You know when you test your WFTDA minimums, and there’s that one skill that always gives you a challenge? And that’s the skill you decide to make your personal mission?
Healthy eating can be a lot like WFTDA minimums. There will be a lot of steps that come easy to you, and some that will give you a big challenge.
Each of us has our limiting factors – “roadblocks” – that keep us from doing the things we want to do. By identifying our roadblocks early, we can face them head-on with knowledge and a plan for success. Plus, we can capitalize on the stuff we’re already good at, and use those things to our advantage.
The New Year is often a time to buckle back in to healthier habits after our holiday indulgences, and “eating healthier” or losing weight. You might be considering some changes to your routine, and that’s great. Booty Quake and I are here to help, with a brand new “Derby Fuel Clean Eating System” that we’re really excited to share with you (more on that below).
But regardless of whether you’re following our plan, someone else’s, or your own, there are some key steps to crushing your derby nutrition goals.
Answer these questions to make sure you’re choosing your destination thoughtfully, and you’re on the right road to success:
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Give this question some real thought. Why are you choosing to change the food in your life? What is it that you’re hoping to get out of the process? Are you looking to put on some lean mass so that you can stand up to your leagues toughest blockers? Are you looking to lose body fat or to maintain? Are you looking for some help so that you can perform better in sport with the right foods?
All answers to this question are totally valid, but it’s critical to your success that you know (at least sort of) what your answer is.
WHEN DO YOU WANT IT?
When setting your nutrition goals, give yourself a (realistic) timeframe. The Derby Fuel program helps, since it’s a pretty clear 30-day jump-start, but what sort of timeline do you want your long-term goals to be on? Pick a timeline that challenges you to stay on track and that gives you the push you need, but that gives you time enough to really ingrain your healthy habits. Generally, it takes us at least two weeks before a habit sticks, so keep that in mind when you’re working through your plan.
Realistic time-frame goal examples for the next four weeks could include: 2-4 pounds of fat loss, 1-2 pounds of lean muscle gain, or 90% compliance with meals.
WHAT IS STANDING IN YOUR WAY?
Our brains love to protect us from change, so it’s really easy for us to come up with reasons why we can’t instead of why we can. One of my favourite coaches likes to say “Quit Tomorrow”. This means, tackle your challenge head-on today – whether it’s making it to a training session, chopping up your weekly veggies, or spending a few extra minutes preparing a healthy meal. Do it today, and you can quit tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes – follow the same mantra :)
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy, and negative self-talk can be our biggest stumbling block. But maybe a busy work or school schedule is what’s going to get in your way, or temptations from significant others or social gatherings.
Naming our limiting factors allows us to manage them. This is key, since life will throw a bunch of limiting factors at you, that you can’t anticipate. If you can identify and tackle some of the challenges that have previously hampered your healthy eating attempts, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with the surprises that life sends your way.
WHAT CONDITIONS WOULD HAVE TO CHANGE FOR YOU TO GET WHAT YOU WANT?
After thinking about what your limiting factors are, think about actionable ways that you could change your behaviour to eliminate them, so you can keep your nutrition goals on track. Don’t have time to eat breakfast? Can you give up a few minutes of Netflix the night before to have a meal prepped for the morning? Or can you set your alarm 15 minutes earlier? Be mindful about which actions you’re consciously engaging in, and which you’re just doing out of routine.
If a routine isn’t helping you achieve your goal – scrap it!
Real change doesn’t happen overnight. It probably took you years to develop the food habits that you currently have, and it will take you a while to change them. Be patient and gentle with yourself, and remember that the perfect is the good. Take steps to be a little bit more awesome every day, but don’t beat yourself up when you stumble. Just like in derby, the real way to get better at anything is not to avoid falling, but to pick yourself up when you do!
“What do I hope to accomplish with my nutrition plan?”
So often, when starting a new diet plan, folks will just say they want to “eat better.” Trouble is, that means something different to every single person. Rather than aiming to “eat better”, let’s dial it in to the goal you set and frame the question this way –
“What do I hope to accomplish with my nutrition plan?”
All good nutrition plans should:
- Improve your body composition;
- Improve your health; and
- Improve your performance.
Here’s the thing – a diet exclusively focused on only one of these areas can have negative impacts on the others.
For example, crazy restrictive fad diets might help you shed fat and look better naked, but will also have troublesome repercussions on your health and performance. Same goes for exclusively health-based diets that advise cutting major calories or protein and heavily supplementing. Those type of plans often reduce metabolic rate and decrease your daily energy level. Also, lots of people try to boost their performance with ergogenic drugs or crash diets before competition – again, these strategies won’t serve you over the long haul.
Keep in mind that “good nutrition” is outcome based, logical, and will address all three of those areas of concern – not just one. In the Derby Fuel System, you won’t have gangbusters progress in one area, only to sacrifice the rest. You’ll learn that “eating better” ultimately means balance. Balance between your macronutrients, balance between realistic and optimistic goals, and balance between where you are now and where you want to be.
Good nutrition has way more to do with action than it has to do with knowledge. Many of us already know what we should be eating to achieve our goals, but we still fall short. We keep seeking out better or different knowledge, thinking that it will make the difference. But so long as we’re learning without doing, those goals will still be unattainable. At the end of the day, inactivity is the real roadblock to making positive change in your life. We need to make the little changes seem easier, gently nurture each positive step, and set ourselves up for long term success, rather than short term frustration.
That goes for any nutrition or fitness program you decide to take on.
The reason I’m extra stoked about Derby Fuel is that you will learn so much… things like:
- How to save time and money by prepping your meals in advance
- How to make healthy meals that taste fabulous
- How to adjust your meal planning for life events – tournaments, travel and so on
- How to set realistic and actionable goals (and stick with them)
- And much more…
But only you (with the support of the awesome Roller Derby Athletics community) can put all of that learning into action. We’ll be there for you every step of the way!
Whether you’re working on your own, or if you’re going to join the Derby Fuel program, here are the first three questions you should answer for yourself today:
- What is your major dietary goal?
- When do you want to achieve it by?
- What is one action you can take today to get you closer to that goal?
If you’re ready to make some lifelong changes and learn a ton about healthier eating – information that will last you a lifetime, I invite you to join Derby Fuel right here.
[As always, if you’re an MVP Member, this program is already included!]
Yours in tasty grub,
xo Lilith NoFair