Monday, July 30, 2012

Mt. Si, Check.

Update on my 60 days to pull-up challenge- still going well. I have managed to average 100 Kb swings/day in addition to my normal workouts 6 days last week. So, for the past 15 days, I've been right on track with my Kb swing plan, and have performed 1,135 Kb swings since July 15th. Yesterday I did 100 USA swings (Kb overhead) in 5 sets of 20, then followed that by 100 Russian swings (Kb to eye level) in 3 sets of 33. My forearms were smoked. I then practiced some Kb clean and jerks, and jumped up on top of my 24" retaining wall box-jump style just to keep the fear at bay.

Saturday was a fun day for me, I was able to cross a local hike off my bucket list. There is a mountain about 45 minutes away, and it's a killer at 3,100ft of elevation gain over 4 miles. A couple of girlfriends and I decided we wanted to scramble up the in the morning before the crowds hit, and then shop at the outlet mall at the base of the mountain when we were done. This is the type of event that at one time would have sent panic running through me. Or worse yet, this is the type of event that I used to delude myself into thinking I could keep up at, and then realize very quickly how out of shape I was. It was these types of events that would make me realize just how different I was from my peers. They could just "decide" to go for a steep 4 mile hike and do it, in their cute little shorts or spandex, and then shop for super cute clothes afterwards that all fit perfectly.

On the way out to the hike, self-conscious of how much bigger my thighs looked in my Lululemon spandies compared to the girl next to me in the back seat, I wondered how I would fare going up the mountain. Would I be able to hang with the group? Would my near 2 years of crossfitting be evident? How fast did they plan on hiking up? Would I be huffing and puffing and lagging 20 feet behind the others? There was so much unknown. It was a clear day at the base of the mountain, but the very top was shrouded in clouds. The trail was well maintained switchbacks, and heavily forested. The temperature was slightly cool, perfect for hiking. The trail started out tough, and never let up. In fact, the last 1/4 of a mile was probably the worst part. If it weren't for the obvious terrain change, and other signs of being near to the top, I'm not sure I would have had the steam to finish. But I did, we all did, and when we got to the top, we couldn't see anything. It was still a great hike, but usually my reward is the view, and without that, it almost might as well have been a workout on the stairmaster. Ok, not quite, but I was pretty bummed that the clouds hadn't lifted by the time we got up there. We made it to the top in just under 2 hours, 1 hour 50 minutes, which for 4 miles and over 3,000 feet of elevation change, is pretty good. The husband of one of my friends made sure we timed ourselves because he said he's going to go out and halve our time (good luck with that!).

I was able to hang just fine with the girls. In fact, I wasn't even the most lagging one. I wasn't the fastest, either. I found the way down to be way more difficult on me because it engaged my sore-from-the-week quads. I did the hike fasted, and didn't bring nearly enough water with me. I could feel my body using every single one of its last energy stores- which is probably a great thing, since I hopefully forced my body into using up some of its fat? However, I definitely passed a tipping point and felt lethargic. Next time I think I'll plan better. We refueled at a cute little bar and grill, and then hit up the outlets, where I scored lots of deals. I only bought workout clothes, since that is what I seem to spend the majority of my time in these days. I got a pair of pink running tights, 2 pairs of shorts, and 2 dry-fit shirts for $60. Pretty good deal! I'm excited to wear my new shorts today.

Here is a quick photo I snapped on the way down:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Pretty much right after I typed yesterday's post, I knew exactly what I was going to do. Even as I typed out the phrase "I don't know of an immediate fix..." I knew what I was going to do. It was about 3pm, I pulled my still damp gym clothes from my gym bag and laid them out around my desk to hopefully dry somewhat. I had a homeowners meeting to attend at 6:30pm, and I could either leave work at my normal 4:30 time and head home to let the pooch out and grab a bite to eat, or I could head back to the gym for the 5pm class and take another crack at that 24" box, then go straight to the meeting, grabbing something to eat along the way.

