Friday, December 16, 2011

Days 252 - 265 aka Tis the Season aka Mind Over Matter aka Focus, Bethany, FOCUS!

80 Pounds Lost! 
 I am to the point now where exercise is not the problem.  If I could go to Geaux Crossfit everyday, I would.  I am thankful that my husband and my parents are there to support me and watch the children so I can go 3 days a week.  I wish everyone had the opportunity to give crossfit a's addictive.  One of the 6am crew at Geaux Crossfit was telling me how his wife has banned him from talking about it.  It's such a big part of all of our lives....sometimes we can't help but to share our accomplishments....I know it must get tiring to our loved ones. : )  I can't figure out why Crossfit is so addictive...I guess for many reasons - the results (I feel stronger than I ever have in my life...did I mention my deadlift is 205?), the community (the 6am crew is tight...I am happy to walk in the doors everyday), the competitiveness (with yourself and with others), the trainers (they celebrate our successes right along with us and push us to our potential everyday),  every WOD completed is an accomplishment..something to celebrate.  I could just go on and on.  So yeah, I guess you could say I am pretty sold on the exercise (except for lunges and squats....) 

Food, on the other hand, is another story.  December, December, December....why are you so full of temptations?  Work parties, cookies, candy......The truth is, I love I really love it.  It's not like I have found this new healthy lifestyle and the thought of eating a whole chocolate cake washed down with chocolate milk makes me sick.  Instead, it makes me salivate...just one taste would be so good.

So, how do I stay focused on the goal?  It is not easy.  I know one thing.  On the days I go to Geaux Crossfit and exercise, I am mentally stronger and don't have to fight the urge to give into temptation.  I don't know if it is because I can think back on how hard I worked during the WOD in the morning or if it is something to do with endorphins that kicked in because of exercise..those days are just easier.

But really, when I think about paleP and Crossfit, I am thinking lifestyle change - not temporary solution to reach my goal.  Because what is going to happen when I reach my goal?  Am I going to just start eating whatever I want?  This diet and exercise has to be a lifestyle for me. 

So, I've been struggling with the idea of a "cheat."  I think I have to be okay with cheating once in awhile even if it will make me take longer to get to my goal.  I am not talking about eating a whole cake or even a piece of one.  I am talking about a  piece of chocolate...or some popcorn...something without gluten  I am won't go into the details about how long gluten stays in your body and how hard it is to reset yourself once you have it... (see for that information).  For me, I know that gluten is what makes me feel like crap.  I cannot do it to myself.

On January 14, Geaux Crossfit is hosting a nutrition seminar that focuses on the Paleo diet.  Whole9 will be presenting - they are Paleo eating gurus who travel around the country teaching people about nutrition.  I am hoping I can go and talk with them some about cheating.  I just cannot believe there are people out there who eat Paleo and never eat outside of the diet my mind, that is just not realistic (even for someone like Robb Wolf).  Can't wait to hear what they have to say!!

Want to attend the Whole9 workshop in Baton Rouge on January 14?  Go to

Friday, December 2, 2011

Days 247 - 251 aka Weigh in and Celebrations

Running, running, running.......
Today was weigh in day and I lost 2 pounds bringing my total to 81 pounds!  That means I have 19 more pounds to lose by January to meet my goal...yikes!

Last week I was so upset with myself...I didn't even take the time to celebrate my successes:

1. For the first time since starting Geaux Crossfit, when everyone ran their 2 warm up laps around the building, I was able to keep up with the group!  Normally it would be everyone else.......and then me about a 1/2 lap behind.  It sounds like such a little thing but I seriously almost started blubbering like a fool.

2. I went down a band during pull ups!  When I started, I couldn't do a pull up at all - i did "jumping" pull ups.  A few weeks ago I went from that to using a red band (the largest) and a green band (the second largest).  Earlier this week, Amber pointed out that it looked like pull ups were coming a little too easy for me so I tried doing it with the red band and the purple band (the third largest) and I could do it!! (barely).  I do not think that it was a coincidence that on the very next day, the WOD just happened to end with 32 pull ups....haha...thanks Amber!

3. Today I did a girl push up for the first time!  I usually go all the way to the floor and then use my arms to go back up...but this time I was able to do a complete push up (from my knees).  I know I still have a long way to go but I left the WOD this morning feeling strong!!

This week has been great - I feel strong...and I am talking core strong...and I feel focused and healthy.  I think my mindset is beginning to shift from focusing on weight loss to focusing on getting stronger and stronger.  Did I mention that today we had to do Dead lift- heavy set of 5.  I did 5 reps at 205 pounds!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Days 241 - 246 aka Complete Disappointment

Today I let myself down.  And my family down.  And Amber down.  I am so incredibly disappointed.....

Post Cheat Disappointment (and headache)
I had a great Paleo Thanksgiving and family weekend.  I was so proud of myself -  I felt great and strong and healthy.  Then Lucas got sick and Jason got sick and Abby got sick.  I had a huge list of things I planned to do during this long weekend and life got in the way....I didn't have a chance to go grocery shopping or prepare paleo meals.  This morning I got a call from my dad letting me know that my mum had to go to the hospital - she got the stomach virus that we had all had and it hit her harder then everyone else.  (shes back home and feeling much better now).  My dad asked if I could come and relieve him so he could get some rest.  I went right there without thinking about grabbing some snack items. After a few hours I was starving and tried the hospital cafeteria - the choices were fried chicken, onion rings, french fries or pizza.  I knew that would make me sick so I got a coffee and headed back to my mum's room.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted and starving.  Since there was no food in the house (Sunday mornings are my usual grocery shopping time) Jason ordered some pizza for him and the kids. 

It has been 8 months since I have sat down and intentionally ate a plate full of carbs.  But I just caved.  I ate the pizza.  And not just one slice....I ate some and went back for seconds.  It wasn't even that great.  But I was stressed and tired and, I guess, looking for some comfort food....I fell back into my bad eating habits just like that. 

