Sunday, December 8, 2013

November Recap and Heaving Snatch Balances

After finally reaching my 100# loss milestone.. I felt ELATED.. followed by a bit of a let down.. just had trouble finding traction.. probably for several reasons.. one being the weight loss and dramatic changes had slowed and I was just tired, ya know? tired of being obsessed with tracking every morsel of food (and I'm talking down to the gram cuz I weighed everything) and tired of wearing my fitbit everyday and tracking every minute of exercise.. I spent a lot of time and mental energy doing those things.. don't get me wrong, they were absolutely a couple of my keys to losing the weight.. the data was fun to track and it kept me accountable.. but I have said all along that I just want to be "normal" and my "normal" fit healthy friends don't weigh food and they exercise because of how it makes them feel not because of the number of minutes/steps they're able to log (again, these are my thoughts NOW, after nine months of laser sharp focus not at the beginning when I was struggling to establish new habits and learn a completely new way of living.) 

I talked about how I was feeling with my coach and he agreed "why not stop the tracking"? So, for the month of November I didn't track a morsel nor did I wear my fitbit or log my fitness minutes. I did not change HOW I ate and I did not change HOW much or how long I exercised - I simply "lived it". So How'd I do? Here's a recap 

- Lost 9 lbs during the month which is in line with other months 
- Celebrated 105# lost and 110# lost milestones 
- FINALLY moved my BMI to 29 and am officially no longer obese in anyone's dang book (and yes, I called my doctor to let her know and ask her to please update my medical record!!) LOL 
- Moved into a SIZE 12 for the first time in DECADES!!! DECADES!! (I started this journey in March wearing a 22/24)... I have now bought 2 skirts and 3 pairs of pants in a size 12.. so it feels pretty solid.. and I'm loving it! 
- Lost 7 inches (as the move to a size 12 would indicate.. well that and my baggy clothes) 

Here's a reminder of where I came from ... 326# 

Here's me at 218# in my first size 12 skirt.. and my first size 12 pants at 214# 

One of the things I love about my new life is all the new things I'm trying... like target shooting! This last weekend I shot my first rifle too.. this is me at last weekends International Practical Shooting Confederation where you just don't stand and shoot.. you run around obstacles and all sorts of fun stuff.. it's a mix of accuracy, speed and power.. I'm still working on the accuracy part! 

The big physical thing I worked on in November was "heaving snatch balances" at my gym CrossFit Exile.. I love them.. they are very technical and require both strength and speed (both of which I'm working on)..  excuse the chomping of the gum.. I get a gross taste in my mouth when I workout and chewing gum helps with that (coach says it's ketones.. whatever it is, it sucks LOL)... 

So, I did it! I was "normal" during November.. no logging anything, just continued living the way I have for the last nine months... went on a trip to Las Vegas where I ate off plan and Thanksgiving where I ate off plan.. and still had a month full of successes!! I am proud of myself.. 

What's in store for December? No trips.. lots of holiday parties.. and the biggest thing is that I'm having brachioplasty (skin cut off my arms) on the 19th... It doesn't look like I will be hitting my 1/1/14 goal of ONEderland (especially with the surgery) but this is just a goal delayed not denied.. I will hit ONEderland in the month of January, I know I will. 

I've had a bunch of emails asking basically the same question: What is the one thing that led to me losing 100# in 7 months and 12 days (okay, I put in the 7 months and 12 days part LOL)? So, the answer is that I started eating only real food (also called Paleo for weight loss) and after 5 days was completely craving free.. I feel more nourished than I ever have in my life.. my skin is clear, my hair is shiny, my nails are strong and white (well, the tips). I've had ZERO hypoglycemic events - zip, zero, nada. I have been healed by eating real food. I do not eat any processed foods at all but I do eat a ton of vegetables (and met some new ones along the way like turnips, kale, parsnips, etc.).. for now, I don't eat dairy except butter, I don't eat grains even whole grains (that means bread, pasta, etc.), I don't eat legumes/beans (including peanuts) and I don't eat sugar.. Most people hear this and focus on all I don't eat but never hear me when I say I don't miss it 95% of the time.. I do think when I reach goal I will see how my body responds to dairy.. but if my body doesn't like it or the cravings return then I will be fine with cutting dairy out.. 

