Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Weigh-in of Birthday Challenege..aka 142 Days to go!

Today is day 8 of the Geaux Crossfit 30 Day Paleo Challenge and weigh-in number one of my birthday challenge.

eating an apple in the parking lot of restaurant
before heading in for lunch........
I recently read that most people give up on their New Year's Resolution by January 10.  I totally get that....the first few days of the Challenge were totally easy and exciting and I felt motivated with every meal.  By Day 8 I am sick of it - sick of only eating certain foods, sick of getting up early to go to the gym, sick of the whole process.  Once again, I cannot say enough how thankful I am for the Geaux Crossfit community.  Without their Paleo Challenge Facebook page, constant encouragement from other members, and a trainer who reminds me about my goals whenever I forget, I do not think I would have even made it to Day 8.

Girl's Night Snacking..
Thank You Kelly P!
So, the big question did the weigh-in go?  In one week I have lost a total of 4.8 pounds! Not bad considering that included 5 visits to a coffee shoppe (I had tea), four meals at restaurants, a girls night out that, before the challenge would have included endless snacking, and numerous temptations.

SO glad to be back with my
Geaux Crossfit girls!
And this week has also included a return to the was hard to go back but I am SO happy I did! Yesterday  was one of those magical days at Geaux Crossfit where I left feeling strong, focused, and in control.  We worked up to our max shoulder press and I was SO excited to reach a new max - 85 pounds !!  And on Monday I reached a new bench press max - 90 pounds! To me, it is pretty incredible considering when I started two years ago I couldn't even use a 10 pound bar.  I had to use a PVC pipe.  My body has that "I just pushed my body to it's limits" kind of soreness that everyone who does Crossfit strives for...and I love it!

But besides that, I just feel better.  When I was allowing gluten and processed foods in my diet, I think I actually forgot what it means to feel good.  It's tough to explain - I have more energy (even though I am getting up super early to go the gym), my brain doesn't feel as muddled, and I feel happier than I have in months.  I cannot get over the major role that food can play on your overall mood.

This next week will be tough - I will be in New Orleans (the land of the most delicious and most unhealthy food in the country) on Wednesday night - Saturday.  Then Abby's birthday is on Tuesday. I just gotta remember my goal to lose 36 pounds by June 2!  Only 31.2 pounds to go!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 1 of Birthday Challenge...My 100th Post

I just haven't been feeling
myself lately....
Well, I had a little fall from my crossfit and paleo lifestyle and I have all the excuses..... started a new job (which I love), sick family members (everyone is fine now), on vacation/travel (not really a good excuse...just didn't prepare they way I should) and now I know it is time to refocus.

Food really is the ultimate battle for me.  I've done a lot of research on food addiction (which I think runs pretty fiercely in my family) and my go to medical expert (web md) says this:

    "Like addictive drugs, highly palatable foods trigger feel-good brain chemicals such as dopamine. Once people experience pleasure associated with increased dopamine transmission in the brain's reward pathway from eating certain foods, they quickly feel the need to eat again.The reward signals from highly palatable foods may override other signals of fullness and satisfaction. As a result, people keep eating, even when they're not hungry."

I cannot imagine how difficult other addictions must be to conquer and I am awed by anyone that can do it successfully..but for me food is my ongoing battle.  I love it so much that I can actually almost rationalize eating anything I want - its a special occasion, I deserve it, it will be my one cheat this week, I've been stressed, blah blah blah.  And seriously, those stupid excuses can somehow outweigh all the negatives of eating unhealthy food - you will feel sick, your clothes won't fit, you won't be able to keep up with your kids, you will feel tired, you will have diabetes, heart disease, your life expectancy will be reduced.   So, when you read those two lists what should win the internal debate??  It's a special occasion so I can have a piece of cake or if I continue to eat this way I will die young.  How can it be so difficult?

I really don't know how....but it is.  everyday it is a fight.  And it is plays a part in even a more horrible cycle - you eat bad, it makes you tired, you skip the gym here and there.  Then you gain more weight and you are embarrassed to go to the gym so you don't and then you gain more weight, and so on and so on....
My trainer Amber - how is that
for inspiration?
But I won't do it again. I can't. I am so incredibly lucky to have my support system at Geaux Crossfit.  When I finally confessed to my amazing trainer and friend Amber she did not act disappointed (although I do think she has every right to be).  Instead she came up with a plan about what "we" need to do over the next couple months....she is willing to continue the journey with me.

