Monday, June 11, 2012

Birthday Week Appreciation

In the past week or so, the following has happened (not necessarily in order):
1) I found my wedding dress
2) I turned 33
3) I had the hardest workout at CrossFit to date (mentally and physically)
4) I came the closest I've ever come to getting a kipping pull-up- I was probably still about 6" from getting my chin over the bar, but that is a huge improvement- trust me. Must work on them more...
5) I ate bread (at my birthday dinner) it was amazing
6) Changed our wedding venue to the west coast (our backyard!)
7) I ran 2 miles with a 9 min/something per mile pace. Pretty sure I'm ready for my sub 30min 5K
8) I biked 11.5 miles in 45 minutes (mountain bike, flat path)
9) I ate a corn dog at a baseball game, drank a bunch of wine, and watched the Mariners get their third ever no-hitter

Intermittent fasting and me are still really good friends. I think I've been at this long enough to say that I don't enjoy the fasted workouts, at all, however; I LOVE everything else about this program. I love the ease in which it fits into my schedule. I love the mental clarity, the deep sleep, the lack of interest in foods that normally trigger me, the muscle retention, the energy, EVERYTHING. Its great. In a few weeks I'll be at my first "check point" in which I'll be testing my deadlift, pull-up, and OH squat to see if there are improvements. The check point will also signify 9 weeks of IF, so I'll take a look at my program and determine if I need to make any tweeks (macro nutrient adjustments, caloric adjustments, etc.)

Birthday week meant some less than stellar food choices and some downright nutrient lacking food choices (ahem, see #9), but I can say with total confidence that this birthday I'm smaller and stronger than I was last year. I'm very happy with all that my body is capable of at the moment, and I try soooo hard not to take it for granted. A perfect example of this took place on Saturday. I was home resting off a slight hangover from the baseball game birthday week debauchery, giddy in the fact that Netflix FINALLY put Dawson's Creek on their stream, and then I noticed I had a voicemail. Weird, didn't hear my phone ring? So I listened and it was my friends inviting me to a informal dinner/hang out in an hour. My house is quite north of where the get together was taking place, and the bf deluxe has the car to take to work on Saturdays. Normally if I know of something in advance, I'll borrow the car for the day. But, since this was kind of last minute, I was marooned up at my home. Without even giving it a second thought I grabbed my backpack, change of clothes, bike, helmet, and walked out the door.

As I was riding on the bike trail that is essentially a hill-free expressway to many major areas in Seattle, and accessible less than a mile from my house, I thought of how much things have changed. First of all, there was no thought about riding my bike. It just was the way to get myself from my house to my friends- as if there was no other option. I don't know how else to explain it, I grabbed my bike in the same manner in which I would have grabbed my keys if my car was in the driveway. Last year, I might have thought about which bus routes would get me there, or decline because it was so last minute and I didn't have a car. Second, when I was actually on my bike, riding it, even though I don't ride it very often, it wasn't hard. I was just going, riding my bike to meet my friends, as a means of transport. This wasn't a planned ride, or even for exercise. In fact, Saturday was supposed to be a rest day for me. Just me, on a bike, riding. Lastly, while riding I quickly made a mental note of everything that had just happened to get me to be on that trail and realized how fortunate I am. My legs and lungs have the ability to just head out the door for an 11 mile bike ride at a 15mph pace like its no big deal (and it wasn't?). My brain pathways seem to have replace lazy options with ones that require activity.

I think the last sentence of the above paragraph is important for several reasons. When I was eating the standard American diet (feeling so crappy but didn't even know it) I would force myself to do things because I "knew it was good for me" but it was always a chore. Always so much thought had to go into something as simple as walking a mile to the grocery store, or heaven forbid I do anything active in addition my 20 minute shred video! I always wanted to be someone constantly on the move, jumping from one activity to the next, yet there was somehow a disconnect between what I wanted to be doing and what I was actually doing. While the past 2 years haven't been a smooth transition from the standard American diet to the way I eat now, I see evidence of a major shift in my brain. I no longer think about activity in addition to my workout as being a chore, or any activity for that matter. I just do it, without any thought. I have so much more energy and strength, life is easier.

To me, this realization means success. I started out just wanting to lose weight. I see now that what I really wanted was an easier life. I wanted to just be able to do things without so much mental and physical effort being exerted. So by figuring out the best way for me to eat, the mental struggle with food choices has disapated. By kicking my butt at CrossFit I've got the strength and stamina to do just about anything, so the mental struggle with activity has disapated. My life has slowly become less of a struggle and more of I do appreciate this, and while I'm still going to be hard on myself for not being able to do a pull-up yet, I see how far I've come. Happy Birthday to me!

Here's a set of pictures with one if my BFF's...1) June 2009 post 1/2 marathon- largest I've been?
2) June 2012- wedding dress shopping.


  1. Sounds like a great bunch of birthday week stuff and a great time to look back on all the positive changes in yourself, inside and out!!! :)

  2. ZOMG you (we) look so great! I can't believe it's been 3 years since that race.