Creating habits


For this week’s #wellnesswednesday post and with next week starting the first of 5 testers for the CrossFit Open, I’d like to talk a bit about forming habits in your food profile.

Every day, regardless of whether you are working out or not, is an opportunity to reinforce a habit—for good or for ill. Life is all about a series of choices and practices in an effort to set yourself up for success (or failure). As I mentioned in a previous blog, failing to plan is planning to fail; having habits in place that optimize your health or performance is the goal!

How does this relate to #wellnesswednesday? Well, you can have all of the recipes in the world, but if you don’t implement them in a way that is useful and that fuels your body for the task(s) at hand, they’re practically useless.

Let’s say you train at 1pm. How does your fueling profile look leading up to that training session? Do you have an idea of what your body needs to make the best use of your training session, or do you have really haphazard and erratic fueling and hydration practices in the hours and meals leading up to that time? The average person tends to have very little awareness on how their practices and habits impact their performance.

Here’s what I recommend you start doing or CONTINUE to do and refine regarding your food profile so as to create habits and knowledge around what works for you:

1. Implement a plan based on your (or better yet, a coach’s) knowledge in your food profile. All the things that need to be taken into account—macros, caloric intake, timing, hydration, sleep, etc—need to be considered and a plan needs to be conceived.

2. Be comfortable that this plan is NEVER going to be perfect the first time around—it’s is your initial best ‘educated guess’ as to what you think things need to look like!

3. COMPLY with your plan (this is the toughest part). If you can’t comply with the plan, you’ll need to ask yourself:

  • Why can’t I comply? (unrealistic, toxic, addiction withdrawal—life coaching stuff here)
  • What can I modify about this plan so as to be able to comply with a repeatable profile? (too much change at once, overly complex, etc)

4. Monitor your plan over time. This is the step that any useful observation comes into play, when you are able to COMPLY with a food profile over TIME.

5. Make adjustments based on your observations. Here’s where small, incremental improvements can slowly tweak your food profile over months and years to further match up how your food and recovery protocol matches up and works with your training program.

Let’s face it—most of us don’t have much of an idea of a baseline, so before you can worry about step 5 (making adjustments), you need to first implement step 1 (log a baseline so we know what we’re starting with). If you think logging your food is too much work, I think that’s an indicator that you don’t have the discipline to stick with a new food profile. There is a process to everything, and starting with smaller steps is the key to success for a vast majority of us all!

So in closing, let’s take some of the ideas we’ve learned from others and implement them into a food profile that we can live with. Let’s see what works, let’s comply and stick with a plan, and let’s use that information that we are observing to influence our behavior and our adjustments moving forward.

Only in this way can we stop being surprised about bombed training sessions and frustrated with lack of progress—there is enough information out there to decipher what needs to happen that we don’t need to leave things up to chance. Together and by trusting a process, we can become better versions of ourselves!


—Coach Phil