My Whole Life Challenge Experience

I’ve been debating whether or not I wanted to write something about my experience with the Whole Life Challenge, and whether or not I wanted to share my “before & after” pictures. However, I came to the conclusion that, as a coach, detailing my experience may help inspire others to make changes to improve their health and well being. Although coaches can be described as “health professionals” and can often be viewed as “having it together,” we have our own issues as well. I may or may not be slightly obsessed with Cheez-It. Just sayin’…

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I would like to say that I understand that some of you may look at me and feel that I don’t have any weight to lose, or may think “What is she thinking? She’s not fat,” or that I can eat whatever I want because I’m already “skinny”. I know that I’m not fat, but I do have some weight to lose and when I gain 5-7 pounds, I definitely feel it and it shows because of my small frame. Also, at my age, I can no longer eat whatever (e.g., junk food) because my metabolism doesn’t work the way it used to like in my teens and 20s.

A couple years ago, my husband and I tried to follow the paleo diet. If you’re not familiar, with the paleo diet, you basically cut out all grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, white potatoes and other “nightshades,” artificial sweeteners, and anything processed. You’re probably thinking, “well, what the heck do you eat then?” Meat, poultry, seafood, veggies, berries, nuts, and healthy fats and oils, such as avocados and coconut oil. There’s plenty left to eat! However, at the time I wasn’t quite ready to make the switch. I was addicted to crap food and towards the end of getting my college degree. Without Diet Coke, Cheez-It and chips, I don’t think I would have made it through those days where I was writing papers into the wee hours of the morning. I think I made it one or two weeks before I was so “hangry” (hungry + angry) that I, nor my husband, could take it any longer. Food is very emotional for a lot of us, and I was not emotionally ready for the change.

This past year has been quite stressful for me as work got super busy with four people in my department retiring and my supervisor going on maternity leave early and then being out for four months. My health deteriorated because I ate whatever was within my reach (i.e., lots of sandwiches and cookies) and working through lunch, which caused me to not sleep very much. I was also coaching in the evenings after work, and getting home around 8:30-9:00pm. I also reinjured my knee, and I just let myself go. My hormones were out of whack and I felt terrible all the time. Once things at work slowed down, I decided that it was finally time to get my shit together.

Enter the Whole Life Challenge (WLC). The WLC is an eight-week lifestyle challenge where you focus on clean eating, exercising and stretching regularly, taking a daily supplement, drinking 1/3 of your body weight in ounces of water daily, and participating in weekly lifestyle challenges (e.g., getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night or not using technology during meals). I have a few friends that have done the challenge in the past and have heard and seen the benefits from it. I felt I was mentally in a better place to take on the challenge, so I committed to it. I was a bit nervous because eight weeks seemed like a long time. Was I really ready for it?

There are three nutrition levels to choose from: Performance (strict paleo), Lifestyle (allowed to have some grains, starches, and corn), and Beginner (can pretty much eat anything but bread and sugar). I chose the Lifestyle level because I wanted to work on maintaining a reasonable diet and not drastically changing it, as I felt that I would be setting myself up for failure and disappointment had I gone the Performance route. I’m glad I chose this level because I was able to do just that – I found a way to maintain a reasonable diet.

The first week was difficult because my body went through withdrawals. I did get hangry, but not like before. But after that week, I started feeling and seeing the benefits and it felt so good. I found that in the first 2.5 weeks, I lost 1.5 inches around my waist, and my workouts felt easier! I also found that I wasn’t craving the bad food and not eating my feelings. It was pretty exciting.

I was on a roll and doing so well until October 10. It was that day that I found out that a friend had passed away earlier that morning. He was a very close friend of my brother’s, and he was also like a brother to me. I was shocked and upset. My husband asked me what he could do for me and I told him that I wanted Cheez-It and a glass of wine. He was so sweet and went to the store to buy both. Although I was eating and drinking my feelings, it felt different. I’m not sure how to describe it. I guess it wasn’t so much the addiction driving me to eat and drink; it was more of a conscious decision to do so. I felt in control of that decision. The next week was difficult as I was emotionally spent and I didn’t have the energy to focus on the challenge very much. I ate crappy food and drank a lot of wine and cider. Additionally, the following weekend was a close friend’s wedding and the weekend after that my birthday! So from October 10-26, I ate crappy and drank a lot of alcohol. Thankfully, I was able to get back on track for the final few weeks of the challenge. It was difficult, but I overcame the minor setback.

