Training Log: BOOM!

I’ve had a unicorn week of training.

I think the 8 days off from bells helped :)

These weeks are magical when they happen.  They remind you WHY you do what you do (even if you know you love it anyway).

I staggered my week like this:

Wednesday – Strength (and VOLUME)

Saturday – Cardio-y Endurance Hard Shit

Sunday – Strength (I LOVE STRENGTH)

Monday – Endurance (swings and double swings) and that flippin’ snatch test!

Wednesday – Strengthy Goodness

Thursday  – Complexes (oy)

You know what?  I’m gonna just enjoy the fabulousness of this week and call it good.  (because normally I’d over-analyze WHY it went so great.)

Things that I have been working on this week, and for the past few weeks:

– Eating protein.  I have been tracking my macros for a bit now, because it helps me get enough.  Coming from years of a diet mindset, sometimes I’m not able to understand what getting enough means.  I’m shooting for between 125-150 grams per day of protein, and usually landing closer to 150g.  This is based on a calculation FOR ME, for my physical activity, for my weight, etc.  So this is sorta specific.  **I don’t enjoy tracking my macros, but it does help me make a shift back to how a normal, healthy, active individual SHOULD eat, and not a “dieter trying to burn the calories.”  I intend to track a bit longer, and then let myself figure it out again.  I suspect I will float between tracking and not tracking for awhile.

– Making sure I’m starching up pre and post workout.  This is highly individual for peeps, but I find when my meals or snacks surrounding workouts are “carbed up” a bit, my energy rocks (and so does my recovery).

– Getting the heck to bed at night.  And winding down before bed.  And my sleep has been SUPER AWESOME this week, except for one night.  So I am enjoying extra energy from food AND being well-rested.

– Taking a peek once in a while at the beginning of my RKC training logs.  I couldn’t do all the sets on my complex days with the 16kg for most of my training.  I can now.  WOW.  I also can hang for 20 -30 minutes of consistent equal work to equal rest swings.  And I’m hitting the snatch test.  BOOM.  Those things were non-existent back early in 2015 when I started training hard.  I love progress (and I love that zero of these things have to do with the scale).

I have like one more week of normal training and then back off before RKC time!

 

Training Log: Blah Blah Blah Stress

It has been awhile since I wrote a training log!  Truth is, I’m crunched on time, and writing feels like a luxury.  The other part of the truth is……I hadn’t touched a kettlebell for a good eight days after finishing up my training program in April.

I’ll just get right to the nitty-gritty.

The final week in April was the last of the “hard shitty volume” part of my training program for the RKC.  I think I mentally was over it that week and knew I was going to take a few days off before starting again at a little less volume.

At the same time, life happened, and I was working a lot and for long hours at a crack and I let my schedule run me over with a Mac truck.

My husband and I were on weird opposite schedules, which makes home life balance rock off kilter a bit (kind of our norm with our weird schedules, but still sucks non-the-less).

Weekends were busy.

Alllllll that combined made me shut down.  Shutting down is usually my response during stress-y times.  That’s my usual.  Sometimes I combine it with shitty emotional eating.  Sometimes I don’t, and I lose my appetite (which is WEIRD for me because I LOVE eating).  This time I lost my appetite.

Alllllll this leads to shitastic sleep, no matter if I go to bed at a decent hour or not.  I’m a good sleeper, so I know somethings up when I’m “tired but wired” at bedtime.

It isn’t fun telling your readers that you let stress get to you (especially when you talk and write about the importance of managing stress).  I also want you to have a realistic picture of how I operate.  EVERYONE has life happening – these things are inevitable.  What’s important is that we LEARN from them and move on.

**And for the record, my stressors in life are a walk in the park to things other people face.  **  The big key here is I need to work on learning how to deal a little bit better EARLIER in the game versus get steam rolled all at one time.  But at the same time, life happens sometimes, and dealing, learning, and being a little compassionate are alright too.  I also need to up my game on saying no and setting hella big boundaries around my time.

So, where do I go from here?

Basically, keep plugging away.  I picked up a kettlebell again this past Sunday, and I knew it wasn’t going to be the most favorite things I had ever done, but I also knew I didn’t want to avoid it for another day.  I also picked up a huge strength workout with some fab ladies on Monday, and today.  And then…….Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week – I will do endurance/possible snatch test, strength, and then endurance again.

Here is the missing piece of the puzzle related to training for the RKC for me…….

…..I can lift shit no problem.  The heavier the better.  I tend to get a little bucky when I have to do lots of reps for long periods of time, BUT I’ve been facing that demon with my training.  The BIGGIE for me, the head game.  This is a mental game for me.  All mental.  I KNOW I’m strong enough to go through the RKC.  I know I can rock the snatch test, and all that shiz.  But how will I compare to others?  And I know that’s silly to even say.  But I have changed my job from accountant to fitness chick here these past few years, and I’m still learning.  And now I’m the small fish in a big lake at the RKC, with people who have many more credentials in this fitness game than I do.  THAT is the hard part for me.  “Comparison is the thief of joy” and all that…..I can tell myself that all day every day.  But at the same time, THAT is where my insecurity ALWAYS shows her face.  When I continually question if I’m good enough.

