Athlete Profile: Megan (Leggy) Funaro


Athlete Profile: Megan (Leggy) Funaro

This week BIG member, Megan Funaro, shares her experience:

What I learned by keeping a food log….

Water is important. As someone who doesn’t like soda or sugary drinks, I assumed since all I drink is water that I was drinking enough. That definitely was not the case! Once I started to keep a food log, I realized I was drinking 6-8 cups per day when the goal is ~11cups, even on days where I worked out in the extreme heat. Basically, I wasn’t getting enough water into my system.

Superman has his kryptonite . . . and I have my sweets. My log was filled with sweet treats more often than it should have been. Because of my food log, I’ve come to understand that I’m a grazer when it comes to sweet treats. It would be a little piece of candy here or cookie there. These small treats added up to a lot of added sugar.

Each morning….

My first glass of water and my first meal is happening between 9-9:30 am once I get to work, more than 3 hours AFTER my typical wake-up time of 6:00 am. This means that on mornings that I bike (anywhere from 1-6 miles) to work or the gym I don’t have any water or food until I arrive. Even following Renaissance Periodization (RP diet plan) I would start my first meal which was supposed to be ‘upon waking’ at 9am. This goes back to when I was growing up; we never ate breakfast in my home. Many days I would go until mid-afternoon before I realized that I hadn’t eaten. I’m still eating breakfast at work, but now I’m working on having some water before I leave home in the morning.

I started weighing myself nude before and after WODs….

To see the gains!! Just kidding J I was getting horrible headaches on days (particularly Saturdays when I do OLY (Olympic lifting) and a partner WOD. I would get up and go straight to class without drinking until after I started working out.  About 2 weeks ago, I started cramping up during the workout and was getting a horrible headache. It was the hottest Saturday yet. During that time, I lost about 3lbs from 7:30am – 10:30am. That’s a huge amount for someone who is 5’ and 130lbs. This past week I took Donna’s advice and got up earlier. I had 3 cups of water and 1 cup of Gatorade. I only lost 0.8lbs of sweat during the same 3-hour period and felt significantly better during and after the workout. Proper hydration is going to prove to be an invaluable asset in the journey towards health and fitness.

During the week of my period, I have….

Horrible cramps, hormones, nausea and a lack of appetite. It’s incredibly hard for me to maintain my current weight. A difficult workout can seem impossible with horrible back, stomach and leg cramps making it nearly impossible to tighten my core. Pull-ups and push-ups become that much more difficult when with 2-5lbs of bloating. I get very moody and frustrated, especially when I don’t perform as well as I would like. I end up being short on energy and want to just lay in bed and sleep (and sometimes cry, sometimes laugh, it all depends on the week). Donna and I did some research and there isn’t that much out there on this topic.  I was specifically looking for foods I could eat, that would be a small amount of food, but also give me the nutrients I need to perform.  Luckily, Donna was able to help me plan out some small meals that worked well this past week. Having smaller portions and less physical food helped because I didn’t feel like I had to force myself to eat an obscene amount when I was nauseous.

As for motivation when one doesn’t want to eat or workout during this time, I just try to remind myself of all the work I’ve put in and if I really feel like I need a break it’s ok once in a while.

I’m hoping that….

For those of you who don’t know about my CF journey, I started 3.5 years ago at around 105lbs and now am up to 130lbs. In order to maintain all the strength I’ve worked hard to gain over the years. Keeping up with meal prep and ensuring I get enough sleep is extremely important especially having class 8 hours a week plus work and life. Coming out of this, increasing my water intake and getting some new meal ideas will help me to continue to become stronger, healthier, and to perform better at the gym. (I’m coming for that 100 lb. snatch before the end of the year!)

Notes from Donna:

Leggy is awesome to share her experiences! Perhaps some of her insights are helpful to you or help you understand your better half! For those of you looking to test out your sweat rate, like Leggy, and determine how much water that you need for replacement fluids, see this recent blog.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

Have questions about eating during your period? Contact me at [email protected]. Private Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 30% discount) and the Community. More information is listed here.