In case you need extra Halloween candy motivation

I’m not a huge candy person, but that doesn’t mean around Halloween I’m not tempted.  Not having any kids helps, so does not buying the stuff until the last minute and sending any extras to work with hubs the next day.

But today when I brought home the Snickers and Twix and put the chocolately bastards in my Halloween bowl I was hit with temptation.

I sent my sister a text:

I just went to the grocery store to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters and now I feel the need to not be at home all day so that I don’t eat it all before tonight.

 

I can always count on my sister to put things in perspective.  Her response:

Don’t be a b*itch and eat all the children’s joy.

 

So followers, don’t devour the joy.  Save it for the kiddos who are going to lose those teeth anyway.

Happy Halloween!

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Goal 1: Set some goals

goals

After a week off, I went back to my beloved Crossfit today.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it.  I would also be lying if I said that I had done nothing but lay around lazily and be a slob.

Yes, I was a week out of the box, but I still rode and lifted weights at a “normal gym” and actually really enjoyed the routine.  It was fun doing push/pull/legs days and being one of the only girls in the weight room.  It was exciting doing my own programming.  I even surprised myself by sticking some stuff in there that I hate (burpees and plank rows anyone?)

I didn’t take the week off on purpose, but in hindsight I’m really glad I did.  It’s amazing what we learn about ourselves when we’re not even trying.

Coach sent me a text on Saturday telling me my CF family missed me and that I needed to come back to the box and keep working towards my goals.  Great motivation.  When I arrived bleary eyed and not in the mood to talk to ANYONE this morning he came over and welcomed me back.

Then, in his total “dude” language he said something pretty profound.  “You told me what you goals are six months ago and I’m here to help hold you accountable.  I’m here to help you achieve them.”

Half asleep and crabby I’m pretty sure I snapped at him that I didn’t need a lecture and told him to bug me some other time.

But now, hours later and fully conscious, his comment is really with me.  I think everyone struggles with lapses in motivation, which is why goal setting is so important.  You might not want to get out of bed, or show up and do work that day, but you will always ALWAYS want to achieve your short and long term goals.

So what are mine?

Um, I must have had some right?  If coach knows what they are then surely they exist.  But in my unmotivated of late state, I don’t really remember what they are.

Lose weight of course, always first and foremost for me, but to be successful I probably need to put more thought into it than that.  And I’m sure there’s some performance related ones out there somewhere…

And now it’s clear to all of us, I don’t really have any goals.  I know I’ve blogged from time to time about improving on certain skills and whatnot, but I’ve never actually done much with it.

The time for that is over.  So I introduce you to… da da da daaaaaa… the newly added “Goals”  page here on the site.  It will be ever changing for certain, but I will spend some time today populating it with short and long term goals, action steps and timelines.

So hold me accountable!  Cheer me on!  And like my amazing coach, feel free to remind me when my actions aren’t exactly supporting the goals that I’ve committed to reaching.

**Note- Yeah, there’s going to be weightloss stuff on there.  Please spare me any lectures about “ignoring the number on the scale.”  I get it, I really do.  But at this point, I have weight to lose.  Sure, if I lose 10 pounds and love everything about the size and shape of my body I might decide that I don’t want to achieve the full goal I’ve set, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.  I have a pretty good idea of what my body looks like at many different weights, and I’m taking into account the fact that I have significantly more muscle than I ever have before.

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.

Pretty sweet weight loss challenge idea

reduce weight

My hubs is a pretty cool dude.

Obviously, I’ve been struggling with motivation here lately.  Just like the rest of you, he reads my blog, and came home yesterday wanting to help.

He knows me better than anyone and knows that I (1) can’t resist a challenge and (2) kinda love money.

I’ve done the whole “put money in a jar every time you cheat” challenges, and they always ended up not going well.  I would start writing myself IOU’s and then arguing with myself about whether an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s constituted one cheat or four- since there ARE four servings in a container.

Knowing that I don’t do well with negative motivators, he had a brilliant idea.

And because he’s in sales, he presented it all fancy like.

It’s called “Make it a $6 Day.”

It works like this:

Marry a super awesome guy who has some money he’s willing to throw at you.
Set up a jar.
Every day that you workout, husband puts $1 in the jar.
Every day you eat clean and paleo (ie, no grains or sugar for my purposes), husband puts $5 in the jar.

He knows when you workout because he sleeps in the same bed and is well the heck aware that you’re not getting up at 5 a.m. for any other reason.  You report in nutritionally each night to help keep yourself accountable, and he calls BS if you’re chugging wine or making grilled cheese sammiches for dinner.

At the end of 30 days you have a potential to earn $180, AND get back into the healthy habits that have carried you this far.

I am really loving this challenge.  I love words like “earn” and “potential” and boy does he know it.

