Tuesday, February 28, 2012

202- Sustainable, Sustainability

Maybe its just me, but there is one buzz word that is so overplayed in my world.  It may have something to do with the fact I work in an Environmental field, but seriously, each time I hear the word sustainability, I want to puke.  This word has become so popular, it's made its way into everything, including describing how one eats and/or weightloss.  The problem I have is the colloquial use of the word has drifted far from the true meaning of the word.
Immediately upon hearing grand stories of weightloss, or new diet fads the first question we ask others (or ourselves) is "is it SUSTAINABLE?!"  Part of this is just due to the sheer nature of statistics with how many people lose a lot of weight, only to gain it back.  Another part is hearing some exercise or eating pattern that sounds difficult and instead of just accepting that certain things work for certain people and move on, we need to tear it down.  By reading many blogs and comments, there seems to be this undercurrent of sustainablility questioning anytime someone has success using methods that take us out of our comfort zone, or announces a new plan for themselves.
Let's bust out the definitions again (thanks Webster):
1) pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse.
2) able to be maintained or kept going, as an action or process.
3) able to be confirmed or upheld.
4) able to be supported as with the basic necessities or sufficient funds.
Losing weight is not meant to be sustainable.  I'm talking about the specific measures one takes to and during weight loss- eating less/moving more, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, Slim-Fast, lap-band, HCG, paleo, Medifast, DASH, etc.  Any weight loss measure HAS to be temporary because if you keep losing weight forever, you will die.  What someone is attempting to create with these tools is a system that maintains its own viability by using TECHNIQUES (WW, SB, Atkins...etc.) that allow for continual reuse.  So, when someone gets done with the losing phase, they need to be able to rely on the techniques they learned during weight loss phase to keep them where they want to be.  IF the tools/techniques work (even with many times of reuse), and someone can maintain a weight that they are happy at, sustainability is acheived.  In my experience, the problem lies in the "many times of reuse" part.  Until I went "paleo" I never had a way of losing weight that I actually liked (or one that continued to work over and over).  I would try something, quit the rules of that said something, gain a bunch of weight back, and repeat.  THAT was not sustainable since I kept selecting techniques that I could not repeat.  
Maintenance of a weight loss is what everyone wants to be sustainable.  Maintaining a weight loss requires action or some process to keep up.  I know that when I get done losing, there will be an acceptable range in which I will feel comfortable.  I have no idea what this range is yet, because I haven't got there yet.  I do not have some arbitrary scale number in my head dictated by some calculation of my height and weight.  So as I practice my losing techniques, I've learned that in order to maintain, I need to eat about 80% paleo.  To lose, I need to be 95% or better, and obviously, less than 80% is a gain.    
The only thing that can really confirm true sustainability (remaining in maintenance) is time.  Ironically, the amount of time one spends practicing a technique is determined by its colloquial sustainability.  I'll explain below.
Lastly, my possibly favorite, the idea of sustenance.  Meeting the basic necessities of life.  Every technique mentioned above requires some form of restriction.  I think the colloquial sustainability comes from the restriction aspect of chosing a losing technique.  Changing your patterns is hard, and hard = not sustainable?  But, if we look at the definition  of meeting basic necessities- whether or not something is hard has nothing to do with one staying alive and healthy doing whatever it is that is 'hard.'  
If I chose to eat nothing but broccoli, chicken breast, avocados, and yams every single day, I will complain that it is hard but I will sustain just fine- physically.  Emotionally, I'll feel restricted, see my friends eating all sorts of stuff and get mad/annoyed or something.  The reason why I won't eat the same thing over and over everyday has much less to do with true sustainability, and much more to do with me simply not being forced to as a life or death measure.  My dog eats the same thing over and over everyday.  He has been alive for 6 years.  He doesn't complain, and I bet he knows that if he doesn't eat what I give him, he will die.   
The question isn't so much "is what you are doing sustainable?" It's more of "have you found a technique that you can apply over and over that is helping you to acheive your goal of maintaining a weight loss?" 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

204- Highs and Lows

February has been a good month for me.  It was my "January" if you will...my month of renewed resolve, focus, and determination.  I wanted nothing more then to bust through the 38 pound loss holding pattern I kept gravitating to, and stopping.  I had an AWESOME challenge buddy- seriously, she was so great.  We did pretty regular e-mail check-ins, and I hope those continue, even though our challenge month together is almost up.  

So a little preview to how the month went can be summed up in a few of the experiences I had the past 2 days.  I'll do my regular March 1st update with pictures and such, but until then, you get this:


  • My Citizens of Humanity jeans officially fit me.  I'm THIS close to being able to actually wear them in public.  I haven't been able to fit into them like I do now for 7 years.  7 YEARS!  
  • I went wedding dress shopping on Saturday and it didn't suck.  I went one month ago in mid-January and it TOTALLY sucked.  
  • My inches have changed significantly since January.  
  • Just for fun today, I decided to go old skool and bust out a Jillian Michaels Shred video (level 3) it was not even an issue.  I did all the advanced moves, in fact, for one of the moves in level 3 (one arm cleans) I used my 35# kettlebell.  I used to use (1) 8 pound weight.  I think in the video they were using 5 pound weights?!  