My goal for the challenge was to learn how to manage my diet better and to learn how to take better care of my body through nutrition. I refuse to be a slave to medication! Through this challenge, I now understand how my body reacts to certain foods, such as dairy, grains, and starches, which has led me to not crave them as much as before. Score! And since I don’t eat much of those types of food anymore, when I do eat them, they don’t taste as good as I remember them to be.

To give a bit of history, the verbal abuse and harassment that I received from my gymnastics coach from the ages of 10-16 still affect me to this day, which is why I have had such a bad relationship with food. His negative words also still affect my self-esteem. He often called me and my teammates “fat whores” and other names that I will not repeat. Mind you, we were still in elementary school/pre-teens when he said these nasty things. That shit does not go away. Because of this, I have not worn my bathing suit in public in the past two years. One, because I have a crazy tan line due to our gym being outside, and two, because of my self-esteem issues. However, after this challenge, I am feeling a little better about myself, which is why I now feel somewhat comfortable showing my before and after pictures (enjoy my tan line!)…

 IMG_4558 IMG_4559 IMG_4560

My results from the challenge are as follows:

Weight:
Pre-challenge: 131.4lbs
Post-challenge: 126.8lbs

Body fat %:
Pre-challenge: 20.1%
Post-challenge: 18.4%

Challenge workout:
11min time cap:
800m run
75 air squats
50 sit-ups
25 push-ups
For the remainder of the time, do as many burpees as possible.
Your score is the total number of squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and burpees.

Score:
Pre-challenge: 173 (23 burpees)
Post-challenge: 183 (33 burpees)
I was able to bust out 10 more burpees!

I am pleased with my results, as my goal was to get around 126lbs, 18% body fat, and get a higher score during the workout. Woot!

Now, you’re probably wondering what my meals consisted of. Well, here ya go!

Breakfast: usually 3 eggs (scrambled-sometimes with spinach, or hard boiled) and 3-4 pieces of bacon or sausage, and coffee with stevia.

Lunch: spinach & kale mix salad with chicken and avocado or leftovers from dinner, and sometimes a vegan soup I bought from the café on campus.

Dinner: pork or beef cooked in the slow cooker with sweet potatoes and onions, tacos made with leftover pork, or steak with broccoli and/or sweet potatoes.

Snacks: Cashew cookie Larabar, apples, bananas, brown rice cakes with cashew butter, carrots, strawberries, cantaloupe

I’m glad the challenge is over because having to log points and do the weekly lifestyle challenges were a bit cumbersome, but I am happy that I am learning better nutrition and eating habits. I’m looking forward to being released into the wild and doing it on my own.

Here’s to cleaner eating and better health!

Being Content with Mediocrity in a Community of Overachievers

Ninja-Goon

Team Ninja & the Goon

One thing I find interesting about CrossFit and the Olympics is that you are constantly reminded of your age. The majority of the commentators I’ve heard while watching the Olympics have mentioned that one’s athletic career is pretty much over once the athlete has reached their 30s. Hell, if you’re an Olympic-level gymnast, you’re done by 18 (21, if you’re lucky). With regards to CrossFit, you are constantly reminded of your age when your body just doesn’t want to move like it used to – you feel your knees and back ache often and that’s just during the warm-up! Actually, I’m pretty sure the constant reminder is when you see these damn youngins walking around with their perfect bodies not realizing (or caring) what’s coming for them in about 5-10 years. Ha! Yeah, go ahead and continue to think you can eat like that… just you wait! (Insert evil laugh here.)

When I mention “age” I am also referring to what got you to where you are at a particular age. At ages 14-16 years, I was in my prime in gymnastics – flexible, nimble, beautiful six-pack abs; at age 18, I was still pretty good and still had some of my six-pack abs; at age 19 I moved to California and basically didn’t work out until I started CrossFit at the age of 32. I also had a terrible diet. Imagine what sort of shape I would be in had I had CrossFit as soon as I finished my gymnastics career. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Well, here I am at the ripe old age of 36, and after 4 years of CrossFit, mixed in with two major injuries (from softball), I am feeling the strongest I’ve ever been, all the while feeling my body getting older.