I just couldn't get it out of my head that I had the ability. I knew I could do it. I HAD to go back. I knew if I didn't go back and just get it over with last night, the next time I was staring down a 24" box, it would be the same thing all over again. I seriously had 1,000 reasons to tell myself of why I could do it, and only fear to tell me that I couldn't. Then, like a sign from above, I was checking my FB feed, and there was a picture with Arnold Schwarznegger in all his body building glory on one of the fitness pages I stalk, with a quote that read "Good things don't happen by conicidence. Every dream carries with it certain risks, especially the risk of failure. But I am not stopped by risks. Suppose a great person takes the risk and fails. Then the person must try again. You cannot fail forever. If you try ten times, you have a better chance of making it on the eleventh try than if you didn't try at all." As the hours went by since my noon time suck workout, I started to feel better. The tightness in my back from all the kettbell swings lately was relieved (probably thanks to the 30 (pretty sad) power snatches @85# at noon), it was like my body was finally waking up. My muscles felt warmed up, loose, and I knew that I was going get that 24" box jump if it killed me. I texted fave trainer and asked if she would be coaching, she replied "yesm." All the stars were aligning for me.

At a few minutes to 5pm, I shut down my computer, put on my slightly less damp workout clothes, downed some BCAA's and headed for the gym. The 5pm class is a little different from the noon class. The noon class has a lot of regulars, and usually contains some pretty athletic people, as in, they have coordination and natural ability from other sports, but haven't necessarily been crossfitting for long. The 5pm class is usually a mish-mosh of first dayers, or people that couldn't attend their "regular" class time. I've yet to see the same people there at 5pm. made for a way less intimidating class.

During the warm-up it was confirmed that I was feeling much better than I was at noon. Everything was just working better. I wasn't as stiff, I just felt good. Maybe I need to start working out 2x a day more? Then it was time to grab the boxes and start jumping on them. I grabbed the 20" box, jumped on it once, then grabbed a 45# plate (3.5 inches I was informed) to put on top. I jumped on that no problem. I then grabbed another 45# plate to stack on top, for a total of 27." That's where I froze. I removed the second 45# plate and jumped on the 23.5" height. Confident I could do that, I put the second 45# plate back on. Freeze. This pattern repeated itself a few times, and then coach brought over a 25# plate (2") and stacked that on top of the first 45#'er. So, I was looking at 25.5" and I jumped it no problem. Then I replaced the 25#'er with the 45# plate again, and just jumped. I made it. 27." Now, by crossfit standards, this is not really that great. BUT...for me, I struggle with box jumps so much, they are such a mental thing for me. I'm absolutely sure that I made it with room to spare. I was so happy. I turned to coach and said "ok, I can go home now." But, I was still jumping on a 20" box, just with plates stacked on top. I still needed to conquer the 24" box. So I walked over to one of the 24" boxes, stared at it, and jumped. I made it. It was nothing. Once again...way worse in my head then actually doing it.

So now, I think maybe before class, I'll practice my 24" box jumps. Just 1 or 2, getting comfortable with that height, because I know I can do it, I HAVE done it.

After the box jump session, I did a repeat of the noon workout: 3 rounds of 10 power snatches, 10 lateral box jumps, 10 toes to bar. At noon, I did 85# for my snatch weight. I got through them, but they were not pretty. The noon coach had us jump over our barbells laterally instead of jumping on boxes laterally, which sucked, and then my toes to bar were more like toes to hips. At noon, it took me 11:00 minutes to finish.

At 5pm, I chose 75# as my snatch weight, stacked plates 14" high to do my lateral box jumps, and my toes to bar were actually toes to bar or toes to neck. I worked my ass off. I could string together way more snatches at 75# then at 85#, and I don't even know how my toes kept getting so high each time. I finished in 9:29, and I was DRIPPING sweat. There was such a huge difference in that workout compared to my noon workout...The only way I can describe it is redemption. Pure redemption.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fear and Ability

Today at the gym sucked. My head is currently stuck in a wormhole and I can't shake the bad attidude. I'm frustrated with myself, and I'm letting it get the best of me. I'm most upset because the reason why the gym sucked so bad today was due to fear, not ability. Ability you either have, or you can obtain. If you don't have the ability yet, you can practice, train, and give it time. But overcoming fear...well, that depends.

