“Like a girl”

Today I was listening to a music station on YouTube and a commercial came on. Normally I skip them AS SOON as the ad button allows me to- but this one instantly captivated my interest: I listened intently and watched closely. The message it carried is one I’m extremely passionate about.

It was an ad for Always© – you know, the feminine pad company. The message they were conveying was extremely powerful. They brought in a group of girls, ages ranging from approximately seven to teens. The very first question posed was, “Do we limit girls?” They asked each girl this question: how they responded was very realistic, sad, and also empowering. Watch the 2:44 video here.

This video brought up a mixture of emotions I felt as a kid and still come across to this day. As a girl who was athletically inclined as a child, I always played sports and got dirty with the boys in the neighborhood. I used to play baseball with them and I remember the day they kicked me off their team because “girls don’t play baseball”. Truthfully, I was better than they were and knew the game like the back of my hand.  Looking back it makes me wonder, is this behavior natural for boys or is it taught?

From birth, girls are treated much differently than boys. Society considers us the ‘weaker’ of the sexes and all of the chick flick movies depict us as the ones who need saving. We’re automatically dressed in frilly dresses, taught to play house with Barbie’s and dolls, and should aspire to be ‘ladylike’. We’re told, “one day you’ll get married, have kids, etc.” I remember the day I told my dad I’m never getting married. He laughed at me and said one day I’ll change my mind.  20 years later, I still haven’t changed my mind.

I’d like to share another personal example: I’ll never forget the day I asked my mom for Chicago Bulls Starter jacket for a winter coat. She replied, “Why would you want that? You’ll mess up your hair!”  I know she meant no harm by that statement but it’s a great example of how society thinks girls should ‘look’ and clearly the ‘boys’ winter coat I wanted wasn’t fitting inside that box. As a 4th or 5th grade kid, I couldn’t have cared less about my messing up my hair. Starter jackets were awesome and I wanted to rock it proudly!  And I did. *

This brings up an interesting thought and a question I’d like to pose: Had my mother never made those comments of what a ‘girl’ should or should not wear, would I ever have thought twice about it?

The point of my rant is we need to throw away the ideals of how girls and boys should act according to society and look at each other as individuals. I challenge you all to be exactly who YOU are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Break the glass ceiling, challenge the status quo, and become UNSTOPPABLE!

*Side note- Mom, that was my most favorite winter coat and I thank you for letting me have it!


Day 2: Changing the title and tagline

About a week ago, I changed my tagline, background picture, and overall layout. I’m still working on the cohesiveness of the new layout.

I wanted to keep my name of the blog the same, “Three, 2, One, Go!” because it symbolizes the “Go time” in my life- whether it is in sports, CrossFit wods, lifting, or my apparel line. I changed my tagline to represent the changing nature of the blog- instead of primarily focusing on just athletics, nutrition and CrossFit, I wanted to open the blog to diverse topics.

Hey there- it’s Sheena! Remember me?

I haven’t blogged lately so I’m doing a “Blogging 101” challenge to get the creative juices flowing again. Our first entry on this challenge is an introductory piece. Without any further ado, here is it:

My name is Sheena and I started blogging because I needed a creative outlet to escape the mundane tasks of my current 9-5 gig. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Writing has always come natural to me and I’ve used it to journal and clear my head. I remember I began writing a novel in middle school and realized I had no purpose/plot so I destroyed it. Looking back, I wish I had it to see where my creative mind was wondering off to.

This blog began with a primary focus on athletics, strength and conditioning, and CrossFit. As an athlete and nutrition nut, I dabbled in topics relevant to those areas. Currently I’m looking at revamping my blog to offer more categories and not limit it to those specific areas.

As a person who admires those with depth, I want to write about different areas I’m passionate about: athletics, sport psychology, cooking, traveling, pets, sewing, books, and random thoughts.

Per our instructions, this entry is to be posted ‘as is’ and doesn’t need to be perfect, which is hard for me! As a perfectionist, I tend to overanalyze things which is more or less the reason why I haven’t blogged lately.I also find it challenging to stay focused in the summer months as I’d rather be outside soaking up the sun, boating on the lake, and playing softball than being stuck inside sewing and writing. As much as I love to sew and write, my creativity and eagerness to conquer them both plummet immensley when summer comes.

My goal(s) with blogging include- engaging my audience with my topic selection, wit, and humor, and hopefully getting away from the boring job I currently have leaping into a creative field (i.e. writing) full-time.

So there you have it- a brief introductory post which will hopefully transpire into more frequent blog posts!

Confessions of an addict part 5,6,&7

I’ve chosen to combine the last 3 weeks of my Eat to Perform journal into one entry, primarily because I was getting bored with writing down each meal I was eating day in and day out. If I was bored writing it, I’m sure you would be bored reading it. What I’ll do is compile the best and worst moments and share them with you in one easy read.

Week 5

I’ve successfully completed 4 weeks of the nutrition challenge and hit the half way mark. I feel fitter, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I had a few slip ups when a good friend came to town and we went out for dinner and drinks. I was shocked when I didn’t feel like garbage the next day.

I really enjoy starting my week with homemade meals from Meal Prep Sunday. It saves me so much time throughout the week when all I have to do is pack my food bag for the day and head out the door. Making convenient meals on the go is key!

I finally seen HUGE gains this week: I PR’D my front squat by 15 lbs! I shocked myself as I only anticipated to PR by 5 lbs. I did a happy little PR dance (channel your inner Bob Ross on that one) and enjoyed life that night. I remember Meghan telling us the huge PR’s she had seen after doing ETP and I was thinking, “I don’t know how that can happen” but it did, and I’m stoked to test some more lifts in the coming weeks. In addition to the 15 lbs PR, I crushed the next day’s work out as well, and was not winded one bit. Things are starting to align between working out and nutrition and I’m digging the results.

Today was Valentine’s Day and honestly, it was the BEST v-day I’ve had in years. As a single lass, I’ve grown to despise this cheesy hallmark holiday but found a new appreciation and meaning for it today as I spent it with my lovely friends. Their selfless gestures and including nature are absolutely wonderful and I’m blessed to have them in my life. They cooked a hearty and healthy Valentine’s Day dinner and I brought the delicious and nutritious dessert:


  • Streak
  • Sweet potato fries with coconut oil and dill
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Salad with Balsamic Vinegar


  • Paleo Banana Ice Cream
  • My homemade Protein Bites

Can you say heavenly? The downside to all this deliciousness is I ate far too much and was miserable. With so much good food within reach, why stop?

Week 6

The results are in, friends. According to my super accurate health screening at work, I am .002 away from being considered obese! I tried my best to not laugh out loud when they were going over my results. To humor myself, I asked numerous questions to see how knowledgeable these people were. For starters, I asked the obvious:

“Why are you only screening for BMI in lieu of body fat percentage?”

