Giving up my 3000 calorie a day candy habit

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been in a bit of an eating free-for-all since the end of October when I competed in Miss Maryland USA. It happens.

And by free-for-all I mean more-than-occasionally eating 3000 calories a day of candy. Not a typo.

Fortunately for me, I’ve also stuck to my five times a week Programming-by-Sean, which has kept me from gaining copious amounts of weight. Between lifting and some cardio mixed in, I’ve only managed to gain about 10 pounds, which isn’t too bad, given my diet choices.

Balance is freakin’ hard. Trying to motivate yourself to eat well without a major goal coming up (especially when you’re a goal crusher like me) is freakin’ hard. So, a few weeks ago, I had a goal pow wow with both my life coach, Kali, from Blush (if you join, tell them Jen Gilbert sent ya!) and my coach Coach, Sean. Here’s the direction I’m going:

I am working to realize my full athletic potential. Over the last eleven months since starting with CrossFit, I’ve learned that I have athletic potential. Not that I’m heading to the Olympics anytime soon or winning the CrossFit Games, but I am stronger, faster, and more competitive than I knew. But the bottom line is that unless I fully commit to eating, training, mobilizing, and sleeping like an athlete, I’ll never reach my full athletic potential. Which means…


Macro-friendly breakfast tostadas and the cutest little yellow dog

I am learning to fuel like an athlete. That means counting macros (Protein, Fat, and Carbs), timing those macros to maximize my workouts, and prepping my meals so that I don’t have an excuse to stuff Dots in my face. Right now, I’m eating ~1650 calories a day to help me shed some of that fluff I’ve accumulated, and I eat higher carb on training days while rest days are higher fat.

I complained to Sean that I didn’t have a reason to eat well, but he helped me realize that I do. I mean that I seriously, seriously do. I hate how crappy I feel after a day of eating sugar. I hate the mid day crash. I hate how it impacts my lifting and speed. I hate how it inflames all of my little aches and pains.

I am prioritizing sleep. I used to think I could run effectively on six hours of sleep, but this is simply not the case. Not only does sleeping less affect my athletic performance, but it just plain makes me act like a bear. No, seriously, lack of sleep makes me mean and emotional. So now, I’m drinking that Sleepytime Tea, turning off my cell phone, washing my face, and turning the lights off by 10:30 to guarantee a solid eight hours each night.


I am working to be fully present in my training. Which means: getting to the gym with enough time to finish my workout, building in a significant warm-up, and committing to working on my mobilization. We’re working on gymnastics (handstands, muscle ups, etc), so mobility is so important to ensure that I’m not injuring myself by pushing my joints further than they can handle.

I am choosing to train to complete the Marine Corps Marathon. Rather than trying to be fast, I’m training to finish with a smile on my face and  (hopefully) a little bit faster than the last time I ran it. The reality of marathon training is that it can be brutal for your body. By training for MCM with mostly hiking and limited long runs, I’m setting myself up with strong small stabilizing muscles and joints that are mostly fresh on race day.

It’s not going to be easy to give up that 3000 calorie a day candy habit (because hello, have you ever eaten Reeses or Dots?), but when I feel, look, and perform my best, I know it’s going to be worth it. Each of us has the potential to be extraordinary. Each day, we get to choose if we want to settle for the situation we are currently in, or if we want to push ourselves to be better, faster, stronger than we’ve ever been before.

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