Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ahh-ha moments and running with gazelles

Hey Everybody!

Don't you just love "ahh-ha" moments? Those moments when it seems like the cobwebs in your head somehow get brushed away and the things you have been wrestling with suddenly make sense and are easy to perform. I have had a few...and while I am always glad when the fog lifts, I still feel a little stupid when I realize just how hard I was making things by over thinking. As my mama always says "Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill."

Well apparently today was my day for some Crossfit ahh-ha moments...

Dropping under the bar, sounds easy right? Not really. Dropping under a bar with heavy weight isn't easy at all. It's one heck of a mind game. Who wants to be under a bar with 100+ pounds on it? But that one little movement, getting under that bar quickly, while it is still traveling up over your head, is critical to controlling that weight and getting it up. (I think that is one long ass run on sentence lol). I have been trying to do this for some time. I have cracked myself under the chin, whacked my forehead, and dropped the bar more times than I can count...learning this little movement has not been an easy road.

My moment came today while doing Power Snatches, one of my favorite oly lifts. I can't tell you how or what changed...I wish I could...but all I know is when I had the bar at eye level, my body dropped under the bar and I caught it with great form. I had coach watch me  to make sure I wasn't lacking in the form department, and she said "looks can lift more weight". So I did. And I got a new PR on Power Snatches...100lbs.

Running with the gazelles:

We always begin our warmup with a run, either 400 meters or an 800. Anyone who has ever joined in a WOD knows that Crossfit and running goes together like peanut butter and jelly. As I have probably mentioned in an earlier blog (?), I hate running. I cannot stand to run. I would rather do burpees than run. Have I mentioned that I hate running?

Since this is a weak area and one of my goals was to improve, I have been doing extra running intervals with my husband. And while I love him very very much, I can't help but want to trip him when we are doing these intervals. Have these extra sessions helped? I am beginning to think so. Steve is a fan of telling me that I am faster than what I think I am. He has also mentioned before that when I run, it is like I am fighting my body to stay slow and not stretch out and eat some ground. And he is absolutely right. I over think running. When I am running, all that is going through my head is how much I hate it, how weak I am in this area, any number of disparaging thoughts.

Today was different. On the drive to the box, the cobwebs cleared and I finally realized what Steve was saying. I am faster than what I think I am.Why was I wasting my energy fighting against being fast? What was I afraid of? What harm could possibly come from just letting go? So I let go. When coach said to run, I wasn't dreading it like I normally did. My mind wasn't whirling with how much I hated to run. My mind was quiet...and I just moved my feet...and while I felt myself running, I didn't FEEL myself running. Normally I can feel every thud of my feet on the asphalt, feel it jarring my, I didn't. I was just moving.

I jokingly call the faster runners in the noon class, gazelles, because they just bound away like they have wings on their, I was running with the gazelles...and it was nice.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

OK...I admit it...

Hey everybody!

OK, I admit it...I am not a blogger. It's been quite a while since my last post. In my defense, it is kind of hard to blog with a teething 4 month old. Plus, I've never really been one to write about what I am doing or thinking about. In the past I have tried to keep a seems that a lot of smart people I know keep one...but not me. I am alright for a couple of days, then I forget a night or three and before I know it, the journal has become a safe haven for dust bunnies.  So, again, sorry for the lack of blogs...I will try to do better.

I guess now it would be good to catch everyone up on what's going on with my challenge. Well, I have been eating clean for a few weeks now (with the exception of this past Tuesday and tonight). I have noticed a huge difference in my performance in the gym as far as weight increase goes. I have already made my 200lbs+ deadlift. I recently got 125lbs overhead, which was freakin awesome and I jumped up 10lbs on my strict press.

As far as working on my pull ups and running, I am working with my coach and my husband. I am moving to the next color band on pull ups, no matter how bad I want to stay with the green band. The running, in a word, SUCKS! I am doing intervals with my husband and pushing myself to go as fast as I can. Steve says he can see an, I just keep chanting in my head "I am a Velicoraptor, I am a Velicoraptor". Believe it or not, it helps me stay with the Pose running method. However, if I really were this particular dinosaur in the Jurassic period, I would have died way before the meteor crash because of my currant lack of speed.

