Category Archives: Crossfit

CrossFit Love: How Sharing Fitness Has Improved My Relationship

I think I’ve told you this before but I reeeeeeeeally had to twist Garrett’s arm to get him to come to CrossFit with me for the first time. I believe his exact response was, “No thanks. I don’t need to be a (F-Bomb) Navy Seal.” He had watched a few videos on the internet after I suggested it and instantly decided it was not for him.

(Sidebar: If you are thinking about CrossFit, disregard 90% of the meat head videos on the internet. This is NOT real life.)

Anyway, I finally pleaded my case to him and said that I just didn’t want to go alone. Would he just consider coming with me once, and then if he hated it he never had to go back again. That was almost a year an a half ago, so it’s no spoiler how that all worked out. Now he loves it! Well, at least most of the time. πŸ™‚


This is halfway through Open Wod #1 which was 7 minutes of burpees. I don’t think he loved it right then. (And who could blame him?)

We have both seen a ridiculous amount of positive changes, individually, because of Crossfit. But the thing that has been the most awesome (and partly because it was completely unexpected) is that it has really helped strengthen our relationship. Bonus! Caity over at Moi Contre La Vie wrote about something similar recently and it inspired me to share our experience.

Here are five big reasons that I’m so glad that Garrett and I CrossFit together:

1. There’s Always A Hand to Hold (Or, Rather A Spotter Handy)


The couple who bench presses together, stays together.

Starting something new can be scary for anyone, which is why it is sometimes easier to do with a friend because you can pump each other up and strategize before or after class. When you do it with a significant other though — the person who can read your non-verbal cues like a book — it’s almost even more comforting. Garrett can tell when I’m nervous or feeling insecure and I can do the same. We both make an effort to support each other a little extra in those moments.

2. You’ll Have Your Own Secret Language

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Whispering sweet nothings about snatch technique, surely.

Having individual fitness goals that you can talk about together is not only beneficial for keeping on track, but it creates a level of intimacy. I know when I make a goal Garrett is 100% in my corner. He keeps me honest and pushes me when I need it, and I do the same for him. It’s built in accountability and built in understanding. Although on the other hand — it’s a built in bullshit detector. Garrett can always tell when I’m making excuses and I can do the same. That’s the best/worst part. πŸ™‚

3. Having a One Man Cheering Section Feels Pretty Great


We all have bad days. I had a remarkably bad one doing Fran the other day because I was feeling insecure, I wasn’t in a great head space and I let something get to me that I shouldn’t have. Ten thrusters in I dropped the barbell feeling so defeated, but Garrett quickly came over and started pep-talking me back into a good head space. And he knows just how to do that because he is my Partner in Crime. He followed me around for the next 6 minutes just like an overly aggressive Soccer Dad. And while that sounds nutso, it was JUST WHAT I NEEDED in that moment. And I was so grateful for him afterward.

4. We Now Prioritize Spending Time Together Improving Ourselves

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Post-Workout Afterglow is one partΒ  sweatiness, one part happiness

I used to always spent 5-6 hours a week at the gym, but back in the day that was time that I spent away from Garrett. Alone time is necessary (OBVIOUSLY) but sharing a fitness routine for us has increased not only the quantity of time we get to spend together, but it has improved the quality of time. Now instead of spending that time watching tv or reading, we get to spend 5-7 hours a week supporting each other through challenging workouts. And it overflows into other things like making new recipes together, or supporting our buddies at CrossFit competitions on the weekends too. It’s fun having a shared interest that works its way into your social life. Speaking of social life…

5. It’s A Great Way To Meet Other Couples With Similar Interests

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photo courtesy of Caity

Making friends as an adult is haaaaaaard, right? And making Friends Who Are Couples is also kind of a challenge. But lots of couples enjoy working out together, and it’s fun to have met so many in our short time CrossFitting. I just don’t think you don’t get that going to a regular gym, right? I mean can you imagine how creeper that would be if you were approached by folks on the prowl for couple friends at a 24 Hour Fitness? Awkward! πŸ™‚ I’d be wondering if they were going to invite us to a key party, or trying to sell us on their pyramid scheme.

