Jackie took our Nutrition Coaching advice and stuck the program, 100%. Her results are amazing, as are her insights into the challenges that come with changing your eating habits. We sat down with her and got the chance to ask a few questions. We’re grateful for her thoughtful answers.
What was the hardest part about losing weight?
There’s a reason they say “Old habits die hard.” I think the hardest part of losing weight was breaking the bad habits I had developed through nine months of pregnancy. In fact, I still have days where at the end of the day, I miss dessert.
The hardest part of the program itself was making sure I ate 3 proper meals a day and my shakes. On hectic “mom” days, I would be running around without properly planning for when I was going to eat my meals. I would get to the end of the day and realized I hadn’t eaten all day long and didn’t have enough time to fit in all the required meals before bed.
What was the easiest part?
Knowing exactly what I needed to do without ambiguity. There are enough choices in the program that I don’t feel bored with what I am eating and enough structure to make it easy to follow and stick with. My meals just focus on green veggies and protein with an accent of carbs or fats, where appropriate.
You did the program while nursing a baby. Tell me about that.
My biggest fear was that I would put all this effort into the program only to have issues with milk supply and then have to stop. Second to that was the fear that I wouldn’t lose any weight at all because I was nursing. Neither turned out to be an issue. Obviously, I have lost weight in the six weeks and am feeling great. And when there were issues with milk supply, we talked and immediately made the changes to get my supply back where it needed to be within 24 hours. Being able to talk to you and have a quick solution to that problem was so helpful.
The great part about doing this program while nursing is the focus on all the green veggies. Because I am starting with a baseline of veggies at every meal, I know that my baby is getting the micro nutrients from the leafy greens I am eating all day. After a while, I found that when I was still hungry I would add more green veggies to my meals. I also never fully appreciated how important it is to drink enough water; this is even more important when nursing. The program helped me to focus on getting in enough of the right nutrients every day to support myself and my baby. I feel good, we are both healthy and she is putting on all the pounds I am taking off…because chubby babies are so much cuter than chubby mommies.
You’re continuing on with the program, what’s your ultimate goal?
My previous weight loss solutions were unhealthy and unsustainable. I didn’t want to climb to the top of a mountain, only to jump off a cliff right back to the bottom. I would like to find a more healthy balance with food. I also want to build on what I have learned, and use the nutrition component to facilitate learning the exercise movements I have been unable to do since starting CrossFit. (dubs, pullups, strict push ups, the list goes on and on….)
What’s the biggest “win’ from doing the program?
Making it through Thanksgiving and still losing weight that week. Despite all the temptation around me, I was able to enjoy the meal (even a couple of the “treat foods”) and stay on the program overall.
We all know that travel and the associated behaviors can destroy the hard fought gains you’ve gotten through so much hard work in the gym and harder work in the kitchen. DON’T LOSE THOSE GAINS!
Pretty much, just get your stuff together. Know what you need to eat (not sure, ask your nutrition coach) and eat it. When flying, don’t take the peanuts. Or the pretzels. Or the bloody mary mix. Or the Ginger Ale. On the road? No excuses. Skip the gas station trash, stop at a grocery store and stock up. Carry a cooler lunch box if you fly, a larger cooler if you like when you’re driving. Seriously, it’s 2018. YOU CAN EAT HEALTHY ON THE ROAD! Check out Arno’s story for a great example: http://crossfit305.com/arno-michaelis-serve-2-unite-weight-loss/
Water. Not alcohol. Seriously, zero alcohol if possible….If you’re a drinking flyer (I used to be, that’s for sure) drink even more water. You might get that ‘trapped in the seat’ feeling once or twice asking your seat-neighbor to get out, but that minor inconvenience is worth the after effect. Drink a glass before security, another before boarding, more at drink service in the air and first thing upon landing. If you’re road tripping, flying, or boating, keep a refillable, measured container with you.
STICK TO THE PLAN!
No matter what. Have a plan, stick to it. If it’s vegan, great. Paleo, fine. Macro counting, do it. Whatever it is, have your plan and stick to it. Work in a cheat if you need to, but never off of the rails! Don’t have a plan? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Book your phone call with Dan immediately!
One of my favorite places to move and exercise is on vacation. New places, new people, new stimulus! Whether it’s dropping in at a studio or throwing around logs on a beach, there are a million different ways to stay fit. Got a prescribed plan? Great! Find what you need and get it done. No plan? Get outside, do some bodyweight workouts (examples here) or interval training (check the Sprintervals Blog for some quick & efficient routines), or just crush your abs (check out the #ABSTOBER program here).
We’ve helped thousands of people over the past decade, both locally and remotely. We’d love to take 15 minutes and hear your story and see if we’re a good fit to work together toward your goals. To pick a date and time for your free phone consultation: http://crossfit305.com/nutrition/
“Before/after, with the after picture all smiley. Massive love and gratitude going out to @danmartin305 for the coaching!
Dan really knows his stuff in regards to fitness and nutrition, and he guides you through a very structured program he’s put together.
All you need to do is commit and follow through. Dan hounds you along the way to make sure that happens. Highly recommended to anyone looking to get in shape!!”
Sidebar: I’ve know Arno for aout 20 years. We met in the Midwest music scene and shared a lot of experiences. After my move to Miami and lifestyle change, we still kept in touch occasionally and I kept up with him through social media. He wrote a book about his storyof a previous life before we’d met (check it out HERE). He travels for speaking engagements now and had a 3 week bi-coastal trip scheduled during his 6 weeks. He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to stick to the program. I assured him, that with a combination of his will power and my accountability he’d be able to do it….and he did it!
Not only did she have weight loss success, she maintained muscle and gained strength!