How is Paleo and menu planning going, you may ask? Well, Paleo is going great. My husband and my coach have noticed a change. I stepped on the scale at home and my current status is 199.6lbs...not a bad drop from 207. I get pinched again on Tuesday so we will see how the inches look. Depending on what the results are, I may or may not start adding the Zone to my eating habits. The menu I understand the benefits of a little forethought in planning meals (saving money by getting just what you are planning to cook, not wondering what the heck to fix for dinner, etc). I am just getting waylaid by my lazy side in this area. But tomorrow is grocery day, so I may surprise myself and actually get a menu planned.

I am on day 64 of, not only this challenge, but also the push up challenge I placed upon myself. I have noticed a huge gain in this area. I can do ten boy push ups in a row and I am also doing incline push ups. I may be wrong, but I think my push ups helped me get 95lbs up in a strict press. I know that ten push ups in a row may not sound like a lot to some, but from not being able to do any, this is big. Am I doing them in the gym? I am doing a mix. I try to do as many on my toes as I can, then switch to me knees...some days are better than others though, but I still keep trying.

Well, I think that pretty much does it. I will try to do better about blogging, especially since I am coming to the end of my challenges. Until my next post,

I am Sincerely
- Mel

Monday, April 25, 2011

Here's the skinny on me...

Hey everyone!

I have finished my assessment at the gym and I am about to tell you the  results. I got pinched with the calipers on April 12th. I am not sure what the unit of measure is on those things, so I will just post the numbers.
My height is 5'6", my body fat is at 36%,  my weight is 207lbs and it will be 3 months since I had my son on the 30th of April.
Chin: 10.4          
Cheek: 14.8
Triceps (R): 22.6
Subscap (R): 22
Midaxilla (R): 20
Suprailiac (R): 31
Umbilical (R): 32.6
Hamstring (R): 32.8
Thigh (R): 46.8
Calf (R): 26.2
I also discovered that in the flexibility portion of the assessment, my right side is tighter than my left. I can also row a 2k in under 10 minutes.

I will be honest and say that I am at my heaviest right now. Unfortunately, only movie stars seem to lose baby weight within a week after delivery. I am on day 25 of my challenge and getting ready to go on vacation to introduce our little Eli to the family. I won't lie and say I am going to be hardcore with my eating while gone, because who ever really eats right when they are on vacation? I will however keep up with my pushups ;).

I have an idea on what I am going to do to change the numbers, but it won't be until after we get back from vacation. My goal is that at the end of my 100 day challenge, my body fat will be at 30%...or lower (fingers crossed).

Until my next post, I am sincerely

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ok, that could have been smoother...

Hey Everyone!

Today is day 19 of my challenge. How, you might ask, did the first 18 of my challenge go? Well, not too good. I have kept up with my pushups and can now do two good boy pushups. That doesn't sound like much, but when you are the Queen of Knee Pushups, getting on my toes is a huge accomplishment. As far as my other goals go, I feel like I have been playing a game of "Mother, May I". For every two steps forward, I seem to forget to ask the title question and have to start at the beginning again. Add to that some personal stress and you get a mix of good and bad eating, no menu planning and still being the last one to finish a WOD that involves any amount of running.  

In order to try to get myself back on track, I am doing some extra work with my coach at the gym. She just got a certification under her belt that has to do with body fat assessment and flexibility and she has kindly let me be her guinea pig. I got pinched all over the place last Tuesday and each day I have done a different phase. They have ranged from doing different flexibility exercises, physical assessment like how long I can hold a side plank position  and anaerobic and aerobic endurance. There is one more assessment I have to do and then we get to form a game plan on how to start improving. We have decided that I will get pinched once a month (yea, because it sucks).

My menu planning goal has not yet been implemented...I can be a little lazy sometimes <shrug>. It is not that I am lacking the knowledge or the tools, I even have a 30 day meal plan already done for me in Robb Wolf's book. I also have a ton of Paleo recipes that I have already prepared dozens of times and even more at my finger lack of ideas is not the thing...I am just being lazy.

But, everyday is a new day, a new beginning and a chance to get back on the horse. So here's to a new day, everyone, and I will tell you all about the next two weeks in my next blog.

Until then, I am sincerely,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day One...Lord beer me strength...

Hey everyone!

This will be a short blog considering I am doing this from my phone. Day one is almost over...not that bad of a day actually. Aside from a bag of Dorritos I shared with my husband and Duke, I ate Paleo. Ok, I know...bad bad Mel eating those delicious chips, but oh well, it's done. I am a huge ball of soreness from Crossfit this week...especially my arms. Sore arms do not make push-ups easy. My one push up for today was on my knees and it hurt. Anyway, more to come later. Sorry this is so short.