This past weekend, Tall Guy and I competed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre down in Ventura hosted by West Coast Strength and Conditioning. It was a co-ed partner competition with RXd, Modified, and Masters divisions. We still have a few years before we are considered masters competitors; however, we are at the upper end of the regular divisions, which is one thing that I love and hate about CrossFit. I love that I get to compete against people much much younger than me (and it feels pretty good to beat them, too), yet at the same time it’s no wonder when they do beat me (and at times I feel like they should beat me). Some of these “kids” are just out of college having competed at D1 schools, other competitors took part in past Regionals competitions, and many are also contenders to make it to Regionals this year.

What I also love and hate about CrossFit is that there are no weight divisions. So little 130-pound me often competes with women that have easily 20+ pounds on me. Me having to push jerk 95lbs 40 times is not the same as someone that is 155lbs. I think it’s pretty cool that I can lift as much weight as women that are bigger than me, but at the same time it sucks because they have a distinct advantage.

Many of the competitors this past Saturday looked like they were in their early to mid-20s with some that looked around my age. Many of the women in my division had beautifully muscular and toned bodies to the point where I would find myself staring at them. They sure are fascinating specimens of the female body! Dayam.

During the competition, while I was out of breath, trying not to vomit, and my body hurting, I looked around and saw these young competitors just plowing through the WODs and all I could think was, “This isn’t fair, I got like 10 years on these bitches! This isn’t fair, I’m lifting half of my body weight here and they’re not!” Yeah, I know I need to work on my mental game; however, this perceived “unfairness” pushed me to work harder, to not give up, and to also appreciate my effort and placing in the competition. Not only was I one of the smallest competitors in my division, I had the tallest partner – one I had to carry twice for the distance of 60 feet each time in the middle of a WOD. So, yes, I’m gonna say that I had to work a little bit harder than others. I’m not writing this to complain, but to merely breakdown how interesting, shitty, fair and unfair CrossFit is and that’s why I love it.

Tall Guy and I had 3 goals going into this competition: 1) Don’t get injured; 2) Don’t get divorced; 3) Don’t get last place. I am pleased to say that we succeeded in all 3 goals. We ended up placing 31st out of 46 teams, he didn’t crush me during the partner carries, and we are still married. Not bad for some old farts.

The competition WODs for the RXd division were:

WOD #1
10 min time cap:
21-15-9
Deadlift (245#/155#)
Box jump (30”/24”)

Our time: 9:16 (20th place)

WOD#2
22 min cap (partners split the reps)
200 Double unders
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
120 Sandbag Shouldered Squats (80#/60#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (guy carry girl)
80 Shoulder to overhead (135#/95#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
40 DB Snatches alternating hands (55#/30#)
Partner Carry 60 ft. (guy carry girl)
200 Double unders

Our time: 21:51 (34th place)

Floater:
For calories: 3 min Airdyne + 3 min rower (switch during 1min transition)

Our score: 198 (32nd place)

Learning to Find Hope through Death

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Back in November of last year I wrote a post entitled “Learning to Give Thanks through Death“. There was a lot of death surrounding me at that time, however, it reminded me of the wonderful people in my life and to be grateful for that. Now that death is paying another visit, I am choosing to find hope where many default to sadness. Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling sadness, but I am trying to focus on the positive.

I recently became a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and last Monday I met my “Little” for the first time. A couple hours after I met my Little, I found out that someone I care for was dying. It was such a strange evening. I went from being completely ecstatic to feeling sadness and worry. Strangely, I felt that these two events were connected.

I have been wanting to be a mentor for so long, but it never fit in with my crazy life. My life is still pretty busy, but I made a commitment to myself to do this. I have an inherent need to help others, especially those less fortunate – not only in a monetary sense, but with family, health, or all of the above. I have felt this way for as long as I can remember. I remember as a child wanting to help other kids who were getting picked on. I remember trying to understand why some people were more favored than others. I could not understand why people were homeless or why people were picked on and bullied just because they were different. I knew then as much as I do now that I want to help people; I want them to know that someone out there cares for them regardless if they know them or not. I have a strong sense of empathy and want, rather, need to do what I can to help.

