Friday, December 31, 2010

Universe? Is This a Joke?

Sometimes I feel as if the universe is playing one big practical joke on me. Let's examine this past week alone. It is my last week at this job. I was scheduled to work Monday- Thursday, and have Friday off (New Years Eve, federal holiday, etc.) and have a nice three day weekend before starting my new job on Monday.

Well, I get a phone call on Wednesday morning from my boss saying there is too much snow near the office, and don't bother coming in. I can come in on Friday instead. This job is turning into the job that never ends. So here I sit on a federal holiday when all of our clients have the day off (meaning any outstanding e-mails will go unanswered, and anything I submit will go unread), causing me to have nothing to do, waiting to go to crossfit, then home, the party (whoooo new year!). Ok, so maybe some of you are thinking so? That's not that big of a deal. Clean up your desk/computer and be happy you are on your way out. Fair enough.

But. But! On Tuesday of this week, I get an e-mail from that California job in which I interviewed for back in February. I have remained somewhat in contact with them because I don't want to burn any bridges. But if you remember, I had a difficult time negotiating things with the company, and ended up turning down their job offer because the salary they were offering wouldn't be feasible for me. So, the e-mail says "We have a possible job opening in Seattle. Are you interested?" I wrote back, "thank you for thinking of me, however I begin a new job January 3rd and am no longer looking for new employment." She wishes me well, and I think that is the end of it.

Yesterday, I get another e-mail from the California job. This one has all the details of the position, including the salary. The salary is ridiculous. As in A LOT. I know this move is done by the California job on purpose...and all I can do is laugh. THIS IS MY LIFE. The day before I start a new job, I get asked to apply for a job paying ridiculous amounts of money. Now I know money is not everything, and I don't want anyone to think that all I'm focused on, because I MUCH rather have a job that I like, that I'm good at, and that I feel is stable, then a crappy job paying a lot of money.

So, I'm trying to keep things in perspective. The difficulty I had with the California company (9.5 hour interview, stressful negotiations, etc.) is still fresh in my mind. However, who is to say I'm going to like my new job? I could absolutely hate it. I kind of like the idea of having options. I especially feel lucky in these hard times where there are millions of people who are looking for work. Believe me, none of this is lost on me. I am grateful, while at the same time feel I'm being toyed with by some higher power.

I sent the California job my updated resume. The position they are looking to fill doesn't start until May, so I'm thinking I will have enough time to check out my new job and see if its a good fit before deciding if I want to take a big risk and leave probably the most secure industry in the nation for a larger (MUCH LARGER) pay check. Sigh. Never a dull moment!

Wednesday's snow day, and the job stuff (ending job of 3.5 years and being asked to apply to yet another new job) has thrown me off track. I missed two days in a row of crossfit, that has NEVER happened since I started, and my eating has been so NOT paleo. Tonight being New Year's Eve, I don't expect this trend to end until at least tomorrow. Without doing it on purpose, this year I'm turning into one of those "January 1st I'll start back on it" people. I'm ok with that, because I know I will be successful. I have spent this whole year being successful.

This is the year I will do a pull-up. This is the year I will run a sub 7 minute mile. Now that my collar bone is in sight, this is the year I find my hip bones!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Day = Pictures

My boss called early today (just as I was about to jump in the shower) and told me not to bother coming into work. It was a snowy mess and I should stay home. I looked out my window, not one flake at my house. Seattle is crazy when it comes to snow. Less than one inch can set the whole region into city closing panic. Its crazy. I had to trade Friday for today, but whatever. Its the boyfriends day off, so we are hanging out together. Except for right now, because I'm writing this post, and he's cleaning the house. Heh.

Anyway, here is a photo re-cap of my Christmas:

Dave slaying our tree.

Christmas card photo.

Gorgeous California December Day.

Christmas Day stockings!

Personal Chef.

The meat. So good!

Back in Seattle. Yay!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One Year Anniversary

One year ago, I made a decision. I did a 180 on the unknown path of destruction I was headed down and began back tracking to familiar territory. I didn't want to wait till January 1st. I had enough wake-up calls in a short amount of time, and I needed to do something different. I was done with the half-assed attempts and excuses. I was done with lying to myself and others around me. I was done not living the life I KNOW I should be living.

One year ago, I did not know where I would be today. I'm sure I had some arbitrary number of pounds in which I wanted to weigh, or wanted to lose, because one year ago, that is what I thought meant everything. I took it one day at a time, because that is all I could manage. My main goals focused on running, and being able to run certain distances in certain times. I had always equated running with being in shape and being healthy.

One year ago, I didn't want any of my friends or family to be reading this blog because its embarrassing. I didn't want to be the token fat friend that has to struggle everyday to do the right thing. I just wanted to GET there...wherever there was. And somehow, magically, no one would notice and it would be like I was never 80 pounds overweight. I'm glad I got over that fast and shared this blog with friends and family because I think it strengthened many relationships. Oh, and its pretty much impossible to lose 40 pounds (let alone 80) and not have anyone notice- what was I thinking?

Today, I have a very different vision of where I want to be, and what is healthy to me. I know I still have weight to lose. While it may seem painstakingly slow, I really feel that dropping 40 pounds in one year has been sustainable, and a good pace for me. More importantly though, I want to trust my body. I will do my part of feeding it what it needs, and preforming functional movements, and I trust it will do its part of finding a shape/weight it likes. This is a big jump from having a number in my head and working towards that. I'm done with the numbers. I will still be weighing myself because it is a good overall indicator of what is going on, but I will not be giving any merit to the numbers.

Today, I'm ready to take my journey to the next level. I've proved to myself I can do this. I've made it one year and have learned so much. I know what fuel my body prefers. I have a solid exercise regimen. I'm going to pull it all together and see what happens.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Deepest Apologies!

I hadn't realized until it was brought to my attention yesterday by a fellow blogger (thank you Ann) that I haven't posted anything in well over a week. I took last week off of work, and I normally do my blogging at work, so that might have had something to do with it. I took the week off because the boyfriend and I were traveling to California to visit my family for the holiday. Last week was a whirlwind of Christmas shopping, mailing cards/packages, cooking, packing, traveling, visiting, and squeezing the most into each day.

The past few weeks have been inconsistent, to say the least. The scale has been all over the place, my eating has had moments of brilliance, and moments of WTF. I haven't felt very strong in some of my crossfit workouts, where in others I feel like I've come so far. I am so happy that the holiday season is coming to an end. I prefer a more calm, predictable life, at least while I'm trying to overhaul my eating and exercise patterns. Just a few more days and the parties will be over, the excess treats will be gone, and a new year will be here.

Last week, in the days before I headed to California, I knew I had to be a Paleo rock star for a few reasons 1) drop the bloat I had obtained in the past few weeks, 2) make my allergies disappear, and 3) so it would be easier to continue eating well while on vacation. One week ago, the scale was up 6 pounds from the lowest weight I've achieved in this journey. In the two days before heading to California, I was great. In California, home for 4 days of holiday celebrations and meals, I ate the best I could. Over the course of 4 days, I did allow myself two pieces of sourdough bread (there is nothing like San Francisco sourdough), a piece of chocolate cream pie, a piece of apple pie, and a few random chocolate balls. Other then that, I was meat and veggies. Today? The scale was down 3 pounds from last week.

I don't think I've ever gone home for a Christmas and come back weighing less then I did before going. I'm pretty excited about that.

Other things on my mind include that in one week, I start my new job. Historically, things that disrupt my routine cause a set-back in my eating/exercise plans. My routine is definitely going to change next week. I'm going to have to figure out what works for me, and figure it out fast to minimize any down time. I'm going to be waking up 2 hours earlier (6am). I'm going to be commuting on the bus. In the evening, after work, and after my bus ride home, I'll hop into my car and drive 20 minutes north in traffic (making it a 40 minute drive) to crossfit, for the 7pm class. I'll get home around 8:30pm. There is no way that this is not going to change things for me!

I'm hoping that I can find a way to eat good, clean, meals and Crossfit 4-5 days a week seamlessly as I start my new job. I'm hoping that new job adrenaline, and the start of the new year power me through the tough moments until I do settle into a nice routine.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday, and please, please! Don't beat yourself up if you feel your health plans went off track. Today is a new day. Use it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Breakfast Sucked

Last night I finally found the time to make up some (normally) yummy breakfast scramble. I don't know if something was wrong with it, or me, or what, but today I could not get down more than 5 bites of the stuff before nearly gagging and relying on my coffee to get me through to lunch. I can't describe the flavor, but it is a flavor that sometimes accompanies eggs that makes me HATE eggs.

