Sometimes the moments we feel most lost are the ones in which we find ourselves

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Forward Motion

Again, it has been far too long since my last post. Time is flying by. I can't believe we are already into November and in 7 weeks I will be home and finished with my first semester of graduate school. So far, things has been going well. I am swamped with work Swamped. Tons of reading and papers every week. I feel like I am always carrying around some book with me, to get in a little work whenever I have extra time. But, the great thing is that I really love what I am doing right now. Everything I am reading and all the discussions I am having in class excite me and so it doesn't seem like such a burden to have to work so hard.

Keith is coming up on Monday, which I can't wait for. Hopefully we will get good weather and we can go do some tourist sight-seeing and such. I haven't done a crazy lot of that, so I look forward to seeing yet another side of the city.

Crossfit is going well. I got a handle on my eating and have lost about 6 pounds since I have been here....or at least since I starting caring again. It is hard to eat well here, but not impossible. I just need to be more deliberate with my choices and plan a little more accordingly. I am starting to feel like I am in control again, which is really nice. I am enjoying working out with the crew at Crossfit Gotham. It is a different vibe than Central, but that is to be expected. It is just fun to get to experience another affiliate and I think it is really comforting that there is that common thread I share with such a great community. Like anywhere I go, there is a build in network that I just have to contact. I will get a pull up, sold push ups and double-unders. I will.

I will try to get better about posting, but all in all, life is not that crazy. I feel comfortable in the city and I have found a routine. Well, as much of a routine as I can hope for right now. I just have to continue making forward motion. That is the name of the game.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A better week

I feel much more optimistic about things today. Last week I decided something had to give in terms of my diet and workout routine. On Monday, I bought a scale. Tuesday I decided to go paleo, had a good "last meal" (pictured here) and Wednesday I tried to make things happen. I haven't been 100%. I have had very minimal carbs, a wrap and an oatmeal cookie I think. I have had some yogurt and cheese. But all in all, I did much better with my diet. The hard thing is finding things to eat when I am not at my apartment and really hungry. But today I solved that problem in a way never done before. I ate tuna right out the packet. I felt like a goober while doing it, but it did the trick! Filled me up and got me through the next 4 hours studying in the library. Tomorrow will be my first official weigh in to see what progress I have made. I am hoping for a pound, but we shall see.

My workouts have also improved. I have hooked up with Crossfit Gotham and I really enjoy working with Mike. He is very attentive and I am working on my pull ups every time we meet. I need to try and get down there more than 3 times a week, but my schedule right now doesn't let me unless I go early in the morning, I am not 100% comfortable riding the subway in the dark. But we shall see. I am confident I will get a pull up in the next few months. Even if it just one ugly one. I just want to get my chin over the bar with my own strength!

School is going well and keeping my amazingly busy. I have so much reading to do this week, it is unreal. I also have a conference on Thursday and Friday and a 15-20 page research paper due next monday, which I have yet to start. Ah, the pressure of grad school. At least crossfit has prepared me to deal with mental challenges as well as physical ones!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Up a lot....and not in a good way

I broke down and bought a scale yesterday. It has seriously been over 6 weeks since I last weighed myself and I was dreading it. The last week I have really tried to be more aware of what I am eating, but I know the damage was already done. But being scared is not a good enough reason to continue to live in ignorance, so I got on. It was bad. Not as bad as I feared it might be, but bad. Lets just say that I was at my lowest at the end of I am Crossfit in March. Since then, I am up 23 pounds. Are you kidding me? That is ridiculous. I could make up every excuse in the book about why it happened, that I gained muscle and that I was sick and was in transition and blah blah blah. The point is that it is a slippery slippery slope back into an old life that I thought I had long put behind me. It only goes to show you cannot get comfortable, cannot be lax in your commitment.

Like I said, the last week has been better. I worked out 4 times last week in addition to walking a million miles. I hooked up with a new crossfit affiliate, Crossfit Gotham, and look forward to getting my butt kicked with them a few times a week. But really, the major problem in the food. I finally stopped drinking diet soda after a few weeks of indulgence. And I have eliminated the mindless snacking in between meals. If I can just clean up my meals, I will be ok. I just have to remind myself that it is ok if I am not 100% like I was at home. If I eat some toast, that doesn't mean I have ruined my day and/or give me permission to eat like crap for the rest of the day.

I know I can do this. Not just for myself, but for all the people who have put time/effort/energy/love into helping me get my life on track.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy Jane

At one of my last workouts with Crossfit Central, the eternal optimist Andy told me I was lazy. I was appalled. Me? Lazy? Do you see me busting my ass out here every day? Lugging my less than slim frame up and down the black top, pushing beyond my limits. I argued vehemently that I was not lazy, and stayed after class to run 6 400m sprints just to prove my point.