With her hybrid program including Nutrition, Personal Training and group classes, she has made huge improvements.
“The easiest part was not having to think, “Should I or Shouldn’t I?” and just doing what Dan said to do.”
Her 400 meter sprint time dropped from 2:20 to 1:50, she’s finally able to string together double unders and she learned to do kipping pull ups and toes to bar (not to mention 8 STRICT PULL UPS!!!
“It’s not only a physical gain testing my will power, I feel stronger in every way and also have more energy.”
“My 2.45 mile run from 26-24 min … and I’m finally just starting to be able to do workouts without breaking for rest, that was a huge goal for me.”
As far as her future plans, she continues to train and keep her nutrition on point. “I just want to continue to get stronger, over all fitter and keep pushing myself to be better …Beating Shloimy’s “Karen” time wouldn’t be too bad either “
“We fail at the margins of our experience.” -Greg Glassman
The simple, effective and in some cases dreaded Wall Ball shot…a CrossFit staple.
Take a simple tool, a Medicine Ball, squat with it in the front rack, toss it 10 feet high, hit your target, catch and repeat. For many an exerciser, this is one of the most dreaded exercises in the wheelhouse. Why? Because A LOT can go wrong in the 2 seconds it takes to complete a rep. Poor form, bad breathing techniques and negative mental attitude can lead to a lot more time on the clock during a set of 50 Wall Ball shots than needed. This post will help you get set up for success, and help you bang out more reps than you ever though possible. Ready?
1. The Set Up
Pick up your Med Ball and push your arm straight out in front of you. The ball should touch the wall. Feet should be set up as with any other squat. We’ll go into slight tweaks on this later. For now, your air squat set up is correct. Heels down, knees out. Squat with the ball in the front rack position. Elbows should be up. Drive hard out of the bottom and use that energy to launch the ball to your target, usually ten feet.
2. The First Rep
Your ball will be resting on the ground. Squat down and save the energy of picking the ball up. This may seem like a small thing, but in a grueling AMRAP or a longer WOD where sets may need to be broken (Kelly or Karen anyone?) this small bit of efficiency will work wonders. You can choose to perform a MedBall Clean, but I prefer to squat and pick up the ball from the bottom of the squat.
3. The Catch
Allow the weight of the ball to carry you back down. As soon as the ball hits your finger tips, you should be squatting. Your midline (torso) should remain tight and intact. One of the most common faults on this movement is a dropping of the elbows and softening of the core. Don’t be soft.
4. The Bounce
Use the bottom of your squat to bounce back up and out. This does NOT mean abandoning your lumbar arch and hitting your butt cheeks on the ground. Some will benefit from a slight widening of the stance to control depth. Should you squat to a ball? No. Use squat targets for depth PRACTICE, not application. If your depth is lacking, your lumbar flexion is lost or you cannot control your movement, do not squat under any load, including a Med Ball. Practice the Air Squat until it’s perfected, then add load.
5. The Throw
This is not basketball. Use both hands evenly. Think you’re favoring one side? Ask someone to watch or video tape a longer set and see what you’re doing. If you’re favoring one side, fix it. Go lighter or lower until you can do it correctly with proper form.
6. The Breath
When you throw the ball up, your diaphragm is open. Breathe in as the ball makes contact with your target. Exhale on the catch. This DOES NOT mean you should loosen your midline and go slack. You are establishing a pattern, use efficiency and form.
7. The Arm Circle
As the shoulders start to fatigue in higher rep sets, a mid rep arm circle can become helpful mentally and physically. Throw the ball up, circle the arms back and quickly return to the catch. As with any movement pattern, practice this before applying it to a workout.
8. Breaking Mental Barriers
The Wall Ball shot is one of those movements that can be done for hundreds of reps. Look back at Tommy Hackenbruck going unbroken on Karen in the 2012 CrossFit Games Team final. At a recent event in Miami, Games vet Elizabeth Akinwale and multi-time Regional competitor Shawn Ramirez also completed the needed 150 reps unbroken. Set your mind to it, breathe, work on efficiency and push your limits.
9. The Equipment
We use Dynamax balls. They’ve lasted forever and not a single one has has a tear, a seam break, nor have they flattened out. We have no affiliation to Dynamax, and have in fact spent thousands of dollars on these fine balls. There are cheaper balls out there, but every gym I’ve seen with them have wrapped them in duct tape, tried to bring them back to form or plain-old thrown them out. If price is an issue, build yourself a ball out of a basketball and filler like these examples and save up to buy the good stuff…it’ll last you for years to come. There’s nothing worse than something for half the price with a tenth of the lifespan.
10. But Wait…
I’m short/uncoordinated/less than perfect. Yes, yes, yes. The beautiful thing about functional fitness is that it’s scalable. I know, you really want to be RX every time. Practice the movement if it’s a weakness. Hammer weaknesses into the ground by making your practice methodical. Do something every day and you’ll get better at it. Start with a light ball at a lower height until it’s easy. Each week add 2 pounds and a go a little bit higher. A 20 pound ball moving at high velocity for multiple reps is HEAVY. Scale wisely and inch your way up.
11. Have Fun!
We often play the 9′-10′-11′-12′ game for warm up. We have lines at each height. Each rep is one foot higher then the last, then reverses to go back down. Another drill we use is the middle of the room max height shot. Grab a light ball and see how high you can throw it. The ceiling is the limit (literally). The Power Wall Ball gets occasional use as well. It’s a Wall Ball shot without the squat. It sounds easy, it’s not. Since the rep is faster and translates into a modified push press it turns into a shoulder burner quickly. Don’t limit yourself, experiment, have fun, train smart!