At the end of the day, WE are ALL good enough, and deep down we know that.  But those sneaky little insecurities will always, always, ALWAYS show up when we don’t need them at all, and they will do crazy shit to our brain.

I guess it’s time to tell them to STFU.

 

Everyday Inspiration: Meet Jackie!

We have another Everyday Inspiration in the house!

Truth be told, I’m lucky to have many Everyday Inspirations around me.  Getting time to interview people and write frequently right now is a luxury…..that only happens every so often, because, you know, life :).  I feel like one lucky lady to have so many people in my life that are awesome and inspiring!  Like we know from the first interviews, an Everyday Inspiration is someone who inspires me (and likely others!) to keep pushing on in my quest to live a healthy, whole, happy life.  These inspiring folks are day in, day out living their lives with a major investment in themselves, and are committed to healthy habits that work for them.  Every single day.

This one comes to me by way of good old-fashioned small town living.  Those are the best, because you know “of” people, but then suddenly you meet them and can’t believe it took you this long to get to know them better!  I see this one kicking ass around town, and kicking ass in the gym!  And…..she kicks ass weekdays (and everyday!!) in her home, working out with her kids by her side.

Meet Jackie!  20150323_095035

 

Jackie is a stay at home mom meets home workout extraordinaire meets runs a household successfully meets future Tough Mudder!  Basically, she is totes rad.

I asked Jackie a ton of questions (personal ones too!).  Here is what she had to say……

Did you have a wake-up call moment?  Like, something or someone inspired you to make a change?  Or did you just decide to make a lot of small changes?

I guess seeing my mom’s battle with early onset Alzheimer’s and how she changed both inside and out was what really inspired me to do something.  As her disease progressed, the mom I knew was fading away.  Alzheimer’s took her sparkle and glow, her silliness, her beautiful smile.  I felt as though the more we lost her the more I couldn’t remember who and what she was.  The pictures I have of her living her life is what I use to remind me of who she was, they are what keeps the mom I know and love with me even now that she is gone.  But then I realized  should I be dealt the same fate as my mom, my kids won’t have ANY pictures of me.  Pictures of me looking happy, pictures of me with my husband, of me playing and being silly with them.  I rarely let people take pictures of me because I was not comfortable with the way I looked.  I didn’t want those images of me carved in stone, so to speak, because I always thought I’ll change, I’ll lose weight then I’ll be comfortable with pictures.  But I wasn’t changing, I wasn’t losing weight.  I was never getting those pictures and that scared the hell out of me!  My kids wouldn’t have something that might provide them with some comfort and peace if I didn’t do something.  I needed to get my nutrition in line because that was what was most out of control.

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Tell us about how you view yourself now versus a few years ago?  Anything from how you view your body, your prioritization of your health and wellness, and any lessons you have learned along the way.

I now view myself as capable.  I feel like I could do just about anything.  My mindset now is: Maybe I physically can’t do “it” right now, but with training and dedication I will get there.

Now I prioritize my workouts.  I mostly workout in the morning after breakfast.  I don’t schedule other activities or appointments during that time unless absolutely necessary.  It’s become just a part of my daily tasks and I actually get upset if I’m not able to get my morning workout in.  In the past it was easy to fill my day with other thing in order to give myself an excuse to not workout.  I also strive to not go more than two days without really moving my body.

Tell us about your current training routine. What does it all entail?

I workout about 30 min per day, 5 days a week.  Mostly I do videos at home.  I’m crazy about many of the Beachbody fitness programs.  Some of my faves are T25, Insanity Max 30, and TurboFire.  I also attend TMWR’s S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H once a week which has inspired me to lift more and lift heavier.  I also hit up the cardio kickboxing class held at TMWR.  I love, love, LOVE this class!  I try to do one active recovery day per week, which usually is yoga or some sort of stretching.  I truly believe in a balanced fitness program – strength, cardio, and flexibility.

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What is your biggest motivator?

Being a good example for my kids is a huge motivator, but I think my biggest one is to be able to say to myself, “BOOM!  Look what you just did!”  I love getting (not to quote Kanye West,  but I will) harder, better, faster, stronger!

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What do you do to pump yourself up when the last thing you want to do is a workout or prepare a healthy meal?

It’s not often that I need to pump myself up for a workout because working out keeps me sane!  All the DVD workout programs I do come with a workout schedule and I rely on those to keep me on track.  I have them up on my fridge and cross off each day I complete.  If I’m not feeling up to a particular workout I just do it so I can cross it off.  Sometimes it’s just the little things!  When I get to the end of the calendar, which are usually 60-90 days i say, “You just did that!”

I try to keep my fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy foods.  I find if I prep ahead of time I always have a healthy meal ready to heat up if I don’t exactly feel like making one. Sometimes I don’t feel like eating a healthy meal so I don’t.  I just try to choose healthy most of the time.

What’s your favorite exercise?