Fast-forward 4 weeks...and I am lazy. Yeah, yeah. I am in a transitional phase. So what? I don't have a refrigerator or kitchen. So what? Why does that give me permission to make poor choices? There is always a good alternative and a bad one, and I have been allowing myself way too much slack. I have worked out maybe 5 times since I have moved here. I am tired. I have too much homework. My schedule just doesn't fit. I hate running. All of these things pop into my mind. I let them justify not doing the work I have to. it is easier to grab a muffin and head to the library than it is to take 15 minutes and sit down and eat a descent breakfast. It is easier to grab a sandwich at the deli than to find a place with a good salad. The easy way out doesn't cut it.

My clothes are NOTICEABLY tighter, and since I didn't bring my scale with me (gasp!) that is a good enough indicator for me that I am not moving in the right direction. I do not want my body to be neglected as I attempt to expand my mind. No expansion of the waist line!

So tomorrow I am starting fresh. I am getting up and going for a run. Then I am showing and going to eat a breakfast of 2 eggs, some fruit, maybe a piece of toast and some coffee. Then I am heading to the library to write a paper that I would rather not have to think about. Then I am going to come back here to the dining hall and make a good, balanced salad for lunch. I will then return to the library with an apple and almond butter in tow, go to class, get home about 9, eat a sensible dinner, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. All the while drinking enough water, avoiding diet soda and mindless snacking.

This seems easy enough and it is something that I previously took for granted being able to do. I have fallen back on bad habits and I know it will be work to break myself of them. But i would be mortified if I came back to CC in worse shape than I left. I would be disappointed in myself for letting all that work be for nothing and for ignoring what I know is good for my body and soul.

So tomorrow is a new day. A fresh start at continuing something I started 3 years ago now. I know it is a life long struggle, but I am ready to reach a place where I am really happy with myself. I am almost there. I can feel it.

I will no longer be lazy!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Observations

Some things I have thus far observed about New York City:

1. You cannot dress for the weather. You will always be cold in the shade and hot in the sun. The rain boots and tights you rocked in the morning will look ridiculous by the time you get out of class and the sun has dried up every indication of rain.

2. There are police everywhere.

3. If you are a female and you pass a male standing/sitting on the side of the street, there is a 95% chance he will make some sort of comment to you. Regardless of what you are wearing or look like. There is an even greater chance this comment will make no sense, but you will undoubtedly know what is intended.

4. Even though New York is very fast paced, you have to have a lot of patience to live here.

5. As long as a car is more than 10 feet away, it is perfectly acceptable to walk in front of it. Even if they have a green light and are a speeding trash truck.

6. When you get onto a crowded subway car, you will know who the locals are. They are the ones complaining how they don't have any room or how your bag is touching them. You would think they would be used to it.

7. Do not, under any circumstances, get into the black cabs with no clear identification.

8. There is a fortunate lack of blonds here.

9. You need cash, and a lot of it. Get out as much as possible whenever you can.

10. If you are a germaphobe, agoraphobe, xenophobe, or claustrophobic, you will not do well here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NYC and Me

A little more about where I am...

I am starting my Masters at Teachers College, Columbia in Comparative Education. More on that latter. But for the next year, I will be living in this city known as NYC. I am about 2 blocks from campus which is just south of Harlem proper, but still very much Manhattan. There is so much street culture here, it is amazing. Everywhere I walk, and I do walk a lot, has such wonderful sights and sounds and smells. Ok, not all of the smells are great. This place is definitely an assault on the nose. But you get the idea. Wonderful flower shops and markets and bookstores and bakeries.

Ahhh...the bakeries. The food in general here is amazing. There are endless local restaurants and it is so refreshing to be in a place that doesn't have fast food and big chairs on every corner. This is indeed a blessing and a curse. Great to have such a variety. Bad because it makes you want to eat out all the time. Everything is expensive here, which is to be expected. So you can really go through a lot of money pretty fast if you are not careful. Plus, there are the usual pitfalls of eating out.

I have had a difficult time adjusting my eating here. My situation now is that I do not have kitchen or a refrigerator. Hopefully I will get a fridge soon, but the kitchen situation is no going to change. The dining hall here is fairly nice, and I have gotten in the habit of eating 2 of my 3 meals a day there. Breakfast is easy. 2 eggs and some fruit or toast. Then lunch and/or dinner I try to have some grilled protein and veggies or a big salad. For the first week or so I was fairly out of control. My schedule was all messed up and I was just grabbing whatever was most convenient. I can feel the effects of that. My clothes are all much tighter and my body in general does not feel in top form. So for the past few days I have really tried to get things into perspective. No, I cannot be as hardcore about being paleo or zoning here as I could at home. But that doesn't mean I cannot make smart choices. If I eat a piece of toast with my eggs in the morning, ok. As long as that is not followed with a bag of chips at lunch and a big cookie for dinner. It is going to take me a while to work out all the details, but I am proud of myself for trying my best to figure this out.

What about workouts, you ask?