After I say all this about my way of eating being 80-90% of my success, the next question is "how often did you cheat?".. first, I never cheat myself, ever.. I plan (which means I made a decision in advance!) to eat "off plan".. and in my journey to 100# I made that decision twice, once on a trip to Chicago and once for my trip to Africa... That's it.. I was very very consistent.. I strung those days together.. and I'm not saying you should or shouldn't eat off plan more or less.. all I know is that for me, I wanted faster not slower weight loss so that focus helped me make those decisions.. Other than that I stuck to my plan with relative ease.. because you see, I have such a clear picture of my goals that the momentary yumminess of a treat would NEVER be more valuable to me than my goal.. ever.. eating nourishing real food ALLOWED me to be able to make the choice.. my mind was free for me to make healthy decisions because I'd broken the hold the chemist had on my brain through their processing voodoo and sugar.. yeah, I'm highly opinionated about this point.. my coach always says if you say you really have a particular goal and then you're unwilling to give up something specific that stands in between you and your goal.. well, you may need to take a closer look at that "something" because if you're willing to sacrifice meaningful goals because you won't give it up? mmmmm sounds like it could be an addiction... in my case, he was right.. I WAS addicted to processed carbs.. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Coach, CrossFit and Paleo Helped Me Lose !00 Pounds.. and I'm not done yet...


This is my journey in pictures of losing 100lbs in 7 months and 12 days... and finding my strength (both physical and mental)... I'll write a blog with more specifics at another time... You can find most of my story via my blogs.. and my story?? involves A LOT of failure.. I mean it.. a lot of "passionate", "I'm ready" failure before I found exactly what works for me.. I'm not done yet, I'm not "there" yet.. and I'm not even sure "where" or "what number" will be "done"... but I'll know it when I get there.. 

One thing I want y'all who are struggling to know is that I am *not* special.. I'm not.. no fairy dust was sprinkled on me.. I didn't do anything that you can't do! One of the things people say to me that irritates me is "isn't it amazing what you can do when things 'click'" or "you must have been ready this time"? (or something to that effect)... and the truth is that I was no more "ready" this time than the other times... I was no more passionate this time than the other times.. listen to me closely.. THERE WAS NO CLICK... That's right... NO CLICK.. there wasn't a day I woke up and went "I've got it! I've got THE CLICK" LOL... In a nutshell, I found a COACH (not a trainer, a COACH), an expert to help me through the hardest part about losing 100lbs - THE MENTAL CHALLENGE.. He introduced me to an eating plan that agreed with my body in an epic way (Paleo) and I stuck with it (and am sticking with it)... and he introduced me to a workout that kept my interest and challenged me in ways nothing else ever has (CrossFit).  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Establish a Goal.. then SMASH IT!!

I did it!!! 

I did it!! 

On June 25th, I established my 1 rep max back squat at 135lbs (you can read about it here and tonight was my retest... 

I've been following the Outlaw Training for the last four weeks with the intention of increasing my back squat load... the fundamental strength training move. I set a goal of 155lbs... that was my goal... and I worked HARD.. probably about 100 squats a week at up to 90% max at times.. 
This is clearly not me but in case you're not familiar with a back squat here's a video


I have been so pumped about meeting my goal to hit 155lbs.. that would have been a 20lb increase and a real stretch... I told everyone.. all my friends here.. my friends in real life.. EVERYONE.. I was just so excited.. then this afternoon around 3 when friends started texting me.. I started getting nervous.. very nervous.. So when I got to the gym I really had to work on my mental game.. because if I thought I couldn't do it.. I could NOT do it.. 

We started out with just the bar (45lbs) and did some dynamic movements (jumping squats).. then up to 95lbs x 5, then 115 x 5.. then 135lbs (my previous PR) x1.. now the fun begins.. and when I was doing the 135lbs I remember saying to myself "all day long".. "i got this ALL DAY LONG".. 

Then coach put on 185lbs and I did a walkout.. simply lift it and walk back.. hold it and rerack the weight.. The point of this is so that when I put on my "target" weight it would not feel so heavy and psyche me out... 

So, we discussed it and Coach and I agreed to go with my goal of 155lbs.. I loaded the bar with "wagon wheels" (45lb plates) and 2 10lb plates.. I got tight and lifted the weight.. stepped back... squatted and drove through my heels up. NO PROBLEM!! I racked the bar and then jumped around hollering like a fool! 155lbs I'd met my goal.. and I didn't even struggle!! 