The challenge started today.  It’s on track to be a $6 day.  Let’s see how much shopping I get to do in 30 days.

It’s like when a fat doctor gives you weightloss advice

I will be traveling next week for work and will be away from my box, and my current training schedule, for 5 days.

I have put an inordinate amount of thought into how I’m going to stay active and eat healthy while I am away.

I’ve planned my packing list to include work out apparel, my sneakers, extra socks and my headphones.  I’ve researched the hotel, determined the fitness center hours, and planned time for myself in the conference itinerary to get a workout in.  I have planned ahead for my travel Crossfit workouts, making sure that I could complete the WOD’s with limited equipment if needed.  I researched meal options available at the resort and have a good idea of where I will be eating to find Paleo friendly options.

So basically, I’ve put as much work into planning our participation in the conference as I have in to how I will stay on track with fitness and food while I’m away.

And I’ve been called neurotic no less than 15 times because of it.

Now, when my husband says it, it’s endearing.  He knows I’m crazy and married me anyway.  I know he’s not judging me, in fact he supports my goals more than anyone.

But when other people say it, it bugs me.

I promise, I’m not talking about this stuff 24/7.  The times my plans for the next week have come up in conversation however, I’m always greeted with judgment and negative comments about the amount of time and energy I’m investing into planning for my health.

The sad part is, I don’t just get these comments about this conference.  I’m realizing lately that negativity about health and wellness is all over the place.

Just yesterday I was complaining a bit (who, me? Complain?  Never!) about how sore I was/am from Murph on Monday.  A number of people felt this was a great opportunity to tell me how bad they believe Crossfit to be for me, how insane the workouts are, how I could see the same results from other activities, and how I was crazy for doing this to my body.

Shame on me for complaining, but it really gave me some food for thought on how much peer pressures can influence our behaviors.

Not all of the people making these comments are unhealthy.  Not all of them are unfit.  But none of them do Crossfit.  I can also be a judgmental person, but I try to keep an open mind and will rarely lecture anyone on something I don’t know a thing about.

I was surprised to get this kind of feedback from people who know me, realize how much I love Crossfit, and in most cases are aware of how much I’ve gained because of it.

It got me to thinking… how many people who want to try something or want to reach a goal never do, simply because they don’t have the support to try.

What if, rather than being surrounded by people who were telling me how awesome Crossfit was when I first began, I had been surrounded by the people commenting to me yesterday.  Would I have stuck with it?  Would I have even tried it to begin with?  And what do others have to gain by being negative about something?

I’m not sure I have a point, but if I did I think it would be simply this:  Not everyone takes the same path to reach their destination.  Everyone has to find what works for them.  Rather than being negative or judgmental, I would love to find myself in a place surrounded by support, encouragement, advice and people who want me to succeed in the way that works best for me.

Oh wait, I find myself there every single day.  It’s called my Crossfit.

So what if that makes me neurotic?  It also makes me strong.  It makes me one step closer every single day to the person I have the potential to be.

5.27.2013- Memorial Day Murph

There is so much I want to say about this day and this workout.  I’m certain that I won’t be able to get my thoughts out coherently, and likely will forget much of what I hope to convey, but I will try.

To begin, I was nervous about this workout.  Obviously, “Murph” is hugely challenging.

Also, and probably not so obvious to most of my readers, fallen hero’s hold an importance to me that I can’t put into words.  If I made the commitment to start this workout, I was going to finish it.  Not only was I going to finish it, but I was going to appreciate every minute that I was working through it, because unlike the man we were honoring and the men that the holiday remember, I could.

I didn’t want to scale it, though that option was available.

I also didn’t want to think emotionally much about why I was doing it before the workout.  I just showed up, talked with friends, marveled at how big the turn out was, and warmed up with everyone else.

When the clock counted down 3…2…1… I began the first mile of what would prove to be a journey that was as long as it was rewarding.

“Murph”

1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 Air Squats
1 mile run

Time: 72:42 scaled with KB swings@15lbs instead of pull ups

The first mile was actually amazing.  I felt really strong, much better than I had felt in the mile we ran on Friday, and felt like I was through it in no time.  The pack dropped me completely, but I’m used to being a slow runner and just concentrated on one foot in front of the other.  It was a really cool morning, and at one point I remembered stories I had heard about what it felt like to run in the desert.  What I was doing was easy compared to what our troops do daily.

My plan to get the required reps was 20 rounds of 5 KB swings, 10 push ups and 15 air squats.  I chose a significantly lighter KB than I would usually use as my back is still not 100% and I wasn’t sure how I would feel after 100 of them.  That turned out to be a great choice.

The first 10 rounds were uneventful.  The swings felt great, the push ups were going really well, and the squats were actually easy.  Surrounded by my Crossfit family I didn’t have to dig very deep for motivation or inspiration.

