Monday, April 30, 2012

Starin' at a Chicken, Expecting an Omelette

I'm totally guilty of this, and for the past few weeks have been trying to put a name to it, but it just didn't click until I came across THIS article in Again, Faster. The quote that really hit home was "you don't stare at a chicken and expect an omelette, do you?" It was only when I realized how ludicrous that idea was that I recognized I had been doing that with many fitness/weight loss success stories. I was always so focused on the success, or end result..."wow, they look AMAZING."  Versus trying to fathom what the person must have gone through/given up/worked at to get there, or the process. Process is boring. Its also necessary.

The reality is, some of us are going to work harder than others. Some people want things so bad, they put in ridiculous hours and stop at nothing to get what they want. When they do finally get it, we see what they have and want it without all the work. We've all (hopefully) learned at an early age that you don't get something for nothing. Why should it be any different when it comes to ones health/fitness/athleltic capabilities?

I've also experienced being on the "success" side of this equation. I've had many people comment to me at my work about how "dedicated" I am because I go to the gym 4 days a week during lunch. They see me pass up the bread and sweets at our catered lunches and say things like "you are so good, I could never do that." I always smile and brush it off, but in my head, I'm screaming "YOU CAN! YOU CAN DO IT, YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO!"

The bottom line is we will never know what motivates other people, nor will we know what sort of things they are willing to sacrifice to have the things (or body) that we want. There is no point pining over someone else's success or percieved success if you are never going to want what they have bad enough to put in the work that the universe dictates it will take for you to achieve the same.

In many ways this realization is comforting. I have sensed for quite sometime that what I'm doing is a process. Now, I don't need to get frustrated that I can't do a pull-up yet, or that I can't rock a pair of size 4 jeans (which is really a size 6-8 with vanity sizing these days) because I'm putting in the time. I'm not sprinting and dying 10 feet from the finish, I'm moving along at a slow clip and will pass all the sprinters soon enough.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I was told that today was going to be sunny and mid-60's.  I woke up to grey skies and low 50's.  I feel slightly robbed, but unfortunately, this is pretty much the norm for the Pacific Northwest.  I was able to get a lot of outdoor stuff done yesterday, but I was still looking forward to a day where I could get some serious sun in my backyard.  Oh, well.  Instead I'm catching up on house chores, work, blogging (duh), and kettlebell training. 

I'm a huge fan of moves that work shit tons of muscles in one movement- overhead squats/lunges, push-ups, deadlifts, full squat clean and press, and the highly technical, but super effective Turkish Get-Up.  I found this video, and this chick is pretty bad ass.  It helps that she is lean so you can literally see every muscle in her body working:

Her form is perfect, and its hard to tell, but that's a 70 pound Kb she is working with.  I start to have issues using more than 50 pounds, and my 35 pound Kb is just fine for doing multiple get-ups on each side.  I remember the first time I was introduced to this movement- I was confused.  I went through all the motions, and while it was awkward, I never felt the heart pumping exertion like I do with other moves.  I'm sure I even thought to myself "what muscle is this working?"  The next day I was ridiculously sore after using a 15 pound Kb. 

A long span of time went by before I did TGU's again, and I always held a secret hatred of them because the movement took so damn long.  They are highly technical, and you can't just rip through them like air squats or push-ups.  Focus and control is absolutely key.  In fact, now, the more I concentrate on performing all the steps to the movement correctly, the more I find myself sweating after a short amount of time.

Notice how she rolls towards the Kb and then uses two arms to ensure its locked out above her.  Full lockout is absolutely necessary.  Next, she is focused on the Kb.  Always.  Her right knee is bent, the same side as the hand that holds the Kb.  Left leg is straight, and left arm is planted out 45 degrees away from the body.  Watching the Kb, she rolls onto her left side and uses her arm to prop her up, the whole time keeping the right arm locked out with the Kb, and eyes on the Kb. Next, she raises her hips into bridge, allowing her to sweep her left leg under her and form a very stable position with her left leg kneeing on the ground, and her right leg bent at 90 degrees with right foot flat on the floor.  She is in control, and now just needs to stand with the Kb.  Once standing, the movement is completed by doing the actions in reverse.  Lunging backwards, resting left knee on ground, planting left hand down, hip bridge to sweep left leg back, laying down, and using both arms to lower Kb and roll back to the right and set it down. 