Its been a long time since I've felt this way. I felt like every single person in the gym today crossed the street and was playing in some awesome water park with puppies and ice cream, and I was stuck on the otherside of the road worried that I would get hit by a car. I recieved words of encouragement, from the people with ice cream all over their face, so would stick my toe into the road, and then, freeze. I. JUST. COULDN'T. DO. IT.

Meet the 24" box. AKA, my biggest fear? I can jump on the 20" box all day. I can jump onto the 20" box with a 45# (3") plate on it (23") with tons of room to spare (according to people watching). But the 24" box? Can't do it. I stare it down. I get ready, and then I freeze. Meanwhile, all the other kids in class were jumping on stuff 27"- 45." Its not that I can't jump that high, its that something in me won't. Its so frustrating. I know I just need to get over it and do it. Watching everyone else jump on higher things then me, I was last. Everyone (even the new people that just started) were doing something that I couldn't and it sucked. Like I said, I haven't felt like that in awhile. But more importantly, I don't know of an immediate fix?

So I felt discouraged. Helpless. Like all I do all day is useless and I might as well just go eat donuts. Crazy right? I mean, I'm focusing on one, stupid, tiny, thing and letting it dictate my mood? I know the reason why I'm most upset is because I have the ability. I am capable, yet I let my head talk me out of it.

How do you shut your brain off? How do you recover from a situation where you did not give 100%? Anyone?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kb Swings and People Saying it Better Than Me

On Sunday, July 15th, I started my 60 day to a pull-up self challenge. As of last night, I have followed through with my additional 100 Kb swings (35#) in the evening (5 days in a row! Someone STOP ME!). Seriously though, adding 100 Kb swings to my day takes 5 minutes. I'm thinking next week I might bump it up to 200 Kb swings, you know, because I can spare 10 minutes. I just realized that the end of the 60 days is going to coincide with my 2 year anniversary of CrossFit. How awesome would it be to get my first pull-up (ever in life) before that anniversary? I think it is yet another powerful motivator. Rest assured, I will video my pull-up when I get it, and post it for the world to see.

My eating during those five days was mostly spot on as well, and yesterday I just felt skinny (relative, for me). I felt so skinny that I proceeded to get dinner out at our favorite BBQ place, but I didn't eat until full. It took considerable strength, but I stopped at 2 small ribs and a few bites of greens, satisfied, but definitely not anywhere close to full. When we got back home, I took 5 minutes to do my Kb swings, and then I proceeded to drink many, many, many bottles of hard cider. Why? Because its delicious and I was feeling skinny. Some drunken popcorn was consumed. I woke up feeling not my greatest. Weird.

Today I'm back at it with my morning continued fast, I've only had some BCAA's, and I brought a protein packed lunch to eat post workout. I'm going to a wedding tomorrow, and I'm wearing that short dress I posted a pic of a few weeks ago for that other wedding I attended, I don't want to feel all gross. I plan to keep my alcohol consumption to a bare minimum as well, luckily it sounds like the event will be ending fairly early.

I read a real eye-opening piece yesterday on Mr. Nikoley's blog- Free the Animal (linked to the right). It was about grains, vegetarians vs. vegans, and nutrient density. He really does a great job of explaining the most hated phrase/comment/criticism that anyone who has ever thought about/tried/adopted a paleo diet hears "but whole grains are healthy and essential, how could you possibly eliminate those from your diet and call it healthy?" I tried in vain at first to explain to people that grains contain things that errode your stomach lining so that you leech out any nutrients you are recieving. I explained that many people have gluten sensitivities and don't even know it, and by continuing to eat gluten, your body may not be performing at its best (like how I had bad allergies until I ditched the gluten). I also explained that grains (especially refined ones) spike your blood sugar and then that results in an outpouring of insulin. The spike of blood sugar and crash of insulin pattern can be related to many, many issues (google hyperinsulinemia side effects).