Right now my favorite exercise is cardio kickboxing at TMWR.  It really pushes me to work hard.  I like that it combines strength, cardio, speed, and agility.  And honestly, I love kicking, kneeing, and punching the sh*t out of stuff!

Do you weigh or measure yourself, and why?

I haven’t weighed or measured myself for a couple of months now.  While I was losing weight I weighed weekly – why not when it’s going in the direction that makes you feel great, right?  When I got to a healthy weight for me I got a little messed up in the head.  I wasn’t losing anymore so I didn’t have that number to define my “success” for the week.  At one point, I think I wanted to lose a little more, but in order to do that I was going to have to be crazy strict with eating – no extras.  I did try that but I wasn’t happy doing that, which would lead to bingeing on less than desirable foods.  I didn’t need to lose anymore but I needed something to tell me that all the work I was doing was doing something.  So I started focusing more on strength and what I could do with my body.   I’m sure I’ll weigh myself at some point again, but for right now I’m choosing to not let that number consume me.  As long as my pants fit – I’m good with that.

Tell us about your eating habits.

I began following a nutrition program last spring.  It’s not really a diet, it’s more about teaching you what foods are better fuel and in what portion.

For breakfast I almost always eat 2 eggs with mushrooms, onions, peppers.  I love making egg muffins ahead and then I all I have to do in the morning is heat them up. Each muffin equals one egg and 1/2 cup of veggies.  I eat at least two egg muffins. I also eat toast or fresh fruit with my eggs in the morning.  For my morning/post workout snack I drink a protein shake combined with kale and banana.  Lunch is generally a protein, veggie, and carb like a huge plate full of greens with chicken breast, quinoa, feta cheese, and a vinaigrette dressing.  Afternoon snack is always hard for me, I crave crackers and snack foods.  I try to choose an apple with peanut butter or toast with avocado smeared all over it.  Sometimes it’s  plain oatmeal with strawberries.  Dinner is also a protein, veggie, and carb combo.  I like turkey chili, turkey meatloaf, or simply a big hunk of meat with sautéed veggies and brown rice.  If I go a little crazy about at a meal or for a whole day I tell myself, I ate what I ate and move on.

Be honest, everyone has a favorite food indulgence…what’s yours?

Do I have to pick one?  I love food!  I like sweets and any chip with a dip.  Salty starchy foods are a comfort food to me.  I used to get excited for when the kids were in bed – it was like a license to binge on junk food!  I still eat chips and sweets, but I try to not keep them in the house.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone beginning a body or life transformation, what would it be?

Find some sort of movement that you at least kind of like and make it a priority.  Don’t let it be something you can cross off your schedule because something else came up. Also don’t give up on your day or your plan if you indulged more than you intended to.  Just move on.

How have you changed since beginning your journey?

I feel happier!  I’ve begun to see myself for what I can do instead of what I don’t like.  I think I don’t let the little things bother me as much as they used to.  I’m more of fun as a mom (and wife too!).  Since I began taking better care of my fitness and nutrition I have noticed that I take better care of what’s in my head.  When negative thoughts about the way I look creep into my head it’s easier for me to throw them out now.

Wait….just one more item we need cleared up…True or false: You check out your “gun show” in the mirror every once in a while.

You know it!! You gotta check out the pipes every once in a while!  My kids even check out their “gun show” once in a while!

Anything else you would like to share?

As a stay at home mom of 3, I know how hard it can be to get to the gym to exercise.  When I first started working out my kids were so little it was hard to do anything other than workout at home.  For me, doing workouts at home is doable, even with my kiddos running around and climbing all over me.  It may seem daunting to try to fit exercise into a busy schedule but it doesn’t have to be long.  When I first started sometimes my workouts were only 20 min.  Eventually my kids got used to our schedule and they know that after breakfast mom’s going to exercise.  It’s not perfect everyday.  Some days I have to stop to change a poopy diaper or get someone water or break up a fight.  The more I kept exercise as part of our day the easier it got for everyone.

Jackie, thank you SO MUCH for sharing a little bit about you and your life!  You are very real about the fun stuff and about the not-so-fun stuff, and it is so much fun having you a part of my tribe!

Everyday Inspiration: Meet Stephanie!

We have another Everyday Inspiration in the house!  It ROCKS to have so many fabulous people in my life!  On this blog, Everyday Inspirations are those around us who inspire us to keep pushing on in our quest to live a healthy, happy, WHOLE life.  I have a feeling we shall be seeing more of these down the line……. :)

I am fortunate to have met Stephanie almost two years ago.  She looked me up out of nowhere and was wondering about teaching a little yoga in my lovely little gym.  When we met, we realized we both had curly hair, and we both loved fitness.  We keep in touch, and I love having someone who also lifts to shoot the breeze with.  I know I can talk to her about heavy deadlifts, and even if we don’t see each other often, she just GETS it.  You know, like lifters do.  :)

So, here we are!  Everyone, meet Stephanie!  She is gracious enough to answer a few questions.  Read on!

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Did you have a wake-up call moment?  Like, something or someone inspired you to make a change?  Or did you just decide to make a lot of small changes?  Or have you always been into health your whole life?

