Apparently I was accidentally bulking

Confession time.

My nutrition has been, er let’s just call it “sub optimal” for a few weeks now.  And by “sub optimal” I mean wine and Chinese food and Easter candy like a boss.

Pretty much every morning I would wake up and say, “ok today is the day I get my shit together.  I can’t keep eating like this or else I’m going to start gaining weight,” but things would fall apart once I had a hard workout in the morning, arrived home starving for lunch, and raided the leftover takeout food containers.

Yeah, I know I should have just thrown the crap out and gotten it out of my house, but that’s such a waste, no?

So here’s the good news.  It’s not like I’ve done so much damage that I’m back to where I started.  I’m up a few pounds and feeling more fluffy than I have in months around my middle, but I’ve done a great job with meal prep this week and have actually given myself the tools for success.

What’s more, I’ve been working out like a freaking beast.  Other than taking a few days off last week to let my body recover from everything I’ve been putting it through, I’ve been extremely consistent and am seeing some darn heavy weight come off the ground on all of my lifts.

Today I took progress pictures just to gauge where I’m at, and honestly in part to make myself feel better that I haven’t completely ballooned up.  I mean, it’s not like I can actually see the jelly beans hanging off my thighs or anything.

But I noticed something surprising in my pics.

Whereas when I first started this weight loss journey, I was eating at a pretty solid calorie deficit to help my body to shed fat, over these past few weeks I’ve been eating at a pretty even calorie balance, and some days in surplus.

And let me tell you, I’ve got GAINZ.  Like for real.  My arms are looking jacked, and my booty is more HELLO than I’ve ever seen it.

Seeeee?

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 2.05.47 PM

So not all is lost with my junk food binge.  Yeah, it’s time to stop putting crap in my body and get my pie hole under control, but putting on a little muscle in the process was a surprising and not entirely unwelcome side effect.

How is your nutrition going lately readers?  Anyone want to be accountable with me and get yourself back on track?

Advertisements

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials

boob sweat

I was really fortunate to “retire” over a year ago now, and spent a solid 6 months doing as little as possible.  But boy I had a clean house.

Mid-year last year I got bored, and during yoga class one day I had a total epiphany.  I realized, “I could get paid to write.”

I started picking up side jobs here and there, and before I knew it, I now have a full time job as a paid writer.  Which is awesome, but has totally put me back in a position of having to actually plan my days and be ready for anything to get in my workouts.

I feel like keeping up with my fitness can be as much about great planning as it is about motivation.  Having everything I need to fit in a workout handy and with me in my gym bag is how I get it done.

These are my five must have gym bag beauty essentials, and a few of my favorite products for every price range.

Make Up Removing Towelettes

I don’t usually wear a ton of make up, but if I do I don’t want it running down my face while I burpee.  These handy pre-moistened wipes get it off quick, and without irritating my sensitive skin.  That way I don’t end up looking like I have two black eyes, or with pimples all over my face.

Aveeno Ultra Calm Make Up Removing Towelettes– $8- Great for all skin types, and guaranteed not to irritate sensitive skin.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes -$15-  Infused with Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, you will remove make up and protect skin at the same time.

Hair ties/Headband

I can’t stand having my hair in my face.  It’s long, I use a lot of product in it, and I’m a sweater.  Like, a big time sweater.  I need it back, and I need all the little pieces to stay away too.  I usually use a hair tie and a headband to keep it out of the way.

Dye Ties -$5- I love these becasue they’re fun and colorful, and don’t cause my hair any damage.

Riviera No Slip Wide Active Headwrap– $12-  If I’m not sporting a nice thick Lululemon headband, this is my go to choice.

Deodorant

Like I said, I’m a sweater.  So if I’m hitting a yoga class on my way to a meeting with a client, I absolutely have to have deodorant in my bag to make sure I’m so fresh and so clean clean (and I don’t smell like a foot when I’m done.)

Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant– $8- This is my favorite drugstore brand with super smell  and sweat stopping power.

Dr. Hauschka Natural Deodorant– $23-  As an alternative, this one is little pricy, but totally natural without any controversial chemicals and smells great!