I forgot about the bad headaches I used to get....I wasn't even finished eating and I was already feeling the consequences.  Even now, hours later, my head still feels like it is going to explode.  So basically being weak and caving in to the temptation ruined me for the rest of the day.  I was short tempered with the kids because I didn't feel good and I still didn't prepare for the week the way I should have.

I know it is all a learning experience and I will move on and blah blah blah...but the truth is. ...I am scared.  What's going to happen the next time I am in a stressful situation?  This all just reconfirms my feelings about food being an addiction.  I fell off the wagon and am terrified about how easy it was for me to justify the cheat to was a rough day...But the thing is,  there is no justification.  I had a moment of weakness and the food, along with some old habits, won.

It is the time we are supposed to be giving thanks.  I am thankful that tomorrow is almost today.  I am ready to be done with this day, pick up the pieces, and start over.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Days 229 - 240... AKA Did I Really Do That? AKA WEIGH IN (x2)

It is Monday and I am still flying high about my Friday at Geaux Crossfit....I catch myself sitting at my desk with a goofy smile just thinking about it......

Thanks to the tremendous support I receive from my crossfit family, I ran a 5K!!!  I cannot believe it!  How is that even possible?  I am a non-runner!  Just 8 months ago, I couldn't even run around the building!!  I have to admit, I didn't think I was going to make it.  Towards the end, my legs didn't want to move, by the last 1/2 mile they felt like lead sinkers.  I never NEVER thought that running over 3 miles would be something I would do....

Although I am getting closer, I still do not feel like a runner (or any sort of athlete).  A few weeks ago, my feet started aching and I knew it was time to invest in some real running shoes.  I am not going to lie, I was nervous to go to a "real" running store.  I was afraid that, when I walked in, everyone would stop what they were doing and look at me in a way that would make me feel like a fraud.  I do not look like an athlete....I especially do not have the slender build of a seasoned runner.  I didn't want the employees to roll their eyes at each other when I announced that I needed running shoes.  At the urging of Amber, I worked up the courage to go to Fleet Feet.  After some minor hyperventilating in my car I, with the support of my mother, walked through the doors.  The reception I feared could not have been further from the truth.  The staff there were 100% helpful and committed to finding the right shoe for me.  After trying on pretty much every shoe in the store (many I tried on 2-3 times), I had narrowed it down to two different pairs.  The person helping me suggested that I try to run on the treadmill they have with each of them to see which one feels better.  I had to gulp down my fear of running in public and hop on.  And guess what?  It was not bad at all.  In fact, the whole experience was AMAZING!  I cannot say enough about the people that work at Fleet Feet.  They made me feel completely comfortable during this process.  And my wonderful new sneakers (Brooks Ghost) are so light and comfortable...great for the 5k.

A MUST DO - rolling out my muscles
This 5k actually came at a perfect time.  The week before was a hard one for me.  On Monday and Wednesday, I met Amber before my WOD to do some pretty major cardio - sprinting and rowing.  When I tried to do it again on that Friday, my legs cramped and I couldn't do it.  I really was devastated.  I know it is because I wasn't taking care of myself when I got home - finding the time to leave home and even go to the gym with a husband, two children under the age of five, a full time job, two dogs, and a is not easy.  Finding the time to stretch and soak my legs at night is almost impossible.  I know now, though, that is not a frivolous "extra" task.  (see Amber...I DO listen to you...haha) If I don't do it, I will injure myself.  I have to say, this "journey" to a healthy   me can be pretty time consuming!

Amber, as always, said exactly what I needed to hear to help me through my frustration.  She said "you are officially an athlete."   That one remark got me through the healing process (and a nasty stomach virus) so just one week later I could run the 5k!!

Okay, so as if that isn't exciting enough, I have now had two weigh ins since the Geaux Crossfit Paleo Challenge has started......and...I have lost 9 more pounds!  That is a total of 79 pounds!!  WOOOO HOOO!!

Hopefully reaching 80 will be enough incentive to keep me on track during Thanksgiving..............

Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Days 223 - 228 aka Amber is Killing Me (while saving my life)

The paleo challenge at my gym, Geaux Crossfit, started Monday.  I am surprised about how many people signed on since it is going through the end of December.  I feel like there is something about a challenge like this that unifies the gym....I am so excited!!!

With Amber's guidance, I have been really thinking about what I eat for the last three days.  Before that, I would think more in terms of the paleo diet and, more specifically, gluten free.  Now I am logging everything into so I can get a clearer picture of what I am consuming.  My goal is to eat about 40%protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat each day.   The Livestrong website creates a pie graph to see my percentages....on Monday, I was way off - I just ate what I normally would eat (paleo) and it was way high in fat......I am slowly getting the hang of it though.  I have about 2 months to figure it out!  haha

Starting this Monday, my workout routine has changed a lot too.  Seriously.  Amber is pushing me further than I ever thought I could go.  I am so thankful for her.  She is giving me the confidence I need to become the athlete I never thought I would become.  Before Geaux Crossfit I can honestly say that I never thought I could be athletic.....I really think that if it wasn't for them that thought would be true.....I would have missed out on this opportunity.  It is life changing...