BUT...that usually wasn't enough to convince people of why I chose not to eat grains. I still got the blank stares, and the "I could nevers!"

So in his last post, Nikoley does something phenomenal. He breaks down a mostly grain based diet (vegetarian) and compares it to a diet containing meat (specifically paleo) and shows you what exactly you are getting on a NUTRIENT level by eating what you eat. If you don't take the time to click over there and read it (well, well, worth it) the gist is that basically grains contain no nutrition.

There is absolutely NOTHING one can get by eating grains that they can't get by eating something else, and usually that something else is nutrient packed. Don't believe me? Then why is your loaf of "whole grain bread" fortified with vitamins? Pretty sure eating a spinach salad would get you more nutrition, for much less of the caloric energy. Huh. Food for thought. I hope.

His post is here:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

FML Instagram Ideas

One of the people I follow on Instagram (@hungryfitness) had this great? idea to do 10,000 kettlebell swings in 10 days. This is the kind of bad-assery that appeals greatly to me. I think she found a few other people to join her as well (@petitefi), and well, if you see the pictures of these ladies on Instagram, you will see why it probably isn't hard for them to get followers to do as they do. This is something I'd really like to work up to, so that is where I got the idea for my bonus PM workout during my 60 days to a pull-up. Today is day 58 btw- going strong!!! Lol.

Since I already have a pretty set workout schedule (CrossFit beating at noon), and I know that 1,000 kettlebell swings would probably take me upwards of an hour, rip my hands apart, and make me immobile, I figured should just scale it back a little. Hence my 101 swings the other night. Funny thing about life...our workout at the gym today involves 300 Kb swings!!! I'll be doing an additional 100 tonight, so who knows, maybe someday I could participate in a 1,000 Kb swings/day challenge.

Eitherway, I'm excited to see what adding 100 Kb swings/day (or similar) for 60 days does for me. Will I have a noticeable increase in strength/stamina/grip strength? Will I get my pull-up? Well, of course I'm going to get my pull-up. But, still curious to see what happens.

Yesterday, inspired by the CrossFit Games I'm sure, we did yoke walks. Oh, what's that? You've never heard of the CrossFit Games ( Its basically the Olympics of CrossFit. There are individual male and female winners, and also a team component. For 4 days, athletes perform crazy workouts, battling it out for the title of "Fittest Person on Earth." Kinda cheesy, and also, I do want to point out that there are all sorts of different ways to measure fitness, not just CrossFit. CrossFit is unique in that there is no specializing in one event, so the theory is one is more prepared for the unknown, and hence "most fit." Anyway you look at it, there are amazing feats of strength and stamina going on. However, are the winners more fit than Michael Phelps or Serena Williams? That is to be debated.

The cool thing about the CrossFit games is that anyone is welcome to try out to get to the games. The "open competition" began in February with hundreds of thousands of people from around the world throwing their name into the ring. Workouts were announced each week, and then people had a few days to perform the workout and submit their verified scores to the website for ranking. The top 60 men, women, and teams went to the respective Regionals for their territory. One of the trainers (the girl trainer) at my gym was on a team that made it to the Northwest Regionals here in Washington. It was so bad ass to watch her perform, and get text message updates on how she was doing. The top 3 male, female, and teams from each Region get to go to the games. Her team placed 4th by ONE point. ONE point. Even with being that close, she and her team had the best attitude and were excited to have performed that well. Two weeks before the CrossFit Games, her team got a call saying that the 3rd place team at Regionals failed their drug test, and that her team would be going to the GAMES. HOLY CRAP. My trainer, going to the CrossFit Olympics!!!!