Moving on to more exciting things...I would like to introduce everyone to Dr. Izumi Tabata. I'm not sure what his Ph.D., is in, but I think it might be torture? Dr. Tabata invented the Tabata interval (4 minutes of 20 seconds ALL OUT, 10 seconds of rest). These intervals are commonly used among the most elite of athletes (Tri-athletes, cyclists, runners, Crossfitters, etc.) and I think most would agree that they are no joke.

The theory: Dr. Tabata focused his research on exercise intensity rather than duration.
The experiment: In his study, he had two groups. Group A was to be performing the intervals (4 minutes of 20 seconds MAX effort, 10 seconds rest) 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Group B was to be performing regular cycling at about 70% of their max effort for one hour a day, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. Each group had their VO2 Max and anaerobic capacities measured prior to beginning the study.
The results: Group B (5 hours of exercise per week) increased their VO2 Max by 9.5 percent. Anaerobic capacity remained unchanged. Group A (20 minutes of exercise per week) increased their VO2 Max by 14 percent and their anaerobic capacity by 28%!!!!!*

So, the next time someone tells you that you need to put in 1 hour at the gym everyday to get in shape, introduce them to Dr. Tabata.

Our workout yesterday consisted of 3 moves- medicine ball cleans, medicine ball sit-ups, and wall ball shots. For each of these moves we completed a full Tabata (four minutes, 8 20/10 intervals, however you want to see it). I can barely move today. I seriously overestimated how restful the 10 seconds would be.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vote: Is this behavior normal?

Ok, yesterday I vowed to get my crap together. I blogged about it. I planned my meals. I went to CrossFit. I drank my water. And then, DISASTER struck. Once the disaster was over, I couldn't help but think to myself, is this normal behavior? Or is this the kind of thing that keeps me blogging about my fat ass and not getting me any closer to doing a pull-up?

So, my day went like this:
Left over Cauliflower pizza with sliced pork and pineapple on top. Estimated calories- 200
Pork chop, baby carrots, 2 satsumas. Estimated calories- 350
CrossFit- 30 minutes of warm-up exercises, 10 minutes of workout
Got home, started making dinner (a pork chop)- they were on sale, gimme a break.
While dinner was cooking, I looked over at my failed "cookie" attempt from the weekend. I tried to make shortbread cookies to send to my relatives on the East Coast, and I wanted to make a bunch, so I doubled the recipe, and then after baking a batch realized I had done the math wrong, and omitted a FULL CUP of flour. So, instead of nice cookies, I had flat, lacy disks. I took the remainder of the batter, put it into an 8X8 pan, and cooked it like brownies.
I looked over at the untouched failed cookies, and thought "what a waste of all those ingredients. I wonder if I can somehow turn them into something good?" So then naturally I had to cut into the 8X8 mass to see what it tasted like to even see if they were salvageable.
So, there I am, freshly out of a CrossFit workout, with dinner cooking, about to taste a chunk of failed "cookie." One taste turned into 2, then 4, then maybe 1,000,000. Turns out the cookies weren't so much of a taste fail, just an appearance fail. I made myself sick by the time my dinner was ready.
I wasn't even hungry, but forced myself to eat 1/2 a pork chop because I knew I needed something else in me besides sugar.

Its not so much what I did (eat the cookies) but HOW I did it (like a crazed person who has been lost at sea for 74 days and is just having their first bite of food). I couldn't stop. I kept going back for more. Even though I knew it was wrong/bad/whatever.

I know some people might look at my food for the day and say "well, that's not enough food, you set yourself up for failure." That may be true for some, but when I'm eating Paleo, I really don't eat very much food. I get a lot of natural fat in my meals, and that keeps me satiated. It wasn't hunger that compelled me to eat the taste of cookie that led to 1,000,000 tastes, it was the guilt from "wasting" ingredients, and then some ingredient in the cookie making it impossible for me to stop once I started.

Sigh. More proof that I can not do this less then 100%. I can not be good all day and then have "one bite" of something. I can not be good for a month and then have "one cheat day." It just doesn't work for me!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Trying Not to Dwell

Remember how when I began this whole Paleo thing, I said there were foods I would never be able to eat again, EVER? Remember how I was ok with that? I was. I really was. I knew it then, and I know it now, eating right (for me) is an "all in" activity. I can not be good 80% of the time. 80% quickly becomes 70%, then 50%...

Part of my problem has been not catching this downward spiral fast enough. Another part of the problem I realized is that certain foods really F with my body and brain, and by eliminating them from my diet, I can continue to make the best choices with ease.

Today I'm doing a few things: 1) I am catching myself before I fall, 2) I'm not going to dwell over the past few weeks poor choices, and 3) I'm making a serious effort to continue to better my Paleo effort.

After all, eating Paleo is something that I want, and something that I figured out makes me nearly super-human. It is going to take some practice for me to really get that solidified in my head. Bear with me. I will have months of great Paleo success and days of screwing it up. One day, hopefully, the latter will become fewer and farther between.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Start Date!

I passed all the pre-employment hoops, and got a start date today. I'm very excited to be starting out the new year with a new job. My current boss was also really cool this whole time...considering I put my "two" weeks in three weeks ago, and now I'll be working another 9 days here.

Things have been good on the exercise front, not so good on the eating front. Most days I have my shit together, but I have been allowing more and more sugar to creep into my diet. Sugar is the death of me. I know this. My headache is a constant reminder.

In yesterday's workout, we did this crazy move... holy cow, it was a KILLER. It literally made sweat roll off my nose and drip on the floor.

I did the modified version, but still:

Ok...I'm off to drink LOTS of water, eat protein, and psych myself up for today's workout. Entering BeastMode.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holidays '09 vs Holidays '10

I stumbled upon a picture my bf's mom posted on Facebook from last year. What a difference a year can make. Feels like a lifetime ago when the picture on the left was taken. It was last Christmas. The picture on the right was taken 2 weeks ago. If that's not motivation to keep on track through the holidays, I don't know what is.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Know What I Don't Want...But What Do I Want?

After reading an article on fitness and how there is no real definition of fitness, it dawned on me how readily I know what I don't want, but have no idea what I do want. How could I possibly begin, or be working towards what I want, if I don't even know what that is?!?!

I don't know. Maybe this realization isn't as profound as I think it is, but I just see so many applications of this concept to my journey of better health and fitness. Perhaps part of the problem with me not knowing exactly what I want yet is because I have not figured out everything that I do not want. Ruling out what doesn't work for me has been a process. There have also been numerous times where I thought I wanted something because to me it meant health, which is now laughable to me, and has shifted to the "don't want" category.

Let me try to explain...In January, when I began this whole thing, I stepped on a scale in the doctor's office to reveal a weight I had never seen before, a weight that was a good 15 pounds OVER what I thought I weighed at the time! So, my thought was well, I want to be 1xx pounds, so I need to lose xx pounds. I began counting calories and exercising, basing my method on the simple theory that as long as I burn more calories than I consume, I will lose weight. That is true. I did lose weight. But then, when my system became routine, I was able to process and take in more information. Through the blogging community, I started to get new ideas of what I wanted. Body composition became a re-occurring theme. I realized losing weight was not all created equal. It suddenly was not enough for me to lose 5 pounds. I wanted to know how much of that 5 pounds was lean muscle, fat, and/or water.

Today? I have NO idea what I want to work towards as far as a weight because at my current weight (which I have been numerous times in my life for long periods of time) I'm smaller (thinner) than I ever have been at this weight. That means a) I have more muscle than other times at this weight, b) I can no longer rely on the scale to tell me how I'm progressing, and c) I do not want to be the 1xx pounds I thought I did previously.

So I have shifted my thoughts of what I want. I want to be able to do push-ups on my toes (lots of them). I want to be able to do pull-ups, squat 1.5 times my body weight, do handstand push-ups, dead lift 2x my body weight, run a mile in under 7 minutes, and get to the point where I'm performing most CrossFit workouts prescribed. I want to have under 20% body fat. I want to eat Paleo no less than 90% of the time. Currently, being able to achieve the aforementioned items would mean health and fitness to me.

It may change. But, instead of focusing on what I don't want (like, I don't want to weigh 2xx pounds) I'm going to focus on what I do want (be a x-fit super star!).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Serious Improvements

Yesterday at CrossFit, we began a new program. I'm floored by how much time, dedication, and thought the owners/trainers invest in the gym and us- the clients. It makes me want to do great things instantly, like suddenly start running sub 7 minute miles, and jumping up on 24" boxes, and banging out pull-ups like I weigh 45 pounds...just because I want them to succeed in all the work they put in, and success would me mean being able to do any of the aforementioned items.

