Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Revisiting Week 5!

Last week's C25K workouts killed me. I was unable to actually complete them.

I didn't give up, though - instead I just decided that maybe what I needed was rest, and I'd restart the week Monday.

So, I did. I skipped the run Friday, let myself rest for three days, and then yesterday I was able to do Day 1 of Week 5 (5 min run, 3 min walk for three rounds) without a problem. On my last run, according to Runkeeper, I made it 2.29 miles in about 38 minutes. I need to up that to 3.2 miles before January 13th, but I'm well on my way!

Crossfit today was "Fran" again. Still used a 35# bar because I haven't been in awhile, and I finished in 14:23. My last Fran time was 11:48 so I am running a bit behind myself, but who cares? I still did it - still tried. Maybe by the time Fran rolls around again I'll be able to beat my old time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Level 23!


Just made it to Level 23 in Fitocracy after doing "Karen" at Crossfit yesterday.

Want to play with me and be awesome? Sign up and let's keep each other motivated!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Halfway!

This is week 5 of my C25K program. That would be FIVE whole weeks of running three times a week. I have honestly stuck to it. Knowing I have 5 weeks of work put into this is giving me the push to keep going.

I'm not going to lie, it's hard. It's hard to get up at 5 AM and go running. It's hard to go to Crossfit on my off days. It's hard to not overeat when I'm tired and I just want comfort food.

But I'm working too hard to quit or to sabotage myself.

My dog has seen some major improvements in his health too. At his last checkup (this past Saturday) the vet commented on his weight loss. But when we put him on the scale - he had actually GAINED three pounds! He is one lean trotting machine! And an aside, apparently dogs can suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness, too! I ran him into the ground last week and he began limping - after the vet check he was cleared as healthy but sore. After several days of rest his limp is gone and he is ready to go!

I'm pretty sore myself, too, though. Crossfit is really getting me - after a three month break, it is extremely difficult to pick it up again. I can not simply pick up where I left off - it really feels like I'm just getting started again. I'm back to my beginner weights, using extra bands in pull ups, and dying after just a few rounds.

It's hard work, but I'm going to keep at it. My arm band reports are showing the shift in my calorie consumption and exercise habits, too - and while the scale isn't showing it just yet, this has to be doing something, somewhere in my body. Having the added bonus of all the charts and graphs and other data from my arm band just gives me a progress bar I can SEE and continue working at - along side leveling up in Fitocracy!


Here's a screen shot of the past seven days. I have actually adjusted my target burn and target calories to slightly lower goals as I was consistently not reaching them. I'm much closer now, and still getting extremely close tot he 1000 calorie deficit per day that I'm aiming for. You'll note I'm nearly doubling the daily exercise suggestion, and walking a lot more.

I am not sure how to fix the sleeping issue. I go to bed early, I get up at the same time - but I wake up frequently and seem to be unable to get to sleep easily or stay asleep. I have recently replaced my bed - the frame and the mattress which certainly alleviated some back pains and is now extremely comfortable, but it hasn't made me sleep any better.

I've also taken a liking to the Daily Motivation posts over at The Berry. I used to check their brother site, The Chive, regularly - but they have a habit of posting women who are thin and hyping up their beauty while shaming larger women. The Berry does the opposite - they post highly motivational posts every single morning that help to get me out of bed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What is love?

Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
 
 
I went out for a run this morning, C25K week 4 day two. It was dark, quiet. I tried a different path even, learning my neighborhood and surrounding areas by foot. My puppy (who by now is really a young man of a dog, but I'm not sure what that is for dogs, heh) plods along beside me.
 
I stayed out way too late last night, and I drank way too much - and I REALLY wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep. But the pup said no, he wanted to go for his walk. He whined, and pawed, and cuddled, and whined some more, and finally started barking at me to get out of bed.
 
So we went.
 
I went to Crossfit yesterday, and my legs were aching today. Really, really aching. I had trouble in the warm-up walk because I was stumbly.
 
Still, the hardest part is getting out the door.
 
Once I was out there, I remember again thinking, I can't do this. I'm too tired. I think I'm hungover. My legs hurt. My feet hurt. Still, we went.
 
 
In the first 3 minute jog, my thighs were killing me. Just each step hurt. Then the walk, and suddenly  I realized it didn't hurt so bad. Then the 5 minute run came, and the longer I ran the less I hurt.
 
I have no idea what sense that makes, but if I had to guess, maybe it's using my stiff, sore muscles and stretching them out, warming them up - maybe that is what helped to make me feel better.
 
On the way back home, my Pandora station starting playing What is Love?, and of COURSE i would think of nothing other than A Night at the Roxbury. I wanted to bob my head, I wanted to laugh.
 
And than it said, 'Baby don't hurt me, no more', and I felt a weird twinge of guilt and inspiration at the same time.
 
I need to be kinder to my body, take better care of it, and stop hurting it.
 
So we ran, and we'll keep running.

Monday, December 3, 2012

C25K Week Four

Today was the start of the C25K program's week four.

My Vibrams are going strong. My toes seem a little sore from being stretched apart, but the arches of my feet aren't hurting like they were in other shoes. Even with that slight soreness, which will probably go away as I keep at it, they're worlds better than anything else I've used so far.

My calves are starting to get some serious soreness after running, and I assume this is a good thing. I'm pushing past my comfort level regularly now. Each morning I go out I think 'just 10 more minutes' of sleep, but T.A.R.D.I.S. refuses to let me just roll over and go back to bed. Once the alarm goes off, he now fully expects and demands his morning run. I need all the motivation I can get, so... I get up with him.

This has really been a great training experience for him, too. We are training to compete in Agility, and he has a ways to go - but this has been tremendously useful in getting him conditioned, and training him to run along side me both on the right and the left.

Last week, I saw that there were two rounds of running 3 minutes. I kept thinking 'I can't do this, I can't do this, it's too long'. Somehow, I did it.

This week, I saw that I was to run two 3 minute rounds, and two 5 minute rounds. I was getting dressed and again thinking, 'I can't do this, I can't do this, it's too long'. But I kept getting dressed. I kept telling myself I couldn't do it, but I was up, I was dressed. My headphones were in, Pandora had been started. Runtastic was on. C25K app was on.

Then I just thought, 'well it starts with a 5 minute walk. I can walk 5 minutes'. So I did.

Then the app chimed, and it was time to run. I didn't look at the timer - I knew it would be 3 minutes, but looking at a clock makes time drag. So I just jogged. And I didn't quit until the app chimed again, telling me it was time to walk.

I never looked at the phone. I never looked at the time. I just listened to my music, listened for the chimes, and ran.

28 minutes went by, and the phone chimed again to tell me I was done. I was sweaty and out of breath, my calves and ankles hurt, but I was done.

And I thought, 'well, I guess I could do it'.

Monday, November 26, 2012

C25K Week Three

I'm in my third week of the Couch to 5K program, and it's going surprisingly well.

Last week, I had 90 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking, and I was really struggling to complete the full 90 seconds. In fact by the second run of the week I was feeling like I would probably need to repeat that week, which would put me off schedule a bit.

Somehow I completed that week, but feeling very dejected.

This week is week 3, so it was two rounds of 90 seconds running then 90 seconds walking, and then 3 minutes running followed by 3 minutes walking for two rounds.

When I woke up and put on my shoes, I just thought... there's no way. I struggled so much with the 90 seconds last week, that going up to 3 minutes would be just unheard of.

But I put in my headphones, grabbed my puppy, and out the door we went anyway. 5:30 AM was dark, lonely, and cold... but it was perfect. I really like going that early because no one sees me - so there's no one to pass judgement.

As I moved into my stride, I realized I really wasn't straining as hard as last week, and I wasn't struggling to breath so much. Before I knew it, my phone chimed at me - signaling the end of my run, and I hadn't even noticed the time go by.

I'm amazed at the rather quick improvement I am starting to see in my ability to run.

It also helps, that in the ongoing saga of my fight with shoes, that I found a pair of minimal shoes that fit rather nicely. My Zem's that I had purchased earlier this year bit the dust a ways back during my second Savage Race. I was running in my old Nike Frees again, and every time I came in after a run my feet hurt so bad I could barely stand up, let alone walk.

My feet were in agony. I don't know what it is about shoes, but running shoes just cause extreme pain and discomfort through the arches in my feet. The only way I've ever gotten away from it, is by running barefoot.

I can't very well run barefoot in a park in the dark though, because of the risk of glass and other nasty things that may be lurking.

