Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Looking in the Mirror

It's funny. I know I see "A" reflection in front of the mirror...  I watch as I brush my teeth, so I don't drool all down the front of my outfit for the day.... I brush my hair, throw it up in a pony most days, because I'm lazy and it's probably a gym day, and would hate for that to be off center...  I zoom in to catch any wayward eyebrows that need tending...  I hurriedly put on my make up, too,  just making sure I "stay within the lines" and don't walk out looking like Dorothy from the Drew Carey Show...

But it donned on me this morning.  Rarely do I "SEE" myself. I have a mental image of what I look like, so it's not like I have any need to stare at myself, or want to...  I think this is normal???

Then this morning I caught a glimpse of a reflection that looked different to me.  It didn't match what I had in my head of how I see myself.  It was a "who is that?"

I know my sizes are changing, my inches are changing, the lbs are changing... there is a lot of change going on here.  It's not easy, but for the most part, it's enjoyable.  Other people noticing, well that's good, I suppose, but it's also the trigger for sabotage, too... (more on that in another post).

I sent a pic to a couple of close friends today because what I saw felt so different to me. It was uncomfortable. I don't know how I feel about it. It feels completely weird.  I saw my face as "thin".  It's a whole new thing to me.

I've lost another 5 lbs while doing this paleo challenge, so I'm up to 45 total, with another 35 to go.  Today I actually feel like I might accomplish the goal by fall, if I stay with it, stay dedicated, stay focused.

This whole thing, it's such a mind game.

Part of me wants to be excited to see myself differently, but it's also about being different and letting go of an identity I've had with myself for years. I also see myself looking older. So that part makes me a little sad.  It makes me nervous that the more I lose, the older I'll look. I guess I can't stay 25 forever ;) ...

But if I'm going to be alone, I won't regret a single day I spent in the sun.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Half Way Through & Two Road Trips Down

This past weekend I spent with my folks up near Arlington. I took my dad to the Texas Rangers (MLB) Fan Fest, as his Christmas gift from yours truly. What a fun day!!! We ran bases, sat in the dugout, hi-fived the horseshoe, got pics with players, and one autograph from Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. Only my most favorite baseball player EVERRRRR!!!

But the food... GAH! There wasn't one single remotely optional choice for food... I should have brought my own, but didn't plan for that well enough.  My fault.  But I managed.  The chicken and veggies (sans butter) at Salt Grass was well worth the wait!  And I'm glad I loaded up w/ eggs and a banana before we left.

I had asked my mom to do some shopping before the I got there.  She picked up some eggs, fruit (apples, bananas) and cooked a paleo chili recipe I'd found that used ingredients they wouldn't shy away from. (They don't explore food at all. They are super basic and standard).  The plus side to this is that 1. They wouldn't get something "fast", and 2. they have some food left that isn't based in sugar and doesn't require butter.

My sister and I both worry about their nutrition. They make choices that are too often based on "convenience" rather than health.  We are trying to teach them and have a more positive influence on their food intake, but it's hard to do when we only see them maybe 5 times a year (and that's being generous!) ... the effort continues.

I was glad to have them both ask me more detail about Paleo, and want to know how, why, and what. I did my best to share and not over-explain, but to get them interested.  So fingers crossed that I was able to plant a few seeds, and they will look for opportunities to do better for them, and for my sister and I.  We'd like them to be around a while :)

Mom made chili, based on the recipe I'd sent her.  Bless her heart, she tried, but ...  sitting down to the table, I asked if she had a hard time finding the Grass fed beef.  I think I knew deep down what she would say, because it doesn't click with her that companies will actually add hormones and "coloring" to make things appear "healthy", unknowingly altering the make up of the meat / food. She simply said "well, I was having trouble finding it, so I got the best the had at the meat counter" ... She tried... I appreciated it.  And it was definitely a step up than the usual.

This was after she called while at the store to gasp at the eggs. "Christy, they're all brown. This is terrible". Apparently she'd never encountered a brown shell egg before. Bless her heart.  I laughed after I got off the phone.