Well, i contacted a crossfit gym here, so i am just waiting to hear back from them. Like I have said before, i am not sure how much time and money I am going to have to workout at a box, but I really want to try to make it work. For the first week, didn't do any workouts. Yes, I was walking 6 miles a day, but I don't count that. So on Tuesday a friend of mine and I went to Riverside Park, which is right across the street from me, and ran a good 3 miles or so. In between, we did some sit ups, burpees, and plank. It was really fun to be outside in a new environment doing all the movements we do int he gym. Then this morning, I went for about a mile run, and did 100 sit ups, 50 push ups, and 25 burpees. The weather here is so great that I really have no excuse not to be outside enjoying it while I can.

So I am going to try to get in a good run 2 times a week, a real WOD 3 times, and then just play around with other movements when I get the chance. I know it is a slippery slope to undoing all the hard work I have done thus far. I certainly am not going to let that happen. It is going to be a difficult transition into being healthy and fit in my new home, away from all my routines, familiarities, comfort, and support. But I am determined to make it happen. This ear I will better my mind and body, with a little bit of soul searching too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It Has Begun!!!

I haven't written in awhile and I am now a whole week into my New York experience! Crazy. I promise to write more, as there is a lot going on. But for now, this is what I wrote on the plane ride over here:

The time has finally come. i am sitting on the plane headed for New York City. The experience thus far has been surreal. I haven't felt a lot of build up or anticipation. I am not particularly anxious or nervous. I am just doing it. Living in the moment. Trying to deal with things as they come.

I think this has something to do with the fact that I am 25. Not that that is terribly old or something. But I certainly have a perspective on life that I didn't have when I was in college. I used to plan and organize for situations like this weeks in advance. Write and re-write lists and things I had to accomplish. I would get so nervous about the upcoming flight of move or change that it would consume me for long time beforehand. This time things feel different. I am so sad to leave Keith and my parents. Even saying goodbye to my cat, Romo made me cry. and you would think that going off on my own to NYC would be clear cause for panic, fear, paranoia. But I feel pretty calm.

I know the next year will be amazing and difficult and bring with it experiences I cannot even predict or anticipate. So why try to see into the future? I would easily get overwhlemed if I started to think about all the things that I have to organize and finalize and figure out in the next few weeks, so why let it ruin my time? Of course this is easy to say now, before things have even begun. But I really feel like I am going to just soak it all in. Live my life. Enjoy every moment of it and take advantage of every opportunity.

So if you are interested in keeping up to date on my adventures, follies, and general state of mind, check back often. Wish me luck and come visit!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Days in Austin

It has been a long time since I last wrote a post. A lot has happened. My experiment with going paleo went amazingly well. I stuck to it and felt great. The problem came about 3 weeks ago when my husband and I got swine flu. Let me just say it sucked. I don't get sick very often, so it was a shock to me when I literally didn't have the energy to get off the couch. I missed over a week of work and a good 10 days of working out. It might be a lame excuse, but my eating went out the window when i got sick. since then, everything has gone downhill. I have just not been feeling my workouts and my eating has been a mess. This really bums me out because I feel like I missed out on my last month of Austin, at work, and at Crossfit Central.

I leave for NYC on Monday, so only 2 more full days in Austin. I am a little nervous about the move, but mostly excited. I think the first 2 weeks will be hard, trying to get into a routine and find my way. But I am ready for a change and this is going to be an amazing expereince.

I am going to write more in NYC, as I will keep anyone who cares updates on not just my workouts and eating, but my life in general.

Better get to packing....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going Paleo

I wrote this last week, but forgot to post it. I am now on day 12 of going paleo and will write more about that later.

On Thursday I committed to going paleo for the next 3 weeks. What is “going paleo” you ask? Paleo is short for Paleolithic, which refers to the era of the cavemen. In essence, the paleo diet is the caveman diet or the hunter gatherer diet. If your caveman ancestors didn’t eat it, you don’t eat it. Whole natural foods, nothing processed. For some foods, it is fairly easy to decide if it is “ok” or not. Obviously, no soda, no potato chips, no brownies. For other foods, it is a little less clear. On the paleo diet, you do not consume grains or starches like potatoes. Why? Because you cannot eat these foods in their natural, uncooked state. If you went out and tried to eat raw potato, you would get sick. It took a long time for man to figure out that they could broaden their culunary options by cooking food. So, while you can cook your food on the paleo diet, you cannot eat anything that you are obligated to cook in order to eat safely. Also, dairy is a no no. This one is controversial to some because milk is the first food that humans eat and it doesn’t necessarily have to be processed. But modern dairy products are predominantly processed and pasteurized and are therefore off limits. The body also has a hard time digesting dairy so it is a good idea to limit it as much as possible.