Anyway, yesterday was all about body control, and performing movements that will help us work on our body control and will eventually lead us to obtain 3 movements- Ring Dip, Pull-up, and Toes to Bar. We had to do some non-typical CrossFit plank pose, and dead bug, and some typical things such as hanging from a bar, V-ups, diamond push-ups, and static hold (on parallel bars, almost like L-sit, but without the legs out in front).

I've been CrossFitting for about 3 months now. In my first week, attempting to check some things off my level one sheet, I attempted to hang from a bar for 30 seconds. I lasted 3 seconds, and WOW, that felt like an eternity. A few weeks later, I tried again, and was able to make the full 30 seconds, but barely. Yesterday? I hung for 45 seconds. I could actually feel other muscles engaging to hold me there, like my abs, instead of before I was just focused on how my arms couldn't keep hanging on.

Before starting CrossFit, I used to do a Jillian Michaels video pretty regularly. I thought it kicked my butt. In level 3, the video uses a lot of "plank" pose moves. They were SO hard. I would try and see how long I could hold plank for, usually not even making it to 30 seconds. Yesterday? I held it for 1 minute, 45 seconds!!! I was shaking like crazy, but I was trying to 'win' at least one thing. It was just me and one other guy, the other 3 people had dropped. I was staring him down. Finally, I hit my limit. He lasted till 1 minute, 52 seconds.

While I often beat myself up for not being able to do the majority of the workouts fully prescribed, I should focus instead on what I HAVE accomplished. It is pretty amazing to me that in just the short time I have been participating in the CrossFit program, I am seeing incredible results. It gives me so much hope that one day I will be doing pull-ups, running sub 7 minute miles, and just about anything else I want to do.

In case you missed it, I'm still REALLY excited I can get these boots on! I got the boots on over a pair of my skinniest jeans. But the jeans are super thin...almost more like a khaki/jean material. I'm wearing one of these outfits today:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sneaky December

I just realized its December 2nd. Apparently December got here yesterday, and I didn't even notice.

A couple of things:
1) Yesterday's workout was 3:41. That's right. 3 minutes, 41 seconds. Do you know what I did in 3 minutes 41 seconds? I moved over one ton (2,100 pounds) from the ground over my head. Sounds impressive, huh?

2) I haven't posted update head shots in awhile, so I took advantage of the net and found a cool slideshow thingy to imbed into my blog (see below).

3) Still don't have a start date for my new job.

4) Yesterday I almost got my toes to the bar...once.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Short-timers, I Has It

I'm pretty sure this is my last week at my current job. It would be nice if my new job gave me a definite start date, but hey, I try not to ask for much. So, what does one do on a Tuesday of one's last week when the boss is not in the office?

Some of this:

A little of this:

And blog, of course. See how I did that up there? Killed two birds with one stone. I showed you how bored I am, and also the boots that now fit me that I wrote about yesterday. I couldn't pull it together today to come up with a whole outfit to wear them with, so I just have them on under my jeans. I figure that's a good way to break them in.

Since yesterday, I have been right back on track with my Paleo eating. I endured a headache for most of the day, but knew that it was just my body telling me I indulged a little too much over the Thanksgiving holiday. Today I feel great. I'm really beginning to appreciate how forgiving my body is when I treat it right.

The key to my success this week is going to be planning my meals. I have been slipping a little in that department, and really the only way for me to be my best is with thorough planning my meals and perfect execution of my plans. For the first time in 3 months I made my breakfast for the entire week (a delicious scramble). I used to do that every week. Somehow I got off track and started bringing larabars or apples and almond butter, or natural chicken sausages for my breakfasts. These items are not ideal.

I have 2 pounds of flank steak currently marinating in my fridge that is going to turn into a delicious dinner and lunch for tonight and tomorrow. I'm stocked on broccoli slaw, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, and various meats. Hello Paleo wagon! I'm back on!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I can't be the only person on the planet who buys things that they love, even if they don't quite fit. I also can't be the only person on the planet who has wound up with a closet full of clothes that vary between 4-5 different sizes. I always have the best intentions in day I will be small enough to fit into those pants/shirt/jacket/etc. More often than not, that day never comes, and the clothes either sit in my closet and go out of style, or they are out of style and make their way to the Goodwill.

Well. True to this pattern, last February, I bought a pair of cute knee-high boots on super sale that all the kids are wearing these days. I was early in my journey of health and fitness, had lost about 10 pounds, and was still hitting the gym regularly. I saw them as a good goal, and figured I'd be wearing them in a month or so. When they arrived, the weren't even close to moving up anywhere past my ankle. My calves are large, but they are all muscle. I didn't see how they would ever fit.

Into the closet they went. Occasionally, I'd pull them out and give them a try, still to no avail. My boyfriend would watch and say "your calves are all muscle. They aren't getting any smaller." As if I was going to give up! I've been trying them on more frequently lately, and on Friday, they fit! I got both boots on, and proceeded to run around the house with glee and try them with everything I own in my closet. Yes, I'm a dork.

They are still a little too snug to fit jeans under, but that will come. Purchasing these boots in February, I never thought I'd have to wait till nearly December to wear them, but it is true what they say, better late then never!

The scale was up 2 pounds today, but after all the Thanksgiving sugar and grains, I'm not surprised, and I know it will come right off after a few days of strict Paleo! Oh, and did I mention that my cute boots fit?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving, my excuse

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. This is the first year that I recognize feelings of indifference to the whole shebang. It could be that we are not having traditional Thanksgiving fare this year, or perhaps that I'm distancing myself from food being a source of happiness/celebration/comfort. Food is fuel, and I figured out this year that my body prefers to run on the highest octane (no grains, sugar, dairy, or legumes).

Oh, how Thanksgiving used to be a reason for me to go nuts. It was acceptable to eat until I could eat no more. It was acceptable to eat foods that are rich in fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and the like. It was acceptable to eat pie for breakfast (the day after Thanksgiving that is)! Everyone was celebrating the gluttony, even my skinny friends. It was a free pass for me to do what I wanted. What I thought I wanted was to eat whatever I desired, and as much as I desired (because the rest of the year I was so deprived? Ha!). The rationals I used to make are nearly comical. I no longer want to do that.

Thanksgiving was the start of a month-long holiday food bender. In the past few years, it started around the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, thoughts and actions such as "I'm going to be eating crappy in a few days, this donut won't matter" and "We are going to be cooking so much in the next few days, I better get some take out food." Then the big day would arrive, and I would eat and eat and eat, because that's what everyone was doing. Thanksgiving would meld into holiday parties, holiday parties turn into Christmas, Christmas turns in to New Years Eve, and then...!!!!!!!!!!

New Year's resolutions, disgust, regret, etc.

I'm hoping to avoid as much of this scenario as possible this year. Yes, tomorrow I will be partaking in non-paleo foods, and consuming more calories then I should, however, on Friday, it will be right back to the Paleo lifestyle. I will be attending CrossFit today, making up some form of CrossFit-like workout to perform at home on Thanksgiving, and be back in the gym on Friday and Saturday. I have come too far to fall back into old patterns. And, as I mentioned above, I'm noticeably indifferent this year to our Thanksgiving meal.

Things that got me excited this year instead? We have a house and are hosting our first Thanksgiving. I can wear a cute outfit (I'm pretty sure I wore sweats last year). I got a fancy table cloth, covered in roosters, or cocks if you prefer- that will keep me chuckling all day (yes, I'm 5). We will be eating off china that has been passed down to me from 2 generations. I have Thanksgiving decorations that I finally get to display. AND...I don't have to work tomorrow!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, November 19, 2010


If I were a wild horse, and CrossFit was a horse whisperer, then yesterday's work out broke me. It seemed simple enough written on the big white board:
1-10 Power snatch, Overhead squat
800m Run
10-1 Power snatch, Overhead squat

Translation: perform: 1 power snatch, 1 overhead squat, then 2 power snatches and 2 over head squats, and so on and so forth until you reach 10 of each. Run 800 meters. Then reverse. 10 power snatches, 10 over head squats, all the way back to one of each.

Seems easy enough right? Well, it was the hardest workout I've done so far, and I didn't even finish it in the allotted 35 minute time limit. I was close. I had my 3, 2, 1 left of the countdown but I was struggling. Head had taken over, trying to hold back tears of frustration, I was broken.

When I got home, I decided to add up 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55. HOLY CRAP. And then I didn't quite finish, so I added up 10+9+8+7+6+5+4 = 49. Ok...I was feeling a little better about myself, I did 104 power snatches and 104 overhead squats holding a 50lb bar. And ran 800 meters in the middle. Next time I'll finish in the time limit, possibly holding more weight.