I'm glad she's supporting me in the best way(s) she can.

I'm hopeful that it will "click" one day.  It's taken me years to get to this point. Each one better than the one before.  And I know next year will be even more knowledge in my back pocket.

At this point, I'm 15 days in to my paleo journey. There's not a moment that I'm not thinking of my menu, planning the next recipe, and looking for new things to try.  I have cooked more "meals" lately than I ever have, and for that, I'm proud of myself. There are things I enjoy and things I don't, and I know I need to expand my recipe stash.  I just need to get a bit more brave and step out of my cooking comfort zone a little more.

I miss bread. I miss Spark. I miss Queso and Creamy Jalepeno.

We wrap this up on the 11th and I'm looking forward to maintaining a "mostly paleo" diet with a tad bit of leniency and a cheat day every now and again.

Weight loss total in 15 days - 5 lbs. I'm good with that.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Survived the Weekend - Paleo Style!

I was SOOOO nervous about traveling to Houston (re: previous post) and being able to stick to my paleo plan.  I've been super diligent and focused, and I just really didn't want to screw it up because of lack of options.

Friday I got to my sisters and had some grilled veggies, almonds, but didn't fix the salmon b/c I was honestly too tired.  But at least I got something to eat, even if it was less than I'd planned.

Saturday I got up and on the road to Success School, had my banana and mini egg muffin bites on the way, stashed some carrots, almonds and dried cranberries in my bag.  I was pretty nervous about a lot of things, (finding parking, finding my crew, and most of all, food options). We were at a MLB ballpark, so bringing in anything was going to be tricky, much less anything "hot".  It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, though.  Found my parking, found my crew, and seats. It. Was. Freezing. inside. They had no heat, and that much concrete, well it was just cold. and I even had a wrap with me.

Good news is there was a healthy (er) choice buffet for $20. I was able to look at it before buying it, and found I could have a few things, so I paid the money and jumped in. I couldn't feel my fingers at this point, so I really wanted something hot / warm. Grilled veggies, chicken and fruit it was. Then I walked back to my car to get a blanket.  It was seriously like an ice box in there!

Headed to Spring, ran to the grocery store, picked up goodies for my Paleo dinner I was cooking that night.  Bonafide success! Pork Chops, Squash & Broccoli.  Woke up Sunday AM, went to the store again to pick up things for our lunch before the football started.  It was fun to shop with someone and share with confidence about things that are and aren't paleo. It was nice to be supported in my challenge and looked to for guidance for healthy eating.

Got sent home with leftovers and learned how to cook a spaghetti squash, too!

Success, Indeed!

Friday, January 17, 2014

First week Post Plague and Paleo - DONE!

You guys all know how nervous I was about going back after being on my death bed, right? Well okay, I completely exaggerate.

Please tell me you're not shocked.

Anyway. Monday I had to do my baseline for my Paleo challenge.  Now my times have been decent, nowhere near the top, but among the same level group, I have been middle to last, but overall pleased with where I've been, time and effort wise.  I had NO idea what to expect, what I would do, or how I would feel doing it.

The baseline was 500m row, 50 wall balls (10 lb), 40 push ups, 30 sit ups, 20 pull ups (blue band assist), and 10 burpee boxjumps (4 45s stacked). My time was 17:14.

I was dizzy when it was over and I was pretty upset at my performance. I was exhausted. I was wiped out and I'm thankful I didn't pass out, but I knew I had been set back. Just disappointing to know that something I had no control over, took control of me and affected me and my effort. Still frustrating, but I'm just trying to overcome it and get my head on straight.

Good news: My time should really improve when the Paleo challenge is over.

