Lisa Cartwright in Pictures (9 Weeks Progress)

Metabolic Flexibility for Fat Loss is a document we wrote specifically for people that train CrossFit, Olympic lifting, and powerlifting.  Lisa has been a very active “Lab Rat” since joining the Science Lab and as you can see, her progress is mind-blowing.  Get Met Flex for Fat Loss.

For various reasons, I prefer data over pictures.  At this point, though, many Science Lab members have only had the opportunity to have one body fat test performed.  There are other ways to track progress, including photographs, and that’s why Lisa’s pictures are going to get a pass.

We’ll get a Q & A with her up shortly, but I know a little bit about her story from our interactions within the Science Lab group on Facebook.   She comes from a pretty low carb background.  In the process of changing her diet and putting performance first, she GAINED 6 lbs.  over a 9 week period.

For some people, this probably sounds like a good reason to freak out.  ”6 lbs!?  Why would I want to gain weight!?”  Well, the before and after shots speak for themselves:

Lisa Cartwright

Click this image to view a full-sized version.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Eating To Peform has changed a lot for Lisa  She’s made some extreme body composition improvements in a very short period of time.  Her success brings to mind an important point I’d like to make:

Although we’ve helped Lisa get moving down the right path, she deserves all of the credit here.  It’s not easy making the mental pivot required to accomplish what she’s done.

For many people coming from a carb-depleted background, extreme progress in a short period of time is possible (though admittedly Lisa’s progress is pretty nuts).  Let me also say that she has decent work capacity, which is a big component of what we teach.

This is Lisa in Her Own Words

“I think the main thing that I want people to know is that this isn’t a start/finish photo.  It’s a progress pic.  I’ve done several “lose weight fast” diets in the past (as recently as January) that appeared to be successful, but the finish photo usually represented the end.  I could never maintain, and unfortunately, I always seemed to be back to the start photo in no time.  You always hear about not dieting but developing a lifestyle. I feel like I’m finally able to do that with ETP and am excited to see further progress.

For the past 2.5 years or so I have been trying/struggling to keep my weight off.  I tried the HCG 500 calorie diet. With that, I got to where I thought I wanted to be on the scale and fit into smaller size clothes, but I still wondered why I wasn’t happy with the way my body looked.

I was smaller, but in many ways I still looked the same. I think they call that “skinny fat!”  After that, I transitioned to a low carb style of eating and maintained that on and off for a while. I swore by it when I wanted to drop some weight quick and spent the next year or so yo-yo-ing back and forth.

Enter CrossFit

I started CrossFit in October and shortly after gave the Advocare 24 day challenge and Paleo a try.  It was a fantastic program and I saw incredible results in just 3 short weeks, but i still struggled to keep it off and was back to my start weight yet again.  I recognized that my eating was at the core of my weight loss/weight gain problem, but I was at a loss for a solution.

Recently I saw that our box owners and several members had liked the CrossFitters Eat To Perform page, and I liked it as well.  It led me to Paul’s blog and I began reading every article he wrote. I loved how much it made sense to me and was based on science.

I was also intrigued at the idea of not only losing fat, but getting stronger and better at CrossFit.  Plus I have to admit, the thought of eating carbs again made me a tad giddy!!  So I was all in!

Results with Eat To Perform

I almost immediately started noticing that I seemed to have more gas in the tank for pushing myself during WODs.  Even better than that was the fact that the lbs. on my strength excercises and lifts kept getting bigger every single week.  Before, I had kinda just gone up and down and never made any big progress.

I think the fact that I have gained 6 lbs. while becoming visibly smaller says it all!  It’s been a significant component.  In fact, the way I was feeling at the gym and the strength gains I made were the only thing that kept me from ditching ETP and going back to the low carb eating.

I knew if I did that, it would help me to quickly lose some weight before summer got here, but I also knew my performance in the gym would suffer as well and I just wasn’t ready to go back to that.  I really wanted this to work.  Finally, I started seeing fat loss, and I knew it was a result of better performance in the gym.

It never crossed my mind before to eat to fuel my workouts!  I ate to lose weight….period!  Now I eat according the Metabolic Flexibility guidelines. I have increased my calories by 600 to fit with the level of my activity and started eating more carbs.  Throughout the day I eat my proteins and healthy fats, leaving the bulk of my carbs to be eaten around my workout when they are the most useful, which is typically at 5 p.m.

I drink a 4:1 carb:protein shake about an hour before my workout and drink another shake with Vitargo and protein in it immediately post workout. Later my dinner consists of a protein and a starchy carb…Usually a sweet potato, but I’m going to try to give white rice a try.  Lots of people at ETP are having luck with that.

Eating this way has completely changed my thoughts on food.  Now when my family wants to go out to eat pizza or Mexican food, I don’t feel guilty the next day.

I think “Man, I’m gonna kill my workout tomorrow”!”

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