4/25/13

We're going international!! 12 more days!


I've had the pleasure of getting to know Karel for the past 6.5 years. As my best friend in life, I couldn't ask for a better person to spend forever with.
This pic was taken of Karel in Italy at the age of 20. Just a few years before taking a risk that would change his life.  

Although many people know Karel as a talented cyclist with a strong European accent who is a perfectionist that never gives up, I know Karel as a dreamer. Someone who wanted so much more out of his life and was willing to take chances to achieve a great life. 

When you mention the word immigrant, there are many thoughts that pop into your head (good and bad). 

Regardless of where you live, I think we all aspire for a quality filled life and perhaps appreciate the freedom we have in our life. Perhaps for many, the American Dream is what draws people to this United States but I believe that there are many amazing places in this world to live and countries filled with dreamers, doers and believers. 

What is it about life that we dream about? For many it is wealth and the ability to put forth hard work. Maybe the dream is less work and more play or for others, simplicity, health, laughter and happiness. Maybe it is a combination of things but I think we can all agree that the dream of living a great life isn't without obstacles and a lot of challenges thrown your way. 

When I met Karel I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into as I was "set-up" with him by our mutual friends who thought that we would make a cute couple. Of course, they caught my attention when they mentioned he had a cute accent and is very smart and active and I must say, meeting him on the bike for a group ride for the first time was a pleasure..there's something nice about a European in spandex who can ride a bicycle :)
Fast forward 6.5 years and I have learned a lot about Karel for he hasn't lived the life that so many people are accustomed to in the United States.

One day, I hope to share Karel's story of coming to the US with only a backpack and working up to 3 jobs a day to afford a safe place to sleep at night and enough food to feed himself for the day (often, at the Chinese buffet or pasta with tomato sauce). Karel and I have been through a lot together and with every low there was a high. Although not always timely in life, sometimes you just have to appreciate what you have when you have it and just keep staying positive and strong.

I always wanted to be with someone like Karel. Someone who could give me a different perspective on life, someone who could challenge me mentally and physically and someone who I could learn from. I also wanted to be with someone who accepted me for me and regardless of my strengths or weaknesses, he would love me for who I am and encourage me to stay strong with what I believe in. I also wanted someone who could make me laugh for I don't like to be sad and sometimes it is hard to smile all the time when things just aren't going your way.

For the past 6.5 years, I have acquired a new appreciation for many things in life and I have also seen myself grow with an open-mind. Seeing that I have traveled internationally to Japan and the Philippians in the past (at age 13 and 20 years of age) I have realized that with every experience in life, you have the ability to change for the better or appreciate what you have. 

Traveling to the Philippians changed my life when I was at an age to appreciate what I have and to not take things for granted. Running water, electricity, available food (everywhere)...just a few things I appreciate and certainly try to not take advantage of. But then there's Karel to share stories with me of his upbringing - rarely eating out, only on special occasions, eating foods from his mothers garden, having fresh bread daily, walking to school and watching 30 minutes of TV with the family daily in the evening.

What I have loved the most about having Karel in my life is being able to make memories from someone who is from a different country than my own. It doesn't only make for interesting conversations and different points of views but it also brings us closer. 

For the past few years, we have shared our story with our close friends and family and they all know that this announcement is a long time coming. For 13 years, Karel has not been back to Czech Republic. Within the past 13 years, Karel has seen his mom, dad and brother only once, at our wedding in 2008. Thank goodness for Skype and the postal service but nothing beats a homemade meal by your mom and a bike ride with your dad. 

I'm excited to share the news that on May 7th, 2013, we are heading to Czech Republic!!



Flying into Prague and making our way to Karel's hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic. 


I don't think we will really believe that we are going until we start packing but for the past few months we have anticipated this day after the flights were booked and now the time is almost here!!