Oh, and today I had my yearly check up, and my doctor was SO excited about me losing 40 pounds. Like, more excited than anyone I've seen. It was cute. My blood pressure was perfect - the past 4 years at each appointment they told me it was high. I also had blood drawn, and the lady found my vein immediately. Normally it takes forever, and at least a few tries. Not sure if that has anything to do with weight loss?

So after being poked and prodded, I treated myself to a gingerbread latte. Whole milk. It was delicious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

True Story

Yesterday I was checking out some new blog links (I'm always interested to see who my favorite bloggers have linked to their blogs), and I stumbled upon this one guy's blog. It had the customary catchy title, before and after pics, and a series of links that took you to his favorite posts that he had written. One of the links/post titles was called "Best Way to Lose Weight." I could not resist clicking on it. Somewhere, deep inside me is still the yearning for a cure all/quick fix, or perhaps new ground breaking knowledge on weight loss that I don't have.

If I have learned anything in the past year, it is that no one can tell you how to lose weight. What works for one person will not necessarily work for me. So, it takes some serious blogging balls of steel to actually write a post telling people "the best way to lose weight." This particular blogger lost his weight by counting calories, tracking them, and reducing intake. Fair enough. He was then brazen enough to go on and on about how this way was the only way, and every other diet out there is a fad.

Obviously, if someone is successful in their efforts, they believe their way is the best way. I'm definitely guilty of being biased towards my Paleo Diet as the best way to lose weight. It worked for me- shocking I would feel this way, I know. I am not now, nor will I ever be in any position to tell people what is going to work for them if they want to lose weight. I do know this though...if you do nothing you will not lose weight. If you do something only part-time, you will not lose weight. If you do something to lose the weight, and then stop, you will gain the weight back.

As you can imagine, there were many comments left on his post. Most of which were in agreement with him, but there were a few dissenters. My favorite comment said:

"While South Beach/Paleo/Atkins get results, it’s often through “tricks” like setting your body into Ketosis. And to get your body to do that, there are often major sacrifices, in the sense that certain things cannot be eaten ever. For me, personally, any diet that excludes certain things every time, all the time, is not sustainable. For me, the diet that works is the one that makes me feel like I can “cheat” – eat the piece of cake at the party – while still following the rules."

First off, putting Paleo in the same category as South Beach and Atkins...that was comical to me. Do some research, get back to me. Secondly- "there are certain things that cannot be eaten ever." Yup. If you are eating processed foods and are fat, and you don't want to be fat, you are going to have to give up processed foods. Sorry about that...pick your battles. Lastly, and this relates do doing research on a Paleo diet for modern can eat a piece of cake now and then- I know I have!

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I can find flaws in the "arguments" but the commenter knows what works for them and what doesn't. Who am I to say what is right and what is wrong? After all, we are aiming for the common goal- doing whatever we think is right to get ourselves healthy. No one can write the best way to do that, except you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shifting My Perspective

I am a firm believer in evolution. I'm not talking Darwin Origin of Species stuff (although I am a believer in that too) I'm talking about being open to change...seeing where different paths take me, and most of all, applying what I learn.

Since the beginning of this blog, I believe I have evolved significantly. I started out by cutting back on my calories, tracking everything I ate, going to the "Y" every morning, weighing in on my Wii Fit, and blogging. This was my strategy. Tried and true, I had lost weight that way before. It worked. Until it didn't.

Here is the important part. I did not give up. Giving up or tiring of my "plans" had been a previous downfall of mine. Instead, I maintained for about 3 months. During that time, I was cognizant of what was going on. I knew I was tired of my routine. I knew I was letting my old habits get the best of me. Luckily, through this blog, I developed a sort of support system. People whose blogs I read religiously, because they were inspiring to me. I rarely comment, so I'm sure these people have NO idea who I am, or how they helped me get past the bump in the road. I was a hungry fish staring at an island of food- if only I could get onto land and eat. (well, it was kinda the opposite of this, but stick with the analogy here)

One of these blogs led me to research the Paleo Diet. I knew instantly it was exactly what my body needed. My insulin was and most likely had been out of control for years. I was storing fat like there was no tomorrow. I researched and researched. I was fascinated by the testimonials. June 1, 2010, my legs sprouted and I crawled up onto that beach. I found a new me that I never thought was possible. I felt great. I lost weight with ease. I was ME. I wanted to shout from the rooftops how everyone needs to go Paleo immediately. I cursed myself for not finding out about Paleo sooner.

Eating Paleo led me to CrossFit. My crawling around on the beach has now shifted to a more upright walk. Each day I perform functional movements that make me stronger. I'm better at everything I do. I'm so much stronger then when I walked in there on day one. However, I can't lie and say I'm not disappointed the scale hasn't moved more than a few pounds since starting CrossFit.

With that one simple "complaint" came the next big leap in my evolution, a shift in perspective:
1) I'm changing my body composition (I see bones and 'dents' from muscles where I have never seen them before at this weight)
2) If I lose 5 pounds of fat, but gain 5 pounds of muscle, the scale isn't going to tell me that!

Eating a clean Paleo diet essentially turns my body into a fat burning machine. Performing CrossFit exercises builds my muscle. Of course there is going to be some transition time where it "appears" as if nothing is happening. But I can tell you for sure, my body looks different. My clothes fit better. That is precisely why I measured at the beginning of the 60 day further educate myself and continue to evolve. I will be walking upright in no time at all. Perhaps a wheel invention, or harnessing fire is next?

Oh, and the irony of starting out my journey by blogging, working out on a treadmill, and weighing in on a Wii Fit and then "evolving" into eating and working out like a caveman is NOT lost on me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogs Are More Than Accountability...

Blogs are awesome. My blog however, is REALLY awesome to me. I started it mostly for accountability, having an "audience" somehow helps me do what I say. How lame would it be if I just talked all the time about things I'm GOING to do, then never did them. I couldn't post fun progress pictures, or talk about my non-scale victories (NSV), or my workouts. If I wasn't making progress I think I would tire of this electronic diary pretty quickly! However, today as I find myself coming down with a cold, I was able to use my blog in an entirely different way. I looked back through my blog history because I remember blogging about the last time I was sick...seemed not that long ago...turns out it was February. Ha!

Something VERY interesting happened! I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but, my last cold was in February. I got instantly sick on the way home from the job interview in California. In my February sick post, I mentioned how I always seem to get sick when I can, like how 'in high school and college, I used to get a cold immediately after finals. It was like my bodies way of knowing it could finally relax.'

Well, lets see...I put my two weeks in yesterday, and today I'm sick. Like I said, maybe its just coincidence, but I really do appreciate that my body is getting this annual (sometimes semi-annual?) cold thing out of the way before I start a new job. I would hate to be in my first week and have to miss a day because of a cold. But, another awesome thing my body does? I tend to come down with colds on Fridays, so that I'm sick all weekend, but better enough to work by Monday.

So as I type away for my "audience" (thank you if you are real) I'm also chronicling the habits/trends/history of my health. Pretty cool, well, to me at least.

P.S. 49 days left in the challenge...7 weeks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Limits

A few days ago I wrote about how I sometimes have a tendency to hold back a little bit when exercising. In my head I'm saving up for what could possibly be around the corner, yet sometimes around the corner is nothing. That leaves me with times of not giving 100%. When I do this, I'm only hurting myself in the long run. Sure, I'm putting forth an effort, but without giving it my absolute ALL, then I'm not going to progress as fast. I'm fooling myself into thinking I'm doing something so great, yet I'm not giving it everything I have. High achievers would not understand this AT ALL and think "what's the point?"

After this mini-epiphany of my whole life I've been taking short cuts, I really tried to focus on making sure that each workout I was not slacking or trying to mentally prepare for more which was never coming. I wished there was a definite way I could KNOW that I was giving it my all. The degree to which I am out of breath is not a solid indicator. My internal dialogue is not a solid indicator. Holding back tears? That is as solid as it gets for me.

Saturday's workout seemed harmless enough. Its always the workouts that seem easiest on the big white board that end up being the worst. 200 jump rope, 100 skier jumps (lateral jumps over a 12" bar, back and forth), 50 dead lifts (105#, but one of my favorite moves) and 25 strict pull-ups (least favorite). After the 200 jump ropes, I was keeping pace with everyone else. The skier jumps quickly put me behind the pack, however I made up a lot of time on deadlifts. I was still last, but not nearly by the gap I was after skier jumps. Moving onto the pull-ups...I was using the largest assist rubber band. I still could not get my chin over the bar. Now everyone was done and looking at me. I had two trainers telling me to keep it up. They had me move to "ring rows" which are for people that cannot even do a rubberband pull-up. It was hard. I was giving it my all, there was no question because the back of my throat was dry, and my eyes started to gather tears. Luckily I was sweating so much, I doubt it was noticeable. The rest of the group routing for me did not help matters.

