Food for Thought: Logging Your Way to Greatness

We see a common trajectory with CrossFit athletes. You start out guns blazing, and you're invincible for a good long time. Soon, though, you hit it. The dreaded plateau. The PRs stop coming as thick and fast as they were, and you start looking for ways to get the glory back.

Then you start logging your workouts. Reluctantly, because you think have a good idea of what's going on. But then you start to see trends and patterns, areas where you need to focus your attention, and suddenly you're seeing improvement in places you hadn't looked for it before. You're back on top. Until, again, you hit that plateau. You have the movements down, but you're sluggish. Or tired. And it's not because you're not taking rest days - you are, because you know how important recovery is.

You ask your coach what you can do to improve, and you get the answer you dread: it's time to look at your nutrition. For some reason, logging your workouts was a fairly easy step to take, but logging your food? Ugh. What a pain in the ass.

Take a look at that pyramid to the right. This heirarchy comes from an article called "What is Fitness?" written in 2002 by Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit. Take a look at the base of that pyramid. Yup, there it is. The foundation on which all other physical activities rest. Nutrition. It's what supports all the activities you want to do. It's the crucial piece which is so often overlooked. So why are we so resistant to taking a detailed look at what we put in our mouths?

In an ideal world, we could strip away all emotional attachments to eating and simply use food to fuel our engine.  Unfortunately, most of us have a much more complicated relationship with food, and for some, paying more attention to nutrition can spiral into disordered eating. If this is you, I recommend seeking out a food therapist. It's tough to fix a broken relationship with food on your own, and make no mistake, it is something that needs to be fixed.

For those of us that can log - we should. Nay, we must. Otherwise we are flying blind on the very foundation of our fitness.

Olivia Graff

Olivia's athletic origins lie in gymnastics and circus arts. After finding CrossFit in 2007, she became obsessed, and three years later left her IT career and opened United Barbell. Olivia is particularly passionate about helping people new to fitness to find joy in their growing athletic abilities. Since the birth of her daughter, Isis, in 2013, Olivia can add helping little ones find their athletic path to her list of passions.