So what am I looking forward to?
-Spending 12 days with Karel, all day, every day!
-Meeting Karel's extended family and friends
-Spending time with Karel's family (his brother speaks English) in the homes where he grew up in.
-Trying new food, taking pictures of food, learning as much as I can about food in Czech!
-Possibly getting a bike at Karel's old bike shop in Czech (Karel has a bike for himself that he is borrowing, he is trying to find one my size)
-Enjoying new sights and visiting Prague and Karel's hometown
-Listening to Karel speak Czech for almost 10 days as oppose to only speaking Czech just a few times a year when he Skype's with his family.
-Creating memories with Karel

What am I not looking forward to?
-Leaving Campy :( But he will be staying with his grandparents at the "Resort" so he will get plenty of love and likely lots of people food. Maybe even a ride in the Corvette by my dad :)
-Karel explaining to people that I am a vegetarian and that someone actually chooses to not eat meat (should be interesting in a beer and meat loving country :)
-Long flights.......compression socks will come in handy and my Trigger Point set.
-Being away from my athletes (coaching and nutrition) and social media  - I am sure it will be nice to get away but I am not sure how well I will handle not being able to blog, FB or email like I do here at home. But, I will survive :) My athletes will not worry because they will have their workouts on training peaks so they can do their miles while I travel thousands of miles. My nutrition services will be on hold while I am gone so that means that I can look forward to lots of communication when I return from active bodies who are excited to change their lifestyle. 


Have you traveled to Prague, Czech or Europe? Any suggestions, tips or to-do's for traveling international?




4/24/13

Happy vegetarian anniversary to me!



A 2009 article by Harvard Health Publications did a really nice job of summarizing the benefits of becoming a vegetarian.  

"People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses."

Articles like this pop up all the time and likely you have read them and have learned about the many benefits of eating a more plant strong diet. If you are a regular reader of my blog or facebook page, you have seen plenty of plant strong creations that have been enjoyed by me and my hubby to fuel our active lifestyle (feel free to google trimarni and a food of your choice and likely many pics will come up on the images page to get your mouth watering).

But this month is a special month for me and to keep with my philosophy, I am here to motivate, educate and inspire you to live a more balanced active and healthy lifestyle. Not to tell you to be like me.

Because it is not my job to tell you what diet to follow (or what not to eat) on this blog, especially if I know nothing about you and your personal health, fitness and diet history or goals, I hope that I can only inspire you to adopt a diet, lifestyle and activity routine that makes you happy.



                     


If you know just a little about me, you know how much I love Campy. If you know me well, you know how much I love animals. And if you know me really, really, really well, you know that I became a vegetarian long before it was "cool" to be "meat-free or plant-strong" because I love all kinds of animals and creatures.

I can't believe that 20 years ago I decided to stop eating meat because I didn't want to kill animals anymore. At the young age of 10 years old, it was sometime in April that I came home from school and told my parents that I was not going to eat meat "ever again". Although my parents thought that it was just a phase or a temporary radical decision with my stubborn adolescent personality, it was only a matter of time that my parents recognized that at 10 years old, I made up my mind that I was going to live a great active life without eating meat or fish and haven't consumed either (not even a bite) in twenty years.

It took almost a decade to learn how to eat like a healthy vegetarian and that a diet of Dr. Pepper, Cheeze-it's and Bagel Bites was not going to ensure a long and healthy life. Although my competitive swimming lifestyle kept me looking healthy on the outside, I'm not sure if I could have faked that diet throughout collage and onward.

It was early in my collage years that I began to educate myself on making a few tweaks in my diet to be a "healthy" vegetarian but I struggled at times with my diet as it was not providing the right nutrients in the right quantities to fuel my active lifestyle.

So, I went back to the books and began educating myself some more on how to eat for fuel as a vegetarian athlete. There wasn't one or two key books that I read that helped me out but rather, it was my entire formal education (bachelor and master degrees) that allowed me to put the pieces together as to how to understand the physiology of the body during exercise.

