What’s Happening This Week?

So I had all sorts of fun things lined up to tell you this weekend and then on Friday morning one of the hard drives on our computer died.

AWESOME.

We are actually pretty good at backing things up (and by “we” I mean Garrett, of course — credit where credit is due) but it was a wee bit of drama there for a second. Garrett spent most of the weekend dealing with all the intricacies of that — insert computer talk here — and I spent most of the weekend figuring out what the hell we are going to eat this week. Both of those things prevented me from posting a What’s For Dinner post on a Sunday.

The main reason I didn’t post a menu is because, well…It looks pretty boring this week. This week is our first foray into trying The Zone ratios (in combination with our already Paleo habits, so nothing is changing there) so I am not cooking in the most creative way while I figure my way around these new parameters.

**A quick note to acknowledge that I do realize it is kind of ironic that I am in the midst of talking about why I don’t like counting calories while I am in making some stricter changes in my own diet. For the record: Still not counting calories, but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you feel confused about where I’m coming from right now, rest assured that when I am done with the calorie counting series I think my entire philosophy will make sense. Those posts will spill out slowly so that I’m not talking all diet/food/calories all the time — because my god, there are other things to talk about like Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars in a cape! Did we love it? Hate it? — but it is something I want to get out there eventually, so expect another installment later this week.

Anyway — back to The Zone. For those of you who might be interested, I thought I would break down what it is and how it’s going to work in our house.

Current Status:

We currently eat an unweighed, unmeasured Paleo Diet. Diet as a noun, folks. Not as a verb. This means that 90 % of all of our meals consist of meat, vegetables, fruit, good fats, nuts, seeds and we make an exception for a small amount of dairy. (Also sometimes we make exceptions for weekend long binges on wine and Nutella donuts. What can I say, life happens and usually when we do this I becoming even more in love with Paleo. Sometimes I want to kiss it on the mouth.)

We don’t portion things, weigh things or count things — we just eat a metric ton of vegetables with meat. Easy peasy. And if I was maintaining my weight, this is exactly how I would eat all of the time. But right now I’m looking to keep losing, so I’m dialing it in a little more.

Enter The (Paleo) Zone

One of the most concise things I’ve ever read about the Zone Diet is right here. But to give you the cliffs notes, The Zone Diet involves eating your food within a strict ratio of carboyhydrates/protein/fat (40-30-30), every few hours, which keeps your insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids (hormones! woot!) at optimal levels for fat burning.

Oh my god, are you asleep yet? Ok, just checking.

Timing and Ratios are important, so I’m going to spend some time being a little more disciplined about that over the next few weeks. What I’m committed to doing though, is not deviating from my regular Paleo Diet — I’m just going to dial in the “unweighed, unmeasured” part temporarily to see if my body could function a bit more efficiently. The important distinction I’m making is that The Zone allows for eating any foods (just about) if you eat them in the right ratio. I still plan to stick to meat, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I do forsee temporarily incorporating a little more dairy in while I transition, but I don’t know that I’ll do that for the long haul. Dairy is something I tolerate okay, but I don’t always feel like I’m “thriving” when I eat it. But it’s an easy protein/fat combo. It will just take some time I’m sure.

The Numbers

For those of you familiar with The Zone, I’m going to be rocking the 13 block model for the next few weeks and Garrett is going to be adhering to 14. It’s based on the amount of body fat you have and your activity level. I was conservative with my activity level factor, but if I find that I’m starving or not recovering as fast as usual I might tinker with that factor. We’ll see.

Pounds-wise, I would just like to see the scale trending downward, so that’s what I’m aiming for. I’m going to give it my best shot, and we’ll see how it works. You know I will keep you all posted!

*****

Anything you want me to clarify, or that seems confusing? Let me know and I’ll do so in the comments.

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Why I Won’t Count Calories


Source

Years ago I heard a doctor speak about some of the (many) problems with the current state of “health” care in our country. She gave an analogy that continues to give me perspective today, not only on health but about life in general. I’m not going to get political, don’t you worry, I actually don’t want to talk about our health care system at all, but the story is an interesting analogy that sets the stage for what I really want to say in these posts.

Imagine, she said, that your neighbor across the street has a bright, beautiful, green, leafy tree growing in his front yard. One day out of nowhere, the leaves begin to turn unseasonably brown and it becomes clear the tree is in distress. The neighbor heads down to Home Depot and comes back with brilliant green paint. He then takes the time to painstakingly apply a fresh coat to every individual leaf. And every day thereafter, there he is out front going through the same routine. Problem: Solution.

The three questions she posed to the crowd were:

*On a scale of 1-10, how effective of a strategy is this for addressing the immediate symptom of brown leaves?

