This past month has been pretty stressful for me – and I’m not going to sugar coat it. My eating has gone to shit. The little excuses I have made have added up and now are full blown standard operating procedure and it’s not good. It’s being triggered by stress and emotional stuff going on but sliding back into old habits is not the path I want to revisit so it’s time to refocus. I am heading out on vacation next week. My long road trip will give me time to think about what’s going on and some much needed time away from what is triggering all of these feelings. Not to go into detail – it’s related to professional career issues and I know it’s only a matter of time before I need to make some hard choices.
But, let’s talk about refocusing on health and wellness…
I have mentioned before that I am a big fan and a long-distance friend of Christmas Abbott. She has always been kind to me and has embarked on an amazing path of helping others in a big way. She recently sent me a copy of her book: The BADASS Body Diet. I haven’t gotten all the way through it but when I am back from vacation, I plan to start the diet and workout plan recommended.
I already am appreciating that she doesn’t write for a one size fits all body type. She identifies three types of dieters -—Modifiers, Gainers, and Maintainers—and the suggested approaches can be tailored depending on which one you resemble. From the reviews I have read, many mention the suggested approach is simple and you aren’t left feeling super hungry. Although I have heard that many times from many other fitness and wellness advocates, I trust Christmas. She comes from the same world I am used to – women who lift and aren’t afraid to be strong.
Some of the book is fluff and entertainment but, that’s all part of selling the approach to those who still believe thin is better than strong. Those that live and die by the number on the scale. Just like any diet or approach recommended, one size does not fit all. My advice is to read the book – ‘meet’ Christmas, learn her story and understand how she approaches diet and fitness. From there, you can tailor it or not – to meet your own health and wellness goals.
I’ll share my experience from time to time as I start to incorporate her advice in my own fitness and wellness approach…
Buy the BadAss Body Diet by Christmas Abbott directly from Amazon and let me know what you think!
Christmas Abbott: The Badass Body Book (Amazon Affiliate Link)
I hit up a boxing class last night and then headed to Ashburn CrossFit this morning to workout with a dear friend I havent seen in over five years. I have written about Lidia previously and what an inspiration and kickass chick she is. It’s one of the greatest things about finding my fitness passion – meeting and bonding with the most amazing people. Many of them have become very dear to me and even though I don’t see them regularly, they continue to inspire me and motivate me to be better than I was yesterday. I mean – come on now, these are strong, bad ass chicks. If I let myself go to pot after all this time – I think they would kick my ass. Not only are they amazing people – they help keep me accountable. It’s a win that keeps on giving…
As you probably know, I don’t do CrossFit regularly anymore. The change was brought on partially by burn out. I was not getting the joy or seeing the results I used to from CrossFit. I also felt that my body wasn’t recovering like it used to which was causing me to not have as much fun while I was there. My shoulders weren’t healing either because of the constant stress on them. It’s only been since I stopped completely, have I regained range of motion in my right shoulder.
It is nice to revisit CrossFit every now and again and today it was quite a workout – a chipper.
In CrossFit, a chipper is usually a combo of 5 to 10 exercises designed to push metabolic conditioning. This morning’s chipper looked like this…
- 50 Wall Balls (20/14)
- 40 Push Ups
- 30 Medball Cleans (20/14)
- 20 Burpees
- 10 Pull Ups
- 20 Burpees
- 30 Medball Cleans
- 40 Push Ups
- 50 Wall Balls
(20 min cap)
I chose to do it with a 10# med ball and finished at 19:37. Yeah, Ouch. I am now at work and the soreness is creeping in. It hurts just to walk. I don’t know why, but it always surprises me at how sore I get when I switch up workouts even though I workout all the time!
I have to admit it was a great way to start my day. A group of strong ladies, a lot of laughs and creating a sweat festival.
- Parents’ Denial Fuels Childhood Obesity Epidemic
- ‘Fitness’ foods may cause consumers to eat more, exercise less
- America’s getting even fatter: Startling growth in obesity over past 20 years
As a final sign off on today’s post – I want to wish my smart, sassy and super adorable niece Amelia a Happy Birthday. I wish I lived closer so I could be in her life more, but here I am living in ‘Grassyland’ (that’s what she calls Virginia bc we have a lot of grass and San Fran does not).
I love her to the moon and back…
NPR just published Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE – encouraging schools and communities to bring back real PE classes. It’s no secret that “neuro-cognitive development is associated with exercise and can benefit from exercise”, so why aren’t we demanding that our children get more exercise??
Watch the video below that highlights the La Sierra High PE program in the 60’s. It’s exactly what our kids need to be doing today– real physical fitness classes in school. Not only will it help them physically but mentally as well! Our kids will learn to deal with the stress of life. Also look at the people featured in this video –they look younger and healthier overall. I bet it’s because they have been fit most of their lives, starting early on.
