As a nutrition coach I am passionate about empowering individuals to achieve their optimal health and performance through food. But what happens when the coach herself faces a hurdle that challenges everything she advocates? That’s precisely what unfolded in my journey struggling with back pain, and the invaluable lessons I learned about rest and nutrition.
As someone immersed in the world of nutrition and fitness, I thought I had it all figured out. My days were dedicated to guiding others on the importance of balanced diets, effective meal planning, and optimizing nutrition for athletic performance. Yet, despite this knowledge, I found myself facing a humbling predicament.
Persistent back pain became my unwelcome companion, a result of pushing too hard without allowing my body the essential recovery it needed. Ignoring warning signals, I continued to lead by example – or so I thought – by pushing through workouts.
My injury wasn’t just a physical setback; it was a profound awakening. It forced me to confront the disparity between what I preached and how I treated my own body. I knew better, yet I hadn’t practiced what I preached – rest and proper nutrition. If you have had a nutrition consult with me you know I stress how your nutrition will need to change in order to progress in your CrossFit workouts.
The initial frustration of being unable to carry out my routine activities soon transformed into a journey of self-reflection and understanding. I had to be the living embodiment of the principles I stood for, starting with prioritizing rest and optimizing my nutrition for recovery.
With a newfound perspective, I began to treat my rest days as sacred intervals dedicated to nourishing my body in a different way – not just through food but also through recuperative practices. Sleep became a non-negotiable priority (you may have even heard me talk about my new mattress!) recognizing its profound impact on healing and overall well-being.
As a nutrition coach, I am revisiting the fundamentals of a balanced diet, tailoring it to aid my recovery. Lean proteins, vibrant fruits, and nutrient-packed vegetables took center stage. Adjusting macronutrients has become a personalized experiment, aligning intake with my reduced activity levels on rest days.
But it isn’t just about the food on my plate; it is about mindfulness. Mindful eating became a practice I have often preached but hadn’t fully embraced until now. Listening to my body’s cues, understanding its needs, and responding with nourishing foods has become my daily ritual.
This has journey taught me that being a nutrition coach doesn’t make me immune to the consequences of neglecting rest and proper nutrition. Instead, it has amplified the importance of leading by example, of understanding the profound impact of these principles not just on paper but in my own life.
So, to anyone who might resonate with this journey, I urge you to embrace the significance of rest and nutrition, recognizing their transformative power not just in theory but in your own lived experiences.
-Nutrition Coach Ashley