Once I put the pieces together for eating for fuel, I began to see performance gains as I progressed with endurance sports. This started a great phase in my life of appreciating food for fuel and this hasn't gone away.

But, as a lover of education, I craved more knowledge.


A Master of Science in Exercise Physiology wasn't enough........

To think that my entire life has been molded around food and exercise, likely all starting from a decision at 10 years old to not eat meat and to learn how to eat for fuel and for health, is really incredible. It's funny how our life is a journey and at times it looks like it has dead ends and many twists and turns, all the pieces can come together as long as we are passionate for the things we want and do in life.

So I suppose that the RD credential was the icing on the cake as now I feel all the pieces are together in my yummy puzzle of appreciating food for fuel and for health.

                                       

Because the learning will never stop and research will always tell us something new and exciting, I am excited to share 20 years of being a plant-strong athlete with you and I hope that you are able to appreciate your individual diet and exercise routine, knowing that the choices you make, make your lifestyle. And if you are happy you are healthy and if you are healthy you are happy.

                       

Here's to 20 years with a body fueled by plants!!

4/23/13

Clearning up confusing with healthy eating and sport nutrition

There's a lot of confusion when it comes to healthy eating and sport nutrition. I know this from my own experience in learning about the topics in graduate school while earning my Master of Science in Exercise Physiology as well as in my dietetic program as I earned my Registered Dietitian credential. But now as I work with athletes from around the world, I clearly see how confused and overwhelmed people are when it comes to eating for fuel and for health. Don't be!

I could spend many blogs on this topic and as a writer, life-long student and lover of putting words in my head on paper, I am not sure if I can contain myself in one blog post, sharing everything I know about healthy eating and sport nutrition. But, I learned when I became a RD that it is not my job to tell everyone everything I know in the first counseling session or when asked about nutrition in a group setting. Instead, learn to treat everyone as individuals and understand that everyone has different needs and goals and what works for one person doesn't always work for someone else. Science is amazing and so is research but the truth of the matter is that if we don't love and enjoy the changes we are making in life, it's unlikely that we will stick with them as we work hard to achieve our goals and live a quality filled life.

Health first, performance second.

If you are a fitness enthusiast or athlete, there's no denying that the body needs fuel to support metabolic processes. There are plenty of great videos and textbook chapters dedicated to exercise physiology so rather than share my excitement about the kreb cycle, anaerobic glycolysis or cellular respiration, I will keep this as simple as possible. The foods we eat, primarily carbohydrates, gives us fuel. Protein assists in recover, repair and rejuvenation and fats assist in hormones and protecting organs. Certainly these foods offer more than what I just listed  and they all contribute to a balanced diet to keep us nourished, satisfied and healthy. Of course, depending on what you choose to eat within those macronutrient categories may and will affect your performance but I don't need to tell you that real foods are the best source of food for your active body and health. Not too much, just enough.

I find that many active individuals fear nutrition around workouts simply for the fact that they are most vulnerable to their body at that time. You likely wear tight clothing (or showing more skin than in work clothes), you compare your body to others and you are very in tune with your overall body composition as you feel your heart beat and muscles work to let you have a great workout. And of course, the assumption if you lose weight either through extreme activity/food restriction you will magically be healthier or faster. Not always the case. 

But here lies the problem with many active individuals. Whether you admit it or not, unless you can honestly say that 100% you eat for fuel and for health, you are likely thinking about calories consume, calories burned and weight around your workouts. There's nothing wrong with that considering that's why many people get involved with sports at an older age but when you are possibly compromising your health and workouts because of feeling as if you don't need energy dense foods around your workouts, this becomes a bigger issue than just being confused on how to eat for fuel and for health. Should I mention that as you neglect to eat/drink appropriately around workouts you likely find yourself "deserving" to eat with reward food later in the day or find yourself with a "just don't care" attitude when you aren't in your workout gear but instead, bored/stressed at work or exhausted in the evening.  Jeopardizing your body's potential for performance gains is only the beginning of issues that can occur when you aren't supporting your body with the right foods at the right times.

