Total Nutrition Takeover: Colin Cartee

Colin Cartee Before & After Photos

For those who have asked about my Total Nutrition Takeover (TNT) experience, here it is. I am going to go into as much detail as possible. Since this post got long – borderline novel – please feel free to skip right over it if you do not care whatsoever (you will NOT hurt my feelings). For those who want some advice, encouragement or just some firsthand knowledge from a beginner, this post is for you!

Why I Did It

  • I stepped on the scale and realized I was 226.4# and that was totally unacceptable for my size and what I want to accomplish in CrossFit.
  • I always tell everyone how IMPORTANT TNT is and how you NEED to do it…blah blah blah. But not once had I ever completed or even started the program, so I felt extremely hypocritical and that’s not who I am.
  • I had never tracked my food, thought about how much I was consuming or even had any clue what a MACRO was or is. Still kinda don’t know, I just know I can’t eat 2 piles of cheese. 🙁

Day 1 – Eye-Opening + Eating Correctly

I began with nutrition coach Becca who helped figure out my initial macro numbers. She told me not to do ANYTHING different for 1 day so we knew what I was actually consuming. Most have heard this story, but I’d only tracked breakfast for the past 3 years. It came out to 1,584 calories and 84 grams of FAT. Needless to say, I had no idea what that even meant but I received a call immediately and was scolded like a two-year-old. I ended the day just under 6,000 calories.

I was told I could eat 80 grams of fat for the ENTIRE day. WOW, did this suck. 315 carbs, 210 grams of protein and 2,880 calories. The first couple days were the hardest. I felt hungry pretty much all of the time and, on top of that, I was eating TOTALLY different foods and drinking some bullsh*t called almond milk (which is finally starting to grow on me).

Weeks 1 & 2: Pure Hell

These were difficult weeks, no doubt. I felt hungry mostly because I was so obsessed with hitting my numbers. Every time I looked at MyFitnessPal, I wanted food. On top of that, I was a little energy depleted. Towards the end of the second week, something changed. I didn’t feel nearly as hungry. I still had cravings and I still gave in at times. I had 5 beers the second week (guilt free, I will add) and went out to eat twice that week, but that’s what I call balance.

Weeks 3 & 4: Hitting My Stride

I began working with my new teammate and nutrition coach, Danielle, who tweaked my numbers a little and things really took off! I began to hit my stride, which meant I was locked in. Logging, weighing and eating was on point. I still hadn’t lost a single pound. I think I stepped on the scale in the middle of week 3 and weighed 225.7 (and was like WTF). I asked Danielle what was going on?! She assured me to trust the process and give it some time, so I decided to drink 24 Coors and dove head first into a wheel of cheese. Only kidding! I shut up and did exactly what she said.

Weeks 4 & 5: Health & Mood Up + Weight Down

I hadn’t lost any weight but was actually starting to feel better. I noticed some changes in my body. Then at the end of week 4, I stepped on the scale (mind you this is January 2nd, directly after the holidays) and was down 7 pounds. I was pretty happy to see that! Even though I felt better and my body was beginning to change, seeing that number was icing on the cake.

Week 6: Home Stretch + Results

I finished down 10.2 pounds and hit 3 personal records (PRs): cleaned 350#, front squatted 400#, did 31 unbroken toes-to-bar and then I narrowly missed a 380# behind the neck jerk. I was so happy to see my strength numbers grow. Gymnastics work felt much better as well. I still suck at strict handstand pushups but they seemed to feel a little better by this point.

Keep in mind that when you’re in the home stretch and you cross over the home plate, you aren’t finished. You get up to bat again and again. The game doesn’t stop once you’ve scored and the same is true with nutrition – you don’t just stop once you’ve reached your desired results. You keep getting up to bat and taking care of that body that takes care of you!

Lessons Learned

I learned the importance of tracking my food and actually MONITORING what I was putting into my body.
Without tracking my food, this entire process would have been wasted (I highly recommend downloading MyFitnessPal). Also, actually paying to have my macros calculated for me was key. Admittedly, I didn’t think it was needed at first but now see how important those numbers really are.

I figured out what works for me.
I figured out how to stay full from meal to meal. I also found recipes and meals that worked for me (thanks to my wife, Jessie).

I learned that tracking macros and staying healthy is doable in real life. 
Finally, I’ve been asked can you keep this going?! YES, with no doubt! It’s just what I do now…it’s habit. When I go out to eat, I’ve got my numbers in the back of my mind, even when I’m not tracking them. Did I still head to Nashville for Joe P.’s pre-bachelor party?! Yes, I sure did. Did I jump right back into my new normal afterward? ABSOLUTELY. Because it’s what I do now – it’s how I eat, its how I live and, when I make up my mind on anything, I typically do that thing to the fullest. In other words, I don’t half half-ass anything.

I’m sorry this has been so long but I feel like living this was a great experience and I felt compelled to share my story. I can’t guarantee you’ll have these results – they could be better or just different – but I do know I worked my ass off for 6 weeks to get this new lifestyle and I don’t plan on going back to my old ways.

I hope this helps! Leave your questions or comments below!

Colin Cartee
Owner/Operator CrossFit OC3

Disclaimer: We do not recommend anyone else follow these or any other dietary guidelines without first consulting your physician and/or nutritionist. Every person is different and we highly recommend your macros and caloric intake are based on YOU and nobody else!

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