The most important thing that I’m constantly reminded of though when we head into our CrossFit box each though isn’t only specific to working out. When it comes to fitness, life, or especially relationships I think that there have been no truer words spoken than the one’s written on the back’s of all of our sweatshirts:

True Story, my friends. True Story. And I’m just so happy we’ve found such a fun way to put work into our relationship.

*unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of American River CrossFit.

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Look Better Naked: Week Six

Well, folks — IT’S OVER! My Look Better Naked Challenge that I was participating in at the Holidays finished up last week, and even though there were many ups and (many) downs, I am sad to see it go. Part of the process was to take before and after pictures in shorts and a sports bra, which I was VERY VERY MUCH NOT INTERESTED IN DOING, but in the end, I’m so happy I did because would you believe it — the scale doesn’t tell the whole story! Weird. πŸ™‚

(Also that was my sarcasm font, for the record.)

So, I did not post a Week Five update for two main reasons. One – it was the week between Christmas and New Years and I was simultaneously busy and lazy. Two – it would have been a very brief post that said: Holly Ate All The Things. What? I didn’t say they were good reasons, but reasons nonetheless. While I cleaned my act right up for this final Week Six, I felt sort of down about Christmas Mission: Eat The World’s Supply Of Nutella and was really preparing myself to see results I was not very proud of. Speaking of results, let’s get to them, shall we?

Here were my goals in the beginning:

1) 5-10 lbs weight loss over the six week period
2) Do pull ups in a WOD with red band (I’d been working on this for a bit and thought a drop in lbs and re-commitment to the gym would help me nail it)
3) Get my weight loss mojo back!

Here’s how it shook out:

1) Overall weight loss – 6.5 lbs. – I should be happy with this. No let me rephrase, I AM happy with this. What I’m hard wired to feel sort of disappointed about is that in week 2 I was down 8 lbs, so my first inclination because I am a recovering scale-addicted weight watcher is to think: WHY OH WHY DID I NOT KEEP THAT WEIGHT OFF?

But the truth is, there are two reasons my weight loss leveled out at 6.5 lbs in the end (I guess two reasons will be a pattern here today): One – I kicked some serious ass in the gym this month! I made strength improvements, achieved skills I hadn’t been able to do previously, and worked out TWENTY ONE TIMES OVER THE HOLIDAYS, YOU ALL. The pictures I took DEFINITELY showed some body composition change. Obviously. I am confident that not keeping my weight at 8 lbs lost is NOT a fail, but rather an improvement in muscle. I’m okay with that, even though I still have to mentally walk myself through that entire explanation every freaking time I get on the scale. UGH.

Reason Two — Dude, I did indulge. And it was totally worth it! That extra 1.5 lbs would not have been worth resisting Sea Salt Nutella Fudge. Or the Cream Puffs. Or the Cornbread with Honey Butter with my family. I’m sorry, it wouldn’t! That’s reality folks. I had a super awesome holiday season, indulged to the point where I was reminded why I do eat cleanly like I do (ugh, sooooo reminded!) and I’m willing to pay the price for that. End of story. So 6.5 lbs. WOOT! Goal achieved. Also, I feel like — extra gold star for achieving a weight loss goal during the most indulgent time of the year. Huzzah!

2) Pull ups on a red band in a WOD — nope! But I am making great improvements on this one daily in my workouts. I’ve been practicing hard and I’m confident that it is in my reach. I did finally (FINALLY!) get double unders going consistently in WODs — which wasn’t even a goal of mine, so hooray for unexpected victories. The red band pullups will happen shortly. Maybe even in January? πŸ™‚ Which is good because my overall goal is to do an unassisted pull up with no band at all by June. This will be a stretch goal. I’m excited to see if I can do it!

3) Get my weight loss mojo back — Holy Hell, this was a success! This weight loss journey of mine has been a marathon for sure. Highs and lows, ups and down, and all of that together and I’m STILL not at the end. When this challenge started I was kind of at a low point. Not just a physical plateau, but an emotional one. This challenge reminded me that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story, that if I want to keep going I need to celebrate how far I’ve come, and that I’m so lucky to have this space to keep me motivated, share recipes and meal plans, and generally talk about HOW MUCH ASS WE ALL KICK. The blog posts every week kept me accountable (mostly) to make good decisions, the chatter on my Facebook page helped me keep my goals in sight and I feel more excited than ever to have a really awesome and successful year!

