On carbs and eating big and stuff.

One of my favorite episodes of Arrested Development is when the entire Bluth family decides to go on the Atkins diet and after a hugely stressful event (I won’t spoil it for you, but it involves Overly Literal Doctor) they all binge on breadsticks and pasta and more bread. It’s hilarious because I’m pretty sure that episode came out in 2003 or 2004, right when low-carb everything was all the rage. It’s really funny. You should watch it.

I’ve gone through various incarnations of “carbs are evil” but at the end of the day…carbs are good. They taste good and they should ideally make you feel good to eat. I used to struggle with hypoglycemic episodes and having too many carbs would make me feel sick…headach-y, nauseated, crash-y. Some would say that it’s because carbs are bad for you, but I think (and I think there is science to back this up) that carbs + inactivity are what is bad for you, i.e. what causes metabolic dysfunction (which is what is causing the headaches, etc). You can lose weight and address some metabolic issues by simply removing carbs from your diet, but wouldn’t it be more fun to move your body and be active and then eat carbs to fuel your activity rather than not move and also not eat carbs?

Since I have started lifting I have noticed a few things: 1. Carbs don’t make me feel sick anymore. 2. I can go longer period of times without having what I feel like is a hangry blood-sugar-related meltdown. People. I used to be FAMOUS for my hangry meltdowns, especially while pregnant. I attribute both of these things to better metabolic function caused by heavy lifting. With my LBEB programming I am eating more carbs than I ever have before but I feel amazing. I go to the gym and I lift heavier than I ever have before. I sleep well. My brain works and I don’t feel so “foggy.” If I DON’T eat enough carbs my lifts suffer and my energy suffers. Carbs are good. Eat them.

Another thing I think is interesting a month into my programming is that I am eating SO MUCH FOOD and I might go to bed feeling bloated and huge but by morning I look and feel lean and tight (mostly…time-of-the-month issues sometimes cause bloating/water retention, as all of us ladies know). I have also discovered that gluten and dairy really aren’t my friends. I don’t feel good after I eat them, typically. In small amounts I can have Greek yogurt or kefir but everything else dairy-related just doesn’t make me feel that great. Same with gluten. Most of my carbs come from rice or potatoes and of course, veggies. My beloved oatmeal doesn’t make me feel good. Bread doesn’t make me feel good. Rice and potatoes (even, *gasp* white rice and white potatoes!!) make me feel good. REALLY good. I have energy for days and I just feel good. But I think if I wasn’t lifting and had an inactive lifestyle, they wouldn’t make me feel good. None of this is scientific, just my personal observations as I have changed some of my eating habits. I am learning to eat like an athlete. Eat to perform. Sure, I still love adult beverages and pizza and I am not perfect in my diet by any means but I am learning and making little changes in order to be more awesome.

 

 

 

 

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week one.

I completed my first week of Strongwoman training this week. It was tough…the learning curve felt steep, many of the lifts were totally new to me, and I couldn’t lift even 100lbs in a sandbag. Something about the way the weight shifts combined with no really great way to grip it made it a formidable challenge. Humbling. I sucked wind, hard. And when I got to that point — that point where you have a choice to make between stopping and enduring, giving up or persevering, the place between two pains — I quietly gathered my strength and continued.

I’ve been at that place before. All mothers know that place. You first come to that place in labor — that moment when continuing to labor seems like too much to bear, but continuing to have a child wedged in your birth canal doesn’t seem like a great option either.

I probably just lost all of my male readers, but listen up, men. If birth analogies make you feel icky, it’s time to suck it up, cupcake! If you affirm the strength of women (and if you’re here from LBEB, you should), you’ll need to affirm birth and motherhood, because birth and motherhood require great strength. The same kind of mental toughness that is required to rip heavy weights off the floor.

Anyway. Back to that place. You want to give up. You’re done. But you also know there’s no way out but through. So you dig down deep, push your limits and…beauty happens. You gaze upon pure beauty as you hold it in your arms. It feels like glory.

You come to that place again quickly, as a mother. When breastfeeding is challenging, because how do you get this little newborn to keep his dang hands out of his mouth so he can latch on? You feel like you need several more hands. And dang…sometimes you’re doing everything “right” — latch looks good, everything is as it should be — and yet nursing HURTS LIKE A MOFO. You dig down deep, grit your teeth, and do it anyway. When you haven’t slept in days and days and your baby will only sleep touching you, with a boob in his mouth, while being rocked — that requires strength. That kind of love and devotion requires strength. It is a strong love, motherhood.

What I want all women to truly know, and mothers especially, is that they have so much strength. We are born with it. It is our crowning glory. Our society doesn’t want us to know that we are strong, so it tries to tell us to never pick up a weight heavier than 3lbs and to slave away on the treadmill or elliptical. It tells us to give birth on our backs, strapped to machines, and to definitely not yell or grunt or scream. It tells us that we need to weigh a certain amount and we need to eat a certain amount and to fit in a certain size in order to be beautiful. All these things glorify weakness, and are designed to keep us down.

Our strength requires fuel. We can eat food. Lots of food. I believe that one of the leading causes of depression in this country is from starvation. Eat the food! Our bodies were designed to run on real food in real amounts. Physical energy and mental energy come from food. Our brains use something like 25% of our total calories? How can we be expected to problem-solve, challenge the status quo, and think through all of the things we’re supposed to think through as women (careers, family, etc) without fuel? EAT THE FOOD.

Women: we can lift heavy things. Those heavy things might be physical, or they might be emotional or spiritual. We have been given the strength to do great things. We just have to tap into that inner strength. Two of the best ways I know to encounter that inner greatness are through birth, and through lifting heavy stuff. The lessons we learn through these experiences will carry us through many trials, as we learn how to stand strong, and how to not give up when heavy burdens are placed on our backs.

 

 

 

hi!

My apologies for taking a few days to get this blog up and running — if you’re here via Lift Big Eat Big, hi again! I’ll be using this blog (as well as my instagram and facebook and twitter) to update everyone on my progress as I work through 6 months of Strongwoman training and all that it entails — eating like it’s my job, lifting heavy stuff, pushing my limits, etc.

Check back often for updates!