-I’ve been interested in health and fitness most of my life. I’ve been active in one way or another since I was a little girl. My health and fitness as a whole has been refined over the years as I figure out what works best for me.

Tell us about how you view yourself now versus a few years ago?  Anything from how you view your body, your prioritization of your health and wellness, and any lessons you have learned along the way.

-The last few years I’ve been through two pregnancies, and my body has changed a lot. During and after my pregnancies I had to learn how to slow down and listen to my body. Slowing down is a hard concept for me. There were also days that I could challenge myself, but I needed to tune into what my body was wanting that day, especially during pregnancy. Getting back into fitness after giving birth gave me a new appreciation for the fitness journey.  I’ve always been somewhat athletic, so for me giving myself time to heal and easing back into fitness was a good learning experience and also a discipline.

Tell us about your current training routine. What does it all entail?

  • CrossFit 3-4 x/week
  • 1-2 days I do yoga and/or core
  • 1 or 2 days I will fill in the gap where I feel I need it, it might be weight lifting, body weight exercises or more yoga. I also love doing the workouts on VIP-TV by Revelation Wellness
  • I like to stretch to wind down before bed
  • 1 day per week I will rest. I might walk or stretch a bit, but that’s it

What is your biggest motivator?

-My kids. I want to be able to play with them and feel good doing it. My 2 ½ year old son has a TON of energy, so I have my work cut out for me keeping up with him! My kids also watch me while I workout sometimes. I want to be a healthy example for them. My 2 year old will copy my exercises. He likes to do handstands at the wall and squats! The same with food, my kids see what I put in my mouth and then that’s what they want to eat, whether it is broccoli or a cupcake. If I’m not eating healthy, how could I expect my kids to?

Handstand copycat!
Handstand copycat!

Also, having a community of people to workout with, to support you and to hold you accountable makes it so much more fun! Shout-out to my Crusher family at Crusher CrossFit! They are a big motivator for me. I am also training for a CrossFit competition, so that motivates me to get my rear in gear. It helps me to have a something like a competition or a race to give me a focus for my goals and to give me a timeline to do it in.

What do you do to pump yourself up when the last thing you want to do is a workout or prepare a healthy meal?

-I just remember that I am one workout away from a good mood. Exercise is my therapy. It’s a time for me to process things and it helps me be a better mom and wife. I really look forward to my exercise times. It’s my GET TO, NOT my HAVE TO. When it comes to food, like I said before, my son watches what I put in my mouth. My motivator is that I want to have a healthy family. I also don’t keep a lot of junk food in the house, so I would have to go out of my way to cook unhealthy. Except, I may have a stash of chocolate

What’s your favorite exercise?

-That’s a tough one. Do I have to have one favorite? I love anything where I’m using my body weight, such as handstand pushups and air squats. Yes, I love squats. I might even be kind of fond of burpees… I also love lifting heavy weights too. I’ve been working on my Olympic lifts, and I like the process of progress as I refine my movements as well as seeing the weight go up. Like I said, it’s tough to narrow down. There are so many good ones.

steph oh squat

Do you weigh or measure yourself, and why?

-Until recently I didn’t even own a scale. I did buy one to make sure I’m NOT losing weight. I’d like to gain lean muscle, but I’m also still breastfeeding, so I want to make sure I’m eating enough and not going down on the scale.

Tell us about your eating habits.

-I eat a LOT! I eat 6 x/day, 3 being meals and 3 snacks. It helps me maintain my energy by not going too long between eating. No one wants me to get HANGRY (hungry + angry = hangry) I eat a lot of whole foods and I allow myself a small treat everyday. Did I mention my chocolate stash? ☺ My snacks and meals usually consist of a balanced combination of protein, carbs and fats to help me receive the nutrition I need everyday and to keep my energy up.

What is your FAVORITE food? Or foods?

-My go-to snack is plain Greek yogurt that I jazz up. Plain Greek yogurt is a blank canvas that I can add anything to. My favorite way to dress up yogurt is to add PB2, cinnamon, vanilla, a little honey and sometimes some chocolate chips. It tastes like cookie dough! Plus its high in protein and keeps my sweet tooth satisfied. Have I mentioned I like chocolate?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone beginning a body or life transformation, what would it be?

-Enjoy the journey. It’s not all about the destination (although its good to have goals.) I think there is a lot one can learn about themselves through a life/fitness transformation. Slow down and notice the small things such as how you feel, changes in habits and mood. Be thankful for those small changes you notice! Keep in mind the REAL reason you started your journey and keep that at the forefront of your mind instead of just focusing on the weight on the scale, etc. Also, above all else know, YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!!

How have your views on health/wellness changed over the years?

-The previous statement is something I’ve learned myself. I’ve been at times too focused on the way I want to LOOK rather then the way I FEEL. I’ve learned that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I’m called to take care of my body so that I’m ready for the things God calls me to. At this time of my life, it is being a mom! I want to be healthy and WHOLE!

Wait….just one more item we need cleared up…True or false: You check out your “gun show” in the mirror every once in a while.

-Ummm….True. haha. Who doesn’t ?

