Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ladies, eat to support your workout.

On Friday I had to go to NYC to do media training for my other new book, Women's Health Perfect Body Diet.

I got up at 6 am (I'm not a morning person) and was on the road at 7 am for an hour drive to get to the New Haven train station that would take me to the city in another hour and a half.

I always eat in the morning, unless I'm doing cardio under 20 minutes in duration (don't want to lose any muscle I've built). So, at 7 am, while my fiance was driving me to the train, I ate my scoop of whey protein mixed with 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats and a Tbsp of ground flax (all mixed in water), as per usual.

I also always pack food with me wherever I go, and today I had a baggie of raw pecans and sunflower seed kernals. But for some reason, I didn't pack any more, which in retrospect, I should have. I snacked on a handful or so of those at about 9 am, because in the morning, I'm hungry every 2 hours no matter what (mostly because I train at night).

When I got to Grand Central at 10:30 am from New Haven, I needed to eat again because I knew with my schedule that day, I wouldn't be able to eat again until about 2 pm. Nothing really appealed to me, but, I got a small dish of tabouli, which (naturally) came with a slice of pita bread, which I DID NOT eat. (I don't do bread... it goes straight to the butt.) The tabouli was good though. Normally I would have eaten a bit more than that knowing that my next meal was going to be much later than I needed, but my stomach was a bit queezy due to nervousness.

I walked my way from GC over to the Rodale office (the publisher of the book), and got there at 11 am. I met with the people I needed to work with and, as expected, didn't have an opportunity to eat until about 2:30. At that time I didn't have the resources to eat what I really wanted, as I had to rush back to the train station for a 3 pm departure. On my way out of Rodale, I was able to grab a couple of good snacks, out of the plethora of carb-ladened snacks found in the Rodale lunch room. They happened to have these all-pork jerky sticks (kind of like Slim Jims) called Joy Sticks, that had no preservatives and few calories. I could have grabbed a sugary "natural" granola bar snack too, but I knew the carbs weren't what my body needed.

The fact that my 3 pm food had such low calories, left me in a brain-drain for most of my ride home on the train. Basically, my entire caloric intake for the day was maybe about 500 calories, and at that point (3 pm), I was only at now 800 or so. That just wasn't enough for a woman that burns at least 1200 calories doing nothing.

I could feel that my calories were too low on my ride home with my fiance. He didn't have time to grab me anything before he picked me up, so I still had nothing else to eat during our hour-plus ride back home in the car.

Even though I didn't eat much that day, I still had to go to the gym as planned once we got back to our area of the state. (like I said, that was over an hour once I got off the train in New Haven)

I almost didn't even want to go because I felt so blah, but I had planned on it, and I wasn't going to back out.

I walked in the gym and knew I just didn't have the energy to lift. So, I got on a cross-trainer and did that in intervals for about 40 minutes. While on there, my fiance lifted, and I chatted with a buddy. This buddy of mine knew I rarely did cardio and asked what was going on. I told him that I didn't eat enough that day and would have had a more pathetic workout if I tried to lift. Then I deduced that maybe that's why I always see women on the cardio machines versus in the weight-lifting area.

Most women I know just don't eat enough. They think that to get their ideal body, they need to deprive themselves. However, when you do this and then try to workout, your workout completely suffers. You feel tired and crabby because you need more food energy, and then you try to get a good workout in, but all you have energy to do is mindlessly do circles on the crosstrainer or bike. If you ran, that would be disastrous too.

Ladies, if you really want to make changes in the appearance of your body, you HAVE TO EAT. Do NOT starve yourself.

You need the energy of the right food, designed specifically to benefit your body, in order to workout with intensity and feel energetic while you do it.

No one likes dragging themselves in the gym when all they want to do is just go home and vegetate on the couch due to a day of insufficient calories.

Both of my two new books, The New Rules of Lifting for Women and The Women's Health Perfect Body Diet advocate that you eat enough food and never starve yourself into misery.

You need to eat to support exercise, which is a necessary component of any body-composition-altering plan, otherwise you leave yourself in a tired, depressed place where all you want to do is cheat from your diet plan and stay as far away from exercise as possible.

My learning experience for this day was to always bring food with me so that I would be left in a situation like I was. After I finished my cardio, I still felt terrible and when I got home I wanted to eat anything in sight. That just wasn't a good place to be in and I knew better. Next time, my plan will be in place and my workouts and food control will be much better - I didn't blow it, but knew that it would have been easy to do so.


Holly Rigsby said...

Great post Cassandra!
I agree - so many women have adopted the mindset "Eat less, weight less" - a true change comes from realizing this and changing it to the fact that we need to eat to fuel our bodies for fat loss.

I too LOVE the protein powder and oats for breakfast - I will add a little natural peanut butter for an extra kick!

Jaya said...


nonegiven said...

I was always hungry again after a couple of hours when I had cereal, oatmeal or plain yogurt with whey. When I eat meat, eggs and/or cheese I can last until lunchtime.

Auntie Poo said...

So true Cassandra. It's so much less stressful when you are not constantly thinking about what you will eat next, where you will get it and how it fits in with your eating plan.

I have to say that always having food with me has been made a lot easier with my recent discovery and purchase of an insulated lunch bag. I bought mine at Wal Mart. I've seen them at London Drugs (I'm in Canada). You just pop an reusable ice pack in there and you are set! I can fit a whole cucumber cut in 3, a couple of chicken breasts and an apple in it easily with room for a little more.

Ceuta said...

I didn't even finish reading your post before writing this brief message. You are so right!! I always feel tired for my 9 a.m. weightlifting class because I don't eat. In fact I've never eaten before that class. I merely get out of bed and go. In fact, last Saturday I didn't go at all because my body was more exhausted than usual. Usually I force myself to go, and my tired body just goes. I am going to finish reading your post, and then make sure I eat before I workout!

Marni said...

congrats on your books!!! I wish I could be like successful!
I love your posts. Have a great day :)