So, I am done feeling sorry for myself and ready for action.  I have come up with a goal that I am determined to stick with - starting January 1 2013.  I will lose 36 pounds by my birthday on June 2 (when I turn 36 in case you couldn't figure that out.....).  That gives me 152 days to reach my goal.  And, yes, I have about a million reasons why I won't be successful.... Abby's birthday (twenty 5 years olds in the same room...and cake), Valentine's Day (chocolate), Mardi Gras (King Cake..which will be a hard one - I admit!!), Superbowl (wings, dips, etc...), Groundhog Day (which happens to be my mom's birthday...cake), My dad's birthday (more cake), Luke's birthday (cake), St. Patrick's Day (beer), Easter (delicious dinner/dessert and more chocolate), my wedding anniversary (Port of Call in NOLA would have been my choice.....) Cinco De Mayo (queso), Mother's Day (The Londoner shepherds pie), Memorial Day (bbq), countless conferences, travel, meals out, stressful days, unexpected events, overtired and unprepared days, temptations........ least it will save
my world....
My point is not to convince myself that I won't be successful.  My point is that there is always an excuse...a reason why I should sleep in and not go to the gym.  Or a reason why it is "okay" to eat something that is not good for me.  I am done with this inner battle.  Enough is enough.

So I will start on January 1 by joining a group of guys and gals from Geaux Crossfit to do a 30 day strict paleo challenge.  Then, I will decide what my next move will be in order to reach my 30 day plan at a time.

And, yes.  I will blog.  At least once a week.  It seems that the minute I stop writing about my struggles is the minute I succumb to them.

152 days to go...........

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Year 2, Days 75 - 129 aka When the Going Gets Tough...

When I describe the WODS (workout of the day) I do at Geaux Crossfit people usually tell me that they sound horrible...or too hard....or no fun.  Well, over the last few weeks I have learned what it is even harder to be at Geaux Crossfit sit them out.  I have a knee injury and have had to sit out a bunch ofWODs over the last two weeks.  I am not going to lie....when everyone in the 5:00am class was doing one of my favorites - Fight Gone Bad - I seriously almost lost it.  I had to sit in the bathroom and get it together so I wouldn't start crying (I may have even shed a tear or two).  I am trying so hard not to lose my focus but it really is pretty miserable.  Physical therapy is a sslllloooowwww process.

I didn't go to Geaux Crossfit for about a week because of travel and other commitments.  The night before I went back I was laying in bed thinking about the next morning...I was thinking about my past and how I have always been a yo-yo dieter and exerciser...I was kind of feeling afraid that this might be the end to my Crossfit/Paleo journey.

Thank goodness for my 5:00am buddies at the gym - Murph posted on Facebook mentioning he hadn't seen me in awhile and Candace and Kim texted me to make sure I would be there.  So, with a bit of hesitation, I went back yesterday.  As soon as I walked through the doors I realized how much I missed it!  I cannot believe I even questioned my relationship with Geaux Crossfit for a minute.  I would have missed out on so much if I didn't go back.  So I did a modified version of the WOD.  And kinda did suck that I couldn't do what everyone else was doing (who would ever have thought that I would be envious of people doing squats...).  But I knew that Amber would only let me do what my body could handle and that the 5:00am class would all support me through it. 

And in two weeks I have a new motivation to keep me going - my dear friend Kelly P. has decided to give Geaux Crossfit a shot.  I am so excited for her!  And, I must admit, I am nervous.  I want her to love it there as much as I do.  I want it to be a life changer for her too.  She has stuck with me and been a great support during this journey.  I wouldn't have made it through my first 30 day paleo challenge if she hadn't been doing it right along with me.  I can only hope that I can support her through her first 30 days at Geaux Crossfit!

Here's a photo of me and some of the 5 a.m. crew.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Year 2, Days 17 - 74

Me after Conquering Baseline!