Dry Shampoo

Again sweater here.  My expert tip?  Blow-dry the sweat out of your hair (yeah, it sounds gross but this is reality folks) and then use dry shampoo to perk up your locks.  It smells great, will give you shine and volume, and cuts down on the number of times you need to wash your hair every week.

Batiste– $8 full size- Variety of scents for every hair type.

Macadamia Natural Oil Volumizing  Dry Shampoo– $25- Oil absorbing, adds volume and texture to every hair type.

Body Spray

I’m not a huge fragrance person, but I love something that smells fresh, clean, and a maybe a little fruity or citrusy.  These are two of my favorites that I use on the regular.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist– $12

Philosophy Pure Grace All Over Body Spritz-$26


Do you have any gym bag beauty must haves?  What one product do you swear by?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Here’s why I’m NOT annoyed that I can’t get a squat rack at the gym

Well happy New Year kittens!  I hope everyone got through the holidays without needing Xanax or considering stabbing their caroling neighbors with scissors while they were wrapping gifts.  Not that I did either of those things.  No, not me.  Never.

2014 was a great year for this Wonder Woman, and 2015 is going to be even better.  I know this, because like every one of you, I’m in charge of my own happiness and success this year.  Pretty sweet action.

The gym this week has been crazier than I remember it being.  Trying to get a squat rack is like being one of the monkey’s in the zoo going after the lone banana, but I’ve got to say, I’m really proud of all the newbies I don’t recognize getting in there and working towards their goals.  Yeah, I realize that not everyone will develop a fitness habit, but if even a few of them stick around, I’ll deal with the crowds without complaint.  After all, I was once the fat, out of shape gal who just had a goal of doing something every day.  Everyone has a chance at success.

So here’s my first 2015 challenge for you, my readers.  Don’t be that person on Facebook or Twitter complaining about all the new people at the gym.  Instead, be that person who says “hi” to someone you haven’t seen before, or offers to let them work in a set on a machine you’re using.

Whether you’ve been doing this for 15 years or 5 minutes, we’re all just trying to get stronger, faster, and reach our goals right?

Be the positive person in someone’s day.  You never know what kind of impact it might have.

I’m a Vanderkitten VIP for 2015!

Over a month ago I applied to be part of the Vanderkitten VIP team for 2015.

I’ll be honest with you kittens, I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Sure I’ve been having some awesome conversations with myself lately about getting back into racing, and my running and cycling is faster and more consistent than it’s ever been, but applying to be a sponsored athlete for 2015 might have been a *bit* of a stretch.

Until Sunday morning when I checked my email and saw this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.24 AM

Holy CRAP!  I’m in!!!

So check out just exactly how amazing this brand is:

Vanderkitten, “Clothing for women who kick ass”TM, was created to answer the demand for a compelling and empowering brand for women that goes against the “just add flowers” and the “shrink it and pink it” recipies that are so dominant in contemporary women’s active lifestyle apparel. In order to answer this call, we knew we had to be more than just people sitting in a cube penning your future. We had to become fully immersed in the culture of action sports and active lifestyle to develop the look and excitement that reflect what we see around us every day. This enables us to create a fantastic brand by directly creating a new path for women to live extraordinary lives; not settling for the ordinary.

Seriously?  Does it get any more “I am woman hear me roar” than that?  And I GET TO BE A PART OF IT FOR 2015!

I applied as a triathlete, but as I’m learning more about the program and how it works, it appears that there are many of us worldwide, and it’s really a support network for all different sports.

What this means for me from a training perspective is that I will need to work to shift my cardio in more a more specific swim/bike/run format.  I’ve already made the tweak this week to get my butt back in the pool, and will be doing 2x each discipline per week for the short term.  I’m going to continue with my weight training for the moment, but stay tuned as I’m sure there will be some fun changes and endless adventures as I plan my 2015 race season!