After a quick Kb complex of 3 rounds of: 5 Kb swings, 5 goblet squats, 5 one armed overhead press on each side, 5 one arm Kb rows on each side, I did 5 TGU's on each arm.  I could feel my core working overtime to keep everything under control.  Due to their complexity and reliance on technique, these have moved from the bottom of my to-do list to the top. 

The best thing about these?  Doing them while balancing a shoe on your raised arm instead of weight is just as effective.  Try it.  Don't drop your shoe throughout any part of the movement.  When you can perform 5-7 on each side in full control without dropping the shoe, try adding some weight for a different feel.  When I'm at the gym, I often try to do TGU's with a barbell since that adds a whole new element of control.  What use is having a body that you can't control?   

Friday, April 27, 2012

When Bloggers Go Silent

The past week has been nuts for me. Busy at work, busy outside of work, home projects, etc., etc. There are many reasons why health/weightloss bloggers go silent, I would say first and foremost is that they fail to keep up with what they started, and begin to regain or whatever. I wanted to assure any suspicious minds that I have not fallen off the wagon. I haven't been silent on purpose (I'm so busy lately, really!!) with fears that I'm not delivering what I set out to, in fact, despite my lack of posting, things are going well for me. Now, on that same note there are a few bloggers whom I wish would take a break and get their crap together rather then keep spinning their wheels, but this is a free country, free speech all that. I have Norma to thank for saying out loud everything I think on those stuck individuals that clog up my reader with drivel.

Slowly over the past year or so, nearly every blog I followed at the start of my journey has fallen off the face of the earth, OR the protagonist is battling a re-gain. This does not bode well for positive weight loss/improved health statistics! I have to keep updating my blogroll and/or seeking out new reads. It's tiring, and I just don't have the time for it. I was thinking, to myself, "am I getting anything from these blogs?" Am I learning anything new, inspired, or entertained?" Lately the answer has been "no" on all fronts, and I just find myself annoyed. I don't need to find inspiration from blogs anymore, I create my own.

Just as my body and goals are different now from when I first started this blog, the way I blog and the blogs I search out to read are different too. I'm not interested in marginally written blogs by people who are on looking to "begin a healthy lifestyle," or whose plan is to "just eat less and move more." I'm interested in introspection, and people that dive deeper into finding the reasons they eat more then their body can support, and what they plan to do to fix it (hint: eating less and moving more is not going to fix it long term if your relationship with food is messed up- I just saved you 5 years of yo-yo dieting, you should pay me money). I'm also interested in people that have figured out their bodies and what they need to do, and have maintained a weight loss for a significant period of time 2+ years. I want to read about kick ass high intensity workouts, how much grains suck, and the food industry subsidies that are making the nation fatter under the premise of "health." I want to read about people eating real food, chicks that love olymipic lifts (and aren't afraid to load the bar up with ridiculous amounts of weight), and how cardio is NOT the answer to burning fat. I don't ask much.

Once again, I'm going to slowly start updating my blogroll with links that support what I want to read. I have a feeling the blogs I decide to put up will be there for the long haul since they are people that have figured it out, and people that are living the most healthy life they have created, not living the most healthy life they can tolerate (not a long term strategy).

This has been on my mind for some time now, and I've been meaning to post on it, just wasn't sure how to approach it. I understand it is sort of a rant, but I'm on a mission to get myself some pull-ups, and I can't be bogged down by people that are eating cake and refusing to exercise and wondering why the scale isn't moving, that was soooo 2010.

Moving on...

A little recap of this week- heavy barbells! I loved every second of it. Monday involved 100# deadlifts (that's actually a pretty average weight for me, not heavy) push-ups, and box jumps. It was a slow killer. I also tripped up on my very last 20" box jump and banged the crap out of my shin. 4 days later the bruise is pretty...Tuesday involved 100# power cleans, toes to bar, and wall balls. Wednesday was much needed rest/recover day, and yesterday, I did full squat clean and press/clean and jerks at 110#. 110# is creeping pretty damn close to my max on clean&press. I might have 5-10 more pounds in me, but for me, its crazy how much difference there is between 95# and 100#. I feel so comfortable with 95#- I can do front squats/cleans/push press/etc. for DAYS at 95, but throw on 5 more pounds, and its like the end of the world.

