training I enjoy.

After successfully quitting sugar and only reintroducing small amounts of fruit and approved sweeteners (rice malt syrup and stevia)  I currently have found balance in my life by following the crossfit principles for eating, and following a zone diet, but this might not work for everyone I have just found it to be the most fool proof way of eating to follow with out having to calorie count or work out macros.

My mental battle with my body!

Over the years like many girls (& boys) i have struggled the way my body looks, always looking in the mirror and hating everything i saw, I am sure for most of you this sounds similar, I bounced around on fad diets, intense workout plans (with very little gains) but this never changed the way I saw myself….Until recently.

One Evening I got home from the gym and looked at my self in the mirror and thought This battle with my head has to stop!  This wasn’t long after my mum passed away so on the best of days I was always some what of an emotional wreck but exercise at this point was an escape for me, for a whole hour I didn’t need to worry about being angry, sad, or happy. I didn’t have to worry about someone talking to me, or even talking to someone else.

At this point I was running, it was a fitness weakness for me so  I was working on improving and this is where my attitude to food, exercise and my body started to change. You cant train running over 30kilomiters a week on a low calorie diet, you could but i can guarantee you probably wouldn’t make any gains in speed or recovery time. In the space of about 2 months I went from running 10ks in an hour to 10ks in about 45min depending on the day (my PB to this day is 13ks in 40mins) I was nourishing my with whole and unprocessed foods from a wide range of food groups.

Whilst I was doing my running training I was also working with a PT at a local crossfit gym 2x per week to help complement the running,  I loved our sessions I left every week on top of the world, Kaye is still my PT and she is most definitely one of my fav people she is always supportive and offering advice without pushing her opinion, we also have one thing in common we hate FAD DIETS! Not long after I started training with Kaye she put me into the in house Crossfit open Comp, and I had my doubts  (I have 2 major fears Rejection and Failure) but I was pleasantly surprised with my results in 2 instances i came in 2nd on the board, I realized how low my self confidence was ….this is when I made my decision to be the healthiest and fittest I can be!

After my holiday to the USA I signed up to start crossfit……still a little scared of rejection and failure, I would stand in the back of class quiet not wanting to make eye contact with anyone, but after a few short weeks I saw a change in my body, my mind and my self prescription. I no longer cared about the results in on the scales but the results on the Board, seeing myself lift heaver, move faster, getting better at a movement I once struggled with or finishing a workout using an RX weight.

My attitude towards myself has been my favorite change from starting crossfit I have formed new friendships with a wide range of like minded people , I reward my body with nourishing foods, Ive cut out all refined sugar (see my other blog), I am gaining mental strength and believing in myself more and more, as well as learning to encourage others and lets not forget I am still seeing changes in my body, but they are the last thing on my mind :D!

Fitter, stronger and Healthier the rest is all a bonus!   toes to bar1