Nurse: “We do screen for body fat percentage but I don’t know why we are not today.”

Me: “If I requested you screen my body fat percentage in lieu of BMI, would you do that today?”

Nurse: “No. Your company is the one who is requesting BMI.”

Me: “Of course they are. Okay, switching gears: normally when one is obese, would you say their numbers regarding blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol are really high?”

Nurse: “Why in fact, they always are”.

Me: “According to my numbers, my blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides are incredibly healthy. Can you help me understand how my numbers are healthy but I’m considered borderline obese?”

Nurse: (long pause) “I, um, I’m not quite sure how to answer that. Nobody has ever asked me these questions before”.

Me: “That surprises me. What do you suggest I do to lose ‘said’ weight?”

Nurse: “Eat less, exercise more.”

I chuckled and shook my head in disbelief. I thanked her for her time and I’m sure she was happy to see me go. I could have gone on but decided to let the poor lady do her job even though the health care system is, in my opinion, broken in so many ways.

What saddens me most is the fact that people are not asking proper questions when going through these health assessments. Educate yourself! Ask questions! Challenge the system. Think for yourself and think outside the box. There is so much knowledge out there but you need to seek it out yourself.

Changing subjects all together, something incredibly positive happened this week: YOGA. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed yoga in the past and have benefited in mobility, but I’ve never quite experienced yoga the way I did this this evening with Good Vibes Yoga. It was a life changing experience in the sense that I felt a mind/body connection like never before. It was an emotional, self-awareness connection which brought such clarity and relaxation. I’ve never been this excited for another yoga session in my life.

The next day I was still on the ‘omg YOGA’ train and telling everyone about it. What an incredible experience! Later that evening, I went out for dinner with friends and cheated if you will, as I finally let loose and had some alcohol; nothing too crazy but enough for it to be enjoyable. The only thing that suffered the next day was my metal state, because this girl is not built for less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Does this mean I’m getting old? #iThinkitDoes

Week 7

This week was pretty great. My strength has come back full force and I see a lot of new PR’s coming my way. I’ve noticed the food I’ve been eating and habits I’ve created around my nutrition are all aligning and working for me instead of against me and I’m happy to see the hard work and dedication show in multiple avenues of my life.

To summarize my 7th week of eating clean, I’m proud of how far I’ve come and only had a few shortcomings and slips. I’m excited to see my results in the next week as we will be weighed and measured for the first time since the challenge began. (Side note: I was actually weighed a week ago for my biometric screening at work and have GAINED 3lbs). With that said, I’ve also dropped an entire pant size while gaining 3lbs. Say what?!?! Building muscle and losing inches…what a beautiful thing!


Confessions of an addict, part 4

Day 22

Guess what I finally did today?!? I went GROCERY SHOPPING!!! Meal prep Sunday turned into meal prep Monday, and it was glorious! You should have seen my kitchen this evening: I utilized everything accessible in and on the stove as well as the George Foreman grill. The remainder of my week will include delicious and nutritious meals and getting my macros back on point.

I cooked so many delicious things, I couldn’t decide on what to eat for dinner, so I sampled a little of everything: I had all the ingredients for a BLT (sans the bun), couscous, blackened chicken breast, smoked apple wood burgers, sweet potatoes, and chopped veggies.

I went to bed with a happy stomach and felt relaxed knowing I have meals for the week ahead.

Day 23

7:00am: Back on my breakfast grind! I made 2 over medium eggs this morning along with 3 pieces of bacon and some organic dried, Turkish apricots from Trader Joes. MMMMMMMMMM! My meals are packed for the day and I’m ready to go! Let’s do this!!

10:00am: My mid-morning snack of organic granola with almond milk is nice, but upsets my stomach 20 minutes after consumption. I should probably give that up all together, but it’s so tasty!!!

12:15pm: It’s almost lunch time and I’m getting hungry. I brought in one of the apple wood burgers (sans bun) with lettuce, tomato, onion and asparagus. Can’t wait to eat that!

3:30pm: I’ve got an hour left of work and I’m starting to get a bit hungry again. Luckily I’ll be home soon-ish and enjoy a pre-wod meal. I’ve input all of my meals for today in MFP and I’m shocked by how close I’ve come to my macros today! I’ve successfully got myself up to 200g of carbs!! Woohoo! Next week I hope to hit my real goal of 253g. I’ve also come within 5-10g of fat, protein, and sugar! I’m thrilled to see myself finally getting closer to ALL OF MY MACOS!! That feels like a victory, my friends.

Day 24

It’s HUMP DAY, WHAT WHAT?!?! The week is so much better because I’ve prepared my meals in advance!!!

I brought my lunch today, but the roomie wanted to continue a Wednesday girl’s lunch at Mixed again, so I couldn’t pass that up. The food is good; it’s healthy, and filling! I highly recommend it!

Mid-afternoon, I took a health assessment for my insurance company. Many of you saw my rant on Facebook regarding the results, but for those who didn’t, here’s what you missed:


I know I didn’t eat enough throughout the day because I skipped a pre-wod meal before competition class tonight and I felt the difference! I was slow moving, hungry, and didn’t perform as well as I could have. I also shaved down my calluses the previous evening so my paws were a bit raw for all of the bar work. No Bueno.

Post-comp class, I ate a feast! I ate the following:

  • 4 oz blackened chicken breast
  • 1 cup chicken couscous
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 slices bacon

It did the trick. I went to bed feeling full and satisfied.

Day 25

I’m convinced breakfast is the best meal of the day, hands down. The day is so much better when I eat a hearty breakfast with delicious coffee on the side. I’m the kind of girl who needs at least 1-2 cups in the morning before we have an intellectual conversation. My friends will attest to my zombie-like behaviors, pre-coffee, and sometimes surprise me with it if we have some early morning activities planned.

Although my meal game has been on point this week, I’ve really slacked on actually ‘posting’ my meals on MFP. I’m still weighing everything with the food scale, but I input a few meals and just forget to put the rest in or forget to ‘complete’ the diary.

Day 26

It’s Friday! Yay! And to make Friday even better, I took a half day at work, woot woot! Off at 11:30am today starts the weekend off right.

I came home, made a delicious lunch, cleaned the house, and received my first Stitchfix! I heard about this concept from a few gals on Facebook and how much they love it, so I decided to try it out.