Then Coach decided since I didn't struggle to add another 10lbs... a load of 165lbs.. and I stepped up to it.. loaded up.. stepped back and thought "I can't do this, it's too heavy".. got ready to do it but knew I'd fail with that mindset. So I racked it and got my mental game on. "I got this. All day long.".. Got tight. Lifted it up. Stepped back. Squatted and ... 

POW!! Could feel my hamstrings, quads and glutes FIRE all at once and I started to power up.. I hit a "sticking point" and could hear my coach yelling "PUSH PUSH STAY TIGHT" and everyone else in the back ground.. AND I DID IT!!! I did 165 POUNDS!!! However, I beat my previous 1 rep max by 30 pounds! I back squatted 165lbs!!! 

One hundred and sixty five pounds!!! 


I am so freaking excited!! 

28 days til Africa 
3lbs to go to meet Zipline Goal.. 

P.S. We would have gotten a picture but my coach was "spotting" me just in case.. so, no pic.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Training Wheels are Off!

I love weight lifting.. I love how strong it makes me feel.. I love how much muscle it builds (which stokes my metabolism).. I love how it translates to real life stuff like hauling in a 44lb bag of dog food or lifting heavy stuff around the house.. 

So last night my CrossFit workout was hanging power cleans with push presses and front squats.. I've only done a front squat once before so I am very much still in the learning phase.. BUT the big deal was my "training wheels" were removed.. no longer did I have the box beneath me to guage how low I was going and to get me comfortable "sitting back in my squat" and "loading my hips".. suddenly, coach says "move the box back and go as deep as you can and hold it for 3 seconds".. I was a bit stunned! Do huh? No box?? But I need the box.. I have to have the box! DON'T TAKE AWAY MY BOX!! 

Seriously? I got myself all worked up.. LOL.. but, I took a deep breath.. "got tight" and sank into my squat.. and sank.. and sank... held it for 3 seconds and came back up to the CHEERS of my coach telling me I did it! I hit below parallel!! This was a first and a huge milestone showing the inprovement of my flexibility. SOOOOO HAPPPYYY.. 

So, here I am.. in the depth of my front squat.. please don't be critical because I'm completely aware my arms should be up, etc.. but what I'm excited about is how low I got! if you follow the top of my thigh and imagine a marble on it - it would roll towards my hip - and THAT is below parallel!! WOOT WOOT 


Tomorrow night is the BIG night... after training my back squat for 4 weeks.. we are deloading this week and retesting for my 1 rep max back squat tomorrow night. My current 1 rep max is 135lbs... and I'm hoping hoping hoping to have improved that to 150lbs which would be PHENONMENAL.. but I'll be happy if I just improve... but my mind is set on 150lbs! 

29 days til Africa 
3lbs to go to meet Zipline Goal

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Welcome to the Grind

"Rise and shine. 

6am and your hand can't make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it's too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of a bed. 

Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move 

A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland, but you didn't ask their opinion. 

The voice you've chosen to listen to is one of defiance. 

A voice that's says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place. So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don't look back because we've got work to do. 

Welcome to The Grind! 

For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way, 10,000 streams fan out like a river delta before you, Each one promising the path of least resistance. 

Thing is, you're headed upstream. And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what's comfortable and what's safe and what some would call "common sense", well that's day 1. From there it only gets tougher. 

So just make sure this is something you want. Because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away, all you have to do is pick up your feet.

But you aren't going to are you?
With each step comes the decision to take another 

You're on your way now

But this is no time to dwell on how far you've come. 
You're in a fight against an opponent you can't see

Oh but you can feel him on your heels can't you?

Feel him breathing down your neck 

You know what that is?
 That's you...
Your fears, your doubts and insecurities all lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky

But don't lose heart

While they aren't easily defeated, they are far from invincible

Remember this is The Grind

The Battle Royale between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who's telling you that this is just a game, this is just a waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you.

Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat

Burn away your self doubt with the fire that's beneath you

Remember what you're fighting for

And never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress, 
She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake.

She is ever searching for that weak place in your armor

That one tiny thing you forgot to prepare for

So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains,"is that all you got?", "are you sure?"

And when the answer is "yes". That you've done all you can to prepare yourself for battle THEN it's time to go forth and boldly face your enemy, the enemy within 

Only now you must take that fight into the open, into hostile territory
You're a lion in a field of lions 

All hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says VICTORY is the only thing that can keep you alive

So believe that voice that says " you CAN run a little faster " and that " you CAN throw a little harder " and that " you CAN dive a little deeper" and that, for you, the laws of physics are merely a suggestion. 

Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat on the other hand is for those who know it's a choice, so decide now because destiny waits for no man. And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you're not ready for it, listen instead for that lone voice in decent the one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it's all up to you now. 

So rise and shine. 

30 Days til Africa 
3lbs to go til Zipline Goal!!! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today I Struggled...

Today was my "off" day for CrossFit.. .but I have to get my burn on in some other way.. but today it just wasn't happening.. I had plans to have dinner with an old friend at 7pm.. at Chipotle.. I could have gone swimming but not alot of time to wash my hair, get dressed and get to dinner.. I could do some rowing at home but just wasn't in the mood.. 

Truth is, I wasn't in the mood for activity at all.. I just wanted to veg.. so, I came up with a plan to walk to Chipotle.. if I took a circuitous route it would be 3.2 miles.. which is a long walk for me..and I could get my friend to give me a ride home.. Usually, my achilles hurts for the first mile.. and then it kinda calms down.. but not tonight.. it hurt the entire time.. bad.. and I limped into Chipotle.. 

However, I wanted to turn back.. I didn't turn back.. I pressed on. .I wanted to take a day off... but i didn't.. I walked the 3.2 miles and I made it to dinner. I had a great time with my friend.. 

I have no inspiring point here.. just that this journey is NOT EASY.. and a lot of times it's NOT FUN.. and today was one of those days.. and now I'm going to bed and hoping my attitude will be better tomorrow.. 

My coach says "sometimes you just have to check the box and move on"... and that's what I did.. I checked the box.. 

31 Days til Africa 
4lbs to go to meet my Zipline Goal!! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lose FAT and Gain Muscle in One Month? Is it Possible??

Well, it was time for my DEXAscan retest... (DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry which is just a fancy x-ray. that uses two “rays” rather than a single one which allows it to measure density of bones and distinguish between fat and muscle. it is the gold standard for both measuring bone density and measuring fat vs muscle composition.)... anyhoo, I had one done 4 weeks ago and it was time for a redo to see if I'd managed to lose fat this past month without losing muscle and PERHAPS even put muscle on... 

The topic of being able to lose fat while building muscle is pretty controversial (who knew?).. many say it's impossible to have a calorie deficit in order to lose weight and a calorie excess necessary to gain muscle... but my Coach says it can be done.. alrighty then.. prove it! 

So, for the last month I have not changed my eating habits at all.. my BMR 4 weeks ago was 1400 calories.. so in the last month I ate, on average, 1000 calories with at least 100 grams of protein and less than 50 grams of carbs.. (I'm following the paleo way of eating which means my meals were made up of meat and veggies with some fruit.. no processed foods at all and very high quality calories) 

And this last month, I did CrossFit 3-4 times a week with the emphasis on BACKSQUATS... and weight lifting heavy (for me).. then I added 2-3 slow cardio sessions outside of CrossFit at the request of my Coach.. either walking, swimming, rowing or biking.. baddabing! 

I was nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.. but excited to see my results too.. 

Drum roll. 

I lost 14lbs of FAT during the last 4 weeks and PUT ON 2.5lbs of MUSCLE!!! I was ecstatic.. over the moon excited.. the average amount of muscle someone can put on without using steroids is about 2lbs.. and I PUT ON 2.5!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! 

i also had my BMR measured again because I wanted to see how the additional muscle impacted it.. and my BMR went from 1400 to 2000!!!!! IN FOUR FREAKING WEEKS!!! Tell ME that weight lifting doesn't work - HA.. All of my activity has STOKED the metabolism fires of this 51 year old menopausal woman!!! and I could not be happier!!! 

So, I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing until my Africa trip...last night was a fun workout... 5 rounds of 3 50lb squat cleans with an overhead push press.. 5 rounds of 5 65lb split presses (step 1 in being able to do a clean and jerk!)... 5 rounds of 5 65lb pendlay rows AND 

I PR'd my plank!!! I finally hit 1 minute!!!! That was one of my "big" milestones and friends?? it was all GRIT.. I dug deep.. cuz we did it at the end of the workout and I was BEAT... I started shaking at 10 seconds but Coach just kept telling me to get out of my head, power through, just 5 more seconds.. you got this... and I DID IT!!! WOOT WOOT!!! 


36 days til Africa 
5lbs to go to meet my ZipLine Goal!!!