Energy dense foods like fruits, potatoes, cereal, granola, bread, honey are just a few of the many low fiber, low fat and high carb (or energy dense - packing a lot of fuel in a small quantity) options that can be consumed around workouts to fuel your body. There is not one right protocol for pre during and post training nutrition so without spending an entire blog on this topic - keep it simple to prepare, simple to digest and easy to tolerate. It's not a pre trianing meal unless you are eating 2-4 hours before a workout. Call it what it is - a pre and post training snack to fuel your upcoming workout and to help you recover. 

But Marni - these foods you listed are not going to help me loose weight!!! The media tells me these foods are bad!!! UGGGH, I'm so confused. 

So here's the deal. Health first, performance second. Support your body with nutrient dense foods on a day to day basis and when your body is most active, support your body and brain with energy dense foods.

Considering how sedentary our lifestyle is these days (even with "training/working out" 8-20 hours a week) we spend much of our days sitting and for many, only getting up to go get something to eat. We are not sitting down to eat from being extremely active with our job and needing that 'break' to recharge our body to support 4-6 more hours of "working". Instead, we are sitting or moving just a little and not supporting our body with the right foods to leave us satisfied and nourished (thus leaving us grazing and over snacking). Of course, not everyone will fit this mold - there are people who undereat, those who can't put on weight, those who choose to underfuel/restrict and those who have a great diet. But for the most part, active individuals are not supporting workouts properly and thus overeating at certain times (ex. evening before bed) and not recovering/fueling properly when the body needs fuel to assist in metabolic processes and sometimes not able to be consistent with workouts due to feeling sick, exhausted and burnout without feeling as if the training routine is intense enough to warrant those issues. However, for many athletes, training volume is excessive and not of quality and with a diet that is not properly planned, this is another topic to discuss in another blog.  

Now this isn't to say that we should restrict calories on light or off training days or that we should have good and bad food when working out. The bottom line is that we need to identify the times when our body is most active and we need to support it properly with "energy". All other times, we need to think about nourishment and what many people don't do, is feeling satisfied - not stuffed, not guilty and not restricted.

Here are a few of my recent creations for you to enjoy. I am not sure if this blog clears up any confusion but I hope that this gets you thinking a bit more about what your body allows you to do on a day to day basis in terms of life and with exercise/training. Your body doesn't have to let you do what it does and often we take for granted how complicated our body is when it comes to its physiology during exercise...let alone daily life.

To keep it simple - focus on yourself. You've read the articles on the internet, you have the books and you have resources. Eat the right foods at the right times to support your workouts and don't be afraid of gaining weight as it isn't that 30g of carbs during a 1+ hour workout or that banana w/ PB before and glass of milk post workout that is causing you to gain weight. Keep the food easy to digest so you don't experience GI distress and find what works for you before, during and after workouts for every type of scenario. When it comes to the daily diet, accept what a portion looks like of grains, fats, dairy, protein etc. and rather than having a black or white mentality - be appreciative of what food can offer your body instead of thinking about what's so bad about food. And most of all, remove pressure to eat a certain way for weight loss. Your body will take care of itself as you find yourself eating for fuel, health and for pleasure. 

Creamy broccoli slaw
1 package broccoli slaw
2-3 spoonfuls pineapple Chobani Yogurt
Salt/sugar to taste (~2-3 tsp sugar, pinch or two of salt)
1-2 tbsp sunflower seeds

1. Mix together and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving (it will be better the next day!)



Veggie stacked pizza creation
1 frozen pizza (or local cheese pizza)
Veggies
Pineapple

1. Preheat oven to recommended temp on box (or 400 for veggies).
2. Toss veggies in a little olive oil and place on non stick pan.
3. Bake veggies for ~15-20 minutes.
4. Bake pizza (top with pineapple)
5. Top pizza with veggies. 