PE 50 years ago…compare to today! Help us bring quality PE back to our schools: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/la-sierra-high-pe
In 1962, JFK gave a speech to the nation challenging them to make a “great national effort.” He held the La Sierra High PE up as the model for the nation to follow. 4,000 high schools followed this program. This is the only known digitized copy of his speech. The footage shows one high school PE class. Remember, this is a normal PE class at the high school. This was PE 50 years ago in America! Help us make this happen again. Ron Jones, MS, founder of The Lean Berets (Executive Producer), Doug Orchard (Producer/Director).
I know I’ve been a bit behind in posting new updates for everyone. Real in person life has gotten busy – which is not necessarily a bad thing!
The next few posts will give you an idea of what I have been up to…
Saturday and Sunday, I did two a day workouts. Not because of any larger reason. I was given opportunities to step outside my comfort zone and try some new workouts.
After my early boxing session, I tried [Solidcore] in Ballston.
What is it you ask? Someone online described it as “Pilates on Steroids”. Ive never done Pilates, but I can tell you it was the kind of workout where I literally hated it while doing it but when it was over – i felt great and wanted to do it again to challenge myself to get the hang of it. You use a megaformer machine for the 50 minute class. It’s all slow, controlled movements focusing on core muscles. The classes are kept small so the instructor can give everyone the attention needed. Depending on the movement, you would do a 4-6 count to ensure you are really working the muscle. Have you ever tried to go down in an lunge slowly to a 4-6 count on one of these machines? Talk about using core strength!
I’m in pretty good shape, and this was probably one of the hardest workouts I have done. I wanted to stop ten minutes into it. If you aren’t already in shape – this may not be the workout for you. They suggest that if you cant hold a solid plank for 1 minute or more, it will be too challenging. I do not disagree with their suggestion. Almost from the start, I was sweating buckets even with no cardio and my muscles were twitching and I was shaking. As much as I didn’t like it – I loved it and that feeling. It meant that I was really challenging my body. Call me a glutton for punishment!
My friend, Mastaneh, who set up the class for us and who I was mad at the entire time (Just kidding!), felt the same way afterwards — we left with a love/hate feeling. A few days later, I am still feeling the burn. Not the “oh my gosh, i can’t sit down” type but the “that really works” type of soreness.
I would definitely go again if there were one closer to where I live. For now, It may have reignited my motivation to do yoga again and try a Pilates class.
[Solidcore] Create the Strongest Version of Yourself
People ask me why I limit how much food I eat that contains gluten. When I eat gluten I don’t feel well. I become fatigued, my eczema starts to flare (which is also connected to eating dairy), and I start to gain weight. I even find that my migraines come back when I eat too much. I used to be a lot more strict and avoid any and all foods that have gluten, but I have relaxed my focus a bit but it is not without consequences. I am sure there are those out there with no issues with eating gluten on the regular, but not me. I do think however that everyone out there should detox from gluten for a week or two, and then add it back in. See how your body responds.
Think about it – from age four months on, we have been fed foods that contain gluten. Oatmeal is one of the first foods kids try and it is a staple of breakfast choices. How do you know how your body responds to gluten if you have never gone without? You don’t know any different. If you are trying to lose weight, or suffering from symptoms you cant resolve, the first thing I would suggest is to detox. Start eating fresh, whole food for 12 -14 days and then add things back in one at a time. You will most likely find the culprit.
“The gold standard for identifying gluten sensitivity is the elimination diet, in which a patient strictly eliminates gluten for three to six months and then reintroduces it, monitoring the effects.”
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- Nation’s top nutrition panel: the American diet is killing us
- The great American sleep recession
Saturday: CrossFit (back squat)
There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I want done lately. I had almost a year ‘off’ from the corporate life, which meant that I could take care of things on the regular. Now that I am back working full time, in an office, it has been challenging to adjust what needs to get done. And I have been finding it hard to spark up the energy to do some of the ‘other’ things – like write. But I am not a quitter, and I know that the spark with reignite if I keep at it.
As I am trying to juggle all of the things in my life, I keep asking myself When is it good enough?
When Scotty got sick, I gave up the idea of an organized, super clean house. It just wasn’t possible and that has stuck years later. There is always a basket of laundry needing to get done and one needing to be folded in my house. There will always be stuff on my kitchen counters. I realized that my house has four different people living in it – and I can’t keep up. It just isn’t that important in the grand scheme of my life. And my house is clean enough…
The other day I was looking at some old pics, before I started working out. I noticed how different how much stronger and better I look now comparatively. But yet, I find myself thinking I’m not good enough. My fitness level is not where it should be, my body doesn’t look like I think it should. In all fairness, I own that I have slacked off being 80% Paleo. I am more 60% now –and I can see the differences and it’s been gnawing at me. I am aware that I am my own harshest critic. I am also not the kind of person to sit back and wallow. I need to be challenged and seek out opportunities to learn, so I will never be able to just settle. But – will there ever come a time when I will be able to acknowledge how far I have come?
Which makes seeing untouched pics of ‘famous’ people re-affirming…
- What does Cindy Crawford think of that unretouched lingerie photo making the rounds?