I tried the Fila Skele-toes, but they seemed... very cheap. They were on sale for $39 this weekend, which is why I wanted to try them. But they were big, bulky, not very flexible.. and I was not very comfortable just standing in them. So I headed over to Fit Niche instead, and again decided to give the Vibrams another try, as they now carry a much larger variety than they used to.

I came across the Bikila LS. I'm really not sure what makes these fit better than other Vibrams I've tried, but with a little help from the store employee in helping me fit properly, and get my toes in the right pockets - I found that even my little toe was snug in it's own little compartment.

I walked around with them and was really surprised at how... good they felt. It was... almost as good as being barefoot. I walked out of the store in them, walked around the outdoor mall, then headed home.

After the first run in them, I was surprised at how much less pain in my feet there was. Since I'm already fairly adept at running barefoot, there was minimal learning curve in teaching myself to land lightly and not heel-strike, and I found I was just so much more comfortable.

Maybe that's the difference a good pair of shoes makes in your ability to run.

I've also made some slight adjustment with my Body Media Fit armband. Based on it's original settings, it had me burning 2990 calories a day, and eating 1990 for a deficit of 1000 calories. I had no issue eating the 1990, most of the time coming in a little under - but I had a VERY hard time burning the 2990 calories a day.

I think it's mostly my sedentary job - but if I'm not burning the right amount but still eating that much, if offset the deficit. I was hitting closer to 700 calorie difference, rather than the 1000.

So I went in and played with the settings, and found how to scale it down. I'm now aiming at 2700 calorie burn a day, with a 1700 calorie food goal. Move less = eat less.

We'll see how this plays out, but so far it looks like I'm hitting more consistently on the mark.

Monday, November 19, 2012

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

No really, run! There are zombies!
 
 Ever heard the phrase, some motivation needed? I think I had all the motivation I needed this past weekend at Run For Your Lives in Clermont! Run For Your Lives is a 5K Obstacle Course... involving zombies.
 
The obstacles it turns out, were a lot more tame than those I've experienced at Savage Race, but it feels like this one was considerably harder. I'm still not quite ready to tackle a 5K with non-stop running, although that is a work in progress, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from having fun.
 
I decided to go down to Goodwill and get some awesome clothes to wear for this event.
 

 
It was almost a pity to find such a cute dress. In my traditional fashion, I ran the race barefoot. I actually tried to wear shoes, but I was getting blisters just walking from my car to the start line - so I opted to go with out. It was a much more pleasant terrain than the last Savage Race, anyway. I also opted to wear all white to display the most about of mud!
 
 
This race also had a bonus - my husband! He elected to run this with me, and he also picked out a wonderful outfit from Goodwill.
 

Yeah, it takes some serious balls to run the course dressed like this - but he did, and we had a blast.

The most difficult aspect of this race is that it isn't like a regular 5K where you set a pace and stick to it. This was race was littered with sprints of various distances, with very little time between them. One moment you could be walking, trying to catch your breath - and then ZOMBIES RUN! There was a lot of darting side to side, ducking, jumping - ANYTHING to avoid them.

You ran the race with a belt, featuring three flags. If you lose all three flags in the run you are dead. Both my husband and I survived the race with one flag each, and it was NOT easy! Those zombies weren't playing! They came in various speeds - from your barely moving hobbling zombies to your sprinters.

The weather was wonderful, we had a blast, and we survived to talk about it!


 
 
 
We just didn't look that fabulous afterwards. The race was also kind enough to let us have Gatorade for our free beverage, rather than beer. I don't like beer in the first place, and I'm always disappointed when I get to the end of a race to be given something so repulsive as a reward.
 
So this was really a blast, and definitely a race I want to run again someday. Our times weren't the best in the world, but they weren't the worst either. And besides that, who cares? We had fun, we got dirty, and we lived to tell about it! Turning everything in life into a competition is too stressful.
 
Overall, we finished 5212 and 5213 out of 5304. We had a time of 1:31:21, giving us a 29 minute mile. Of those who finished alive, we're 2808 and 2809 out of 2853. In our wave, we are 380 and 381 out of 386.
 
My ankle is still causing me a lot of trouble. It still hurts to walk for long periods of time, and it's still fairly swollen. While I know for certain it isn't broken, it seems like a nasty sprain that does not want to heal - and I can't seem to be still long enough for it to heal all the way.
 
I did give myself an extra day off, but it throws off my C25K training. I'll have to use Tues-Thurs-Sat interval this week, instead of the Mon-Wed-Fri but I can't let myself give up. It's important to me to run that 5K in January, and make it the whole way through. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

C25K

On January 13, I'm embarking on the Color Run. There is 10 weeks between then and now - JUST enough time to get through the Couch to 5K Program.

Basically, it's a program to help your body get used to running, gradually, by using interval trainings. This week, I'm doing a 5 minute warm up, then for 20 minutes I'm alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking. I will do this Wednesday and Friday as well.

The rest days are important, too. I will still get up and go for a walk (my dog needs it, and I don't want to break the habit) but I will not run. I need the rest for my body. At the end of the program, I should be able to run the 5K in about 30 minutes.

So this morning, I got up. I skipped the scale (It's shark week, and no need to stress out when I know my weight goes up during this), put on some running clothes, grabbed a hoodie, my phone, and my dog, and pulled out my old Nike Frees.

I have had a lot of issues with running shoes, but I'm not about to run around my neighborhood without shoes. I'm too worried about glass and at least the Frees are a fairly minimal shoe.

My husband was supposed to go with me, but he wouldn't get out of bed. I considered just sleeping in, but I dont' have time to waste. I have to get going.

So, I turned on Pandora to a dubstep station to get me pumped. I used the C25K app on my phone to give me all of the correct timers. I leashed the dog, and off we went. I followed the timers to the letter.

At first it wasn't so bad! One minute of jogging... I got this! Maybe after the third or fourth interval, however... my feet started to hurt from the shoes, and worse still - my ankle was giving me fits. It's still swollen from when I sprained it, and if I use it too much it starts to really protest. I don't want to over do it, but I did push through the rest of today. For future practices, I'm going to be wrapping it up tightly in some KT tape to help it heal, which I'm told could possibly be never - if the sprain was bad enough.

At the end of the 20 minutes of intervals, coming into the cool down, I was limping a bit - and exhausted. I was a sweaty mess, and even my dog was lagging behind me.

I think I've learned that I'm sufficiently lacking in cardio, and I have a long way to go.

I have a goal, I have a plan to get there, and I have a deadline.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Alcohol has a ton of calories.

Alcohol has a ton of calories. I mean, a ton.

I don't drink often. I will maybe have a bottle of wine every other weekend, I'm not much of a social drinker and I don't frequent bars - or even have alchohol with meals in resturants.

This weekend though, I wanted to try this lager I found. A blueberry beer! It sounded like it might be good, and it was! I've always hated beer, I just can't get used to the taste. This blueberry beer had just enough sweet blueberry flavor to mask the beer, and I really found I enjoyed it.

I did not enjoy adding 240 calories for a drink.

Then I had also picked a Pink Moscato by Bella Bolle', which I just adore. a few days ago I wanted to try, so Saturday night I drank that. That bottle ended up being about 620 calories - a meal in a bottle!

I'm still going to maintain that wine every now and then won't hurt you, and a lot of sources agree that red wine is just fine. However, I've never logged my alcohol before. I had no idea it contained THAT many calories in a bottle (and I'm sure some wines are considerably worse).

As a result, I actually went over my calories for the day, which really skewed my overall progress. I put back on .2 lbs (likely salt, among other things, as I had some pizza too!), but I'm not going to stress over that right now.

Instead, I'm back on track, and I'll have to be sure to keep my wine consumption down to just a glass, rather than a bottle.

I've been doing some other things to help me as well. Anything that makes me feel pretty, I'm going to do it. Jewelry, pretty cardigans, nice fitting jeans, shirts with lots of cleavage, straighteing my hair. It's not for anyone else, it's for me. I am making a point of finding clothes that flatter my body, and I'm going to just try to like myself the way I am. I have clothes that I *know* flatter my shape (I'm fortunate that I'm built hourglassy, because I don't always look as heavy as I am) that I will force myself to wear on 'fat' days.

I'm a bit vain about my hair, so I'm taking the time to take better care of it. Wearing it down more often, using better quality products.

I've found skin care products I adore - like sugar scrubs. They just make me feel good about myself. I feel like I'm being pampered.

I still refuse to wear make up. I have good complexion, and medium-dark skin. I don't feel I need make up, I never have - and I maintain that women are more beautiful without it. I admit that I also frequently have acne, and make up makes it worse.

I'll keep on with my armband, because it's helping. It's motivating me to keep going. I've actually logged my food consistently since I've had it, where as previously, I'd fail to do that on the weekends. My armband makes me feel the need to be more honest.