Fruit salad with baguette
1 serving fresh baguette (toasted and sliced in half)
Dark green mix
Protein of your choice (cottage cheese in picture)
Fresh fruit - pineapple, red pears, orange slices
Veggies - onions, carrots, peppers
Coconut shreds
Almonds

1. Toss and enjoy. Serve with balsamic or salsa or hummus on the side. 



Fresh fruit = electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, medicine, hydration, yumminess


Salad with brown rice and cottage cheese

Mixed greens
Avocado
Green pepper
Purple onion
Cheese
Sunflower seeds
Grain of your choice - brown rice as pictured)
Tomatoes
Cashews
Balsamic and Olive oil



Creamy yogurt dressing
1/2 cup yogurt
1-2 tbsp favorite dressing
Veggies of your choice

1. Mix together and refrigerate. 

Check out the current issue of Fitness magazine for a few of my fueling tips for your upcoming triathlon in the 6 page spread dedicated to training for your first triathlon. 

Happy eating!


4/21/13

Are you mentally strong enough to succeed?

Did you know that we have over 50,000 thoughts a day? According to some research, the majority of our thoughts are negative. As a writer and a speaker, I feel my brain is on over-drive from the moment I get up until I go to bed. I am always thinking and some of my best thoughts come when I am working out as I feel the rush of adrenaline and blood flow helps my thought processes.

I'm sure you don't think about all the thoughts that go through your head as many are silly, non important and meaningless. But others likely contribute to how you live your day and the choices you make throughout the day.

For example, how many times have you been driving to work or on a road trip and in the other direction there is a crash or extreme traffic pile-up. You think to yourself "I am so glad that's not me!"

As athletes and fitness enthusiasts, I am sure there are many times when you think to yourself "Why am I doing this?" but certainly it hasn't slowed you down or stopped you from doing what you love.

The other day I was putting away dishes and my blender slipped out of my hands and fell in the sink. I thought to myself "OMG! That would be the most horrible thing in the world if my blender broke!!!" Thankfully, the blender didn't break but the next thought in my head was "OK - that wouldn't be such a bad thing as I could buy a new blender and of course, there are worst things in life than breaking a blender on accident."

From thoughts about body image, food (aka 'bad' food) and health to athletic performance, careers, relationships and experiences.....we have a lot on our mind and sometimes it can be positive but many times it can be negative.

Not sure if you saw or heard about Alistair Brownlee's amazing performance at the ITU San Diego race this past Saturday but not only did he breakaway from the breakaway on the bike but he ran his legs off with a blazing 29:30 10K run off the bike!! Now we all know that this Olympic medalist is an amazingly talented triathlete but in reading a recent article about Alistair as he lead up to the race, I started to think about the mental strength of top athletes.

"Brownlee spoke about battling an injury eight months out from London at yesterday’s press conference in San Diego. “A million things were going through my mind, from the moment I got diagnosed with a tear in my Achilles, it doesn’t get much worse, to then actually having it laid out as spending three weeks in a cast,” Brownlee says. “I never gave myself the choice of whether I was going to do it or not…just get on with it and train as hard as I can.
I’m not in the shape from London but I can’t spend my life trying to be in that shape all the time,” Brownlee says. “I have six to eight weeks of training, but I have a massive few months gap from last year to now, so I am just happy to be here and looking forward to racing to see what I have got. I have spent the last few years racing when fit and on form, so this will be nice to see how I go.”


Whether you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast who struggles with injuries or just normal life getting in the way of training/working out, I think there is something really special about mental strength and I feel that as I mentioned above, we spend more of our thoughts thinking the negative instead of staying positive.

I think for many it is scary to be in the moment and to stay positive. It is much  easier to be negative for then we know if we fail, we would have expected it and we can prepare for it. But if I remember correctly, you only miss the shots that you don't take. How do you know that you don't have the potential to make those shots if you don't stay in the positive, be mentally strong and learn from past experiences to prepare for the future?

