Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How I Succeeded and Failed and Succeeded, Again

So recently I have been asked, by more than a few people for advice on how to get motivated, how to lose weight, how to get fit... basically, how did I go from this 

To this... 

then to this.. 

and now, getting back to this... 

(Proof that I'm not perfect.)

Truth be told, I haven't responded to a few people yet because there is so much to say and although there are a lot of generic solutions, which are incredibly helpful, I also want to make sure that it will work for the individual. As I thought about what I'd say to each person I realized that there are solid foundations that will work for everyone. Once the solid foundations are achieved, then it's time to tailor individual plans. The foundations I try to follow, I've found work for me by trial and error. I am not a dietitian or nutritionist. I am a CrossFitter, dog mom, military wife, and dreamer, but not a dietitian or nutritionist. So here we go!! 

  1. Write down everything you eat. Everything. Don't just write down "chicken & veggies", write 6oz chicken breast, 1 cup asparagus, etc. Be specific. 
  2. Know what you're putting in your body. Know your caloric intake, know your protein intake, know how much water you're drinking. If you drink pop, stop. Now. Or at least cut back a lot. Drink water and lots of it. I don't care that you don't like water, find a few times a day that you can just chug a glass of water if you have to. Drink.The.Water. 
    • Know what caloric, fat, protein, etc. is in anything you eat at a restaurant. This is super irritating because you will be extremely limited but you need to know what you're eating. At all times. Yes I am serious. It's a pain in the ass but it's necessary. 
  3. Plan your meals. Yes. Pick a day of the week and make it your day. Sit down, take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator, then make a grocery list. Plan to cook at least 5 meals, give yourself one "freebie" night and plan for at least one night of leftovers. If you're alone, your freezer will be your best friend. Use dinner leftovers for lunch. When you get home with your groceries, spend the time to prep them for the week. If you have something you pre-make for the week, this is your day to do it. 
  4. Pick your time, but pack your meals and snacks for the day. I pack my food before I go to bed. When I'm really tired, I have to force myself to do it, but it has to be done. 
  5. This is a big one - Some of your friends and family will not understand. They will think they are being supportive but they'll question what you're doing. When you're really disciplined, you won't be eating french fries and burgers, or even the "healthy" salad, you'll be drinking water and eating your homemade dinner. They won't understand that you would rather eat at home because that's what you planned for. Let me be clear. THIS WILL NOT BE EASY. They'll think it's weird not indulge from time to time, but what they don't understand is they're not the only person who wants us to indulge with them. If we say yes every time someone asks us to eat that way, we're right back to square one. 
  6. The scale will be your biggest enemy. Yes you will see some amazing victories on the scale but the weeks that number doesn't budge or you happen to gain a pound or two, you lose any sense of accomplishment. It's so defeating to have that happen, so if you must step on the scale, limit it. I mean it. Once a week at MOST, if you can, weigh yourself once a month. Also measure your arms, hips, waist, chest/bust, and thighs and every month redo the measurements. Take pictures. I know you don't want to right now, but do it. Take pictures once a month. Do it. You'll thank me later. Make a list of some non-scale victories (NSV) and when your scale is betraying you, focus on those. 
  7. Make yourself a priority. I really, really mean this. This is one of the harder ones for me to follow because I have always put my family first. It's so much easier to take care of everyone else rather than myself, which sounds crazy, but that's how it's been for me. In the beginning I really struggled to make sure I put myself first. I had to start a new routine which meant to make sure my car was packed the night before, my lunch was together in the fridge, my workout clothes laid out in the bathroom, all I had to do was make coffee, get dressed, pee, and get out the door. It was a glorious routine. It took me a bit to find a new routine when we moved, but once I found it; perfection. 
    • Make it work. I used to wake up at 4:18am every morning to get to workout by 5:30am, got home from work by 6:30pm and did it all over again the next day. Yes it sucked but I made it my priority because I am my priority. Currently I work 2 jobs, have 3 dogs, and make time to workout, because again, I am my priority. I have to be. 
  8. Something that The Biggest Loser has reminded me of is, I am slowly killing myself sometimes with my food choices. I think many people fail to understand that as well. The cookies, pizza, pop, beer, alcohol, all of it, it contributes to our long term health. Rarely do people know what they're eating anymore, I am guilty of this and I'm sure most of you are as well. Do you really know what is in that chicken nugget? Do you know where your meat is coming from? Do you know anything about the processed crap you're eating? At least start to educate yourself about the food you eat. This ties in to writing down everything you eat, you'll be able to see how often you eat "crap". 
  9. Find a workout/sport/activity that you enjoy. Try new things. I have always done better in a group setting, doing something team related. When I lived in Georgia I looked high and low for a boot camp that didn't cost a horrible amount of money. What I found was a new family and the best workout I ever had. I had a trainer to tell me exactly what movements to do, how many reps, and what days to be there. I had other people in the class that were stronger and faster than me, which gave me a goal. I had people in the class that pushed me, told me to pick up heavier weight, and got me to hold that plank for 3 seconds longer than I ever thought I could. For me, that was everything I needed. I learned I could do anything for 30 seconds. 
    • About a year after boot camp started I found CrossFit. This has the camaraderie I love but a greater intensity, I love it. It is something that you should experience at least once. It is so hard to explain but it is one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever been part of.
  10. Eat clean. What does eating clean mean? Things that are grown naturally. Eat good meat, meat that is hormone free. Eat tofu without GMO. Stay away from the inner aisle's of the grocery stores. Don't let the "healthy" aisle's fool you, fat free means additives. Pay attention to your food. 
So that's basically it. Pick and choose what works for you. Try different things. Give your trials a few weeks though. Your body will go a little crazy when you start making these changes so give it some time to adjust. Give it 2-4 weeks and see how you feel. If your change is waking up early, the second week will be the worst. Ask someone to keep you accountable, you'll be exhausted but when week 2 is over, you'll be so proud of yourself. And honestly, when you get up in the morning and workout, you have no excuse at the end of the day for not going. That's just my humble opinion. Good luck!!! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Yesterday I was given perspective and I think I really needed it. There were 3 other girls at the 6am class, which we all know, never happens. I walked in really tired and really not wanting to be there. During the SWOD I was struggling to get 200 off the ground and failed 225 completely. Then I tried 65 for the thrusters and needed to scale it more still, so I did 55. I felt alright during the WOD but definitely not my best day.
As we were walking into the locker room we were telling each other good job then they both looked at me and said something like "you're really strong, I can't wait to be there [doing thrusters with more than the bar]" my response was something like "Come on a Saturday and you'll see some real strength"