Speaking of the Paleo challenge.
1. Cooking. There is more prep required than my "food for one" menu has required previously. Luckily I did enough for my breakfasts on Sunday. Lunches were taken care of, too, because of what I did on Sunday. Dinners have been more of my go-to w/ salmon and veggies sauteed in coconut oil spray.  Taste is overall pretty bland. I definitely need to look at more ways to spice things up. And why have I not used garlic yet?  (What the heck am I waiting for?)
2. And for as little dairy as I was having before, I miss coffee with creamer. I can't do coffee without it. Giving up cheese hasn't been completely terrible. But I miss that a little, because I can love that SOOOO much.
3. I definitely over-bought on my groceries. Glad I can freeze the meat and I'm trying to make sure I use the bulk of my veggies thru the weekend.
4. Going out of town this weekend is making me nervous as all get out. I am trying to plan to stay on track, but I know I'm going to be faced with challenges and will most likely not eat for an extended period of time for fear of eating the wrong thing.
5. Coming home late on Sunday and still not having anything prepped for the week makes me nervous, but I will prob. do smoothies next week for breakfast, and hoping my meal partner will have something for me to pick up on my way in Sunday night. That will take care of getting me started and I can do dinner on Monday, shop on Tuesday...
6. Going to my parents house next Friday. They aren't Paleo, don't know what it is, really, but I'm thinking I'm going to ask mom to cook a recipe for me, so I can have a good dinner both nights.  Guess I should just send her a grocery list.

Week 1 was a success, the first five days, anyway... So I'm gonna keep giving it a go.  I don't want to fail. I don't think it's a long term solution for me, but for 30 days I'm in... At least I'll lose a few more lbs before I got to Chicago.  Then it's all about the Deep Dish!

WOD #2 on Wednesday was okay, I guess... I'd done Turkish Get Ups once before and struggled a bit, so I wasn't exactly excited to do them this time.  BUT I can tell I'm improving there. I knocked out 10 of them and was quicker to get to form and stay there. Left side is still definitely weaker than my right.  My frist time to Bear Crawl and it's not my favorite either.  (Ass in the air, anyone?? HA!) I had to make sure I didn't go faster than my hands and feet could keep up with.  Pull Up jumps to get my chin over the bar were challenging, but I can tell the strength is building on the bars, too. My time wasn't stellar again, but it is what it is. I just have to keep getting it done. Still marking off firsts, so that's not a bad thing.

WOD #3 - SO. Much. Running.  I'll admit that I was not excited about the WOD when I saw it posted. I definitely had a "would I rather get up and go Friday AM at 5:30??" that answer was "no", so I had to give it a go... and you know what?   I did okay.  We warmed up with a 200 that felt okay. The WOD consisted of a 400m run, 15 DB cleans (15 lbs), 10 knees to chest (red band) pull ups - all that x 3... It was exhausting, I was last to finish and it took me nearly 18 minutes to complete.  BUT I ran every meter of those 400s. every step. I didn't walk one bit of it. and THAT says a lot.

So some good, some bad, but at least I know where I am now. Just sucks knowing that I'm not where I was before I got sick.

I have some time to make up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Forty Pounds

I know I've written out my weight story before, but here's a short recap.

I never owned a scale. I had no idea what I weighed or when it was or what it was for me to reach my heaviest.  I was lazy. I was unfocused. I was miserable.  That's all I know.

My heaviest was 216.


Wearing a size 16. I think I even bought an 18 or two.

It makes me SO sad to think about me being okay with that. EVER.

Sister and I started motivating one another to lose it, and I got down to 202, or 200, but don't remember dipping below the 200 before I settled in to 208. Gawd I was so dumb. And still miserable. And lost my job. So all my schedule, efforts, everything just thrown off completely.

2011 I had a friend want ask for help (why me, I have no idea...) on how to grocery shop, count calories, etc. So we went to HEB and I found myself doing it with her, using Sparkpeople, and still not exercising b/c I really do love sitting on my couch.  But by some miracle, I did it. I hit the 190s. And I got stuck there.

2012 I started the year off signing up for a 5:30 AM bootcamp. I had to keep the efforts going, still had a ways to go.  With bootcamp, I jumped in to doing Advocare.  I wanted to give it 6 months to work, and to be focused on it. Bootcamp was painful, and I definitely wasn't a morning person.  We had a sub that I just flat out didn't like. Her instruction, communication, assistance with form, knees, anything, was horrible. So I quit. I found a different bootcamp, but my knees just weren't happy. No running, still early mornings, and I lost my drive again.  Tried some P90X, exhausted by the every day schedule, so I didn't do that either.  But I got down to 178.