I'm going to be on this journey for a long time, and losing weight won't happen over night. I don't have to be skinny to be pretty, so I'm going to take better care of myself now. If I die today, there's no reason for my last day to have been spent feeling ugly.

In short, today, I feel pretty.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Amusement parks are good for you!

Wednesday was a bad day for me with food. There was a potluck at work - and I like try to try a little of everything. I did however, get small portions of everything.. but I'm pretty sure my calories were pretty high. Even then, I didn't keep the best track of everything - so I guessed, and entered '1000' calories for the meal. Maybe it was high, maybe it was low... but... I don't care. I enjoyed the potluck!

I also went to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights that evening... and ate Arby's along the way. Not the best choices, I know.

But at the end of the week? I'm still down 1.3 lbs. That would be, 2.6 lbs total since I started using the armband.

I actually find that I like eating more. (Who doesn't?!) It's much, much less stressful. As long as I maintain the correct deficit between calories consumed and calories burned... the weight still comes off.

Which is why... I'm STILL loving this armband. Before, I would guess. I guessed that 1500 calories a day was right for me. It seemed right. And maybe it is right... on some days. But on days when I'm incredibly active, it's not. On days when I'm incredibly sedentary, it's not. This led me to often eating too much or too little.

The armband calculates, quite accurately, my real calorie burn. Even though Wednesday I went a little above normal in food - I came in WAY over in calories burned because amusement parks are good for you. You know, as long as you avoid the food.

I'm averaging a deficit of 875 calories a day - I've always been told that you need a deficit of 500 to lose weight. My armband wants me to shoot for 1000 a week, and I'm working on perfecting it still. Slowly but surely, I'm seeing progress.

Not just the scale, but in all the data collected. I can see myself being more active each day as I try to reach the suggested calorie burn. I'm more conscious of not just calories, but what makes up my calories as I strive for the ideal distribution of my macro nutrients. And somehow, it's easier.

The report from October 31.

You know what else I've learned with my armband? That I sleepwalk. Apparently, it's a thing where I get up somewhere between 2 and 3 AM, and take between 100-300 steps. I always wake up in bed, so I was never aware of this before. I should set up a camera to see what I do!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A week with my armband

Can I just say that I love my new armband?

Okay, I admit that at times, it bothers my skin a little because it always sits in the same place, and if I wear long sleeves that are form-fitting it kind of makes a wierd bulge under my sleeve.

Other than that, I love it.

I'm really just... learning a lot about myself. I have been logging my food for sometime, but I never realized just how sedentary my lifestyle really is!

I kept telling myself I was doing great - but now I can see where I'm not doing great. Learning about my habits is the only way to change myself, I think. My armband is really helping me learn, and see, where I'm doing well and where I could improve.


This is a screenshot from my weekly report. What I can tell right away is that I'm not nearly active enough. I'm falling short an average of 809 calories a day in what I should aim to burn. While i am eating less than they predict, it's still not the suggest calorie deficit. In fact, I'm almost 400 calories too high for what I burned.

Then if we jump down to my activity levels - you can see that I'm 'active' for less than a half hour a day, and I walk almost 1200 steps less than I should. I also don't sleep enough, but I honestly don't know how I can fix that. I go to bed early enough to get about 9 hours of sleep, but it looks like I just don't sleep very well.

I've also learned not just how much I eat, but what my food is made up of.

The armband software pulls my information from MyFitnessPal, which is great, as it means I don't have to change my logging habits. Here I can see that I'm eating way way too many carbs and way way too little protein. I would like to see my protein bump up to 30%, drop my fat to 30%, and have my carbs come down to just about 40%.

I can get this information at a glance by checking my phone's display, and in the mornings when I sync my armband with my computer I get the full read-out.

Just in the past week, I have learned that I typically eat less than I should, and I am very heavy on the carbs. I've learned that I don't sleep as much as I thought I did, and I'm a lot less sedentary than I expected.

I still question why I never lost weight with Crossfit when I worked out so much - but I don't have those answers. I speculate that I did not eat enough - if I'm not eating enough now, with how sedentary I am, I know I wasn't eating enough when I was super active, either.

For now, I will continue to aim for 1900 calories a day, vs the 1500 I was striving for, and I will force myself to be more active. I'll take the stairs at work, park a little farther away, and start walking more. The weather here is cooling off, so it seems like a good idea.

I won't begin a running program until my ankle has healed completely, but I do have a bike. I should pick up a springer so my puppy can run along side me while I work on some cardio, in the mean time... if I want to survive Run For Your Lives or the Color Run.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day one with my Bodia Media Fit Link Armband

I have now worn my Body Media Fit Link armband for a full day. I'm very interested in my results!


This is an actual screenshot of the information my armband collected from yesterday.

The first column is my target calories burned. The armband keeps track of how much I move around, and things like body temperature and ton of other things. It figured out a target of how many I should burn a day, with my fairly sedentary lifestyle. The Actual column is how many calories I actually burned. Quite a difference!

By knowing EXACTLY how many calories I burned, it gives me a better idea of where I might be failing.

Under that, you see how many calories I should be consuming.. if I were burning the target calories. You'll see that I came in plenty under - at 1370.

The program is set up to give me a deficit of 1000 calories a day. Due to my moving around less (my ankle is still hurting and I'm not going to push it), even though I ate less, my deficit was still only 775 calories for the day.

Physical activity is apparently, how much I move around in a day. Since I work in a desk job, and I'm still hobbling around, the most exercise I got was just walking around - like to the bathroom or the kitchen. I only took 2775 steps in the day, vs my target of 5000.

Because I can see this data, rather than guess at it, I think it is showing me that I definitely need to be eating more than I have been... in conjunction with moving around.

I've been struggling to keep my calories between 1200-1500 for so long, and I think I've been eating too little for my body type and activity level that I've been storing. This may be why I've been gaining so much weight lately.

Because I can sync my armband to my phone, I can get a to the minute update on my stats when I want so I can see my progress.

I know that for the next couple of days my activity level is going to be down while my ankle finishes healing, but I think I am seeing clearly how this data can really help me moving forward. I need to make a plan to get more exercise, and allow myself to eat what my body needs vs what I think it needs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A sprained ankle, getting sick, and more help.

Wow, I did... a lot this weekend.



First off - The Savage Race. As I do not yet have my official time or any photos, I will hold off on a full post. I'll say only that it was much harder this time around (and quite a bit longer...), and I walked out of it with a badly sprained ankle. I was glad my husband went with me to push me through to the end, as I don't think I would have made it on my own this time. Several of the obstacles were very high off the ground, and I have a terrible fear of heights - so I actually skipped a few.

Due to the sprained ankle, I almost backed out of showing my dog on Sunday. However, I wrapped it up tightly and went anyway. We pushed through a score of 78 (out of 100, you need a 70 to qualify), and we snagged a green ribbon, completing his RN (Rally Novice) title. After helping the club with some other duties, I made it home three hours later and my ankle had swelled quite badly again.

I propped it up and iced it.. and a few hours later, I had the worst night of my life.

I am not sure if it was a stomach bug or if it was food poisoning, but both my husband and I became incredibly ill. I think I started actually vomiting around 10 PM, and could not stop until 9 or 10 yesterday morning. I was not able to get any sleep, and my whole body was in agony. I was burning up and freezing, sore, and I couldn't keep anything - not even water - down. We suffered through it all of Sunday night and both of us had to stay home from work yesterday to recover. We seem okay today, although both of us are really, really sore and tired.

I lost 1.3 lbs in the ordeal, ha. Not the way I would suggest it, either. That was just ... awful.

Also, in some frustration, I picked up a Body Media arm band. Apparently, you just wear this little guy on your arm, and it takes a lot of measurements about what is going on with you. It keeps track of body heat, how much I sweat, steps, calories burned - even how much sleep I get. It also syncs up with My Fitness Pal, allowing me to use my current food-tracking app alongside it. 

Of the things I have learned so far - it is telling me that I eat WAY too little food. I have MFP set to 1500 calories a day, and the Body Media charts are telling me to up it to 1900 based on activity level, and in fact, it makes that adjustment for me in my MFP chart. It gives me SO much information - I really am getting a different feel about how much I need to eat and move around.

