What’s your Why?

At the nutrition class this past Tuesday, Austin made a statement that resonated with me–“Before you put your name on the board, find out why you’re putting your name on the board.”

I lost a passion for fitness after graduating from college in 2008. It wasn’t fun anymore and the results were few and far between. Over the next couple of years, I eventually stopped working out altogether but continued that college lifestyle of staying up extremely late and operating on very little sleep, eating anything I wanted, whenever I wanted and not caring about how much I was eating.

Well, in January of 2012, I got sick. Real sick. My wife drove me to the emergency room on Martin Luther King Day. I was admitted into the hospital weighing close to 180 pounds and walked out nine days later weighing exactly 150 pounds. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease takes place in the colon that includes characteristic ulcers, or open sores. The main symptom of this disease when it’s active is usually constant diarrhea mixed with blood, of gradual onset and is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another symptom I had was sever vomiting.

I am 100% convinced that my unhealthy lifestyle woke this disease from dormancy and it began attacking my body.

When I left the hospital I was placed on a liquid diet, along with medication. 24 pills per day to be exact. After a week, I was able to incorporate some solid foods that were easy to digest. Slowly, I was able to integrate more and more solid foods into my modified diet.

…Now, before we move any further, I need to confess that my Heavenly Father healed me! There is zero doubt in my mind that God touched my digestive track and removed all of this disease from my body! I prayed for a healing and had others pray for me as well. As I went for a check-up that following June, a colonoscopy was performed and there were ZERO signs of any ulcerative colitis!! I went from needing a colonoscopy procedure once a year to not having another procedure until 2019!…

I joined CrossfitWilson in October of 2012 when the Aycock family first opened the box. After a few short months, nutrition and dietary conversations began. Following my June check-up, I was cleared to eat whatever I wanted without any restrictions. So, I ate whatever I wanted.

The CrossfitWilson family was then introduced to the Paleo-Zone diet (a little different from this month’s challenge). Most people who are reading this know what the Paleo diet is. If you don’t, simply put, if a caveman didn’t have it as an option to eat, it’s not Paleo. The Zone part helps you learn the quantity of food you should eat.

To successfully incorporate the Paleo-Zone diet, one must learn their body composition in order to understand how much food should be consumed in a 24 hour period. Not only does it teach you how to eat, it teaches you what to eat (non-processed meats, vegetables, some fruits and nuts, and no sugars.) A nutrition class was held and we learned the hormonal effect that food has on the body. Learning this was a revelation for me!

When carbohydrate intake is higher than protein intake, the hormones, glucagon and insulin, are no longer balanced which wreaks havoc on the body. When hormones are imbalanced, the body is fooled into thinking you are in a constant state of stress. Take a guess at what makes ulcerative colitis symptoms flare up. You guessed it, stress. Other things happen to the body when there are hormonal imbalances like the inability to burn fat and elevated blood sugar levels. When protein intake is equal to or slightly higher than carbohydrates, hormones are balanced and the body is in a state of homeostasis.

This is where I learned how to “eat to live” and not “live to eat.” Balancing my hormones through my dietary intake, allows me to nurture, foster and further develop my healing to the point where I am not just healed, but I am made whole again.

For the record, I do not follow the Paleo diet 100% of the time. Every now and again I’ll eat something sweet, enjoy pizza, and drink some sweet tea. I’m not going to deprive myself of those goodies . Those foods never hurt as long as it is eaten in moderation.

So, why do I sign up for the nutrition challenges? I do this so I can perform better during a WOD. I do this so I can achieve my fitness goals. I do this because floor with my entire body cramping due to extreme dehydration and malnourishment. I do this because one day I will receive a doctor’s report that informs me I no longer have to take medication for ulcerative colitis. I do this to keep my healing.

I encourage you to find your why. When you’re thinking of cheating on your diet, find your why. When you are in the middle of a grueling WOD and you want to quit, or take a shortcut or shortchange your reps, find your why. When life knocks you down, find your why to get back up.

What’s you why?