Anything else you’d like to add?

-Moving my body brings me JOY. It doesn’t matter if you do Crossfit or Zumba, the bottom line is to enjoy what you are doing, otherwise what’s the purpose? Reclaim the JOY of movement.

Stephanie, thank you SO MUCH for all you’ve shared!  It has been fun to have a fitness bond with you!  

The Scariest Part Of Habit Change (At Least For Me)

I love habit change.  Like POSITIVE habit change.  Like some eating habits that ENHANCE your life.  Or fitness habits that ENHANCE your life.  Or self-care habits that ENHANCE your life.  I love it, love it, love it.  I love to learn about it, I love to practice it, I love to teach it.

For me though, there is a hairy scary monster attached to habit change.

Because, when you do something YOUR WHOLE LIFE, and then decide that one or two or a few things needs changing, YOU LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN.  Now, you have to learn how to navigate.  And have to learn how to behave again.

You KNOW how you and your old habits behave(d).  And if you were in the market for some change, you also know that you don’t necessarily want to act the same way as you have in the past.  Because you realized that you didn’t love feeling and acting that way, for whatever reason.  You didn’t enjoy how feeling and acting in that way made you feel, made you think, made you operate, etc.

But……with a new habit, and a change, there comes all those awkward firsts.

Like…….

…….the first time you have to bow out of a conversation that has suddenly turned snarky, when you would have been the leader of that conversation way back when.  Now you have to operate differently, and have those around you who know “old you” and “this you”….and you have to look that uncomfortable awkwardness square in the eye and make a new choice to behave differently.  Even if it isn’t your default choice because old habits die hard.

……the first time you order out in a restaurant with a group of friends and choose…..WHATEVER you choose to eat.  If you order something deemed “healthy” you might be judged as being “good” today and why not treat yourself?  Or, if you order something deemed “bad,” now that might open the door to conversations like “let’s get up early and workout tomorrow so we can really do it up big tonight” type stuff.  Even if you chose to order whatever you wanted and were comfortable with that choice, you might need to learn how to act differently and not explain yourself or FEEL like you have to explain yourself.  It’s hard to look your old habit in the face and be comfortable acting with your new habit.

……the first time you are in the presence of a close friend who decides to body bash herself.  You know, “I just need to get rid of THIS” she says as she grabs a handful of midsection or thigh.  And your old mindset would have eaten that up with a spoon and taken it as a free pass to body bash yourself as well.  It’s uncomfortable to not participate at first.  And there isn’t any way to win in a situation like this.  You can either just say “You’re great as you are” or “Whatever” and uncomfortably play it off….but it’s still there.

Learning how to behave in a new way is HARD.  HARD.  But it’s ok that it’s hard, because it is NEW and you are LEARNING.  Even if you were the biggest body basher, snarky person, eating out nightmare, you CAN still learn how to behave differently.

And each time you find yourself in these situations, you will be forced to face your old ways.  Each and every time.  Sometimes the old ways will win, and that’s ok….it is ok to give yourself a little compassion.  And many times the new ways, behaviors, and habits will win, and that’s cool too, because you are building up history of your new habits.

Don’t be surprised if all these awkward firsts find you charged with emotion like they do with me.  Because all your old habits and behaviors are charged up with emotional stories behind them.  And they will come out when you least expect it.  Emotions are ok!  They make you think!  And, each time they show up, it’s also alright to stop and think before you act or respond, you know?  Actually sitting with those emotions sometimes and *feeling* what you feel and then deciding if that feeling is actually “true” or not is a worthwhile experience.

The moral of the story….if you find yourself working on some new habits sometimes like I do, there will always have to be those “firsts.”  If you feel strongly about something, you don’t have to cave on how you feel or how you want to feel or how you want to act and behave.  YOU are in charge of YOU.

 

 

 

 

 

You As A WHOLE Matters

I am in the fitness business.  And I’m also a firm believer that fitness (and nutrition) should ENHANCE you.  Not BE you.

I see about 100 people every week kickin’ it in the gym and working on their fitness.  And most love it.  Some do it because they know it is good for them, or maybe it’s an hour-long break away from life in general to blow off steam.

Here’s the thing.  You can rock at fitness.  But rocking at fitness doesn’t make you as a person.  You can rock at nourishing your body.  But rocking at nourishing your body doesn’t make you as a person.

Look, many people find themselves in a new exercise program or learning to eat a little bit better as a means to get healthier or enhance their life.  YES!  Totally cool.  The not so cool part though, is that many come into these things as a means to get skinny, shrink themselves down into smaller clothing sizes, or “get shredded” as a means to an end.  Because “when” those things happen, they must be the keys to eternal life happiness.

Nope.

What is the point of having a 1.5 times your bodyweight deadlift if your personal life is in the tank and you can’t celebrate it with your loved ones?

What is the point of eating well if you can’t move past the diet mindset and still find yourself having a shitty relationship with food?

What is the point of looking like the picture of health with your exercise and your eats if you know, underneath it all, that your relationship to yourself and your body sucks the big one?