I hope this helps, at any rate.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Self-Worth

When self-worth is determined by how much you weigh, it's extremely easy to get bogged down.
  1. Good food is not healthy food, and healthy food is not good. You can argue this all you want until the day you die - but macaroni and cheese and hot dogs are some of the best foods on the planet, and they are not healthy. Healthy foods like fish, are just... disgusting. Every time I try to make healthy food I default back to good food, because... good food is what I want to eat.
  2. Stress and work. My work life is that I get to work at 8 and I sit in a cold room with no windows, and half the time the door is closed when I'm on the phone. I'm tethered to my desk all day, and it's a big fat no on using an exercise ball for a chair or getting a standing desk. Due to the dungeon like room I sit in all day, I want to go *out* for lunch. There is no break room here, not even a table in the kitchen - meaning if I stay in the office, I must continue to reside in my dungeon and eat at my desk. The only outside seating environment available is the smoker's table, and that's just disgusting. There are no parks nearby that I can go to to walk around or eat outside.
  3. Friends. I don't have a lot of friends. I don't like to ditch the ones I do. But right now I feel like I have to choose between being healthy or having a life, because the two don't mix together. My co-workers like to go out for lunch. They like to go to various different places, and while I *try* my damnedest to pick a healthy option, when you go to Olive Garden and tell yourself you'll eat only a bowl of soup while everyone else gets bread sticks and pasta it's going to feel pretty crappy. When I go out for game nights to socialize, there is generally food - pizza, finger foods, candy and the like. All of these things are delicious, none of them healthy, and I can't control what gets served at this events. I know I could choose not to eat them, but then I risk making myself look rude, and honestly, I don't have great will-power in the first place.
  4. I'm busy. No, really. I'm so busy, I have to even consider how long it takes me to drive somewhere before I can make a commitment to anything. I barely have time to cook anything. Yesterday I was gone from 7:30 AM until 9 PM. Most of my days turn out like this.
  5. My husband isn't helping. In fact he's probably the least helpful person about this all together. He encouraged me to drop Crossfit, but we still haven't signed up for any other gym membership and I haven't succeeded in a single 'at home' work out since. If you ask him to fix dinner it usually means a box of mac and cheese, pizza, or apparently bacon and eggs (which is actually probably the healthiest thing he'll make).

This morning I was 208.6. I had all time-high weight of 213 lbs. I'm 5 lbs away from that. 5 lbs away from that after a year of hard work... it's all gone. My body is a fat piece of crap that is absolutely disgusting to look at.

It's not going to get better until I lose weight, and it doesn't seem like I'm capable of doing so. I wish I had the will power to be anorexic. I wish I could get away with cutting again because it is such an effective stress reliever. I wish I could be pretty. I wish to god I was pretty, but I can't be.

I can't be because I'm fat, and if you look at any thing.. anywhere, you'll see I'm right. No really, I'll wait. Go do a google search on beautiful women, and tell me how many women my size come up. I'll tell you - absolutely zero.

I don't know how I managed to get married. My husband must just... really despise me. I feel terrible for him, and sometimes I feel like he's only staying because of some deep-rooted obligation somewhere. He's freaking gorgeous and he could do so, so much better than me. Honestly if he leaves me for a beautiful, skinny woman, I won't be surprised. I don't even know if I could be angry at him. Why would anyone want to be stuck with me?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Womanhood... is not really my friend.

Being a woman, in the prime reproductive age, is just bad for weight loss.

Not only am I an emotional wreck, but my body aches. Aches so bad that yesterday I never made it off the couch - not even to eat. I sat in a ball and had fits of crying and fits of being angry.

I had an awful headache all day, and whole body hurt. As I kept saying, yesterday, I was not a person.

I sat on the couch and played Skyrim for hours while cuddling my dogs and  popping Midol and trying to forget it.

I managed however, to not eat all day long. I still blimped up a bit - I gained .7 lbs overall it looks like. Considering I've once gained as much as 9 in a weekend, I'll say I'm on top of it.

My husband was kind enough to bring me dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and a bag of Kit-Kats when he got home from work, which at the very least, cheered me up. There's nothing like a little chocolate when you're feeling so miserable.

This morning I'm still fairly uncomfortable, but I have to become a person in order to get through work. I had to get a second box of Midol and I hope I can make it through the day without hurting someone.

And I'm thankful that this happened this weekend, and not next - because I have the Savage Race and a dog show coming up - and I have to be a person for both of those.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stay Positive

The past two days I had nearly lost a whole pound. .9 lbs came off, and I was feeling pretty good! My efforts were working!

Then today, I gained .9 lbs back. Okay. Deep breath. Don't panic. Let's think about this.

Yesterday, I ate a burrito from Taco Bell for lunch, and then for dinner, my husband and I went to Burger 21. They don't have nutritional information anywhere, so I guessed - and I may have guessed wrong. I did order the smaller burger 4.5 oz, and I shared a small order of fries with my husband, and I had a root beer for the drink.

However, I'm sure it still fairly unhealthy. Bacon, blue cheese, a hunk of meat and the best roll for a bun ever. It was kind of amazing, and I don't regret it! Best of all, since I ordered smaller portions, I didn't feel incredibly full afterwards - in fact I really wanted more food, but I just went home instead.

Again, though, deep breath. Don't panic. It just means be sure to watch what I eat a little more carefully. A cheat meal is ok, a cheat week is not!


And to round out the post, let me just say something positive about myself because I feel pretty good today:

I love my hair! It's long, and a lovely shade of dark brown, and soft. Sometimes it frustrates me because it doesn't style easy, but I love it all the same.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Time for a change

Sometimes, what you think is working... isn't really.

I didn't lose any weight at Crossfit. I'm at 206 today, which is 2 pounds heavier than when I began a year.

Maybe some of it's muscle, but honestly, it's mostly fat.

I don't think that Crossfit is wrong - I became stronger and healthier because of it. But my main goal is to lose weight, and paying $150 a month to not lose weight is disheartening.

So I'm trying something else - I temporarily quit Crossfit. Temporarily, because if this change doesn't work, I'll go back to it because I did at least enjoy it.

Here is what I will try:

  • I will continue to count calories, aiming to be under 1500 a day - but most importantly, logging all of my food, snacks, and drinks.
  • I will go back to weighing myself every day. This may or may not cause severe mental breakdowns... but it might also help me learn what foods make me gain, or what I did to drop a little. By careful tracking and paying attention, I may learn what my body needs.
  • I will go to the YMCA. Part of my quitting Crossfit is due to lack of motivation. Since my husband does not want to go with me, it's harder to force myself to go. He will go to the YMCA, so we'll try that. If it doesn't work out, I can always return to Crossfit. The Y is at least a lot cheaper - $60 for both of us, vs $150 for one person. I will weight-lift twice a week, and do cardio 3 times a week. I don't want to lose muscle, but I need some endurance and I need to burn fat.
  • I will let myself buy clothes that fit. It does not matter if they are a size 18 or higher, because if they fit - then they fit. Nothing looks worse than women in clothes that don't fit, no matter what size they are.
  • I will try my damnedest not to rip myself apart... but give me a few weeks and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune.
  • My goal isn't to drop to 135 lbs right away, because that is so huge... so far away that I can't comprehend it. When you're staring a 71 weight-loss goal in the face, it seems unattainable. Rather, my first goal will be to lose 6 lbs. Just 6. This will put me at 200 again, and I can make a new goal of 190 after that, until I get to where I want. So for now... just six pounds.
Will any of this work? I don't have a clue. Nothing else has. I've done nothing but gain over the past two months, so rather than be insane and repeating the same thing and expecting different results; I'm going to at least TRY to change up my life again.

Also, the Savage Race is coming up again soon, and I'm gearing up for it. I recently made a shirt bearing what I've come to adopt as my own logo...

Want to make one like it? Check out my tutorial, at The Divine Domestics!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why am I putting myself through this?

 So, I've been thinking about this a lot.


Why am I so dead set on being thin? It has nothing to do with being healthy, because other than being heavy, I'm healthy as a horse.

Why is my ideal beauty so far skewed?

Being thin won't make be stronger - I'm pretty bad ass now. I can lift... quite a lot! I've done the Savage Race and I'm going back for more later this month!

I'm pretty damn happy when I can eat pasta, macaroni and cheese, pizza and drink the occasional soda. I like to hang out with my friends, and I like to eat cookies. Food makes me... pretty damn happy.

So why do I feel like I have to be skinny to be pretty?

A very good friend of mine is not thin, but she's beautiful. She doesn't stress over her weight - she is just happy the way she is. She wears the prettiest dresses, nicest shoes, and a bold, bright red lipstick and she looks ... gorgeous. When we go shopping for clothes, if she finds something she likes and it doesn't fit her, she doesn't freak out like I do. She just finds something else that does.

So why do I feel like I'm not? Why do I always beat myself up? My entire motivation for losing weight is simply how terrible I feel about myself and my looks.