  • I did the Crossfit Games Open workout #1 (12.1) yesterday in my living room.  I did not sign up for the Open, but I know TONS of people that did.  Facebook posts with numbers of burpees performed were flooding my page.  I was curious, what would my number be? I discovered that the loft in my living room is a perfect 6" above my reach (which is the standard you must jump to at the end of a burpee for it to count).  The majority of people I know got anywhere from 70-120.  I thought 70 was an attainable goal for me, 10/minute.  Oh, how wrong I was.  55.  55 was my sad, sad number.  Actually, that was the impetus for doing the Shred video, I needed an ego boost.  Thanks Jillian, worked like a charm. 
  • New LOW weight- ha, maybe this should be a "high" but its a new low, get it?  I'm now 45 pounds down from where I started 2 years ago.  Take that plateau.  
So, what did I do this month to kick my butt in gear in addition to all the stuff I have already make habit?  

1) one gallon water/day
2) began eating within 30 min of waking (I was waiting 1- or more hours longer and I guess that puts your body in fat storage mode)
3) Eat every 2-3 hours
4) Increased my protein like MAD (about 1g/pound of weight)
5) No sugar, lean protein, low salt
6) Increased veggies like MAD
7) Increased fish oil and added vitamin/amino acid supplements (AA's preserve muscle when working out a lot, also called Branch Chain Amino Acids)
8) Three days of high protein/veg/natural fat (burn days) followed by one day of refueling with carbs (sweet potatoes) but lower fat. 

In reality, many of these things weren't new, I started increasing my water intake in January, aiming for a gallon a day.  By the time February rolled around, getting a gallon down was not hard.  For the past year and a half I have been striving to eat a diet that is high in quality protein, getting my carbohydrates from vegetables, no processed foods, and no sugar.  I was unfaltering in this goal the past 24 days (check out my food/exercise log).  I believe I have made much of this list habit, and plan to continue to stick to the list above as much as possible.  If I go to a restaurant, it will be on a "refuel" day.  I do plan on eating a wider selection of meats- um...haven't had bacon in over 3 weeks!?  Ridiculous.   Must rectify soon.  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

205- Paleolithic? Not so Much

Paleo.  Short for Paleolithic.  Webster's definition of Paleolithic-
: of or relating to the earliest period of the Stone Age characterized by rough or chipped stone implements
When people speak of the "Paleo" Diet, it becomes synonomous with "hunter/gather diet," "caveman diet," "original human DNA diet," etc., etc.  The problem with the "Paleo" label is that 1) Anthropological Scientists (and others) take it too literally, 2) No one can agree on what persons in the paleolithic era ate (most likely whatever they could get their mitts on, and this probably varied immensly from region to region based on availability, duh) 3) The argument that our DNA has changed little relatively to how much our food sources has changed is not entirely accurate.  
So, is the term Paleo a misnomer?  Absolutely.  Is the Paleo Diet what we are "supposed" to be eating?  Who could possible know that?  Only you.  Everyone is different.  Does this change the fact that the general principles that fall under the "paleo" diet label are good guidelines?  No.  I don't think the historical inaccuracy (or any other inaccuracy) of the name should take away from the legitimate elements of what the diet is intended to stand for. 
In all honesty, I think the term Paleo is just kind of catchy.  It's not meant to be taken literally (nor could it possibly be with so many of the creature comforts we have).  Anything successful needs a good name brand, and well, whoever came up with this one ("Paleo") was FAR ahead of their time.  Paleo is so much easier to say then "Processed food free- low sugar- find out if gluten/dariy/legumes bother you (by giving all up for 30 days), and if after isolating each one and introducing slowly they don't affect you, eat as you wish"  Diet. 
Just looking at my own experience with "paleo" eating, there has been tremendous evolution over the past 1.5 years.  I have put the work in to find out the things that affect me- raise my blood sugar, cause me to retain water, make me sneeze, etc.  Yes, I classify my diet as "Paleo" just because that covers most of the important bases.  I don't eat grains, I rarely eat legumes (hummus is just too powerful), if I eat dairy, it's grass-fed butter, or cream, I have to limit my sugar to next to nothing (occasional fruit and small amounts of honey are ok), and the majority of my eats are meat and vegetables. 
Some "paleo" die-hards would look at my rendition of the Paleo Diet and scoff.  Others that claim to be "paleo" would find my choices overly strict.  I don't give a shit, because I'm doing what works for me.  That is THE. WHOLE. POINT.  Find out what works for you by whatever means necessary, and do it.  If you find that you stall out, or something isn't working, keep experimenting until you find your groove.  When you find it, you'll know.  This life is about what works for you, not about what works for someone else. 
Further reading on the topic can be found here:
And here (thanks L):

