Last week I signed up to GN2’s Takedown Challenge, a weight loss and lifestyle improvement program, designed to help individuals reclaim their health and fitness. Before anyone “hates” on me, I want to clarify that I do not have a weight problem. I am at a healthy fit, weight, I like myself just the way I look and even though it is far from perfect, I appreciate my body for the awesome things that it allows me to do: run fast, jump high and kick butt. Why then would I sign up for a diet program you ask????? Well, because even though weight is not my issue, food is……FOOD CONFUSSES ME AND I WAY OVER THINK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is freaking exhausting!…so I signed up for the lifestyle improvement part!
I was an overweight kid growing up and my parents took me to a nutritionist at the age of 10, where I learned to stay away from fats and to count calories…it work! It worked so well that by age 15 I was so obsessed with the amount of fat and calories that I put in my mouth (or lack of) that I struggled lifting the 5lb free weights at conditioning practice. I was borderline anorexic. Luckily, I was a competitive tennis player too and struggling to function from malnutrition wasn’t doing much for my game, so at age 16 I snapped out of it and decided to start eating again….but I never stopped thinking about how every single bite of food was potentially making me a chunky girl again.
I am 33 now and after trying every single gimmicky diet anyone ever has invented for the past 20+ years, I am sick of obsessing about food so much and about being the most annoying and un-fun restaurant companion ever! So late last year, I decided to seek the help of a qualified professional, one who not only understands how food works but also, how athletes benefit (and hurt themselves) from it as well. This is when I was introduced to GN2‘s owner Felix Gonzalez and learned about his philosophy on working out, living healthy and following a meal plan that wipes out fat and his upcoming Takedown Challenge. I signed up that day!
A week into the challenge, here are the two most important (and kind of life changing) things I have learned from the program:
- Choose the right amounts of “macros” (proteins, carbs and fats) to have at each meal: I always wondered why a handful of almonds wouldn’t satisfy my mid-afternoon hunger and why I had to keep grabbing more and more and more…because when your body is hungry it is craving a little bit of all the nutritional components.
- It is not only about what you eat but when to eat: My regular routine is to “hold back” my food intake until I am starving. At that point I am in “Franny Mode” (ask my poor husband) and I will grab anything that constitutes “food” at the time (like a bowl of M&Ms at the office while snapping at anyone who gets on my way.) The Takedown Challenge teaches you when to eat, regardless whether you are hungry or not. The idea is to teach your body when it is time to burn fat and calories and when it is time to be re-fueled.
Other cool aspects of the program include:
- Keeping a food journal: Until I started writing down what I eat and drink throughout the day, I never realized how little water I drink every day! Writing things down definitely keeps you accountable and honest
- It is so simple: The program is pretty straight forward as to what you should be eating and when. The hard part is changing your habits, but we all know that any positive changes in our lives require (and are worth) big effort. The simplicity of this program is important to me: I want to have kids one day and I want to teach them to make smart eating choices and to have healthy habits. I don’t want them to be food cray like I have been all my life.
- It is customized: All kinds of people, with different goals signed up for the program and each one of them received a plan targeted to their needs.
After 7 days in the program, I am not going to lie….it has been hard. The toughest part for me has been the scheduled eating. I found out that I am a poor pre-planner and prep-er and that my crazy life style makes it difficult for me to make time to eat at the times that I am supposed to…but I am trying. It is getting easier each day.
I am excited to see how this program helps all the people that signed up for it. As far as my personal goals, I am not too concerned about getting skinnier, but I am excited to look at food as an ally towards my fitness goals once in for all and not as the enemy. More to come in the next couple of weeks!