Me after Day 1 Baseline
 Ahhh can be such an emotional roller coaster.  Last week I caught myself grinning like an idiot because, for the first time ever, I completed baseline, the first workout you do when you start Crossfit.  I had a fear of baseline and managed to avoid it for over a year.  On the day I joined Geaux Crossfit I can remember feeling so embarrassed for not being able to do pretty much any of the workout..even a modified version.  The thing is, at that time I had only experienced typical gyms where you are pretty much working out with strangers....I didn't know that the people watching me struggle through that first baseline would end up becoming my support system.  I had no idea I would end up cherishing each and every one of their friendships and thank God on a daily basis for bringing them into my life at just the right time.

After that first day I literally could not walk for days.  I had to pee standing up for about a week because I couldn't go from sitting to standing without someone helping me I had nothing but bad feelings for baseline.  When someone mentioned it, my heart would start to pound and I would feel a little sick to my stomach.  When I saw that it was the WOD for the next day I pretty much had a meltdown followed by a frenzy of panicked texts to Amber, the best trainer a girl could ask for.  She calmed me down and got me ready for baseline.  But then, because of a sleepless night due to a sick kid, I had to miss it.  And I was really depressed about it.  Amber finally helped me gain the confidence to face my fear of baseline and I couldn't do it.  So when I showed up the next day, Amber told me that I was doing baseline even though everyone else was doing something else.  I almost panicked and ran out of the gym screaming but Candace, my Crossfit buddy and amazing friend, volunteered to do it with me.  And yes, my push ups and pull ups are still modified and my squats still kinda suck.  But I did it in 6:05 minutes!!  I almost started crying like a baby...I was so relieved. 

Speaking of crying and crossfit being an emotional roller was one of those days where I wanted to cry out of frustration.... I hate that, after over a year of crossfit I still have these days where I feel inadequate.  We started the day with planks - and I keep trying to remind myself about how much I have improved.  When I started, I couldn't do them at all.  But it seems like everyone else is doing their 1-minute planks gracefully and without a problem while I am shaking and sweating and struggling....then we worked on our handstands and I really, really wanted to try but couldn't work up the nerve to do it in front of everyone.  I have NEVER done a handstand in my life...and I would be so afraid that my shirt would fall down and my stomach would show and that is just so far away from my comfort zone.....So I just stood there like an idiot while everyone else did it.....

Then the WOD was 100 burpees for time...I still cannot do a burpee with correct form so I do a modified version..which makes me totally self conscious and then of course I was last so all eyes were on me while I finished.  Thankfully Candace and Kim stayed with me and supported me until the end but it still sucked.  I had to go sit in front of the fan and concentrate on not crying for a few minutes.....

Ugh....not a great way to start a day...but I did it.  And hopefully I am even just a tiny bit closer to being strong enough to do planks for a longer amount of time and to do a regular burpee....and I spent my car ride to work trying to decide where in my house would be the best place to practice handstands...without Crossfit I can guarantee that I would NEVER have been thinking about that....haha

I am thankful that there are certainly more good days then bad for me at Geaux Crossfit...and it really has changed my life.  For my birthday I got a bike from my parents so I can ride around the neighborhood with Abby.  Going on our first bike ride was AMAZING.....I think riding a bike with her is pretty much the best feeling in the world.  A little over a year ago I don't think I would have been able to do it.  So I guess I will suck it up and hope that tomorrow's WOD makes me feel strong and confident.
Bike Ride Time!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Year 2, Days 2 - 16 aka its a battle

preparing for another
week of paleo
I haven't really been talking about it much, but I am not very motivated about my diet/eating paleo.  I have actually been feeling like I am living life as a fraud - people come up to me and tell me that my story is motivating to them...I want to stop them to tell them that I am the one that needs the motivation.  I am sick of it all...why does my relationship with food have to be so difficult?  It's been over a year and food is still such a struggle for me.  Sometime I watch the show Intervention and think that I could be on it...only my drug of choice is food.  I understand when the alcoholic talks about their first thought the moment they wake up is when they will get to have their first drink....sometimes I am not even out of bed and I am already struggling with what I will eat that day. 