One of the events at the games this year was a yoke walk. You load up a rack with ridiculous weight step under it like you would a back squat, and carry the thing as far as you can. Yesterday, we loaded up bars, set them on our backs, and hurriedly walked to the other side of the gym where we could set them down. The idea was to figure out the maximum amount of weight you could carry one length of the gym (20m?). I got up to 265#, and was pretty happy with that. It was my little slice of the games. Ha. I do hope to compete in the open this coming year, especially if I have my pull-ups dialed in by then. The team my trainer was on placed 20th out of 40ish teams. Pretty awesome, but if you know her, its not surprising.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Enough Monkey Business

I'm giving myself a deadline for my pull-up.  60 days.  Starting yesterday.  I've got my kip swing down, now I'm working on driving the energy from my hips upwards to launch me up and above the bar.  I just realized that I had a slight fear of letting my hands come off the bar. during the swing  I was holding on with a death grip, and now, I'm much more comfortable.  I swing and make sure my hands get some air between them and the bar, this means I'm making myself "weightless" for a few seconds, and also the time my pull-up will occur when I finally get it.  I'm close.  It's time for me to stop effing around and just get it done already.

So, what is my plan for the next 58 days?  1) Continue intermittent fasting, 2) increase protein, increase vegetable consumption, reduce simple carb intake, 3) resume my fish oil taking at night- been slacking on this! 4) Bonus pm workout.  

Yesterday I did 101 kettlebell swings before bed- 10 swings every minute on the minute for 10 minutes (plus one for good luck).  Today I just did 100 push-ups using the same format.  I'm going to focus on upper body and core movements for my bonus workout.  I might alternate Kb swings and push-ups for a little while, then add in some hollow rocks, jack knife push-ups, handstands, chair dips, and Kb snatches/push press/jerks. 

Whatever it is, it will be no less than 100 reps. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Saying Better Than Me

This is what I wish I could say, but lack the time, energy, and focus. Oh, not to mention the brain power and vocabulary. But, I am smart enough to know that he is saying everything I've been thinking lately, but better:

Please read. Please get angry. And then proceeded to be one of the anecdotal nobodies living the best life possible. I know I will.

Paleo Observations

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the "paleo diet" or "caveman diet" or "primal diet." It is fair to say that these concepts have entered the mainstream. If you HAVE been living under a rock, then I would argue that you are already "paleo" and can just stop reading now. Seriously, though, now that these "crazy" "restricitive" "diets" have been learned about by the masses, I notice a lot of things. If you have been reading me for a bit, then you know I do strive for a diet free of grains, legumes, refined sugar, and highly processed dairy. Make no mistake, this will not be an unbiased post.

To be expected, there is a lot of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and just downright false information floating around. Just like religion, there are going to be a lot of ways to read the same book. Some people are going to take things quite literally and hunt their own food, grow what they can, ditch their cars (and maybe their toilets), and eat bugs. Others are going to understand the principles of what is trying to be accomplished (regulate blood sugar/insulin) and find out a way to incorporate the core principles into their current modern life. Then there will be people that simply just don't get it, people that could not possibly see themselves eating such a restrictive, fad way. Not to say that the ones that don't get it are wrong, or that they will never get it, its just that either they don't need to get it, something with "paleo" hasn't resonnated with them, or they are just not in a place to be accepting new ideas.

I understand all of these positions and the ones in between. I've been working towards a diet ideal for ME for over 2 years now, and I've definitely gone through a full spectrum of actions, arguments, experiments (failed and sucessful), and lots of research. When I started with my initial 30 day Paleo experiment (probably now people would recognize this as the "Whole30") I was uncertain. The information I was reading was contradictory to everything I'd been told about diet. What do you mean whole grains aren't healthy? I'm eating A LOT of animal fat. Isn't that bad? Luckily, my epic results were fast to come, and I definitely think this is because I'm a person that's always been really intune with my body. I know this is not the case for everyone, because for oh, I'd say a good 9 months to a year after my first 30 days, Paleo was all I could talk about. I wanted everyone to experience what I was experiencing. I'm pretty sure I sounded fanatical and crazy.