Food has been pretty good- still focusing on eating less as I'm trying to shed fat. I would say I'm being successful at this with one exception- the new "pay by weight" frozen yogurt place by my house. Bf deluxe and I discovered it 9 days ago. We've now been there 5 times. Yes, I'd say there is a problem indeed! I know its just the newness and the novelty of the place, and I will get over this phase, so I'm not beating myself up over it. Especially since my the other parts of what I eat in the day are perfect (lots of lean protein, fruit, veggies). A stalling of progress is generally the best frozen yogurt habit kicker there I'm watching for that.

Generally speaking though, I feel great. I like what I'm eating, I love my gym, I feel strong, I see progress over last year, and I don't see an end to any of this in sight. What more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One for One

Has it really been one week since I last posted? How does the time go by so fast? So, lets see...what's! I got a pair of Tom's finally. I'm pretty excited about that. I'm also excited that I just bought some random kid I don't know in some unknown country a pair of shoes. At least, that's what Tom told me. I didn't get the "classic" ones because I just don't love them. In fact, I think they are kinda ugly. BUT...these color blocked ballet flats? Love.

I think I mentioned earlier that the 3 coaches at the gym take turns writing the workout programming. Well, we are currently in week 2 of kick ass female trainers' programming. Last week was hell. This week, still hell, but for some reason, I've been enjoying myself. The weights are heavy. We are doing a lot more barbell/Oly stuff, and that is the stuff I really like, and the stuff I feel makes me get strongest fastest. Sure, the short, lighter weight, high intensity metabolic workouts are ok, but there is just something about lifting a really heavy bar just a few times that releases some endorphin or something in me and I feel like a bad ass for the rest of the day. On Monday, I did a workout that included front squats with 95#, deadlifts with 155#. On Tuesday, I did a workout that included hang full snatches with 65# + 2 OH squats. On Wednesday I did a workout that included step-ups onto a 20" box with 85# on my shoulders that I cleaned from the floor, pressed overhead, then rested on my shoulders. Today, before our 12 min AMRAP workout, we found our 5RM strict shoulder press (no legs!) and then did 5 rounds of 5 at 90% of our 5 RM. My 5RM was 75#, so my 90% was 70#. Holy crap, my arms are still shaking 2 hours later! So yeah, lots of heavy weights were lifted this week.

I've been running to and from the gym from work 2-3 days/week, and my times are getting faster. I also have noticed a significant decrease in ankle annoyance during running and swelling after running. I think I'm finally on the mend!

Eating...I'm focusing on- wait for it...eating less. I'm still avoiding grains/sugar etc. just eating smaller portions, especially at dinner time. I guess I always thought that if I ate less somehow that would lead to me having an eating disorder. I also guess I went above and beyond to ensure that did not happen. I also suspect that my being "paleo" somehow gave my brain a green light to eat the huge amounts of food my stomach/eyes were used to, as long as they were "paleo." Point taken body, point taken. I'm retraining my eyes/brain to understand that I can support my activity levels on smaller amounts. Bear with me people, this is a process.

Hmm, what else...I bought Kobe Beef hot dogs the other day because they were on sale, and I think that's probably the most ridiculous concept I've heard of. And I like irony. If I see filet mignon hamburger out there, I'd probably get that too. Well, if it was on sale. I'll let you know if I can taste the Kobe.  Ew, that sounds weird.  Not the basketball player.  Oh, and I also got this dress on supersale. I love the color...I ordered it in a size smaller then I would normally get, and it fits!  Sorry for the poor mirror quality, its the only full length one I have. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Secret to Weightloss

