No, Crossfit didn’t make me fat

About five months ago, I quit Crossfit.  Prior to leaving my super duper awesome box, I had been WODing for nearly two years, and loved every minute of it.

But since leaving Crossfit I’ve lost a shit ton of weight.  A few months ago it was enough that people were starting to notice, and at this point it’s enough that strangers are starting to comment on it.  I look good.  Damn good if I do so say myself, and I’m working my ass off for it.

Interestingly, there seems to be a camp of people who believe that Crossfit was holding me back/making me fat/made me gain weight/limited my potential the entire time I was doing it.  They have no problem pointing out to me time and again that it’s only been since I stopped doing Crossfit that I’ve found the weight loss and physique results that I was looking for, and truly believe that Crossfit was the “problem.”

So here I am to set the record straight folks.  Before one more naysayer jumps in and feels the need to spread their drivel let me clarify to the world:

CROSSFIT DID NOT MAKE ME FAT.

When I quit Crossfit I took a long hard look at the things I was doing from a fitness and nutrition perspective and made the decision and commitment to really overhaul  my lifestyle to make lasting changes to get the results I wanted.  I didn’t cut out Crossfit because it was a change I felt I needed to make to be successful, nor did I think it was holding me back.

I WAS HOLDING MYSELF BACK.

Crossfit isn’t what kept me from reaching my goals.

These things are:

  • Alcohol- I was drinking most every night, and not just one glass of wine.  The calories in the booze combined with the effect it had on my metabolism, and the poor nutritional choices I made as a result of being buzzed contributed to my unhealthy weight.
  • Poor Nutritional Choices-  As I mentioned above, I wasn’t great about making good choices.  While I certainly knew HOW to eat well and to fuel my body properly, I was also just as likely to justify a cheeseburger and fries BECAUSE of the really hard workout I had earlier in the day.
  • Eating too Much-  Calories are weird little buggers.  Sure you can eat 100% Paleo for several days straight, but if that involves gobs of bacon and avocado and not so much in the spinach and greens department, you’re not going to see weight loss results either.
  • Making Lots of Excuses-  Any time I deviated from the nutritional guidelines I knew I should have been following, I always had a really good reason why.  If I had spent that much time and energy convincing myself to just stick to the healthy choices, I would have been much further along.

Moral of the story is:  to achieve your goals you need to work towards them every single day in every action you take and every choice you make.

I’m not perfect, no one is, but over the past 5 months I’ve made great choices every chance I’ve had and am seeing great results because of it.  It’s not because I quit Crossfit, it’s because I quit making excuses and prohibiting myself from being successful.

So to the Crossfit smack talkers- piss off.  I still love the sport, I love my box, and have a lot of respect for the people who do it.

And regardless of what fitness plan you follow, get out there today and kick some ass.  Who’s with me?

Meal Prep Mondays

Lately I’ve been asked time and again what’s going in my pie hole that’s helping me to see such great weightloss results?  Apparently “covering my mouth with duct tape whenever there is pizza around” isn’t the answer most folks are looking for, so today I wanted to take a few minutes to walk through my meal prep for the week.

Before we begin though, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I am not about to tell you anything you can’t read a thousand other places.  Losing weight isn’t rocket science.  You need to eat whole, healthy foods 95% of the time.  I follow a mainly paleo/primal approach not because I think cavemen were all that bright, but because the emphasis is on REAL food.  One of my Crossfit coaches used to say, “if it has an ingredients label, don’t eat it.”  For my approach, that about sums it up.

All that said, Monday’s are my favorite day of the week lately.  I’m fortunate to be “retired” and have the luxury of doing my meal prep while the hubs is at work and I can blast Ed Sheeran radio and sing and dance in the kitchen in my underpants while spending an hour getting my shit together for the week.

I eat 4-5 times per day, and include veggies with every meal.  In order to keep from being blindingly bored, I try to have a lot of options in the house.  On Monday’s I usually sit down and think through total servings I will need for the week and slice, dice, roast and portion accordingly.

This week, Monday Meal Prep was as follows:

  • 2 lbs carrots roasted in coconut oil
  • 1 lbs brussels sprouts roasted in coconut oil
  • 5 lbs spaghetti squash roasted
  • 2 large cucumbers peeled and chopped
  • 6 portabello mushroom brushetta cups (sautéed onions, garlic and tomato, mixed with basil baked in mushroom caps)
  • 5 servings of homemade meat sauce (made with grass fed ground sirloin)
  • 4 grilled chicken breast
  • 1 dozen eggs boiled

I did the carrots, brussels sprouts and squash all at the same time.  While they were roasting I browned the ground beef and got the sauce going.  Once the veggies came out of the oven I made the brushetta mixture and threw in the mushrooms while grilling the chicken and boiling the eggs.  All told it took just over an hour and I am well stocked for the week.