The more comfortable I got with what I was eating, the stronger I got, the more muscle I gained and the more fat I lost, the quieter I became about what I was doing. The correct choices to make for my body came easily. I understood that eating foods packed with nutrition was the goal, NOT to elimate carbohydrates or eat all the bacon in the world. Sure I would have times where I ate something that wasn't "paleo" but I did not beat myself up nor get struck down by the forces of the paleo gods. I just felt like crap, not like me (again, back to my good intuition about my body) and that generally was enough to keep me on track. I no longer spend time trying to convert people to paleo - which I didn't even realize I was trying to do at the time, but looking back, I see how crazy I might have been. I understand now, that people are going to do whatever they want to do. Nothing I say could ever change what someone else puts in their mouth.

People ask me at the gym all the time what I eat. When I tell them, they either get it or they don't. The ones that get it ask for recipe tips or helpful websites. The ones that balk at my whole grain free life, I just make sure keep the conversation short, and maybe one day they'll want more information. Instead of me trying to tell everyone about what I was or wasn't eating, people come to me. I understand that what I do is not for everyone. I understand that my body was desperate for nutrients and in need of repair. I understand that food is highly personal, emotional, and some people don't have the strength to take a leap and try something different.

What I don't understand is people that have done no reading on the subject, no experimentation themselves, and are stuck in some horrible pattern of stalled weightloss/bad health markers, why they are SO QUICK to dismiss the principles of paleo. At what point did we as a society start thinking that the people that sell us our food have our best interests in mind? Or that the medical community has our best interests in mind when they keep trying to invent pills to "fix" us rather then recommending dietary changes? It makes me (silently) crazy to read about people feeding their kids processed crap day in and day out, and then wondering why their kid has bad asthma, or gets sick all the time (but we are vegetarians and we NEED to eat soy and whole grains- barf). Maybe you do need to take a Claratin everyday for your bad allergies, BUT, have you ever tried eliminating the most common allergen producing foods (wheat, soy, dairy)? I KNOW its a stretch to think that something you eat could possible be affecting how you react to dandelion puffs. It took me a looong time to put those two together.

I am by no means perfect. I don't know a lot about you, but I know for a fact that you are capable of WAY more then you think you are. Close your eyes and jump.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Progress? Yes please.

I have a question for all you exercisers out there:

How do you measure or quantify your progress? No, seriously. If you head to the gym everyday for some weights and cardio, do you keep track of your workouts? Do you have measurable goals, such as run X distance in Y time, or lift X amount of pounds in a deadlift/benchpress/squat?

I spent many many years exercising away without ever being able to measure my progress. Thousands of elliptical rotations, hundreds of dreadmill steps, bicep curls to no end. Why was I there doing those things? "To get healthy." "To lose weight." "To get in shape." "To feel good." "Because that's what healthy/athletic/attractive bodies do." I laugh now because, how in the world was I supposed to know how many elliptical revolutions I was going to need before I was healthy, and in shape? So, I did what anyone else would do. I measured my "progress" by my weight loss (or lack of).

Oh, how far I have come. I now routinely perform "benchmark" workouts in which I can easily identify my progress. I've written about these many times (usually because I continue to surprise myself with progress), and yesterday I performed one of my favorite benchmarks. The 22 minute routine. This workout was designed by one of the endurance trainers at the gym, and the idea is that you perform 15 reps of 7 movements (that is one round) at a weight in which you can get through five rounds in 22 minutes.

So, one round consists of 105 total reps, or:
15 upright rows
15 deadlifts
15 bent rows
15 deadlift high pulls
15 squat thrusts
15 push press
15 front squat

The goal- get 525 reps in 22 minutes.

The first time I did this workout was December 29, 2011. The trainer had us go to 25 minutes, and I completed 483 reps (using a 35# bar). The next time we did this was April 2, 2012. I stuck to the 22 minute time cut off and got 450 reps using the 35# bar. So, in 3 minutes less time, I completed nearly the same amount of reps. We did this yesterday, and again, I stuck to the 22 minute time cut off, and I got 521 reps using the 35# bar. I was 4 front squats shy of completing the workout at a perfect weight to which I got through the 5 rounds. SO CLOSE.

