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!

 

Advertisements

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.

Circus.2

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 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

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!!!