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.