Hello friends! Long time no chat. I would like to share with y’all why I’ve been quiet on here, and write about something close to my heart. As you know, I am very passionate about health, nutrition, and holistic wellness. I recently took the plunge and hired a certified nutrition coach, who also happens to be one of my besties. MAN. Do I have SO much to share with you all! Hang on, I have a feeling this is going to be a longgggg blog post.
Why I Decided to Hire a Nutrition Coach
When I was a Junior in college, I was lucky to find a friend who quickly became like a sister to me. Abi and I have been through it all together- the crazy college years as roomies, waitressing at the same restaurant together, standing up in each others’ weddings, and most recently, cheering each other on as we pursued our dream careers. It’s been almost four years since we graduated college. Although we have certainly grown and changed, one thing has still stayed the same; our shared love for food and nutrition.
Little did you know that Abi is a rockstar and she went on to med school. She’s starting her residency very soon. As if she doesn’t already have enough time on her hands, she decided to pursue a certification in nutrition coaching. When Abi asked me if I would be one of her first clients for her new business, I couldn’t say no. After some careful thought, I decided that NOW was the time to put myself first. I’ve made a lot of excuses throughout the years of why I’m not achieving my goals, and I knew that I needed professional help if I wanted to achieve my end result. Abi is one of the most knowledgable, motivating badasses I know, and I trust her with my life. I was curious about what the coaching process entailed, and I knew that I could use her guidance as I pursued my own personal wellness journey.
As many of you know, I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food in the past. I’ve tried so many yo-yo diets, fads, and quite frankly, I have nearly starved myself at times. Those were the days when I was really in a low place. My journey with food and self-love has not always been easy, but rather a work in progress. Abi focuses on nutrition from a holistic lens, and I wanted to be challenged to look at food as fuel rather than the enemy. I knew that I was about to embark on an emotional life-changing journey.
The Coaching Process
So how exactly does it work? Well for starters, we don’t count calories or partake in any other crazy fads. Abi has me tracking my macros (which are the macronutrients of protein, fat, and carbs) through the MyFitnessPal app. I weigh ALL of my food on a scale before I put it in my mouth so I can know the exact nutrient count. The first week was the hardest because I was not used to weighing my food and tracking EVERYTHING. It was tedious at first, but I’ve been doing this now for about nine weeks, and I’m much faster at doing it. I have a spreadsheet in which I keep track of my macro counts, as well as other factors, such as how many hours of sleep I’m getting, my workout volume, my hunger levels, and my mental and physical strength. We also take biweekly measurements and take progress photos. I’ve a very OCD person, so this process works extremely well for me, LOL.
Once a week, I check in with Abi. We talk about what is going well and what is not going well. We talk about what I’m looking to get out of the coaching process, and we discuss any specific challenges I’m facing. She sets realistic goals for what my body needs. We make game plans for tempting social eating situations. She prescribes me a weekly macro count, and we modify each week according to my goals. I found that I actually wasn’t eating enough, so my macros have slowly increased with each week to ensure that my body is getting the proper amount of nutrients.
However, the coaching process simply hasn’t been solely tracking food and prescribing numbers. It’s about learning my body and shifting my focus from looking at food as fuel rather than categorizing foods as “good or “bad.” More on that in the next segment.
How I’m Becoming a Healthier Version of Myself
I’ve always been a fairly healthy person in general, but I have learned SO MUCH about myself in the past nine weeks. Not only am I learning more about nutrition, but I’m learning how to live a more balanced lifestyle. There will be good days, and there will be bad days. In the past, I used to be a yo-yo dieter. I would eat like a rabbit Monday-Thursday and then eat TERRIBLE on the weekends, almost doubling the amount of food I would consume. Nutrition counseling has overall helped me see that there is more to life than just losing weight or being thin. It’s about health. It’s about feeling energized!! In my yo-yo days, I would feel incredible validation from eating like a rabbit for a few days and dropping 5 pounds in a week. And then I’d hate myself if I gained it all back the following weekend. (It’s totally normal to fluctuate 5 pounds in a day; this is part of my old unhealthy thinking habits!) Such an unhealthy, self-deprecating lifestyle, am I right??
