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A Coach’s Journey Through Macro Counting

Skinny, small, slim, tiny, weak, fragile….words NEVER used to describe me.

 

When I was younger I had many insecurities including my weight.  I was 200lbs at 12 years old due to poor eating habits.  I walked a lot, I played softball, I was active and yet I was still in terrible shape.  Eating habits.

Last October, I decided to take a stab at tracking my macros (carbohydrates, protein, and fats) instead of using the most commonly used tactic of counting calories.  The problem has always been, when tracking calories, that I didn’t take into account where those calories come from.  Would you rather go into a workout on greasy fast food or a well-rounded meal?  The answer is so obvious and I thought it might be fun so I said to myself let’s see what kind of changes a tracking macros would bring.  I hired Brittany as my nutrition coach and started logging my food again.  Healthy snacks, no  refined sugars, WAY more protein than I had been eating in the past year, more variety of foods, and lots of water…..of course!

 

EAT MORE, NOT LESS

After logging my normal activity for a week, I started weighing.   192lbs and 42% BF.  I knew it was high and I’m not blind!  My protein intake jumped to about 120g a day, carbs stayed at 150g a day, and fat, 50g and no problem with that!  Fats are what I find hardest to actually eat.  WelI, I USED to find it hard.  The first 2-3 weeks were tough!  I was eating a full meal before 5AM and a second around 9am post workout.  I never thought I’d say I don’t want to eat anymore.  BUT, I made it work and I saw obvious improvements.  I didn’t crave something sweet everyday like I used to, I didn’t feel like I needed a snack in the afternoon, I enjoyed playing with the numbers and new meal ideas, and within the first month I had gone down to 180lbs and 34.9% BF!

 

OH CRAP! IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! 

Yep, I decided to start this big change right before the holiday season.  Parties, celebrations, going out with friends, holiday drinks, here we go!  I developed a game plan for each and every party I went to.  I cut up a MASSIVE tray of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers and I snacked on those until they were just about gone.  It helped….a lot!  And yeah, I had some good stuff too.  Fruit cake, sausage balls, cookies, alcohol.  But the difference was I tracked it and was mindful of my portions.  It was actually easy.  I had eaten my regular meals and wasn’t really hungry at all. Great lesson Brittany taught me, let yourself enjoy just a couple of things that are not on your normal food list, but the rest of the day is on track.  Oh, and one more secret, sparkling water, flavored sparkling water.  It’s fancier than regular water, it tastes better and people won’t give you crap for drinking water. By early December I was down to 176.2lbs and 32% BF. 

 

NEW YEAR, NEW ME

Mid January put me at 171lbs and 32% BF. Not as much of a change this past month BUT it was the holidays and that usually results in an extra 10lbs I have to hurry to get off!  This time, I managed to come down in weight!!  YES!!  I ate gingerbread cookies, cupcakes, steak, had some beers, and enjoyed my time with my family BUT I also managed to food prep some staples while on vacation and worked out about 7 out of 10 days, which resulted in feeling much better when I came home.  I felt fantastic!  I had to start buying some new clothes so I could stop looking like I’m gonna fall out of everything.  It’s a blessing and a curse, who wants to have to get a whole new wardrobe?  I had so many things I had just purchased and not been able to wear enough, that I said f**k it, I’m wearing this stuff til it literally falls off of me.  Well, I realized it’s hard to jump rope or run when you have to hike your pants up every 5 mins.  Sigh.

 

THE FINAL MILE! 

Starting March off and I’m three pounds from my goal of 160lbs!!!!  I DID IT!!  I hit 163 so far and I haven’t felt and looked this good in years!  The happiness that comes with being healthy, cannot be underestimated.  Yes, the physical outward benefits that come with eating better are fantastic, don’t get me wrong.  But the big selling points for me included;

  • Workouts got easier, faster, and I felt like I could do more than before
  • My strength did NOT diminish, I am still able to lift what I lifted before I started to drop
  • I can move a lot easier, faster, and more efficiently, which makes pretty much EVERYTHING easier!
  • I was able to do things I didn’t think I’d ever try like toes to bar, banded pull ups(a long work in progress), and cycling through workouts with more ease
  • I have more energy, I am happier overall, and I don’t NEED a daily nap anymore

CONTINUING TO SUCCEED

I feel like any time someone tries a “diet” or tries to change their eating habits, they end up reverting back to their old habits and not embracing the lifestyle change.  It’s been almost 5 months so far and I can easily say I will continue with this lifestyle.  I mean I’m gonna be FORTY this year and I feel and look better than I have in years so there is no reason to even go back now.  My goal is to help clients do the same, learn how to improve their diet so that they can also feel better, look better, and have better quality workouts.

 

This has made me finally take action and move forward to get my nutrition certification so that I too can help others feel as great as I do.  I also plan on competing in my very first Crossfit competition….as an intermediate competitor!  NEVER thought that would even be an option for me!  It’s kind of a big deal in my mind.  I know for a fact that this will make my runs better and less stress on my body, since I don’t have to carry the 25 extra pounds!

This experience has been so great for me to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food while still being able to enjoy those treats I have ALWAYS loved….like cake!  Brittany has made it so easy to implement changes and been the best support system for me, to help keep me on track.

 

FINAL STATS:      OCT 2019         MARCH 2020

WEIGHT:                   193lbs                     163lbs

BODY FAT %:             41.7%                      25.8%

 

Melissa Farrell

Las Vegas Runners Coach, Ultra Marathoner, Crossfitter

October 2019, December 2019, February 2020 Comparison