After the first 10 rounds though, the wheels started to come off.  Psychologically, I saw many people around me finishing and leaving for their second run.  I knew that we had many participants doing “SMurph” aka, a scaled Murph and therefore half the reps and distance, but it didn’t stop me from feeling like I wasn’t moving fast enough.

At round 14 I found that I wasn’t able to string together more than one push up at a time.  My arms were completely spent, and every rep was shaky at best.

I won’t lie, I seriously considered quitting.  Or at least shaving a few reps off the workout.  Who would know?  We were all in our own separate world of pain.

I won’t get all deep and poetic on you, but I will say that every time I had those thoughts or considered quitting, seconds later I considered that somewhere a soldier had pushed themselves up one more time to fight for one more minute for a freedom that I had probably taken for granted.  Someone had lost their life doing one more push up for my country… for me.

So I did one more.  And one more.  And one more.  I never skipped a rep.  I never skipped a round.

In the middle it all gets blurry, but I distinctly remember having three rounds left to go and being surrounded by the next class.  These peeps hadn’t started the workout yet, and I pretty much had my own cheering and coaching squad.  Everyone had a word of encouragement.  Everyone had motivation.

So I kept going.

In my last round of push ups (please God make the pain stop), the camera woman who had been filming the workout came over and asked me why I was there today.  My response?

“To honor the troops, to remember the fallen.  *grunt pant sweat, one more push up*  And because Crossfit is awesome!”

When all the reps were done I was so happy I could have cried.  Then I took two steps and realized every single muscle in my body was shaking uncontrollably, and I still had to run a mile.

Surrounded by a herd of Crossfitters with everyone asking how I was doing, I kept smiling and saying fine, but the truth was I could not fathom how I was going to run a mile.

Until the moment I realized that “Crossfit Angel” was standing by my side, I didn’t think I could do it.  “Crossfit Angel” is a fellow 6 a.m.er, and frolicked beside me for the entire mile, talking to me and encouraging me every step of the way.  I ran more than I thought I would.  I walked a bit too.  I threatened to hug her when it was over because she was pushing me, and she didn’t scamper off scared.

I crossed the finish line nearly an hour and 13 minutes after I started.  Super awesome girl coach was there cheering for me.  “Crossfit Angel” hugged me immediately.  Super awesome girl coach wasn’t far behind.

I was a giant pussy and started tearing up, and was immediately thankful I was sweating like a wilderbeast and also wearing sunglasses so no one would know the difference.

I stayed until the last person crossed and cheered for them just as folks had stayed to cheer for me.

When it was all over my best friend asked me how I felt via text.  My response, “I feel so accomplished and so so dead.”

In hindsight, horrible choice of words.  But even as I sit here laughing at my inappropriate self, I’m smiling because I am sure those that I thought of yesterday, those that I honored, would have laughed at that really bad unintentional joke.

Miss you.  Miss all of you.  And thank you.

5.24.2013

The dreaded fitness testing day.  All in all, it was just another fun day at Crossfit.  I have to admit, I’m disappointed in where I came in with most of them, but really what did I expect with taking weeks off from training.

So here’s the skinny:

Warm Up: the usual

The tests:

I RM Front Squat
Max Push Ups in 1 minute
Max Plank Hold
Max Bar Hang
Run 1 Mile

Front Squat:
1 RM on 2/24: 93 lbs
1 RM today: 93 lbs

Two things here.  One- I had it in my head that my 1 RM was 83 lbs, so at the time I believed this was a 10 lbs PR.  I think that messed with my concentration because as far as I was concerned I was already doing better, so it didn’t matter if I got a heavier lift.  Doh.

Secondly, I did attempt 98 lbs twice and failed both attempts at the bottom of the lift.  However, it wasn’t my legs fault, it was my back.  Granted, that meant my form was going and I was trying to compensate incorrectly, but had I not felt pain in my low back I probably could have got the 98 back up and possibly even lifted heavier.

So for next time, form form form.  Regardless of the health and strength of my back, I need to continue to work to keep my chest up, knees out, and push through my legs when coming up from my squats.

Max Push Ups:
2/24: 22 in 1 minute
Today: 26 in 1 minute

AND today I did most of them without using my knees!  I still had to drop to the floor completely for each rep (rather than just touch my chest and go), but I’ve become much stronger with these.

Max Plank Hold:
2/24: 1 minute
Today: :36 seconds

Yeah, I pussed out on this one.  I actually quit before I wanted to once, so I decided I was going to try this again and not be a pussy and what do you know, I was a pussy twice. This was actually the last test I completed, and by this point my brain just wasn’t in it anymore (you’ll see why with my mile time).  I know I’m capable of more than this, and might give it another shot tomorrow once I’m done feeling sorry for myself.  I want to actually KNOW where I’m at so that I can work to improve from there.