This way, any time I’m hungry I have lots of healthy options to choose from.

Now it’s your turn!

What are your meal plans for the week?  What’s your favorite meal prep recipe?

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soupish (because it’s so thick it’s hard to call it soup)

Even though I live in Florida, I’m a total crockpot/slow cooker junkie.  I don’t have much time to prepare meals, but it’s important to me to eat as healthy as possible.  I’m always throwing a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and hoping it tastes good, and this week’s concoction was exceptionally tasty.

If you keep an eye on the ingredients in any of the canned items, you can have a 100% paleo meal with no more than 10 minutes of prep time.

You’re welcome.

mexican chicken soup

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs of chicken of your choice (I used breast)
1 large poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large can of diced tomatoes (check for wheat/soy/sugar to keep it paleo)
1 large bunch of cilantro chopped (about 1 cup)
4 limes juiced (about 1/3 cup)
1 can green chilies (again, check ingredients)
32 ounces chicken broth (or base if you prefer)
Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cayenne pepper, chili powder

Directions:

I swear to you, it’s this easy.

Put the chicken in the base of your crock pot.

Chop all ingredients that aren’t chopped (peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro) and throw them on top of the chicken.

Add tomatoes, lime juice and chicken broth.

Spice to your taste.

Set slow cooker for 8 hours on low or about 4.5 on high.  When it beeps, use two forks to shred chicken and mix well.

This comes out as a very thick hearty soup, making for a very filling and protein rich meal.

Whole 30 Strikes Again

So, remember when I finished my last Whole 30 challenge and I said I would never do it again?

Yeah, I lied.

Over the past few weeks I’ve made some great changes to get myself moving in the right direction again nutritionally, but have found that I have a tendency to eat my feelings, and massive quantities of chocolate and cheese, on the weekends.

Turns out Patty over at Patty Gets Fit, who also happens to also be a badass chick who also attends my box, kicked off her own Whole 30 this week.  Since I’m a sucker for a support system, I asked if she wanted some company in the challenge and joined her today.

Of course, I first made the time to give myself some serious fondue and wine love last night.  I mean, gotta start this bugger off right after all.

So today marks Day 1.  Unlike last time, I know what to expect and am going into this mentally prepared.  For me, Whole 30 was pretty awful until 3 weeks in and will likely be the same this time around.

However, this time around I have different goals than last time.  Last time was about just surviving it.  This time, I need to learn something from it.  This time around I won’t simply slip back into bad habits as soon as this sucker is over.  I need to pay attention to how much better my body feels and even more importantly, I need to use this knowledge to fuel my desire to be good to myself all the time.

With my training volume kicking up through the winter, I need to make sure I’m eating enough and enough of the right things to keep myself healthy, sleeping well, and of course, losing weight.

As with before, I fully anticipate the biggest hurdle I will battle will be alcohol as it relates to my social life, but this time around I have the tools to stick with the plan and still have a good time.

Be prepared for some crabby WOD posts my readers.  As I’m only in the early hours of Day 1 I’m still feeling pretty good at the moment, but I think we all know that my desire to “kill all the things” lurks just around the corner.

Waffles and Whiplash

starting over

I’m on one hell of a roller coaster at the moment.  Day 1, I neurotically plan out every morsel that will pass my lips over the next seven days.  Including cheat meals, nights I will drink, the works.  I create a grocery list and meticulously shop for every item.  I cook several evenings worth of meals, portion them off into microwave friendly containers.  I stick to the plan like a freaking bodybuilder during their cut weeks leading up to a show… for exactly one week.

Then, I go out drinking, have an unplanned cheeseburger and all hell breaks loose.

Somewhere between 7 and 21 days later, I find myself back at the bottom, crawling my way up with my neurosis firmly trudging forward so we can take the ride again.

Doubt me?  Go back and read the last two months of my blog.  Tell me how many times I have a “come to Jesus” with myself about eating and exercise.

I’ve got to get off this ride.  I’m starting to get whiplash.

When I look back at the past year of my journey, I am so amazed with how far I’ve come.  The gains I’ve seen in strength, and the progress I’ve made in my overall health and wellness because of Crossfit have been pretty amazing.

But here’s the ugly truth kittens.  I started doing Crossfit because I wanted to lose weight.  I wanted to see a physical, aesthetic difference in my body.

At the end of the day, while I’m impressed with how much I can squat, that fundamental reason hasn’t changed.

And what’s more, it’s not Crossfit that will get me to where I want to be aesthetically.  That comes down to my diet.  That comes down to me.

There’s a ton of memes out there that talk about how you can’t out train a bad diet, and they are all true.