I remember it like it was yesterday.  My college roommate and I were in our apartment, and we were discussing exercise or weightloss, or something along those lines.  I was in the midst of losing quite a bit of weight, and she was and always had been "normal" sized.  I don't remember how it came up exactly, but I will never forget when she said "if I feel like my jeans are getting tighter, I just eat less until I'm comfortable."  Not only do I remember that, but specifically, I recall the horror I felt.  I kept a poker face, but inside my head, I was going crazy.  I thought to myself in a borderline panic "what does she mean, eat less?!  That's not an option, I have to exercise, I have to be on a diet, and, and, well, eating less?  What?  No.  That's ridiculous.  I need a certain amount of food.  I can't just eat less.  Pffft.  She doesn't understand."  It took me a long time to realize it was me who didn't understand.  
The secret to weightloss?  Eat less.  It's that simple.  Ask any person of healthy weight (and healthy relationship with food) what they do to keep their figure, and most likely they won't even be conscious of it, but I can tell you for a near fact, they eat less.  Period.   
What is NOT simple is figuring out what YOU as an individual has to do in order to be able to eat less, or rather eat food at amounts that support whatever your goals are at a particular time.  It is a process.  It takes time, especially if you body is not functioning properly, or your relationship with food is poor.  If you are trying to lose weight a significant amount of weight, it takes a lot of time.  Anyone can have motivation to eat less for a short period of time, but unless the root issues are fixed regarding why you tend to put more food in your mouth then your body needs, you efforts will not be lasting ones.  This leads to the worn out saying by every single overweight person- "I've tried everything."  The funny thing is, ALL of those "things" work in terms of weight loss, it's no fault of the method, it's the fault of the person for relying on the method to do the hard work, and ignoring what hard work they need to do themselves, internally. 
To think that weight loss is just about finding the right diet, or lifestyle change, or whatever, is missing the point completely.  In addition to finding the right diet/lifestyle change, a person has to learn about their body.  What foods fuel it?  What foods make it feel bad?  Do you eat when you are happy, sad, angry?  Do you crave bread/sweets?  Do you know when your body is maintaining, losing, or gaining weight without stepping on a scale?  Do you know how to best regulate your blood sugar levels in your own body- intermittent fasting, higher fat, frequent meals?  Are your food issues so bad that you need to seek therapy?  This is just a sampling of the research you need to do on your own to figure out how YOU as an individual can choose to eat less if you are trying to lose weight.  If the thought of eating less sends you into a panic like it once did to me, you aren't there yet. 
All those years back in college when I lost a good chunk of weight 50? pounds, and I thought my roommate was nuts for saying all she did was "eat less" I didn't get it.  When I reached a weight that was normal, I fell back into old patterns.  I was able to maintain my loss for a year or two with my habitual running (also, when you are smaller and have more muscle mass your body is more forgiving on what you can eat), but during a chunk of time when running took a back seat to beer, and I paid no attention to my jeans getting tighter (must be the dryer) I found myself right back at square one.  My years post college were spent yo-yo-ing- spurts of running, eating less and losing weight followed by weight gain.  I didn't know how to get off the merry-go-round, and I blamed everything around me.  I could tell you how many calories were in any food item, or how many calories an exercise burned in 30 minutes, yet a little over 2 years ago, I was the fattest I'd ever been. 
In the past two years, I've put in a lot of work.  I've gone from hitting the YMCA eliptical for 30 minutes and eating oatmeal for breakfast to the 30 day shred to "1/2 marathon training" (and gaining) to a Paleo diet and CrossFit.  I've gone from wanting to get to a certain goal weight to not giving a shit about my weight and just wanting to be able to do a pull-up (or 10).  I've recorded triumphs and failures, learning a little more about myself each time- more so from the failures then from the triumphs.  I have been determined to find a way of eating that suits my body.  I wanted a method I can use for when I want to trim pounds, and a method to use to maintain my weight.  When I hit a road block or found something wasn't working for me, I made changes, and took notes of what worked, and what I liked.  I left myself open to try new things, but hands down the most significant thing I found as my downfall was sugar and grains.  The longer I abstained from those items, the better I felt.  Sure I tested myself many times with eating them.  I would fall off the wagon and end up eating those items numerous times over a week or two period of time before I could get my shit together, only to find the same result...they make me feel like crap, gain weight, AND make me want more sugar/grains/crap so the cycle is never ending.  After many "tests" I finally learned abstaining is better then moderation for me. 
It wasn't until a few weeks ago when it finally hit me.  I FINALLY got it.  If I want to lose weight, I need to eat less (for me, that is still a diet of meat, vegetables, real food, etc., just slightly smaller portions).  There was no panic about this, it was just truth.  When I'm eating the correct foods, my blood sugar is stable so I don't crash after a few hours of no food, nor do I get crazy irrationally hungry.  I know I can eat whatever foods I want, but I also know the consequences (so I won't).  It's almost annoying how simple it is (after I did all the work fixing my battered body/taking the emotion out of food).  It always HAS been, but I've been the one making it so complicated.  It took me a long time to reach this point.  I may not be perfect or have it all figured out yet, but I know how good I feel, how awesome my workouts have been, and just the fact that the idea of me eating less food doesn't send me into a panic is a giant leap forward. 
Oh, new PR today at gym- 3 rep max deadlift- 215#  Previous 3 rep max was 200#.  Yay!     

