So, one of the disadvantages I’ve had with keto, or not so much keto, but losing weight, is the loss of my strength at the gym. We had some really crazy unbroken hang clean sets recently that totally broke me down. It was supposed to be 80% or something of our body weight, and for the first time, I should’ve been able to do those at my new weight BUT… I was basing that off of my previous strengths! Not my current..
I was able to get like, one hang clean at the correct weight, but not 3 unbroken. (It was something like, it should’ve been 155lb hang cleans, x3, unbroken).
I barely held on at 115. I was so disappointed in myself and felt like a total failure. But I had to keep reminding myself that the 15 minutes of the workout did NOT trump the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of my day, and that my strength in the WOD was not more important than how I felt the rest of the time. That has been what I’ve been telling myself, and it’s been helping.
Of course, it also helps that I crushed one of the workouts last week, which was a 3 rep max touch and go power clean complex. I was able to get 160lbs x 3, and it was quite glorifying! My old 1RM was 185, so to be only 25lbs off, at a 3 rep max, felt really amazing.
For me, it’s a very fine line between eating to sustain strength, and eating to lose weight. I have been eating a mostly paleo diet to sustain and grow my strength for the last 5 years. It wasn’t until I went strict Keto in January that I actually found longer term weight loss successes, as I fueled my body in a way that allowed for me to be satisfied/not hungry and lose weight. One of the biggest challenges I’ve dealt with my whole life with weight loss was that I was constantly hungry. Being hungry sucks. At some point, any normal person will be like, fuck this. This is stupid. I’m tired of being hungry. And well, that’s what happened to me time and time again.
With Keto, I eat enough fat to keep me satiated. Not hungry. Not craving shit. I actually don’t crave the things I can’t have, for a few reasons.
- I know how sick they’ll make me if I eat them, and that by itself is enough to keep me away. I don’t want them. My body literally is turned off at the thought of eating those things.
- I know how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am. Eating cake or ice cream full of sugar and bread and gluten and whatever is just not enticing.
- It’s not good for me. I embarked on this diet for a reason, and putting processed sugars and starches in my body goes against all of that.
I have turned into a carb and sugar snob, too. I see people’s carts at the grocery store loaded with low fat nonsense and processed snacks, and I can’t help but be disgusted. We as a society have become complacent with eating garbage, and it’s maddening. McDonald’s is not food. It’s not nutritious. It’s not nourishing. Boxes of food product aren’t good for you. I’m sure I make faces without realizing it. I don’t care. Look at me (and check out my giant, muscular legs too while you’re at it), judge me all you want. Because I’m likely doing the same right back (I’m judgy, I can’t help it..) I’m also the healthiest I’ve been in years. The numbers don’t lie, kids.
Alright, back on track here. So, Keto and CrossFit. There is a book I have, but have yet to dive into, called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, that discusses the keto diet in conjunction with being an athlete. It is my latest book to ‘carry around until I actually read it’. Which is usually effective to a point. I’m finally at a point where I feel like I can start building my strength back up by lifting heavier again, or at least going for it.
Another issue I am dealing with is being lightheaded. When I’m squatting down and stand back up, I am almost always light headed during the process. This comes and goes, but I think part of it can be attributed to getting back into ketosis. I think my constant state of ketosis isn’t actually happening, and when I’m re-entering ketosis, I feel like this is when this lightheadedness is more likely to occur. I have been more carb conscious* this last week and have noticed that it’s more significant the last couple days, but I will report back on this.
*When I say carb conscious, I mean watching out for hidden carbs in things like sweetener in my coffee, ketchup on my burgers, eating too many cashews, etc.