Would being thin ever make that stop? I *was* thin once, and I was never happy.
This is me thin, around 120 lbs or so. I still see issues with my body. My knees look baggy and fatty, I still have love handles and my arms are flabby.

So, I don't think that being thin is going to make me any happier. Yes, I'd love to wear tiny dresses and not have my jeans wear out on the inside of my thighs, and I'd love to wear a bikini.

Is it worth what I've been doing? Every time I step on a scale I feel like a failure. I feel incredibly deprived a lot of the time, and it really puts a dent in socializing with people. (Want to go out to lunch? Oh ... I can't eat there...) One of my coworkers bakes AMAZING treats and I feel like I can't have one when she brings them in. I should be allowed to eat one muffin if I want.

I just get so... frustrated. I worked out - HARD - for over a year, and I'm the same weight I was when I started.

Is trying to lose weight ever going to happen, if the primary cause is just that I think I'm ugly? I'm not going to suddenly find myself pretty if I managed to lose weight. Why does being overweight mean I'm some kind of failure?

There are plenty of women who are big and amazingly pretty. Why can't I be one? Why am I not good enough the way I am?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Calorie counting continues!

I have just passed 15 days of continuously watching my calories and clocking in under 1500. I also have not gotten on the scale since I started - I was at 203.4 last I checked.

I have noticed a few things -

  • In just about two weeks, I find I need less food. Yes, I still crave and I still want to eat everything once I see it - but it's easier to turn it down. It's easier to eat less. Note I said 'easier', not easy. If I'm not conscious of it, I'm sure I could still devour an entire day's worth of calories in one sitting, so again, I try to pace myself. Once I eat enough food that I 'should' be hungry, I force myself to stop - even if I don't feel full. I have a glass of water, and wait about 20 minutes, and usually, the hungry feeling goes away. It's a fight with myself - my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, but I feel like it's working.
  • I'm craving sugary things more than ever. I try to combat this by allowing sugar or honey in my tea, sweet fruits and raisins, and yogurt. I don't think cold turkey would work. Sometimes a chocolate covered almond, a spoonful of peanut butter or even a 'fun-size' candy bar can help - but the trick is that it can only be a bite.
  • I feel ... tired, and kind of run down, and unmotivated. I have had a series of mood swings lately and I do not know if they are related. Correlation doesn't always equal causation, but it's very hard not to connect the two at times.

Additionally, MyFitnessPal has some interesting options for viewing what you at. I can now, for example, figure out that I'm eating 58% carbs, 21% protein, and 21% fat. Based on an article I found at Livestrong.com, I can tell that I'm not too far off. This article suggests 10-35% protein, 20-35% fats, and 45-65% carbs.

Crossfit continues, when I can, although I should have regular use of my car again next week to fit a normal schedule in. Oh, and the Savage Race coming up on October 20th.... and Wonder Woman is gearing up.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Talk about a pendulum!

As far as I sink, I will rise again later.

This is always the case. I'm trying to learn to stay off the Internet when I'm down - because I get angry and say awful things.

I'm torn between wanting to hide my failures, but wanting to document my struggle. I think I'll continue to document when I'm able.

That said, I feel like I'm beginning to get a grip on what I'm eating.

I've returned to calorie counting - and I've been on a streak for the past two weeks of really having a handle on it. I think I've found a few little tricks that are working for me.

For starters, I know myself. I know well enough that sometimes, convenience wins over health. This is especially true for breakfast, so I had to find something that was healthy - yet convenient. By convenient, it means I have to be able to get work, open it and eat it, or heat it in the microwave. Instant oatmeal works really well for this. I found some flavors that I really like, and I had to make sure I eat one packet in the morning. One packet of the Wal-Mart brand is 120 calories.

At first, this wasn't enough. I had a hard time making it to the 10 AM snack. I really did. So I forced myself to drink water. I grabbed a big 64 ounce jug and I marked every 8 ounces on it with a time. So by 10 AM, I make myself drink 16 oz. At first this made me almost want to vomit with how much I was drinking - but it also kept my belly full.

I keep my desk free of food. No candy, no snacks. If it's in reach - since I'm chained to the desk - I'll eat it. So I keep only a glass of water.

Second trick was that I get bored with water. So I picked up the Mio water additives. They're not a perfect solution and I don't want to debate that there are things in them - but they're 0 calories and 0 sugar, and give me just enough flavor that I'm fine with my water again. I'll take these guys over soda.

Third trick was to let myself have some liberties. Coffee is okay in the morning, and so is tea. But not the southern sweet tea that I'm used to - no I now drink usually Earl Grey or English/Scottish Breakfast Teas. They don't take much more than a dash of sugar or honey and a splash of milk, and they have the benefit of calming me down when I'm stressing. I've also started keeping it at home for the evening wind down process now. It really helps to have a warm beverage. This coffee and tea I think keeps me from freaking out over caffeine withdrawal. It's just enough to get by.

I also have to let myself eat more regularly. I changed my schedule to be breakfast at 8,snack at 10, lunch at 1130, snack at 3, and dinner after work around 5, with a small snack around 7. This keeps me with food in my belly at all times.

I am working on eating consistent amounts of food. There's no benefit to eating a 100 calorie snack so I can eat a 500 calorie lunch - so I'm trying to eat about 300 calories per meal/snack. This keeps everything about the same. Again, it doesn't matter WHAT it is as long as I watch the calories. Trying to keep the calories low really impacts what food choices I make though.

Which brings me to my last point - eating out. I eat out for lunch kind of often. I don't mean to, but at work we don't have a break room. My only option is to eat at my desk, or go use the table in the smoker's section outside.. which is gross and covered with cigarette smoke and possibly smokers. So, my friend and I opt to go out. This used to mean very bad choices - so I found a trick for myself.

Anytime we decide to go out, I look up the menu and nutritional facts before I go. I decide what I'm going to eat based on how many calories are in it, rather than what I suddenly crave by seeing it. When I get there, I don't need to look at the menu. I know what I want. I order a glass of water, drink one full glass before food arrives. I skip all appetizers - chips at a Mexican place, bread at Olive Garden, etc. I order my pre-selected item, and I make sure that I drink one more full glass of water with my food, and one after. I do not get any desert.

By doing this, I have survived Outback, Applebees, Olive Garden and Panera bread - always around 500 calories or less. It's still a little heavier than my normal lunch, but no where near what I used to do - which would put me somewhere between 800-1000 for a single meal.

This lets me enjoy going out, enjoy a restaurant and ensures that I don't overeat. Additionally, throughout the day, if I find myself getting hungry I first drink a full glass of water. If I'm still hungry, I'll opt for a few almonds, or a cheese stick.

I'm only two weeks in, but I feel like this fits into my schedule and lifestyle without any major changes, so it's easy to maintain. I haven't seen any changes to the scale yet - except that I've not gained anything at all in the last two weeks. It may take some time to see it dip down again, but I'll keep trying.

The journey goes onward, and so must I.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm not sorry I'm not posting.

Really. I'm not.

Lately, I've become a miserable wreck of a failure. I can't get a grip on what or how much I eat. Blah blah blah, I'm a totally fatty and I always be.

So I guess this is me giving up. It's been a year, and I'm exactly where I started last September when I began Crossfit. I'm no better than I was.

I'm jsut as repulsive as I've ever been and I imagine I always will be.

So there's why I don't post. I have nothing good to say except to point out that I'm a failure and this is something I can not do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Need a boost? Look at what you've done.

I have had a bad few weeks. My eating hasn't been the greatest, and I've been gaining weight.

Due to scheduling conflicts, and a little bit of being lazy - I also haven't made it to Crossfit nearly as often. I've dropped down to maybe 3 times a week max, and sometimes only two.

As a result, my mood has been swinging badly and I've been overly hard on myself again.

Yesterday, for some reason, I was digging through my Fitocracy stats .. and I received a major boost to my self-esteem.

Because I need to stop looking at how far I have to go - and look at how far I've come. This is a never-ending journey. Fitness won't stop just because I lose weight. I won't get that body I want, and then stop working out... because then I'll be in this same boat again.

So instead of worrying about how I'm still more than 75 lbs overweight, why not look at what I've done this year and celebrate that?

According to my stats on Fitocracy, I'm now level 21. I started playing on January 2, 2012 - so when I ran my stats yesterday, we were looking at 234 days of workouts. In those 234 days, I worked out 113 times - meaning I averaged about every two days regularly.

Every two days is pretty good! And it gets better.

I have run 118003 Meters, or about 73.75 miles. I have rowed 16,800 meters, or about 10.5 miles

I have performed 4,436 Body Weight Squats. 2803 Kneeling Push Ups. 2737 Sit Ups.