My Little and I were matched because our number 1 interest was gymnastics. During our first meeting, we went for a short walk around the block to get to know each other and the whole time we talked about gymnastics while she did cartwheels. It was like watching myself when I was that age. It was neat! We also discovered that we love all things purple. My Little changed my life during that meeting. The quick peeks she kept taking and the little smiles of hope she kept giving – it changed my life. Her grandma even said that she hasn’t seen her smile that much before. Here I am hoping to change someone else’s life and I am the one being changed.

Grammy was someone I met through my husband. She wasn’t blood related to him, but a surrogate grandma of sorts. She was so wonderfully kind, sweet, and hilarious. Ooh, and was she competitive when we played a game of Aggravation or cards! Don’t let her sweetness fool you, she will get you. What I loved about her was that from the first time I met her she made me feel like I was part of the family. My grandparents died many years ago, so it was nice to have a grandma again. The type of relationship she had with her husband of many many years is the type of relationship I strive for. I learned so much from watching them interact. The level of care and love was outstanding. She also didn’t sweat the small stuff. I know that’s totally cliche to say, but it’s true. Whatever health issues that comes with being 90 years old didn’t bother her. She understood and just kept on truckin’. If people were being dumb, she accepted it and moved on. No use in stressing. Even though I only knew Grammy for about 3 years, she made a huge impact on my life.

Today I found out and understood why I felt that there was a connection between these two – my Little and I had our first outing alone and Grammy moved on to her next journey. As one life was ending, a new one was beginning. Everything good that Grammy was and everything that I learned from her, I am going to embrace and pass on to my Little. I made a promise to myself and to my Little that I would be there for her and do my best to guide her in the right direction. My Little asked me today if I was her only Big Sister and didn’t have any other Littles. I told her that I was all hers and she said, “You’re all mine? REALLY?!” I said “Yep!” and she replied with a big “YAY!” and smile. Gosh darnit is she adorable.

I am choosing to find hope in the situation. I did have my moments of sadness and tears; they come and go. Although in the literal sense of the word “death,” a life may have ended, but Grammy’s legacy lives on. My relationship with my Little and our lives together, started today.

Grammy on Moms Day

How Ninja Got Her ROM Back…

ROM Front-5Jan2013WOOT!

Well, I almost have my full range of motion (ROM) back. Regardless, I am a very happy ninja because I am almost there.

I finally had an appointment with a physical therapist on NYE and I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure of what to expect even though my shoulder has been feeling much stronger and more mobile. The PT was surprised with my shoulder strength and said I was just fine in that department. nnnGIT! However, he was not very pleased with my ROM or lack thereof. After 5 months he felt I should have been further along. Well, so do I, but considering I haven’t had consistent PT (actually, any PT at all) I thought I’ve been doing pretty well on my own. Anyway, after I wanted to punch him in the ear, he measured my ROM in various directions. I wasn’t very pleased and was quite frustrated.

Then, he brought up surgery. He went through his spiel about possibly needing surgery because I may re-dislocate my shoulder. I never dislocated my shoulder, nor have I ever had shoulder problems in my life – even after 12 years of gymnastics. He asked me if my orthopedist talked to me about surgery and I said that he did and I said that I do not want to have it done. I told him again that I do not want to have surgery.

He wasn’t happy with my ROM and gave me some stretches to do. He also mentioned that a doctor will not perform surgery on my shoulder until I have full ROM back, which actually gave me some relief. Maybe they’ll lay off talking about it for a while.

Before I go on, I would like to say that the PT I visited was nice and funny, but I just felt like he was going through his typical shoulder patient routine and recommending surgery. I would have liked him to consider my past and current activity level and base it off of ME and not just because that’s what you do for this particular injury because that is what has always been done. He did say that to save me money, he didn’t think that I need to go in to his office as I am capable of doing these stretches on my own and know enough about how the human body works since I am a trainer. I appreciated that.

