52 Healthy Habits Week 6: Be a Good Student

Welcome to the latest edition of 52 healthy habits, when each week I attempt to tackle a new small lifestyle habit in order to improve in life one small way at a time. Sometimes I do well, sometimes I massively fail, but it's the trying that counts. 

I was down and out last week with the flu so I didn't do anything except rest and recover which is exactly what I am supposed to do when I am sick. Go me. Success. 

Honestly after sleeping late for a week due to the flu, it was a challenge to get up early again once I was feeling better. I shut the alarm off a few times during the week, but I did get up early on Saturday. Go figure. 

I haven't been doing great on morning pages either. It's weird. The more I feel like I have to get off my chest, the more thoughts that are swirling around in my head, the less I want to write it down. It's almost like I am scared to put in on paper in fear that someone else will read it. I prefer to keep my crazy locked up in my brain. But I think this is the point. Get it out. No one is going through my things. Either that I will write it then walk out in the back yard and set it on fire. hah.

I am back on track with my macro cycling. Obviously when I was sick, I wasn't tracking my food. I am weird, though. I never lose my appetite, even when I am sick. I think I ate more when I was sick just because I was home more often and bored. Hubby made me his famous grilled cheese that has a layer of cream cheese in between the cheese slices. Comfort food. Yum. 

NUTRITION STUDY

Speaking of cream cheese sandwiches, I may have mentioned that I am studying Sports and Exercise Nutrition with Precision Nutrition. When I say studying I really mean I haven't done $hit with it since November. It's a great online program, that requires reading a chapter in the textbook, watching online videos, completing workbook questions, then taking an online chapter quiz. I was moving through it about one chapter a week before Thanksgiving then completely fell off the wagon. 

One of the reasons that nutrition study is so important to me is that shortly after becoming a trainer and a running coach I realized that physical training is nearly ineffective unless the nutritional component is in place. No matter what the clients goals are, whether fat loss, sports or running performance, I can't effectively help someone unless I can also help them with nutrition.

Now I know nutrition in the sense that I know what works for me. That's not enough. Everybody is different and can respond differently. The least effective coaches in my opinion are the ones that say 'it worked for me, do what I do.' Anyone can tell people to eat whole natural foods. That doesn't qualify a person to coach nutrition. So I wanted to dig in learn more about nutritional science. I can tell my clients they need protein to build muscle or carbohydrates for sports performance, but I needed a deeper understanding of the science. Enter Precision Nutrition, one of the most respected online nutrition study programs. 

When I finish this program I can call myself a nutrition coach and frankly, I can call myself a nutrition coach today. There are not any state or legal requirements around this title. The certification is for my own knowledge so that I can offer the best science-based coaching possible. Nutritionist and nutrition coach are different than Registered Dietitian (RD) which requires licensing from the state. The difference is that as a nutrition coach, I am permitted to coach people on the basics of nutrition. I am not permitted to tell people exactly what to eat or attempt to treat any condition with food (including obesity). In other words, It is outside of my scope of practice to write meal plans to help you lose weight, but I am permitted help educate you on macro nutrients, micro nutrients, daily calorie intake, portion sizes, food choices, food quality, nutritional labels, food shopping and whatever science you care to know.

I want to finish this program so I can more effectively coach my clients using nutrition as the base for most fitness and health related goals. Yes, exercise is important, but nutrition is crucial. Get your nutrition on track first, then build on that with strength and cardiovascular training. 

ACCOUNTABILITY IS KEY

So what's the problem? I simply have not been putting in the work. So I decided it was time to take my own advice. I am always telling clients and readers to find an accountability partner in order to reach their goals. We often feel more accountable to other people than we do ourselves. I joined a Facebook group of Precision Nutrition students and found an accountability partner. We were in about the same place in our studies, so we decided we would talk once a week to hold each other accountable. We had our first call this week and talked about what we planned to complete within the week. I am going to get through two chapters by next Monday when we have a phone date to speak again. I know there is no way I am going to let myself fall short of this goal. I am sure she is going to do what she promised, so I need to hold up my end of the bargain.

This is a brilliant strategy for getting things done. This person is a total stranger to me that has a similar goal. You can find your own accountability partner to reach your goals. It can be a family member, a friend or a facebook buddy. Just having someone to check it with each week who will give you $hit if you don't do what you said can be the difference between success and failure. I love when I take my own advice. I am excited about my new study buddy and I already cracked open the book and am deep in the latest chapter.

I'll say that I am marketing gal so science is hard for me but I know I am smart and with some dedication, consistency and accountability, I can achieve any goal. AND SO CAN YOU.

What are your goals for the week? Let me know in the comments, then check back in a week and tell me how you did. That's accountability.

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

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While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.