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plan and Do.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.  But remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."
I can't think of a more perfect quote to come across my path to describe my feelings about my health to date.  Its always about perspective.  Its so easy to get down on myself when I keep setting the bar higher and higher.  I have to remember how not too long ago, the bar was set where I'm at now! 
Lately I have been taking some things for granted that used to be things I only hoped for:
- No problems finding clothes/making outfits from my closet for work/outings
- I have more then 2 pairs of pants that I'm comfortable wearing- in fact nearly weekly I send a bag of frumpy clothes to Goodwill
- I'm able to head out for a run with other active friends and keep up
- Not terrified of cameras anymore
- I'm 100% secure in my food choices, even if it means odd looks from others
The above quote can also be interpreted a slightly different way, and mean roughly "don't make excuses."  One thing is certain, we always find the time/money/energy to do whatever it is we really want to do.  No matter what.  I used to spend so much time dreaming about what I didn't have, I never made the time to actually take the necessary steps to get where I wanted to be.  What did I do?  Replaced thoughts (daydreams) with planning, and words with doing.  Did I get it right away?  No.  It takes (still takes) lots of practice.  The more I practice, the better I get.  Weird. 
On an unrelated note, now that I'm back to running more, I am reminded of a strange phenomenon that seems to plague me.  People cheer me on/comment on my running ALL.THE.TIME.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I remember in college when I was running a lot after class, I would always run by this old man on my way out to the trail, and he would always say to me "you're going to get skinny!!"  (funny thing is I was about 30lbs lighter than I am now).  A few years ago when I took up running on my lunch break at my old job, I would frequently run by this one dude, and he would always say "great job, you're doing great!"  A few days ago, I was on my run back to work from the gym, and this woman was walking to her car, and she looked up at me and said "keep it up!"  Today, I had 2 people comment to me, one old (presumably homeless) man told me I was beautiful, and then at a stoplight, some other dude said "hey, you were here running yesterday, at this same time!"  I was like, "yup."  I must put out some "I'm dying please encourage me" vibe when I run.  Either that, or I look like someone who is out for their very first run ever, and if I don't get encouragement, it will be my last run ever.  Oh, well.  I'm sure they all mean well.  Its just weird to me.  I guess I could stop writing "cheer me on" on my forehead before I head out for a run...
Another unrelated I did 45 chest-to-bar pull-ups with the black band over the course of the workout.  Yeah...definitely getting more comfortable with the movement.  Might be time to switch to green band (slightly smaller) soon. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Box Rocks

Its been a beyond fabulous 3-day weekend for me.  The weather has been amazing- sunny and 60's, I've been super productive, and with the help of the bf deluxe, I made something really cool.  Something I've wanted for a long time, and something that will no doubt get plenty of use.  What is it you ask?  A box.  A 24" x 20"x 19.5" box:
Isn't it the most beautiful thing in the world?  It just needs some handles cut out, more sanding, and some grip tape along the jumping edges.  I learned a lot building this...first of all, when building a cube with 3/4" plywood, 2 dimensional drawings and measurements are not going to be accurate.  My drawings/measurements were ideally supposed to yield a 24"x20"x18" box, but I did not account for the fact that some pieces would have to sit on top of 3/4" of plywood in order for the box to be a box.  This resulted in more cuts, and one side being 1.5" longer then I was planning.  Oh, well.  I shouldn't be doing 18" box jumps anyway.  I'm optimistic that with practice I'll be jumping up on the 24" side shortly.  I know its only 4 inches higher then I'm used to, but it seems SO much taller. 