Increased Exercise=Exhaustion
So here is how my workouts have changed:
Amber met me on Monday 30 minutes before my WOD.  She had me do 10 50-meter sprints with a short break between each one.  I have never really tried to run fast before.  It felt really good!  Then today, was brutal.  The entire morning workout (pre-wod and wod) was one that I have referred to before as "criers".  I don't know why...but every once in awhile an hour at Crossfit truly brings me to tears...I never thought exercise could be so emotional.  So here is what I did (along with my running buddy Candace):  We started by doing 10 100-meter rows with 30 second rests in between.  Then we did 5 200-meter rows with 30 second rests in between.  Then we rested for 3 minutes before doing 1 500-meter row.  That was all done BEFORE the WOD.  I almost didn't make it through...but Amber pushed me and I did it!!  The WOD today was a tough one...when I read it on Geaux Crossfit's website I knew I would hate it.  Why?  Because it involved the dreaded bear crawl.  The bear crawl is one of those things that can be terrifying if you have even a questionable relationship with your body image.....there is nothing pretty about it.  In my head, I was trying desperately to think of excuses to not do it - my back hurt, I felt like I was going to puke, etc.  But I knew I had to suck it up and just do it.  We had to go the length of the gym and then back again for a total of 5 times during the WOD.  The first time, I tried to cut off a few steps and turn around to head back before I got to the end.  Amber called me on it and said exactly what I needed to hear: "don't cheat yourself bethany."  How true is that?  I am up and out of my house...away from my kids and my husband..and I am going to cheat myself by not doing the exercise?  That is ridiculous of I did it.  I had to stop for a few seconds here and there but I did it.  And I could leave the gym feeling like the time spent away from my family was worth it....

But I am exhausted.  My body aches.  I can barely walk.  It is (maybe besides childbirth) the best, most rewarding pain in the world.  How many people do I know have honestly pushed themselves to their limit physically?  I don't think it is something you can do by yourself.  You need your cheerleader.  Or, in my case, a whole gym full of cheerleaders.  Because when I was the last person still doing my WOD everyone was not commenting on how stupid I looked doing the bear crawl.  They were cheering me on to the finish line.

Getting Ready for Family Photos
And last night, I had one of those moments that makes all of this worth it.  Jason, the kids and I had our family portraits done.  Normally, just the kids would be in the photos...but this year I wanted to be part of it!  For the first time in a long time I really did feel beautiful.  I felt strong and confidant...and I think the pictures reflect that.  I got to wear my grandma's necklace that did not fit around my neck before I started my paleo journey.  I was so happy with the photos that I had them made into cards and bought enough to send one to pretty much everyone I know!  haha!!

Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Days 215 - 223...aka...Forever Grateful

Temptation at Work
Well, once again I felt myself slipping of this slippery slope....going back to some of my bad habits.  And then, once again, Geaux Crossfit came to the rescue.  It's getting to be the holiday season - a time for indulgence.  But my Geaux Crossfit family has still stepped up (more than I can ever imagine) to support me.

Below is an excerpt from the Geaux Crossfit website from October 31:

We are going to start our Paleo challenge November 7.  This challenge is different from the others because it is not just one month.  It’s all the way until December 31.  Bethany is only 30 pounds away from finishing her journey of losing 100 pounds, so lets show support by joining in on the challenge.  Get pumped Bethany!  We are going to blow that 100 out the water!

Temptation at Home
That's gym is rallying together to help me get off of this weight loss plateau and reach my goal.  How absolutely amazing is that?  So on Monday, I am going strict once again.  Amber is helping me eat better by not just eating paleo, but also thinking more about the amount of protein/fat/carbs I am consuming.  I know there will be many temptations during the holidays but I am determined to not overindulge.  I am also going to try hard to up my fitness routine.  Geaux Crossfit's commitment to me has helped me refocus.  I will reach my goal.  And when I do, I will set a new goal and reach that one too.

Thats the thing about Crossfit.  It makes me strive for things that, until now, I have always thought were unattainable.  It is not only about fitness.  Mentally and emotionally, I feel stronger than I ever have before.  I know my mind keeps going back to the same can I be so lucky to have Geaux Crossfit in my life?  I didn't know what a life changer it would be when I first opened those doors...and I am forever thankful.

I am stronger then temptation!
In addition to my weight loss goal, I have a fitness goal - to run a 5k by December 24.  I have never been a runner...the thought that this could be a reality is unbelievable to me.  And what a great Christmas present it would be for myself!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Days 211 - 214 aka getting back in the game

Feeling Fierce after a WOD at Geaux Crossfit
 I started back at Geaux Crossfit on Monday after 2 weeks off for vacation.  I met Candace for a run and we were able to complete a semi-slow two miles!  It really felt great...then on to the WOD.  Getting through the WOD was SOOOO much tougher than I imagined it to be.  My body was just not prepared for it. involved many squats and I didn't think I was going to make it through.... I have had this exact moment in my life happen to me many times.  I start going to the gym, then I travel or can't go for a couple of weeks...then I go back one more time...then that is it.  It is too hard. 

I feel like I sound like a Crossfit holy roller, preaching the good word.  But seriously, the ONE reason I went back to the gym today (even though my body was killing me from Monday's workout) was because of the people.  For the first time in my life, walking back into the doors of the gym, it felt like a relief.  I was greeted by everyone there and, more importantly, they supported me through the WOD.  They knew it was going to be tough and they were there to cheer me on.  Geaux Crossfit is a special place for me but, from what I understand, it is not necessary unique for it's sense of community.  There is something about Crossfit - the type of people it attracts, the way it is formatted, the trainers, that creates a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I started this morning by meeting Candace for a 1 mile run - the WOD consisted of a lot of running so we decided to keep it shorter.....Today's workout was a tough one for me - it involved even more squats!  I can already barely walk (my inner thighs are killing me!) but I made it through.  I was the last one to finish.  It was okay though - my cheerleaders were there - Amber, Candace, Murph, etc. 

WILL be back on Friday even if my prayers are not answered and I am stuck doing another WOD that involves squats.

Check out my Workout Logs at:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Days 200 - 210 aka Back to Reality

Me in my GOAL dress!
And I am back....back from an amazing road trip and perfect wedding!  It was all fabulous AND I got to wear my goal dress for the first time!!  It really was a magical night - I, along with my family and friends, danced the night away!  Matt and Sarah even had gluten free options - including a special paleo entree for me - delicious bacon wrapped scallops!