Clothes shopping has always been challenging for me. As a 5ft-ish girl with an athletic body, you can only imagine how awful it is for me to find anything that fits my body proportions correctly. Jeans in particular are the WORST. Try sizing an itty-bitty waist with a big booty and thunder thighs correctly- it’s nearly impossible! Anyway, back to the Stitchfix I received. I was excited to see what the stylist picked out for me as I was very detailed in what I was looking for. My box included 5 items: skinny jeans, a raglan top, a suede shawl, a navy-blue jersey dress, and a geometric design necklace. The first thing I grabbed was the jeans. I looked at them and laughed out loud as I thought to myself, ‘there’s no friggen way I’m fitting in these things’. To my surprise, these sweet jeans FIT ME PERFECTLY!!!!! I mean PERFECTLY! I’m so picky when it comes to jeans because I’m used to something being off- pocket placement, too much gaping/space in the front and waistband, too tight in the thighs- but not these. I am in LOVE. The brand is Kensie– I’ve never heard of it until today. But I will be purchasing more, that’s for certain!

Okay, enough with my Stitchfix obsession and back to food and nutrition. The end of week 4 is approaching and I’m excited to say- I’VE OFFICIALLY DROPPED A PANT SIZE, just by cutting out SUGAR and PROCESSED GARBAGE!!! Who knew that would happen?!?!?!? I’m feeling leaner, lighter, and am starting to see my abs again! That is enough motivation to make this an ongoing habit.

Day 27

I lead a pretty exciting life and by exciting, I mean I was in bed last night before 10:00pm. Talk about a party animal. I slept solid: waking at 8:30, made some breakfast and hit comp class for 2 hours of torture. It was a well needed ass kicking, one which started the morning out perfectly. After enduring the brutality, I quickly ate something small (protein bar) and rushed about the afternoon running errands before my evening plans.

I really should have done all of my grocery shopping today, but decided against it as all the crazy people were stocking up for the snowpocalypse heading our way. I hate being in the grocery store with all the frantic folks, cleaning out the aisles, so I opted out and will see what I have in the fridge.

Of course when I come home, nothing I currently have in the fridge is appealing. So there’s that.

The rain quickly turned into snow in the afternoon, making me regret my decision to NOT grocery shop when I was running errands earlier in the day. If we get as much snow as they predict, I’m not going anywhere tomorrow, and will be stuck with the unappealing options currently lurking in my refrigerator.

Confessions of an addict, part 3

Day 15

Another day off from work, woohoo! I’m up early and working in my sweat shop. I’m getting ready to make a scrumptious breakfast, delicious coffee, and walk the dog shortly after. I’ve done a terrible job over the weekend preparing for this week’s meals. Luckily for me, I have enough extra food made up to last me a few more days. Procrastination at its finest!

Day 16

They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. I say that applies to almost everything in life, with the exception of sugar and my addiction to it. I feel like this will be a life-long battle; one similar to the way drug addicts experience withdraws. Okay, that’s probably an extreme analogy, but in all seriousness, I still crave sugar. Let’s be clear: not the sugary crap like Sour Patch Kids or Pop Rock- more like rich, dark chocolate, homemade cake, cupcakes, tiramisu, and GUM!! Oh, how I miss gum. I miss changing the flavor of my mouth, because one’s mouth tends to go stale about 30 minutes after brushing teeth.

The last few days have been chaotic for me as I’ve been preparing to compete in The Crossfit Circus this coming weekend and also sell my products there. Between sewing in my sweat shop the last 4 days and only leaving to get more fabric and workout to keep my sanity, I failed to grocery shop and meal prep as I normally do each Sunday. With that said, I’ve been using all the leftovers I have in my fridge for make-shift meals. I totally see where that term derives from now.

I’m not thrilled to be back to my normal 9-5 job today but I do appreciate the habitual routines I develop in and around the work day. For example, I woke at 4:30am today, ate a small pre-lift meal, went to the gym at 5am, lifted, came home, showered, cooked breakfast, packed all my meals for the work day, got to work, and ate at my scheduled times. When I leave here I’ll go home, eat a pre-wod meal, hit the gym for workout #2, eat, strategize for The Crossfit Circus, shower again, sew, sleep, and repeat everything tomorrow. That’s a typical weekday for me. With all these activities, I MUST make some time this week to properly grocery shop, or hire an assistant to do that kind of thing for me. One can dream, right?!?

Day 17

We all get busy, so ‘being busy’ is a crappy excuse for not doing things. Let’s be real for a moment: I haven’t made time to go grocery shopping yet, so I’ve been scrapping together anything I can in my fridge that’s ETP approved. Truthfully, I’m running out of options and I need to get my shit together.

Since I failed to properly pack a nutritious and satisfying lunch, I tried out a new-to-me restaurant today called Mixed, and it was delicious! It offered a great variety of healthy options which fit nicely into my ETP plan. Ladies, take advantage of the Wednesday deal: two ladies receive buy one get one half off!

As I returned to the office after my delightful lunch, I noticed someone brought us Thelma’s cookies. I’M SO JEALOUS!!! I WANT ONE SOOOOOOOOOO BADLY. They’re literally in my sight, staring at me, begging me to taste them. But I won’t give in. I think my co-workers are purposely doing this to see if I’ll crack. Not going to happen. I thrive on challenges!

But seriously, check out the adorable packaging:

 Thelma's Cookies

I’m still struggling to hit all of my carb and fat macros on a daily basis. I’m doing really well with my protein consumption and natural sugar but need to add more carbs. Perhaps more bacon will suffice to increase my fat consumption. I’d be okay with that for now.

Day 18

Today I feel leaner and lighter; my work pants are loose and do not fit like they did a few weeks ago. I believe I’ve lost some inches already but cannot confirm yet since we are not allowed to measure or weight ourselves until the end. Although curious, I’m glad we’re not measuring or weighing until then. I’d hate to be discouraged as I’ve done a good job staying with this so far.

Day 19

Another day, same story- Old Mother Hubbard is hanging around my cubbards. I’m scrapping together anything and everything I can because I still haven’t gone grocery shopping-woof.

2:00pm: I just realized I’m emotionally eating- which I do when I’m stressed out or pissed off. In this case, I’m both. Luckily for me,  I’m binging on dried apples instead of the whole bag of Reeses. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I started feeling full- I honestly don’t know how many I ate. Ugh….

6:00pm: I’m paying for all of those dried apples I ate out of anger. I am bloated beyond belief! All of the fiber I ate in a short amount of time and natural sugar- woof. I over did it and it sucks!!! Hoping this goes away over night because I hit the competition floor tomorrow morning.

Day 20

Today’s day one of The Crossfit Circus, and I’m thrilled to step out on the floor with my gym wife. Since the emails indicate costumes are welcome, we went ALL out. Who doesn’t love a good reason to dress in costume?

From left: KT Marie, Sara, Me

 From left: KT Marie, Sarah, and I.

KT Marie, Sean, and I striking a pose!

 From left: KT Marie, Sean, and I.

Also, shout out to our friends who joined suit and dressed up as well!

