Over the past year I’ve lost about 25lbs. I’ve maintained strength and I sit around 11% body fat. This has taken some serious trial and error with my diet. I still have not mastered the art of eating enough but I’m getting better everyday. I’ve posted about what I eat in a day before and I thought I would try to film it this time. I’m obviously new to this but I hope you enjoy it!
Starting with my breakfast, I eat this every single day. I have 1/4 cup of oatmeal. I shred half a zucchini and a bit of carrot and mix it in. I top it with plain greek yogurt and a banana. This meal keeps me full through our long morning workouts.
Post workout I always inhale my egg omelette. I include one full egg and about 3 egg whites. I top it with hot sauce and pair it with two rice cakes and natural peanut butter. Shortly after this I have an apple because I always crave something sweet.
After this I’m on the move until 6:00pm. I have two pumpkin protein muffins in between classes at school and then some yogurt and berries on my way to train.
For dinner I had leftovers, which is pretty common for me during the week. I added some fresh veggies to make it a big more voluminous. I was craving a treat after dinner so I whipped up some chocolate quinoa. This dessert is so rich but relatively healthy.
I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a VLOG!
I love the lead up to the Olympics. Every time you turn on the TV, flip through a paper or look at a Cherrio box you are bombarded with inspiring stories of Olympians from all over the world. Every story is different but they all have one thing in common, they are positive and motivating. I love reading these stories and getting goosebumps as I watch commercials. However, one story caught my eye, an article about the struggles female athletes face when it comes to body image.
I’ve written about this before and it’s one of my favourite topics to discuss. In the spotlight we see the ripped, skinny, track stars with their amazing abs, tiny shoulders and muscular legs. You think they’re confident and proud of their amazing bodies. I can bet that they don’t always love their reflection. On the other side you have weight lifters who are heavier set and walking down the street you would have no idea that they are an Olympic level athlete. Are their skills any less impressive because they don’t have a tiny waist? No, of course not.
To paint a mental picture, I’m almost six feet tall, I have a slender but muscular build which leaves me looking like an awkward and lanky amazon woman. I am powerful, strong and I can move a boat pretty fast. I also carry my weight in my stomach and my long arms look noodlish no matter how many curls I do. In the gym I love every inch of my body and what it allows me to do, it pays the bills (in the least hooker way possible) I’m paid to make my boat go fast. So why do I spend time in the mirror looking at my stomach or feel sickeningly guilty about enjoying ice cream? Maybe it’s because I spend too much time looking at fitness models on instagram, who I know I could run circles around but they have millions of adoring fans admiring their abs. Or maybe its a coping mechanism to avoid the stress of training every day. I can’t always control my idiot coach or the weather or how sluggish I am on the water but I can control how much I eat and how I feel about my body. Some athletes find comfort in running an extra mile or staying on the water a bit longer than their teammates. For me, I take refuge in the fact that I eat healthier. I will say that my body image has improved tremendously in the last year, but I’m not at my happiest yet. That leaves me with the nagging question, is this a journey without a destination?
As I watch the Olympics at home this year, yearning to be there myself I will try to find motivation not from the amazing bodies of the women on the podium but from their impressive feats as athletes. After all, comparison is the death of joy.
It’s so comforting knowing you have time. Whether its you’re training for a marathon, nationals, or you’re applying for a job. Really any time you leave your comfort zone and go after a big goal. You will eventually be looking the moment between you and achieving your goal in the eye. How do you stay calm? For me it’s national team trials. In the sport of canoe you train 6 days a week all year round for a racing season that last two months and maybe consists of 10 big races if you’re lucky. I say if you’re lucky because if you miss a stroke it can be the end of your season. How do you stay calm and steady your hands in order to give yourself the best chance to succeed? Confidence in everything you’ve done to prepare.
The moment before a race or the moment before you get the call that you got the job or made the team or the band is like christmas morning. Anything can happen, the box you’re opening could contain anything. You could be world champion or you could fall and come dead last. The key for me after racing at a world class level for 4 years is doing everything for myself. If I line up knowing I did everything in my power to be the best I can be then I can enjoy a calm moment of clarity before I race. I know that no matter what happens this is my best. Even if my best isn’t good enough there is always something to learn.
If there is one piece of advice I can give whether you’re just starting to compete or you’re struggling with defeat it’s this, there is always something to learn. It’s never going to sting as much as it does in the moments after a “failure”. Think back to the moments before the start horn, think of how proud you are of the work you put in, make a plan and get ready to attack the next competition. You know more now than you did before you started.
