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Health is everything
July 9, 2014


By Joanna Lawn.

For me my life so far has pretty much been sport, sport and more sport.  This is nothing wrong with that….I love it and that is part of who Jo Lawn is.  My sporting career really started with my first passion, Tennis.  Taking up a tennis scholarship in the USA, for one year, I had had enough of chasing the little yellow ball around so decided to throw my racket in, and I started to ride.  Cycling not biking, I say this because I didn’t own a bike; I just used the stationary lifecycle machines at the gym.  But once I got the hook of this I purchased a bike and started to bike and run outside.  I realized there was a sport of biking and running…….it was called duathlon.  I didn’t want to do a triathlon as I had a fear of the water.  I had found a new passion, so for a year I became a duathlete. Another year of demanding a lot from my body.  From here I moved directly into cycling….my running was not really up too standard, so I decided to go with my strength! Cycling.  After cycling my butt off for 5 years, I had had enough of being a rabbit, how about I go and chase my own dream. To become an Ironman Champion.

It sounds pretty funny, but I feel that we all have passions and dreams, so why not go and them a shot.  So now I sit back on the sofa thinking about my last 10 years of being an Ironman triathlete.  There is so much involved in becoming a “complete” person or athlete that sometimes we forget about one of the most important parts of who we are……your job will always be there, if not another will come around, and there will always be more races……but one thing for sure, if you are not healthy nothing will be achieved, and you will be stopped, WE ARE NOT INVINCIBLE!!


For me the past 12 months have been a roller coaster ride.  My body has been racing now at the IRONMAN for 10 years.  I have always followed my programs, I have always done the times and for sure always put in the effort, but one thing I had really neglected to look at was my health and nutrition.  It is seems funny that after being in one of the most grueling events in the world, it isn’t so much about the hours of hard training, light and new fancy equipment or technique.  The bottom line of everything in life is HEALTH.  And really how does one get GOOD HEALTH?  Ultimately through nutrition.  Food is fuel….for the mind, body and soul.  No matter what your job is!

I travelled to Europe during July this year and I was introduced to some incredible people.  One lady really made an impact on me…her name was MARIONN…her office is in NURNBURG GERMANY.  I found myself sitting at her desk talking about my body and my eating habits.  The date of this meeting was July 20th, a day I will never forget.  She studied me, by looking in my eyes, my body language and many other ways.  She saw a lot of things about me that I thought I had control of.  Some things you can hide and some things you just can’t.

“What is wrong with my eating?”  I said.  “I eat healthy, I eat fat free, I eat diet foods, I have milk, I eat meat…..what is wrong with that I thought. I really thought what I was eating was GOOD, I did admit to trying to make shortcuts and pretend but in the end the only person I was fooling or hurting was me.  I always tried to trick people into thinking that I was eating well and was eating GOOD FOOD….sometimes the people who are closest to you, like my mum and Armando, they see it, but they are caught between a rock and a hard place…… they try to help,  but I just wasn’t ready to BELIEVE………..  So really, what is GOOD FOOD?

You must first look at what YOUR body needs.  Everybody’s job is different.  I am asking a lot more from my body than most people.  As my job is 100% physical.  I am asking for fuel.  It is really a basic math equation.  How much you expend equals how much you need to put in.  This is off course just to maintain or survive day to day.  But if you need to lose weight or put weight on, you must eat more or less calories.  It is THAT SIMPLE.  “.

So looking at yourself you must decide what YOU NEED!!  Also you must always try and eat what you like….go with your “first instinct”.  Not what you “think” is good, not what you think someone else “thinks” you should eat, and definitely not calorie free, sugar free, and so on and so on.  Always satisfy yourself, otherwise you will never feel fulfilled.  You will only be fooling yourself.

My mouth opened wide….when I was told my “nutrition” was poor.  I was lacking “good” quality nutrients for what my body was asking.  So from that day onwards I did a lot of research into foods that are going to help me….and for sure make me be a better and healthier person ultimately supplying my engine with stronger fuel.  I now have turned my eating habits upside down.  I have learnt that everything in moderation is good.  Every meal or snack that I eat now is thought about, “have I had iron lately?  Do I need magnesium, do I need salt?  Is there a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fat?   With these choices I have made I know I am getting the MOST amount of nutrients that my body needs.  I have STOPPED eating “diet, fat free, sugar free, and calorie free” foods.  I never thought I could do I………these foods that read “free” on the labels are just not sufficient with the supply of GOOD NUTRIENTS………if we make up our day to day fuel with these products we are ultimately putting our “health” at risk.

I never really knew how YUMMY FOOD could taste.  Food is now my friend.  Even if it is an heirloom tomato with a little sprinkle of Himalayan salt…, just see how this tickles your taste buds.

So from here on in……always make the right choice for you!!  Do some study into what your needs are and remember to always follow your instinct.

Take care,
Joanna Lawn


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