Lions, Tigers, and Ringleaders, OH MY!

 From left: Brad, Chris, KT Marie, myself, Alyssa, and Kya.


Above: Kt Marie, Chris, and I.

During competition days, I don’t eat a lot until the final event is finished. Today’s fuel was ALL HEALTHY deliciousness, and (mostly) challenge compliant. I didn’t make any of the snacks but the gym wife and Alyssa did. Protein bites, protein muffins, homemade protein bars, fruit and protein powder fueled my day. Nothing was pre-weighed, because I had no time for that and just ate what was in front of me.

Post competition day one, we fueled our bodies properly with REAL FOOD: steak kabobs with grilled peppers and onions, along with a baked potato and steamed broccoli and carrots. Probably the best steak I’ve had in a while. I’m now in a happy state of food coma and ready for bed. The Final Act awaits us in the morning.

Day 21

Today’s the final day of The Crossfit Circus and only one event remains. I ate a protein muffin and apple prior to the event, which seemed to get me through The Final Act without redlining. After the event, it took me awhile to want something to eat. I munched on more protein bites, bars, and muffins to get me through and cheered on the rest of my friends.

I have a confession to make…

…I had Zombie Burger today, post competition, and it was glorious! I’d say it was compliant and in my macros: I had my favorite burger: #6 DEAD MOINES: a single burger, no bun with prosciutto and gouda along with French fries (white potatoes). I really wanted a beer but opted out. So this counts, as a compliant meal, right Meghan?!?

Regardless if it does or does not, it didn’t make me feel sick, which is awesome. I was slightly worried about that as I haven’t eaten there since this summer.

Confession #2

I did not eat anything else the rest of the evening, so I know for a fact I was well under my macros today. I didn’t even track in MFP yesterday or today because how does one track homemade protein bites, bars, and muffins that were prepared for, with love, by friends? It wasn’t practical for me to guess and truthfully, wasn’t on my mind during the competition. So, here’s to being exhausted, surviving another competition, lying around the rest of the day, [should meal prep but honestly won’t] and getting back on track tomorrow. Cheers, friends.

Confessions of an addict, part 2

Week 2- Eat to Perform begins

Day 8

Today has been the best I’ve felt since we began the challenge. It was also my first day of Eat to Perform. I found it challenging to hit all of my macronutrients today, and came short of my daily goals for protein and carbohydrates. I found myself feeling starved throughout work today, which tells me I need more protein and complex carbs throughout the day. Although I planned well last night (i.e. cooked so much food) I failed to pack the lunchbox appropriately. Who does that?!?

I was excited to add back in almond milk and oatmeal today! Oh, and BACON. I love me some bacon! I cooked up a mighty fine breakfast scramble this morning with bacon, of course.

For lunch, I made tacos! I chose to season the meat with salt, pepper, and some Mrs. Dash table blend. Instead of taco shells, I used a head of lettuce and approximately 3-4 full leaves as the ‘shell’. I added some mango peach salsa for flavor. It was tasty!

For dinner, I ate pot roast, potatoes, and carrots. Another delicious meal.

Snacks today consisted of too much fats as I may have overdone it with the bacon and almonds, but I felt energized and full throughout the day. I just need to get in the groove of pre-weighing everything and logging it into MFP to see where I have wiggle room.

Day 9

I feel better daily, like a normal human being. The feeling is glorious. My food is working for me instead of against me and I feel it. Although delicious, cutting out the processed garbage makes me feel more alert and less zombie like.  With new additions allowed back into my diet and the caloric intake increase, I’m feeling satisfied yet slightly bloated, which I was forewarned about. I’m slowly trying to increase my carbohydrate intake to 200g/day and in a few weeks increase it again to 253g/day. Seems like a lot, huh? It is. Yesterday I didn’t eat enough, period. I barely consumed 100 g of protein and less than 100g of carbs. I did, however, consume 10 glasses of water and paid for it as I woke up hourly to relieve it.

I’m currently on a better plan of attack today and hope to be closer to my macos by the end of the day. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, which probably explains why I’ve been taking the time to come up with such delicious options.

Lunch was spectacular, consisting of organic lemon pepper chicken breast, sweet potatoes with cinnamon and bacon! YUM! I will say the one nice thing about utilizing my fitness pal is it shows you where you have wiggle room and where you don’t so you make better eating options. The numbers don’t lie! For example, I really want some more fruit right now, but after my breakfast, lunch, and snacks thus far, I only have 12g of sugar left in my daily allotment and if I eat this strawberry banana chia seed smoothie, there goes 10 of those 12 remaining sugar grams. Sadly, I’m opting out of that delicious strawberry banana smoothie today.

Instead of choosing that smoothie, which I know for a fact is delicious; I chose a road less traveled: GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha. I’m not quite sure what I expected, but:

It was the MOST DISGUSTING THING, EVER. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I pawned it off on my old boss who was thrilled to receive it. Gross.

3:45PM: Feeling a little crash right now and literally counting down the minutes until I’m off work. I’m not craving any sugar though, which is a first in 9 days! Woohoo! Small victories!

5:00pm: I never eat a ‘pre-workout meal’ but for the sake of the macros, I figured today I should try. I whipped up a smoothie:

  • 1 small banana
  • ½ cup organic oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop SFH chocolate protein powder

It was yummy! I felt full and ready for my 6pm WOD. I was shocked by how I didn’t seem to ‘run out of gas’ during the workout tonight and think I should keep doing something like this.

7:30pm- Post-wod I whipped up a taco dinner:

  • 4 oz lean ground beef 93/7 with chopped onion (1tbsp)
  • ¼ cup mixed bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced and diced
  • 100% white corn tortillas
  • 5 tbsp Peach Mango Salsa

Prior to ETP (when we were not allowed tortilla’s) I used lettuce leaves from a head of lettuce as the ‘shell’. It was very good!

Day 10

I wasn’t in the mood for a hot breakfast this morning, so I chose a smoothie, instead. I blended together the following:

  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup organic oats
  • 1 scoop SFH vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I like the taste and consistency of adding oats to the smoothie; also it helps keep me full longer.

Of course, working in an office environment, there’s the constant temptation of terrible food choices- someone brought in Panera bagels today. Luckily for me, I’m full from the smoothie so the appeal of simple carbs isn’t there. WINNING!

10:45am: Mid-morning snack time! Since oats and granola have been allowed back, I’ve found a new love for oats which I’ve NEVER experienced before; however, I despise warm ‘oatmeal’ due to its regurgitation-like texture. More power to you if you can consume that. It puts the T in NASTY for me! Here’s what I’m doing with oats:

  • ½ cup dry oats
  • 1 small banana, chopped up
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Mixed together cold, it’s like crunchy cereal. I dig it.  The downside to this sweet treat: Since grains were allowed back into our diet, I’ve noticed it really f*cks with my stomach- I feel bloated and have stomach cramps within 30 minutes of eating the oats. Add it to the list of $h*t my stomach is sensitive to. It’s getting rather long.