I hate being the last one to finish. I hate that my exercises have to be modified beyond modified. But...but. At least I found my limits. What I have to do EVERY SINGLE TIME to ensure that I'm doing everything I can. I must push myself every time to the verge of tears. Have my body be so utterly exhausted that it is a real possibility I could cry in front of the whole gym. Then I know, I have nothing else in me.

I'm still sore today from Saturday's WOD, but it could also be the 2 hours of soccer and football I played after CrossFit on Saturday that are contributing as well. I'm also down 1 something must have clicked.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"L" is for...

I have this friend, who I Love to death. Like all my friends, she is smart, pretty, funny, and I couldn't imagine Life without her. She recently moved 3,000 miles away to the east coast, but Luckily, she keeps a blog so I never feel too behind in her Life. One of my favorite things that she does is post pictures of her scrapes, bumps, bruises, and other various injuries. She gets injured a Lot. Well, I don't know what a Lot is exactly, but more then me. Probably because she Lives such a risky Life, being all hardcore and stuff (biking in downtown Portland? Hardcore!).

Today I was inspired to take a page out of her book. Check this out:

This awesome bruise is courtesy of a 26 pound kettlebell. I have a matching one on my other arm, but it was impossible to take a photo of both arms using my phone. Yesterday, we performed "kettlebell snatch" in which you pull a kettlebell from the ground, and snap it over your head with an extended arm. Somewhere at the height of the movement, the kettlebell remembers gravity, and falls back, Landing on the forearm. Supposedly there is a way to ease this slamming effect, but besides the pain when I or someone accidentally touches them, I think they make me Look hardcore.

This friend, Let's call her "L" says I'm an inspiration. Well, today, she's my inspiration.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two Days Down...(58 to go)

Days one and two of my self-imposed 60 day challenge have gone over without a hitch. I feel better, mentally and physically. My eating has been spot on, thanks to shopping, planning, and the drive to be the best I can. I took measurements of my calves, thighs, hips, waist, forearms, and upper arms. It will be interesting to measure again in 58 days! I'm regretting not taking measurements at the start of this journey, but oh, well. We all know that late is better than never.

Yesterday's workout was HARD. I also realized that CrossFit couldn't be more tailored to what I need. First, a little about myself...if there is a shortcut, invariably I will ALWAYS take it (I know, shocking I'm overweight, right?). Example...if the trainers aren't watching me, I may not go as low into a push-up as I should. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working, however, I do tend to look for small ways for me to "conserve energy" for the beating I know is coming.

Now this little habit of mine really goes against the whole idea behind CrossFit. The CF philosophy is to go ALL OUT, ALL THE TIME. During warm-ups, during WOD's, anything. In my head, I'm thinking I'll warm up at 80% to save my body for the WOD, and then I'll be able to at least be somewhat competitive. And then during the WOD, I'll do my best, but for some reason I always have enough energy at the last round for a good push (meaning I really had been holding back something, whether consciously or not).

The good/bad news? THE TRAINERS ARE ON TO ME. Oh, yeah. They could see this personality in me a mile away. They have seen glimpses of what I'm capable of, and now hold me to it. They watch me all the time (do it again Violet, your squat wasn't low enough). This is a good thing. I NEED this. For now at least, I need someone pushing me every step of the way. Until I can ditch that stupid habit of conservation. I think its really more fear based then anything. Fear of the unknown...I'm not sure what would happen if I pushed myself 100% all the time, because I never have.

So, I'm hoping that I can hold the trainers interest in making me better. I know if I continue to push myself hard, and they see this, they will push harder. If they see that I keep looking for shortcuts all the time, they will lose interest because honestly, that is a shitty attitude. Nobody likes a shitty attitude. If I want to succeed in this, if I want to reach my goals, I must stop the shortcuts. Just like everything else I've done, its going to take time to re-learn, and there will be inevitable set-backs.

Side note- as part of yesterday's workout, we had to run with a 10# medicine ball. I have no idea how I used to run with 10 extra pounds on me, let alone 40!!! It makes me feel so much better that such a relatively small number of pounds lost (10) makes such a huge difference.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sprint to the Finish

Here we are, November 1st. There are a nice round 60 days until the new year. I like nice round numbers as much as I like being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For some reason, I do my best work when I'm out of time. I am a procrastinator through and through. So here's the thing:

Today marks 5 months since I went Paleo. The last 2 months I haven't lost any weight. I also started CrossFit 2 months ago, and in that 2 months, I was relatively really reminds me of how I was back in June. I began Paleo and stopped exercising. Then, after 3 months of awesome life changing eating and no exercise, I added in CrossFit, and my eating went downhill.

I need to pull the two forces together for optimum performance. So, for the next nice round 60 days, I will be back on the wagon. No sugar. No grains. No dairy. No legumes. I will not be taking as many of my "Paleo liberties" with items such as larabars, beef jerky, dried fruits, organic dark chocolate, occasional 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee, all natural sausages, etc. Those items are fine in a pinch, but the last two months, there have been lots of pinches.

For the next 60 days I will continue to Crossfit 5 days a week.

What I would like to accomplish:
This time, I'm going to take measurements of body parts to keep me further accountable. I will post the results at the end of 60 days. I would also like to make it to my initial goal of 62 pounds gone, which means losing another 21 pounds. That is going to be near impossible, so lets just say, if I lose ANY weight in the next 60 days I will be happy, because losing 41 pounds so far this year has been a huge accomplishment. Oh, and at the end, or somewhere within the next 60 days I would like to be able to get my toes to the bar (see last post for video).

I realize that within the next 60 days, Thanksgiving and Christmas fall. I'm not worried about this because I know once I'm free of sugar for a few weeks, food becomes a non-issue to me. I also know I feel so much better, stronger, when I'm giving my body meat, veggies, and healthy fat. I'm really excited to see what my body can do. Here I go...sprint to the finish!

Friday, October 29, 2010

All Smiles

It is amazing how one workout can change your life.

Let's say for example: You feel you are having a rough week. You blog about it. You get really nice comments. You continue to go about your routine. You go to CrossFit. The posted WOD is hard, something you know is not your best.

6 toes to bar:

6 medicine ball cleans:

repeat as many times as possible in 15 minute time period.

But you do it, and you do it better then you expected. You give it 110% You see how far you have come, and that gives you a sense of accomplishment like no other. The car ride home you are floating on puppies, rainbows, and butterflies. Your boyfriend makes you the best dinner you've had in a month, some how he knew exactly what you and your body was craving. You sleep great.

And the next day, you wake up still feeling residual goodness from the workout before. Coffee tastes great. The sun is shining, and then you get a phone call...OFFERING YOU A NEW JOB!

All smiles. Can't wait to go workout today and see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Looking For Those Bootstraps

I've been having sort of a rough week. Not really anything tangible, or anything that you would be able to see on the outside, just a bunch of introspective shit. I can pretty much pinpoint the start of the suck to last Saturday, when I ran that mile. Let me try to explain.

There is a sort of disconnect between what is good for me, and what is good in general. Like most people, I want to be good. I don't want excuses made for myself, I just want to do things that the people I choose to surround myself with can do. Now that I have 2 months of CrossFit under my belt, I see a familiar pattern. I'm not performing at the same level as the other girls. I know I have to get more weight off of me in order to be performing at a level I would truly feel good about.

I know all the people at the gym are sincere when they say "good job" but what they really mean is "good job for a fat chick." Its not a look I'm unfamiliar with! I've been getting it my whole life. It makes me wonder why I constantly put myself in this position? Why do I choose to do things that are obviously easier for people in shape, and then beat myself up when I can't do it as well as them? It is like the most common feeling I've had in my life, that in order for me to do the things I want to do, I need to lose weight.

So on top of feeling sorry for myself for not being an instant CrossFit star, I'm still mulling over the job interview I had last week...waiting for them to call and tell me SOMETHING. And then there is the Condominium Board stress. We had a meeting this week, and meeting weeks are always stressful. I have partaken in several very non-paleo meals, and I feel it. Believe me, I feel it.