But- the point is, I can see MEASURABLE progress. The next time I do this? I'll use a 45# bar and try to get in the 500 rep range. Now that is what I call a goal I can quantify.

I'm still LOVING the intermittent fasting program I'm on. I'm getting stronger, have better insulin sensitivity (I know this because my eating hasn't been ideal for a week, and I've gained zero weight) and my mental clarity is astounding. I wonder how awesome I will be when I finally get my eating dialed in? My bets are pretty F*&king awesome.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Party Week is Over

What a week its been. Its indicative of summer, and also of a rapidly approaching wedding in which we are doing a lot of stuff ourselves. I'm not going to lie- my eating has been crap, and I've been drinking alcohol like a college kid (red wine, but still). I feel like crap. I need to get this under control immediately. As of today, things in my life are slowing down a lot, so tonight for the first time in over a week, I will have a chance to prepare some meals at home for the coming week. Preparation is so key. You KNOW things have been bad when the only things I can think about eating are chicken breast and broccoli.

This life of mine is about balance, so if there is a week where I choose to take every social opportunity thrown my way and let the house get cluttered and my eating fall slightly behind, I'm going to go with it. I've spent plenty of time in the past denying requests from friends because I didn't want to risk screwing up my diet, but I feel I'm at a new place right now. A few nights of celebratory drinks and a road trip out of town is not going to send me off a cliff.

Yesterday (Monday, ha!) I fell right back into my comfortable schedule of skipping breakfast (downing BCAA's and water), hitting the gym for an awesome workout at 12 noon, eating my first meal post workout, and then having a smaller meal around 6pm. The bf deluxe and I were up until nearly 10pm finishing the last of the painting in our house, as we are closing up (FINALLY) a huge room transformation. I'll post the before and afters later when our new couch arrives. Basically, I think I've mentioned that we have been working on this project since May, and all of our funiture/house is in disarray. But the end is so near I can taste it. I can hardly wait to enjoy the new and improved space.

This morning at 4:30am the bf deluxe left for a 3 day trip to help his parents move. They are moving 2 states over to Montana, and the timing of this trip was really putting pressure on getting the remodeling to a point where I could jump in (I'm only allowed to paint, clean, and buy stuff). Especially with the holiday week last week, and all the crazy social stuff we had going on. Fortunately, we got it farther along then I was anticipating. The room is to the point where it just needs finishing touches, and that means we can move our furniture back in and don't have to live with everything in the front (tiny) room! So, with the house to myself, and nothing on the agenda, I will be getting the house back in order, planning a huge yard sale for Saturday (also receiving the new couch at some point on Saturday- would that look weird during the yardsale? Eh, whatever), cleaning, and prepparing awesome meals for me!

If the yard sale goes well, we could be living in a semi-normal house by Sunday (minus tiny, tiny, details, like moulding and curtains). After 2 months of madness, nothing makes me happier. GAWD...whose idea was it to have our wedding at our house?!?! :)

Here are a few pics from party week:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Yesterday when I arrived back at the office from the gym, I noticed NO ONE was around.  I quickly got to thinking about all the non-work things I could be accomplishing- I'm attending a wedding on Friday and I need something new to wear, I had a bachelorette party later that night (for the bride of said wedding), I probably needed something new to I quickly finished up all my pressing items and tried to leave the office early.  I got out of there a whopping 12 minutes before I usually take off. 

I headed to the mall with a few goals- get something for the wedding, and maybe something for the bachelorette party.  I walked into my favorite seciton of Macy's and started grabbing things left and right.  I'm quick and efficient in the dressing room, I know what I like and what won't work, and quickly make decisions.  It was down to 2 dresses, so I broke out the camera phone and sent text pic's to the bestie for advice- how did people do ANYTHING before cell camera phones?!?!