So hard to say NO!
The rest of the road trip was hard....especially after we stopped at the Russel Stover outlet.....I stayed away from gluten (except for one meal that must have had some hiding in the seasonings because I got super sick) but I did eat non-paleo items - cheese, chocolate, gluten free corn bread, more chocolate, diet coke, potato chips, gluten free crackers, a baked potato..... during my 9 day trip I gained four pounds!  I would like to say it was worth it but (except for the chocolate and the corn bread) it really wasn't.  I still have a headache, my skin looks like I am back in high school, and my energy level/mood was off.  This trip has just reconfirmed the fact that I feel entirely better when I am eating non processed/non fried/non sugary (aka paleo) food.  It was hard the rehearsal dinner everyone was oohing and ahhing about the amazing garlic butter rolls, my family went to an Italian restaurant one night for dinner...I couldn't even go..I knew it would be trouble (they started with a pizza for an appetizer...ugh)!, I had to say no to wedding cake, and a brownie sundae that was shared at another family dinner, and fair food at the Richmond Folk Festival....saying no to funnel cake when you are surrounded by people that are eating it is very hard!  The list can go on and on...... And truthfully, it made me grumpy to have to say no.  Why can everyone else enjoy those foods and not me?  Aren't these kinds of splurges what vacations are all about?  I know this is what alcoholics and other addicts must feel.  Seriously, I am realizing more and more that food is an addiction.  My cousin and I used to watch shows like the Biggest Loser and look at each other completely baffled - we don't have these big sob stories that lead to our overeating.  Her theory (which I agreed with at the time) is that for some reason, food just tastes better to us than others.  But now I think it is more than that.  We all know that addiction runs in families.... I think my love for food is going to be a constant struggle - I will never be one of those people so into my fitness and eating a healthy diet that I won't even want to eat the foods that are bad.  I know that foods like Cheetos and fast food are disgusting....but I still want to eat them...sick, huh?

Back to Reality!
Normally when I am dieting and then go on vacation, I usually come home and continue eating like I am still on vacation.  I have been home for two days now and have eaten 100% paleo.  I can feel my body going through withdrawal - I would do anything for some chocolate right is crazy how quickly your body can change!  But I am sticking with it.  And on Monday I start back running and Geaux Crossfit.  I cannot say often enough how my support system is so important to my success.  My trainer Amber has been sending me texts, my running buddy Candace just sent me an email about next week's running schedule, Kelly P. made sure I had paleo friendly foods waiting for me when I started back to work, my husband Jason cooked a paleo dinner last night that was just about ready when I got home from work...... it is pretty hard to fail when I have so many people around that are carrying me to the finish line.

I have about 4 months to lose 30 pounds - I am on a mission.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Days 193 - 199 aka the Power of a Stranger

the dreaded plank

overhead squat
These last few workouts have been tough for me.  Sometimes I leave Geaux Crossfit feeling fierce and focused.  But sometimes I leave feeling the weight of the battle I have been going through.  There are some exercises that just make me feel inferior to everyone is so aggravating and, I know I shouldn't feel like this, but so embarrassing for me.  A good example is the plank.  You basically hold your own body weight for a designated time - 1 or 2 minutes.  I can barely last 30 seconds...on a good day.  I hate it.  Then there is anything related to a squat - front squat/overhead squat/back squat...It drives me crazy...I try so hard and I always end up feeling a little bit defeated after a WOD that includes squats.  It's been over 6 months.  I don't like being the only one in the gym that can't do something.  The same goes for running.  I know that with any running - for a warm up or in a WOD - I will come in dead last.  My heart sinks a little bit when I see that there is running biggest nightmare would be a WOD with a plank warm up and then some sort of squat/run combination.

So, it is at those times that I really need to look for my inspiration to move on past a bad experience.  Amber (my fabulous trainer) recently told me that one or two women have joined Geaux Crossfit because of reading my blog.  I do not know them, have never met them or spoken to them.  But these women have become my inspiration.  I think of them when I am really struggling.....  I know that I don't have the strength to go through this journey alone so we have to be strong for each other.  The power of a stranger can be a really incredible thing.

Tomorrow I leave for a road trip to Richmond VA where my brother Matt will be marrying my friend Sarah.  I will be wearing my goal dress to the wedding that just barely fits!  I know I have to keep my eating in check during the road trip...extended drives used to be my ticket to the worst kind of eating - I would use it as an excuse - fast food, junk food from a convenience store, etc.... this time, I will be prepared.  I am packing a cooler full of paleo friendly options  - chicken, boiled eggs, salad, etc.  For my snack along the way I made something my colleague Kristen told me about - energy balls.  They are really delicious and really filling.  The original recipe comes from a great paleo-friendly website -  I modified the recipe a bit to make them paleo.  I brought some to Amber this morning who thought they were yummy.....below is the original recipe with my notes in ( ).
Abby and Lucas helped!
They love rolling the balls!
Spiced Cranberry Energy Balls
by Natalie

1 cup raw nuts (I used cashews and pecans)
1 cup rolled oats (instead I pulsated unsweetened coconut to almost a powder)
2/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T milled flaxseed (I didn't have so I didn't use)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2/3 cup nut butter (I used almond - check to make sure the only ingredient is almond)
2-3 T pure maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, to taste (I used honey)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries)

Grind the nuts and oats in a food processor or blender until there are no chunks larger than a pencil eraser. Dump into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the coconut, flaxseed, cinnamon and pinch of salt.

In a small bowl combine the nut butter, sweetener, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir for a few seconds. Add the cranberries. Finish mixing with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined. You should be able to press the entire mixture into one clump. If the mixture is too dry, add water 1 T at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You should be able to form balls easily, but the mixture shouldn't be mushy. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
These are great for traveling!  And for exercise Amber helped me come up with a series of 10 minute WODS to do when I am on the road.....traveling with a four year old and two year old leaves little time for exercise.  But 10 minutes once or twice a day seems doable!

So, on October 15 my brother will be getting married - while I am wearing my GOAL DRESS!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Days 187 - 192 aka A Different Person aka Bloodwork Results!