If I have learned anything in the past 10 months, it is that I have a choice. Always. I can choose to rise above, keep on the good path that makes me feel awesome, or I can choose to feel sorry for myself and be self-destructive. Only time will tell which I end up choosing. However, last night as I was getting ready to head out to a comedy show, I had to grab a shirt from the dryer. As I walked through the kitchen, I saw this:

Anyone care to guess why I was excited about this? Hint: (blog title).

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today, I ran one mile in 9:09. I am very happy about this. I believe the last time I was running sub 9-minute miles was in college, when I was running everyday, and a good 30 pounds less then I am now. Considering that 10 months ago I was 41+ pounds heavier, I'm very excited to see what the future has in store for me as I continue my path down the scale, and do more CrossFit.

The sad thing that I'm choosing to be a motivator instead? I needed to run a mile in under 9 minutes to check it off my level one sheet that I've mentioned a few times. I know I can do it. I need leg to be back to 100%, and maybe some coffee first.

Hopefully in the next week or so, I'll get to try again, and I'll have a new one mile time. Oh, and the fastest guys today? They had 5:45 mile times. WOW.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Imagine Life With No Beds, No Toilets...

I got real lucky yesterday. I showed up at Crossfit at my normal time, 6pm, which is usually pretty busy. No one else showed up. I've been at a few workouts before where I'm the only one, and it doesn't bother me but I prefer a group because then my competitiveness kicks in. I mentioned to the trainer before the workout that my leg is still not 100%, but I have been doing the workouts since Monday, and it is improving.

After the workout, he asked me what was hurting. I told him I thought it was my right hip flexor, and told him about Stanky Leg over the weekend. For the next 30 minutes, he proceeded to fill my brain with TONS of information and showed me numerous physical therapy style exercises I should be doing everyday, especially since I sit at work.

If you remember from last week, I touched on some stuff in my barefoot running post. That was merely scratching the surface of information that got spewed my way yesterday. I will tell the story he told me:

"Cultures that do not use toilets and do not sleep in beds don't have nearly the rates of back, hip, and knee problems that seem to constantly plague Americans. I cannot get over my hatred of running shoes and what they do to us (staring at my bright turquoise Nikes). If I have to sum it up, think of it this way: anything that is soft, is bad.

I recently got called by the president of a large grocery chain here (Fred Meyer, for those of you familiar to the NW) and he asked me to come in a do a presentation for the workers on proper lifting techniques, etc. He told me that they recently gave all their employees those "Shape-Ups" which, for the record are 1,000,000 times worse than running shoes. They also give their employees back supports, and unknowingly teach them improper lifting techniques.

Remember when I said that supporting your arch is just giving your arch an excuse not to work? (yes) Well, same thing with your back. Back braces used improperly will make you weaker. Olympic lifters that are using them know that the brace is not to give them more support, it is to support what they have already built. Now, have gone through the on-ramp program, what is the number one thing you see wrong with those? (they put weight on your mid-sole/toe, and we are taught from day one to have our weight on our heels) Exactly. Also, they are supposed to work and shape your calves, but calves are genetic! Sorry!

I interjected- perhaps company wide, they thought by giving all the employees those shoes, it would result in weight loss, and therefore lower health care costs for them?

I'm so happy you said that. Nothing bugs me more then thinking that weight loss=health. It does not. I much rather see an overweight person have good, strong functional movements then a skinny person who can't even do a proper squat! (now he is speaking my language) To take a metaphor to its death, really consider a Paleo life in EVERYTHING you do."

Me being silly- ok, so I'll stop wearing shoes, sleep on the floor, and start using my backyard as a bathroom?

All joking aside though, it makes sense to practice functional movements and not rely on the "crutches" of soft things that we so readily use. Just as I decided to ignore the agricultural revolution and processed foods, I can begin to ignore all but the most important creature comforts (but I'm not giving up a toilet or bed).

I woke up today and began doing the exercises he taught me for hip flexibility. 10 minutes a day, that is my commitment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If It Was Meant To Be...

Last night was my face to face interview for a new job, following up the phone interview I had over a week ago. I'm pretty excited when I get an interview, because I have seen over the last two years how infrequent they really are. I feel like I have applied for at least 100 jobs, and this is my second in-person interview in that time.

I remember applying for this job, and thought just like many other applications, I would never hear anything after the automated e-mail confirming my application. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call back for a phone interview. I was even more pleasantly surprised when I learned that a lot of people applied for this spot, and they only called a few back for phone interviews. Then I got the call for a real interview, meaning I had beat out 95% of the competition.

Its so easy to say things like "I'm interviewing them as well" and "I have a job, so I don't need to be desperate." These things are true, however with the lack of interviews coming my way, and my apathy for my current job, its hard for me to not get worked up. Who knows when the next lifeboat out of this Titanic job will come by? But what if I take the plunge into the freezing water only to find that the lifeboat is not really a means of survival either?

This is the point where I'm supposed to take confidence in the ole' "if it was meant to be..." and I do. Really. The interview I had in California back in February is still rather fresh in my mind, and I remember a much more desperate feeling to flee this place at that time. This time around I am more calm. Now that I am months removed from the internal conflict of turning down the California job, it has become apparent on more than one occasion that everything ended up working out just fine. I know that I put my best foot forward yesterday, and if I am seen as a good fit, I will be offered the job.

If I am not offered the job, another something is in the cards for me. That's the best thing about life. You never know what is in store for you, but when you look back its as if there was a perfect map guiding you the whole way. I'll keep you posted on the result. I'm off to write my interview thank-you note so I can get it into today's mail.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday I witnessed something interesting at Crossfit. I was not participating in the regular WOD (workout of the day), as I had one last introductory workout to finish as part of my 3 week "on-ramp" program. I started my on-ramp workout at the same time as the rest of the group starting the regular WOD. I finished before any of them, and took a seat to observe the rest of their workout. They were doing an intense benchmark workout named "DT" which is a series of 3 Olympic weight lifts, all using the same weight.

Because crossfit has to gear the workouts to all different types of bodies and fitness, within the WOD, there are varying levels. The level everyone aims to achieve, and the super fit perform at is known as Rx (prescribed). This means there is a suggested (prescribed) weight for males and females to perform the workout. I have only seen a few girls at my gym perform Rx on a regular basis. One of whom, is amazing. She has an incredibly body, great attitude, and there is no doubt upon first laying eyes on her that she is fit.

Yesterday, as I watched her perform the last bits of her workout, I could see her getting more and more frustrated. Throwing the bar down, grunting, it was becoming increasingly clear she was not happy. I've been there. I know the feeling of knowing you can do more, yet your body just doesn't seem to cooperate. I've had workouts that are hard even though I'd done the same thing with ease many times before.

I know how impossible it is to get out of your own head when you are feeling like that. But ironically, its your head that is making it worse! To me looking at her from the outside, I was nothing short of amazed. I had no idea she was having a bad workout (besides the angry bar throws). Here was this woman repeatedly throwing 105 lbs over her head with perfect form, and she was unable to see just how amazing she is. She finished the workout last, which is unheard of her, and she was PISSED. I guarantee no one thought anything less of her. I guarantee she was harder on herself then anyone could ever be.

It got me to thinking. What am I going to do the next time I find myself wrapped up in my own head, and consequently making things worse? Will I even realize when it is happening to me? I decided I never want to be so out of touch with where I am today, and how far I've come that I will beat myself up like that. I never want to be so unaware of how I could possibly be inspiring someone at the very moment I think I'm sucking my worst. After all, everything is just a matter of perspective.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stanky Leg, I Gotsa Stanky Leg

The title may be lost on you if you are over the age of 16.

Anyway...for the past 4 days I have been fighting the urge to saw my right leg off. I'm not sure what happened, pulled muscle, sore muscle, over-use, I don't know. It doesn't matter really. All I know is that I haven't been able to move normally, and my leg hurts All. The. Time. I would do anything for it to feel normal again, for me to be able to go on doing what I normally do.

Well, it seems that times like this make me realize how I have taken my hard working, never pained legs for granted. How about that 7K two weeks ago? Or last week, when I back-squatted 185 pounds. It seems like a if I was a semi-good high school quarter-back reminiscing about that one play-off game where I threw for an 87 yard touchdown.

I know I will be back to normal eventually. In the mean time, I'm going to relive my "glory days" (2 weeks ago, ha!) with the Bridge to Bridge Race re-cap:

I committed to running the Bridge to Bridge 12K in June. My good friend from high school wanted to celebrate her birthday by running it, and have friends run in it as well. The race took place in San Francisco, so it would be my first travelling race! I told my favorite running buddy (who happens to live in SF) that I would be running that race, and she committed herself and her boyfriend to run in it as well.

As per a re-occurring theme in my life, about a month or so before the race I realized I hadn't really been training as much as I had hoped/envisioned. This also coincided with me joining Crossfit. I didn't really think that one month of Crossfit would make up for, or prepare me for a 12K on nearly zero preparation. However, Crossfit is more of a long-term plan of mine, so I focused more on getting into Crossfit then stressing about a 7.435 mile race. I knew I could run 3 miles, so if I had to walk the rest of the way, that is what I would do.

Two weeks before the race (and with only 7 Crossfit sessions under my belt) I decided to head out for a run at my old faithful Greenlake. I had a great run that I wrote about here. Long story short...I not only ran the whole 3.1 mile outer loop with no trouble, I ran it over 2 minutes faster then my previous standard time 4 months prior! That run gave me so much confidence, and a whole new appreciation for Crossfit. My high school friend e-mailed me informing me she had pulled her groin muscle and wouldn't be running.

I arrived in SF on Saturday, the race was on Sunday. I got to running buddies fogged in apartment, and we spent the day catching up and resting. Running buddy and boyfriend, and me went to dinner where we made an executive decision. Eff the 12K, let's do the 7K. Fine by me! I definitely knew I had a better chance at a 7K then a 12K! We were in bed before 10pm, and up shortly after 6am for the big morning. It was raining. Cold. Typical SF weather. After breakfast, coffee, and a lot of whinning, we headed for the Muni. Running buddy had it all planned out to get us there at the right time, with minimal waiting in the rain, yet enough time for sweat check.

With 30 minutes before the start, and 13 minutes left on the train, we receive word that there is a de-railment in front of us. I follow my local tourguides off the train, as they start to run. RUN!? Before the race? WTF. However, we weren't running fast, and I think it was all downhill, I don't know, it was so easy. We arrived at another transit type stop, and caught a surface street car that would eventually take us where we needed to go. Time was ticking down. Running buddy was stressing. Its cute when she stresses. We got off the street car a few stops early and again ran towards the start. Got the sweats checked...quick bathroom stop...line up...and picture taken:

The sun was breaking through the clouds, and it was actually nice out. We had our cell phones, and my dad was picking us up at the finish. The crowd started moving at a slow crawl. People would break into a run, only to run into the person in front of them. Over and over. The race was a sea of people until after the first mile, then there was some room. I looked at my watch after mile 1: 10:12. WOW. Then my coffee kicked in...had to take a short detour at Pier 39.

I felt good and strong the whole way. There was one short super steep section that I walked up, and then enjoyed the long winding downhill as I reached mile 3. I spotted my dad on his bike, looking for me. He proceeded to ride alongside me for the remained of the race, chatting with me, encouraging me. It was funny. The last .2 miles of the race were uphill. Poor planning in my opinion, but I did it! I even had enough left in me for a burst of speed at the end.

I looked at my watch, 52 minutes. Sub-tract a 4 minute break, and I ran a 7K in 48 minutes. I felt great. More importantly, I felt like I could have gone on for longer. Suddenly, my leg feels better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Running; I've Been Doing it Wrong

I've been meaning to post on this topic for two days now, since I learned two days ago that I have been horribly mistaken on my shoe choices for activities. Greta over at Big-Bottom Blogger beat me to it today, with her post on barefoot running.

During Monday's Crossfit workout, I was to be finding my "max rep" for three movements: back squat, dead-lift, and military press. Before going over the movements with me, the trainer asked me to remove my shoes (I was wearing new running shoes). Not a problem, I love being barefoot. He then proceeded to tell me how running shoes are basically the devil when it comes to form, and go against the natural motion that thousands of years of evolution worked so hard to produce.

He took a section of PVC pipe, and held it upright. He said, "ok, imagine this pipe is your heel/knee/hip all in alignment." He let the pipe hit the floor at a slight angle, as if the bottom of the pipe was a heel hitting the ground. He was placing the pipe down in a forward motion, as most runners do with their legs. When the pipe struck the floor, where did all the energy go? Backwards. Essentially, all these years I thought I had good running form, but instead, with each strike of my heel, I was throwing the brakes on.

I asked what shoes I should be wearing for Crossfit/running. He recommended anything flat; Adidas Sambas, Nike Free's, Puma H-streets, and of course, those ridiculous looking Vibram Five Fingers. I mentioned that I have a high arch, and don't I need support? He then said to me, "what would happen if you walked around all day with a back brace on? Then after years you decided to take it off? What do you think would happen?" So, instead of supporting my arches I have been making them weaker by giving them a crutch. Interesting.

So, I will soon be one of those ridiculous fools wearing those crazy shoes where each toe is defined. Hopefully only in the confines of the gym as to not look like too much of a slave to trends. Apparently not everything new that comes out is a gimmick.

Further reading on this topic, from NPR:

Oh, and I got called up for a face to face interview from Monday's phone interview...Top 2 Baby! Top 2!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Addiction: A Challenge

Many of you know I can not resist a challenge. Apparently my post yesterday struck a cord with someone in blogland, and now they want to have a healthy discussion with me on my "mainstream" view of the term "food addict."

Back in February, I wrote this post about my feelings on the phrase Food Addiction. Upon going back and reading it today, my feelings haven't changed.

Taking a look at the post Michael wrote on his blog today in response to my feelings on Food Addiction, it appears we arguing the semantics of the term, and not the real issue I brought up in my original post.

From today's post Michael writes:
"I acknowledge her position, which is essentially the mainstream view. But it's wrong. I also acknowledge that "food addiction" is a lousy term. Obviously, no one has a blanket "all-food" addiction, because, obviously, those people died out long ago. But "sugar addiction," which I would restate as "refined-sugar" addiction, IS a food addiction. For some people, chocolate is addictive, and that's a food addiction. Some people can't tolerate flour, for biological reasons very similar to refined sugar, and that's a food addiction. For many, including me, volume of food is a food addiction."

I understand that the clip from yesterday's interview with my mom can be taken out of context. However, the real issue I want to bring to the forefront is using the blanket term Food Addiction as an excuse to do nothing about issues one's body may have with certain foods/volume/etc., which fall into the "Food Addiction" category.

Am I/was I a Food Addict by my definition? No. I was/am addicted to refined products. Am I/Was I a Food Addict by Michael's definition? Yes. Because refined sugar and grains are food, therefore I was a Food Addict. Now, I could be making the same mistake Michael did and taking his view out of context. Perhaps if I read his book, he would delve into the greater issue of hiding behind the term Food Addiction as an excuse to do nothing.

I welcome any comments on this matter. I can only write from my experiences, and what I have seen. I am very flattered that someone who has a book coming out on Food Addiction would comment on my blog, and challenge me to a discussion.

Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Paleo Interview

After spending 13 hours in the cab of a moving truck with my mom, followed by 2.5 days of her visiting my home in Seattle, complete with her tagging along with me at my Crossfit mom got many questions answered. If I mush together questions and my responses from the 13 hours + 2.5 days, a nice little interview is born:

(Some questions are paraphrased/recalled from memory, so they may not be entirely acurate)

Mom: How did you hear about this Paleo thing?
Me: Oh, you know, the internet, various sources. I saw a blog post by a girl who crossfit's and began eating Paleo, and I was inspired. (I left out the information about me starting a blog in January, and through the blogging community stumbled upon that one particular post, and Paleo)

Mom: So how much weight have you lost since beginning to eat Paleo?
Me: I really didn't remember, so I think I said "about 20 lbs" After yesterdays weigh in, I see that it is 25lbs.

Mom: Does it bother you when Dave eats food that you can't in front of you?
Me: Nope! That's one of the biggest differences between my behaviors on Paleo and my behaviors on previous attempts at weight loss. On previous attempts, I would be going crazy inside. Jealous, and in near physical pain because I was "being good." Now, its like those foods don't even exist.

Mom: Have you noticed any changes in the way that you think as a result of your different way of eating?
Me: Yes. Absolutely. I have this new clarity around everything...Its hard to explain, but everything that I'm supposed to be doing just got laid out in front of me, like a perfectly paved road. Its as if I got a brain tune-up.

Mom: You must be starving. You haven't eaten in hours.
Me: Eh, not really. I don't get the low-blood sugar grumpiness anymore. Eventually, I will need to eat, yes, but I'm fine for right now.

Mom: Maybe someday you can start incorporating some beans into your diet for some variety.
Me: Maybe. But, I really think that too much variety is another problem all in itself. Sometimes we have too much choice, and that leads to indecision. I'm ok with having less options available to me.