893 Burpees.

I have completed 654 Deadlifts moving 10,660 lbs. 459 Push Presses moving 4,320 lbs.  278 Power Cleans moving 4,504 Lbs. 868 Kettlebell Swings swinging 1,486 lbs. 318 Thrusters moving 3,009 lbs. 265 Front Squats moving 2,840 lbs 109 Snatches moving 1,210 lbs.

 I have lifted 28,029 lbs. Do you know how much weight that is?

A male orca can weigh up to 8,000 lbs. I lifted 3.5 orcas.
The largest African Elephant weighed 27,000 lbs. I lifted him.
A T-Rex weighs about 4.5 tons  - or about 9,000 lbs. I lifted three of them.

Okay, I didn't lift any of those things all at once. But I moved the equivalent of them... in pieces.

When I think about those things, it made me smile. So I'm a little chubby - I'm still pretty awesome.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More failings.

Here I am, a few day shy of my yearlong anniversary of hard exercise.

What do I have to show for it?

Nothing. No, really - nothing.

My weight has turned again for the worse, I am consistently gaining again. I can't stay motivated or focused for more than a day at a time, and I'm so exhausted from trying.

I don't think I can do this, and I really need to learn to just give into my fate, and accept the fact that I will never be beautiful.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's your greatest fear in a gym?

As a girl, one of my biggest fears has always been ... letting out a little bit of gas in a group of people.

I'm not going to lie, it's a bit mortifying to think of. It's also hilarious for everyone else. Observe:


But embarrassing things happen all the time. So dear readers - let me tell you that it happened to me too. Anyone reading this blog, I hope you're reading it because you're new to your journey and you're trying to find your own way. You don't know what to expect.


I just want to say that things happen that you can't control, and it's completely okay that it does.

Last night was our Olympic Weight Lifting class down at Crossfit. Because girls who lift heavy are hot, and I AM WONDER WOMAN; HEAR ME ROAR.

We were working on Deadlifts. I am already a beast at how much I can pick up, but we were really focusing on form. Proper form is extremely important when you are lifting heavy because if you don't do it right - you can shred your muscles or severely injure your back. So we are being taught when and how to bail if something goes wrong, proper grip, proper stance - everything.

We were working at 75% of our max - so with mine being 230 lbs, my coach had me start at 165 lbs for practice. We were a class of three - me, my husband, and one other athlete. We were lifting one at a time, three reps at a time so the other two could watch. We had to learn what to look for so we could understand how to fix it. After each rep, we would critique each other and try to fix it.

So, after Tyler goes, one of the coaches explains about overextending your back at the top of the lift - a lot of us do it accidentally. He said one way to avoid it, is to pinch your butt cheeks together when you stand. This ensures your hips are fully open and you don't lean to far back.

So when it was my turn, I get all squared up and I keep going over in my head about pinching my butt cheeks. So when I started lifting?

OUT CAME A TOOT.

Tyler goes, 'nice', and I heard the other two guys kind of giggle. It was a little embarrassing, but toots are funny and if it had been anyone else I'd have laughed too. I continued with my lift though, and as I was putting it down... the coach said, 'It's all [other coach's] fault. He told you to pinch your butt'

And then of course, I lost composure, dropped my weight, and we all had a jolly good laugh.

Farting while working out has always been a long time fear of mine - it's always funny but you know it's kind of mortifying for the person who did it. It kind of is... but.. you gotta get over it.

So, enjoy your laugh and don't feel bad if it happens. There are worse things in life that can happen to you.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

For all my talk, I'm not always successful.

I mentioned I would share everything with you, my readers, even my failures.

So it's only fair that I share this with you - I'm not doing as well as I had hoped. Since my husband's return, we're falling back into old habits far too easy. I'm too busy to cook regularly, he isn't much of a cook. He tries, but it doesn't always work out.

So, we eat out. A lot.

I noticed the other day when I went to wear a regular, favorite skirt of mine, that suddenly it was uncomfortably tight. I weighed myself, and I came in at 211 lbs.

211 lbs.

I weigh more than I did over a year ago. All of the success I've had is gone.

I don't know if I can do this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Crossfit just too expensive."

An actual quote from someone when I've brought up Crossfit as a means of getting into shape after hearing months of details about 'starting' to exercise, diet pills, and switching diets constantly - and drastically.

It is expensive. I can't sugar coat that for you - Crossfit is just expensive. But it's not unaffordable.
I go to Crossfit because I love it.

I have proven to myself over and over that I lack intrinsic motivation to get my butt in gear. I flat out won't work out at home because the couch is too comfortable, or the puppy wants to play instead, or I just really want to watch some Doctor Who instead. I don't like to run around my neighborhood alone because it would be at night when it's cooler, and it's never a good idea for anyone to run around in the dark, barefoot, with headphones. I don't like to run at my city's most popular running spot - Lake Hollingsworth, because I find myself comparing myself to those people who do it regularly, and I shame myself into crying and going home. I won't work out at the YMCA because it drives me batty to see women hogging treadmills so they can watch TV or read a magazine, or seeing some guy trying a dead lift in a squat rack.

I am also really lazy and not good at planning my own workouts. Left to my own devices, I might do some squats here and there, but I'd never think of putting together 250 squats and 50 push presses with a half mile run at the end and calling it a workout. Even if I took the WOD from my box's site, I'd never do it at home.

So, I found Crossfit. I go to Crossfit because my coaches PUSH me. If I set my weight down, it's not 10 seconds before I hear them telling me to pick it back up. If I'm hanging on a pull up bar struggling, they're there telling me to keep pushing, keep fighting. If I have a bad attitude, show up late, or quit - I have consequences.

I also have a support group. People of different sizes and skills - some of them are tanks, and some of them run marathons. And some are like me - just desperately trying to get into shape. (Round is a shape, damn it!) But never has anyone in that box made me feel unwelcome. I'm always greeted with smiles, and when I'm collapsed on the floor and barely breathing - I'm getting high fives and told what a great job I did.

My fellow athletes and my coaches care about my progress. If I don't show up in the gym for a few days, they ask about me. If I know ahead of time I can't make it, they provide workouts I can do at home and expect me to report to them with my results.

Crossfit just works for me. I still don't run a lot, but I can go about half a mile non-stop now with my slow, steady pace. I can dead lift 230 lbs, I can squat 145, I can shoulder press 75. I've run the Savage Race and the Tampa Mud Crusade, and I just signed up to run Savage Race again this year.
I really haven't lost that much weight, and I'm okay with that. I haven't lost the game just because progress has been slow. I only lose if I quit.

Crossfit is amazing, and it has a price. At my box, that price is $150 a month for unlimited sessions. Right now, I attend roughly 6 times a week, which breaks down to about $6.75 a session. Is that too expensive? I think that's cheaper than eating lunch at McDonald's.

What if we put it another way - how much do you pay for cable? My cable bill, when I had it, was about $50 a month. That's 1/3 of my Crossfit cost right there. If you cut cable, though, you save more than just the bill - chances are you'll watch less TV, which saves electricity too, though admittedly not a huge chunk of it.

What about eating out? Do you eat out at a nice restaurant once a month, even? That bill can usually come between $20-30 - why not skip it? That puts us at about $80 saved if we round up, which is now more than half of what you pay to go to Crossfit. Do you ever eat out for lunch at work - which can easily add up to $10 a meal? How about alcohol? Starbucks?

Have you ever tried making your own laundry soap? Dog biscuits? What about building a fort in your living room with your spouse or significant other and making smores over candles instead of going to the theatre and paying $20 for date night?

There are so many things that we have in our every day lives that we can cut out. I can't tell you what to do, because what you value in your life is different than what I value.

If you value TV, Starbucks, video games, movies, and junk food - then it's your choice and you're free to spend your money that way, and I'm not going to judge you for it.

Just don't ever complain that you can't be healthy because it's too expensive. Spend your money so that it aligns with your values.

My values right now are my health, and my dogs - and I spend my money accordingly. I've finally bought myself real workout clothes and better fitting sports bras. I may have to go to a 5:30 AM session, but I'm making it happen because it's important. I'm spending money to sign up for races that can cost upwards of $100-200 per person, but I'm also not eating out, not going to movies, I don't have cable, I don't clothing shop or visit Starbucks, and I don't go to bars.

Being healthy and strong is just too important to cop out of it because it's expensive. Crossfit is just my way. It doesn't have to be your way - just don't let money be your obstacle.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another long pause...

Dear readers,

I apologize again for the lack of posting. I can only say I've been busy.