eating grapefruit = no risk
When I am eating paleo I seriously feel so much better - my energy, my stomach, my workouts, even my spirit are all better.  But that is not always enough motivation.  Sometimes I just don't want to care or have to think about it anymore....I think this is really when the addiction comes in.  I like to think I would never do anything that I know would seriously harm myself.  I have never lived my life as a big risk taker - skydiving?  not interested.  Bungee jumping? nope.  What about swimming with sharks?  Not a chance.  But poisoning myself by eating foods that will not only cause me eventual harm - diabetes, cholesterol issues but will also just generally make me feel like shit after I eat them...that is something I could do...even something I sometimes want to do.  I am actually scared to go into a drug store right now because I know Easter candy is going to be on sale.  I don't think I could walk by and not buy some. I feel a bit pathetic that I don't have that will power... Thank God they have pharmacy drive thrus!

Driving by Walgreens...
I cannot stress enough how big of a role Geaux Crossfit plays into my success in my quest to become healthy.   This morning Amber (once again) gave me some advice and words of encouragement that I think will help me through this most recent struggle.  She told me that no one is meant to live their life on a 30 day challenge..which is what I have been doing recently.  I need to find my healthy eating balance and work with that.  I know it sounds so simple but they are the words I needed to hear.  Sometimes I can get so bogged down with the guilt of feeling like a fraud that it makes me want to stop fighting for my health.

Friday night p-a-r-t-y ! !
 For the first time in a very long time, I went out on Friday night (without the kids!!) and took a deep breath  and relaxed.  It took some major coaxing from Amber but I did it.  Spending time with the Geaux Crossfit family outside of the gym seems to be almost as important of spending it in the gym.   I would consider most of them acquaintances at best..but I have to say they are an amazing support system.  I hope that anyone who decides to get healthy can find a group of people as kind and supporting to lift you up when you need it and to celebrate your victories.  I am so incredibly thankful!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Days 349 - 367 aka Chapter 2

I have been avoiding writing about reaching my 1 year can I  reflect on a year that has been as transforming as the last 365 days?  How can I possibly thank the people that have helped me on my journey? 

I cannot believe that an entire year has passed since I walked through the doors of Geaux Crossfit.  I really am a different person - both physically and mentally.  I mean, I look at the photos of me from before day 1 compared to now, and I cannot believe it is me!  I was so unhappy....with no energy, feeling uncomfortable all the time.  I try to hard to just focus on the present and the future and not get upset  for evening allowing myself to get to that point of unhealthiness..ugh.
 (R) Photo of me at the 2011 St. Patty's Day Parade and (L) 2012 St. Patty's Day Parade

I know that my journey is far from over...I am just beginning another 30 day paleo challenge because my eating was getting a little too lenient..and I have stopped weighing myself until May 1 when the challenge is over.  But now, I am trying to focus less on losing weight and more on being strong and healthy.

Amber and I are ready to race!!
2 weeks ago I ran a 5K!  It was harder than I thought and I probably wouldn't have finished if it wasn't for the girls that ran with me - my FABULOUS trainer Amber (I have a tear in my eye thinking about how important you are to my success...but more on that later, my running buddy Candace (who gets up for the 5am class even though she could go to a later one... ) and Ali (a fellow geaux crossfitter who kept pace with me even though she could probably have done it in half the time).  I am so lucky to have been surrounded by these fabulous women during my first run!
The experience was amazing....I still cannot believe that I did it - and in my fastest time ever - 3.22 miles in 35:48!! It was just another one of those moments when I thought that maybe I really could end up being an athlete.  Before this year, I never thought that was possible.  Dieting was always about losing weight and never about getting strong.  Now, I want to be strong. 

So, my eating has not been great so I am glad to refocus and concentrate on the next 30 days.  I still have to take it one month at a time.  And it seems that every time I don't think I can do it anymore...someone else in my life decides they want to try it out.  So, to support them, I do the 30 day challenge at the same time.  On Monday, Kelly P. and I will be supporting our colleague Kristin as she begins her first 30 day challenge.  Her excitement for it has reignited my passion for all things paleo.  I cannot wait to be part of her journey!  It also helps that she is an excellent cook who will be sharing her recipes with me.  I hope she feels as good as I do when I am eating paleo!