The weight loss mojo is back, folks! And I thank you for being a part of getting me back up on that horse! Your comments help, the recipes you share are amazing, and just hearing from someone else that I’m not in this by myself is pretty incredible. I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

****Special thanks to AndreAnna for organizing such a fun challenge and also for just being a general ass kicker. Thanks, girl!****

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6 Strategies To Make Fitness Fun

Since finding CrossFit I actually need to be *forced* to stay out of the gym, and there is no one who is more surprised by this than me. I spent 32 years before that struggling to find a fitness routine I loved and I feel excited most days to get up and hit the gym. Don’t worry I’m not a robot, there are still days that I struggle to get out of bed but the overall ratio is much more in my favor these days.

Now does this mean you should all go out and join a CrossFit gym? No. Not at all! (Well, Maybe? Ok just kidding! But I DO really love it) What it means is that there is absolutely some strategy involved in making daily fitness more fun. If *enjoying* daily fitness is one of your goals this year, here are some of the strategies I’ve used to keep me motivated.

1. Find something that YOU love, and don’t stop looking until you do

If you are struggling to fit fitness into your life, trust me — YOU DON’T LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That’s okay, but you need to acknowledge it. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because you don’t love CrossFit/Yoga/Running/P90X as much as they do. There is something out there FOR YOU and you don’t need to apologize for it. Do actively keep trying to find it though. It’s easy to default to feeling bad when you don’t like something that works for someone else. Don’t let this happen with fitness, there are too many options! Workout at home, go to a Zumba class instead of getting on that mind numbing treadmill you hate, learn a new running technique and go to the park and take a jog instead of even going to the gym. Keep trying until you find it! Fitness is not a One Size Fits All endeavor, but since it should be part of your daily life you owe it to yourself to find something that you actually enjoy. It’s worthwhile to put in the research who wants to do something every single day that they don’t even like? That’s a recipe for failure, for sure. Just ask the dishes sitting on my counter top waiting to be washed. Better do some research on how I can get them to wash themselves. πŸ™‚

2. Keep a Fitness Calendar

Keep track of your workouts somewhere you can see it At-A-Glance. I keep my workout calendar right above my laptop. The only thing I use it for is to write whether I worked out or not. This is not where I log exactly what my workout was, it is solely that place to put your gold star! It’s a quick and easy way to notice patterns in your training (apparently Wednesdays are good rest days for me) and to track your number of workouts. It’s like a chore chart for adults! And that little Kindergartner inside of me who yearned for that gold star LOVES THIS CALENDAR. I find it totally motivating to see a visual representation of my efforts, cheesy as it sounds, and it was so fun to look back over all of 2011 and say “Wow! I worked out 204 times! Not too shabby!”

3. Find A Community of Support

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I used to always read in fitness magazines that it helps to workout with a friend, but honestly that advice always made me roll my eyes. Sometimes the thing that I enjoy MOST about daily workouts are that time alone with my own thoughts! Sometimes I don’t want to coordinate with someone else’s schedule. Sometimes friends FLAKE! Those things didn’t really motivate me. If working out with friends is motivating to you — AWESOME! If not, what find another way to enjoy what that advice was truly getting at — support. Support is such a necessary part of making your workouts enjoyable, no joke. At CrossFit that support is built in to gym which helps me immensely, but there are so many other ways to find support even if CrossFit is not your workout of choice.

Try tracking and sharing your workouts with friends on a fitness application like Daily Mile (you can find my workouts here), join a message board like Nerd Fitness (HT to Danielle for that link), find a friend on Twitter or Facebook to keep you accountable (Stop by and ‘Like’ HollyWouldIfSheCould on Facebook, we do lots of that over there!) Whatever it takes to make you feel like you are not working out alone!

4. Keep Your Gym Bag Stocked With The Good Stuff

I used to have the most crap-tastic toiletries in my gym bag and I hated using them when I showered after a workout. One day in Ulta I saw travel sizes of some of my favorite products and while they were stupidly overpriced, I thought — What the heck? And you all, it was a GAME CHANGER! I actually looked forward to the next time I had to shower in my office locker room. Fun facewash! Delicious shower gel! GOOD SHAMPOO! Buy yourself a treat as a reward for working out, put it in a cute bag and BOOM — insta-motivation! It sounds silly, but it’s the little things that keep you going over time.