I've made a triumphant return to a schedule of 6 days a week at my CrossFit box. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I'm going at 5:30 AM - they recently added an extra class, which actually works out with my one car situation.

They have also added an Olympic Weight Lifting class Wednesday nights at 7, which I've started going to as well.

In addition, as a means of helping myself improve - I'm working on increasing my endurance and strength by doing burpees every day. I am starting on it today with one - and tomorrow it will be two, and every day - I'll be adding one more.

My husband and I are going to run the Savage Race on October 20th, as well. I'm very excited about it, as is he. We're still working hard to improve, especially as we both want to run Tough Mudder this December.

I've been busy and my posting has been slacking - but my efforts have only gotten stronger where my body is concerned. Remember, no matter what you're up against -

If you want it, you can have it.
If you don't, you'll find an excuse.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Apparently, I took a break from posting!

Sorry about that, I was legitimately busy - I slacked off on the blog, but not on working out or eating right.

Good news too, my husband is back! Finally! 10 long months later, and he's finally home. While I'm in no way complaining, and I'm ever so grateful to have him home, it does mean some significant changes in my life.

  • Eating. I am 100% committed to eating right and staying Paleo. Why? It works. I've been strict for the past week and I already am sleeping better, more um... regular, and I just feel great. I've been talking about it with my husband too, and he is also committed to it. This makes it easier as we won't have 'cheat' foods in the house. I did however, have to give a little bit and allow cheese into the diet. Still, cheese has protein, and I need a lot!
  • Working out. Still Crossfitting like a mad woman! Only, a little less often. Because my husband now has quite a commute for the next 2 months, he has commandeered my car. I am able to get to work by carpooling with a coworker, but I can't get to my box as easy. I can now only go in the afternoons, which means working around my dog training schedule. So far so good, and I may still manage 2-3 times a week (four if I can make it on Saturdays). I'm also trying to do more running on the days I can't go, and working on leveling up my ability to bike so I can ride my bike to the box if I don't have the car. The way I see it, if you want it - you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse.
Lately, I've done REALLY well on food. I mean, really, really well. Pinterest has been especially helpful with uncovering more and more Paleo recipes, as has the cookbook I purchased from Paleo Diet Lifestyle and Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo. I've tried some new recipes - like devilled eggs made with avocado, a super easy pulled pork, or this really amazing chicken I made in a crock pot!

My husband has pretty much agreed to TRY everything, and to try his best to stick to it. He has even made dinner a few times - chicken with veggies, and amazing burgers (no buns!) with avocado on top.  I've made it my goal to eat 1g of protein for every 1 lb of lean body weight (126 lbs) of my body.. so I'm going all out for 126 g of protein daily - which jives VERY well with our Paleo diet and lifestyle. I'm no longer counting calories (how many times can I flip this over lol?) but I am still logging food to ensure I'm eating plenty of protein, but keeping my carbs at a reasonable level as well.

I'm dedicated to working out no matter what, too. If I can't get to my box, I'll find a way - whether it is a home work out (giggity!), trying to get my pull ups, running, biking, playing a sport - ANYTHING that gets me moving.

Because you know me, I'm Wonder Woman.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Exercise does not always lead to weight loss.

Although I had pledged to stay off the scale for some time, my curosity got the better of me one day. I decided I wanted to step on and check my body fat percentage, and to do that, I needed to know how much I weigh. I was hoping that even though my weight wasn't changing as I had hoped, maybe my body fat percentage would be down. Everyone kept telling me that I was likely building muscle.

I started going to CrossFit in September 2011. I was 206.5 lbs and 37.9% body fat.

By October, after just about two months of CrossFit and strict Paleo diet, I had come down to 196 lbs and 37% body fat.

After that, though I continued to go to CrossFit, I struggled to keep eating healthy. I stay pretty busy and I don't like to cook. I fail to plan ahead most of the time, and while everything I ate when I was eating Paleo was delicious (and is inteded to be a liefstyle, not a temporary diet) - when I stopped eating Paleo, my weight came back. Fast.

My last check I was 201 lbs and 37.4% body fat. Not only did I gain weight, I've gained a considerable amount of at - not muscle.

Somehow, and this may be due to how much I worked out leading up to the test - I managed to keep a clear head. How can I work out this much and still gain weight? Because they don't go hand and hand, and in fact, exercise really is kind of use less in terms of weight loss.

I'm not in any way saying you shouldn't exercise. Exercise is good for you, whether it is CrossFit, running, Yoga, Zumba, or going outside and walking your dog. Anything and everything that gets you moving is good for you.

However it may not make you lose weight. I hate to say it, but you really can not out exercise a bad diet. You are only as good as what you fuel yourself with - and I fail in that area, badly.

I went back to counting calories - and I remember again, why I hated it so much. When you count calories, it doesn't matter what you eat. As long as you are under a certain amount, you can eat what you want... but that's where you'd be wrong. What your calories are made up of are what matters.

You can't eat 1500 calories containing tons of sugar and salt and expect to lose weight. You could eat twinkies all day, come under 1500 calories.. and well, you'll probably be starving, but you're not going to feel very well either.

However, when I followed the Paleo diet to the letter - I lost 10 lbs, and that was the only 10 lbs I've lost all year. All signs indicate, that that particular lifestyle suited me, and I need to return to it. I ate clean and my body responded well.

I stopped because I missed old comfort food. Eating out is difficult when eating Paleo (and really, that should be a good thing!), you can't eat things like macaroni and cheese or ice cream by the buckets or pizza twice a week.

When you eat Paleo, you eat a lot of protein, and a lot of veggies. You have to be creative because you can't used proccessed foods, grains, or beans. You have to be ready to change your lifestyle.

I'll never be thin if I don't change how I feel about food. Food should not be comfort, or something to do when you are bored, and should never be a social 'activity'. Food needs to become fuel for my body. I want to be a lean, strong, athelete.

I want to be strong and fast and healthy.

I'm still going to be logging my food as a way of keeping track of what goes into my mouth, but the amount of calories I consume really doesn't matter. What matters is that I eat clean and I stick to it, because exercise alone will not help me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am a woman, and I lift heavy weights.

I am still a very heavy girl - in fact, I've recently learned that my body fat percentage has actually INCREASED over the past 7 months (a whole OTHER issue to deal with) - but lifting weights has made a dramatic change in my life, for the better.

Before I started CrossFit, I had the same worries every woman does. I don't want to bulk up. I just want to be skinny. I don't want to be a body builder.

Here is some news for you - femininity is not synonymous with frailty.

Just because I am female, it does not mean that I need to be a tiny, fragile little bird.

I recently read a great post over on Everyday Paleo, which is actually what inspires this one, that listed several reasons the author lifts weights.

So today, I thought I'd share mine.
  1. I can save my family. Yes, this is the exact same item she listed first, and it's important to me too. I don't have children - but I have a husband, 3 dogs, and a cat. I used to have a Great Dane. Towards the end of her life, her health was failing, and several times she would fall and have a hard time getting up. I became terrified that if she fell when Tyler was away, I would have no way to get her to a veterinarian - she was 105 lbs. That fear was always in the back of my mind, until she left us. Now, I look at my ailing old German Shepherd. He is 13 years old and 75 lbs. His hips are not holding up well, and he sometimes falls down. I know he'll let us know when the time is right, or if he becomes injured - but I know now without a doubt that I could pick him up and put in the car and take him to the vet. My two smaller dogs and the cat are obviously no problem, but then there is Tyler. You never know when life will throw something at you - let's say there is a fire, and he falls unconscious. I know I could at the very least, drag him out of danger. This gives me comfort, confidence, and pride.
  2. I am confident in myself. I lack the ability to confront people and I am horrible in crowds. I have panic attacks in group events and I'm bipolar. I used to hide in clothes, and in my hair and always hang out in the back of the room. My gym clothes lately have gotten a bit smaller - no more baggy t-shirts and sweats (honestly, what I was I thinking? That crap was hot!) but instead fitted capris and tank tops. Even my regular wardrobe has changed - I find myself in cute summery dresses most days now, instead of hiding in jeans and t-shirts. I've also become a lot more brave - and let me share with you last night's adventure.

    Last night, I had gone to bed. I don't know about all of you, but I rather enjoy sleeping in the nude. So I'm alone, just me and the dogs. It's dark, I'm naked. I'm just about to drift off to sleep - and suddenly, I hear a crash in the living room. I sat up immediately and my heart was pounding - and I heard what sounded like stomping around. I got up, grabbed my German Shepherd by the collar, and cautiously approached my living room. When we peeked around the corner, we saw a figure. About my height and weight, standing there in the living room, wearing all black. My dog, Thunder, became instantly frenzied - barking and growling and lunging at it. I did what apparently came natural - I reached for the first object that could serve as a weapon within range (which was a folded up TV tray) and I whacked the figure with everything I could, and it hit the floor hard. My dog was standing over it growling, and then I flicked on the light. Instantly my dog calmed down and walked over to me tail wagging. I stood there victorious over my fallen enemy - my dress form.