He requested that I return in 2 weeks to reassess my progress and to see how I do on my own. I am expecting him to discuss surgery again. Sigh. Anyway…

I am proud to say that I have made a lot of progress in just 1 month. I have taken 4 different pictures on 3 different dates to show my progress and they are below. Even the progress I’ve made in the last week because of the stretching I have been working on is just wonderful. I’d also like to add that I did 40 push-ups (10 sets of 4) and 100 deadlifts (10 sets of 10) at 85lbs last night without any pain. I am, however, VERY sore. But whatevs, I did push-ups! HOORAY!!!

Left: 4 December 2012 – Middle: 28 December 2012 – Right: 5 January 2013

(Click the picture to enlarge)

ROM Frontx3-5Jan2013

ROM Sidex3-5Jan2013

ROM Bentx3-5Jan2013

ROM Backx3-5Jan2013

Darn You Olympics for Making Me Emotional

 (7th Grade – 1990)

Dang it. The Olympics are making me all emotional. It’s making me reminisce about the days when my body didn’t hurt, spending hours in the gym with my best friends, and having the ability to do crazy stuff with ease. I miss practicing for hours. I miss practicing a skill over and over again trying to get it as close to perfection as possible. OCD much? I miss the feeling I would get performing my routine on the balance beam. Beam was my favorite event and the feeling I would get is indescribable. I also miss hauling ass down the vault runway and pushing with all my might off the horse. Bars… well, bars was meh. That event scared me so I wasn’t very good at it. I was consistent with my routine, but it didn’t have much difficulty. And floor, oh, I miss the dancing in my floor routine. I also miss my front tuck tumbling pass. I loved front tumbling. It’s so much fun! However, I don’t miss my leo going up my butt all the time, though. Haha!

I was talking with a friend the other day about how I miss being creative with my body. I love what CrossFit does for me as it satisfies my need for competition and pushing my body to its limits. However, there is a part of me that is itching to express itself – it’s the artistic part of gymnastics that I miss the most.

Despite my stupid club gymnastics coach being stupid (Hmmm… I’ve been talking about him a lot lately. Not sure what that’s about.) I do have a lot of great memories about my gymnastics career. Two of my most favorite memories are from my school gymnastics career. I was lucky to have gymnastics offered as part of my school athletics program in both junior high and high school. Coincidence that two of my fondest memories are from school gymnastics and not club? Ha.

(9th Grade – 1993)

My junior high memory started at Districts during my 7th grade year. I was one of 11 girls competing as an “all around” meaning that I competed on all four events. (In school gymnastics you had the choice of competing in as many events as you desired. In club gymnastics, it is mandatory that you compete in all four events.) During the awards ceremony, I remember standing in 11th place looking all the way down to the 1st place gymnast and said to myself, “I am going to get first place. I want to be there.” Since that day I made a choice to work my ass off and it paid! In 8th grade I placed in 4th, and in 9th grade, I got first! It was one of the happiest days of my life.

(11th Grade – 1995; apparently I liked this pose)

My high school memory was during my junior year when my team placed 2nd at State. The difference between jr. high and high school gymnastics is that in jr. high everyone does the same routines, and in high school we are able to create our own. Also, the highest competition for jr. high was Districts, where in high school it was State. We had such an amazing team that year and I am grateful and honored to have competed with such awesome ladies. Our team performed so well that night and if I remember correctly, received our highest team scores that season. I also received my highest beam score during the state competition and placed within the top 20. It was somewhere around a 9.1-9.3 (that was when the scores went up to 10).

(2nd Place Team – Decatur Gators – 1995! My team is probably going to kill me for posting this, haha!)

Okay, enough about me, back to the Olympics. These athletes are phenomenal, amazing, and inspiring. Oh, so very inspiring. I am so amazed at what these athletes are capable of! Sheesh. Their hard work and dedication is so admirable. I think my favorite part of watching the Olympics is when the athletes go up to their parents after their competition – seeing the joy or the pain – the connection that they have at that moment is just wonderful.

To copy a friend’s Facebook status update, “I love the Olympics. They make me feel like I’m hanging out with the whole world :)”

Word.

(Circa 1987 – Awkward and brace-faced at 10 years old)

And for your enjoyment, here’s a video of me doing a tumbling pass back in 2009.