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

207- Couple of Updates

I did my weekend long run on Sunday, and this time I changed it up a bit.  Instead of walking 1 mile downhill to the path I ran/walked.  I got to the path at 11 minutes instead of 17 minutes like last week.  I ran my usual loop on the path, 1.1 miles to the park, up a set of stairs and back down 1.1 miles to the base of the hill.  Last week, when I walked down the hill, I was able to run the whole 2.2 miles without walk breaks, even though my left calf (bad ankle side) was on fire.  However, when I got to the large hill, I had to take a few walk breaks going up.  On Sunday, I had to take 2 walk breaks during the 2.2 flat miles for fear of doing damage to my calf- it just didn't feel right.  BUT, when I got to the base of the hill, it felt fine, and I RAN UP THE WHOLE 1 MILE HILL without stopping.  I was pretty excited about that.  The whole journey, walk breaks, stoplights and all (4.3? miles) took just under an hour.  By summer, I'd like to knock 10 minutes off that time. 
In other news, I've been working on my pull-up for some time now.  If this bores you, just skip down to the next paragraph.  If you are interested in the progression/explanation of what I've been doing, carry on.  I see progress, but it is soooo slow.  When I first started at CrossFit, there was no band thick enough to assist me in doing even one pull-up.  I substituted ring rows (with all the other fatties).  From ring rows, I began doing jumping pull-ups, and even now I use those most often as my scaling in workouts that involve pull-ups.  There was a workout nearly a year ago where I used 2 bands to assit me in pull-ups (which sucks because you have to have someone help you into them, and that is annoying, plus time consuming when the clock is ticking), and then shortly after, there was a time when I was able to use the thickest (black band) to do a few pull-ups (again, difficult to get into/time consuming).  Most girls that show up on day one are able to do a pull up with the medium-thick green band.  Strong girls start with the medium blue band, and if you can do 10 blue band pull-ups, you can probably eek out a few kipping pull-ups.  I've been taking time nearly everyday at the gym to hang from the bar, practice kipping swings, and generally flail around like I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  A month or two ago at the new gym, I decided it had been a long time since I tested my luck at using the green band.  I jumped up on a box, put my foot in the band, let myself fall into the band, and tried to rocket myself back up.  Not even close.  Oh, well. 
Yesterday, we had some time left over after the workout, and I decided I'd take some time to work on my pull-ups.  I practiced swinging and stopping myself, hanging, chalking up, etc.  Then a green band was staring at me.  I stuck my foot into it, let myself fall into it, and bam!  One pull-up with a green band.  Instinctively I went for another, bam!  2 pull-ups with the green band.  Now THIS was progress.  I could not get to three, but I didn't care.  I took a short break, and knocked out 2 more before I decided to call it a day.  Now, I can spend time each day before the workout knocking out a few green band pull-ups instead of flailing around on the bar!  Soon, I can start doing green-band pull-ups as my scaling for workouts (like a normal beginner).  Soon, I'll be using the blue band.  And soon, I'll be doing unassited pull-ups. 
I just happened to catch an episode of Biggest Loser last night and was delighted to see Bob doing CrossFit inspired moves with his team!  He had them jumping on boxes, swinging kettlebells, and doing barbell work like hang cleans and overhead moves!  Its not enough to get me to watch that show regularly (the shameless plugs for that Subway crap? GAWD...), but I do love the attention he's bringing to functional movements.  Of course he's gotta throw them on the eliptical for some ridiculous amount of time so they can lose muscle mass because that's what shows up on the scale first (muscle loss) and the viewers want to see pounds drop.  Its a billion dollar business.  I get that.  Afterall, its not the "Fittest Loser" its "The Biggest Loser" and losing muscle and water and some fat is a much faster way to get the scale to change than simply losing fat.  But who wants to watch a show where it takes contestants years to lose fat and become healthy?  No, americuns want instant results at any cost.  To each his/her own- personally I feel the show would send a much better message if it showed inches lost in relation to scale numbers.  As I've learned with myself many times, I can lose many inches without the scale changing one bit.  That might just be too much head thinking for the average American mindlessly glued to the crap that network TV pumps out...I digress. 
In other news, I read kind of a depressing blog post about fat cells.  I have known for some time now that fat cell numbers are stagnant.  You can not by any natural means lose fat cells.  You can merely shrink (or grow) the fat cells you do have.  When someone becomes morbidly obese, fat cells can even divide to create more storage, but once again, if that happens, you are still stuck with those new fat cells.  Here is the depressing part.  Bear with me, you're going to have to be a little visual.  Lets say you have a plastic garbage bag full of balloons that have not been blown up.  The plastic garbage bag retains its rectangular shape, and holds 2,000 balloons.  Now, if there was a way to slowly begin inflating each of those balloons inside the bag, even a little at a time, what would happen?  The bag would begin to expand.  It would become mishappen and look awkward.  If it were possible, some of the balloons would expand and split into two balloons.  Right before the bag bursts, we begin to let the air out of all the balloons, and the newly created balloons too.  The bag shrinks down.  The bag is badly stretched.  Even if all the air is let out, there are now 2,500 deflated balloons in the bag, and it can never return to that original rectangle.  Even if the stretching recovers slightly, there are simply more elements inside the original bag that can not be taken out. 
Complete post on fat cells is here:
I like how his recommendation for obese people that "can't seem to lose the weight even with legitimate efforts" to just keep trucking.  Yeah...I don't know about you, but if I keep doing something over and over and keep seeing the same thing, or no results, I do not just "keep trucking."  I understand what he is trying to say- that eating well and exercising regardless of weightloss are far better than giving up, but he does a poor job of conveying it. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

