Part of my focus this year, as I try to become a better triathlete, has been on nutrition. Since I started doing triathlons back in 2007/2008, I've slowly but surely cleaned up my diet. I used to eat a box of macaroni and cheese for dinner a few nights a week (when I wanted to get wild and crazy, I'd add in a couple chopped up hot dogs - double wide dinner!!). When I realized how many calories are in a box (because I never bothered to look before), I figured the blue box special was putting me on the fast track to Slowville and I'd better quit that habit. In recent years I've also embraced the idea that cereal is for breakfast and NOT for dinner. Progress. Going out to eat hasn't really been a major roadblock, we don't go out terribly often and I'd rather make my lunch and bring it in than buy it because I am a cheapskate. And there is my chocolate addiction (FYI, the chocolate chips or PR sign on the pantry chalkboard is still staring me in the face). The chocolate actually hasn't been too much of a problem this season, we just haven't been buying it and when I do have it, it's usually in the form of frozen yogurt as a reward for weekend workouts. But, despite all of this progress, I felt like there was more that could be done.
Enter Beth, triathlete and dietician extraordinaire.
I won't go into great detail of what we discussed, but it did involve a food log (which provided me with the realization that I eat a crap-ton of food) and it turns out that my big weakness isn't chocolate, but rather... cheese and butter. You don't realize how much of those things you consume until you are writing down every morsel of food that passes your lips. That handful of cheese you down as you are making your cheese-laden veggie quesadillas - busted!
I also need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Guess what, you probably do too, even if you think you are eating enough. Do you know how much fruit and veggies you need to eat in order to get a day's worth of 5-8 servings. A crap-ton. In fact, you should be having them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks. Then, just maybe you will meet the recommended daily quota. As I was cooking my meals and filling out my food log, I was all hoity-toity about my fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, I was all look at meee, we get weekly deliveries of fresh fruits/veggies from the green grocer and we cook all our own meals with said veggies and I had a fruit smoothie for dessert instead of ice cream, blahblahblah. And Beth's analysis of my food logs said otherwise, womp womp.
SO, I can count on one hand how many weeks until Ironman - this means it's time to put the nutrition lessons I've learned to work, cut the baloney (or, rather the cheese and butter), pile on the fruits and vegetables, go off recreational sugar, buckle down and get serious. The sweat and hard work I left on Skyline Drive during all those rides this summer won't be for naught. And that entire sheetcake and can of frosting I plan to devour post-Ironman will taste that much better if I don't cheat beforehand. Au revoir nutritional weaknesses, I will see you sometime post-Ironman.