After I said this I took some time and thought about what I said and when I decided to say it. I was just given an awesome compliment from some newbies and instead of saying thank you, I told them I wasn't good enough, in not so many words. Instead of telling them it's taken me 6 months to get where I'm at, which is always a work in progress. Instead of telling them, that doing a total of 55 thrusters with 35# for their first time is awesome. Instead of telling them, that as time progresses they'll find their form improving and their weight getting heavier. Instead of saying thank you. No, instead of all of this, I told them that I wasn't good enough for them to "look up to".

HOW STUPID!! Seriously, how stupid of me to react like that. I know that I'm strong, I know that I've worked my ass to get where I am, and I also know that I have something to be proud of. Yet, my initial reaction was less than stellar. I know that I look up to the other girls at the box and really use them as inspiration to push myself harder and pick up heavier weight.
I just forget that I have something to look up to. I forget that when I first started I looked up to someone similar to myself, as I got better, so did she, so I was always chasing her. I need to remember that I am someone to chase, maybe not every day, but some days people will chase me. This morning I chased Megan, I don't think she knew I was racing her, but I was.

The moral of this post is to remind myself and others that we all started at zero. Everyone was a beginner when they started doing crossfit, well maybe not everyone, but most have never attempted something like this. When I first started everything was a struggle, everything. It took me almost 3 months to get my first pullup without a band. After that, it took me another 2 months to get more than 1 at a time. There are days like yesterday where I come in, give my all, and still feel like it just wasn't good enough, which is OKAY. It's time to start remember this. Remember to be proud of yourself.