Mental Strength

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Annie Thorisdottir – 2011 & 2012 CrossFit Games Champion

(Copyright CrossFit 2012)

Apparently I am stronger than I think I am. Mentally stronger, that is. The past month or so I’ve had a lot on my mind and have been struggling with all the negative thoughts that have been swirling around. The biggest frustration for me is that these negative thoughts have been affecting me at the gym. The gym is my outlet where I put my thoughts to the side and just lift heavy shit and do crazy gymnastics stuff. But lately it seems that I have misplaced my motivation and drive.

I had the opportunity to go to the final day of the CrossFit Games a couple weekends ago and it was amazing. These athletes are just flat out phenomenal. As I watched them fight through these insane workouts I had a few conversations with myself, such as can I ever get to this level? Physically I know I can do it. Mentally I’m not so sure. To be at this level is a HUGE commitment. Am I willing to make that commitment? Can I mentally handle it?

I watched an interview of Annie Thorisdottir from Iceland who is the women’s champion for 2011 and 2012, and the first competitor to win two years in a row. In her interview she said, “I think my strengths are, that I can usually keep on going. I… I don’t really need to stop and rest. I can push myself pretty hard.” This really stuck with me. Many times during a workout I either get burned out or I start to think too much, lose my focus and stop and rest for a few seconds. It is during these workouts where I question my drive and commitment. Why did I stop? Did I really need a break or did I just give up? I know I am committed as I workout 4-5 times per week. But I want to get better which means an even bigger commitment. Mental toughness has always been a struggle for me.

Well, I proved myself wrong during the workout tonight. I am mentally stronger than I think I am. I was able to put some of that stupid stuff swirling around in my head to the side and used the rest of it to fuel my workout. I told myself that I was going to get a minimum of 6 rounds. I ended up with 9 rounds and 13 reps… in 12 minutes.

The WOD was:
12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
3 deadlifts @ 155lbs
6 pull-ups
9 box jumps on a 20” box
12 double unders

As I was going through all the skills during the workout I kept hearing Iceland Annie in my head and I told myself, “You are not going to stop. Keep moving, even if it’s slower, just don’t stop.” I only stopped for a second or two to catch my breath before a couple of the deadlifts, as that is something you must make sure that you are in a proper position and mindset before you lift. But for the other three skills I pushed myself and did not stop. And you know what? It felt freaking amazing. When the clock beeped at the end of the workout, I stopped and grabbed a sip of water and said to myself, “Fuck yeah. You did it. Now you know you can do it.”

Oh, man. I needed that.

Commitment and Focus

I feel a change happening within myself, a transition, if you will. I have made a promise to myself to make (more of) a commitment to work towards what I want and would like to achieve, intensifying my focus on getting there, and staying true to myself no matter what anyone else has to say about it. But, dang is it hard. People are loud! My newfound mantra of “commitment and focus” has definitely been working over the past few weeks, especially with CrossFit. My main focus and commitment is my health, which I have been struggling with for quite some time now. I finally have a grasp on the exercise aspect of my health and now I feel like I am able to focus on the diet and mental aspect.

I’ve been toying with the paleo diet over the past year and it has been difficult. I do love my carbs, but my recent re-commitment to myself has allowed me to cut back. What has also been helping is that I am allowing myself to have a little bit of carbs with each meal, but not a lot. I also have set days in which I allow myself to eat and drink certain things, such as Fridays are soda day and Sundays are bagel days. If I happen to eat a bad (i.e., fried or greasy) meal in a day, I make sure that my other two meals are healthier. There are days where it is difficult (e.g., school days), but I try not to get too upset over it, which leads me to the mental aspect of my health.