Throughout this process, I’ve also learned balance. I’ve learned to slow my roll and enjoy the process of living a healthy lifestyle and embracing the fact that success does not come overnight. You have to work at it, and work at it longer for just one to two weeks. I’ve learned that it’s sometimes OKAY to eat two rows of Oreos in one sitting. I mean, it’s not ideal, but I’m human, and I don’t have to hate myself after I indulge. I’m so hard on myself, and the coaching process has really helped me to love myself more, and to give myself the forgiveness I need if I am not “perfect” all the time. Can anyone else relate??
There are many ways that this process has helped shape me into a more knowledgeable and healthy version of myself. Here are a few ways how:
- I’m looking at food as FREEDOM and FUEL rather than the enemy.
I’m a work in progress. As I shared, I used to have a very unhealthy relationship with food. For example, I would limit eating carbs because they made me feel “bloated” and full. Little did I know until working with Abi how much I was depleting my body of nutrients that my system needed to thrive. No wonder why I never had any energy. I simply wasn’t fueling my body enough.
Nutrition coaching has helped me shift my perspective from food as a friend rather than as the enemy. There shouldn’t be a negative connotation associated with ANY food, even “bad” foods. Food is food. If we put a label on whether a food is “good” or “bad, we are negatively associating it with a stigma that contributes to feelings of guilt, shame, and anger.
I try to eat as many nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meat, and whole grains, but it’s okay if I have pizza one day, as long as I only have 2 pieces vs. the whole dang thing. It’s okay to eat ice cream, as long as I don’t have the whole carton in one sitting. You get what I’m saying?
- I’ve been meal prepping like a boss.
Um, heck yeah I have been! I have officially made Sunday my meal prep and grocery shop day. At first, the process was tedious and time consuming, but I am getting better at it now. Pro tip: Make sure you have plenty of tupperware available. I like to put on Netflix while I meal prep, since the process usually takes me about 1-2 hours depending on how much food I am prepping. Ideally, this is my time to prepare my proteins (prepping my meat, boiling eggs), cutting & preparing veggies fer dayyyyz, and measuring out all my foods into assorted tupperware containers. This way, I’m ready to grab and go for work the next day.
- I’m better at practicing portion sizes.
I’m not going to lie, I LOVE eating. And I can eat like a boss. Thus, portion sizes are still hard for me to practice. In the past I would make a frozen pizza and eat it whole (no shame in telling you that!) Or, I would have two bowls of icecream. You get the drift. Counting my macros and being coached has taught me that I can truly eat whatever I want, but in moderation. If I am prescribed to 160 carbs a day, eating a whole pizza isn’t going to leave me much room to eat much else in a day. However, if I choose to only have 1-2 slices, I still have plenty of room to eat other healthy meals throughout my day. Make sense? Perhaps I’ll write more on counting macros in a future blog post!
- I’m learning to love myself no matter what I eat.
I’m such a perfectionist, so when I would mess up a day, it was hard for me to mentally get back on track. However, I’ve learned that this is all part of my journey. I’m freaking HUMAN, and I have to accept that, and love myself. There are going to be days when I’m emotional and eat the dang two rows of Oreos. There are going to be days when I’m out with friends and probably drink a little more wine than I should. It’s all about finding a healthy balance and not hating myself for indulging. We strive for a 90/10 life. I’ve learned that I can’t be perfect all of the time, and that there is always room to grow. There is no such thing as perfect!!
- I’m learning the art of patience.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy. True transformation will not happen overnight. If you treat your body right 90% of the time, success will come….but you have to be willing to work for it.
The Exchange Coffee House, De Pere, WI
Why I Recommend Nutrition Coaching
Honestly, hiring a nutrition coach has changed my life. Abi has helped call out behaviors that have not served me, and she has given me the grace that I should have gave myself years ago. I’m learning how to be a healthier, happier version of myself. And no, this post isn’t sponsored by Abi or anyone, so don’t think I’m shoving her business down your throat. I just think the coaching experience has been extremely valuable to me, and I thought I’d share the love on my blog. Sometimes it’s scary to take the plunge and pay for services, but I believe that there is no better investment than investing in yourself.
Have you ever hired a coach for anything? Whether it was a personal trainer, a life coach, or a business coach? What was your experience like? I would love to hear. Also, do you guys have any questions about nutrition coaching? I would LOVE to answer any questions you have! I could literally write a book on this topic. I’m thinking a follow-up post will be coming soon!
If you’re interested in checking out my awesome friend Abi, find her on Instagram at @Krueger_Nutrition!! She’s seriously awesome and I cannot begin to express how much I love her- both as a coach, and as a friend.
I hope you all have an amazing week. I’ll check back soon! XO