On the way to driving Abby to school today, she asked to look at my work i.d.  It has a photo on it that was taken about 5 years ago when I started my job.  I asked her if she knew who was in the photo.  She looked at it for a moment and replied, "It looks like you when you were someone else."  Sometimes her four year old mind amazes me!!   I feel like she pretty much summed up how I have been feeling lately...

Today I got the results back from the blood work I had done recently.  My endocrinologist did complete blood work about 1 month into starting paleo/crossfit.  The results were astounding....I still cannot get over them!

Jason cooked a wonderful paleo friendly stir fry tonight!
For the first time that I can remember, everything was normal - triglycerides, glucose, good and bad cholesterol...all of it.  Basically, in 6 months I have saved my life. I feel like, as of today, the cycle of obesity and obesity related illness in my family is over.    I come from a family of Type 2 Diabetics. I am no longer a statistic....I am fighting the good fight.

These results could not have come at a better time.  I really do feel myself slipping....a cheat here...a cheat there.  I have been eating out way too much.  I am sick of cooking.  It is past 8pm and I would rather be laying around watching tv..instead I am boiling eggs, grilling chicken, and packing breakfasts/lunches for the rest of the week.  I am tired and what to do what is easy...just grab some prepared food and be done with it.  I am getting ready to go on vacation in 8 days - normally preparation would involve researching the restaurants along the way to choose what I will be eating...instead, I am creating menus comprised of food that I can eat on the go.....healthy food that will help with my weight.

I would love to sleep in past 6am so I feel well rested...give my body a break from exercise so it isn't always aching...but I can't.  I have to concentrate on this rare opportunity I feel like I have to get healthy.

Abby was work i.d. photo was taken when I was someone else.  That someone had pretty much given up on herself.  The new me, on the other hand is just getting started.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Days 178 - 186 - AKA....WEIGH IN DAY!!!!

70 Pounds Gone!
 It has been a little over 6 months since I started my crossfit/paleo lifestyle and I cannot believe that I have list 70 pounds!  That is INSANE!!   I only have 30 pounds left to reach my goal of 100 pounds in a year....I know I have worked hard but, seriously, thanks to Geaux Crossfit, it has been easy!  I have never felt so focused and determined.  And, like a cherry on top of a paleo ice cream sundae (I guess a meat sundae??), yesterday's workout has left me feeling so strong.

I got to Geaux Crossfit early and ran a lonely 2 miles since my M-W-F running buddy Candace is on vacation.  Then we did a WOD called CrossFit Total that is all about lifting weights. - the workout consists of getting 1 max rep for three different weight lifts.  It started with the dreaded back squat.  Until yesterday, I have really only been focusing on conquering the squat.  Amber convinced me to try it out with weight and I started with 35 wasn't too bad so I kept on going up and up. and up. and up.  I finally stopped at 105!  I cannot believe it!  Once again, I had one of those "maybe I really can conquer the world" moments. 

Then I moved on to the shoulder press.  My max in the past was 55 so my goal was to beat that...and I did.  With 90 pounds!!

I saved the best for last.  The deadlift always makes me feel strong.  My heaviest deadlift to date was 125 pounds about a month ago.  I was hoping to beat it but I never thought that I would be able to lift 210 pounds!  Seriously!  Everyone else was already done because I added 5 or 10 pound increments over and over....since I had NO idea I would be able to lift so much.  I felt like I was in a documentary that was created to demonstrate what CrossFit is all about when I lifted 210.  Amber, as always, was there routing me on.  But so was everyone else from the morning crew. They could have been back at their houses by the time I was done.  But they weren't.  They waited until I was done.  They were surrounding me...cheering me on.  They were part of my moment.

Once again I am left feeling so thankful.  Sometimes I feel like a crazy religious person feeling the urge to spread the good word of Crossfit.  I no longer believe in excuses...take last week for example.  I worked 60+ hours because of a conference we were hosting.  Kelly P and I stuck to the diet by carting a cooler of paleo friendly food - hard boiled eggs, rotisserie chicken, paleo meatballs, etc..with us everywhere we went.  There was one point where we were sitting on the floor behind a curtain at the River Center shoving in some chicken...all I could think about was how times have changed!!  I exercised every chance I had and got right back into my Crossfit routine as soon as possible.  I had a root canal on Monday and actually had to change the time a bit so I had time to head to the gym before the dentist!  I DID NOT want to miss the WOD! 

And, after spending all evening completing a frantic search of my house for my beloved jump rope, I almost cried with relief when my Mum called to tell me she found it at her house.  So, I am getting ready to drive over in my pajamas so I will have it for tomorrow's WOD.... life has changed. 

The thing is, we all have our excuses.  I have 2 young husband had to work late....I am PTO president.....I work 40+ hours....I travel. a lot.  But I am also 70 pounds lighter than I was 6 months ago and have never felt better!

And in just a little over 2 weeks, I will be wearing my goal dress...dancing under the stars at my brother's wedding.  I can barely wait.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Days 174 - 177 aka...did that really happen or was it a dream?

Geaux Crossfit Family
Yesterday was the big day - Fight Gone Bad!  It was AMAZING!  I just feel like it was one of those experiences that could be life changing or, at the very least, it was a day I will never forget.  And I am not just talking about my 17 minutes....there is just something about supporting other people that are going through it...yelling for others..trying to motivate them.  I am so thankful to be a part of the Geaux Crossfit family....this day was really what it was all about.  I really never even thought about the possibility of a gym being a that supports each other and cares for each other.  We get that at home and at work and with our neighbors.  But with a gym?  I really feel badly for people that are too scared to walk through the door.  A little less than 6 months ago that was me.  I remember calling my husband from the parking lot of Geaux Crossfit..I was crying...having a panic attack..and was so scared.  But luckily I knew Catherine was in there waiting for me - my dear friend and former trainer.  Without her I would not have walked through the door.

