I've learnt quite a lot this winter about food. To be honest, I thought I already knew a fair amount, because I enjoy cooking and like to eat healthily. I've had some bad habits, like not eating after sessions to try and lose weight. Not fuelling my body properly at lunchtime, so that by the time dinner comes I'm starving and just eat everything in sight. It's quite hard to write about those habits, because to be honest, on paper they look stupid and contradictory. But once you're in the cycle, it's really hard to get out of it.
So the point I'm getting to, is what I learned in the last couple of weeks - the value of timing your meals and what they comprise of. On hearing that I should be eating around 2-2.5 grams of protein for every KG of body weight to supplement my heavy training, I was horrified to estimate that I probably ate less than 60 grams a day. No wonder my body wants to kill me by the end of the week. Getting up to near 120 grams a day isn't easy, but it seems far more manageable by breaking it down into six batches of twenty grams. Theres less protein than I thought in eggs, and much more than I thought in chicken. I panicked initially at the increase in food, because I feel full basically all the time. But then I found that carefully placing carbohydrates in relation to my sessions means that I get that extra bit of energy when I really need it, and not when its just going to be sitting around!
Having spent the last two weeks increasing my protein consumption, and refuelling my body more efficiently, I was surprised to notice that I'm leaner, but with the most energy I've had in months. Hindsight is an infuriating thing, because you wonder why you ever did something in the first place. But that's why it's so effective. Because our bodies adapt to the environment that we create for them, and with the proper information, why wouldn't you fuel it properly? It's hard sometime to not be caught up in the societal judgement of what makes a perfect body, but what I'm truly interested in is being a perfect athlete.