Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pullup PR, nutrition

Today I was stunned to blow away my old wide-grip pullup PR. I flew through 10, chin way up over the bar, got two more most of the way, and needed a nudge to get two more. So 14 total, but 10 legit. On the first one I knew I had it today, I felt light, felt good, and it was easy.

Which brings me to my next point on the importance of eating right for feeling good. I have been learning (I'm a slow learner) over the last nearly two years from Jake that the ideal way to eat is to have 6 or 7 small meals and snacks spread out every 2.5 or 3 hours throughout the day, with a mix of carbs, protein, and fats, that are appropriate to the activity level. When I have a competition or race coming up, Jake helps to set up my meals, entering them on them the SparkPeople web site and I just have to follow along. It NEVER ceases to amaze me that when I eat according to his plan, I feel great and can manage my appetite in a way that cravings are not much of an issue.

I have to plan and cook things ahead of time, then pack meals each day, but the meals are basic and simple, good and filling. The payoff is huge. I'm reading a book called "Racing Weight" by triathlete Matt Fitzgerald. He maintains that before you go to bed, you should know what you are eating the next day, where and when. Jake says the same thing and I'm beginning to really see the wisdom in that. We can't rely on body cues and the abundance of readily-available food to sync up and deliver the nutrition we need.

I believe one can truly train the appetite. When I eat a lot of sweets, I want more sweets. When I don't eat them, I don't really miss them.

Right now I am trying to shed some weight to make the 122 lb weight class for the bench press competition at VT on Saturday. Otherwise I'll be competing against women who are significantly bigger than me. I realize it's not that big of a deal either way, but in a weird way, I like the structured eating and reminder that my choices do impact my weight. These weeks rein me in a bit and give me a reason to cut out all the junk.

I'd been around 127/128 earlier in the year. Today I was just over 124. It should only take a few lower-carb days, and maybe a little sweating on Friday and it should work out. But the real benefit is the way I feel and knowing I'm eating only good stuff. I'm eating like an athlete :-)