After drilling many screws into all sides this morning, I wasted no time testing it out.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time setting the self timer on my camera and trying to get me at just the right angle for some cool action shots.  I estimated I must've performed 30-50 box jumps trying to get these (if the whiteness of my legs blinds you, I apologize, it might have been the first time my legs have seen sun all year):

Once I got a nice progression of photos, I decided to do a real workout, so I did 3 rounds of:
5 fast as possible box jumps, 5 Russian Kb swings, 5 USA swings, 5 Kb clean and press. 

Backyard gym is coming along nicely! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Suck at Plate Math

My mind likes to play tricks on me.  For no apparent reason, I woke up today and felt like my stomach was 3 times the size it was yesterday.  I grabbed it, and was like WTH?  Where did this ALL COME FROM?!?!  I proceeded to grumpily get dressed, eat my protein packed breakfast, and drive to work.  Standing in my cubicle, I looked down and my pants were just hanging off me.  I can remember not that long ago when these pants were snug.  So maybe my stomach hadn't grown to ridiculous proportions overnight, and it was all in my head.  Very possible, since this type of thing has a way of occurring going up the scale as well... I can remember thinking numerous times "pants are more snug, must have been the dryer."  The mind is a poor judge of weight/loss/gains.  Anyone can talk themselves into believing anything, or even seeing something in the mirror that does not exist.  Pants however...pants do not lie. 
I went on working, drinking massive amounts of water, and getting excited for my lunchtime gym routine.  According to the website, we would be having a "skills" day.  Presumably we would work on things that we are the worst at (double unders, pull-ups, box jumps for me!).  I arrived at the gym only to find it locked.  Slowly but surely a few other regular nooners began showing up, and we were all baffled.  I decided to check the website again, and maybe the FB page for any annoucements of a cancellation.  There was no notice about a gym closure, but there was a change to the days workout!  What the?  Finishing off baseline week with 30rep max back squat.
Oh, back squats!  YES!  My favorite.  I was in desperate need of a heavy lifting day.  I looked up to the board and saw that last time I did this, my PR was 135#.  I also hold the spot of top girl at the gym for this one particular benchmark.  I wanted to protect my spot.  As I was warming up, I figured I'd try for 30 reps at 140#.  That was a respectable number.  Working with my partner, we did a few reps at 65#, then 95#, then 135#.  My partner decided to do his 30 reps at 135#.  As he was cranking those out, I grabbed (2) 5 pound plates, neglecting to account for the fact that it would bring the bar up to 145#, and NOT 140#. 
I ducked under the bar, and at this point everyone had completed their 30 reps, so all eyes were on me.  Taking the bar off the rack felt pretty good.  The first 10 reps went by quick.  Around 13 reps my breathing quickened, and I could feel the weight of the bar on my back, and it was a fight to keep my chest up and abs tight.  I made it to 20 reps, and then thought "only 10 more" and counted backwards- only 9 more, 8 on and so forth. 
When I was done, and putting the bar back, trainer says "is that a 10# PR?"  I'm like "no, only 5."  "WAIT A MINUTE...yes, I put 5# on each side, so yes, that is a 10# PR."  Trainer laughed at me and said "see?  That's why its good to suck at plate math, otherwise if you know what you are doing, you can talk yourself out of it."  So true!  Just like that, an accidental new amazing PR for my 30rep max back squat (ATG of course)- 145 pounds.  Let's see...I believe that makes 3 workouts this week...3 PR's.  Hell Yeah! 
My legs are officially done.  Mad fish oil will be downed with dinner, and before bed. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It Is Possible

