Nutrition is for Everyone

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.16″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.18.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.18.0″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Nutrition is both personal and collective. While nutrition is solely relevant to who you are, your body and your goals, we can all collaborate, celebrate and work together to continue to grow in this space. 


One thing I know to be true is that nutrition is for everyone. Whether it’s someone brand new walking in our door, an athlete of 5 years or a Coach. Here to shed some perspective on that, are none other than your TW Coaches! Check out each of our thoughts, perspectives and experiences in the nutrition space. 


Coach Colleen: I would never say that I have been “overweight”; I have always been a relatively small person, but that does not mean I didn’t have body fat. As a child, I was a swimmer, softball player and dancer, but decided to focus most of my energy on dance and performance as I got older. Ballerinas are told to be skinny, so that’s what I was. I was mostly doing cardio and eating so little that I truly had no muscle at all. In college, I lost even more weight my freshman year from stress and walking around a big campus. However, as I got more comfortable with school (and the monkey bread at the dining hall), I slowly gained more and more weight. My fitness journey started at the end of my college career as I tried to lose the weight I had put on. I just wanted to be “skinny” again and turned back to cardio and eating salad and bread on repeat. I was researching runners and noticed most of them ate lots of carbs. I didn’t realize that my diet as a college student who ran 5K sometimes should probably look different than an ultra-marathoner.  I had NO idea how to fuel my body. I did lose weight, but still had very minimal muscle and strength. Once I started to get into weight lifting and functional fitness, I started to notice that I just could not keep up with my goals with the way I was eating. I have had to completely reframe my idea of healthy eating habits and realize that eating calorie-dense, nutritious food is actually GOOD for you, especially when you are training and trying to gain muscle. I’ve never been physically strong in my entire life…until now. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self how important different types of foods can be. Although I would still eat that dining hall monkey bread…I’d just make sure to include some protein on the side 🙂


Coach Michaela: I grew up in a clean your plate, meat and potatoes with a side of canned/frozen veg family that had dinner together every night. That and genetics wasn’t an awesome combination, because I grew into a chubby kid, despite being a three sport athlete almost my entire life. Try being a chubby 7th grader – girls that age are mean AF! In my late 20s I decided I needed to make a change. College years of cheap beer and French fries turned into my boyfriend (now husband) going to cooking school and needed to “practice”. I loved being his guinea pig, but the calories added up so fast and I was unhappy with how I looked and felt. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 50(!) pounds. I felt so much better and more confident. Then, I participated in a macro program at a bootcamp I was going to, and the calories were so low that people were only eating rice cakes and watermelon. WTF?! It was at that point that I realized I needed food to fuel my body and not just my mind. I started working with a macro coach shortly after that, and she completely changed my view of food. I was eating more food than I ever had while prioritizing protein with a good dose of healthy carbs and fats. I was not only losing weight and gaining muscle, but also sleeping better, had clearer skin, and loving how I felt in the gym. Fast forward to now, and I have a much healthier relationship with food. I still work with my macro coach intermittently, which keeps me on track. When I’m not on-program, I generally follow the 80/20 approach and hit my macros 80% of the time. But being able to have a donut or a delicious meal is good for my soul, and I love being able to make that work without feeling bad that I “cheated”. I now try to gauge progress on how I feel or how much I can lift, as opposed to the number on the scale. It’s been a long road to get to this place, and I can’t say I don’t still struggle at times with an unnecessary binge, but I know that one day or even one week won’t derail my progress. Nutrition is like fitness – a lifetime commitment to yourself, even when there’s bumps in the road.


Coach Andy: My nutrition journey, oh my, where to even begin. I’v pretty much tried it all.

I guess, like all of us, it started when I was young. Honestly, I didn’t have a good relationship with food when I was growing up. My parents were the “you can’t leave the table until you’ve finished everything” type. As we know this led to some weight issues.

Fast forward to my start in functional fitness and the fad diet at the time was paleo, so of course I tried it. I mean when a diet says eat bacon, how can you say no? Come to find out it’s not that simple.

I’v also tried intermittent fasting, keto, calorie counting, calorie cycling, intuitive eating, eating everything (lol), and everything in between.

While I might have had minimal success with any of them, like most of us none of them ever stuck around long term.

So where does that leave me now?

After having tried everything I found the parts of each that worked for me. I realized that most diets work through calorie restriction. Because food is so plentiful for us, want a snack?  Just head around the corner to the convenience store, and so we tend to overeat. I also enjoy lifting weights, which requires protein. And lastly I now understand that water plays a bigger part in your nutrition than you might think.