5. Organize Your Workout Clothes

Guess what doesn’t make fitness fun? Working out naked. And if you have to search high and low for an outfit you feel comfortable in, guess who isn’t going to the gym? Keep your gym clothes accessible and organized. Give them their own drawer. Organize by type or style — whatever makes your little heart happy — just make sure it is easy because the last thing you need is to be skipping a workout because of clothing. And it doesn’t have to be expensive! While I love perusing the pages of Lululemon, most of my workout essentials come from affordable places, that way I can HAVE MORE STUFF! It appeases my inner shop-a-holic and the lazy girl inside that hates laundry. Get your clothes in order and remove one more speed bump in your path!

6. When All Else Fails, Buy A New Pair of Shoes

What?

I’m a girl. Some things always deliver! πŸ™‚ While I may not have a closet full of Louboutins, I definitely prioritize having great workout shoes. That doesn’t mean they are the prettiest or the fanciest, but they are tried and true and good shoes make a difference. Experiment! Invest! Don’t be afraid to try new things! A good pair of shoes makes all the difference — for your body and for your mind. And you (and your health) are worth it!

*****

What are some of your strategies to make fitness fun?

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On Resolutions and Failure

So many people hating on the New Years Resolutions lately, right? They say you make goals that are too lofty, that you can never achieve all of them, that you are going to fail. And you know what?

They are right.

You are going to fail in so many epic ways this year.
In fact, I hope that you fail.
I hope that I fail.
Many times over.
And you know what I say to that?

So What?

I’ve been working on double unders for over a year now at CrossFit and they have been elusive. Most movements in CrossFit have progressions, but with double unders you can either do them or you can’t. There’s not a whole lot of in between progression. But the only way to get them is to practice them over and over. Rope-whipping, feet-tripping practice! Which…usually? Involves a lot of failure. 1 or 2 successes at first, mixed with numerous fails. 3 to 4 successes, then it’s all fail, all the time. It’s frustrating, but the only way to get there is to slog through the fails. It’s in the failure that you find your technique. It’s in the failure that you find your ambition. It’s in the failure that you finally learn how to succeed.

What I don’t understand is this: why should we be ashamed of the failure? Because what I’m hearing is that if you *might* fail then it is stupid to even try? And man, if I have ever heard a sadder sentiment I don’t know what it is. Because in my experience, behind every success there is a string of failures. It’s how we get better. If you go down the wrong path, just head back to the start, rework your plan and then set off again. No one is counting how many attempts you make, right? And if they are, well then they have too much time on their hands and we are talking about an entirely different problem besides Fear of Failure.

Life is long, you all. Isn’t it advantageous to take as many paths as possible? It’s what confirms that we are alive and kicking instead of just existing. There’s an old adage that says “Failure defeats losers. Failure inspires winners.” So the next time someone tells you that people who set New Years Resolutions are bound to fail, go ahead and agree with them. I make goals fully knowing that there is a chance that I might fail. But I’m pretty sure the progress I make while trying makes those failures worth aiming for.

Also? I’m pretty sure I’ve made double unders my bitch. So take that, haters.

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Look Better Naked: Week Four

Well this week was a bit of a nutritional train wreck, but why lead with that? Let’s lead with this:

With one week of the month left I have already worked out 17 times.

BOOYAH!

And that’s all I’ll say about fitness.

I do not, however, feel quite as excited to give you a nutrition update. Good thing this one involves pretty pictures otherwise it would be painful.

I ate well Monday through Thursday. Well okay Tuesday through Thursday because on Monday night we had dinner with friends that involved just about the best banana dessert I have ever had. And an oreo ice cream sandwich. And…well, you get it.

So Tuesday through Thursday: Gold Star!

Friday, I started baking for Christmas and you know a baker can’t serve something he hasn’t tasted, right? We are on the same page about that. So I made sure to taste everything on this platter:

Christmas Dinner

Including the creme puffs and eclairs that were purchased — just for the sake of quality control, you know? On the back left of the platter there are some paleo cookies that were great though. Kind of like a macaroon but less sweet. I used this recipe. A good treat that I will probably use in the future. Everything was AMAZING, though! I guess if you are going to deviate, you might as well do it up right — even if it was a slippery slope that ended with me eating Nutella straight from the jar. CONFESSED!

Then I prepared a cheese tray Christmas morning that was THE BOMB if I do say so myself.

Christmas Dinner

The only problem is that I usually like to have more green on there (fruit, grapes – SOMETHING) but I ran out of space and just covered it with BREAD AND CRACKERS AND EXCUSE ME WHILE I EAT ALL THE CRISPY THINGS WITH GLUTEN IN THEM…yum yum yum.

We tempered our All Day Menu/Christmas Dinner with some fruits and vegetables (but of course then had to add some Chex Mix!)

Christmas Dinner

I did make some paleo options in Bacon Wrapped Dates and Italian Antipasti Skewers:

Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner

Plus I even made paleo chili that was well intentioned, though we didn’t even touch because everyone was too full from all the eggnog pound cake and cranberry white cheddar. The road to hell was paved with good intentions, yes? But the best part of the meal by far was my mom’s Teriyaki Chicken Drummettes and let me tell you, THEY AIN’T SUGAR FREE:

Christmas Dinner

But they were delicious, as was my entire week off before Christmas. And it was pretty damn fun and worth the price of a couple days of bad eating. Make no mistake though, I’m sporting a pretty vicious gluten hangover this morning and ready to get back on track. Fun times with family, but my regular life is calling.

Hope you all had wonderful Christmases as well!
*******

Were you more successful at staying on track. Any awesome holiday recipes you can share?

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Crazy Holiday Traditions and 2012 Fitness + Nutrition Goals

So I think we may have unknowingly started a tradition last Christmas Eve: The 12 Days of Christmas WOD.

OY!

It’s a workout done just like you sing the song, comprised of all sorts of fun elements. Today, it was these:
12 Days of Christmas WOD

It looks sort of innocuous until you start singing the song to yourself
On the first day of Christmas my CrossFit love gave to me — a 100 meter run. On the second day of Christmas my CrossFit love gave to me — 2 walking lunges (each leg!) AND A 100 meter run. And so on and so forth until you have run that 100 meters 12 times, done a bazillion walking lunges and powered your way through ALL THE TWELVE EFFING DAYS!

It’s kind of a bear. But a loveable bear, maybe? I don’t know but I remember walking into the gym last year and seeing people do it and wanting to turn around and run right out of there. This year we were both looking forward to it so much we showed up early! A new holiday tradition is born!

The turnout was great, holiday attire was donned
12 Days of Christmas WOD

and it was time for the WOD to begin
12 Days of Christmas WOD

Box jumps and Burpees and Barbell work, OH MY!

When it was over, we were all worked! Except may Gina, one of our pregnant bad ass coaches who is a constant reminder that there is no reason for you not to give your all. Dear Santa — If I am pregnant at this time next year, can I please have just HALF of her awesomeness? Thanks!

I was feeling sort of low on the awesomeness about half way through this workout and complaining in my mind and then all of a sudden this song came on:

We were listening to some hilarious Mannheim Steamroller-esque Pandora station as a goof and it had been all Christmas Carols up until that point, but I’ll tell you what, if there is any song that will make you happy to be healthy enough to be pushing your fitness boundaries, it is a song that reminds you of Requiem for a Dream and Ellen Burstyn with her grinding teeth and well — you know — all the rest of it.

Let’s just say that song pumped right up!

A big shout out to Christian — King of the Box — for organizing such a great WOD. I don’t have a single picture of him from today so this little gem will have to suffice!

2011 ARCFit Holiday Party

Can’t wait for next year!

*********
Speaking of next year, might as well throw out some of my 2012 Nutrition and Fitness Goals while were talking about this stuff.

Nutrition Goals

1. Cook more leafy greens — we are cruciferous connoisseurs in this household and never shy away from colorful vegetables. But greens have sort of been this mystery vegetable that I don’t experiment with. So — kale, spinach, bok choy, collards, mustards: You are on notice! I’ll be fooling around and making some delicious dishes with these ingredients in 2012. Have one? Send it my way.

2. Cook more game meat — Dude, I am game-phobic! But mostly just because I don’t experiment cooking it. This year though, we’re getting after it. And I can’t wait for the challenge. Local folks who love game — where do you buy it?

3. Get back to taking a regular fish oil supplement — I’m good at this in spurts. We’re committing to getting good at it on the regular. My creaky joints insist! Do you take one you love? Tell me about it.

4. Continue meal planning and Paleo cooking. Enough said.

5. Find Garrett some better (and more regular) Post-Workout Nutrition options. The recovery concoction he used to drink now probably has lead and lizard feet in it or something, so he hasn’t found something new. We’ve been winging it — for him ESPECIALLY it needs to be a focus since he has leaned out a lot and is looking to build some mass next year.

Fitness Goals

Obviously I reserve the right to add and subtract from this list as the year progresses. But here is what’s on my mind for next year’s fitness goals:

1. Unassisted pull up
2. Non girl pushups in WODs regularly
3. Track WODs more consistently — I think it’s time to get back to the paper WOD Book. This is inspiring me!
4. Run a mile in under 10 minutes regularly
5. 5k in 30 minutes or less
6. Hit goal weight
7. FINALLY do Toes to Bar

*****

Any advice or suggestions on any of those? I’m all ears!

***all photos taken by the delightful Caity from Moi Contre La Vie. Thanks Caity!

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Look Better Naked: Week Three

Well I am halfway through AndreAnna’s Look Better Naked Paleo Challenge and this week I’m taking the good with bad. Now don’t go getting The Facts of Life Theme Song in your head now, okay? Because that earworm will plague you ALL DAY LONG.

Nutrition

I was super un-organized in the kitchen this week. I made a meal plan and mostly stuck to the meals but not on the days listed. I was scrambling to thaw meat, prep things, we even ended up getting some takeout (Chipotle — so mostly paleo, anyway!) but the major fail was I think I skipped breakfast most of the week.

You know what happens when I skip breakfast? CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS HAPPEN.

Also, I felt very drained this week. It’s just too big of a coincidence to think that my random eating, a bit of sugar ingesting, and Friday/Saturday night wine-imbibing had nothing to do with it.

I seem to have a pattern of eating super well all the time when I have breakfast, eating mostly well 5-6 days a week no matter what, but then lately with holiday parties and such it’s just about guaranteed that I will get CRAZY PANTS for at least one meal on the weekend.

I’m looking better and still maintaining weight/losing a bit but I’m kind of feeling like shit. I think January is going to be a welcomed reprieve from crazy food-related socializing! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for 100% compliance 100% of the time ever but I’m just ready for opportunities to deviate to be less often.

Fitness

For the third week in a row I kicked ass on the fitness front, working out 6 times on a goal of 4. (WHAAAAT?)

Monday was Front Squats and a Benchmark WOD
Tuesday was a WOD that made my shoulders want to fall off.
Wednesday was an awesome day of rest!
Thursday was the workout where I *almost* got my Toes to Bar!
Friday’s Benchmark was Cindy. And my armpits still hurt when I put on deodorant 3 days later.
Saturday was 19 min AMRAP in honor of a local police officer who was killed.
Sunday was a leisurely 2.2 mile run with a good friend where we caught up, gossiped and all of a sudden had run a couple miles. AWESOME!

It seems that I can pretty well say fitness is dialed in. I don’t have any doubts about that. Diet and sleep however are where I want to do the bulk of my fine tuning.

Sleep

I just totally sucked on the sleep front this week, getting 5.5-6 hours of sleep per night. This meant I drank a metric ton more caffeine and I felt it.

I only work two days this week and then I am off until January. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to focus on rest. Not just sleeping, but making sure I’m listening to my body when it’s tired and not using caffeine to help me push through. It should be a fun little experiment. I still plan to be getting out of bed at the crack of dawn because I’m crazy but maybe I will take more naps? Get in bed earlier? I don’t know, but I’m thinking about it.

*****

I maintained on the scale this week but I suspect that has more to do with weighing myself the morning after drinking half a bottle of wine than where I am actually at. I think I’ll try and leave the scale alone this week. Especially after seeing this little nugget of inspiration:

I know there is not a magic number but it is hard to keep that in perspective while I still feel like I want to lose a few pounds. I want to be aware but not obsessed. Haven’t quite found that balance yet. At least I know I’m moving in the right direction, so that is PROGRESS!!! Which you know I’m interested in.

My goals for this week: Christmas is here! I plan to get plenty of rest, so I’m going to lay off on the scale checking and just try and enjoy feeling good and eating well (until Christmas Day where I plan to overdose on all things Non-Paleo. Sorry, but it is one day a year and we have TRADITIONS, YOU ALL!)

***

Are you participating in the challenge? How are you feeling?

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Emptyness. Input vs. Output. Progress.

On Wednesday night I looked at Garrett and said, “My tank is empty.” Luckily I wasn’t talking about my love tank but maybe even more sadly, my life tank. I’ve been feeling drained this week. Moments after saying that (and coming up with a good excuse not go to the gym) I closed my eyes, curled up on the couch and slept like the dead for 2 hours. It was life changing. Kind of like Target Jeggings, actually. Who knew?

Anyway.

I think I’m just in one of those moods this week where I need to focus on the information and energy I’m taking in instead of focusing on what I’m putting out into the world. Input vs. Output — such a fine balance, you know? Consequently I’ve been fine tuning all of my goals, which I will be posting next week along with a review of literally, yes…LITERALLY, the best cookbook I’ve cracked open all year. I know it seems like I’m being hyperbolic, but I mean it. Especially if you have even the tiniest interest/curiosity about Paleo Cooking.

So, as I was de-sweat-ifying after the gym last night the overarching theme of 2012 came to me like a vision, you all. I had a coworker who used to call any epiphany a “shower thought” which, you know, was kind of awkward when she’d say “I had a shower thought about you” in a meeting, but dude WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SHOWER THAT BRINGS SUCH CLARITY? Truth. 2011 was was my year to get healthy. 2010 was my year to get honest with myself. So what thematic variation does 2012 hold?

Well I’ve finally decided:

Last night my workout involved a series of exercises called Toes to Bar. It looks like this in case you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Anyway, the point is a year ago when I walked into my CrossFit box, I couldn’t do them. Last night in my workout…well, I still couldn’t do them. Wait, what? No triumphant story of overcoming adversity? Nope, not here. But last night, I was still celebrating. I came the closest I’ve ever come to being able to doing them. In one workout they went from something that I couldn’t do, to something that is well within my reach. And those are powerful moments that we often overlook because it’s so much easier to wait to celebrate when we have something concrete to check off a list.

In CrossFit there are progressions to just about every movement so that if you can’t do it exactly as prescribed, there is a scalable way you can work towards it. Working through these measurable little checkpoints have helped me make vast improvements this year. I’m still not the best or fastest or most amazing athlete in the box, but I am kicking ass at being my best self! And I get better every single day that I walk in that gym. And those baby steps need a little pause for recognition every once in a while.

I have lots of goals in my life — and frankly probably too many goals for next year but I can’t help myself — aspiring to be better is something that motivates me. Tempering that with my desire to live a balanced life, however, means I want to keep my eye OFF of the prize a little bit more next year and instead keep my eye focused on finding joy in the journey. My plan is not to stop making goals, but rather to stop being so hyper-focused on the part where checking them off is the only measure of success and joy. I want to focus on the little moments. The baby steps. The Progressions. Walking out of the gym last night I felt really happy. My life tank felt full. I’m feeling improvements and I’m working in the right direction. So that’s what I want 2012 to be about.

Not the end result, but the journey.

Progress.

I like it.

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Look Better Naked: Week Two

Nutrition

Ate fantastically this week except for a Friday night dinner with friends where I may have done a little excessive imbibing. Sorry, the bottle of wine we opened was delicious. You know what, on second thought:

I didn’t get crazy about food this week and I’m still down 2.5 lbs, about 8 lbs overall which is great. Just going to keep chugging along and trying not to go mental. I think that’s a pretty vague strategy, but it’s working so far. πŸ™‚

Fitness

Great week of workouts. I hit the gym 5 times, and most workouts were pretty fun.
*Monday was Back Squats and a Benchmark – I wasn’t feeling so great about it, but I’m glad I at least showed up.

*Tuesday was lots of shoulder work and sprint rowing. The rest of the week I’ve been making gun show jokes in my head because my upper body is finally starting to see some results.

*Wednesday we rested. Thank god!

*Thursday was an early one and I challenged myself (ok my coach challenged me) to do wall balls at the men’s height. JESUS that made a difference. I think I will keep doing it though.

*Friday was heavy dead lifts and a Fight Gone Bad style WOD. I kind of love those type of wods. I’m pretty terrible at them, but I love them. Weird.

*Saturday was a fun outdoor workout consisting of just about every one of my weaknesses. YAY! In all seriousness though, it was a great time. Humbling, but a great time.

Sleep

Man, some weeks it is so hard to get enough sleep! I felt it this week for sure, partly because I did two 5am workouts, meaning the alarm goes off at 3:45. I would have to get into bed at like 8:15 to be asleep in time to get 7 hours. That is tough to do! I might just have to compromise and get 6 and half hours on those nights because I don’t like giving up my early morning WODS.

That said, I slept 8 hours on Saturday night and (OMG) 13 hours last night — so hey, at least I’m making it up, right? (Um, wrong. But I’m trying me best on all the other nights and doing okay.)
****

2 weeks down, 4 to go. So far so good and I’m so glad I’m doing this challenge. It’s made all the difference!

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Look Better Naked: Week One

So it’s a week into this Look Better Naked Challenge and I have had some wins and some losses.

Nutrition

*Week day nutrition gets an A+. I wasn’t tempted at all to eat crap at the office! I credit this to having a plan for breakfast each day and I fully intend to continue that next week as well. Also, I hydrated like a crazy person! And besides the inconvenience of running to the bathroom every five minutes, it made me feel infinitely better.

*Weekend nutrition gets a pretty solid C. We had our ARCFit Holiday Party Friday night and I definitely had my share of red wine. More than I should have really, but I don’t regret it at all. It was so nice to cut loose with friends that you bust ass with all week long and have a glass of wine (or two, or twenty) while you’re lookin’ fancy!


2011 ARCFit Holiday Party

I also had some very Non-Paleo treats throughout the evening but I also tempered it with some serious vegetable chomping. For a party it wasn’t a total fail!

*Morning After Nutrition gets an F. The morning after that party — well, I was feeling the effects. I didn’t have much but coconut water all day since I wasn’t feeling super hot (Can’t stay out until 3AM like I used to. HA!) By evening, I sure wasn’t cooking so we ended up getting: MEXICAN FOOD. Ah, the hangover cure for everything! Paleo? Nope. But it’s one meal, and I’m over it. On to the next week!

Overall Nutrition Grade: B-

Fitness

Compared to Nutrition, Fitness was a total slam dunk!

*I worked out four times, which was my goal. YAY!

A Wall ball workout that I didn’t love.
A serious shoulder burner that I did like pretty well.
A 5 AM workout that had me actually getting up on the rope a little. And
A CRAZY WOD that has my ass still sore as I type this.

And also I was chosen to be the December Athlete of the Month at my gym. I just about dropped dead, you all, but it was so nice to get a little pat on the back right when I was struggling, you know?

Overall Fitness Grade: A

Sleep

* I slept 7 hours per night every single night except one and even then it was a good 6 and half hours. What can I tell you — I’ve been enjoying The Hunger Games books. Sometimes they are hard to put down.

*4 nights I slept 8+ hours. Win!

Overall Sleep Grade: A-

*****

One week down, five to go!

My goal this week is to keep up all the good things from last week, plus taper off my food tracking. Last week I was VERY anal retentive about it, which in the end helped me out — I’m down more than 5lbs. But I get obsessive and a little bitchy when I am inputing every single gram of food I eat. NO I DON’T WANT A BITE OF YOUR FUCKING BANANA YOU JERK- DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CARBOHYDRATES THAT HAS IN IT?

Yeah, I don’t want to be like that.

So this week, I’m going to log everything I eat and how I feel. No grams, no counting, just general awareness. And see how I do approaching things a little more intuitively. Also, I’m going to workout like a mad woman!

Let’s hope it works.

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