It’s funny how hard it actually is to coach yourself. I guess at anything at all in life, it really is hard to look subjectively and not act emotionally when you’re the only person giving advice to yourself.
That’s what’s happened to me with my nutrition – I actually chose to be cheap and not pay my nutrition coach I worked with over a year ago so I could coach myself, or just do my own standard nutrition plan.
Oh how I was wrong… 🙂
I think that’s a good lesson learned though, that actually you can always learn from someone more experienced and that a second eye actually offers greater insight than one! It’s not always possible to to look at your weeks food and have the same angle on something when I’ve been so emotional or unemotional about decisions that week.
That’s the background behind me four weeks ago reaching back out to my old nutrition coach, Brandy, to have her keep an advisory eye on what I’m doing with my nutrition and whether it was necessary. It’s taken two weeks to get to a point to know my official macros to track, but here’s the story behind that and my current two weeks of having tracked macros.
Finding our way in a desert of despair (and nutrition) 🙂
My Nutrition Plan!
Cue the start of a fun weekly insight into my nutrition, just so you guys can see that actually, no one is perfect at eating ‘well’, or that shit does actually come up that throws you off track for a week or two, or that there just seems to be too many meals out in one week (first world issues right)!
Coaching myself actually removed a lot of my accountability towards improving my diet too, I gave into emotion when I wanted more carbs for instance and justified it, without a subjective eye thinking is it necessary at all…
Straight away my tracking of calories and macros started the minute my coach said go, and at first I didn’t even have set macros, just like my clients don’t. I just ate and recorded whatever I ate and drank. It’s amazing how much being held accountable to someone personally and financially actually helps your goal, that’s if you care, which I do!
So what does the start of a nutrition plan look like at the start?
It’s a blank slate and the exact same method I employ with my clients: for 4 days we monitor your food and drink of WHATEVER you eat, no judgement, and establish how our calories and macros look on an average over those four days. We look at our bodyweight and establish a goal, and immediately have an idea of some basic nutritional strategy we can do for our goal based on our starting weight.
Mine was to get lean AF for summer. Not so lean that I can’t enjoy food, but lean enough to be really damn confident and learn how to do it properly for myself without a coach. (like I said before I’m a great advice giver for other clients and it’s all sound stuff and works, but I can argue with a brick wall easily, I’ll talk myself out of anything!)
So I wanted to get lean for summer, often this means a gradual calorie deficit, not an immediate one. So we needed to establish how we measure this goal of ‘lean’. The obvious things came to mind such as measuring bodyfat % and weight measurements, but progress pictures are an amazing aid too, so we’re going to monitor all three over time!
Then it’s as simple as starting at some prescribed macros based on my averages over those 4 days of eating whatever came natural.
The first few weeks (the good and bad).
I’ll hold my hands up, tracking food after not doing so for a few months takes a small adjustment at least, but I’ll be lying if I said it’s been perfect these last few weeks whatsoever.
Actually, shit’s been rough the last few…
I’m hugely unmotivated in my current day job and everything is building up towards when I become a Qualified Personal Trainer at the end of April (hopefully) and then I can leave my job in a leap of faith. The 9-5 sales job just seems to be getting worse by the month, and waning motivation and frustration about not moving my business quick enough doesn’t help stress levels a bit.
Tracking wasn’t smooth at first (4 weeks back) but I tracked some stuff every day, it took a week to start to track every meal every day, but we were getting there. Week one started with the blank slate and then end of that week I had my macros given to me at the start of week two.
Sadly that same week my Grandma gets taken to hospital with her second bad fall in a few months on her own at home. This was the start of a stressful number of weeks for most of the family as we all rallied to make sure everything was OK for her. Sadly, her condition took a serious turn overnight and two days later she passed away.
This obviously rocked my mum’s and all our family’s world coming somewhat out the blue, and just cascaded into three weeks of having zero motivation to do much at all, let alone work and track food intake. Rightly so.