So that is the cut and dry explanation. For the last 4 days, I have stuck to my commitment. I have been eating a lot of lean protein like chicken and bison, and a lot of fruit and veggies. I am usually pretty clean with my eating, but I have making a real effort to measure and count what I am putting in my body. I haven’t been hungry and mentally I feel like I am making progress. I have started a food journal where I write everything I eat and in what quantity and at what time. I am also tracking my weight, my water intake, and my workouts. So far, I have lost 2 pounds. Even if those are water weight, I will take it. So for the next 18 days, it is going to be a lot of veggies, fruit, almonds, olive oil, chicken, bison, and fish. But you know what? That doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Down to the Wire

I haven’t written anything in awhile. I guess I am just trying to figure out all the thoughts running around in my little head. I have been super busy getting everything ready for my move to New York in the fall. Flights, deposits, housing, registering for classes. I forgot how much stress and responsibility comes with going back to school! But I am super excited for it to get underway and know that the next year will be a worthwhile struggle.

As far as diet goes, I feel like I have been doing ok. Unfortunately, my body does not do ok with an ok diet. I have been maintaining for a few months now, with fluctuations of 5 pounds or so. I am not at my lowest weight, but I know some of the pounds I have put back on are muscle because my body fat is down. But I am zoning back in and trying to really hold myself accountable for my decisions, good and bad. I am trying not to beat myself up when I goof or give in, but rather relish the moments when I feel like I had a great day.

The first two weeks of July were a little jacked up in terms of workouts. It seems like on days when classes are cancelled, I find it hard to motivate myself. I am so used to having the structure of the gym that I make a million excuses when I am on my own. This worries me for New York. I am going to be on my own and 100% responsible for getting the work done. I am going to link up with an affiliate, but time and money are both going to be fairly limited. So I am going to follow the crossfit.com workouts and the ones posted by Crossfit Central. But I am just going to have to do it. It will be a great test and I know I can do it if I just commit to it.

I have 6 weeks left at Crossfit Central, which is beyond sad to me. I love those guys and I love working out there. But I know I will be back and hope to be able to continue the friendships I have made there while I am away. But I really want to use the next 6 weeks to push myself beyond where I am or have been and accomplish some of the things I have set out to do. The countdown is on and I tend to do well when I have the pressure of a deadline. I want to leave for New York feeling like I can take on anything and being 100% happy with where I am and the effort I have made.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Forward Motion

Looking back on where we have been can often be a great way to put the present into perspective. I often get down about my progress, or lack there of. I didn’t do that fast enough or I didn’t go heavy enough or I shouldn’t have eaten that cookie or I wish I could lose the last 10 pounds. Too many negative, self-deprecating thoughts will only lead to continued failure.

It is hard for me to be objective about myself, my body and abilities. I often don’t give myself enough credit or rejoice in my accomplishments. So today I decided to post a “Before/During” picture. I do not call this an “After” because I see my life as a continual journey. But it does show how far I have come and that there is a lot for me to be proud of.

Many of you have seen the before, which was taken spring break my senior year of college. The during pic was taken at the start of the Spartan 300 Challenge in May of this year. I put them side by side mostly to show myself, without a shadow of a doubt, that I have been successful. I have made progress and regardless of how slow and difficult the road has been, it has been worth every minute and drop of sweat. Although I look forward to the day when I can post a picture that makes the one from this year look like a different person, I am happy with where I am and know that I have been through something that many people will never experience. If I am strong enough to make the commitment to change my life, I am strong enough to continue to make the smart choices to keep me here. Forward motion, right? Forward motion.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Spartan 300!

The final Spartan 300 workout is on Saturday! I am not excited and nervous about it. I am nervous because I am going to do 95 pounds instead of 65. The only things this will impact is my deadlifts, floor wipers, and increase the weight of my kettle bell. I am not worried about the increase in kettle bell weight because I really enjoy kettle bells and I have done that weight before. The deadlifts will be harder, but again, I have done that weight before and I know that I can physically do it. The thing that worries me is the floor wipers. I am not even 100% sure that I can hold that weight over my head long enough to do the movement. So that worries me. But I know that if I don’t step up and do it now, I am not going to. So even if my time is slow, even if I don’t finish, I am going to give it what I’ve got and hope that is enough. I am also nervous to get my body assessment done. I have not been doing very well. I have been eating pretty well, but I have not been 100% into it. So my weight has just been going up and down up and down. The last week I have figured it out, but it might be too little too late. And since I am trying not to let the scale have so much control over me, I might forgo the weigh in altogether. I know that if it is not what I want it to be, it is going to impact my workout. And the workout is really more important to me at this point. But we shall see. So I will hopefully have good news to post after Saturday and not let the end of this challenge justify falling off the wagon…for the millionth time! I am determined to get there this time, wherever there is.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's the Deal?