When I look around me at other women who have started Crossfit around the time I have, I see some amazing results.  In some cases, I see the results I’m looking for.  In every case, I hear stories of how they overhauled their diet and that is the key to their success.

I can pout all I want and tell myself that I too have changed the way I eat.  Sure I have, about 30% of the time.  The rest of the time, I’m on the loopy downward spiraling part of the coaster that looks exactly like what I was doing before Crossfit.

I can whine about it, or not.  I can blog about it, or not.  None of that changes whether I follow a solid nutrition plan… or not.

I am the only one who can change that.

I’ve said before that one piece of what I’ve tried to learn through this journey is to not be so hard on myself.  I am trying.  But sometimes, even someone as passive as me needs some tough love.  So here is my tough love to myself.

I am better than this.

I am stronger than this.

I know HOW to be successful.

Stop whining about how hard it is, and how you’re starting over again and just DO what you know you need to in order to achieve your goals.

I’m not starting over, I’m starting from here.  And every good decision is one step forward.

But this time, rather than climbing to the top of the roller coaster drop for another ride, let’s envision climbing to the top of a mountain.  A big, steep climb that isn’t going to happen quickly, but once I’m there I will have a whole new perspective.

Maybe I’ll turn into one of those furry mountain people that doesn’t ever want to come down.

The universe spoke to me through Chipotle

Do not burpee when in this condition, ever.

Do not burpee when in this condition, ever.

Since I was running late to work this morning I decided at around 7:30 a.m. that I would be going to Chipotle for lunch.

Which means Chipotle fantasies ALL DAY LONG.

By the time I was walking in with friend and coworker cycling blondie I was having cheese and sour cream and burrito fantasies.  Freaking bathtubs filled with sour cream fantasies kittens.

It was some kinky shit.  My colon was both excited for and dreading what was coming.

I walked up to the counter, took a deep breath…

And ordered the same thing I always get when I go there.  Which is 100% paleo, and 100% just as delicious as floating down a river of cheese bloated goodness.

Oh, and a diet coke.  Because I’m not a SAINT people.  Jeez.

After my exercise in extreme inner fat kid control, as we’re walking through the parking lot with our to-go containers I hear a furiously honking horn and look up to see COACH and SUPER AWESOME GIRL COACH (who are married so it’s not scandalous or anything) driving by.

What happens next?  Coach rolls down his window and says, “so what’s in the bag?”

Ok universe, I get it.  If I hadn’t held MYSELF accountable, you would have done it for me.  Probably through a punishment of burpees.

And let’s face it, burpees after eating something that your tummy won’t love you for should be called throwupees.

So thanks universe.  And thanks Coach.

For the record, my lunch was even more delicious than I had fantasized about.  Who needs “cheats” when there is guacamole?  Mmmm guacamole.

Are you gonna eat that?

eat more

Here’s something that’s hard for a slowly reforming fat girl to hear: “You’re not eating enough.”

Say wha?

But after sitting down and discussing my overall health, severe insomnia and general issues of late, this is one of several conclusions my awesome Crossfit coaches have come to.  And truthfully, I agree with them.

While it goes against every fiber in my being to even allow myself to think that in order to achieve my weight loss and performance goals I need to eat MORE, what they are saying makes a lot of sense.

Super-awesome-girl-coach laughed when she saw my face when they broke this news to me.  I guess she’s been spoonfed the same kool-aid as I have through the years.  It goes something like this:

Want to lose weight and look amazing?  Work out as much as you possibly can, eat as little as physically possible.  Only when passing out is eminent may you then eat.  A grape.  Just one.  It’ll do, we promise. 

Since she’s like, the hottest girl I know, and if I had her body I would walk around naked ALL. THE. TIME. (and yes, I told her that), I’m going to take her advice on this one.  Oh, and her advice was backed by all this cool science stuff too, so that gave her extra credibility over her super hot points.

So in short, here’s what’s wrong with me.  I’m not eating enough, and was walking a very fine line with overtraining.  As a result of my recent sickness, I am now officially firmly in the realm of overtraining.  This is affecting my sleep, my immune system, and my overall health.  I’m also not supplementing appropriately for my level of activity to give my body the tools it needs for recovery.

Well gee, who knew there was more to this whole thing than just showing up and working out?

My recipe for recovery, and to help fix my cranky and out of whack immune system, is pretty simple.

Take a few days off (done).

When I do come back, SCALE.  A LOT.  It’s ok to take a step back and give my body time to get back in the swing of things.

EAT!  Fuel my body for training and recovery.  Don’t be an idiot and count calories.  Eat when hungry, stop when full.  Not rocket science.

Finally, supplement.

I need to boost my immune system and get my cortisol levels back in check.  If for no other reason than I need to sleep.

Because when I don’t sleep I get cranky.

And then it’s more than just my health at risk kittens.