As you all know (or may not), I work with a mental coach, Gloria who is a clinical sport psychologist and also my friend from the West Coast. She has played a valuable, priceless role in my life over the past few years from helping me with my career, sport performances and overcoming injuries and daily life stressors.

I came across this article called Olympic Mindset: Thinking your way to good results which provided valuable information that I think we can all apply to our daily life. As much as believe in training smarter to train harder, I won't sugarcoat the idea that you have to train hard to succeed. You have to be dedicated, consistent and smart with your approach to pacing, nutrition and all types of recovery but in order to do all of this, you have to be mentally strong.

Because most of you that are reading this are average "normal" athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are not racing for prize money to pay your rent but instead because you love competition, fitness and/or the benefits of being in shape and healthy, we all have to battle obstacles on a daily basis. Life happens and so do missed workouts, stressful days, off eating, restless nights, injuries and travel. Life is not perfect but in our mind, we want it to be and therefore we often count ourselves out when we should be thinking about what we can do to set ourselves up for a better tomorrow. You always want to keep your eye on the final destination but you can't lose sight of the journey. Sadly, in today's society, we things now and when we don't get them now, we get frustrated and feel defeated. But what if you changed your mind in order to succeed?

According to the article on Olympic Mindset, Olympic athletes have the following qualities:

1. Flexible dedication - the ability to first utilize a long-term perspective with regards to goal-setting while simultaneously planning for obstacles. In short, it means that Olympic athletes are able to set their target goals in spite of the fact that they know problems (injuries, etc) will arise along the way

2.  The ability to bounce back-quicker, harder, and better -Nobody deals with losses and setbacks better than Olympic athletes. Resilience-the ability to bounce back from setbacks-is a key characteristic of the mental program of Olympic athletes. Resilience is increased through proper anticipation of obstacles. Olympic athletes understand that life isn't fair, and neither is sport, but they forge ahead despite this knowledge. Why are these athletes better equipped to deal with setbacks and adversity? Because they plan for it, and use failure and obstacles as part of their training. For example, some Olympic athletes, unable to participate due to injury, spend that portion of their training time doing visualization, or biofeedback training instead. Therefore, time that had been allotted for physical training is now used for mental training, and they continue to progress towards their goals-despite their injury.

3. Love of competition:  Olympic athletes are the perfect example of doing something for the pure joy of it. The life of an Olympian, which may seem glamorous, is anything but. Long hours in the gym, long hours recuperating, strict nutritional programs, and hours upon hours spent reviewing tapes are commonplace in the lives of these athletes. The ability to balance family obligations, relationships, academics, and work-in addition to their training needs, sets Olympic athletes apart. The only way they can do this is through love of competition. And this competition is more with themselves than with others. They do it because they love the process of competing with others, and they do it because they are obsessed with bettering themselves. There is no better example of pure love for a sport than those examples evidenced in the Olympic games. This love of competition and self-improvement provides the fuel and motivation when obstacles appear and failure sets in.

I think as an age group or elite athlete or a fitness enthusiast who loves working out, we need to consider these qualities of Olympic athletes or else we will constantly find ourselves defeated before we even see if what we thought was so bad is really that bad. I do believe that life gives us lessons. For every mistake, injury and "off" feeling we can learn and grow. It is then up to you how you move on from it and certainly you don't want your days on Earth to be wasted because things just aren't going the way you planned. Don't forget with every plan A, a plan B should follow.

I love triathlons and I love that I am still learning more about myself as a competitive athlete. I get excited to train and every workout I feel like I get better. It's small gains every day but eventually they add up. I have my share of setbacks but I have learned that if I have the mindset that life is over and my goals will never be reached in my season, I only become weak with my own thoughts. Although it is very very very hard at times, thanks to Gloria's help, I have learned how to stay focused on my goals and to not let set-backs or obstacles slow me down. My own thoughts can slow me down or they can help me power my way through amazing workouts and a healthy relationship with food.