We miss her dearly and her funeral two days ago was some sort of closure for us all, coming out the blue like it did. A different experience for sure but also a lovely celebration of her life. From today, the only thing we can do is hold her in our heart and move forward as well as we can! 🙂
I talk about her today because I never really speak of family or friends on here, but she’s very near in our memory as of now and guess this is some sort of closure and remembrance, I never get this personal but it’s something most of us can experience at one time. This is just one thing that can upset the flow in anyone’s life though, and nutrition shouldn’t be the priority.
Family becomes the priority like it always should be, but it’s definitely good to keep an eye on personal health as much as you can. But I speak about my Nan because awful things happen for all of us, and it’s shaken me a lot. Sometimes it affects some people less, some more so, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect your groove. It does for everyone no matter how small!
Things will come up that offset everything you try and work for, such as illness, tragedy, motivation, injury, work stress, personal life stress, holidays, it’s just how you move forward from these situations that determines where we go! Just pick yourself up and try not to spiral negative behaviours where you can help it!
Now three weeks into new macros, I can give as much effort as it deserves but it’s taken a definite adjustment to track. Here’s the tracker I use with my coach as well as all my Nutrition coaching clients. Spot the pitfalls I made!
I feel I’ve found my groove at the end of week two though, it’s just onwards motions from here to build the habits!
So Brandy gave me my daily macros to consume in line with our average daily intake over the 4 initial days of tracking.
On average they were 180g Protein, 285g Carbs, 120gF, give or take a few.
In line with my ‘leaning out’ goal for summer Brandy trimmed 20g Fat from my diet as that was an easy 200 calories to cut without making anything too extreme. She took my workout volume across the week into account of this small reduction, perhaps if I were training more than three days a week there may have been no reduction.
These macros feel great too right now! It’s roughly 2700 calories a day and it’s taken a few weeks but there’s some consistency coming into play by the end of week two of macros as seen in the pic above.
Also, the more studious of you may have noticed some untracked days. Again, shit comes up…
An indulgent meal out for a close one’s birthday. Can categorically say would not miss this so it’s right to enjoy it, what matters is getting right back on macros the following day, no slippery slope of doom or no regret needed!
I also had a mini weekend away to Scotland to visit the Girlfriend’s family for a birthday! Again, loved every minute, but we were being cooked for all weekend and I’m not going to be rude or weird and ask her grandparents for all their barcodes on food. Just get right back on it when you’re back!
Throw in alcohol in occasions like this. It’s NEVER going to be perfect. All you can do is give it your best effort and try and get right back as close to perfect as possible the next day!that’s pretty much my chaotic last few weeks. A lot of stuff going on, some good, some bad. What matters though is, if you care, just get right back on it the next day.
Don’t beat yourself up, don’t regret what you ate, or who you had fun with. I used to make the mistake of being boring when out, eating bland or drinking nothing and kinda regretting it.
Now I don’t, but I don’t always embrace indulgence. It’s up to YOU to decide the trade-offs what you’re happy to take for your goals to happen.
For me, I will always enjoy good food, good times, and treats. I can make my macros work for it so that’s the lifestyle I’m going to figure out!
My first two weeks.
In short, it’s been a chaotic few weeks. Some laughs, some cries, some good quality food, some bad. Some whisky, some wine.
What matters most though is are you being consistent with the macros that have been assigned, or are you falling from one day to the other stumbling along.
I’ve managed to make it consistent now and this is the point where my hunger signals will tell me whether I need to decrease my food if I’m too full so to keep in line with my weight loss goals.
THAT is the glory of macros, calories always rule. Shit comes up but you can always switch back into it tomorrow.
Now, I look forward to my update of Brandy tomorrow for some possibly new macros or insight on how I can include more quality into my diet!
This is merely an insight into my nutrition and life paired with it, hopefully some of the personal insights help to show that there’s sometimes more important things than being anal over macros, but also how beneficial it can be to be on it.
Striking the balance is key.
Let’s see if we can keep it in this week number three of my macros! 🙂
Until then, thanks for reading.
In memory, thanks, Nana Hatton 🙂