Getting Through It!
Back to Fight Gone Bad.  I was super nervous on the drive there and then when I first arrived.  But, for some reason, when the day began I started to feel pretty calm about the workout itself.  The first heat started at 9am and by the time it was my turn at 11:30, I was ready.  It was really brutal - so much harder than when we do it at the gym.  It was so hot - the air felt like a sauna.  There was actually a point during Round 2 that I didn't think I was going to be able finish..but I did and got a score of 198.  I have no idea if that is good and I really do not care.  It just set an easy goal for next year - get in the 200s....

Amber Looking Soooo Strong!
During Round 3...I was feeling the pain.  Exhaustion was setting in and I had enough.  But seriously, I had one of those moments in life...I don't even know how to put it in words.  I wish I could have taken a photo.  I could literally feel the love around me.  I was doing box jumps and was suddenly overcome with thankfulness and happiness for the fact that I was literally surrounded by people that have carried me to that moment.  My parents, husband and children were all there screaming for me.  My dear friend Kelly P. was there with her parents and son, my friend Heather who is a former colleague...I didn't even know she knew about the event, and my Geaux Crossfit family.  Tom, who is part of the 6am crew came to cheer me on even though he wasn't competing, the owner Johnny, Catherine, and the rest of the Geaux Crossfit family - some I consider friends and others I met for the first time that day.  And my beloved trainer Amber.  She is the one that pushes me to do my best everyday.  She has confidence in me even when I don't.  She is really the one that got me to a point where I felt like I could even attempt something like Fight Gone Bad.  I knew I couldn't let her I pushed through it and finished!!

Truthfully, I am still riding high because of yesterday.  For the first time in my life, I felt like an athlete.  I really never thought I would...and I am going to allow myself this quiet, internal celebration for a few more hours... then, when my alarm rings tomorrow morning, it is back to reality and, more importantly, back to Crossfit!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Sleep Gone Bad" aka Days 168 - 173

Yup!  That's me doing PULL UPS!! 
Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these things....on Saturday, I will be competing with 100s of other Louisiana Crossfitters in a workout fundraiser called Fight Gone Bad.  I am concerned. worried. nervous. scared. TERRIFIED!!!! I  cannot sleep at night because I am so scared. It would be one thing if I had done any kind of sport before but I really haven't.  I have never had an audience when doing something physical.  And yes, I am proud of myself for my success.  But, to a stranger watching, I am still the biggest girl at the gym.....and from 11:30am - 11:47am on Saturday, everyone will be watching me struggle through a grueling workout.  I know I have to face my fears though....the money goes to the families of fallen soldiers.  As tough as Saturday will be for me, it will never compare to what these wives, moms, children, brothers, sisters, dads, cousins....are going through.  I will be there on Saturday without a moment's hesitation.

Sooo...gluten free shopping has gotten alot easier at my neighborhood grocery store - Albertsons!  I know that gluten free does not mean paleo, but it sure is a step in the right direction.  Just about everything is labeled - gluten really does seem to be in everything!

see ya later fat clothes!
Over the last couple of weeks, Jason and I have been really cleaning out our closets - trying to get rid of the junk we haven't used in years.....stuff we don't need.  Well, I finally did what I have been wanting to do for a couple weeks.  I got rid of all of my clothes that are now too big for me - 5 trash bags of clothes were donated to the Salvation Army!!!  I thought about burning some of it in our outdoor fireplace...but figured it would be better off if other people had an opportunity to wear them.  Getting rid of these clothes has helped me feel really committed.  There is no going back. I WILL NOT go back.

Thank you Albertsons!!
Workouts have been good - I feel like I am really being pushed to my limits.  I have upped my running and am now going a total of 1.375 miles (as of today!) on Monday/Weds/Friday and doing a mile on Tues/Thurs/ and sometimes Saturday.  I did my first set of pull ups that were all arm strength - no jumping from the ground.  It was one of those want to cry I am so excited but I can't because everyone will think I am a dork kind of moments. 7 days I will have been doing the paleo/crossfit lifestyle for 1/2 of a year!  AMAZING!  That means that on September 20th, the 6 month countdown to my 1 year goal begins!!!


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Days 163 - 167 aka HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

Houston Weekend.ugh
I have pretty much been on the road since Friday.  My mum, Abby and I decided to head to Houston for a girls weekend - we spent our time at Ikea, the Galleria Mall and eating....yup.  It was my best worst few days of eating in over 162 days.  I stayed away from the dreaded gluten, but managed to eat mashed potatoes, ice cream, gluten free crackers with a variety of cheeses and chocolate.  The damage has been done- I gained three pounds.  That brings my weight loss from 67 to 64 pounds.  In some ways I feel awful about it but in other ways I feel like that is life.  I splurged and, when the weekend was over, I got back to healthy eating and exercise.  Yes, I know I could have made better choices......but I didn't.
post crossfit workout

When my alarm went off on Tuesday, I did not want to exercise.  I think I was still detoxing from eating bad on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  And I was tired because Lucas got up at 3:00am on Sunday night and was ready to party....I was really exhausted.  But I forced myself to go - so I ran 1.25 miles and then did a killer workout at Geaux Crossfit (jack). 

When I was done, I had just enough time to get home, shower, put my luggage in my car and head to the airport.  I am in Little Rock for the week attending a conference.  After my horrible eating during the weekend, I knew I had to come prepared.  I called the hotel and, unfortunately, they do not have fridges in the room.  Sooo....I packed up my perishable paleo treats (aka sliced boiled eggs and shredded chicken) and loaded them in a cooler with plenty of ice cooler went into my checked the luggage and made it to Little Rock still ice cold!  Since there is no fridge, I have been getting ice to put in the cooler every morning and evening.

No lasagna for me, thank you.

Paleo on Ice

The folks that planned this conference have been super accommodating by providing me with gluten free dinners and lunches.  While the opening reception meal was not paleo (aka rice was served), I know my colleagues were jealous because while they were shoveling in cheesy lasagna and garlic bread and brownies, I ate a delicious and healthy meal that included fresh veggies and chicken.