I just input the remainder of my meals for today in My Fitness Pal and I’m happier with where my macros are landing. Although not entirely up to par with my carbs and fats, my protein is spot on. I think the only way to get my carbs and fats up today would include a Scratch cupcake, or brownie. I threw that idea out at Meghan today; we’ll see what she says.  A girl can dream, right?!?

…5 minutes later… SHOT DOWN– well for this challenge anyway. Since the goal of the challenge is to eat clean, no brownies or cupcakes, boo hiss! I get it. The good news: after the challenge, TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE! WOOT WOOT! The awesome part about ETP is you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits into your macros. BOOM! I love food. That is all.

I think I am going to take Meghan’s advice and start pre-planning my meals in MFP. I plan out every other detail of my day so I may as well make a plan for this. It seems to have helped me today, as I’m sitting SPOT ON at my grams of protein (131g), 15g shy of my fat goal, and exceeded my goal of 175g carbs by 8g(out of my 253g allotment), which for me is HUGE! It’s been a struggle trying to consume at least 200g of carbs per day, so I lowered it to 175 and that has proven to be attainable. 200g….I’m slowly coming for you!

2:00pm: Late lunch for me. I am currently eating:

  • 4 oz. lemon pepper chicken breast, oven baked, delish!
  • My new favorite concoction: baked, cubed sweet potatoes with cinnamon and….BACON! Oh.Em.GEE. To die for. Give it a try!!! Shout out to Sarah for the idea!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…I think I’m starting to fall for sweet potatoes. If you had asked me this 10 days ago, I’d have thought you were nuts. They’ve grown on me. I think the cinnamon helps, a LOT. And the bacon…mmmm. Whatever the reason, I’ve found a new love.

10:00pm: I’m up later than I want to be and although I’m physically exhausted from competition class tonight, I can’t seem to turn my brain off. Class was ridiculously challenging:  I’m not sure what my deal was tonight, but I felt weak as f*ck.  I felt like a whale, bloated from the diet changes this week. Bar muscle ups were NOT happening, not even with a band!  Pull-ups felt like I had anchors attached to my feet and cleans felt incredibly heavy when the prescribed weight was only 68% of my 1RM. I was irate. We’ll just say tonight’s workout didn’t go as planned.

Day 11

Felt a bit rushed this morning as I went into work early. I quickly threw together an egg scramble with:

  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ cup mixed peppers (green, yellow, red)
  • 1 cup kale

It tastes good and must smell good because everyone at work has been commenting on it.

I tossed my food bag together in a few minutes and completely forgot my almond milk for my mid-morning snack. Bummed! Come to think of it, I really hope I didn’t leave the almond milk out on the counter this morning! GAH! I should have packed my bag last night, but was discombobulated from my performance at the gym that I spaced off.

One good thing about today so far, is I’m feeling less bloated, yay! As I’m sitting at my desk, eating my lunch, I’ve noticed something: my taste buds are changing. I had some sweet potatoes with cinnamon and bacon again today and it’s glorious. It only took 11 days of force-feeding me sweet potatoes to actually wanting to eat them. I’m shocked! I noticed this change last night as I ate my pot roast and regular potatoes and as I took a bite of the regular potato, I was slightly disappointed at the lack of flavor it held. Perhaps I never noticed that previously as I used to douse it with butter, salt and pepper. As an Irish girl, I absolutely LOVE regular potatoes; however, now I think I’m starting to prefer sweet over regular.

2:30pm-Post lunch sleepiness. Feeling a bit sluggish at the moment and still crave/want my afternoon coffee. I’m not sure that will ever go away.

The positive side of today- I’m off in about an hour and don’t have to return to work for the next 4 day. With that said, I’m going to do my best to stay on track and consume the adequate amount of nutrients.

Day 12

It’s Friday and I don’t have to work today! Woo-hoo! It is 8am and I am up and working, though, preparing my merchandise for next weekend’s competition. I have so much to sew, it’s crazy! To start my day off, I cooked up another incredible breakfast. Come to think of it, maybe I’m biased- I haven’t cooked for anyone else in a long time so perhaps I just think my breakfast is the bee’s knees. Anyone want to come be my taste tester, let me know. I’d like some validity to my statements here.

Moving on… I’ve fallen trap to the busy weekend routine, again. In my sewing room, also referred to as the ‘sweat shop’, I put on Netflix and got to work. It’s now 12:30pm and I need some lunch. I’ve realized I’ve done a terrible job hydrating myself thus far, so I’m making a point to stop on occasion to refill my glass.

2:00pm: Taking another break. Eating a snack before I run a few errands. Although it makes my stomach a hot mess, I absolutely love this snack:

  • ½ cup dried, organic granola
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup banana

Sure as $*%t, within 30 minutes of consuming that delicious treat above, my stomach was angry. Of course, I was mid fabric shopping and just had to deal with the pain. There was no time to acknowledge my body’s symptoms so I just kept moving.

4:00pm: I’m back home and frantically trying to prepare dinner as Alyssa is coming over at 6:30 to help me cut fabric. I’m making one of my favorite crockpot recipes tonight from another favorite food blog, Paleomg. From here, I went to the crockpot section and made the Enchilada Chicken Stew which is TO DIE FOR. If you like spicy food like I do, MAKE THIS ASAP. One word of advice- wear gloves when you chop the jalapenos.  No matter how much I scrubbed my hands after chopping them, the jalapeno juice seeped into my skin; which became problematic later in the evening when I took out my contacts – it effing STUNG my eyeballs. Not recommended for a very good time.

8:30pm: Alyssa and I take a break from cutting fabric to enjoy Enchilada Chicken Stew. I forgot to mention, I omitted the garlic and avocado, because, I HATE GARLIC and unfortunately I’m allergic to avocado. Sad news, right? Sans 2 ingredients, it’s still ahh-mazing.

Day 13

It’s Saturday morning and I’m up early again, because, who sleeps in anymore? Sometimes I wish I could but sleeping in anymore is 8am; which I accomplished today Up and at it, it my 12 day streak of cooking myself breakfast. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and taking my dog for a walk. Did I mention it is January 17th, 8:00am and 49 degrees outside? It feels like a heatwave!

I need to figure out a system of drinking enough water and eating on the weekends, because I get so busy and kind of forget. *Side note* Maybe I should set some alarms on my phone for the weekend, reminding me to eat and drink water, lol. Silly idea, but it just might work.