We are down to one week before the Spartan challenge final. I don’t feel like I have done a whole lot. Zachary asked me the other day if I felt stuck, so clearly other people are noticing my lack of forward motion as well. I am not sure what it is. I try to not pay attention to my weight, but it is difficult. I have used it for so long as a measure of my success, that it is hard to get away from that. The scale hasn’t moved in forever. In fact, it often moves up. Despite working out hard 5 or 6 times a week and despite the fact that I eat pretty darn clean. Sure, there is always room for improvement. But all in all, I eat healthy and appropriately. So what gives? I feel like I fight really hard just to maintain, which really worries me about what that means when I move to New York. I am not going to have the time or money to commit to crossfit like I do here. I am going to do it on my own as much as possible, but I know it is not going to be the same. So does that mean I am going to slide backwards? I refuse to believe this is as good as it gets for me in terms of fitness, but I am really struggling to figure out what I have to do to push farther. Maybe the change in workout routine will be a good thing? Maybe it will shock my body back into paying attention and reacting positively to my efforts. I am not discouraged. I am not down and out. Just a little confused about where I am going with all of this and the best road to get there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Moving Closer

I am starting to get really excited about going to New York. I am ready to be back in school. I am ready to be taking classes that genuinely interest me. I am ready to be finished working a 9-5 for a while. I am ready to be in a new city having new adventures. I am ready to get out of my comfort zone for awhile and see what I am really made of. Of course, I am nervous. About 2 months ago I would have told you I was 50% excited and 50% terrified. I am no longer terrified, but I am still anxious about the challenges that I know are in store. I am going to miss my husband most of all. It is going to be difficult to be away from him for so long. But we have done it before, I am going to be tremendously busy, and he is so supportive. It will be hard, but I know we can survive a year. I am going to miss my parents and my cat and my friends and my gym!

Now that I am only a few months away from moving, I am trying to make the most out of the time I have in Austin. I am trying to step up my workouts, step up my nutrition. I want to get out and do all the things I love about Austin because I know I am going to miss doing them in New York. I just want to enjoy being here, right now, at this time in my life. Who knows what is in store down the road, but I am certainly ready to find out. I love my life and while I would be perfectly happy if nothing changed, I am thrilled to be given the chance to shake things up and change the course of my life forever.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Go Hard or Go Home!

There are now less than 3 weeks left in the Spartan Challenge. I will admit, I have not been as “into” it this year as I was last year. I am not sure what it is, but I don’t really feel any different than I do when I am not doing a challenge. I guess it is because I work out just the same and I give Zach my food logs like I was doing before. But I know this is a time to push myself. So with the realization that it is more than half way over and I don’t feel like I have a lot to show for it, I am going to make the next three weeks count.

What am I going to do, you ask? Well for starters:

No more diet soda!
I have started to become too dependent on them (one every few days) and I don’t like it. So no more. Done! They make me feel blah and overly artificially sugared.

Watch less TV! I don’t watch a huge ungodly amount, but I know I could be using my time more wisely. It is too easy to mindlessly eat when I watch TV, so by cutting down I will kill two birds with one stone.

Stay away from the bulk veggies chips and Whole Foods ginger cookies! I can easily trick my mind into thinking these are healthy alternatives to junk food, but they aren’t. So I am going to do without them for the next three weeks in hopes of getting out of the habit of buying them.

Only get a salad from Whole Foods or Central Market once a week. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but sometimes I get them 3 or 4 times a week. And in addition to being expensive, I eat more than I would if I made a salad at home. Also, I want to work on preparing my own meals, so getting away from these is important.

Be smart about my fat! Mike and Zach have both told me to up my fat, and I went a little crazy with it for awhile. Seriously. So instead of buying huge tubs of almond butter and pounds of almonds, I need to figure out some alternative to still get the fat I need without being tempted to over do it.

Last, but not least, work on pull ups and push ups every day! I want to get a pull up. Just one! And I want to get push ups on my toes. I have been lazy about working on these for whatever reason. Time to step it up.

So hopefully with these changes I will see good results in the next three weeks. I want to drop the weight without losing my strength, so I am going to really work on dialing in and making it happen!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friends in High Places!!!

I had the most wonderful weekend! My two best friends from college came to visit and I hadn’t seen them in almost 2 years. They are the kind of friends who you can go long periods of time without seeing or even talking to often, and as soon as you get back together it is just the same as if you saw each other ever day. It was so great to spend time with them and I don’t think I have laughed so hard or often ever. We did a lot of the typical Austin things, but the weather didn’t cooperate for everything. We got a good thunderstorm, but made the best of it. We ran around a lot, but it seemed like we were always eating. I mean, we went to Magnolia CafĂ©, Rudy’s, Hula Hut, Kerby Lane, Whole Foods, Alamo Drafthouse, just to name a few. I certainly ate more than I usually eat and the vast majority of it was carbs. I drank more than usual and I also didn’t really workout. I went to bootcamp Friday morning and then nothing else again until the WOD last night. But you know what? I don’t feel guilty about it. Usually I do. Usually I would let a messed up meal or day throw me off course for a month. But that has not been the case. I got right back on it yesterday and had the most amazing clean meal last night. It was comforting to know that I can go for a weekend and be “normal” in terms of going out and not being consumed by crossfit and still be ok. Now, I don’t want to make a habit of it and I won’t. But I think it is a sign of progress that I can find balance between restriction and indulgence, deprivation and over-consumption.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I did it! I completed my triathlon!!! In the cold and the wind and the mud. It felt so great! Let me recreate the experience for you:

Saturday brought with it ran and a “cold front.” I was worried that we would have to bike in the rain, which was really the only thing I was nervous about. Otherwise, I went and got my race number, checked out the free goodies, then went home to rest, eat well, and mentally prepare.