*Now on that same scale, how effective of a strategy is this for addressing the long term health of the tree?

*Does this nut job with too much time on his hands get an invite to the next Block Party/BBQ?

(Ok maybe that last question was one that I threw in.)

Immediate vs. Long Term is an interesting distinction to make, I think. Sometimes when you focus on controlling a symptom rather than determining the root cause of the problem you can actually do damage in the long run. We often don’t take that factor into consideration, or at other times recognize it but think we will get to it later. None of this sounds too inflammatory, right? This isn’t a giant light bulb moment for many of you, I would guess.

But I think the even bigger point is that both the Immediate and the Long Term strategies take work. And in most cases, daily work. When you choose to address a problem, there is rarely an option for “Do Nothing” right? Well unless your problem is that you are in a full body cast. But that’s another post.

If you are going to address a problem — if you are committed to doing work — why not put those efforts towards addressing the root cause of something, rather than towards addressing the immediate symptom? I think of this philosophy every time someone mentions counting calories, and I often just want to shout from the rooftops “STOP PAINTING YOUR LEAVES GREEN!!!” But obviously then I would get strange looks and well, that’s sort of uncomfortable.

If you are trying to lose weight, there are MANY things to consider. I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a doctor and I’m not an expert on everything there is to know about the human body. But I have lost 100 lbs and I did it without counting a single calorie. Yep, NOT A SINGLE ONE. So if nothing else, I’m living proof that it can be done, and it can be (gasp!) ENJOYABLE. You deserve to be living a life you love, and it not necessary to doing something you hate in order to get there. That advice is straight out of my mother’s mouth and after all these years I’ve realized that she’s a pretty darn wise woman.

***Please note, I did not say “If you don’t find counting calories effective.” I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t work for weight loss because at times it does. But like I said many moons ago so does snorting cocaine, but I wouldn’t recommend that either. If you *do* love counting calories and it’s the thing you look forward to most every day — well then, move along…nothing to see here.

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Before Pics! And Some Thoughts on Weight Loss

Part of the reason I chose to focus on progress this year is because it doesn’t come naturally. I am a pretty self aware person, I can usually recognize and articulate where I am at any given moment, but then I’m instantly hard wired to start thinking about how to get to the next achievement. If I’m not conscious, my life becomes a series of separate Navigation Entries, constantly starting at an arbitrary Point A, making its way to Point B. I rarely take the time to look backwards and recognize the big picture progress, instead recalibrating my Point A and finding a new Point B over and over.

Anyway, you get it. Some of you probably operate in the same way. Tell me I’m not alone here. LOL

So one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is getting rid of this last 40 lbs. (Point B Alert! Point B!) I’m not THAT obsessed with the number actually, but here is my rationale: I feel great right now. I’m making slow steady fitness progress, my clothes continue to fit better, I feel healthier, my eating habits get more and more streamlined (obviously with the occasionally deviation) but overall life is good. I’m trending in the right direction so I know I’ll get there eventually.

But also, I want to get pregnant. And pregnant like, soon. The “eventually” timeline that I’m trending toward is okay, but not ideal. If I all of a sudden got pregnant and did gain 20-40 lbs, I would NOT feel as fabulous. So one of my Priority Missions is to just drop those last few pesky pounds (HA! Few! I’m sure 40 lbs sounds like A LOT to some of you, but consider that I’ve lost 100. 40 sounds like a piece of cake!) At 40 lbs lighter I will feel confident in my ability to maintain my health and fitness during pregnancy, if that is in fact in the cards for us. :::knocks wood:::

(That was my long winded disclaimer that it’s really NOT about the scale, I promise. If there is anything CrossFit has taught me it is that all things considered, what the scale tells ya ain’t much!)

So I have a big and urgent goal and of course you know making an action plan was the best part! Indulge me and let me tell you my plan, would ya? I’m going to experiment with Paleo/Zone eating. I’ll tell you more about that when I finalize my strategy, but it will involve a little more ratio measuring, which I’m willing to do TEMPORARILY. (Fret not!) Measuring food is right up there with calorie counting to me: not a helpful long term strategy (though I have a much longer and more informative post in the hopper about why calorie counting is lame and OMG stop with that nonsense immediately! But I really need to find the nerve to post it. FOR ME, it feels controversial since I try not to tell people how they should lose weight or whatever, but calorie counting is something I feel SO STRONGLY about, I figure I should get it out there at some point.)

Anyway — whew! That was an anxiety causing sidebar! So right now I do need to employ a new strategy to get from A to B. And it comes at the recommendation of one of my favorite trainers at my gym, Larry, and he’s a smart cookie so I’m going all in. More to come on that soon.

But.

I don’t want to get so focused on this last 40 lbs that I forget where I’ve come from. So I figured just for fun, the best way to do that would be throw up some old pictures, because who doesn’t love a good before pic, right?