This morning my alarm went off at 5:30am even though my conference didn't start until 8:00am....I am not going to lie, it was hard for me to get out bed to workout.  Then I thought of my fabulous trainer Amber...she works so hard to help everyone live a healthy life and is great at pushing all of us to reach our goals.  I couldn't let her down.  My plan was to go to a beautiful running path along the river by my hotel but it was pitch black out.  So instead I went to the gym at the hotel.  This was just another reminder that I am so incredibly lucky to have found Crossfit.  A "normal" gym is just so boring...I cannot stand it.  I forced myself to run on the treadmill for 1/2 mile and then I climbed 10 flights on the stairmaster.  I did the circuit of weight training and came back to my room and did 50 sit ups.  I am so sad that I forgot my beloved jump rope at home....but am trying to make the best of it.

Tonight I went out to dinner with some of my fabulous colleagues from across the country.  How lucky (and rare) it is to be surrounded by such intelligent women who share the same passions.  Ordering made me a little stressed - I wanted pasta, or nachos, or fries....luckily the restaurant I went to had a great paleo option - a 90% lean beef hamburger patty covered with amazing sauteed vegetables.  I reluctantly ordered this, thinking I would be disappointed.  It was DELICIOUS!  I cannot wait to get home and try to replicated it in my kitchen!  On the way back to the hotel, I almost had a moment of weakness that included ice cream, but managed to pull myself together just in time.

Soooo...tomorrow's a new day.  I am about 14 days away from the 6 month mark of this journey!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Days 161 and 162 aka WEIGH IN DAY!! aka times are a changing!

Yup, I just ran a mile and did a WOD!
Well, I finally weighed in again and I lost 7 pounds!  That brings my total up to 67 pounds which leaves me only 51 pounds left to reach my (current) final goal of reaching normal BMI in one year!  I am so incredibly excited!

Today, thanks to my Crossfit running buddy, Candice, I upped the distance and ran 1.25 miles!  That is so unbelievable to me!  I'm hoping that in a week or two I will be up to 1.5!  I am determined to run the 5k on March 10, 2012 so my training has to be in full swing!

This morning at Geaux Crossfit, my fabulous trainer Amber asked me to think about how I have changed since losing all of this weight.  Sooo...I thought I would create a list:

1. The back pain I have suffered for years (and tried to treat with massage and physical therapy) is gone.
2. Even though I get up earlier and am doing more physical activity, I am less tired.
3. I have muscles.  Seriously...sometimes I will go to scratch my leg or something, I am startled by the firmness of certain body parts!
4. my feet no longer ache.  They ached pretty much all the time.  If I went to the mall shopping sometimes I couldn't to the whole was too painful.  Now, much to my husband's dismay, I have no problem spending the whole day shopping!!
5. my stomach is no longer red with pain.  Seriously.  I was at the biggest sizes in the store and they were still tight.  By the end of the day, I had a ring around my waist from my pants rubbing.  Not only is that totally embarrassing but it also hurt.  Some days the skin would be rubbed off to the point where it was an open sore.
6. my kids don't exhaust me.  As much.  I think a 2 year old and 4 year old can exhaust even the fittest person.  But I am so happy that I can play, really play with them.  I can get down on the floor, I can run around the backyard, I can walk with them to the park. 

primal eating = YUM!
A lot of people don't know this, but I suffered from postpartem depression.  I didn't seek treatment after I had Abby and I think Jason was really the only one who knew.  2 years later, I had Lucas and it really spun out of control.  There were some days when I couldn't even get out of bed.  I was a horrible mother and my marriage suffered dearly.  I really think that if I did not find Crossfit, our marriage may have gotten to the point of no return.  Thank God Jason stuck threw all of it with me.  When you are not happy with yourself it is so hard to accept the love of others.  I was body weight made me uncomfortable and tired.  I never wanted to go out with Jason's friends because I was embarrassed for him.  I felt bad for my brothers and my parents...I thought everyone was talking about my weight behind my back.  And, knowing my family, they probably were..haah  But seriously, it is so hard to understand what being obese feels like to someone that never has been overweight.  It makes no sense. You are miserable because you are fat...and that feeling of misery makes you eat.  Then you feel depressed for eating and then you would feel miserable again...and so on.  It is sick, really.  I would eat in my room by myself with the doors clothes.  And I am not talking about just a few cookies...I am talking about the type of binging you see in the movies.  I cannot believe that was me just 162 days ago!

Now, I really do feel great!  Of course, we all have our moments.  It is aggravating to lose 60+ pounds and still have to shop at the fat lady stores.  But, for the first time,  I feel strong - both physically and mentally.  This is my mission and I know I will reach my goal.  And, probably even more importantly, I will then set another running a further distance, or bench pressing more weight, or actually doing a squat. ha

I will weigh in again in 20 days.  At the halfway point...when 6 months are done and I have 6 months to go!

Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Days 154 - 160...aka...sooo incredibly tired!

I am exhausted.  I'm not going to lie.  It isn't even 8pm yet and I am already in bed forcing myself to stay awake long enough to write. I have NEVER been a napper and now...well now...when the kids take their naps on Saturday...I have a hard time not having a rest myself.

Running 5-6 days in addition to crossfitting has wiped me out.  There have been days, like this morning, where it is a real struggle to get myself out of bed.  Thank goodness for the folks at Geaux Crossfit to keep me focused.  I have been meeting a fellow crossfitter, Candace, in the mornings to run a mile before the WOD.  After our run today we did a WOD call Tabata.  When I read it the night before, I actually didn't think it would be that bad.  But, man, it was brutal:

Workout of the DayWork up to 1 heavy set of 3 Deadlift (125 pounds!!)

Then Tabata:

-Sit Ups (with abmat)
-Push Ups (I did super modified)
-Double Unders (I did singles)
Tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.  The score is the lowest number of repetitions you get on any of the 8 rounds.  You will receive a 1 minute break between stations.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember all my times.  I think I did 7 squats, 8 something sit ups, 5 push ups, and 32 singles....