I woke up at 4 on Sunday morning in hopes of leaving my house by 5. I ate some oatmeal and almond butter, double checked to make sure I had everything, and was out the door. I got to the race site about 5:20 and there were already a ton of people there. Luckily it wasn’t raining, but the breeze was blowing and almost everyone had a sweater of some sort on. I got a spot on the end of the bike rack and set up my transition gear. This is when I thought I would get nervous, but I didn’t. I felt pretty ready for this race and just wanted to get it started! I got marked with my number and met up with my training buddies before heading down to the starting line. This was the coldest part of the day. The first heat went at 7 and I wasn’t scheduled to go till 7:20. So we were all standing around in our swimsuits, barefoot on the concrete waiting to get in the water. It seemed like forever as I watched people race around the markers in the water. Finally, it was my term and the water felt so warm compared to the air. But the wind was going pretty good, which made the water exceptionally choppy and you could actually see the current moving. We waded in to our necks and counted down to the start. 3…..2…1…

And it was on! I kept up with the front of my wave pretty well. I was certainly not the fastest, but I was moving along pretty good. Getting to the first buoy seemed to take forever. We were swimming against the current and it was a good 300 m from shore. Once we started swimming parallel to the sore, the current was in our favor and I just kept telling myself to keep moving. I switched it up between side stroke and breast stroke for the most part and tried to remind myself that every moment I was getting that much closer to the end. Finally we turned to head back to shore, and that was the worst part. We actually had to swim into the current and into the waves so every time you turned to take a breath, you had to be careful not to get hit in the face by a wave. People seemed to really be struggling with the swim and it is definitely a nerve wracking experience. The mass start at the beginning can really be a scary thing and once you get out in the deeper water, you can easily convince yourself you are going to go under at any moment. For me, the swim is more mental than physical and I just tried to keep myself calm and talk myself into getting to the next buoy.

After about 27 minutes, I came waltzing out of the water and started the long run up the hill to my transition site. Getting socks onto wet feet is a real chore! But I managed to get in and out and on to my bike is about 3 mins. Then I was off. The 12 mile bike ride was the thing I was most nervous about. It was a fairly hilly ride and my little hybrid mountain bike cannot keep up with the road bikes everyone else seemed to be riding. The first 4 miles were into the wind and along rolling hills. My legs were surprisingly tired after the swim and I was still dripping wet. For a moment, I began to wonder how I would get through it. But then I told myself this was only as difficult as I let it be, so I buckled down and rode as fast as I could. There was one hill in particular I was not looking forward to. You came down a hill, then took a sharp right into a steep incline. You had to slow enough to make the turn, but have enough speed to get up the hill. A lot of people walked it and they said it was probably the most dangerous section of the course. My goal for the ride was to not get off my bike and to make it up the hill. And I did! It was a quad killer, but I just kept turning my feet over and moving the wheel. This is also when I started my mantra that would last the rest of the race: This hill will not defeat me. I said it over and over again on the bike and on the big hill at the end of the run. This hill will not defeat me. Once I made it up that hill, the rest of the bike seemed a lot less intimidating. Although it took me about 55 minutes, I finished the bike ready to tackle the run.

Oh running. How I love it! Surprisingly, though, this was the part I was looking forward to. Once you start running, you are almost done and you are in total control of how well you finish. My goal was to not walk on the 5k. And…..I did it! I ran the whole wonderful thing. The first ½ mile was very very very muddy. My shoes were caked in mud after about 5 minutes and my feet were soaked and felt like they weighed 10 pounds each. But I promised myself I wouldn’t walk. So I kept running. There was only one serious hill to go up, and that was at the very end. I am glad I ran the course before race day because I knew what to expect. When I got to that hill, I knew how much energy I needed to conserve to make it to the finish. Again, I was not going to let the hill defeat me. There were a lot of people walking and it felt so good to pass them. I made it up the hill and knew I just had a little longer till the end.

I thought that I would be so exhausted when I crossed the finish line. But I felt really good. Like I could have gone longer. About 10 minutes later, my body caught up with me and my legs started bothering me a bit. But all in all, the whole thing was not as difficult as I thought. I may actually do the same course in 3 weeks when they have the Danskin now that I know what to expect and have a time to beat. Even today I feel fine. I think I may have been a little dehydrated so I am just trying to up my water intake, my body isn’t hurting or bruised and I am still pretty stoked that I did it. It was a great experience that I would highly encourage anyone to do. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging and it was very inspiring to see so many women of all ages and sizes getting out there and taking on something so challenging.