Also keep an eye out for some awesome race photos of me swimming, biking, and running with the kitteahs in 2015!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.08 AM

Non-Scale Victories

It’s Fitness Friday and I’m in the mood to celebrate!  With the holiday season in full swing, I’m doing what most of us are and working hard to try to maintain balance with my fitness and nutrition, and all the fun going on around me.  I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m not living life and enjoying it because I’m worried about gaining a pound.  And as someone who has now successfully lost over 40 pounds, I’m really working to understand not only how to keep these healthy changes I’ve added into my life, but how to maintain the weight loss as well.

Enter non-scale victories.  Sure, I still weigh myself and take measurements to ensure that everything is moving in the right direction, but the proof is in the pudding as they say, and lately my pudding has been delicious!

First up we have this killer Beast Mode pic from last week at the gym.  Have you ever posed for a flexing pic before and had people say, “ok but now make a muscle?”  Yeah, that was me for the longest.  Not anymore:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.15.50 AM

The highlight of my week, however, happened just yesterday.  While getting ready for a bike ride on a beautiful day I ran across my most favorite pair of tri-shorts in my dresser.  I haven’t worn these since 2011 when I did the Florida 70.3.  I remember this because pretty much immediately after doing that race I stopped doing anything and started my slow and steady gain of close to 50 lbs that I’m still struggling to lose the last of.

Needless to say, the shorts haven’t fit in a long long time.  I tried them on back in October and still looked like a tasty triathlete sausage stuffed into a spandex casing and had some serious gut dun-lop going on.  (As in, my gut dun lopped over my pants).

Yesterday I decided to give them another go.  The results are below:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.15.26 AM

TA-DA!  Those are some shorts that fit people.  And fit well.

It really is the little things that make this whole journey worth while.

So how about you guys?  What are you up to on Fitness Friday?

I’m inspired. Be inspired with me

Hey friends, I need a favor.

As a tiny way of saying THANKS to one of the most amazing women I know, the Crossfit coach whole helped me start turning my life around over 2 years ago, I entered a fun contest sponsored by Stitch Fix on Facebook.

In order to win, we need votes.

Good news is, this is the easiest thing you’ll be asked to do all day.

Go here, scroll down below the entry form, and click the check box for my entry (Nicole K.) nominating Alexis Weedo.

I mean look at this girl.  Of COURSE you want to vote for her!

alexis

Breaking the Thursday Cycle

Is anyone with me on this?

Monday I start out super motivated for the week.  I’m usually coming off a nice long ride on Sunday and a great relaxing day with the hubs, so I’m ready to eat healthy, train hard, be as active as possible and reach my goals baby!

I hit it hard and my nutrition is perfect.  No booze, great job at Paleo.  Monday is a great day.

Tuesday rolls around and I’m a bit sore.  But Tuesday is the day I weigh myself (spare me the lecture) and the number goes down.  Now I’m even MORE motivated.  YES!  I’m awesome!  I can do this.

So I have another strong day of training and nutrition.  I even avoid a glass of wine with dinner, even though I wannnntttt one.

Then we get to hump day, and I’m SORE.  I make sweet love to the foam roller, and embarrass myself with sex faces and grunts while I do it.  I still drag myself to the box, but I complain.  A lot.  The coaches threaten to flog me if I don’t show up, and because they’re all insanely attractive, I consider letting them.

My nutrition is pretty good, but I succumb to my wine craving with dinner.  What?  It makes the muscles not hurt so bad.

And then it’s Thursday.

I wake up and want a doughnut.  If I eat one, I spend the rest of the day in my sweatpants reading trashy vampire books and eating the rest of the dozen.  If I manage not to eat one, I still spend the rest of the day in my pajamas fantasizing about eating them.

I don’t make it to the gym.  I have grand plans for a nice easy recovery bike ride in the afternoon, and then hope and pray it rains.  And if it doesn’t, I hope it’s windy.  Or that something comes up.  Or give myself a million other reasons not to ride.

Then we go on date night.  Which usually involves sushi.  Or something fried.  And lots of wine.  Because my muscles still hurt of course.

By the time Friday rolls around, I feel like I’ve killed any chance at being healthy with thursday so I carry my sloth-ness through the weekend to finally snap out of it on Sunday.