I also started dating someone, and I focused my energy on my first relationship in 12 years. Traveled. Ate a LOT of ridiculous and amazing food, drank drank drank. Football. Drank. It ended, I had gained 20 lbs back over the course of it all.

Reality was June of 2013 when I got on the scale.  I was at 199.8.  That was sad. And scary. And SO SO SO stupid.  Shame on me.

I did an Advocare 24 Day Challenge and lost 12 lbs. I was super strict and focused. I needed to get outside of my head and find something to stare at other than my TV, but I didn't have the self-motivation to do the fitness part of it. I just couldn't find the focus. Or the space.

That's when I got invited to check out Crossfit. Scared as I ever could have imagined, but then I got in and I knew it was exactly what I had been missing.  I also did another 24 Day Challenge before Thanksgiving, too. This helped SO much with getting in to the holidays with a little less "fluff", and more confidence.

I got down to 180, but couldn't get past that until just last week, thanks to the Flu. Stupid plague, but it def. got me back to where I was before.  I hit the 178 mark.

This morning, I woke up to 176, and that was a big surprise.  I haven't worked out in a week, and definitely had my fair share of good food, but in moderation.

So that's where I am today.  176.

40 lbs. down from where I started from, even if it did take over 5 years to do it.  I suspect the next 40 won't take so long... maybe even by year's end, if I am diligent and determined enough to see it through.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Paused for the Plague!

I have been down for the count for 4 days. FOUR DAYS!

Body Aches.

The ridiculous FLU!

Again, I'm being dramatic... But I can't convey how much I have hated every second of this. I haven't slept, but for the nights, which is fine b/c it's kept my sleep schedule on track.  But the day time has been truly uncomfortable.  Over 80 hours of continuous fever was the worst.

And my poor nose...

All the illness aside, the most frustrating thing in all of this is the interruption to my momentum I've had at the gym. Even through all of the holiday hullaballoo, I kept to my workout schedule.  If I am lucky, I will only miss one week before I can get back to it.  I might try to go Friday, see how I feel by then, but I know my lung capacity has been affected, so I need to start rehabbing that and get back on track.

I think it's the fear of stepping backwards in my progress, losing my marks of where I was.  I see the WOD listed each day and I get jazzed about it, then I'm reminded, oh yeah, even changing the sheets and doing laundry left me having to catch my breath.

I don't want to be seen as weak. I don't want to have another excuse to overcome. I just want to get back in the gym and get back to where I was. At this point, I don't even know where I am, physically.

All I know is that today was my first day in the last 4, to wake up without a fever.

And I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Crossfit Goals 2014 - Finding Focus

One of the great things about the Box I belong to is how the coaches keep us motivated and focused on our progress.  For 2014, we have been challenged to come up with 3 goals we want to achieve in the coming year.  For me, being in the middle of week 10, thinking about where I could be at week 61 or 62, the progress I WILL make and the achievements I will hit, honestly, it's unfathomable and a little overwhelming.  I'm not sure I know how to come up with just 3... and think so far ahead.

I know there are things I want to do, milestones I want to hit, things I want to overcome, and then there's the fear of not getting there, setting the bar too high, or not high enough.  I don't want to fail, but I don't want to hit them too soon either... Where's the juuuuust right button?

I'm overthinking it. I know.  Believe me, I know.

Looking back at those things I have already achieved in just 10 weeks time (Box jump, Double Under, running 400m w/o stopping), they're all "small" but "BIG" things.  So maybe I just focus on upping the numbers on those, getting stronger,  further distance, because those are the things I can measure right now. 

I definitely know my weaknesses.  Maybe that's a good place to start:

I lose serious time on the following:
Push Ups
Pull Ups
Jump Rope

They're major time killers.  Like M-A-J-O-R time suck. 