The point is…….movement and eating MATTERS.  But it isn’t JUST about movement and eating.  You are a WHOLE person.  You have a life outside of the way you eat and the way you exercise.  You deserve good sleep.  You deserve having a body that moves well to actually MOVE YOU WELL through your life as you chase your kids, age, lug furniture around your living room by yourself, etc.  You deserve down time for reflection, personal development, or just to friggin’ recharge.  You deserve to have a home in your body, and to be comfortable in that home.  You deserve to enjoy food and not be consumed by it.  You deserve to have a tribe that only makes you better and doesn’t rob you of your energy.  You deserve to believe that you deserve all of these things.

All the organic chicken and broccoli in the world……no matter if you eat it in perfectly spaced intervals like every three hours to “constantly feed your metabolism” or eat them three times a day in larger quantities, they won’t help you find happiness.  Neither will the big deadlift or the 90 day new program.  And swearing off sugar for 21 days isn’t the secret to eternal bliss.

YOU are the secret.  YOU are the thing that has been missing.  YOU can trust YOU, and your gut, and your instincts.  You have the skills to do these things.  Even if those skills aren’t perfectly polished, trusting yourself as a WHOLE person to take at least ONE step, and then another, to get you moving in whichever direction you need to.  You will learn as you go, and you will stumble and learn some more.

Treat food and fitness as a means to enhance YOU only.  Not BE you.  Because you deserve so much more than JUST those things.  You are a WHOLE person.  Not JUST your deadlift.

Training Log: Mindgame Snatches

I know you know that I have a mind game with the snatch test I’m doing weekly.  I feel like I write about it all. the. time.

Truthfully, it is easier.  Truthfully, I am fully able to do it.  Truthfully, I start to dread it about three days before I ACTUALLY have to do it.

Truthfully, I don’t know why.

The snatch test is only a tiny snippet of the RKC, and yet it’s the mind game for me.  I don’t know why.  Probably because it makes me feel like what I’d imagine you’d feel like if you smoked a pack of cigarettes all within 30 seconds.  Winded and a little burn-y in the lungs.  And it is ONLY FIVE MINUTES OF MY TIME every week.  Only five!!  And I let it take up so much of my mental space that it’s a little embarrassing.

So, I recorded it today.  I’ve been recording it for awhile, but I can’t share those with you because there were too many cuss words in those videos.  Today, I managed to make a clean one!  So I guess I have that going for me :)

Other than that, training if swell.  Nothing new.  I was sick of looking at kettlebells this weekend so I did two Lift Weights Faster Too circuits instead of my normal training to give myself a kettlebell breather.  Thankfully, yesterday I wanted to work with my bells again.

Then today I did a bunch of work and then the snatch test and then some more work.  Booyah.  Done with that snatch test beast for another week.

This coming week will be more of the same.  Bells, bells, bells.  The month of May?  Bells.  The first little bit of June?  More bells.

I feel like it should be Christmas with all these bells, not spring :)

Why I Think The Diet Mindset Is A Hot Mess

Before you read this, know THIS.  I don’t think losing weight or dropping a few pounds or caring about how you look naked is a bad thing.  I don’t!  I just think that there are other ways to get there that trump “being on a diet.”  And that sometimes it is super easy to get mislead and we focus on things that aren’t actually positive for us in this process.  

Aside from the past few years, I’ve probably been on a diet since I was 18.  In some form or fashion.  Maybe a year or so earlier.  Maybe a year or so later, I don’t really remember.  I DO remember weighing myself a lot in high school, though, because I “thought” my number was higher than my friends’ numbers.

I think I did Atkins something or other (or what I thought was Atkins anyway….since I don’t think I really learned what Atkins was) first.  Then, guess what it was?  The thing that annoys the EFF out of me the most – the Multi Level Marketing shitstorm – oh yes, yes, yes….I too got sucked into the black hole that is Herbalife (no, getting that shaky feeling is NOT normal.  Neither is feeling hungry all the time.  Or drinking your meals.  Or tossing back handuls of pills).  TWICE.  For at least $200 a time.  I’m pretty sure I then moved onto Weight Watchers, where I got amazing at counting, and putting meals together that were point friendly, but to me, tasted like shit (I’m actually not trying to knock Weight Watchers – I just learned to eat stuff I really didn’t want, and then binged on shit I did want in large quantities after my weigh in….which clearly is not a good idea).  I was so successful on weigh in day, dropping a pound or two like  good little girl, only to fall “off the wagon” for the next two days and eat garbage, and then count, count, count again.  I think then came Paleo.  Eat like a caveman!  Oh yes!  Here we go!  Lots of fats.  Bacon all the way.  Protein is good.  Carbs are the devil.  You don’t need carbs to operate, they said.  You should be able to operate off low carbs, and move your body and watch slabs of fat drop off.

What did I learn in all of these instances?

I learned exactly why the flip I think the diet mindset is a hot mess.

I learned in all of these instances that less is the only way.  The way that I determined that I was successful was driven by less.  My weight needed to be less.  My calories (or carbs, or fat, or “dirty” foods) needed to be less.  MUCH less.  My clothing size needed to be less.  Side note – have you ever bought a piece of clothing in a smaller size to “motivate you to fit into them?”  I have.  That’s effed up, isn’t it?