Well today is Thursday and I had eggs for breakfast.  I cleaned my house and went to the gym with Blondie, who helped me kick my butt at some running intervals.  I ate a healthy lunch, worked a few hours for the hubs, and have a hot date planned with some burpees later.

Today I’m breaking the cycle.

Tell me I’m not the only one.  What have you overcome this week?

When can’t becomes your crutch…

Do you ever get it in your head that you just can’t do something?

Come on, you’re human, just admit it.  Lord knows I do.  I’ve been better about it lately, and since starting Crossfit over a year and a half ago I am much more willing to at least try something that scares me.

But I’m stubborn as shit, and every once in awhile something ends up in the “can’t” basket.

Up until a few days ago, double unders were in that basket.

I would love to tell you that I practiced them religiously and just simply couldn’t get them no matter how hard I tried, but that wouldn’t be true.  Sure, I had practiced them.  For a few minutes at a time a few times a week, usually whipping myself in the shins or the ass and totaling maybe 50 jumps before getting frustrated and quitting.

When they showed up in any WOD I just did the penalty (at our gym it’s burpees) and never even tried them.

I had actually convinced myself that I didn’t care if I ever got a dub.  Didn’t matter.  Jumping rope is just as effective of a workout if you swing it once or twice and I’m not competitive or anything so it won’t matter if I never get them.

That was, until 14.1 was announced on Thursday night.  As most of you know, we are in the midst of the Crossfit Open.  The Open is a 5 week competition where anyone in the world can register to see how they stack up against Crossfitters everywhere, and against themselves.  The workouts are announced via a live broadcast on Thursday nights, at which point two of the big dogs go head to head and show us how it’s done.

Like every other Crossfit addict worldwide, I was glued to my laptop on Thursday beyond excited to know what the first workout would be.  Because the Open is truly meant for everybody, I was confident it would be doable movements and something I could totally excel at.

Imagine my dismay when they announced a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of 30 double unders and 15 snatches (75/55).

Um what?  The FIRST movement that you had to do in order to get ANY reps whatsoever were DOUBLE UNDERS?  And I had yet to ever successfully do even one.

I wish I could say that I put on my happy face and decided to give the workout all I had, but I can’t.  The truth is I went to bed that night telling hubs “well this sucks.  I guess I’m taking a 0 for the first workout because I don’t even see the point in trying.”

I woke up the next morning, the day I was to do the WOD, and just didn’t want to go.  I got to the box early and practiced for a solid 15 minutes.  I managed about 3 reps in that time, and truthfully, they were almost accidental. But I was going to try to do the workout Rx.  I wanted a score.  Even 3 reps was better than 0.

The clock counted down 3…2…1… and a funny thing happened.  Suddenly, getting double unders became important.  Not being able to do them just wasn’t acceptable anymore.  I had to figure it out.  And I had 10 minutes to do it.

I’m not going to say it was fantastic.  In fact, it was a tough and frustrating 10 minutes.  But by the end of it, I had managed 27 reps.  Mind you, I never even made it to the barbell or finished a complete round, but whatever.  It wasn’t a 0.  And for ME, it was a PR.

But what’s more, by the end of just 10 minutes of consistent practice with a clear goal in mind, I was actually stringing a few of them together.  I knew that if I had ANOTHER 10 minutes, I could do a lot more.

I’ve never repeated and Open workout before, but after taking the weekend to think about it, I decided I just couldn’t let that score of 27 stand.  Not because I cared about my standings, but because I KNEW I could do better.  That simply wasn’t my best effort, which isn’t ever ok by me.

Monday is the last day to submit scores for the week, so I went in early for class.  I warmed up alone and set up my barbell.  This time, I knew I would need it.

I grabbed a judge and asked them to count and time me, and set out with one goal in mind.  Get thru one round.  45 reps in 10 minutes.  I knew if I made it through the dubs I was home free.

What a different experience the second time around.  I was stringing together doubles in sets of 3-4, and at around the 5 minute mark I was done with 30!  I flew through the over head movement, and got back on the rope as fast as I can.  With just under 4 minutes left, I knew I could make it through one more round of jumps.

AND I DID.