Congratulations to everyone who competed and I will see you out there again soon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Use It

I just got home from doing the Spartan workout. This starts a 6 week challenge of keeping a workout and food log, sending it to my coach, and doing additional workouts. Today was the kick off and we did the benchmark workout and in 6 weeks we will do it again.

I like the workout. I did it in an ok time today. 17:38. Usually, I would feel great right after that workout. However, right now, I feel pretty low. I actually called my husband in the car on the way home crying about what a bad workout it was. It was not bad in terms of time or effort. But I should have gone heavier. For the last week I have been trying to figure out if I should do 65 pounds, which I knew I could do, or 95, which I knew would be a challenge. Always go for the challenge!!! How will I ever get better if I never push harder? I can come up with every excuse in the book. But at the end of the day, I am only going to be as strong, as fast, as fit as I let myself be.

I get frustrated that I work my ass off and don't see better results. For awhile I was starting to think my expectations were too high. Tonight I realized they are not high enough. I don't push myself far enough out of my comfort zone. Working out 6 days a week, 2 time a day does nothing for you if you are just going through the motions. I never really thought I was, but tonight was a wake up call. I HATE feeling like I am a disappointment. To others and to myself. But I have to stop being afraid. Afraid of not being good enough. Of looking stupid. Of being judged. Of everything.

When we did our body assessment tonight, I didn't look at my weight. I am pretty good about dropping pounds during challenges, but I don't want to focus on that this time. I don't want the scale to be my measure of success anymore. I don't want to be just good enough anymore.

A wise guy told me the other night that you get back what you put out in to the world. When you focus on the "I don't want" and the "I hate it when" you draw it back into you. You make a reality what you were trying to avoid. So instead, let me rephrase the above ideas. I am going to focus on getting stronger and getting leaner. I am going to let the pain and discomfort be an indication of my progress and push through. Most importantly, I am going to blow myself away with how far I can go and not settle until I get there.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Triathlon...Here I come!

In a week, I will be a triathlete. A few weeks ago I wrote about how odd it was to be called an athlete. Now I have to adjust to the tri part of it.

I feel ready. I feel confident. I feel proud that I am doing it and I know that I am going to push myself as hard as possible and do as well as I am able. This being my first triathlon, I am certainly nervous and have no idea what to expect. But everyone I talk to says that you get the most amazing feeling afterwards. So we shall see. I will be glad when it is done as it has been looming in the distance for a few months now. But I will miss the motivation of training for it. I have done things in the last few weeks that I hadn’t done in a long, long time. I forgot how great it feels to be on a bike. I forgot how much I love to swim and be in the water. So I will just have to keep it up on my own and make it fit in somehow.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would participate in much less look forward to being in a triathlon. Another testament to how much my life has changed and how much more alive I feel because of it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Strong and Focused

Today is the first day in a while that I feel healthy and strong. I can’t lie; I have been struggling the last few weeks to find the right balance of workouts and eating. I have been working out a lot more, so I used that as an excuse to eat more. I was giving myself little indulgences far too often and wasn’t saying “No” as well as usual. But for the last week, I have really tried to focus in and be much more deliberate with what I eat. And it seems to be working. I am feeling good and energized. My workouts have been great and varied. Biking, open water swims, 5k runs, and of course crossfit. I feel like I am moving in the right direction again. And there is nothing like the feeling of success to keep you motivated!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Every morning, at the stroke of five,
My alarm goes off and I get ready to drive,
In the dark and the cold and sometimes the wet,
To that infamous box just North on Burnet.

While others lay sleeping, I’m well on my way,
Anxiously waiting to see the workout of the day.
Will it be deadlifts or thrusters? Box jumps or a row?
When you walk into the gym, you just never know.

Will it will capitalize on your weakness or play up your skills,
But before you can worry, we start warm up drills.
“Butt lower. Knees higher.” echoes through the room.
“Wake up people,” we hear coach’s voice boom.

The clock begins: as many rounds as you can.
Today I’m just happy we aren’t doing “Fran.”
We lunge and we squat, we do pull ups chest to the bar.
People who drive by stop to gawk from afar.
You don't always finish the workouts you begin,
Everyone fights to get one more rep done.
“Time” is called and we all drop to the floor.
Sweaty and blistered, bloody and sore.

But tomorrow I know I’ll be at it again,
Because it hurts so good and you leave with new friends.
Without it I don’t know just how I’d survive,
Because there is nothing like crossfit to let you know you are alive.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A New Life

It is official: I am going to Columbia in the fall.

Wow. That is simultaneously one of the most exciting and frightening statements I have made in a long time. I am so ready to be back in school and working towards my long term professional goals. I love being a student and know that going to Columbia is going to help open a lot of doors for me. At the same time, New York City is not somewhere I ever thought I would live. Granted, it is only for a year, but it is still a daunting prospect. Moving to a new city, going to a challenging university, leaving my family and friends and work. I am scared that I will not be successful or that I am somehow making a mistake in going. I am scared to be on my own and have to radically alter every aspect of my life.