Watermelon on a Stick...Paleo lollipop!
So, after today's 1 mile run AND crazy WOD, I was ready to go into work to tell Kelly P. to forget about our 1 mile run tomorrow.  And then Amber wrote a post for her blog that focuses on my journey.  It made me sit at my desk and cry like a baby!  The quote that, really, really gave me the motivation I needed to get focused for tomorrow's run was "She is a fine example of the discipline and will power it takes to be healthy."  Amber was talking about ME!!!  I am a fine example of health?  Is Hell freezing over?  Seriously?  That is amazing to me.  What Amber doesn't understand is the fact that my success IS because of her and the other folks at Geaux Crossfit.  She keeps me motivated, has always treated me with respect, has the ability to scale the WODS so I don't feel embarrassed in front of my peers, celebrates my successes with me.... I honestly feel so lucky! 

You can read her blog at:
Happy Paleoversary!

Eating has been going well - the weekends are hard.  But it has been so much easier since Jason has joined the Paleo bandwagon!  For his two week paleoversary (yes, I made up this word), I made him some lamb chops with a big ole salad.... I have continued to spend Sundays cooking for the week.  Yesterday included - paleo chicken and squash curry with cauliflower rice, sausage and peppers and onions, tilapia with steamed veggies, and hard boiled eggs.  That will be enough food to get us through for most of the week!

Two days till weigh-in!  I hope it goes well....I want to lose 15 pounds before my brother's weddings (Oct. 15) and..100 pounds by January and.....gulp...118 pounds by the end of March!  I know those are some major goals...seriously.  Can I lose 118 pounds in one year?  Amber seems to think so.  And because she does, so do I! 

Time for sleep so I can get up and run tomorrow morning!

Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Days 149 - 153...aka..its all routine

Post Geaux Crossfit WOD
 This last week has felt really good - I've been Geaux Crossfitting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and running a mile with Kelly P. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. My body is constantly a little achy and I LOVE it!  Geaux Crossfit has changed a lot since I started 153 days ago...there are more females!  It is fabulous!  I am so proud of us girls getting stronger with the help of trainer Amber. 

Paleo Grocery Cart
My eating has been really great.  Now that Jason has joined in on the Paleo fun, I find myself more inspired to be prepared and ready for every meal.  Sunday is my big cook day...this Sunday included many, many hard boiled eggs, Mexican chicken, lean hamburger steaks, t-bones, ham, carrots, asparagus, zucchini, and summer squash.  Hopefully, it's enough food to last for breakfasts and lunches until is exhausting spending my Sunday in the kitchen, often with the kids "helping" me cook...but after 153 days, I have learned that my success depends on how prepared I am.

Lunch=meat with a side of meat
Kelly P. and I were talking about food today.  It's funny..when things are stressful, we still both want to eat.  It really doesn't even matter what we eat...we just want to shove food down our throats until we feel like we are gonna burst.  How sick is that?  Seriously......sooo...I got a big bag of assorted nuts in the the kind our grandmas used to have at their houses - hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, is an effort to crack the shell and get to the nut.  It takes time...and that has totally helped with my snacking.  Nuts are paleo but it is way to easy to throw a handful in your mouth and just eat them up without thinking about it....I kinda feel like my weight loss is close to a plateau so I'm doing my best to manage my calories!

grilling up some meat
My brother's wedding is in 54 days...I am so close to being able to fit into my goal dress!  If I can just lose a few more pounds......I am starting to wonder how much weight I need to lose to hit goal...I looked it up online and I figured out that I need to lose 58 more pounds in order to have a normal or healthy BMI.  If that is true, it will mean I'm already more than halfway there compared to my starting weight!  At one time I would have been totally overwhelmed with the idea of having to lose 58 pounds..but now I feel like it will just be a matter of much time?  I don't know. 

So far it has worked for me to focus on small goals.  So my next goal is to lose 15 more pounds by my brother's wedding on October 15.  54 days...15 pounds. 

Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Days 143 - 148...aka Bethany the BEAST has appeared

Me in "Beast" Mode
I don't know why, but the pity party I was feeling for myself on Wednesday turned into motivation to push myself harder by Friday.  After Friday's WOD, my fabulous trainer Amber told me I was a beast at Geaux Crossfit....haha...I really do not want to admit this but Amber has pushed me to a point where I am actually enjoying to run.  Last week I committed to running on the days I don't do Crossfit -  Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday....but I have also been getting up early and running the mile BEFORE the WOD too...I cannot believe it - I ran over 6 miles last week!  I never thought I could do it!  When I started Crossfit, I couldn't even run one lap around the building (200 meters) but today I realized that I didn't even start to have any shortness of breath until about the 1/2 mile point....I am so curious to see how this extra cardio will affect my weight loss.  I have decided to put off my weigh in for an extra week.
Moment of Weakness...

pork stir fry = breakfast

Food is, and probably always will be, a struggle.  I have recently been reinspired though because my husband Jason has decided to give Paleo a try!  He started on Saturday and has done really well - even on his poker night he avoided garlic bread, shrimp fettuccine, and cheesecake!  Wowo!  That is some will power!  I do feel like I have been really critical of myself.  But as this really does become more of a lifestyle and less of a diet plan, I am realizing that the occasional slip up is's just how you handle it afterwards.  I am trying hard to not let one mistake spiral into a day of mistakes.

bye bye sushi....hello sashimi!
My body is exhausted - my problems sleeping are definitely problems no more.  I actually think that I have worn out my about 5 months!  Usually my sneakers last 5 years..haha's time for me to start making some goals...yes, I want to lose 100 pounds by January.  But I also want to run a 5k...I want to be able to RX some WODs.  I want to be able to do a pull up.  And a box jump.  And a double under...and a f-ing squat....

Running out the door of Geaux Crossfit......


Want to know what I've been eating? Check out my food log at: