Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Sweet Spot

I have officially reached what I like to call "the sweet spot." After 2 weeks of clean eating (no refined foods, no added sugar, no grains, no legumes, very little dairy) and NO CHEATS, I have persevered past the headaches, cravings, and hunger. How do I know when I reach the sweet spot? I no longer think or care about food. It just becomes something I do because I know I should instead of an exciting event. I can look at sugary delicious treats and not even want them. Most of all, I can go for HOURS without eating and not be grouchy, wanting to rip someone's head off.

Getting here is not easy, but once here, its SO worth it. What else happens when I'm in the sweet spot? Its like all the stars in my universe align. Good things just start happening. I feel better, stronger, smarter, funnier, prettier, faster, and every other "er" there is.

Like yesterday, I was at the gym, and all of a sudden I was able to do double unders (jumping rope passing the rope under twice with each jump). I've been trying to do those for 6 months. Also, my toes are so close to getting to the bar, someone actually commented on how much progress I have made. In addition, I am now strong enough to do pull-ups with a giant rubber band. I did 65 band assisted pull-ups on Tuesday, and I'm still so sore in places I didn't know I had...proof that I was using something new with the pull-ups that needs to get stronger. Its weird how sometimes you have to get stronger to get a better work out.

Anyway, I was so truly flattered by how this person noticed all the progress I have made since day one, it has been a huge motivator to stay on track. I want to win this nutrition challenge, but I also want to continue to see what the universe has in store for me as I continue to hang out in the sweet spot.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why Do I Feel So Good?

Oh, right! That would be because today is the first day in a week that I woke up and I wasn't sore. It is strange, when you wake up and immediately feel amazing, but can't put your finger on it. Then, as I was doing my usual yawn/stretch thing before I motivated to get out from under the covers, it hit me. I was no longer sore! My hamstrings felt normal. My abs felt fine. My shoulders felt relaxed, you get the point.

Last week was a hard week for me. It felt like all of our gym workouts were on steroids, and couple that with trying to be a perfect vision of Paleo eating, it led to one tired chica! Instead of each day passing mindlessly, I felt like I was stuck in each moment. Time stood still as I waited to eat my next protein rich, carb-less meal. Once meal time passed I was waiting to go to CrossFit. The moments in between my meals and working out I tried to fill with work and sleep and other things that usually distract me, but for some reason, all I could focus on this week was my current nutrition challenge, and how I need to WIN.

This is how it works for me. When I'm in the "zone" all my thoughts are consumed by what I need to do next to stay on track. I need to be obsessed for a few weeks until it becomes second nature, and I can start to think about other things, like work, etc. Right now, this is the most important thing I have going on in my life. Taking care of myself, and becoming the me that I want to be.

I had an incredibly successful week regarding my eating. I feel like my performance at CrossFit is not quite up to where it should be, but I'll keep working on that. I've been trying to run a mile after each workout with "The Mile Cool Down Club" and I think I need to spend just a few minutes each day working on skills that I haven't mastered yet (pull ups!).

Why does time have to go so slow when you want things, and go so fast when you don't?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is Hard

I want to preface this post by saying I don't believe in quick fixes. Never have. I understand that having a lot of weight to lose is complicated. One's approach to losing that weight is going to be as unique as the situation that got them into that position in the first place.

But really? Gastric by-pass or lap band surgery for an individual that has no medical reasons for not being able to lose weight on their own infuriates me! Yes, I see it as a cop out. Yes, I see it as cheating.

Anyone that has tried for years to lose weight knows that its not easy. Its not even CLOSE to easy, which is why people spend years trying! I'm just fired up about this because the past few days have been really hard for me. I've been so good sticking with my Paleo lifestyle, passing up the delicious catered desserts at work, cinnamon rolls, boyfriends father's birthday cake, etc., etc. Last night I was so hungry I wanted to eat my hand. THIS IS HARD. But I know it will pass. Another week of eating so good like this, and my body will transform into a machine. I already feel really good about my decisions, and the temptations are getting easier to pass up each time.

And then I think about someone who got to take the easy road. Someone that just had to shell out a few bucks and recover from surgery. How is that learning? How can someone be proud of that? How does that even count?

I'm sure this is just my grouchy stomach talking. Give me a week, and I'll have less hate towards things I can't control that have no effect on me whatsoever. Ha!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Climbed This:

And believe it or not, it was actually harder then it looks. Is that possible? I don't think my lungs have ever felt like they were on fire with thousands of pins sticking them simultaneously, and bleeding. I imagine its how it feels if you've never done any exercise in your life, and then try to run a mile. The only problem? I have done exercise my whole life.

