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:

Dinner:

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

Dessert:

  • 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!

 

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

10.01.2012

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’.

REPS DON’T LIE! Or do they?

We’ve all been there: Mid WOD, gasping for breath, telling yourself only x amount of work left, and then it happens; the “oh shit, how many was that?” moment when you lose count of your reps.  It’s an honest mistake which occasionally happens to us all.

At the first box I belonged to, the rule of thumb was to start at zero when you miscount. A little extra work won’t hurt you, but lying about your reps will. GUESS WHAT? At the end of the day, NO ONE CARES WHAT YOUR SCORE WAS! Everyone cares if you cheated. If someone calls you out for doing something wrong, listen! Take constructive criticism and GET BETTER. There’s no excuse for shoddy reps when you clearly know the standards.

How are you ever going to get better or excel on skills you don’t put the work into? WHY ARE YOU HERE? Are you one of those who think it sounds cool if you say you crossfit? Is your intention to look the best on the whiteboard so you can post about how awesome your Fran time was when you clearly didn’t get your chin above the bar? Everyone’s level of dedication to the sport varies, which is completely acceptable. What I find unacceptable is the image you’re portraying when you continually shave reps.

Bragging about how much you can lift is great; however, it will only get you so far: the bar doesn’t lie, and it damn sure won’t lift itself. When you’re going neck to neck with someone day in and day out, and they miraculously score a LOT better than you, one tends to notice. I’ve seen this happen at both boxes I’ve belonged to. These are the people whom, in my opinion, are more concerned about how they look to everyone else. They forget that we notice they cheat. I’m guilty of giving these people the ‘stank eye’ from time to time because I question EVERY score they post now. It could be a legit score too, but one doesn’t know this if you’ve been caught cheating yourself or counting reps that are clearly not at the RX standard.

Doing a WOD as RX is a fantastic accomplishment when done using the proper standards and technique. On the flip side, I truly believe it is hurting many Crossfit athletes. So many crossfitters are more concerned about being able to do the WOD RX, but they don’t fully develop the necessary skill work and technique to excel. Take the time! This isn’t a race. Who cares if you’re the last person to finish? Make every rep count. SCALE the WOD if your skills aren’t fully devolved yet. They will eventually get there IF you do the work. Be patient. EARN EVERY REP. Get uncomfortable. Suck sometimes. Most importantly, DO THE WORK. It’s YOU vs YOU.

 

 

The Importance of Flexibilty

When you think of the word flexibility what do you initially think of? Is it your body’s inability to move in certain positions making daily activities or hobbies impossible? Is it that yoga class you know you should attend but make up excuses as to why you can’t make it?

What if I told you flexibility goes far beyond your body’s capabilities and into your mind?

I recently heard someone talk about flexibility and why they can’t do this or can’t do that, and it immediately reminded me of a quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”. Flexibility of the mind is far more challenging than the flexibility of the body. When it comes to pushing new limits, you are your own worst enemy. How many times do you catch yourself doubting your greatness or practicing negative-self talk?

Here are my top 5 go to’s when I hear those negative voices creeping up in my head:

  1. Control the Contorllables. This is one of the best things my dad ever taught me. YOU are in charge of how you think, respond and react to everything around you.  If you can’t control it, stop sweating it and move forward.
  2. Create a P.M.A. (Positive Mental Attitude).  Figure out what key phrases work for you and remind yourself of them at your time of weakness. Something as simple as “keep moving”, “trust yourself”, “you’ve done this 1,000 times before, you can do it again”.
  3. Leave it at the door. We all have things going on in our personal lives but no matter what is going on in my life, I choose to leave it at the door when I walk inside the gym. When I am there I want to be present and absorb all the information and knowledge around me.  How can I do that if I’m thinking about what happened at work? Be present and in the moment.
  4. Embrace failure.  Without a doubt, you will fail at something in your life; whether it’s a new Snatch PR, a job promotion, or a stupid mistake. What make failures wonderful are the opportunities they create to learn and grow.
  5. Face your fears. We all fear something, but remember FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Start attacking your weaknesses!

Next time you hear that voice creeping in your mind, figure out a way to overcome it.

BECOME UNSTOPPABLE!!!