Max Bar Hold:
2/24: 36 seconds
Today: 44 seconds

YAY!  My grip strength is a huge limiting factor for me, so I was happy to see that this improved.  We added kipping swings to the warm up and I’m sure I have them to thank for this.

Mile Run:
2/24: 11:02
Today: 12:20

Ok kids, here’s the thing.  If you want to be a better/faster runner, you actually need to run.  Spending two months rowing rather than running because you’re a dork and you muddled something in your foot, and then taking 3 weeks off Crossfit right when your foot is starting to heal is not the recipe for improvement.

I knew this was going to be rough.  But I’ve got to say, I am totally bummed with this time.

I wish I could tell you that I punked out or that I had more to give and I could do it faster, but this little engine was giving all she could.  My cardio just wasn’t there today, my legs felt like lead, and had it not been for super awesome Crossfit friend, I probably would have walked my last few hundred meters.

There were a few memorable moments though, and I’m sticking them in here to remind myself of why I love Crossfit and the community that makes this the best sport ever.

Coach:  Come on Nicole, pick it up!  Does your back hurt?
MeShakes head no (no way I could talk, trying not to vomit)
Coach:  Oh, so then it’s your head that’s slowing you down.  GET OUT OF YOUR HEADSPACE
MeImmediately picks up the pace even though I didn’t think I could
*thanks coach*

Super Awesome Crossfit Friend:  Don’t quit!
Me: slowing my penguin shuffle down to a walk
Super Awesome Crossfit Friend:  Don’t you dare walk Nicole!  You are my inspiration!  When I first started my goal was to be like you, now come ON!
Me:  Damn it!  starts shuffling in a way that could resemble running on another planet again
*thanks super awesome friend.  You rock my Kasbah. *

Lessons learned in the past three weeks

Things that will not help you achieve your health and fitness goals:

  1. Eating pints of ice cream and dozens of cookies because you’re depressed that you can’t work out.  Taking time off from exercise and eating you’re training for a competitive eating contest should not happen simultaneously.
  2. Going to the gym just to sit in the sauna.
  3. Drinking soda after sitting in the sauna because you are dehydrated.
  4. Drinking soda at any time.  Ever.  For any reason.
  5. Projectile vomiting at the same exact moment that you have explosive diarrhea.  In a public restroom.  When someone is in the stall next to you.  (Please note, this is great for weightloss, but not fantastic for overall health)

I may or may not have participated in all of the following activities over the past three weeks.  While I am not proud of any of them, especially that last one, what’s done is done and today is a new day.  My strep throat seems to be clearing up nicely, my back is hardly sore at all and it doesn’t seem to be limiting my movements, so as of today I’m officially back at Crossfit, and back to 100% Paleo.

With my renewed commitment I’m experiencing some fantastic things, like the most unbelievable sugar cravings on the planet and the desire to eat my entire lunch and afternoon snack by 11 a.m. because my body thinks its hungry for ice cream and a nap.  I know that the first few days of this will be the worst, and that I will make it through the hard part and be back on track to hitting my goals.

I turn 30 exactly 5 months from tomorrow.  I’ve got some big goals to achieve by then, and I absolutely know how to get there.

Good thing I polished off that last pint of ice cream over the last two cookies last night so I can start with a nice clean slate today, eh?

Excuses are like chocloate… I just want to wallow in them.

excuses

I don’t have a single good reason for not going to Crossfit this morning.

Sure, I have “reasons,” but really, they are nothing more than excuses I used to make myself feel better and justify myself to my husband who couldn’t care less.  Which begs the question, why do I do that?

Why not just say, “I want to sleep in this morning, I’m feeling lazy and will probably skip Crossfit today?”

Rather than come up with a million excuses?

Because really, when I realize that I WILL be able to make it to the 6:30 class tonight all of those excuses become null and void anyway.  My sore lower back and cranky hip suddenly don’t matter when I don’t have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go.  My angry hormonal ovaries and desire to kill anyone who looks at me are completely irrelevant when it doesn’t require me to get up out of my warm bed first thing in the morning.

I think it would make more sense for me to just admit to myself, I WANT to go to Crossfit, but this morning I was just too lazy to do so.  Beating myself up about it is pointless, much like beating myself up about a brownie I ate this weekend is silly.

Dear Nicole, would it not be so much better to just acknowledge the action that we’re taking, take it, enjoy it, and then go on living?  Are there consequences?  Sure, sometimes.  But the worst of them should not be how much I beat myself up about it.

If the worst possible consequence was that I didn’t get to go to Crossfit today because I was an oaf who slept in, that’s bad enough.  There’s no need to be an oaf who slept in who then spends the morning berating herself for doing so.

Balance.  It’s all about balance.

Well, and sanity.  Which obviously, I’m still working on that particular goal.