Being in the health and fitness industry for over six years, as well as a former sponsored Cross fit athlete I have lived and learned the big difference between being fit and being fit AND healthy. There I was PRing all my lifts, accomplishing a 2:18 Fran, 4.4 40 yard dash, developing an out of this world motor and then getting two sponsorships.
I was living a dream! 6 months later here comes this wall and I slammed against hard, so incredibly hard. No energy, insomnia, and riddled with depression accompanied by high levels anxiety. I wasn’t even the same person anymore.
Overwhelmed with confusion, worry, and plain just uninterested in life. After a few months of living in misery I finally decided to swallow my manful pride and get some help. After searching I found a Holistic Doctor and had a crap load of tests done and what I found out was jaw dropping, I couldn’t believe it at first. I thought since I had the “six pack” how could there be any issues!
The Doc sat me down and said you have overworked yourself to hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, magnesium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, very high liver enzymes, candida overgrowth , and ! Even though I have all these certifications, years of experience and a wide knowledge of nutrition and knew all the ends and outs of training and over training (so I thought).
I was fooling myself into thinking I was an exception to the rule like I was not human, Superman if you will. This was a humbling, nightmarish reality I knew I had to expect and overcome to get my life back on track. The motivation that kept me from giving in was being a soon to be father and being the best father possible is and will always be the number one goal.
I knew that there was no doubt I would break through my self-wreckage, there was no other choice. Now I can teach and educate athletes and gym goers of all what to do and not to do! Since I interact with hundreds and hundreds of people a day trying to get in the best shape they possibly can. I’ve been in Physical, emotional and mental recovery for over two years now and feel INCREDIBLE! Over the couple years I have compiled a list of 7 rules to follow to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Tip # 1 – SLEEP
My favorite tip! Who doesn’t like sleeping beside an infant or a toddler? If you are a parent you know
what I’m saying, but sleep is something you must learn to love and cherish . When you sleep the magic
happens – HGH is being produced (the youth hormone), long term memories are stored, recovery occurs, and fat burns! Not getting enough rest can literally make you much more insulin resistant the next day, and cravings for sugar will be higher. It’s not always the quantity, it’s about the quality, but both won’t hurt! Work on getting to bed between 9-11pm at night, make it a priority and you will be surprised and excited how refreshed and ready you will be. Find out how our Paleo ancestors used to sleep.
Tip # 2 – Take a week off – less is more
I really like to take time off and use that energy for other passions in your life, I recommend you do the same. Spend more time with your family, friends, or just getting away from the normal swing of life
(vacation). Having time to reflect and reorganize your priorities in a completely un-stressful state of mind can do wonders. You need to have that time where fitness isn’t number one. Remember your muscles and gains won’t disappear in a week! You will come back eager and stronger than you were before!
Tip # 3 – Overall Stress Load
Working out is stress, even though it’s a beautiful stress, that actually makes us better in the long haul. Stress is all around us mental, emotional, in the air we breathe, and in the food we eat. You should tailor your workout by how you feel that day. If you slept poorly or had a whole pizza the night before maybe that day isn’t the best day to do a 30 min AMRAMP! Always ask yourself that day and be honest, what do I feel like my body and mind can handle today? You will start to learn and listen to what your body is saying and understand that you’re not being lazy, you are being smart.
Tip #4 – Feel alive not dead after the gym
This one was the hardest for me to adapt to, but I quickly fell in love. When you are a cross fitter this is a ard concept to get down. You don’t ALWAYS have to be completely and utterly destroyed when you
leave the gym. Consistently doing this can wreck your hormones, sleep, and recovery along with many
other things. It truly is an amazing feeling, pushing yourself through hell and back and coming out on
top alive. That sense of destruction can bring a lot of accomplishment but choose your battles wisely.
Most of the time do your muscles and mind a favor and leave the gym energized and not literally
Tip #5 – Nutrition
The old saying “your body is a temple” holds very true.
Think of food as information, not just something to eat
. What message do you want to send your cells, brain, muscles, the whole being that is you!? Ice
cream and nachos, even though a delicious war zone on your taste buds, it’s not going to help you
recover from a workout like a steak and sweet potato will. I know for most of you that’s obvious, but for some it’s still a work in progress. The key is for you follow one simple rule – JUST EAT REAL FOOD – for real results.
Tip # 6 – Don’t compare, compete
In a cross fit setting you’re in competition almost every day. If not working out that day probably
salivating on your next time to beat that person next to you in a WOD! Big thing is to compete but not
compare. I know it’s hard seeing someone squat 700lbs and think “why can’t I do that right now!” and
feeling down on yourself.
Being better than the person YOU were yesterday is all you should really care about. It will destroy your confidence and the inner workings of your mind by always feeling you are not enough. You are not what you squat, but it is really fun! Be proud of where YOU have come from and what YOU have accomplished.
Tip #7 – Are your motivations strong enough?
Motivation is everything, it is what gets your feet on the floor in the morning. It’s that thing that gets you on that horse after you fall off. My questions for you is does your motivation make you tear up? Does it fill you with joy and excitement? Does it give you goose bumps, always running through your mind with constant determination? Dig deep and be honest with yourself and what you want and WHY you truly want it. Do your everyday values match your long term goals? If not, they need to, you owe it to YOU.