Someone wasn't waiting by their phone for my texts, so I had to make a decision.  I chose the more conservative one that was comfortable.  The dress was originally $99.98, it was 50% off at $49.98, and then, it rang up as $30?  I had a left over gift card in my purse that covered the whole thing, so the dress was basically free.  Off to shoes I went.  I found a pair of gold strappy wedge sandals- I was previously so against wedges, but these were unbelievably comfortable, so I got them.  They were originally $79, marked down to $47, but they rang up as $25!!!  Macy's was having some crazy sale.  Then I headed over to purses to get me a fancy clutch.  I figured since my dress was kinda simple, I'd make it cool with a gold clutch, gold shoes, and I have yet to get some gold dangly earrings and maybe a headband.  On my way home from the mall, I scheduled an appointment to get my hair straightened for the wedding. 

I scored a brand new outfit for the wedding on Friday (and I have another wedding later in the month I can wear this to again) for unde $50!!!!  I wore the shoes to the bachelorette party to test them out, and at least be wearing something new, and they passed the test! 

Here's me doing "fashion show" for the bf deluxe- I call this 'Violet Steel' sorry you can't see the shoes!

I'm off to meet a friend at the gym now for workout before I partake in America's Birthday activities.  I'm going to echo Ms. Norma's sentiments and say "be independent."  There is no reason to eat the crappy who-knows-what meat hotdogs and other crap offered at BBQ's today. My independence means a kick-ass workout, a day in the sun with the bf deluxe, some fireworks, and some delicious food that won't make me feel like crap.

Oh, and a couple of PR's this week of note- Turkish Get Up- 62 pounds on my right side.  FUCK YEAH.  Yesterday my new 1 RPM deadlift- 255.  Thats up 20# from the last time I tested.  275# deadlift, here I come. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

It Starts With Food

A few days ago after seeing rave reviews all over my favorite Paleo sites for "It Starts With Food" I downloaded a copy to my Nook. It doesn't matter how many times I read about the effects of food on the hormones in our body, I learn something new each time, and get angrier.

I know that anger is not the best way to react to any situation, but seriously, it pisses me off that I have been under the assumption for 25+ years that there was something wrong with ME. That I had no willpower and was just destined to be a big girl, always. It pisses me off that I have been told lie after lie about what is healthy for my body, as in; producing a healthy hormonal response and getting the proper nutrients. IT REALLY pisses me off that there are people out there creating foods to take advantage of the bodies internal feedback loops (in the worst possible way by appealing to sugar, fat, and salt receptors) so that we actually crave more of these incredibly addictive, nutrient-lacking, "foodstuffs" we are trapping our bodies further in a no-win battle.

In many ways its a relief to know this information. I can now look at many items found everyday in the Standard American Diet and see them for what they really are: hormonal upsetters and nutrient lacking. With food, it really is black and white. A food is either working for you, or its working against you. As the book points out, there are no food "Switzerlands." That sure makes it easy for me to know what I should put in my mouth and what I shouldn't. The foods I eat will not have any labels claiming health. In fact, the majority of the food I eat doesn't have a label at all. While this information may not seem like anything groundbreaking to people that have always maintained a trim figure, I'm telling you, being on the large side makes you constantly think about and become an "expert" on "health food." Little did I know, no expertise was needed. Just some open eyes and common sense.

Today marks my first 8 week check point with Intermittent Fasting! Luckily for me, the workout at the gym was one that we periodically do to test our progress: Burping Sumo. 21-15-9 of Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (65#) and Burpees. The last time we did this was April 3, and my time was 5:44. That was a 1:20 PR for me from my January time, and I was SO happy about that. I knew today I would not be seeing that large of an improvement, because honestly, on a 6 minute workout, how much can you continue to knock off? I was just aiming to beat my previous time. I beat it by 10 full seconds (5:34). I'm pretty excited about that, and tomorrow I plan to test my deadlift max and see how my pull-ups are coming along.

My next focus will be on my leptin levels- I need to quit with the Nook/iPhone/TV watching at night and let my bodies natural processes take place.

75 days until the wedding- SH*T JUST GOT REAL, Y'ALL.