By: Dr. Heather Braithwaite
December 1st 2019
I often use the taper portion of my marathon training cycle to reflect on the prior weeks and months of hard work as a means of reinforcing my confidence and expressing gratitude for my health. This is, in fact, my third taper in 2019 and I am entering this last bit of the year feeling better than ever at 45 years old! Joining Without Limits last January required me to step outside of my comfort zone but the rewards have been great. Aside from smart fitness coaching and training alongside other hardworking athletes, over the last cycle I have utilized the resource of personalized nutrition coaching from Diana Davis. I believe you get out what you put in, and that includes what you put in your body!
Admittedly, I was a little sheepish asking for help in the area of nutrition. As a physician and a mother of 4 kids, aren’t I supposed to know this stuff already? I’ll be honest, though- I had about a 60-minute lecture in medical school about nutrition and I might have blown it off… Besides, knowing and doing are two different things.
It seems each member of my family has different dietary needs and preferences. Planning and cooking for my large crew had become overwhelming. I was resorting to take out or pieced together last-minute meals to try to satisfy everyone. Summer celebrations had gotten the better of me and when I checked in with the scale at the beginning of my CIM schedule, I had drifted up by more than a few pounds. I knew that in order to squeeze in a third healthy marathon this year, I was going to need a plan!
Diana made the whole process of getting on the right path entirely painless. She sat down with me to examine what I had been doing and explore my goals for performance and improvement of body composition. She understood my limitations for success given past issues with body image and current family and schedule needs. Diana spent time with me at the grocery store and scrutinizing recipes to explore what kinds of foods I felt comfortable with. She also opened my eyes to some new products I had not considered before. Each week, Diana sent me a customized plan with recipes for meals and snacks that would hit my targets for various nutrients with a focus on being easy to prepare, fewer ingredients, and family friendly.
Having someone tell me what to eat has been brilliant! I use the provided grocery list to check my pantry and cruise through the grocery store in record time. I batch cook or prepare some of the breakfast and snack items ahead of time to avoid pitfalls. I am so satisfied with nutritious and delicious food, that I have no desire for empty calories. I have healthy dessert options- hello, date turtles and inside out almond-joys!?!?- when I want to indulge. My weight has corrected itself in a safe and gradual way without impeding my performance. Diana’s kind and gentle demeanor, expertise and firsthand knowledge of athletic performance have helped me embrace the challenge of cleaning up my act in the most enjoyable and tasty way!