i often wondered what it felt like to be in shape and live a healthy lifestyle historically different from mine as a chef. I sporadically worked at it little by little, trying this or that, making new year’s resolutions right alongside everyone else.
the final straw was one random day when I was driving to work in uncomfortably tight jeans, complete with miserable love handles. I told myself that was it, and decided right then and there I was going to go all in. The plan was to give the whole gym rat, healthy *mini carrot eater lifestyle a real shot. i know that sounds hokey, but it was perfect black and white for me. I was done and ready to commit to something new. I think that’s a quality most chef’s share; we pour our hearts and souls into each and every menu, every season. always. however, when it’s over, it’s over… just like that.
so I set my sights on a gym buddy, because everything seems easier when you have someone to be accountable to. we joined the closest crossfit gym and signed the contract to a hefty monthly membership. we went for an “intro” class and I was scared shitless, but again; I had the person I couldn’t possibly leave hanging out to dry meeting me across town for our daily class. we showed up for classes at least four days a week, bought all the gear, made friends, and drank the koolaid, 100%, me probably even more than her. we were the annoying girls that talked about our workouts (yes, I can admit it now!) and quickly befriended our favorite, and incredibly fit and cool coach. crossfitters by the droves couldn’t stop talking about the paleo diet, and of course we were now crossfitters full of Kool-Aid. again, that was that. my cheffy juices started flowing and I was pumped to start testing out recipes and convincing my partner to join me on yet another possible “diet” flop.
“they “say it takes 21 days for your body to realize a new habit, after that it’s easier. ”they” say. “They” were astonishingly right, and we were in a flow by the middle of the 3rd week. We were singularly gymming it up with our buddies, bodies free of preservatives, sugar, dairy, gluten and anything “not real” and full; very, very full of water by the boatloads.
three years later I can honestly say I’ve fallen off the wagon a handful of times, and when I mean off, I mean under the wagon wheels in the dirt, kind of off. I start to have less energy; I don’t want to get up in the morning. It takes me two days to drink a bottle of water. I find every way possible to justify (mostly to myself) why I didn’t go to the gym, again. I physically and emotionally feel drained and dull, because I am. My body has been drained and dulled by my terrible choices of what to feed it.
Tomorrow is a new day, time to get back to it, and again, just like that I start to clean it up. I know what my body feels like when it needs water, white rice, a bone broth refuel, or even the occasional bite of mac and cheese. I’ve learned so much, but one thing is a given; you get out, what you put in.
*mini bagged carrots are just bigger carrots ground down to nubs.. do yourself a favor and save some dough: buy whole, fresh, top on carrots, peel them and teach yourself to cut sticks