I have been obsessed with food, my body, and my weight for as long as I can remember. I attribute this obsession to my gymnastics career. I also attribute my horrible self-esteem and self-conscious issues to my gymnastics coach and the perfection aspect of the sport. To get a glimpse of the type of horrible man my coach was (read: pedophile), you can find out here (in the section at the bottom of the article, Less Oversight in Private Sports. Note: Although I was interviewed for this article I am not the girl who was quoted.). I was with this coach from the ages of 10 to 16. During my time as a gymnast under his watch, he would call my teammates and I “fat whores” and other names that cannot and do not want to mention (Having to recall everything he ever called us for a police report was one of the most awful things I have ever experienced). Who calls a 10 year old a fat whore? Seriously. I’m currently taking a social psychology class and this week I read about persuasion and attitudes and this is what the researchers had to say: “The teens and early twenties are important formative years. Attitudes are changeable then, and the attitudes formed tend to stabilize through middle adulthood… For many people, these years are a critical period for the formation of attitudes and values” (Myers 2010:251). I am a perfect example of this statement. My experiences with my coach have carried over into adulthood, which I struggle with on a daily basis. A friend posted the picture below on Facebook today and it’s just so fitting with what goes on in my head every day.

I have had eating disorders, both starving myself and gorging myself until I felt sick. I have never made myself throw up because I hate throwing up so much. I wouldn’t even put that on my worst enemy, I hate it so much. But, I digress. Everything my coach ever said to me still floats around in my head quite often. It’s getting better as I get older, but he is definitely still there. Most days I’m able to manage the hate, but other days it just kills me. I am also trying to stop being so obsessive about food and my body and trying to focus on being more conscious of my decisions. This may seem easy for some or ridiculous to others, but unfortunately, this is what I’m dealing with. I’m also trying to rid myself of the emotional attachment that I have with and towards food. For example, when I’m happy or something good happens we celebrate with food. If I am sad, I get ice cream to make me feel better. When I’m stressed, I grab a soda and a bag of chips. (Mmm… soda. I just realized it’s Friday and I haven’t had a soda today. Go me!) Because I have been working on refocusing my thoughts about food, I am slowly eating better every day and it has affected me physically. You’re now probably thinking, “Well, duh. If you eat better, you’ll feel better.” And to you I say, “Duh. I know. Easier said than done, butthead.” So, if you’ve ever wondered why I may appear crazy, depressed, angry, and/or so hard on myself, now you know. I’m a work in progress.

It’s been an interesting and exciting past few weeks at CrossFit, and it is because of my refocusing. I have been able to do most of the workouts (WODs) as prescribed (RXd) and even beat some of the better, stronger ladies on a few WODs. Woot! There have been some WODs where I was one of the first people done, and some I was the last to finish. What was so rewarding about the WODs where I was the last to finish was that I completed the WOD RXd, meaning I did not modify any of the movements, skills, or weight at all. I didn’t care about finishing the fastest, as I wanted to do the skills with as best of form as I could and not modify it. That was such an accomplishment since it has taken forever for my Achilles to heal. (Yes, it is my fault it has taken so long. I know. It’s just another thing I’ve added to my list of things I hate myself for.) There are two ladies at the gym that I love having around because they push me to be better and faster, and they are Janyce aka Black Widow and Heather aka Jersey (we need to come up with a different nickname for her). Both of these ladies are so strong and athletic and I hate them for it. Just kidding. I don’t hate them. I’m just jealous because they’re 10 years younger than me, gorgeous, and so fit. Regardless of their age and beauty, they make me push myself that much harder and this “old” lady thanks them for it. I have been feeling much stronger and nimble lately and I’m seeing the results in the mirror. Now, if only my damn potbelly would go away…

I am excited about the goals I have set and about my re-commitment to myself. Depression is a bitch, and it feels so good to feel happy again. Many thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey and continues to help me become a better, healthier person. I am in the process of learning to love myself for who I am and accepting my body as it is. (Holy personal blog, Batman!)

Notable WODs over the past few weeks:
 
Wed, 1 Feb 2012
88 sit-ups in 2 min
 
Mon, 6 Feb 2012
10 Rounds for Time:
10 Toes-to-bar
10 Push-ups
20 Abs
Time: 16:20 RX

 
Fri, 10 Feb 2012
“Angie”
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats
Time: 19:54 RX

 
Mon, 13 Feb 2012
80 Squats
10 Handstand push-ups (HSPU)
60 Squats
20 HSPU
40 Squats
30 HSPU
20 Squats
Time: 14:44 RX

 
Thur, 16 Feb 2012
30 HSPU
40 Pull-ups
50 Kettlebells
60 Sit-ups
70 Burpees
Time: 21:04 RX