Not only did I, but I managed a few more overheads before time ran out.

Final score, 78!!!

I won’t lie, I almost started crying.

See, it doesn’t matter to me that the top competitors in our region and the world managed 450+ reps.  It matters that I did something I had NEVER done before.  I let go of the “can’t” and found the will to figure it out.

That my friends, is what is beautiful about the Open.  So many of us do Crossfit to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and then still end up sitting there anyway.  Sure, the zone has become bigger than what it maybe was before, but it’s still there unless we continually challenge ourselves.

I won’t rest.  I will grow.  I won’t fall victim to “can’t.”

Thanks Crossfit.

Bitchslapping yourself in public…

When I say that I effing love my Crossfit community, I’m not kidding.  Below is my Facebook post to my Crossfit peeps on Wednesday of this week:

Ok gang, I’m throwing down the gauntlet… on myself. Today marks 7 weeks since I’ve set foot in the box, and I need to snap out of it. What started off as a legitimate excuse (super duper sick) has spiraled out of control and I’m back to being inactive and unhealthy. I’ve made up countless excuses over the past several weeks as to why I’m not yet ready to come back, but here’s the truth, I’m scared. I’ve gained weight… a lot of it. I’ve lost fitness, a lot of it, and I’m super self conscious to come back. But today I woke up and gave myself a bit of a bitch slap. I am the only person who can change this, and I am the only one standing in my way. I know I’m probably not alone, so I’m putting this out there to encourage anyone else who might have some negative inner monologue going on themselves. Waiting another day or week isn’t going to make it better, going to the box and DOING SOMETHING to make it better will. I’ll be there at 4:30 today. I missed you guys.

 

In response over 20 folks offered words of encouragement, including coach.  Five additional peeps reached out to me privately, told me they faced the same struggle, and we are now each other’s accountability partners with getting back to the box.

My first class back Coach gave me a high five and told me he missed me.  Three different people told me they were there that night because they saw my post and it was the kick in the pants they needed.

It’s just incredible.  Sure, Crossfit offers some great physical benefits.  And yeah, I’m doing it because I want to Hulk out and lose some weight and what not… but I never in a million years could have imagined gaining an entire group of people who are so amazing and supportive through just working out.

This “side benefit” if you will, is what makes this arguably the most awesome thing I’ve ever been a part of.

I mean, other than the horizontal lambata with the hubs.  But that’s a post for another time.

Weekly Workout Plan

As you might recall, I had a bit of a rough start to my week last week.   But once I bitch slapped myself back into reality, and wrote out my confessions and made a plan, I went out there and got it done.

Last week ended up being a really strong week for my tri training.  Granted, I didn’t set foot in the box, but I’m proud that I snapped out of it and didn’t wait until Monday to “start over.”

This week being a holiday is a short week at work for me.  I’m also traveling to St. Louis to hang with the in-laws for Thanksgiving AND flying home in time to go to the Florida/Florida State game on Saturday!  (Whoo hoo ‘Noles!!!)

Obviously, all that travel could sabotage my training, so building on my lessons learned last week I’m making a plan to ensure I get it done.  It looks like no matter how I slice it I’m going to be short a swim this week, but of all the sports that makes me the least amount of squirmy.  I’m already physically capable of covering the distance I will race, though I would like to do it much faster than I am at the moment!

As always, feel free to hold me accountable, because lord knows I need it.

Monday 11/25
Crossfit AM- Done
Swim AM- Done
Ride- Lunch, 10 miles with group

Tuesday 11/26
Crossfit AM
Swim AM- 1500m
Ride- Lunch, 10 miles solo

Wednesday 11/27
Travel day, off

Thursday 11/28
Run AM- 3 miles
Bike AM- 30 minutes (stationary at the hotel… yuck)

Friday 11/29 (travel)
EITHER
Run AM- 3 miles/ Travel WOD
OR Crossfit AM- drop in on a box

Saturday 11/30
FSU Game- Off

Sunday 12/1
Bike AM- 25 miles

So what about you, readers?  How are you fitting fitness into the holiday this week?  How do you stay active when you travel?