Because of my obsession with less, and all of these little “diets” along the way……can you guess what happened?  I became CONSUMED.  With the way I was eating.  Wait, my calories/points/carbs/whatever are GONE for the day, but it’s Friday night and we are going out to dinner with friends.  Now what?  Oh sure, eat the biggest pile of immediately available food ever, combine it with alcohol, and feel guilty after it’s gone so keep going.  Welp, wake up feeling like shit on Saturday, so that’s out too.  Might as well keep going.  Sunday?  Eff it, let’s roll.  I’ll eat shit I don’t even want because tomorrow is MONDAY…..and YAY, I can get “back on plan” and feel in control again.  My conversations?  Revolved around “oops, I shouldn’t eat this, I’m bad.”  My thoughts?  Same freaking thing.

I know I’m not the only one that’s ever gone through this cycle.

I know I don’t have to tell you that this isn’t a good place to be. 

You see, diets completely gave me the shaft.  Less does not work for me.  I am not a less person.  And I was trying to operate as one.  I didn’t fail.  I wasn’t the failure in these situations.  THE DIET FAILED ME.

THANK GOD, seriously, I’m pretty sure The Big Guy put me somehow in front of weight training and iron.  I really do.  That was my salvation.  I’m not joking.  I had to learn the same stupid lessons over and over and over, but I learned them.  Weight training, moving iron, lifting weights, and GAINING STRENGTH do NOT operate well with “less.”  They are complete opposites.

You CANNOT BUILD and diet.  Not really.  Ask a figure competitor!  They take their off-season and bulk and gain and BUILD, and then shred down to compete.  Ask an athlete!  You cannot rock your sport while eating like a bird.  To build – your skill, your muscle, your work capacity, WHATEVER, you must be MORE.

More food, more calories, more protein, more carbs, more fats, whatever.  But to build, it must be more.  What I was after was strength, and muscle….because that stuff is the bees knees.  At least to me.  Because my personality and mindset is such that I feel LIKE A BOSS when I am self-sufficiently strong and able to do things and move things and be things without the assistance of others.  I’m not motivated by 20 repetitions with an 8 pound dumbbell.  I’m motivated by the ability to move my husband’s bodyweight off the floor (in the form of a barbell slapped with plates, not actually lifting him off the floor…..although………)

You guys, the diet mindset PUT LIMITS ON ME.

And I believe it puts limits on everyone.  ESPECIALLY WOMEN.

We limit ourselves by the calorie range we think is acceptable for us (whether or not it has anything to do with health or science).  We limit ourselves by not eating carbs because our friend or some TV guru said they were the devil.  We limit ourselves by only putting in a certain amount of energy in our poor bodies and then pounding out the calories through ridiculous workouts.  We don’t stand a chance in this place, do we?

We need to shift our focus to MORE.

How can we be MORE?  How can we build our work capacity MORE.  How can we gain MORE strength (whether physical, mental, WHATEVER)?  How can we have MORE compassion with ourselves and our bodies?

MORE takes a LOT of energy.  We eat our energy every day – and if we are focused on MORE, it takes a lot MORE than what some lame ass diet has been telling us.  More nourishment, more compassion, more self-care, more sleep, just MORE of a lot of things.

Diets are a hot mess because they put a limit on what we can be.  Food and calories and carbs and all that stuff are NOT scary.  Or evil.  Or even a little bit bad.

Eff diets and being consumed by them.  Find MORE.  Be MORE in your life.

 

 

 

 

Training Log: Workin’

Did another check-in with my coach!  I am in a good place.  The strength is built, the endurance is there too.  I’m writing myself notes on what happened so I can refer back to this as needed :) :

  1. Snatch test is fine.  Right now, I can easily (even if I get bucky about it) bust it out 10 reps on the left, 10 on the right, and rest the remainder of the minute.  This is probably how I’m going to take the official one.  It allows me time, and then I don’t just slop it out and wreck my hands.  BUT, I’m going to try a few all out ones, where I go for 100 reps without rest.  My guess is it will make me VERY bucky.  You know, because CARDIO.  Also, now, I’m adding in work BEFORE my snatch test.  When I take it at the RKC, it will be in the middle of the second day – so I’ll already be tired and my hands and grip will be sore and shot.  So we are trying to simulate that right now as well.
  2. My strength is there.  I’m happy I get to officially test with 16kg’s.  They are feeling light for me now.  Many times, I’ll take a few presses and front squats with the 20kg’s because that feels more appropriate right now.  I’m so happy to be in this space because I know the volume of three days will add up for me, and I’m happy I’m comfortable doing it with the right bell size.
  3. The weak links – my Elvis knee on the right side, some hip and knee thingies, shoulder stability, and a little core stability…..those are all getting cleaned up.  They are SLIGHT now, as compared to very visible when I started this process.  YAY!  I can feel that too.  All my lifts FEEL good.  And strong.  And stable.
  4. We are pushing my cardio day up a notch for the next few weeks.  I’ve been doing shorter sets of things.  Now, I’m going to do a really long set – 20 to 25 minutes and go straight through, trying to work down the rest periods as we go.  Only for the next couple weeks, and then back off to the old plan for May.  We are also adding in a little extra single leg work and another squat day for those same few weeks, and then back off a bit again in May.
  5. May will be spent how I spent the last 6 weeks – at a good amount of volume but not overwhelming.  There really isn’t time to build anything crazy between now and the RKC.  The work is done.  Then in June, I will back down even more.  My “assignment” for the last two weeks is eat well and sleep well.  And do some movement – nothing crazy just good movement.  And the last week eat and sleep well with not a ton of movement.
  6. Don’t get injured or do stupid shit.