I had this great game plan, so I thought...I would jog the first 20 floors (out of 73) and then pace myself for the next 30- 40, and then jog at the end. Yeah...that lasted all of about 2 minutes, until I got to floor 5? 7? Definitely before floor 10, and a 12 year old kid in a leg cast passed me. I walked the rest of the way, taking every water break, and letting numerous people pass. I'm pretty sure the fireman on the 70th floor (when I had 3 floors left) thought I was going to pass out because he walked me up the last 3 floors. Embarrassing!

Anyway, I'm so glad I did it. I raised a lot of money for a good cause. Oh, the best part? The view from the top:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Everything is Bigger in Texas!

Including me! I returned late Thursday night from Texas. I felt bloated and tired of eating food cooked in a restaurant. I dreaded stepping on the scale Friday morning, but I did. I was up 2 pounds. Considering what I ate (oh, and I remember EVERYTHING because I had to write it all down for my current nutrition challenge) I saw this as a huge victory.

Friday I spent the day diligently eating protein, salad, and healthy fat. I went to CrossFit for the first time in a week, and WOW, that kicked my butt. It felt so good to be back in my routine again. Just as returning home from a vacation is the best part of going away, returning to my routine is the best part about taking a break from one!

I weighed myself again on Saturday morning, and I was down 1.8 pounds. I consider that another HUGE victory. It took only one day to erase all the Texas damage. For any low-carb skeptics still out there, it really works.

Today I'm headed downtown to climb 1,311 steps. I will be scaling the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Seattle. I'm hoping I can still walk tomorrow!

I might be back later to recap the climb. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nutrition Challenge, Take 2

For the month of February, my gym was having a nutrition challenge. It didn't have much participation, and certainly from my posts I mentioned I was not 100% in the game. So, what did I do? Found another nutrition challenge to sign up for.

My friend works out at a different CrossFit...a fancy, well established CrossFit (actually it was the first CrossFit affiliate) anyway, she told me that her gym was running a 7 week challenge and that I was more than welcome to participate. It feels kinda weird doing something like this with another gym. Like I'm cheating on my gym or something. But then I remember that the goal is a common one- eat better, perform better. I'm in this for me.

The challenge begins on Monday, March 14th. Currently, I'm on a plane to Texas (wifi onboard!) returning March 18th. I had to go into the other gym and take my "before" pictures. No weigh in, not body composition tests, just pictures determine the winner. We also have to submit weekly food logs. The winner is determined by a panel of judges that vote on the biggest change between the before picture and the after picture. Maybe I should have read what I was wearing in the picture before going?

The nice lady at the foreign gym takes me into the bathroom with a camera-again, this should have been a red flag! We talk about the rules, she asks for my money, and then tells me to take my shirt off (I was wearing shorts). Gulp. Did I just pay someone to watch me take my shirt off? Something is backwards. So there I am, in a sports bra and short running shorts. I was not expecting this. She takes a picture from the front, the side, and back. It was over fast, but wow, had I known I would be taking my shirt off, I might have tried to do something like not eat for 2 days before, or apply self-tanner.

After pictures were over we had a 20 minute conversation (still in the bathroom reeking of bleach) about my Paleo experience. It felt so good to talk to someone who "gets" it. I told her about my weight loss and allergy cure. I told her about how good I felt. It was like therapy.

I left the foreign gym feeling pretty good. The half naked picture is really good incentive for me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Back

I don't even know how to form the post I have swirling in my head into something readable, or understandable. In the past 9 months, my perspective has changed so much on food, exercise, weight, strength, health, and what I want for myself. I have a hard time reading the blogs I used to read everyday for support/ideas. Mostly because in the last 9 months I've learned that the whole eat less exercise more thing is bullshit.

I've learned that hormones, and nothing else is responsible for fat storage/fat loss on the body. I've learned that exercise has no effect on fat loss, and actually exercise burns lean muscle mass first, and makes you hungry. I've learned that in order to really get a handle on my cravings and my insane thoughts about food is to keep my insulin level as stable as possible (by eating foods that do not change insulin levels - protein and fat). I've learned that all the diseases of civilization are tied to spikes of blood sugar and the associated over-release of insulin. I've learned that I have an intolerance to gluten.

So you think with all this knowledge, I'd be losing fat like crazy, and making huge gains towards my fitness/strength goals. Well, its not that simple. I've spent the past 3 months stuck around the same 4 pound range because? I don't know why. I mean, I know why-I've been eating just enough crap to not get too crazy, and then eating how I should just long enough to make progress, only to eat more crap again. But I don't know why I keep holding myself back. Getting smaller is a mindfuck for sure. It takes time to process a new body. And I want to make sure this time, these methods that are all new information to me, stick.

This past week was the first week in three months that I was 100%. I was so good, and it reaffirmed what I already knew...I can do this. This is what I want to do, and this is how I want to do it. I'm done adjusting and convincing myself. I'm done researching. The weekly weigh-ins will be back. The progress pics will continue. I'm back.