Anyway, here goes.

On the left, the picture that made me want to lose weight. Everyone has one. This was mine and it popped up as a tag on Facebook and I just about died. Then I decided it was time for change. And change I did. So see, Facebook isn’t completely evil, right?

On the left, a group pic taken recently that I felt must less anxious about having tagged on Facebook.

Second is a pic of Garrett and I at a wedding a few years ago. Sorry if my loving hand gesture offends you. I can be salty sometimes. And on the right is a picture of us just a few weekends ago. While I think we certainly look happy in both, no doubt we are healthier on the right. So um…YAY??

The thing about weight loss is that it’s never the answer you think it is. It’s not going to solve your problems or mow your lawn. It’s not going pay your bills or magically clean your house. In fact, in some ways it creates new problems. (HOLY HELL CAN WE TALK ABOUT ALL THESE NEW WRINKLES THAT I HAVE NOW THAT MY FACE IS THINNER, MY GOD. Tell me that goes away over time. Sob!)

It doesn’t magically make everything great despite how you feel when you are desperately wishing the pounds would melt away. So I think it’s important to find the balance between acknowledging your progress and moving on to the next thing. This is my attempt to do both, but man are they both a challenge!

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A Little of This…

I workout on Monday nights at 5pm. Then I hit up the Tuesday morning class at 5 AM, thus working out twice in twelve hours which honestly, sounds a lot worse than it is. Then I don’t workout again until Wednesday at 5pm which ends up giving me an entire day and a half off which feels like a rest day, even though I’m still getting in 3 workouts in 3 days. The efficiency of this makes me absolutely FULL OF GLEE! You are probably shaking your head right now thinking that I am one card short of a full deck but that’s ok — I take my glee where I can get it. Every once in a while though I do think about this line in an old Mimi Smartypants post and get a chuckle.

I enjoy making lists and spreadsheets and plans of attack, but I can get a little obsessed with efficiency. When things get really bad I realize that I am not only multitasking, but mentally rerouting my actual steps to maximize my efforts (I will take the laundry downstairs and bring X and Y on the way, that will save me a trip, blah blah blah). There is no prize for doing everything correctly, you know? At the end, we’re all just dead, no matter how sensibly and rationally we complete our activities of daily living.

*****
Oh, speaking of Workouts, I made this early this morning. Yes, that is my CrossFit Games competitor profile. Now don’t everyone start laughing at once. I feel kind of dumb mentioning it, but I’m pretty sure I’ve told you more embarrassing things, so hey.

Anyone can participate in the CrossFit Games Open and lots of people at my box are playing along so we are all being encouraged to sign up just to build up camaraderie in the box and to have the experience of participating. I waited until the last possible minute because I kept telling myself I had no business doing it because I’m not one of The Best Athletes in the Box, and then this morning I just decided what the hell! It will be fun to see how I stack up against other athletes participating (If I can even do all of the workouts at all.) So I’m doing it. Whatever.

(But secretly, I’m a little nervous even though it’s NO BIG DEAL.)

*****
I’ve been basically obsessed with reading Ready Player One for a bit (albeit slowly since my reading time this month has still been in short supply) but all the silly gaming and movie references have me wanting to lock myself in my house and watch terrible 80s movies. For a silly bit of nostalgia Garrett and I procured The Wizard the other day and I can’t wait to pop that bad boy in. I loved that movie back in the day! Also I’m pretty sure I spent the 80s wanting to BE Jenny Lewis, which frankly is not that far from how I feel today. HELLO?? She is freaking adorable!

You know Troop Beverly Hills is next on the docket, right? Well, that or Ladyhawke.

****
Speaking of movies, I have EPICALLY failed at watching the Oscar contenders. This is why I am vowing that March will be the Month of Fun! I have spent a lot of time in January and February being productive and efficient, but you know what: EVERYBODY DIES AT THE END and there is no extra credit for being productive every god damn day. So March: Month of Fun!!! And do you know what is getting me all riled up about that? Making my Spring Bucket List.

There will be brunches.
There will be wine tasting picnics with friends.
There will be Theater Tickets.
There will be creativity.
There will be dress buying.
There will be Trail Runs.
There will be reading.
There will be PRs in the gym.
There will be self-tanner experimentation (HA!)
There will be awesome Paleo cooking.
There will be a Plan of Attack to lose THE FINAL FORTY. (Yep, I’m only 40 lbs away from the lightest I’ve ever been in my adult life. Could you die? I could die.)

And more importantly I will get back to posting some fun stuff around here that isn’t just me blabbering about many unrelated things at once. But I love you all indulge me in that anyway.