We had our gym holiday party tonight. It was nice to be surrounded by others’ doing the challenge as we aren’t allowed to drink. There were a good chunk of us sipping our H20 out of Dixie cups, with limes, looking lame, but in this TOGETHER!  I don’t miss drinking but I miss the social aspect of it. Only 6 more weeks… 6. More. Weeks. That is 42 more days, or March 1st, to be exact. At that point, the Open will be in week 1 and who wants to drink or eat badly during that 5 week span? I’M ONTO YOUR PLAN GUYS!

Day 14

Today marks my 2 week span of eating CLEAN: no sugar, no bad carbs, and no processed garbage. I feel focused, alert, and energized. My sugar cravings are minimal and I no longer crave chocolate 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times I really want a cookie, brownie, or chocolate, but my willpower is stronger than the desire to give into food which will ultimately make me feel bloated and lethargic.

I really enjoy cooking for myself DAILY. Prior to this challenge, I cooked for myself but not every meal. I’d rely on a salad from Palmer’s deli a few days out of the week, protein bars (which I REALLY miss, Quest bars in particular), and protein shakes (I miss using Muscle Pharm protein powder). I will say that using SFH protein powder is the cleanest protein out there, and you can taste the difference. The first time I used it, I mixed the chocolate SFH protein powder with only 8 oz. of water. It literally tasted like I was drinking chocolate grass. Get creative with what you add to the protein powder- almond milk and fruit helps masks the taste a bit until you get used to it.

Sundays are my time to sew and meal prep. I’ll be hitting the grocery store later this afternoon to prep for the week to come. This is a big week: The Crossfit Circus is upon us! I’ll be competing with my gym wife and selling my products through the gym. I have a lot to prepare for, so my meal game and macros need to be on point!

Well, instead of grocery shopping and meal planning, I spent the ENTIRE day in the sweat shop. After a productive day, my roommate insisted we try out Flix Brewhouse, a new theater which serves food and drinks. It reminded me of the days I used to live in Kansas City and go to the AMC theaters. I’m stoked that concept has come to Des Moines! The downside of the roomie/movie night was I’m on this challenge and I couldn’t eat or drink what I wanted there. That was rough! They serve 2 of my favorite beers on tap, which most places don’t, and you can even get them by the PITCHER. Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?! I’ll most definitely be going back after this challenge is over.

Confessions of an addict, part 1

Hi, my name is Sheena, and I’m an addict. It’s been hard to admit to myself and I’ve been in denial for quite some time. Although my addiction may seem trivial to some, it is something I battle with on a daily basis. I am addicted to sugar.

I consider myself to be pretty healthy overall; I workout daily, I utilize my nutrition background (90% of the time), and I know the basics of how to treat your body to perform optimally. However, “Knowing isn’t doing”. Just because I know what I should be doing, doesn’t mean I do all the time.

This holiday season, my sugar consumption was out of control. I went home for  6 days and while I rarely keep sweets in my house, my parents usually do a good job of keeping my favorites on hand: Banana Twins, Boston Crème Rolls, kettle cooked potato chips, shoe string potatoes, and homemade peanut butter cookies with the little chocolate kiss in the center, just to name a few. My first mistake was to give into temptation and eat the Banana Twin, which sent the “oh $*%& you’ve been depriving me of this” signal to my brain, naturally releasing dopamine, and the feel good sensory reaction to follow.

Dopamine- the neurotransmitter which controls the brain’s response to reward and pleasure centers, and linked to many forms of addiction: drugs, alcohol, food, sex, etc.  I could geek out for a few minutes and tell you all about dopamine and the neurological effects it has but here’s a good video from NPR that is informative and easy to follow.

When I returned from the holiday hiatus, I knew I needed to get my diet back on track. This is the hardest I’ve ever fallen off the wagon, and it showed.  My energy was at an all-time low, my performance at the gym was less than stellar, and I just felt….fat. I had no intention to sign up for the nutrition challenge offered by my gym, but I knew I needed something drastic to kick my habit. A group of friends and I decided to go cold turkey and kick our sugar habit by signing up for the challenge. The challenge consists of 2 weeks of Whole 30 followed by 6 weeks of Eat To Perform. As advised, I’m only doing one week of Whole 30 because I’m competing in 2 weeks and can’t afford to be lethargic pre-competition.

With that said, I’ve decided to document my daily struggles: the highs and lows associated with detoxifying my body over the next 8 weeks. I’ll write daily and publish these articles every Sunday for the remainder of the challenge.  *Keep in mind I’m writing at different points throughout the day and the flow may not be cohesive, if you will.

Day 1 of Whole30

I was proactive last night and tossed together some meals for the 1st day of the Whole30 challenge. While feeling restricted and not having any direction on what I wanted to make, here is my meal plan for today:

Breakfast 7:45 am:

  • 2 organic, sunny-side up eggs with homemade sweet potato hash browns. I used 1 tsp coconut oil to lather the pan and drank black coffee.

Snack 10:30 am:

  • Had a 10am snack which consisted of 1 serving Blue Diamond Almonds and a regular Dole Banana. Cup 2 of coffee.

It is currently 11:00am and although I’m not hungry, I’m lethargic. I’m tired, my eyes don’t want to stay open and I could use MORE coffee.  Maybe it’s a case of the Monday’s or perhaps it’s because I haven’t had any sugar. It’s too soon to tell.

I’m tracking my caloric intake on myfitnesspal.com and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I feel so restricted- I only have 648 calories left for my ‘daily allotment’, which is based off a 1,200 calorie per day diet. I feel like that is ridiculously low for the 2-a-day training I’m doing between my normal Crossfit wod’s and my strength and conditioning programming. I really hope this caloric deficit doesn’t negatively affect my training regimen, but fear it will based on the knowledge I have on the days when I used to be  a nutrition coach.

Lunch time:

  • Pot roast, white potatoes (yes) and carrots. Delicious!!! However, I’m only left with 256 calories and I still have dinner and another snack left for the day.

I’m worried that I’m not getting enough fuel today. Normally I eat every 2-3 hours and generally 6 or more times per day. So far, I’ve only eaten 3 times and only have 256 calories to spare- I guarantee I go over this allotment today. I don’t think it’s enough for my body to get through my normal daily workouts and activities.

It’s 1:30pm and I’m still feeling full from lunch, thankfully!

I finished up the day with a 3 oz beef sirloin along with chopped sweet potatoes roasted in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and cinnamon. Those actually tasted pretty good and I’m shocked I’m saying that. Based on this, I somehow managed to be ‘under’ the 1200 calorie restriction, which surprises me immensely.

Day 2:

Breakfast today was fantastic! I got creative in the kitchen and mixed up an egg scramble. The best part, I’ve got leftovers for tomorrow! Yes!

