What’s Your Plan?

When people ask “what’s the plan for Carr Eats?” I respond with… When?! Because I LOVE plans and I have many. I have a plan for right now. A plan for the week. A plan for the month. A one-year, five-year and ten-year plan. A short-game plan. A backup-plan. A worst-case-scenario plan. I have plans for my personal life. I have plans for my businesses. I even have a plan for eating and sleeping. Why? Because, in general, I don’t like to be surprised. I’m a scheduler. A type-A controller. A plan gives me purpose and order. A plan is organized and broken-down into steps and waypoints. A plan gets me to my Long-Game. My long-game doesn’t include leaving anything on the table and thus I hammer into my thoughts and do.

I started Carr Eats out of camping-coolers in my house almost three years ago; I couldn’t see into the future then and I can’t know what’s around the corner now. Carr Eats will move into its own commercial production space, The Kitchen Company, this Spring; my newest entrepreneurial adventure. I don’t have a looking glass… I only know there’s more.

Whenever anything seems out of reach, hard or impossible; I sketch my thoughts and intensions out on paper. I daydream the playbook. I think in increments. I get obsessed. The great thing about a plan is that no matter how hard you try, they WILL be unpredictable. A plan will get messy. A plan will flip-flop and wriggle as detours, roadblocks, obstacles and life pileup in your way. Quitting is not a plan. Quitting is a default you lean into when the plan gets hard. Plans might need to be lean and agile while you test them out, but a plan is nothing without the doing so you’ve gotta move. Maybe you spend years living-out a plan only to discover a dead-end. Perhaps the plan was wrong? Maybe after some reflection the plan sucked. Pain-point? Yes. But maybe through all the struggle, wrong-turns and misfortune you found a better way. Be honest. Don’t condemn your future by denying what’s happened in the past but don’t be so self-deprecating that you’re paralyzed by fear.

My relationship with food is at a place today that at one-time seemed impossible. I couldn’t pave the road that that led me here because I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going. You hear stories of people who were born knowing their path. Mine is not that journey. I have been a lot of things. I have made a lot of plans. I’ve quit, failed, succeed, started over and reset more times than you could possibly track or calculate. However. The one constant through everything? Me. Either you are living life or life is happening to you. Today is an arbitrary day, unmarked by purpose. It will be the same as tomorrow and as unmemorable as yesterday until you press-play and turn that plan into action. Don’t choke out a dream with lies and self-appointed logistics. Get busy. Don’t leave anything on the table. The work will feel good and the reward is all the things, people and awareness you’ll accumulate along the way.

My plan for Carr Eats is community. My plan is to grow our customer base into a powerhouse of Eaters who leave nothing on the table. Who use our meals as a catalyst for excellence. I want our meals to fuel-fires and free-talent. I want our meals to remove-doubt and grow-confidence. Lofty?! Yes. But not impossible. We aren’t ready to put a limit on what our meals can achieve so until then we will keep cooking and planning. Think we’re just food? There’s more and we’re excited to show you. That’s us. What’s your plan?

Big Strength Gainz “Period”

What’s better than preparing for a meeting with your accountant? Talking about the female menstrual cycle!!!! I’m not just being cute… I’m actually taking a break from my taxes to engage in some good-old casual period talk.

Perhaps this is directed to the ladies… but guys seriously. If you have a girl, like a girl, know a girl, want a girl. Sit tight. 

We tend to think of the menstrual cycle as just the “period” but as it turns out (#science) there is a lot more going on than just cramps, moodiness and optimal baby making days. In addition to what seems like an unpredictable hormonal roller coster… there are actually a lot of things we can calculate and use to our advantage (in addition to ideal vacation/bathing-suit wearing dates and procreation) – Like… Wait for it… Targeting when the best time to start a diet might be and knowing when you’re at your strongest. 

I’m not a doctor so before you go nuclear because I’m over simplifying or missing a detail, cool your jets. This is an overview. Just something I’ve found to be useful and perhaps something that didn’t make it to your middle-school health class curriculum. 

This is exciting! Ladies. We are actually strongest in the Follicular Phase (approximately days 01-13) of our menstrual cycle; that is, the week of our period and the week after our period. The Follicular Phase is a prime time to lift heavy. We can also tolerate the most volume during these weeks!!! As it turns out, this may also be the best time for you to start a diet. Think about it… Who wants to over eat when they’re bloated and crampy?! So while these weeks may seem horrible, think of all the gainzzz!!! Throw on those stretchy yoga pants and go back-squat a truck!! 

The Luteal Phase (approximately days 16-28) of our menstrual cycle, are the two weeks following ovulation. This is when we experience the most lethargy; this is a great time to plan in some recovery. If you’re following a strength/lifting plan, this would be a GREAT time to schedule a deload week (because week four is generally when we will be at our weakest). This is probably not going to be a great time to start a diet because your cravings are high during this point of your cycle so adherence may be more difficult. 

Understanding our cycle is one of those things we don’t really think about but it’s an integral part of our overall health. It doesn’t usually get brought up at the dinner table (please pass the salt) but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be comfortable discussing it. Do you have a menstrual cycle? Figure out where your cycle falls and see if you can optimize these periods (pun intended). Put your knowledge into practice!!! 

Health + Happiness, 

CC 

Live It.

There are always… ALWAYS, going to be people that want to knock you down. Steal your thunder. Rain on your parade. People that aren’t open to change. What you believe in…

What goals and dreams you have set for yourself are NOT dependent on the opinions of others. If a simple insult or counterpoint is enough to rip you apart, then perhaps you are not ready to lean your own way. BUT if you listen, process and come to the conclusion your way is worth it. It has value. It would be painful to give up because you feel so deeply passionate about whatever IT is… move forward. Move forward with the people and things in your life that add value and support.

Yes. There will be challenges. You will learn often that you don’t know everything and you aren’t always right. Have the grace to admit you’re wrong. Have the guts to change your mind. BUT stop listening to all the noise. Stop believing all the distractions. Stop believing the headlines.

You are not the world police. It is not your job to convert the opinions and actions of others. If you believe in something – Live it. Live it and let others see you as an influence. Misery loves company but greatness fosters change. Be better. Talk less about people and more about ideas. Lead instead of being led. Stop chasing mediocrity. Be the person people want on their team.

For so many (many) years I wanted to blend in. I wanted to be part of the clique. It never happened and for good reason. It’s not who I was supposed to be. I like tattoos and business podcasts. I get pumped about renovations, FOOD and new work-gloves. ALL of this is OK. Not wrong – Just different.

So while you should bend with the wind – DON’T bend so far and so often you forget how to stand. Stand up.

In short – Believe in yourself. LIVE IT!

Health + Happiness,

CC

Transformations.

Warning: This post is raw. Not like, fresh sushi kind of raw… but like, expired, left in the sun, maggot meat kind of raw. I am not ashamed. What you’re about to read is who I am. This is my life and why I find meaning in what I do. This is my long-grind transformation story. I’m sharing because I know people struggling. People struggling with weight, with being a parent, with being a spouse, with money, with life…  

Sometimes a transformation isn’t about turning into a butterfly. Sometimes a transformation is about just sorting though a pile of mail and passing on an office donut. Lasting transformations don’t happen overnight, they happen in the long-grind everyday. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. Maybe you’ll believe the lie because it’s easy. Prediction: You’ll be back to where you started as fast as you can spend $100 at Target. 

Listen closely. Everything. In. Your. Life. Is. Connected. You CAN NOT transform into a buff/beautiful/successful/happy butterfly, if you are late to work, eat crap, have loads of debt… and disorganized closets. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen it time-and-time again in myself. It wasn’t until I decided to address the small everyday tasks, that I was able to see some transformation in the big picture. 

Sometimes you don’t bing and purge chips because you’re hungry and afraid of getting fat. Sometimes you eat until you make yourself puke because you have ZERO control over the everyday. I’m a recovering anorexic + bulimic. I spent two decades with one eating disorder or another; It started because I had control issues and it ended because I learn how to control my control issues. It was never about weight or food. This is important because while the symptoms were the same throughout the years, the context was always changing… so transforming from empty to whole was ALWAYS out of reach. 

In middle school, high school and college it was easy to function; my parents took care of me. For the most part they paid all my bills, bought my clothes and food, took me on trips… I just needed to pull it together enough to get good grades, shower, dress, play sports and stay out of trouble. Simple. After college things got complicated. It’s hard to hold a job, balance a checkbook, be a good human and stay attentive in relationships when you are overwhelmed by EVERYTHING. When everything is loud + screaming and you’re not sure why. 

I would wakeup exhausted, disgusted and defeated everyday. I was angry, resentful and jealous of everything. I drove myself into over ten-thousand dollars of secret credit card debt. Most of that, food I was eating and vomiting minutes later. This didn’t help my anxiety + stress. All my friends were planning their future. Getting promoted. I hated them. 

My life was a web of lies. I’d quit jobs because I was bored or they didn’t fit with my bathroom schedule. I’d procrastinate about leaving the house, cancel therapy sessions, dump my Prozac. Drink instead. It was hard to see the benefit of doing anything when you’re flush-faced hugging a toilet bowl. I’d put on shows; forcing myself look alive + alert. Side note: I could make some serious mess at wedding receptions and dinner parties. Speaking from experience; self hate, alcohol and zero nutrition are a recipe for disaster. 

During the eye of the storm I was living with Mr. Eats in New Jersey. I’d seen LOTS of therapists and nutritionists – Nothing worked and at that point, I don’t think I even cared. I didn’t care about anything… Certainly not about self-help. I remember one day, home alone – I had just scoffed down an entire loaf of white bread with butter. It wasn’t mine, I had stolen it from one of our roommates. This was common; I’d go on a binge and then have to re-buy and carefully portion out the food I’d eaten. It happened daily. 

This particular day was memorable because, alone, in the bathroom, I was choking. I could feel myself unable to breath (white bread is basically glue) – I remember panicking. Not panicking because I was afraid to die but panicking because I didn’t want anyone to see me dead on the bathroom floor with generic-brand white bread lodged in my esophagus. I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed because my parents had broken their backs to pay for my eduction. I was embarrassed because my boyfriend was blindly supportive – Getting nothing in return. I was embarrassed because I had friends + family who loved me. And here I was… I would be found dead on this F’ing bathroom floor full of stolen bread. NO! NO! NO! I remember thrusting my arm down into my throat and pulling out the obstruction. Gasping for air and crying I remember thinking… “You spoiled brat! What the HELL is your problem?! FIX THIS!” And so the long-grind transformation began. 

It started with finding a therapist I could talk to. It stated with slowly trusting myself to tell the truth and ask for help. It started with opening my mail, mapping out a plan to pay off my debt and working. Working even if I didn’t like it. Getting into a routine. Going outside. Getting exercise. Creating manageable to-do lists. It started with taking one painfully slow step-at-a-time, falling, trying again… Falling even harder but knowing I needed to stay the course. Learning I kind of liked the new me. Learning I kind of liked the process.   

And this process took years. YEARS!!! I’m still working on it. I work on my mental and physical self like it’s a full-time job. I show-up for myself! I’m on time. I understand that if my closets are messy and the dog isn’t listening that I can’t recoil and eat a box of cookies. I take responsibility. I break it down. I own my mistakes and give myself permission to celebrate my successes. 

Transformation isn’t always a graceful before + after. It can be messy. It can be intangible and irresolute. No one is going to throw you a parade for being better than you were yesterday, or last week, or last year. Transformation isn’t just for the Tuesday hashtag – It’s your LIFE. Change is nothing without a purpose and unfortunately your dress size, children, parents, partner and bank account can’t tell you who you are and what you need to be. 

Anything you have done or said lives by the power you place on it. If you are choking – Find the obstruction! If it’s important to you (like breathing important) you will MAKE it happen. Probably Opera or someone just as successful said “Find your why” – I’ll repeat it so you hear me… Find your why.

Conclusion: This is my why.