Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Nutrition | 211 comments

Sit down, because I am about to get all up in yo’ business.

Today, we marry two of my favorite things: Psychology and Nutrition.

Whether you walk into Crossfit Retribution as a seasoned crossfitter or a seasoned couchsitter, once inside, you begin to challenge your beliefs on fitness; many of the things you thought you already knew.

Beliefs are a funny thing. Some are ingrained; brought along from the way we are raised- those things our family and friends teach us. Other beliefs we arrive at on our own, as we grow and we challenge ideas and ideals, in order to figure out how they fit into our own personal existence. Beliefs often fall on a spectrum, of sorts. They may be fiercely believed in for a time, until…they are not. (Hint: way your kid-self felt about that jolly guy in the red suit). There are those of us who never question a thing, only believe; and then those of us who require concrete examples and unequivocal proof before buying in.

Regardless of where you fall, and what your beliefs (on anything) may be; beliefs often get in the way.

“Of?”, you ask?

Of rationality. Beliefs can lead us to act irrationally, to think irrationally. And get this:


Here is your example:

You are in line at Starbucks (ordering a black coffee, of course). Someone rams into you from behind, knocking your phone, keys, glasses (and Starbucks gift card) out of your hands and onto the floor. As you scramble to collect your possessions, you are feeling mad…incredulous even. Boiling thoughts race through your head: “what sort of a$$ would do such a thing”; “raised by wolves!”, you think; “wait til I give this jerk a piece of my mind!”; ”NOT AWESOME SAUCE”. You whip around, ready to give this Starbucks Stalker a piece of your mind.

He has on dark glasses and carries a walking stick.

Your incredulousness/anger/irritation vanishes. “Um, err…good morning”, you mutter, and turn back around. You’re now feeling embarrassed, and hope no one noticed your internal temper tantrum.

Now wait a minute, what just happened? You are still wiping the grime off your glasses and can feel where you were bumped into. (Yup-that RAM has turned into a little bump). Yet your feelings are totally different.  Time did not rewind.  So what gives?

Your thoughts about the incident: your BELIEFS; have changed.

No longer do you think that some no-good viciously rammed into you on purpose (irrational thoughts leading you to emotions resulting in anger, you see). Instead, you realize it was an accident, say good morning, and go about your day. (Rational thoughts leading to emotions appropriate for the Starbucks line.)

Who can control the thoughts (a.k.a. the beliefs), and thus, the feelings(a.k.a the reactions) which occur when events we cannot change have happened?

You, and only you.

WAIT. What website are you on again? How does this relate to nutrition?

Upon joining Crossfit Retribution and/or Westminster Strength and Conditioning,  you are introduced to the concept of altering your food intake to:  protein and fats, followed by carbs (in the form of veggies and fruits); Meaning: step away from the processed foods… no grains, sugars, legumes, or dairy.   Strength athletes are often given the addition of  whole milk. You have heard this way of eating referred to as our lovely friend, paleo).

Once your little ears have heard about this new way of eating, your gears start shifting. Without a doubt, you immediately had SOME sort of a reaction…fueled by a feeling.  WHAAATTTT? (anger). AWESOME! (excitement). HUH?! (confusion). BUT I LOVE PASTA!! (sadness).

We now know these reactions are occurring because of our thoughts…our beliefs.

Totes, this will be no problem. Sweet, I love bacon! I will fight the s.o.b who tries to keep me from my morning bagel. Wait, no fat-free cottage cheese? Legumes?!What is a legume? My grandparents ate pretty much like that and lived to be ancient! My arteries are going to clog up!  Are Lean Cuisine’s processed food?!? How am I going to get a six-pack eating fat?

Well Jumpin Jehoshaphat, it is almost like we are back in line at Starbucks!

  • An event has occurred, which you cannot undo: you were told about paleo.
  • Your beliefs came into play about this “paleo” event : the good, the bad, the ugly.
  • Based on your beliefs, you had a reaction to paleo: yes, maybe, no, or maybe even hell no.

Reactions (feelings) lead to ACTIONS.

Like successfully eating in a new way…or not.

Where am I going with this?

YOU are the only one who has control over your actions in making a shift in the way you fuel your body. YOU lead the fight on making sure your beliefs, and thus your reactions and actions, are rational. If you are happy as a clam and think paleo is amazing and no problemo…then, PLEASE, keep on, keepin’ on. If changing the way you eat is something that a) you worry about constantly, b) a task which feels impossible, c) a task which seems unnecessary, or d) if it sounds like a big fat scam; then it is you who I am challenging…you believe what CFR has taught you about fitness, whether you believed from the beginning or it took until your knees stopped hurting or your weights started coming off the floor with more ease. Would we lead you wrong about your food…?

Do you need to address your beliefs to adjust your reaction?

Good, that is very good. Ask questions. Research. Learn the ‘why’. Make it fit your life. Challenge us. Challenge YOU.

Events will continue to occur.

How will you react?

Until Next Time…(promise it’ll be shorter and maybe even funnier)



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