Breakfast 7:45am:

  • Egg Scramble: 2 organic eggs, scrambled into homemade sweet potato hash browns, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, jalepeno peppers, white onion, spinach and broccoli. I lightly sautéed this in 1 tsp organic coconut oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of Mrs. Dash table blend.

Snack 10:00am:

  • Same as yesterday. I’m keeping it simple until I hit the grocery store later this evening.

It’s now almost noon, and I’m getting hungry for lunch. Today I brought a 3 oz beef sirloin with steamed broccoli and carrots. I made extra sweet potatoes last night but either my roommate or dog at them so they’ve gone rogue for the time being.

2:00PM: One thing I really miss….. Scratch that, the two things I really miss are CHOCOLATE and Scratch Cupcakes. I don’t even eat Scratch Cupcakes that frequently, but man, I’d seriously LOVE one right now.  So instead of longing for the chocolate, sugar, and goodness of a cupcake, I’ll drown my thirst with good ol’ fashioned, H2O.

8:45PM: I’ve again somehow managed to come in under the 1200 calorie goal per day, which makes me think I’m not eating enough. I feel full throughout the day and I know I’m receiving nutritionally dense food, but the calorie number is bothering me. I think I’ll figure out how to adjust it in My Fitness Pal.

 Day 3

As of this morning, I’ve noticed my skin is starting to break out, which is not normal for me. I’m fortunate to have very clear skin 99% of the time, with the one exception per month, compliments of Mother Nature.  Perhaps this no sugar business is detoxifying my body more than I thought.

 8:00AM: This morning started off excellent. I decided to make a similar thing as yesterday, but instead of putting the eggs in it to make a ‘scramble’ I sautéed all of the veggies and then made 2 separate over medium eggs in another skillet. The results, ahh-mazing.

10:15AM: I continued to have my 10am snack and lunch around 12:30. Lunch left me feeling full and satisfied as I ate half of the lemon pepper chicken breast and all of the backed sweet potatoes with cinnamon.

Currently, it’s 2:45pm and I’m crashing, HARD. I need coffee, a nap, or both. What started out as an excellent day has turned into an emotional rollercoaster; I can barely keep my eyes open and am getting crabbier by the minute. Hopefully I’ll get my 2nd wind at 4:30, when I’m free to leave my job, which is partially the culprit for my crabbiness and desire for caffeine in the afternoon.

9:00PM After leaving work, I headed home and took a 20 minute nap. I was exhausted. I woke up feeling somewhat better and hit competition class, which turned out to be a pretty great workout considering the lack of energy I was exuding. I made my dinner and tried to fall asleep early, which didn’t happen. I’m having a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep through the night.

Day 4

I figured out how to update my caloric goals in My Fitness Pal today, so I upped my caloric intake to 1700 calories per day. There is something about the 1200 calorie number that made me feel so restricted. You’ve probably noticed by now, I don’t handle restrictions well.

I’m getting rather good at coming up with delicious breakfast options. The rest of my day is pretty boring regarding my food options and I’m seeing I’m eating the same things over, and over. Luckily I only have 3 more days on Whole 30 before transitioning to Eat 2 Perform.  I realized I used to grab my favorite protein bars (Quest Bars) for snacks prior to starting this Whole 30 journey. Man, I miss eating those bars.

This is my 4th day at the gym without any pre-workout supplementation and I can see I’m not as lethargic and relying on it to get me through, which is pretty refreshing.

Day 5

Praise Bob Harper for feeling my pain and struggle.

Praise Bob Harper for feeling my pain and struggle.


Remember yesterday I mentioned I wasn’t relying on my pre-workout and was less lethargic? LIES! ALL LIES! Today I decided to workout at 5am, for a reason unbeknownst to me. Sans pre-workout and  waking up around 4:15 am, I was dragging. I was in bed by 9pm (another first) last night so I had adequate rest. The 5am class time without being properly caffeinated is not recommended, friends.

It’s Friday, and my breakfast was on point again this morning. Last night I boiled some REGULAR potatoes in lieu of sweet potatoes, for the first time in 5 days. I was excited to eat them, but they taste kind of bland by themselves without the butter; however, paired nicely in my breakfast skillet this morning.

Breakfast 8:00am:

  • Breakfast skillet- sautéed green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, white onion, spinach, kale, broccoli and white potatoes in coconut oil.
  • 2 over medium eggs were cooked in a separate pan with coconut oil
  • The eggs were served over the skillet, cut up the eggs and enjoy the entire meal. Every, last, bite.

Snack 10:00am- I’m really creative for breakfast but my snack game sucks.

  • I serving of whole natural almonds
  • 1 banana

10:45AM: Returning from a mid-morning meeting, my co-worker so graciously stood up, stretched, yawned, and announced, “I need sugar”. He proceeded to grab some candy and eat it in front of me, knowing I’m on a no-sugar diet. Are you kidding me? How rude!  I don’t care what you eat, but don’t prance around me and try to make me ‘jealous’. Eff you, buddy. Eff you.

12:25PM: I feel like I’m being tested today. Someone just bought our team pizza, breadsticks, and cinnamon things. Although I’ve never been a huge fan for pizza, (with the exception of taco pizza), I wouldn’t have eaten it anyway, but the fact that I’m told I can’t eat it, makes me want to. It’s safe to assume I have a problem with being told what to do. (Hint: If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it).

2:00PM: I walked away from the glorious smell of the za, and decided to do some retail therapy over my lunch hour. I just ate my lunch and for the first time in my life, I can say sweet potatoes were pretty damn good. I’m shocked. I never thought I’d say that.

2:37PM: I’m crashing HARD again. I’m full from lunch and need a nap. My co-worker is agitating me and I’m trying to be polite by putting in my headphones but he keeps doing stupid stuff to mess with me. Seriously, I’m not in the mood to be bothered, again.  I’m having another episode of rollercoaster emotions. It’s probably a good thing I’m currently single because the high and lows I’ve experienced this week are unpredictable, and I hate not being in control of how I feel.

I ended the day with the remainder of the lemon pepper chicken breast I cooked earlier in the week with sweet potatoes. I started looking for more creative recipes and came across a blog called “The Clothes Make The Girl” and has some great recipe options. Tomorrow, I’ll be hitting the grocery store for ingredients to make more creative meal plans.

Day 6

It’s Saturday morning and my alarm was screaming at me at 8:30am. I went to bed at 11:45pm last night so I had adequate sleep, but I woke feeling lethargic. I have no energy this morning and I need to make some breakfast. As I lay here in bed, making food feels like work- can I hire a chef? If I had 3 wishes, a fabulous chef would be one of them.  Speaking of which, I just received a group text message regarding swapping food and bartering- 2 homemade sauces up for grabs from the gym wife. Score! If you’ve ever had her family’s tomato sauce recipe, you know it’s made from scratch and legit.