213- I Eat Cauliflower for Breakfast

Is that weird?  A few weeks ago, I would have thought so, but now, I think including a vegetable serving at each meal is necessary.  So yes, at 7am I find myself munching on roasted cauliflower, sauteed broccoli, braised cabbage, or raw bell peppers.  

As I was preparing my lunch today, I noticed that my vegetable bin was practically empty.  I JUST went shopping.  So I did a quick tally in my head of all the vegetables I ate between yesterday and today (including lunch, but not dinner!) and it goes like this:
1 entire head red cabbage
1 head organic cauliflower
2 whole bell peppers
1/2 of a HUGE white onion

That seems crazy to me, but impressive as well.  Dinner tonight includes more cauliflower and some organic salad greens.  

Oh, and I took this photo yesterday as I was making lunch- talk about eating the rainbow!  Done and done.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

214- Fish Oil

A few days ago I made a sort of off-hand remark about not being sore after a pretty tough workout, and suggested that perhaps my recent increase in fish oil could be contributing to that phenomenon.  I received a comment on that post that prompted me to do some quick internet research on the benefits of fish oil.  Everyone is different, so I don't want to make any crazy claims about what fish oil can do for you, I only know what it seems to do for ME.  In the times when I have been most successful with Paleo (as far as weight loss), it has been when I have been regularly taking fish oil.  Recently, I increased my fish oil intake by 3 fold, and have seen my scale and inches numbers decrease faster than ever, increased energy throughout the day, soft skin, and a noteable lack of soreness after tough workouts.   

For me to try and hash out all the benefits of fish oil here is an injustice, so I'll let you do your own research.  However, I am including some places to start.  Here is what credible people have to say about why fish oil (and/or Omega-3's):

Mark Sisson of Marks Daily Apple did a post, here is an excerpt (but read the whole link!):
 "It all comes down to Omega-6/3 balance. You can’t talk about fish oil without getting into Omega-3 fatty acids, and discussing Omega-3 fatty acids is useless without understanding their relation to the Omega-6s. We’ve mentioned this relationship multiple times before, but I’ll reiterate: a 1:1 Omega-6::Omega-3 dietary ratio helps keep dangerous inflammation in check."

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fish-oil-health-benefits/#ixzz1mn57fqBB

Of course, Robb Wolf did a post:

Good ole' WebMD:

And a WHOLE wealth of information over at the awesomeness that is Whole9.  The Whole9 crew give it to you straight ("you can't fish oil your way out of a bad diet") and provide a calculator so you can see how much you should be taking:

Its really the inflammation thing that got me to start taking fish oil regularly.  Well, after awhile- I'd go through kicks of being good about remembering to take it, and then not.  But when someone pointed out to me that being overweight is inflammation, something clicked.  Fish oil (Omega 3's) are known for their anti-inflammatory properties (as you have hopefully read).  Then, I started thinking about what happens to sore muscles- they get inflammed.   Hence the creation of my latest theory of perhaps my increase fish oil is helping reduce my inflammation, and therefore I'm not getting sore after workouts.  Even if it is just a placebo effect, clearly, taking fish oil is only to my benefit.  As long as I continue to limit the Omega-6's (which Paleo does) and find FOOD sources for Omega-3's and not just rely on supplements for my Omega-3's (which I have been doing by eating a handful of walnuts/day, broccoli, cauliflower, occasionally tuna, and eventually grass-fed beef).  