So after having tried it all, what do I do now? It’s three simple things:


  • I loosely count calories to keep myself within a certain range
  • I prioritize protein, putting in every effort to hit my protein goal each day
  • I work to drink more water

These three simple things have helped me maintain my weight, feel better, and still be able to go out and enjoy myself.


Coach Mary: Nutrition has been an up and down journey for me. Growing up I wasn’t exposed to much information on what nutrition was and how it played an important role in my life. I spent many years not loving my body and found myself experimenting with restrictive diets almost like an annual cycle. After losing a lot of weight between 2011-2012, I rediscovered fitness which helped me learn to connect to my body in a positive way. Over the years I have put in the work to learn and grow my habits and my mindset around my nutrition and my wellness in general. After I had my son Alex, about a year and a half ago, I truly shifted my focus and my mindset on what nutrition and wellness really meant to me. It meant feeling good in my body, regardless of what size my body was at any moment in time.

Today, food is a celebrated part of my life. I shop, cook, and enjoy food for both the experience it creates and for the way it makes me feel. I know and enjoy the way 100g of protein a day makes me feel and the way drinking plenty of water makes me feel. I also know the ways other things don’t make me feel as great. But I have come to develop a balance in my life around nutrition and wellness that works great. I know the things I do now I can do the rest of my life. I have good habits set up that allow me to enjoy my life and my body. Things arn’t perfect, but perfection is not my goal. Feeling good from the inside out are my goal. And understanding my wellness and taking time to reflect and check-in on it are the key to my long-term health and happiness.


Coach Gabby: As many of you know, and are participating in, this month Coach Caren is hosting an awesome nutrition challenge. As I sit down to write this we are nearly 3 weeks into the challenge. There have been lots of lessons learned and overall I have been thinking about nutrition quite a bit this past month. Growing up, food was at the forefront of everything. My family is big, Italian, and loves to celebrate our love for life through food. Not to mention my parents are both very well versed in cooking, and in turn passed that on to us as kids. So growing up, I struggled. With my weight, with my self image, and with my relationship with food. It wasn’t until I entered the fitness world in pursuit of my career that I really started to view nutrition as a way to both enjoy life, but also fuel performance. Fast forward through some ups and downs in weight, trying every single fad diet on myself so that I could understand and be knowledgeable about it, and entering the endurance sports world, I still can tend to struggle with it all. Most recently, in training for my triathlon this past September, I found myself having accomplished a very big goal, but also having tacked on an extra couple of pounds from the sheer volume of food I was consuming to fuel my training. And so I found myself wanting to learn the most sustainable way to pursue recompositioning my body. Cut to the nutrition challenge and I have learned so much! Not only about healthier habits, but also about how I think, feel and associate with food. There is so much I have learned about nutrition this far, but what I have really learned is that I will never stop learning and growing in this space. There will always be more knowledge to gain and more habits to build! 


Coach Caren: I did not understand how food worked, or how my body responded to food until my late 30’s.


I did not understand that if I ate a sugary breakfast (cereal and milk, or well topped oatmeal) at 8am and then had a dip in energy at 10am that those experiences were connected. I’d fix my low energy with sweetened creamer coffee. And then I’d fix the next low energy moment with my kids peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts. And then our dinners looked like a carb, a protein and a modest vegetable. I did not understand why a salad for lunch a couple days a week didn’t help me lose weight.


I didn’t understand when I focused on not eating (to lose weight) and then tried to workout why my body didn’t just use the fat I’d previously stored as energy! Why did I feel so terrible, and low energy, and why couldn’t my body use the energy I could see stored in my midsection??

When I started to look at my nutrition habits and allow myself to make connections between how I felt after I ate and what I was eating I was much more motivated to keep eating things that made me feel good (higher protein + vegetables) and less quick sugar fixes that sent me on energy roller coasters. When I ate for exercise, I had energy for exercise, and my body did use some of the stored energy.


I’ve made habits based changes in my nutrition that have changed how my body looks and feels, and in turn it’s changed how I feel about my body. I am much more amazed and delighted – look what I can do! I am much less critical of myself as I understand the balance of the choices I am making.


If nutrition intimidates you, confuses you, makes you wonder how the body works, or makes you feel any type of way, remember it is something that we are all learning and working on on a daily basis. No matter how much experience or how much knowledge you have, there is always room to grow! Just take it from us coaches, it is a lif long journey, and it is all about finding what works best for YOU.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.16″ _module_preset=”default” locked=”off” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.16″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_button button_url=”/free-intro” url_new_window=”on” button_text=”Click Here To Schedule a FREE Consultation” button_alignment=”center” _builder_version=”4.18.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”#0C71C3″ global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_button][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]