    Earlier in the day, I had been working on taking in a dress. (Taking IN. You hear that? TAKING IN) I had wheeled the form into the living room as I was watching TV while pinning, and when I got tired, I decided to leave it - fully clothed in my black gown, in the living room. You would think the headless, armless nature of it would have been more obvious, but when you are scared, you just act. The noises I heard? My cat had knocked down the baby gate that keeps the dogs out of my craft room. The thumping was her knocking things off my desk.

    I realize I was in absolutely no danger whatsoever, but keep in mind, a year ago I would have hid in my room crying and not able to process anything. I perceived that I was in danger, and I acted on it. That speaks volumes for my confidence levels - I am more than capable of taking care of myself.
  3. I enjoy working out. For the first time in my life, I really enjoy (dare I say, love?) going to my CrossFit box. While I am still not the biggest fan of running or burpees, if we have a day of weightlifting I will always be there. I am always pushing myself for a new max, and striving to get the little 'RX' next to my name. My deadlift is up to 225 lbs now - and I am damn proud of it.
  4. I seek out other physical challenges. I have hated sports my whole life. Really. I admit I still don't like them... but I find myself seeking out obstacle courses. Finding ways to challenge myself. You already know that my first challenge was the Savage Race, and I also completed the Tampa Mud Run. I am going for Savage Race round two this fall, Run For Your Lives in November, then Tough Mudder and The Color Run in December. I used to see these and declare the people who took part in them to be insane.
  5. Sex life. Okay, yes, my husband has been gone for the better part of the past year - but I DID get to see him a few times in that period. I've never been a huge fan of sex - and I realize it was caused largely in part by my extremely negative body-image (oh god he'll see me naked! Better turn off the lights and get under the covers and get dressed again right after!), and my low energy level. (No, I'll just lay here. You do all the work.) I've noticed over the past year my sex drive has soared. Which is very unfortunate, considering I've been alone the better part of the past 10 months. Without giving too many details... trust me when I say this - from a fat girl. Sex is better when you have the energy to really have it.
There are a lot of other benefits to lifting weights for women, like increasing bone density, reducing your risk of injury and arthritis, and helping to improve your attitude and dealing with depression. I wanted to share my personal reasons for doing it. I will keep doing it, I will always do it. If I'm always big and I lose weight slower than a turtle and a snail racing, so be it. But I will keep lifting, because I am Wonder Woman.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't sweat the small things.

I have spent the past several weeks fretting about something incredibly stupid. I was going home to my mother's wedding, and I knew my father had moved back into town. I haven't seen the man in quite a few years, and I am not particularly fond of him - and that's putting it EXTREMELY mild.

I was scared stupid that I would see him and he would call me fat.

My weight is my greatest weakness. I can't handle it when the scale calls me fat - there was no way I could survive my father doing it.

So for weeks, I stressed over it. I cried when the scale went up because it meant it was that much more likely to happen. I had many a depressive episode in that time period, and was not very good to myself.

Then I went to the wedding... and guess what? He didn't even show his face. I stressed out that bad over something that could happen, never stopping to think about the opposite - what if he didn't?

Once I realized I was in the clear - I felt light and happy and relaxed. Finally. I realize now that this one thing has been stressing me so bad, I couldn't even function at times. And that's just silly.

He didn't show up. Crisis averted. Instead of being called fat, the opposite happened. Everyone, who I haven't seen in quite a few years, told me how good I looked. That I looked healthy and gorgeous, and one person even spent a good amount of time talking up my awesomely muscular arms. Seriously.

So I'm sharing a wedding photo with you:


My mom is the bride, I'm in red on the far left. I do realize I am not wearing shoes. I was starting a Thing. (Ok, what actually happened is that my mom had a little trouble walking in heels, and they hurt her feet. I encouraged her to take them off, so I joined her so she wouldn't feel wierd. Then all the other bridesmaids joined us, and we started a Thing of a Shoeless Reception. It went well.) I also realize this is a cruddy photo from my cell phone. Deal.

I have mixed feelings on the dress, but overall, I feel like I rocked it. Look at me, I'm actually holding myself up confidently and I'm not trying to hide behind someone or in my hair.

In short, I'm awesome. How do I know I'm awesome, you ask?

Because I deadlift a new max of 225 lbs, that's why. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Am Wonder Woman


My socks arrived yesterday. I put them on today and I felt... awesome. You're laughing at me because I'm making a big deal of socks now, aren't you?

As bad as I can be to myself when I'm having my depressive days, when I'm manic, I'm Wonder Woman.

I can do anything. I pulled on these socks and looked in the mirror. And yeah, I'm wearing Bermuda shorts because I don't want to experience chub rub when I run. And I still wear baggy t-shirts and I rock a really sloppy pony tail at the gym. It's probably... not the most attractive outfit.

But who cares? I'm going to the gym. I'm going get sweaty and gross and peel off my clothes and toss them into a gym bag. I'm not at the gym to pick up guys.

So I'm pulling on my Wonder Woman socks, and I'm checking out the capes in the mirror (which unfortunately, you can't see in this photo). And I'm telling myself - you got this. You are Wonder Woman, see? Look at your socks. Now go and be awesome.

Having silly socks made me, I don't know... feel proud of myself. I knew I had awesome socks, and I knew I was going to be awesome this morning... and I really didn't give a damn about what anyone else thought.

There's a line that you've probably never heard me say - I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

And the truth is - I didn't. I showed up and there were girls smaller than me, better looking than me, and guys who were way stronger than me.

I won't win a fashion show at the gym and sometimes I look downright silly... and that's ok! Because I'm being myself (and I admit I do have a nerdy sense of fashion going on...), and I am awesome.

So I'm writing this today, after CrossFit when I'm at my highest. Maybe in the future I'll look back, when I'm having a bad day, and I'll remember to just go out and be awesome and not care.

Do what makes you happy. Wear silly socks. Wear a hat, wear glasses, wear your baggy jeans, your painted Converse, your silly shirts, your hand made clothes, and your Etsy jewelry.

Do what makes you feel awesome. For me, I just have to remember that my alter ego is Wonder Woman.

What did Wonder Woman accomplish today? Before 7 AM, she did:
5 Rounds for Time:10 Hang Cleans (65#)
10 Knees to Elbows
10 Push-Press (65#)
10 Sit-ups
What did you do this morning?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New PR*!

Yesterday was pretty exciting - it was a Max Rep WOD*. I love the Max Rep days, because it's when I see the most improvement - and I am such a sucker for progress.

Yesterday's Max Rep was for a Power Clean. My previous max was 85 lbs - which isn't half bad. Before that it was 65 lbs, and that wasn't too bad either. I spent all day thinking about it. What should my goal be?

I set the bar high - I wanted a 115 lb Power Clean. That would be 57% of my body weight!

After work I went home to change clothes, and the post office decided that yesterday was my day - because they delivered one of my gifts early:


I put those bad boys on - and I was PUMPED! Off to CrossFit I go!

We had ten minutes to reach our Max Rep, so I started light - at 65 lbs. I knew I could lift it, but I didn't think it was a good idea to load up the bar right away. After three reps (and it was easy!), I bumped it up to 85 lbs. Two reps, and I upped again to 95 lbs. That's where it started to get difficult... but at this point, I've already reached a new max! Anything else is just icing on the cake!

I went up to 105. It was a struggle, but I got it up.

Up to 115... and unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I could not clean the bar up past my chest. I tried squatting underneath it, but I just could not get it up. I had 5 failed attempts before I realized it wasn't going to happen.

But hey - I got a new PR! 105 lbs! And that's still 52% of my body weight. I didn't fail, I just aimed a little too high. Failure would have been not showing up, or not even trying. I tried - I gave it everything I could. I didn't come up short at all - I increased my max by 20 lbs. TWENTY POUNDS. A 23% increase isn't too shabby!

Following that, we had a typical WOD -
For Time:
21 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
15 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
9 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
Although the RX calls for a 20 inch box, I still can't quite get up there. I don't doubt that I can physically do it - but I hurt myself pretty badly falling off a box a few months ago, and I can't shake the fear just yet. I'm working on a smaller height and trying to work up for now - but eventually I'll be jumping up on that box like it's nobody's business!


* PR = Personal Record
*WOD = Workout of the Day