BWW Blog: Confessions of a Duccess of Nutrition
By: Staci Jackson
I knew I was "pudgier" than all of my friends. But I was so young, I didn't quite put it into the context of "weight loss".
I've been on a weight loss journey for 16 years. When I say I tried everything before I stumbled upon the magical land of Mark Fisher Fitness at the age of 27, I mean tried EVERYTHING. The laundry list of diets I tried, workout DVDs I purchased and diet/workout books I read goes on and on. They all worked for a brief period of time, but inevitably led to gaining back the weight that I had lost plus some extra pounds.
Things took a turn for the better when the glitter bomb that is MFF went off in my life. For the first time ever I felt like I was strong and good at moving. I even felt (wait for it...) ATHLETIC! Cue the triumphant music, and slow clap because I had finally overcome my fear of sucking at a sport. This was HUGE. This time I was going to lose weight because I was ACTUALLY excited to work out regularly and kick some ass.
Then reality hit, hard. You can't out-train your diet. I tried. I lost.
The next logical step for nutritional domination was Snatched. I LOVED it! Talk about feeling empowered, strong, and unstoppable! (Winning!) I had not seen huge results after Snatched (like some people) but I wasn't completely bummed because I was proud of all my hard work as well as my improved strength and movement. I still had a long way to go on my fat loss journey, but if Snatched made me feel that good about myself, I would use all the tools I learned during those six weeks to continue. I was sure the results would come with time and a continued regimen.
Trying to continue my Snatched nutrition regimen led me to eating when I wasn't hungry to ensure I hit my macros. Other times my stomach was full but I was not satisfied and had hardcore cravings. My taste buds were left wanting because I wasn't eating for enjoyment, but rather for results. I HATED eating that much protein, but I told myself to suck it up because this is how results are achieved. At the time I wasn't concerned with happiness, only fat loss results. So I did what I knew and continued the Snatched diet protocol.
As time went on, enthusiasm waned, and the after-Snatched glow dimmed into the daily grind of NYC life. It was increasingly easier to fudge my entries on My Fitness Pal, not plan my meals, and miss my protein goal. The extra calories from a little bite here and a tiny nibble there quickly turn into extra pounds and inches.
How in the 'eff did that happen? I had rules in place! Obviously I wasn't doing enough if I was backsliding off my Snatched diet, counting calories and tracking protein wasn't strict enough. My answer: MORE rules!
Calorie cycling seemed like a great place to start. It wasn't easy, but I nailed it. I was doing all this work. Still, the scale wouldn't budge and my measurements didn't move. No problem, add more rules! Next came calorie AND carb cycling together. This still wasn't getting results so the logical answer in my mind was, even MORE (dzuh). Add intermittent fasting into the mix, which eventually led to following a Paleo diet. My life was a whole bunch of "can'ts" fueled by one rule after another.
My Life of MORE
What did a life of MORE feel like? A lot of chaos, rules and stress. I would read every book and blog I could get my hands on. I implemented every "advanced" nutritional strategy that had gained popularity in the last two years. I told myself it was worth it because if it works for all the smart and lean people in the fitness industry, it has to work for me...right?
Saying I was stressed out trying to follow the rules for these diets is an understatement. I felt like I was ALWAYS starving. I was always thinking about food: when I could and couldn't eat, what I can't eat, ugh! I wanted more rules to make it easier, fewer choices and less thinking. That backfired and instead my life revolved around food and the many rules concerning it. Most of the time I was compliant as f*ck. Still, I was barely seeing any movement in measurements, or the way my clothes fit.
I became more diligent about my workouts. If I couldn't control my weight loss, I could control getting stronger. I had to PR every workout or I felt I wasn't working hard enough. If I wasn't stressing myself out enough about following these diets to a "T" and not seeing results, feeling like I had to go balls to the wall and/or PR every session compounded even more stress upon my body and mind.
I spent most of my time feeling like a failure. I obviously wasn't doing anything right if I still wasn't seeing results! This was my job. I am a fitness professional, a duchess of nutrition, I had all the knowledge and the best people to support me and yet nothing was working. It's my job to help people achieve health and hotness and I couldn't even give this to myself. Why would people trust me to help them if I couldn't even do it for myself?