- Beyonce fans’ fury after leaked pictures of her L’Oreal advert claim to show how she looked before she got the Photoshop treatment
- How To Love & Accept Your Body Unconditionally
- 5 Reasons To Do Planks Every Day
- WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR BRAINS WHEN WE EXERCISE AND HOW IT MAKES US HAPPIER
- WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE A CRAP ABOUT CALORIES
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
- Tues: Boxing: 1 Hour
- Weds: CrossFit: 1 Hour
This weekend is Valentine’s Day if you didn’t already know. My friend shared this really meaningful post this morning: The One True Thing About the Perfect Valentine’s Date that I want everyone to read. “Love doesn’t seek a perfect moment; it seeks a real moment.”
There is no such thing as a fairy tale marriage. No relationship is perfect even if it looks that way on the outside and especially via social media. Relationships between two people – whether lovers, friends, family, co-workers- is work. We all come from different places in our lives, have had different experiences, have different filters to process what is going on. All of those factors create different perspectives. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. But, for me – once I realized fairy tale relationships don’t exist, my world became calmer. I stopped having these insurmountable expectations of how things are supposed to be… and let them just be.
Which explains why I am perfectly OK with my husband heading off on a guy’s trip over this Valentine’s Day weekend. I believe that every day is an opportunity to show love for someone. It’s the little things that count when it comes right down to it. I don’t need one day a year as proof that someone loves me. Yes, acknowledgment of the day is cool but as a grown up, if I need flowers or a present – i go and buy them. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice when the hubby surprises me with something but it’s more the fact that he was thinking of me or something reminded him of me and that he made the effort. Those are the moments that mean something to me – more than a designated marketing day to show love. For example, when I get up super early to workout and I head downstairs to find that he pre-made coffee and it’s waiting for me – that matters.
20 Double Unders
Tabata Something Else
Today marks my third week at my new gig and although I am still very green with knowledge, I’m feeling at home. There is a ton of work to be done and I have the opportunity to make a real difference to the company. I was thinking this weekend, that I feel better. I’m starting to re-engage with some things that were losing my interest which to me is a sign of things getting set straight in my life.
Now for the brutal honesty – my focus on eating has gone way off the deep end. I can’t really even say I am following paleo at this point. I’m kinda all over the place. I know what I need to do but finding the drive to do it has been tough the past few months. I’m not going to lie either – it has affected my waist line too. I will need to really stop and listen to figure out what’s really going on with me. Why am I ignoring what I know I need to do? It’s not that the food is so delicious that I can’t control myself –it’s not about the food.
- Saturday: CrossFIt
- Sunday: Boxing
While I love boxing, I find that I am missing lifting big time. There is something about lifting a barbell that speaks to me. It’s been almost seven months since I have lifted consistently and my shoulders have all but recovered. To help satisfy my lifting bug, I joined CrossFit Ashburn. I have decided that I am going to do both boxing and CrossFit. I think that doing 5x a week of either may be just more than my body can handle – so I am going to see how to fit in the best of both and maybe throw in some cycling and yoga in the mix as well.
The long break was good — I was burned out for sure and it was starting to feel like a chore to show up every day. Being fit is a lifestyle and you have to do stuff you enjoy with people you love being around. That’s the real key to making it all work. When one of those is out of whack – well it doesn’t work well.
Today’s workout was a challenging chipper, but unlike the old me who would have pushed to do Rx- I lowered the weight and modified some of the Rx. I could absolutely tell I haven’t lifted in a while and that’s OK. I got through the chipper and felt like I got a good workout, which is what it’s all about. Here’s what it was…
Run 200 meters (20/14 med ball)
10 Med ball front squat
10 Med ball clean & split jerk
10 Med ball sit up
10 Wall ball
21 shoulder to overhead (115/75)
100 Double Unders
15 shoulder to overhead (135/95)
50 Double Unders
9 shoulder to overhead (155/115)
25 Double Unders
It’s been a good thing for me to step back and really just breathe the past two weeks. I had some family in town, got to enjoy some unencumbered downtime, got my fitness on and just allowed myself to “BE’. There are some big changes in store for me this month that I will share in the next week or so –and I think they are all really good things!!
I have often mentioned how you need to step outside of your comfort zone to really make change happen. With the new year starting, I have started seeing a lot of talk about CHANGE. Change does not just happen though. You have to act, choose, and think differently. And that is where the danger zone is. It’s foreign and uncomfortable to do that. We are so many times driven by fear. What will happen if I do this or that? We fall into what Tony Blauer calls a “fear loop”. And it can paralyze us into inaction. When you feel the fear start to creep and start to take over, that’s when you need to step up and combat it. That takes practice and focus just like any other skill you want to hone. And that of course is also uncomfortable –so don’t fall into the loop of fear and stay in an unhappy, unhealthy situation. Let’s make 2015 OUR YEAR!
- Why Getting Uncomfortable is the Key to Personal Growth
- New Year’s Resolutions? Make a list, get it done
- 4 Simple Goal Setting Ideas For 2015