Other than that, you will catch me eating, sleeping, and training.  I’m excited to be in this place!!  The thought of preparing for all this months ago was very overwhelming, and working with a coach was TREMENDOUS accountability and guidance in a process that could easily throw me into freeze and do nothing stage.  I’m excited (and scared shitless) for the RKC.  I’m excited to be surrounded for three days with people who think like I do.  And I’m excited to learn!

I Sometimes Have Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is rough.  I think I spent the first year of Emma’s life (she’s two right now) thinking I should/could only be away from her when I was working.  After that, I should (and mostly wanted to) be home hanging out with Emma and my hubs.  Even thought I ALSO wanted to be working out or doing things for me sometimes, it made me feel tremendously guilty.  Like TREMENDOUSLY.

Once we started moving past the one year mark, I started realizing that I was basing everything I was doing around Emma and I wasn’t always doing things FOR ME.  Don’t get that ish twisted.  Of course Emma is my priority among other things (a marriage, a business, etc), but I had lost a little bit of that spark that used to come from me time.  Much of my me time comes in the form of workouts – that’s just what I like to do.  I also like to go and get a massage or the random pedi, but I freakin’ enjoy workouts, and the bonus is that I run a small gym, so “me time” comes at times when absolutely no one else is there, and it is glorious.  It is quiet (or freakin’ loud if I want it to be).

During workouts, I tend to sort through a lot of the BS in my head that happens during life.  I am able to get past a lot of the stupid stuff and just solve things, or make decisions, or get crystal clear on stuff.  I also am a lover of MOVEMENT and how my body feels, so workout time is my chance to see where the ick spots are, or where the stress is hiding, or why my hip flexor feels weird and my squats suddenly suck.

Anyways, back to the one year marker and my little realization.  I was MISSING ALL THOSE THINGS.  And no one said I couldn’t do them.  I was just choosing to feel guilty over prioritizing my own needs first sometimes.  I was also becoming resentful.  Of other people who just went about their life.  Of always feeling like I should be at home when I wasn’t working or whatever.  And no one made me feel this way, I sort of somehow just took this up on my own as I was learning how to be a mom.  Good moms put everyone else first, right?

I think I started accepting somewhere between the one year mark and 18 months that I needed to learn how to deal with the mom guilt.  I think mom guilt is probably here to stay, and will only amplify if another baby fish comes into the mix.  But I’m learning I don’t actually NEED to feel guilty for prioritizing my own needs.  My personal needs don’t need to compete with my families.  They do need to mesh with them, though.

Here is how I look at it, my workouts really are my ME time.  At the moment, my workouts are also training time for a very specific event and time frame.  That will drop off soon, and they will be right back to just me time.  I am needing my workouts and me time about three to five hours per week, depending on the week and the workload.  If I really analyze that, is that so unreasonable? Uh, no.  I’m spending three to five hours a week clearing my head space, getting rid of stress, getting stronger (carrying and rocking and snuggling toddlers is fun, but isn’t exactly physically easy), keeping me healthy, and keeping me in that happy balance between my needs and everyone else’s.  Coincidentally, when I get my me time, the rest of life just gets that much easier for me, and I tend to do it that much better.  I have more patience.  I also have more energy to have more fun helping my two year old “fly.”

I can absolutely freeze and do nothing and let mom guilt overpower me and only exist to perform for my family.  Or, I can choose to see it a little differently, and make ME better for my family and my life.  These past few months, I’ve started incorporating my workouts to the early morning hours, in order to not feel like I’m missing out on things at home.  This is cool (and sometimes lets me workout with a fun lifting buddy).  However, sometimes on a weekend I wake up with my family, we eat breakfast, and then I go off and do my thing.  It isn’t super strict.  In the future, that might change to evening  workouts, who knows.  Gotta be flexible with all this!

My me time activity might be different from your me time activity, but the principle is the same.  We need it.  And mom guilt might still happen, but we can learn how to approach it a little differently.  Being a mom is awesome, it REALLY is.  But it is also easy to get wrapped up in JUST being a mom (not that you are ever JUST a mom, but I hope you get my point).  And JUST existing to be a mom.  We can be a mom, and a wonderful one.  We can ALSO still be us.

– says the mom who is only two years in :)

 

 

Originally this was my journey to Tough Mudder…now it's my record of all things fitness and health!

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