Baseline week continues.  I peeked at the workout of the day this morning, and I saw it was a familiar one...the owner of the gyms' creation and favorite workout to put us through...Burping Sumo.  21 sumo deadlift high pulls (65#), 21 burpees, 15 SDLHP, 15 burpees, 9 SDLHP, 9 burpees.  I flipped back through my data and saw that we had performed this WOD 2 months ago, and it took me 7:04, Rx (using prescribed weight, 65#).  My goal instantly became to beat that score.  I had every bit of confidence I could do it, even if it was just to get under the 7 minute mark. 
At 11:00am, and hour before I head to the gym, my stomach growled with true hunger.  I had just eaten some strawberries an hour earlier, and my breakfast 3 hours before that, so I downed some BCAA's and some kick ass sports/energy drink and hoped that would pull me through the workout.  At noon, I ran out the door and headed to the gym.  It was cold and raining.  I got to the gym and HCT put us through a grueling warm-up- seriously, I was just not feelin' it!  I felt like my limbs were made from cement, everything was soooo hard.  Then, almost with an odd clarvoyancy...HCT said he had to get something off his chest.  HCT went on to say "so last night, I misspoke, and I need to clear the air.  I was speaking to one of the new girls, and I told her- 'you are not here to impress the trainers, you are not here to impress the others in your class, you are here to impress you.'  This is wrong because everyday I'm impressed by you guys.  I forgot to mention that last part to the new girl."   
The never ending warm-up dragged on, I was the last to finish, and as we started setting up our bars for the workout, I began to doubt if I was going to beat my previous time.  I got nervous, and then suddenly some other folks were commenting about being nervous.  That made me feel better.  3-2-1- GO!  My 21 SDLHP's were fast.  I hit the floor and began my burpees, but after what seemed like an eternity, I was only on #7.  I pushed through, didn't bother to look at the clock, and just focused on keeping myself moving.  At the end of my 15 round, I looked up at the clock and realized, I was in the game, and I could beat my previous time.  This gave me a boost and I rocketed through my last 9 burpees.  On my last jump and clap, I looked up at the clock and saw the most glorious thing in the world- 5:44.  
It took a second to realize that I had just shed 1 minute 20 seconds off my previous time, ok, I officially impressed myself.  I was aware that the guy who finished over 2 minutes before me (3min something) had beat his previous time as well, and as the clock ticked on, another guy was about to not only beat his previous time, but beat it at a higher weight then he used last time.  Watching him complete his last burpees in near perfect form was beyond inspiring.  As HCT wrote our new times on the benchmark board, he was beaming, obviously impressed by the feats of the class.  All three people that had previous times beat them.  I happily ran out the door into the rain for my cool down run.  
Back at the office I ate my lunch consisting of lots of protein and proceeded to get a crazy endorphin rush.  I couldn't stop thinking about how great my life is as I chowed down on some plain chicken breast.  One thing is absolute...never in my life have I been eating a donut/cookie/ice cream/something "bad" and experienced that euphoric feeling.  Ha, I guess me and Jesus DID have a come to, or some understanding, or whatever the hell it is that happens in a come to Jesus meeting.  Is it frowned upon to say "hell" and "Jesus" in the same sentence?  Shit. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

What Are You?

I think I have blog ADHD.  I keep changing things.  My plan, my focus, my background, my goals, etc.  I would say sorry, but I'm not.  I think the constant changing is reflective of where I'm at a particular time.  There is no reason to stick to something if its no longer serves a purpose.  Sometimes I get frustrated that I'm still "on this journey" and all that crap.  I mean, come on, people on Biggest Loser lose more weight in 3 weeks than I've lost in over 2 years ( they keep it off?!).  I thought about just stopping this blog altogether, but the only reason for my mind wandering there is when I try to think about what readers would be thinking about me.  Then I remembered that I don't write for my readers (sorry!).

That being said, I'm over the year long challenge thing.  I'm sure some of you that know me well predicted this.  Uh, hello, I'm fat, clearly I'm not good at sticking to things!  I believe it lost its effectiveness somewhere around the 3rd time I started my year over.  Whatev's.  Moving on.

On Saturday, I had a little come-to-Jesus with myself.  I have no idea what that means, except for that people say it when they want to express groups getting on the same page, or reaching some understanding.  So, yeah, my head and my body came to an understanding and for about the bazillionth time, something clicked.  I know what foods I need to eat to feel good.  I know how much and what types of exercises make me feel good.  I have goals that I want to achieve- hello, pull-up?  So, doing anything OTHER then eating the foods that make me feel good, doing the exercise that makes me feel good, and working toward my goals is completely counter-productive.  Um, duh, right?  Well, I've been going through the motions, but I didn't REALLY get why until that moment.   Every workout is a chance for me to push my boundaries so that I improve.  Every calorie I put in my mouth needs to support my exercise.  I've been thinking so hard about what I can and can't eat, it creates this artificial want for the foods I "can't" eat and focuses too much of my thinking around food.  I need to focus on living and my goals.  In reality, I can eat anything I want.  The questions I have to ask myself are: "how will I feel after I eat it?" "Is this going to help me on my path to my goals?" 