Friday, February 17, 2012

215- Throwing a Fit, Moving On

Yesterday I took the bus to work so the bf deluxe could give the car some love (fluid changes, a wash and such).  My day becomes a little longer when I take the bus, since I get to work about 1/2 hour later than usual, and then leave work later in the evening, of course the bus takes longer to get home than driving...so...I end up leaving the house about the same time but get home 1 hour to 1.5 hours later than normal.  I planned my eating around this, since part of my plan this month involves eating every 2-3 hours.  Its kind of unspoken between us that whoever has the day off, had dinner ready for the other one when they get home (or shortly thereafter).  
As luck should have it, there was some type of accident, and traffic was horrible.  The bf deluxe picked me up at the transit center, and we hit even MORE traffic every way we went.  It was ridiculous.  I looked at the clock and began to get nervous, I should be eating soon...just then bf deluxe says "what do you want for dinner?"  Enter the fit.
I began to panic as I quickly ran an inventory of what was in the fridge in my head, cooking times, what I felt like eating, etc. and near full meltdown ensued.  Meanwhile bf was just sitting there, waiting for an answer, and we were STILL stopped in traffic.  I began to fidget, I wanted to scream, there was absolutely nothing at the house that I wanted.  Oh, sure, we had plenty of food to prepare, all of it in line with my current eating plan, but NONE of it sounded good.  I got pissed.  Why does this have to be so hard?  Why can't I just eat food like a normal person?  Why do there have to be so many rules?!  (No grains, no sugar, no dairy, low salt, low fat, no red meat, today is not a day I can eat yams, yadda yadda yadda...).  "Well?"  he says.  I was just silent.  Oh, he knows what the silence means. 
As quickly as this meltdown came on, it vanished with a little perspective:  I did this to myself, and I'm doing this to myself.  This challenge I'm giving myself is entirely up to me.  I know what works for me and what I need to do.  Sure, I could say eff it and go eat whatever I want, but where does that get me?  I know the consequences of doing that, so I won't.  We finally got home, and I was incredibly relieved to see that there was food in the fridge that I could re-heat and eat (even though it was the same thing I ate for lunch and snack) and didn't have to make anything new.  I ate my food, calmed down, and remembered that the month is over soon, and I can return to eating bacon and pork shoulder and salting my foods like a normal person (but will I?).  When I was done eating, the bf deluxe knew it was ok to speak again, and said "all good?"  "Yes" I responded, "I'm fully aware that I am doing this to myself."  He laughed and said "yup!"
Today is a much better day.  It is my "refuel day" so I get to eat all sorts of delicious things, like strawberries, greek yogurt, and yams!  Truth be told, I feel really good, my clothes are looser, my engagement ring is dangerously looser, and I have been working on some really good habits that I would like to continue on with once this month is over.  I'm going to keep on this increased Fish Oil regimen (I will dedicate a whole post to Fish Oil soon since Patricia left a comment about it a few days ago).  I'm going to continue to make sure I eat my first meal within 30 minutes of waking, that I measure my portions, and keep up with my coffee hiatus/1 gallon of water per day drinking.  All of those are do able.
I have a feeling this months before/after pic's are going to knock your socks off, and my efforts will be realized.  Moving on.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

216- HCT

Guess what happened today during our warm-up?  Hot Cop Trainer (HCT) walked into the gym in uniform.  I almost fell over, but instead I blurted out "Are you here to strip for us?"  True story.  Maybe you had to be there, but it really did seem like a plausible option.  I mean, come on, how many movies have you seen where a hot cop randomly walks into a place that is seemingly unlikely only to start stripping?  Heh.   
I'll let you go ahead and guess what his response was. 
Our workout was awesome today, 3 rounds of:  23 KB swings (Russian at 35#), 14 goblet squats (35#).  I finished in 3:38, it was like my dream workout!  One of the guys came up to me and asked if I was sore from yesterdays death by burpees and thrusters.  I said "nope" because I'm not, which is kind of odd now that I think about it, and he was like, "man, I'm so sore!"  I might have to introduce him to fish oil.  Huh.  Maybe there is something to this new plan I'm following...increased energy, feeling strong in my workouts, and no soreness?!  Only time will tell if this keeps up, but for right now, I'm feeling pretty good.

Monday, February 13, 2012

217- Carb Cycling

The past 10 days I spent preparing my body for this moment...carb cycling.  Its a pretty popular phrase going around these days, and we all know how I love popular things.  So for the next 2 weeks, I'll be eating 3 days of protein/veg/natural fats and 1 day of protein/veg/natural fats/simple carb/fruit.  The idea is to keep your body guessing.  The three days of high protein and veg get your metabolism working hard, and then just as it thinks it needs to start storing fat, I throw a yam and some fruit at it.  In theory, my body realizes it has everything it needs, and continues to burn fat.  Then you hit it with the protein again.
Yet another experiment on my body.  I will say one thing though- today was a KILLER workout at the gym (literally- it was Death-by format) and I felt stronger then I have in months.  We started by doing death by burpees, and I'm not the best when it comes to burpees.  In my head, I'm a sleek machine that crouches down, kicks her feet out behind her, hits the floor (hey, I'm gonna let gravity do as much as possible!), bounces up to my feet and jumps with a clap overhead in one smooth move.  In REALITY...I think I look like someone who accidentally hits the floor face first, proceeds to flop around on the floor like a fish out of water, before clammering up to my feet and jumping/clapping overhead.   Luckily, there are no mirrors in a CF gym.  I got through 10 full rounds of death by burpees (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and 8 into round 11 before I had to call it quits.  That's 63 burpees!  But I was not done with the WOD.  I got to rest for 3 minutes, and then I was on death by thrusters.  I REALLY wanted to make it to round 10, but also wanted to go heavier then the girls Rx weight (65#).  I chose to go with 75#, because hey, its Monday, and I know I can do it.  I made it through 9 rounds (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,) or 45 thrusters.  Again, I felt really strong on these, and it was just my lungs that prevented me from being able to do them quickly.  Hopefully I'm working on that detail with my new running plan. 
I'm pretty sick of chewing on lean protein, but I will say one thing...I am SO lucky to have a fiance that can cook lean protein and not make it taste like sawdust.  I'm actually eating a juicy chicken breast right now.  Before I met him, such a thing never existed.  So looking forward to my re-fuel day (aka yam/fruit day)! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

218- Back to Running

Friday was the grand re-opening of a closed portion of the nice running path by my house.  For the past 8 months the 2 mile section I use the most was under repair.  What a more perfect way to kick off my new weekend running plan then with a nice run to check out the new shiny path?  In order just to get to the path, its a 1 mile walk down hill.  That means to return home, I am guaranteed a 1 mile uphill stretch at the end of my run.  Every time I've done this in the past, I've never been able to run back up the hill without walking breaks.  

Yesterday was no exception to that.  Although, I did run more of the hill then I ever previously remember running.  My goal is to eventually be ending my run with the hill, without stopping.  

Before leaving the house, I had to decide what shoes to wear.  I am a classic heel striker, but I'm trying to focus on a more mid-foot strike, which still feels weird to me.  When I first learned that I was running all wrong, I immediately went out an got a pair of Nike Free's.  They are a nice light, minimal  shoe.  When I wear them, I really need to focus on not heel striking, as the shoe doesn't automatically promote that.  After a few runs with sore calves, things got better.  They were my CrossFit shoe of choice, since if there was a workout that involve running and weightlifting, these would do.  

After spraining my ankle, I decided to get a pair of real minimal shoes to build the strength back up, but couldn't bring myself to get the Five Fingers.  I settled on the NB Minimus.  I liked the feel of these a lot.  Tons of room in the toe, very light, they gave me the feel of barefoot, but I could still step on rocks.  The minimus took the place of the Free's at the gym.  Initially I wasn't doing any running or box jumps, so the NB minimus were my shoe for squats, kettlebell swings, lunges, barbell stuff- anything that didn't require me to move my feel a whole bunch.  

Eventually I took the minimus' out for a test run.  A short one since my ankle was still heeling up, but holy crap, my calves have never been so sore.  These shoes definitely promote a different style of running.  I decided that for longer runs, I'd stick with the Free's, and for most all other activities, I'd use the minimus' except of course for lifting only days- then I'd wear my Oly lifting shoes.   

I was about to run 3+ miles, so I strapped on the Free's and headed out the door to warm up with a 1 mile walk downhill.  I got to the newly paved path and began my run.  I felt much better this week than last week.  My breathing fell into a quick rhythm and it wasn't so painful getting started.  I ran a little over a mile down the path, turned around and ran back.  My calves were definitely feeling it, but I was up for the challenge of the big hill.  Like I mentioned above, I had to take a few walk breaks, but I think in a few weeks, I'll be able to conquer the hill without stopping.  My total run for yesterday (not including the walk downhill) was 3.34 miles, and I did that in just under 40 minutes.  I think that's a pretty good starting point, but I can definitely improve, especially when I quit taking walk breaks coming back up the hill.    

Saturday, February 11, 2012

219- Friday Faileo

I almost forgot Friday Faileo!  So here it is on Saturday once again.  If you haven't heard about this yet, well, you might just live under a rock.  Which is cool, since that is pretty Paleo.  I haven't eaten at McDonalds in well over a year, and now I don't forsee it ever coming back into my body.  Ever.  

McDonald’s Announces End to ‘Pink Slime’ in Burgers: McDonald’s has announced that it will be discontinuing the use of the controversial meat product known as boneless lean beef trimmings in its burgers. The product was recently brought to the attention of the public by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who derisively referred to it as “pink...

Friday, February 10, 2012

220- Tired of Starting Over?

Quit giving up.  

That's the best thing I've read all day.  