I’ve realized a few things today. For starters, this is the first weekend of the Whole 30 challenge and I failed to plan for the weekend properly. Saturday’s and Sunday’s routine are very different from my week; I sleep in a few extra hours, hit the gym, and generally sew, hang out, go out, run errands, etc. I didn’t take that into consideration last night and although today’s the BEST I’ve felt since we started Whole 30, here are a few things I noticed:

  • I haven’t had enough water throughout the day
  • I didn’t eat at my scheduled meal times
  • I didn’t think about food or water much today apart from breakfast

Most of the statements above can be attributed to my focus in the sewing room today. Because I was focused on things I actually enjoy (sewing, lifting), I didn’t think about food much at all, which is shocking! It’s known that I think about food all the time, and today I figured out why- I’m bored out of my mind at my 9-5 job so naturally I think about the things that help get me through it (i.e. sweets, candy, sugar, junk food, etc).

I was in my sewing groove from 9am-8pm and time seemed to fly by. I was interrupted by my on occasion by my sweet dog, who wanted some attention and to be let outside to chase squirrels. It was only during those times I realized, ‘I should probably eat something’. That is HUGE. I’ve realized I’ve been emotionally eating junk food at work because I’m bored out of my mind and love how the dopamine makes me feel. BOOM. LIFE CHANGING MOMENT.

Are you following Bob Harper on Instagram? If you’re not, you should. He’s started the Whole 30 challenge and he too, is expressing mood swings and struggles. His latest posts made me giggle:


Bob Harper is experiencing #moodswings also while doing #Whole30

Bob Harper is experiencing #moodswings also while doing #Whole30

We’re in this together, people!!

Day 7

Today is MY final day doing whole 30 and I couldn’t be happier. I felt very good today; strong, energized, and ready to conquer the world. I made a scrumptious breakfast and hit up open gym. In addition, we met with Meghan after open gym and was educated on Eat To Perform, which begins tomorrow. I couldn’t be more excited!

I get to add some things back into my diet: some dairy, rice, oatmeal, and gluten free granola, to name a few. For those who know me, you know I’m lactose intolerant and allergic to rice and avocado, so those ‘additions’ didn’t make me jump for joy. However, I am allowed to eat couscous as a rice substitute, winning!

We figured out our precise macronutrients toady as well, which is completely new for me and I’m stoked to try it out. My calorie consumption will go up, by about 551 calories, making my caloric intake roughly 2251 per day.  Did I mention we have to weigh all of our food? Another first for me. I bought a food scale and am ready to go!

In addition, I had to laugh out loud at Bob Harper’s Instagram post today:

 Whole 30 day 7

7:30PM: I’ve spent the last 3 ½ hours in the kitchen, meal prepping, measuring EVERYTHING with my food scale and prepping meals for the week ahead. The food scale is slightly overwhelming but hopefully it will become less daunting and more routine over the weeks ahead. I went into today’s kitchen prep with a versatile game plan and have come out VICTORIOUS! Onward march to ETP tomorrow!

Goal Diggin’

Each year I write down my annual goals in lieu of NYE resolutions. For me, specific goals are more attainable than some resolution you forget about 20 days into January.

Goal setting was introduced to me by my father. As a kid, he continuously asked thought provoking questions like, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, “What do you need to do today to reach that goal?” Though it seemed redundant, these conversations helped shape my futuristic way of thinking. He encouraged me to put pen to paper and write out my goals starting with long term goals followed by short term goals. My dad instilled the importance of setting deadlines and hanging these goals in a place we could look at daily and discuss. Of course as a child, I thought the concept was a bit silly, but it has stayed with me throughout the years.

As the year is approaching its end, I’m starting to reflect on the 2014 goals I set out to accomplish. Did I achieve all I set out to? How attainable were these goals? What could I have done differently?

5 Tips for effective goal setting:

1. Write them down! What kind of a plan doesn’t include a written map?

2. Break goals up into categories: Long Term, Short Term, 6 months, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. If you look at them as small steps rather than an overwhelming ‘idea’, it becomes more attainable.

3. Give yourself deadlines. Without deadlines, the ‘goal’ will float in limbo and never be achieved.

4. Share and discuss them with others. This helps hold yourself and others accountable.

5. Place them in a spot you look at DAILY. The phrase ‘out of sight out of mind’ is applicable here. If you look at your goals on a daily basis, you’re more likely to achieve them at the pace you’ve set.

Your goal list can be as simple as a hand written piece of paper or an elaborate dream board. I type my goal sheet out and print off a few copies: one for home, one for the office, and one for my purse. A friend of mine from the gym recently introduced me to a fancy Passion Planner, which I am pre-ordering for the 2015 year. Whatever method you choose, be sure to revisit the goals you set out for yourself. You may find they need to be tweaked along the way, which is perfectly acceptable.

Think about what you want to achieve, create your plan, and make 2015 the best year to come!

Napolean Hill


As I sit at my cubicle, I realize today is October 1st, a symbolic day in my books. On this date two years ago, I chose a road less traveled; a road many think about and few find the courage to take. This road is a bumpy one: filled with endless challenges-both mentally and physically. If you dare take this road, be prepared. Your life will change in many ways you never thought possible. As I sit here and reflect, I wonder where I would be today if I hadn’t walked through those doors.

Whether it was the fear of sucking or fear of the unknown which kept me away for quite some time, I decided Oct. 1, 2012 would be the day I satisfied my curiosity. Alone, nervous, and definitely out of my comfort zone, I walked into my 1st box and experienced my 1st Crossfit workout: FRAN. Like so many others before me, I wondered why I hadn’t started sooner. The energy was contagious. The encouragement, the support, and the challenge: everything about this place was intoxicating. The whole idea of a community which shared similar interests and supported each other was incredible to witness: instantly I knew I wanted to become a part of it.

Each day I learned something completely new and exciting. I began a list of goals I wanted to tackle and started working on them one by one. The process of acquiring new skill sets and the challenge they impose beguiles me. Enthralled by the sport, I quickly realized where I was and where I wanted to be; therefore, my progress developed. Although I am 2 years in and have come a tremendous way since day 1, I still feel like I have a long way to go. For me, the process is on-going. There will always be some skill to tackle, ways to become more efficient, and more knowledge to acquire.

The challenges you experience in this atmosphere lead to the wonderful progress. There is so much beauty in the progress itself; many people forget the small steps it takes to get the end result. I encourage you all to take a moment to reflect on what brought you in the doors initially: what continues to bring you back, and why do you stay? Appreciate the hard work it’s taken you to get where you are today. EARN each score you post. Feel the struggle. Write down your goals and get after them! Nobody will give this to you. Make your mission to destroy the weakness that lives inside you. After all, it’s just ‘YOU AGAINST YOU’.