So ask yourself: Do you operate comfortably within established structures, or do you find yourself constantly shoving up against the limits of those rules? Do rules make you feel safe and give you the confidence to make the right decisions, or do they make you feel claustrophobic and trapped, limited?
It’s interesting, I think, to consider rules and our relationship to them, especially when we characterize ourselves as crossfitters. People who crossfit are (if I may be so bold to generalize) a special breed of fitness renegade. We found ourselves looking for something new, something more challenging, something less regimented, something outside the realm of traditional exercise and fitness. Our workouts don’t really HAVE rules, right? Constantly varied. As hard as you can go. So, crossfitters might in some ways have some problems with rigid rules. We are used to questioning established conventions.
To love crossfit, you have to be comfortable, to an extent, with facing an unexpected challenge. And you have to be comfortable facing that challenge without the benefit of a whole lot of rules to help you. The rules we do have are often basic: set your back. Below parallel. Chin above the bar. And while I am exaggerating here for effect, pretty much everything else is YOU. You make decisions about intensity, speed, load. You make decisions about where to place your feet, about breaking up (or not) your sets. CrossFit is your workout.
It might be useful, then, to imagine eating clean the same way you imagine the WOD on the whiteboard. The rules (no dairy, no grains, etc.) are really just the movements (pull-ups, cleans). You get to decide how hard you want to work, or which rules/movements you are able to Rx. If your gut doesn’t mind, you can modify the “no dairy” with a modification: a latte to help you get through Monday. You can scale your “no alcohol” rule: A small glass of red wine on Friday.
NOW: don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t care if you cheat, or that you should quit trying. I’m saying that sometimes we walk into the box and there are muscle-ups on the whiteboard. But we don’t leave because we can’t do the WOD as prescribed! We do our best, and then we come in the next day and Rx the shit out of those box jumps. I’m saying that if you must, you can “scale your eating” so that you can be successful. We call this 80-20: eating clean 80% of the time, and 20% of the time letting perfection go.
With that said: let’s see if we can Rx this eating clean thing tomorrow, shall we? Keep those logs coming!