Until my next post, I am sincerely,

PS: fans of The Office will understand the title of this post lol

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ok...time to get real...

Hey everyone!

I am joining the SINS Challenge (Strong Is the New Skinny). Whew! Now that my mind has finally been made up, time to get started. I should probably use this first blog (I can't believe I am blogging lol) to introduce myself and explain the who, what, when and why of my upcoming journey.

My name is Melissa (just call me "Mel") and I am 31 years old. I am, well, a lot of things to a lot of people, but the ones that matter most to me are: Army Wife, Mother, Daughter and Crossfitter. I married my soul mate four years ago and we just welcomed our first child, Samuel Elijah (Eli), two months ago this Wednesday. I have been a daughter, well, all my life (lol) and a Crossfitter for two years. It was my Crossfit coach, Becky, who first told me about this challenge and encouraged me to do here I am, doing it.

I am going to start on Friday, April 1st and I will do this challenge for 100 days. That will put the ending of this challenge on Saturday, July 9th. This challenge is basically a good ole fashioned nose thumbing at society's stick figures posing on the covers of fashion magazines,claiming that one is only healthy if they are a bag of bones.  I disagree...obviously. It has been a hard transition for me to accept that I will never be "skinny", never fit into a size 0, to accepting my solid and stocky body and enjoying the fact that I am strong as hell.

Now I will outline the goals I have set for myself these next 100 days. Some are goals for the gym and some are for the home, and all of them are personal. I have thought long and hard about these goals and what they mean to me. So here it goes...

1) Get stronger in the gym.
Ok, that one sounds kinda general so let me elaborate. I want to be able to do consecutive boy push-ups, kipping pull-ups without any assistance from a band, increase my running speed and break 200lbs in my deadlift. I already have a plan on how to improve my push-ups and that is by doing a 100 day push-up challenge along with the SINS challenge. So, on Friday, April 1st since that is day one, I will do one push up, day two, do two push ups, and so on until on Saturday, July 9th, I will be doing 100 push ups. The other things I am still working out a plan on how to improve. 
However, one step to improving all of these (push ups, pull ups, running and my deadlift) will be to lose a few pounds through good nutrition...and this leads me to my second goal...

2) Eat Paleo on a more regular basis.
I got introduced to the Paleo lifestyle October 09 during a Paleo Challenge at Crossfit Fort Bragg. I have been eating this way ever since, with the occasional cheat meal thrown in. This way of life basically means that I eat a lot of lean meat, fish, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds. I stay away from processed foods and I try to eat fresh as much as I can and frozen when I can't. I feel better eating Paleo than I ever have in my life. I can't really give you all the hows and whys of Paleo because I am still learning them myself. But I do recommend Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" if you want your questions answered. I am reading it myself. With this particular goal, I am simply wanting to decrease the number of cheat meals I eat. I am at one a week right now. I am thinking that by doing this I will get some good results. I will keep track of my meals and my results by taping my body. I will post my stats and I will tape every two weeks to see what kind of progress I am making.
Now I firmly believe that to succeed in anything requires a little forethought and onto goal number three...

3) Menu planning.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Menu planning will not only take care of "What am I eating today?" and "What's for dinner, Babe?" It will also help with our family budget by letting me buy only what I plan to cook so that I am not wasting food or money. I will plan my menu for a fortnight (just a fancy way of saying 2 weeks). For the first thirty days, I will be following the menu plan out of "The Paleo Solution". Robb's book has a full menu, broken down for each week and his website has the grocery list for each week.
And since I like even numbers better than odd, here is a fourth goal...

4) Lose my baby jiggle.
As I said above, my little man will be two months on Wednesday. I realize that if I were a Hollywood star, the jiggle would have been gone the day after Eli was born. Sadly, the reality is that I am not a Hollywood star and the jiggle remains. I did Crossfit during my pregnancy and that helped to keep my weight gain at a reasonable amount.  But now that I am not pregnant anymore, it is time to get my body back. I know that the above goals I outlined will help me reach this last one. I am excited to begin on Friday and to keep you guys posted on my progress. Feel free to comment and to give tips or constructive input.

Until my next post, I am sincerely,