Mom: Do you ever crave stuff?
Me: Not like before I went Paleo. Before Paleo I would crave stuff and HAVE to have it. Sometimes I could put it off for a few days, but I would think about it until I got it. It was nuts.

Mom: Yeah, that's food addiction.
Me: I really have a problem with that term. Its used so frequently and so loosely. Not everyone that is overweight has a food addiction. You need food to live, so its not like drugs or alcohol in which you can give those up and still live. Sugar addiction? Sure. I can believe that one. But the blanket term "food addiction" is really where I have an issue.

Mom: Did you take before pictures of yourself? You should have done that.
Me: No. (lying)

Mom: (Asked on separate occasions throughout the trip) Can you eat oatmeal? Corn? Yogurt?
Me: No. (to each)

Mom: What happens when you do eat something that is off your list?
Me: Within a few hours my allergies (cat and dust) return. A feeling I had become immune to, just thinking it was 'normal.' Now that I am allergy free, when they return, they are incredibly annoying. Enough so that I seriously have to think before eating something with excess sugar or anything with grains.

There you have it. A nice little summary of my Paleo experience coaxed out of me question by question by my mom. It was quite a contrast to my experience home in June, when I was only 10 days into my Paleo experiment, and I was met with skepticism, doubt, and numerous comments about what I should be eating. My mom is so much nicer to me when I'm smaller.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vacation Over

I didn't necessarily mean for my vacation from work to be a vacation from blogging, but it just sort of turned out that way. As a result, I have so much stuff swimming in my head. It feels like I took more than a week break, based on how much stuff happened.

Mega Victories:
Running a 7K in 48 minutes.


Remaining 100% Paleo while out of town (away from my kitchen)
Convincing my stubborn mom that Paleo is a) sustainable and b) good for me
Losing 3 pounds! Plateau over!
Today I Back-squatted 185 pounds, and was told I was "smoking the other girls at the gym" (in back squat)

Driving a 16' moving truck from San Francisco to Seattle in 13 hours sans accidents/tickets
Making delicious birthday cupcakes for my boyfriend and only eating 2
Making it to 4 Crossfit sessions while on vacation (it should be noted that the gym is next to my work)
Seeing the huge Paleo success my brother in law is having...he and my sister cooked this Paleo meal for my mom and I:

Playing 2 hours of football with my friends and not being sore one bit the next day
Successful first meeting of my mom and boyfriends parents
Ate at many restaurants when my mom was in town visiting...remained mostly Paleo.
Had a phone interview for a job today, I was one of 8 people out of 40 that applied that got a phone interview. We'll see if I get selected for an in-person interview.
Visiting new locations in Washington:

I have so much blog reading to catch up on!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boys are Gross

This week has been a whirlwind of busy. I can't say I'm not to blame, because I'm the queen of procrastinating, but seriously, I need there to be two Fridays this week. Or two Thurdays (today?! yikes!). I'm leaving town on Saturday morning, and when I arrive back in Seattle on Tuesday, my mom will be with me, seeing my house for the first time.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with "the mom clean." You know, the one you ONLY do when you know your mom is coming up? Because she raised you good? Last time she was visiting and I still lived in my condo, I caught her running a long spatula under my stove, past where the broom can reach (presumably looking for dust bunnies?) She says she dropped one of her vitamins down there...but I'm skeptical. Luckily, I passed that test with flying colors (boyfriend is a great mom cleaner).

The mom clean can be daunting enough as it is, however I decided that there were some nice little projects I wanted done around the house before she came up. Things like, tiling the bedroom, painting the bedroom, painting the front door, etc. Well, somehow those all got pushed to this week as well. That's enough to do if you don't count my job (boss really likes to pile it on before a vacay), my homeowner association duties (the monthly meeting has to fall this week), gym time (didn't miss a day), and all the other little errands I need to do before I leave (shopping, haircut, etc.)

So yeah, slammed. However, as Saturday quickly approaches, I realize there is only so much I can do. In true to my style, I decide to throw another monkey into the wrench, or wrench into the monkey? I bought a refrigerator on Tuesday. It will be delivered the same day my mom and I are arriving (after our 2nd day of driving from San Francisco). It was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. But even fridge buying takes up precious time I didn't have. I sacrificed a trip to the hardware store that only sells the cabinet pulls we have. We need 12 more pulls, and the store has been out of stock for weeks, and the best they can do is say "just keep stopping by to see if they are in."

So, I buy the fridge, and realize I have an hour and a half to kill before a homeowners meeting that is right around the corner. I don't want to go back home, so I decide to take a walk around Greenlake, which is close. I had my gym clothes in the car from the morning, and was wearing a shirt with a sweater over it, I could just take my sweater off and be ready to walk.

I pull my running tights on under my skirt in the parking lot, and take my skirt off. I take my sweater off, and tie up my shoes. I start walking down around the lake, and about 10 steps in, a man was running towards me. He was just staring at me. Well, not at me, but at my breasts. That's when I remembered. The shirt I was wearing was kinda sheer, and although it was dark purple in color, in the daylight I bet my boobs made the shirt pull forward enough to be see-through! I immediately turned around, went to my car and put my t-shirt from my morning workout on over the sheer shirt. I'm SO glad that guy had the courtesy to stare me down when I was only 20 feet from my car.

I'm more grossed out by the fact that just by the look on his face I could tell that he could see through my shirt. Boys are gross. Ok...break time over. Back to work.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Introducing the "L-Sit"

Today may have been my hardest day at Crossfit thus far, not counting my first day that is, because first days are always the hardest. There were a few moments I was unsure if I would be able to finish my workout, as the way it was set up, the less strong you were, the longer the workout took.

We had to complete 3 minutes of the "L-sit"

Of course, there is no way I (or anyone that was working out with me today) could do that for 3 uninterrupted minutes. So, each time we "dropped" we had to do 5 burpees.


Let's just say I had to do A LOT of burpees, and even now, at 2:30pm 6 hours after my workout, my hair in a bun is still damp from sweat. However, I DID manage to do 3 minutes of the L-sit (well, modified) after 18 minutes, 51 seconds. So, that means I basically did 15 minutes of burpees. I wonder if my arms will be functional tomorrow?

Do I still like Crossfit? HELL YES. Although...ask me tomorrow. Ha ha.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Want to be a Billionaire, So Fricken Bad

I'm guilty of letting the "less-Paleo" moments come more and more frequently. Forget starting on the slippery slope, I'm at the bottom of the hill. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but it just seems as though lately I keep giving myself permission to not be the best I can be. I don't know what causes this phenomenon in me, but I can say with 100% certainty that it is the phenomenon that has contributed to my life-long struggle with my weight.

I know there are so many other people out there that struggle with this same phenomenon. I read it nearly everyday on various blog sites...its cyclical almost. Some bloggers are new and gung-ho (invincible!), some are settled into a routine (losses slowing...getting bored), and others have become comfortable and therefore have been "slipping up" more and more often (denial). In the 9 months I have been keeping this blog, how many times have you seen me in one of these various states? I know I have hit every single one at least once, if not multiple times.

If you have been at this for awhile like I have, the cycles become very familiar. I know what I'm supposed to do, and what I'm not supposed to do, yet, something compels me to rebel. The best way I can describe it is that I give myself permission to not be the best I can be. In my head, I'm backed up by my success over the past few months, I feel that it is "ok" to cheat. And the cheats come faster and faster. This has nothing to do with my diet not being sustainable, or because I'm lazy, or because I'm stressing out over something in my life. I think it may have to do with fear? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being great? I don't know, but if I ever figure it out, I'm going to be richer then Bill Gates. If anyone could figure out why fat people can't "just do what they are supposed to do for as long as they need to do it" there would not be a bazillion dollar weight loss industry. Just as the credit default swaps bet on people not paying their mortgages, the folks behind The South Beach Diet, or Weight Watchers, or P90X are betting, HOPING that I fail so I buy more shit (too bad suckers!).

Luckily, I've learned a whole bunch. Not everything, but a lot. I do know that if I don't do something fast, I'm going to sit at this weight for a long time, and then eventually go right back to where I was 9 months ago. What I need to remember is that there are things I can not eat. Ever. Its going to take practice, and that's what I'm chalking this little cycle up to- PRACTICE.

However, that does not change the underlying fact that I need to be better. I have seen great success in so many aspects of my life by eliminating grains, sugar, dairy, legumes, and alcohol. I have to accept that I can not drink an occasional beer. I can not eat a Larabar everyday. My diet must consist mostly of high quality protein, veggies, and healthy fats.

I'm revisiting my Eulogy post today, because I need to get back to the mind-set I was at when I wrote it. The day before I went Paleo.