What are you looking forward to doing this Spring? My bucket list isn’t set in stone yet. I’m down to hear some suggestions!

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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. :)

(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? :) 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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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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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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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. :)

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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When It’s Time To Change You’ve Got To Rearrange

Here, allow me to really get that ear worm into your head.

Anyway, the time for rearranging some of my priorities is now. I tried on 5 pairs of jeans this morning in order to find a comfortable pair to wear grocery shopping. I am a fan of stuffing and pumpkin pie, but I am not a fan of my pants feeling tight. This is the first time it has happened in 16 months and let me tell you it was a rude awakening.

The truth is my eating habits have been quite…um, lax in the past few weeks. This is to be expected with the holidays and happy hours and dinners out and working in a office where every one feels the need to celebrate with baked goods, and to be honest I find the festivities of the season a good reason to let your diet go off the rails a bit. I am all about enjoying traditions and not being too anal about every single thing you eat when things like Thanksgiving and Christmas only come once a year.

HOWEVER.

Personally, I am having trouble lately drawing the line between enjoying a seasonal treat and eating a mini snickers for breakfast because someone has brought them into the office.  And since I blew breakfast, I might as well enjoy that Pumpkin Spice latte at lunch because the red cups ONLY COME AROUND ONCE PER YEAR!

And the truth is I have been having trouble for the past few weeks.

What makes the situation complex is that I am still kicking ass at the gym.  Fitness is still a huge priority.  I mean, I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving Day FOR FUN!  (And annihilated my previous time!  2011 Goal — CHECK!)  And it was fun.  And I have no doubt that I will continue to workout and prioritize the sanity that exercise brings and continue to maintain my weight in a healthy way.  So what is the big deal if I have a little bourbon egg nog cocktail on a Friday night, right?  No need to be so regimented!

But the problem with this thinking is that I am not trying to maintain my weight right now.   Next year, maybe I will have cocktails every Friday night for the entire holiday season.  But currently I am in the home stretch with my goals and I would just like to get there!  So I need to rearrange my priorities a bit.  I have at least 40 ish lbs left to go (though I am becoming less and less attached to a particular number the fitter I get) and continuing to just maintain isn’t getting me where I want to go.  And you know how much I love checking off lists and achieving goals, so — it’s time for some change.

Enter, AndreAnna. My dietary fairy godmother. Do you have one of those? I recommend it. It’s nice to have someone you can text while you are walking up and down the aisle of Costco thinking to yourself “PEPPERMINT MALT BALLS? THEY MAKE THOSE? I MUST BUY THEM ALL!”  And have her remind you that bulking up on healthy stuff is going to get you where you want t be.  She has put together a Look Better Naked Paleo Challenge and because I need a lifeline with my nutrition right now, I’ve decided to participate.

What I’m committing to over the next 6 weeks:

1) Strict Primal eating (no grains, sugar, legumes, processed foods, only full-fat dairy)
2) Keep dairy to a minimum
3) At least 4 Workouts Per Week
4) Sleep at least 7 hours a night, aim for 8.
5) Keep my carbohydrate intake between 50-100g per day
6) Keep the alcohol intake to special occasions

And here are my goals I’d like to see by Jan 6:

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

How I plan to get there

1) Tracking food intake, especially carbs at first
If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I despise food tracking. I think it is a recipe for mental anguish, food obsession, and frankly it interferes with your ability to listen to your body’s natural signals. Eat when you’re hungry, don’t when you’re not. THAT is a lifestyle. Counting calories/carbs/points is not, in my opinion. ***stepping off soapbox now. sorry**** That said, I need to get back to being able to HEAR my body’s signals so I need a little structure at first.

2) Prioritizing sleep.
This means I need to plan a little better if I’m going to wake up and tackle a 5 am WOD.

3) Reduce the caffeine consumption
I have a tendency to over caffeinate when I’m feeling worn out. Who doesn’t? But I really enjoy coffee black and I think it is one of life’s small pleasures and I tend to use that as an excuse when I’m starting to use it as a crutch. “But you enjoy it, Holly! You don’t even use cream and sugar! Deprivation is not the goal!” And then I drink 5 cups a day without even thinking about it and it wreaks a bit of havoc on my body. A cup in the morning is enough. If it’s not, sleep more, silly.

4) Focus on hydration.
I’ve been super lax about hydrating lately and that is another thing that, for me, really affects the way I feel, perform and eat. It’s time to stop lazing about and drag my ass down the water cooler.

******

So that’s my plan for the next 6 weeks. Re-commitment to healthy habits and to do things that make feel better instead of lethargic and sorry for myself.

It’s the hardest time of year to get this all in check, but I am feeling more dedicated than ever. Um…plus it’s a competition, and no one loves a little friendly competition more than me.

Wish me luck?

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