I'm feeling like the blog world is in need of a pep talk.  If I had a loudspeaker, I'd say this to everyone that is struggling:

You are a smart, hard working, beautiful individual that is just as worthy a spot on this earth as anyone else.  A number on the scale, a man (or woman), a job, a car, or the number of facebook friends you have does not define you.  Only you define you.  You create your own happiness, so don't spend time worrying about things you can't control.  Every life event is an opportunity to learn, the trick is to find the lesson as quickly as possible.  Treat yourself to foods packed with nutrition, exercise frequently, get plenty of sleep, and don't forget to laugh a lot.  

That's all.   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

222- Small Tweeks

If you've been paying attention for a few weeks now, you may have noticed that I've been making small tweeks to my life.  I am currently on a coffee hiatus- don't want to say I've given it up, but as of now, I'm not drinking it, and I don't miss it.  A few weeks ago I started trying to get one gallon of water in me a day.  About a week ago I mentioned that I was going to be changing up the way that I ate, and adding in supplements.

At the end of the month, I'll do a full wrap up of the program I've been following as far as when to eat, how much to eat, etc.  I don't want to jinx anything, but things are going really well.  I have good mental clarity, cravings are non-existent, and I'm losing weight.  Water it might be, but it still feels good to flush out my system with a full gallon of water a day.  

The bf deluxe is kind of annoyed by my new rules- leaner cuts of meat and less (practically no) salt.  But, I told him I feel good, and he's supportive.  Today during a text conversation, he was asking what the "rules" were for dinner, and I told him.  Then I texted "I'm going to be hot!"  To which he responded "I like you the way you are."  I thanked him, and said "there are more things I want to be able to do that I can't right now."  At the same time, our texts would have crossed in mid-air if that's how they worked, we said "yeah, like if I (you) slipped on a ledge and needed to pull myself (yourself) up."  This of course started a contest back and forth coming up with events in  which I would need to be able to perform a pull-up.  All of them were very realistic and pertinent to my life...like if I were to find myself hanging off a helicopter skid, or the side of a skyscraper.  

So yes, until I can be confident that I'm ready for any scenario a movie with Bruce Willis can throw at me, I'm going to keep tweeking the way I do things and reporting the outcomes here. 

In other news, tomorrow concludes Week #1 with Challenge Buddy!  I'll have a full wrap up of our first week coming soon.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

224- 100% vs. 90%

Not that you can see me, but today I'm wearing a pair of pants that I haven't worn in over 5 years.  Don't worry, they are khaki's- impossible to be out of style.  Especially for work.  

When I'm sticking to my plan of no sugar, no grains, etc., 100%, I feel great, I look better, and weight comes off easy.  When I get complacent and start allowing things to creep in (corn tortillas, etc.) and still remain about 90% good, I stall out and maintain.  It sucks that its such a fine line, but at least know where the line is!  

For your reading pleasure, how pasta not bacon makes you fat:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

225- Summer in February

Yesterday with clear skies and temperatures at or near 60 degrees, I couldn't help but take myself for a nice run around the neighborhood.  As I was making my way around, uphill mostly, I marveled at the fact that I can just 'head out the door and run.'  It wasn't a painful experience, but it wasn't as comfortable as when I'm used to running either.  It was just exercise, fresh air, and time to myself.

I remember when running was my sole means of exercise.  It would take weeks for me to build up to the feeling that I wasn't dying.  I felt I had to keep running nearly everyday, or I would lose that "stamina" or whatever it was.  Sometimes I would go a week or two without running, and it felt like I was back at square one all over again.  But, when I was running frequently, and actually out and able to enjoy it?  There was nothing better.

CrossFit gives me just enough of a base so that I can go out for an occasional run and not be dying, but I still don't quite feel the ease and specialization from running more frequently.  I miss that feeling.  So...there are a few things I'd like to start doing once the weather gets predictably nicer...not just this fluke weekend in February.  I'm going to start running to and from the gym- its about 1/2 mile each way, and I'm going to start running again on the weekends.  I would like to do a few 5K's this summer as well, hopefully getting under that 30 minute mark, which has been a goal of mine for a year now! 


Saturday, February 4, 2012

226- Friday Faileo

I saw the item below somewhere on the interwebs, and it gave me the inspiration to do "Friday Faileo."  I know today is Saturday, but I thought of this yesterday, and I already had a post up.  So I'm going to try and post one of these each Friday- some item/food/activity/etc. that is completely against Paleo principles, hence- Faileo.  