I hope you found this helpful whatever obstacles you may be facing! Please excuse the lack of posts in the coming weeks as I will be racing at Olympic trials!
They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, that’s the premise of the 21 day challenge. The idea is to give up all refined sugar and gluten and by the end you should crave it less. I have done this two times within one year. Each time I did it a bit differently and each time I learned something new about my body. On top of this I learned one big fat lesson that I will take with me on my nutritional journey I call life…IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME!
It all began in 2014, I always ate healthy but I was prone to binge while watching netflix. I’ve talked about this before but I’m a very all or nothing type of person. Balance does not come naturally to me. I read about this 21 day fix on pinterest and I figured whats the harm in trying. There is a ton of info on pinterest about this essentially paleo diet. I was living off eggs, rice cakes, nut butters, trail mix and apples. I wasn’t doing it correctly. I was tired all the time, my training was suffering and I was so grumpy. I’m a very competitive person so I was determined to finish the 21 days despite how horrible I felt. After finishing the diet I craved sugar more than ever, and I had way less will power when it came to snacking. It was like I wore out my will power muscle. So my solution to my now even worse sugar addiction? Another 21 day fix of course! This one actually lasted well over a month until I got mono and decided I might need some more substance to my diet. An important thing to point out here is I’m not eating this way and sitting at a desk all day, I train full time at a world class level. I was starving and really messing up my metabolism as a whole.
It’s over a year after the 21 day fixes and I finally feel like I’m in a good place. It’s so funny to me to look back on the challenges compared to what I eat now. I eat overall 80/20. 80% of the time I follow the guidelines for the 21 day fix without thinking about it. As soon as I restricted I wanted sugar and put it on a pedestal. Now I have a great relationship with sugar and it doesn’t feel like the end of the world when I indulge my sweet tooth.
Looking back, it all comes down to perspective. It’s a lifestyle and a 21 day fix is not a sustainable lifestyle. Treat yo self, ladies!
Staying true to yourself when trying to achieve a huge goal such as, the Olympics can be so difficult. The Olympics is the end goal for many athletes, it’s “the dream”. There have been thousands of Olympians and therefore thousands of different approaches to success. There is no formula for how to make an Olympian or world champion. If you get to the Olympics but haven’t stayed true to yourself have you really won?
The inspiration for my thoughts today came to me while I was listening to Finding Mastery an amazing podcast about sports psychology. I fled my house here at training camp where I live with five other paddlers and went to the beach to zone out. In listening to this podcast I started to reflect on my upbringing in sport. I wasn’t raised by Olympians or star athletes. What I did have was in my opinion, more valuable. My parents were (and are) wildly supportive. They would have been cheering me on at pottery lessons if it meant I was happy and fulfilled. They put me and my brother in paddling not to make future Olympians but to keep us out of trouble in the summer. I was only four when I began my journey but at that point the journey was to catch frogs not medals.
My parents never miss a race, they follow me around the world to cheer me on. On my home course I can only ever hear my Dad’s voice over the buzz of the crowd. They never forced me to train but they did hold me accountable. They knew if I wanted to succeed I needed to get up at 5:00am but they also knew that as a teenager I wouldn’t want to get up at 5:00am. They got me out of bed but wouldn’t fight it. However, at the dinner table I wasn’t a paddler, I was a person who paddled. It wasn’t my whole identity so we kept the paddling talk to a minimum after 5:00pm. There was never an obsession. As I get older this is more and more valuable. My ability to turn off my brain after practice and relax i owe completely to my parents. I know constantly reflecting on video and watching other athletes on their off time is a strategy of many champions. It’s not something I do and I don’t pretend to find it interesting. Does this make me less of an athlete? I seem to still be going fast without doing this and I’m way happier.
I have always been a great racer, I will have an infinite amount to write about that topic another time. For now, I’ll stay on the theme of staying true to me. I’m not the person on the start line with the laser focus. I am generally making jokes with fellow competitors or giggling to myself. I’m able to stay calm. In the tent during my warm up I’m hopping around chatting with people or even dancing. This works for me and I’ll be doing this at the Olympics if the time comes. If I’m acting like a robot on race day I wont be myself.
It’s so easy to get caught up in training camp drama but as I get older and more confident in who I am I’m finding it easier to stay authentic to myself. Sometimes that means leaving the house to do pointless stuff on the beach…
I didn’t even realize how calm I was while I was doing this silly task until I was done. Find a way to bring everything back to your core values. Remember to stay true to yourself on the journey to YOUR Olympics, whatever that may be.