Also, I think I've been way too hard on myself.  Food is just food.  If I eat a piece of bread and I'm "paleo" that doesn't make me a bad person.  It is not a reason for me to spend time feeling guilty or punish myself in some other way (starting my year over, exercising, etc.).  My body and my abilities are reflective of what I do the majority of the time, NOT the minority.  However, that being said, I know that eating grains does not make me feel my best, therefore, I will choose to avoid them.  I know that if I remove certain items from my rotation (pasta, pizza, sandwiches, sweets, etc.), I will not only quit craving them, but if I do decide to have them, they don't taste nearly like what I remember/had them built up in my head to be.  A true and utter let down- but again, a good reason to just keep them off the radar.  Duh again, I know.

It wasn't until I caught a glimpse of what I didn't want to be, that I realized what it is I want to be.  I want to be someone that looks like they actually do crossfit.  I want to be someone that looks like they eat incredibly well.  Right now I'm not so sure those things are apparent, and there is no one to blame but myself.  Sure I've made some pretty big gains in my strength, and I really dug in to my diet to find items that make me feel like crap, but it was more going with what I thought I should be doing versus with purpose.  Just aimless swimming upstream, no drive to spawn (in the Pacific Northwest everything can be explained with a salmon metaphor).  In my come to Jesus, I realized I'm very close to living the life I want to live.  I've laid the foundation, and now its time to build.

Today is a great day.  It's like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and my path is clear.  I woke up feeling kinda crappy due to some nutrient-poor food choices on Sunday.  I was stuffed-up, sneezy, sluggish, bloated and just blah feeling.  I ate my 6oz chicken breast for breakfast (with a little yam for complex carbs/flavor), drank a sh*t ton of water, and by 11:00am, felt good as new.  Before heading to the gym, I downed some energy drink and BCAA's (my proven recipe for a good workout) laced up my running shoes and headed out to the gym.  When I got outside, I was met with glorious sunshine.  Not just any sunshine, but warm sunshine.  I happily made my way to the gym, completely KICKED MY ASS (more on that in a second), and turned down an offer for a ride back to the office so I could run!  

This week is baseline week.  At the gym there are a few choice workouts that we do every couple of months to evaluate our progress.  Today we did the 22 minute routine, or as I described in my post on December 30, 2011- Holy Hard Workout.  There were a whole slew of new people in the class today, and man, if this was the first crossfit workout I ever did, I'm not sure I would've come back.  We'll see how many of them make it back.  So, as we made our way through a 22 minute AMRAP of : 15 upright rows, 15 deadlifts, 15 bent rows, 15 deadlift high pulls, 15 squat thrusts, 15 push press, 15 front squats (35# bar for me) I focused on trying to hang onto the bar as long as possible, keeping my breathing in check, and minimizing breaks.  At some point I was just in a zone.  I don't know how my body was moving because my mind certainly wasn't telling it to, it just was.  I had sweat pouring off my face and dripping down my nose.  My hands and wrists were glistening, and I'm sure I was a brilliant shade of red.  I wanted to get through 4 rounds in 22 minutes.  I made it to 4.2 rounds.  I collapsed on the floor for a second to catch my breath, and the couple who's first day it was asked "how many rounds did you get?"  "Um, (exhale) 4 and (exhale) some more."  Woman of couple said "you were going so fast."  Man of couple "So, what are you?  You aren't human."  Lol.  Its all relative, buddy...(I didn't say that, but I was thinking it.)  Compared to the rock star chicks at the gym, my score was pretty average.  BUT...I improved over my last time!  I finished my complete 4th round at 20 minutes this time (allowing me to get through 10 of the bent rows in my 5th round), and last time, I just completed 4 rounds at the 22 minute mark.  I'm pretty happy with that.

I switched out of my weight lifting shoes to my running shoes and the couple was in the parking lot.  One of the trainers was talking to them and asked me "do you want a ride?"  "Nah, I said, cool down run!"  I heard the man of the couple say to the trainer as I jogged off "she's not human."  HAHAHAHHAHAHA.  I think just the opposite...I'm finally acting like the human I've always wanted to be!