This is an excellent place to start:

Two years ago, I'd be making this TONIGHT.  Two years ago, I was also 40 pounds heavier on a fast course to (if not already) Type II Diabetic.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

227- Green Tea

Big news here, I just discovered green tea.  As a good friend kindly said to me after I shared the news with her "welcome to 1999."  Totes.  I've been coffee free for over 3 weeks now, and surprisingly, after the first 5 days, it wasn't hard.  I never found myself mindlessly going to the coffee maker and filling up the coffee pot half way with water before remembering 'no coffee.'  I never found myself in the breakroom grabbing a paper cup and holding under the pump pot before remembering 'no coffee.'  I just sort of forgot about coffee altogether.  I don't know, its hard to explain, and weird because for as many years as I can remember back (15+), I've started EVERY morning with coffee.   
A few weeks ago, February Challenge Buddy recommended a green tea blend she liked.  BF deluxe kept trying to get me to try tea.  Finally, yesterday, I had it up to my eyeballs with my stupid half-cold (not full blown enough to miss work, but not less enough to be ignored, and 5 days already?!  Over it!) and I wandered into the breakroom and noticed green tea.  Work just happened to stock the green tea brand challenge buddy recommended, but not the type- she likes the mint green, and we only had plain green.  No worries, I found a bag of mint tea next to the green tea, and combined the two.  Crazy, I know.  I figured I wanted more flavor, so I let those guys sit in there for about a minute, and when it cooled down enough to not burn my lips off, I tried it.  The warm liquid was so soothing to my sick throat, and made my sinues feel better.  Before I knew it, the tea was gone.  It was also fantastic to drink something besides water.  Sold! 
I woke up today feeling so much better.  I doubt its the tea, and more of the half-cold finally running its course, but whatever.  I had more tea today, and it was delicious.  I can see this easily becoming a new obsession of mine, and isn't there something about green tea and weight loss?  Hmmm.  Slow to learn sometimes, slow to learn.
In other news, I felt well enough today to go to the gym, and I have no idea why after missing 4 days of CrossFit, it felt like my first day.  Always.  Must remember to not skip so many days.  They announced today a Superbowl Sunday WOD, and I'm all about that! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

228- February 1st (2nd?) Update

Last month was not my best month.  I did not catch the "new year" fever, and ended up with a month of maintaining.  Lesson learned.  Without further ado, here are the photos to prove I haven't turned into a bloated whale, I look pretty much exactly the same.

January 1:

February 1:

My goals for January were:

Focus on getting back to a clean paleo diet- too many things have been slowly creeping back in (dark chocolate, nuts, corn chips, etc.)
This didn't really happen.  Too many compromise items found their way into my day.

Drink 1 gallon of water/day
Yes!  Well, damn near close.  I'd say I averaged around 100oz a day, which is a vast improvement over the 40oz or so I was getting in before.

Weekend at home kettlebell workouts with the new toy
Yes!  Love the new toy.  I use it nearly daily, even if its just to do a few shoulder to overheads on each side.

Continue with Fish oil/vitamin D supplements
I did awesome on the vitamin D, but the fish oil thing I can't seem to make part of my routine.  I will continue to work on this, since getting Omega-3's is SOOOO necessary.  I did try to eat more of our pasture eggs, walnuts, and tuna (all good sources of Omega 3's).

I did have a few awesome PR's for the month of January, I hit a new deadlift PR of 235#, and I discovered my 30 rep max back squat PR is 125#.  Keep em coming!

As I mentioned yesterday, goals for this month are:

1) Firm up my diet - more veggies, portion control
2) Supplements!
3) continue on my coffee hiatus
4) 1 gallon of water per day
5) Shake this plateau

I'm still feeling the tail end of this cold, so I'm not feeling my best.  Hoping it moves along soon.  I miss the gym!  I checked in with challenge buddy earlier, and so far day 1 is a success for us both!  Oh, and if you thought I was kidding about her being funny, check out the comment she left on yesterday's post.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

229- Introducing February Challenge Buddy

I'm so ridiculously excited for February, I can hardly stand it.  First off, I have a challenge buddy!  I'll get to her introduction in a second.  Next, I mentioned the other day that I'm ready to break through this mental and physical plateau of mine with renewed structure, supplements, and of course, no grains, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, no coffee, and continuing to drink a gallon of water a day.  My post yesterday was really eye opening for me, and now I feel I know what I need to do.

My February challenge buddy is someone I've never met, but I've been a follower of her blog for at least 1.5 years.  I first found her blog through Jack Sh*t's blogroll, and after a few of her posts cracked me up, I was hooked.  Not to mention she is a fellow Pacific Northwester, and has such dry sense of humor, if you aren't paying attention, you just might miss the joke.  I'm so happy to have the Cilley Girl as my challenge buddy this month.  

We have laid out plans for the month out, and decided we would be taking before/after photos, and weighing ourselves.  Cilley's primary focus will be eliminating grains and processed sugars, as she's already done some Paleo experimenting and found out what foods do and don't work for her.  Dairy works for her, potatoes work for her, corn does not.  Diet coke will take the place of her 2 cups of coffee a day.  In summary, her goals for the month are:
1) record all food ingested
2) take fish oil supplement
3) incorporate more veggies and water into diet

My goals for the month are:
1) Firm up my diet - more veggies, portion control
2) Supplements!
3) continue on my coffee hiatus
4) 1 gallon of water per day
5) Shake this plateau

Tomorrow I'll post my January summary and pictures.