When I wrote my Branson 70.3 run race report I found myself battling thoughts in my head. Something in my mind was trying to tell my body to slow down or that it wasn't possible. But then there was another part in my body that was telling my body that there was no reason to slow down. It was a very strange relationship with my mind and body for 13.1 miles after an incredibly challenging bike course but someone I managed to conquer those negative thoughts and take chances with my mind leading my body to give me the run off my life. Even now, I am finding myself with workouts that should be hard and impossible but someone my body isn't giving me a reason to stop, slow down or surrender. We have so many thoughts on a daily basis, are you going to let your thoughts keep you from taking chances to see what is possible? The worst thing in life is being afraid of failing and not taking the chance to see if you can succeed.

To finish this blog post, I'd like to share an excerpt of a great book called "Mind Gym" by Gary Mack w/ David Casstevens (thanks Gloria!). On pg 108 the chapter is called "You Gotta Believe"

Belief is a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing. Beliefs drive behavior and behaviors affect performance in everything we do. In psychology, the term self-efficacy is the belief in one's own ability to be successful. Simply believing in yourself doesn't mean you're always going to win. But believing in yourself can help enable you to put yourself into a position to win. Belief systems are a big part of confidence. Beliefs that are irrational or unrealistic lead to stress. Let's look at the ABC theory of success and stress. 
A - Activating event. 
B - Belief about the event. 
C - Consequences, feelings and behaviors about the outcome. 
There are several unrealistic or irrational beliefs some athletes have about themselves. Some thing they aren't big enough, strong enough, fast enough or good enough to play at a certain level. My question to them is "Where's the evidence?"
Some have  a belief system that says failure is a shameful thing. In truth, life is based upon failures. If you don't fail you probably aren't challenging yourself enough. If, as babies, we had a fear of failure - if we believe that failure is terrible - we might never learn to walk. Another irrational belief is "If I mess up no one will love me. I'll be rejected." Imagine the pressure that kind of thinking creates. If you believe that by not winning you're a loser, if you believe if you lose no one will love you, if you believe that taking a risk is dangerous, if you believe that not being perfect is unacceptable, these beliefs will only cause upset and trouble in your life. 
One way athletes counter irrational beliefs is through positive affirmations. These affirmations should be  powerful, positive and in the present tense. According to Muhamad Ali "It's a lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges and I believe in myself." "To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you are not, pretend you are."

So are you mentally strong enough to succeed? Do you have goals that you want to achieve but your thoughts are keeping you from moving forward? Let your thoughts drive positive behaviors and remove self-defeating thoughts from your mind. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. I invite you to spend an entire day tomorrow thinking only positive thoughts. If a negative thought comes into your mind (which it likely will) reframe the thought. Upset you are at work? Be grateful you have a job to buy groceries. Having a bad workout? Be grateful your body is healthy enough to workout. If you can do this for an entire day, it's likely you will find yourself living a day unlike any other.

What your mind can conceive and your heart believe, you can achieve. 

Food is Fuel - keep your tank full.

 
 
Don't start, continue or finish your workout on E just because you feel you don't "need" any fuel. Training requires an expenditure of energy above resting levels as oppose to sitting around by your TV or computer and feeling the "need" to eat. This required mechanical energy is provided through the conversion of metabolic fuels into ATP, the base currency of chemical energy. The sources of chemical energy that fuels exercising skeletal muscles are available through endogenous sources (intramuscular glycogen and triglycerides) or exogenous sources (plasma glucose and free fatty acids). Rather than worrying about extra calories put into your body while you are expending energy, consider how important it is that these exogenous and endogenous fuel sources are replenished through dietary intake. Next time you think about needing "energy" around mid afternoon because you are tired from sitting all day, consider important relationship between diet and fuel metabolism in skeletal muscle before, during and after training.