I am just beginning the transition to going to Geaux Crossfit 5 times a week (if my body will allow...after today's WOD I can barely walk).  I am so thankful that my husband and parents have been totally accommodating to support me so I can find the time to go!  I am nervous and excited about it....a year ago I could barely stand two days a week...then I went to three days a week.  And now, after a year of going to Geaux Crossfit, I cannot believe I am ready for 5 days a week!!  It is unbelievable to me!

There is no way I could write my official "1 year" post without again expressing my thanks to my trainer Amber.  Out of everyone on this journey with me, she is the one that truly knows my struggles. Just last night she got me through a mental breakdown I had regarding squats.  While it is very exciting to be doing crossfit for a year, it can be extremely aggravating to not be able to do something like a squat (or a push up or a pull up...or..just about any of the exercises!!).  I have been trying and practicing and trying again but a full squat with correct form is very difficult for me.  I know that, if it was not for Amber, I would have given up a long time ago. I just hope that everyone who decides to take a similar journey can find someone like Amber to be their support, their cheerleader, and the person that pushes them to their limits everyday.
So, Year 2 - I am ready to for you.  In a year from now, I will be posting pictures from March 2012 to compare to the even stronger Bethany of 2013.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Days 335 - 348 aka Oh What a Cheat

I love the Londoner
This weekend was my biggest cheat weekend to date and by the end of it I felt horrible.  I thought for a long time about what I wanted for my cheat meal and ending up choosing a meal at my favorite restaurant in Baton Rouge, the Londoner.  I have eaten at the Londoner numerous times and stayed Paleo.  In fact, when I started out eating Paleo/gluten free one of the first things I did was email the Londoner to find out what my options were.  The manager emailed back with information about the entire menu - it was so great! 

My favorite meal
But, for this meal, I was not looking to go Paleo.  I started with a cup of the clam chowder that was on special and was pleasantly surprised to be served some delicious cheese toast to go with it.  Then I had their shepherd's pie.  I really think it is my favorite food.  It is SOOOOO good!  After that, I headed upstairs to the cupcake shop and got a peanut butter cup cupcake!  I planned to take a photo of it but ate it before I had a chance.  Do I regret my eating choices?  Nope...I am proud that I could have a weekend like this and then refocus on Monday.  It once again makes me feel like Paleo is a lifestyle and is a sustainable way to eat.

By Monday I was feeling like crap.  I was tired and moody (<---my husband will back me up on this one), had an awful headache and just felt nasty.

Thank goodness my cousin Molly has decided to give Paleo a try (YOU CAN DO IT MOLLY!!) so, to support her, I started a strict 30 day challenge on Monday.  The difference in the way I feel is really unbelievable.  I sucked ass during the WOD on Monday...I just wasn't feeling it.  But today was 100% better.  I cannot believe I lived my life not even thinking about (or at least ignoring) the connection between how I feel and what I eat.

Prepared to eat Paleo for the week!
I am very close to making a huge decision..I cannot even believe I am thinking about this because I never thought it was a possibility.  I might try to do Geaux Crossfit 5 days a week!  When I started, I could barely do two days a week and I have been doing 3 days a week for awhile now.  I have been trying to do Planet Fitness on my off days (T/TH) but I am just not feeling it like I do Geaux Crossfit.  It is so hard to push yourself to your limits when you are on a treadmill or other machine...and it is so hard not be get bored..blah...  As soon as it hits 4pm, I start looking to see if the next day's WOD is posted (even on the days I am not going).  The day before a Geaux Crossfit Day (my running buddy) Candace and I usually text back and forth about the next day's WOD.  I just don't feel that excitement with Planet Fitness.  So, I might just upgrade my membership at Geaux Crossfit to full-time status!

This is what eating
right looks like!
My first 5K is on Saturday.  I cannot believe it is so close.  I am nervous and excited..I haven't been running as much as I was for awhile so I am afraid I won't be able to finish it.  I think that, at this point, I am going to need to cross my fingers and hope for the best.  I am so thankful to have so many people from Geaux Crossfit planning to be there to cheer me on.  If I had tried to do this on my own, I can GUARANTEE that I would not show up on Saturday.  But I will be there with my Geaux Crossfit family...running a race that I never thought I would be able to run.  Before now, I have always dieted to be skinny.  I honestly never thought that being strong was an option.  Today, I am feeling strong.