Things I modify but hold steady:
Box Jumps - using a 5 stack of 45lbs 

Things I feel fairly confident with and get a little smirk when I see them on the WOD:
Sit Ups
Farmers Carries
Kettle Bells

I know I need to start upping my weights, add some strength, get my shoulders and upper body reacting quicker, taking advantage of the push off, using my legs more to propel, trust the jumps, really start pushing my body to learn and TRUST more movements, be precise, and stop looking for ways to modify and face the challenge(s).  

I don't want to feel relief or apprehension when I pull the WOD up each morning, depending on what's listed. I want to see it, learn it, prepare best I can for it, and kill it when I get there.  So many times I make it through and feel like I could have done more, pushed harder, but sell myself short just to "play it safe".  Insecurity at its finest.  I gotta fix that. 

I like my schedule of 3-4 times a week, and there are times I wish I could go more, do more.  Right now, I'm content on sticking with this one thru April, which will be the current membership cycle.  I don't know if I could commit to the 5x-6x/week, but I'd like to work up to that at some point.  Not making plans, per my resolutions, but the idea is in the back of my head. 

I like the results I'm getting, the way my clothes fit, buying smaller sizes, but I'm still not really sure how to take the compliments from people noticing. So I'm working on the "thank you" and smiling, quickly changing the subject, and giving credit to what is helping me with it all. 

I'd love to say I'm gonna blow this year out of the water, make it the best yet, and be ridiculously optimistic, but I'm not.  I'm hopeful for really great and awesome things to happen, and would love it if they did, but don't want to let myself or anyone else down if they don't, so I'm living this "it is what it is" thing. 

So today, January 1st, 2014, this is a start... I've got something down, which is better than nothing. 
Pull Ups: Move Up to the Green Band - Chin over bar for full WOD
Push Ups: Non-Modified full WOD effort. 
Rope Climb ;) - No previous attempts, but if I can get the push ups and pull ups in place, this should be do-able
Double Unders - continuous and consistent - Softlanding, quicker wrists, less tripping over the damn rope!
Muscle Ups - Unassisted - definitely need more strength in my triceps. SO weak!

I know there is more, but for now, this is where I am and what I know I can pin point. 

***I am a lady.  I am allowed to change, add, edit, delete, and do whatever I please with what I have listed so far.  Prerogative is a good thing to have. 

2014... Rules, Regs, Resolutions, and Whatnots

I'm really going to try not to "plan" so much this year and put efforts in to not taking things personally, have expectations, feeling let down and just try to take things as they come, handling it all with as much grace as I possess.

That being said, here's a few things I really want to give some attention to this year... No plans, no expectations, a little more concentration, and focus.

  • Crossfit -Keep up my Crossfit training - get stronger, achieve and overcome the frustrations, celebrate the milestones more and more often.
  • Advocare - Work smart - Really focus on growing and achieving the Silver Level - help my team grow their businesses, really be intentional with the networking and follow through.
  • Purge - Purge the clutter - have less, more quality, less quantity; Keep my apartment in better order.
  • Authentic - Continue practicing "Authenticity" - be authentic, attract authentic, eat authentic. 
  • Paleo - Really try to go as Paleo as possible with my food intake. Less junk, less sugar.
  • Food - Try a new-to-me restaurant in Austin each month.  We have SO much great clean food here, and I get stuck on the same ones all the time! And cook more! 
  • Money - Save a little more, make up the savings I spent (Hopefully tax return will help with this a bit).
  • Friends & Family - Spend more time with the ones I don't get to see often enough. 
  • Sports - See a Rangers game at THE Ballpark at Arlington; See the Baylor Bears play at Maclane Stadium.
  • Music - it's gonna be hard to top the shows I saw in 2013 (Mumford, DMB, Bruno, NKOTB / BoyzIIMen, Blue October...) But I have Imagine Dragons coming up in March. That's a good start. 
I could probably write a post on each of these, but here's the collective list.  

It's a good start.