When I started CrossFit in 2013, my diet left a lot to be desired. I ordered Chinese from Hunan Delight thirty-eight times that past year. THIRTY-EIGHT TIMES! (There was an intervention in 2012.) ConEdison contacted me every 6 months to inform me that the gas might not be working in my apartment because the stove had not been turned on during that period. There was a lot of skipping meals followed by epic binges.
One morning I woke up one Saturday hungover and didn't eat per usual, and I pinned myself under the lady bar. I realized the reason I always felt like garbage was because the majority of the calories I consumed came from alcohol and dumplings. I slowly started cleaning up my diet.
I followed a pretty common CrossFit diet trajectory. I decided to embrace the Paleo diet after dabbling in it in the past. I tried another Whole30. I remember coming home at around 11 PM after going to the 9:15 PM CrossFit class and being so damn tired that I would throw a bag of veggies into the microwave and just cover them in coconut oil. I'm not sure I ate protein besides bacon. Someone pointed out to me that cocaine is Paleo but oatmeal is not, and I started to question if it was really that bad to eat Greek yogurt. I switched to Primal and ate a lot of Kerrygold butter.
My diet got better when I reconnected with an old boyfriend who tracked everything he ate in MyFitnessPal like he would be executed if he didn't. I still followed a mostly Primal diet on weekdays but then we would binge eat all weekend. Nothing like two former fat kids in love and let loose in a Publix. We would strategize the cocktail hour at weddings to make sure we maximized our hors d'oeuvres intake. He would beeline for the bar and get drinks while I filled up two plates and found a table. Then we would alternate returning for our favorites while the other person held down the fort.
I tried to follow macros but was still very wary of carbs. I tried using a Paleo meal service but got discouraged when I realized the macro calculations were significantly off. I started prepping my own meals, which sounds like crazy talk to anyone who knew me while I lived in New York. I ended up hiring a macro coach and had some success with her. I'm not very compliant on weekends or when I travel, and it was only after I acknowledged and embraced that fact that I started to see real progress.
I learned that I could eat anything as long as it fit my macros. I went from being scared of carbs to putting Gatorade in my protein shake and eating Jolly Ranchers during workouts.
I tried reversing and a bulk, which left me a lot heavier than I would have liked but it taught me a lot about how I eat, what my triggers are, and what I can do to set myself up for success. After being able to make almost anything fit my macros, I realized I like eating whole foods, and I enjoy chicken and broccoli. I track from 7 PM to 6:59 PM so my dinner informs the remaining 24 hours. This switch has been the most helpful.
Right now I am using macros from Affinity Athletics Coach Delta and trying to be reasonable on weekends. To be honest, that usually means eating small amounts to offset the amount I drink in the pool. I prep almost all of my own foods when I'm home, but do eat out frequently because of my work travel. I will always make room for tacos. I still enjoy margaritas.
CrossFit has made me see that what I eat (or don't eat) has a direct impact on my performance in the gym. You really can't outtrain a shitty diet, abs really are made in the kitchen, and it's really hard to get bulky because I've tried.
This is just proof that I do sometimes use my oven: