I am continually impressed by the dedication shown by everyone at the gym. It is hard to get up at 6 AM or head to the gym at the end of the work day and subject oneself to 5 rounds of "fill in the blank with…". It is amazing seeing the improvement in everyone since the gym's opening. Some have gone from jumping pullups to knocking out 20 at a shot. Other's have gone from barely being able to touch the ground to deadlifting well over their bodyweight. That same dedication needs to be applied to diet as well.
I'd venture to guess that the reason we all go through the pain and misery of the workouts is to better ourselves. It makes us healthier, more fit. But in terms of health, diet is dramatically more important than the WOD. I come to this conclusion not only from reading on the subject, but through my own personal trial and error.
Since I was a kid, I always ate what the government, doctors and nutritionists considered the optimal diet. What that led to was low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. Once I found Crossfit, it led to a plateau in one rep maxes and benchmark workouts, a longer time to recover from a hard workout, and a lot of soreness. I was healthy, but far from my potential.
Finally, after sitting through a few certs and listening to Greg Glassman talk about Sickness-Wellness-Fitness and the role diet plays in that, I decided to give the Zone a shot. After 1 month, I noticed an immediate impact. Every benchmark, max reps or 1rm improved. I dropped to 6-8% body fat. The Zone led to a more Paleolithic model of eating. My daily diet now breaks down to 50-55% fat, 30-40% protein and 10-20% carbs; all from vegetables and some fruit…No Grains! My HDL and triglycerides have a 1 to 1 ratio, which means my HDL is high / triglycerides low. In layman's terms: I may die of a heart attack, but my diet will not be the cause (it will most assuredly be my kids). I can't remember the last time I got sick. Recovery is short. Soreness is limited. New personal records are routine.
What I am trying to get at here is that dedicating yourself to your diet should be as important as the effort you display everyday in the gym. Read the books on this site; I'll lend them to you. Check out the websites linked on this site; I'll walk you through them. Read and educate yourselves. Pick our brains. Cut out the carbs. Personal Records are great. A fast Fran time is cool. None of that can compare to waking up each day feeling good, never getting sick, and knowing you truly are fit. That feeling can only come through dedicating yourself to your diet.