But what is it that is posted on the board at Crossfit Central? “Routine is the Enemy.” In the last 2 years, my life has been fairly predictable. It has been amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I have defiantly fallen into a comfortable cycle of work, working out, and spending time with family and friends. I am so happy with my life right now, and I am really scared to give that up. But I know that I have to in order to get where I want to be in the long run. I could easily see my life staying the same for years and years and being perfectly content. But I know that sooner or later, things have to change and the course of your life depends on how you prepare for that next phase.

So for a year I am going to do something that scares me. I am going to be on my own in New York City, taking hard classes and adjusting to living on a tight budget. I know I am going to get homesick and be sad and wish I could come home. But you know what? At the end of that year, I know that it is going to be well worth it. One year of hard work in order to make the rest of my life exactly what I want it to be. New York better watch out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Need to Run!

I am desperately trying to talk myself into going for a run. I hate running. It is hot. My MP3 player died on me. I am going for a run on Saturday and probably tomorrow as well. I want to go. I really do. My brain just talks my body out of it. I tell myself “Go home and rest for a bit then get on the treadmill.” That turns into watching TV on my couch trying to fight off bad food choices. I need to run. I need to go right after work, hit the trail, get it done before 6 pm, then have the rest of the night to relax. That is the only way it will happen.

Why is it so hard to do the things we know are good for us?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Another good start to my week. I had a good swim early on Saturday and took Sunday off. But I was out and about keeping busy so food wasn’t really an issue. I had a good workout Monday and this morning and plan on a 12 mile bike ride this afternoon. My cleans last night were much better than I feared, so that is encouraging. I need to get running again because I can definitely see and feel a difference when I do it regularly.

Mike and Zach also have me working on changing up my diet a little. Adding more fat and protein and breaking it up differently through out the day. This is evidently the “athletes approach to the zone.” I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I am an “athlete.” I have never thought of myself as one or even as someone who is overly active. I know since my activity level has increased, my body needs to have enough fuel to keep going and continue burning fat. We are just always taught that weight loss is the result of calories in vs. calories out, so adding calories always makes me cringe. But I know these guys know what they are talking about and that I am currently in a bit of a rut, despite eating clean and working my butt off. It may take me a little time to get the hang of it, but I have good teachers and I know they will help me figure it out.

I have to start looking at myself as what I want to be and am working on becoming, which is someone who is fit and healthy. Fake it till you make it, right? I think I am, I think I am, I think I am. I control my future. I choose my course.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Hate the Scale

I refuse to be a slave to the scale. Refuse! After a less than stellar weekend my weight jumped up 6 pounds. On Wednesday I was down 4, but today I am back up 2. I really don’t get it. I know I didn’t put on two pounds yesterday. My brain knows that. But my heart still sinks. But I can’t let it get me down. I know that I just have to stand firm and do what I am doing and I will be rewarded. The key for me is not letting minor set backs or momentary disappointments get me permanently off course. This time I refuse to let a number on the scale ruin my day or my week and just know that all my hard work will pay off….sooner or later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Me, Myself and I

I sometimes worry I am counting on those around me a little too much. Don't get me wrong. I need support from those I love and it feels great to know that I have such a strong and diverse network of people behind me. But I know it comes down to me in the end. With a move away from Austin and crossfit central looming in the not so distant future, I have started to think more and more about "doing it on my own." No gym. No trainers. No fancy equipment. No husband. Nobody to hold me accountable but me. I need to learn to make choices on my own, motivate myself, kick my own butt into gear. I am going to try to work on that the next few months, at the same time knowing that I have a great safety net in case I fall.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Counting my almonds

Today is the start of something amazing. That is what I am telling myself. Starting today, I am going to be 100% on the Zone for 8 weeks. I am going to measure everything and not allow myself even an inch of wiggle room. I have shown myself that wiggle room doesn’t work for me and that the only way to get the results I want is to dedicate 100% to it. I am about to start my triathlon training on top of doing crossfit 5 days a week. My body cannot afford to be fueled by anything but the most efficient and beneficial foods possible. So no more small cheats. No more big cheats. No more grabbing a handful of almonds or mindlessly consuming a bag of popcorn. I am done. I am so tired of working my tail off only to feel like I am not getting to where I want to be. I know that I need to work on my relationship to food and the way I think about success. But in the mean time, I need to be proactive about moving things forward. At the end of 8 weeks, having been 100% faithful to my workouts and eating, I hope to be purely satisfied with where I am. I am not going to put a number on it or set a specific goal. I just want to feel like I did everything I could to make change happen. I do not like feeling out of control or that I am fated to live a life of cycles of binging and dieting. I need to find the happy balance, but I think that will only come once I am satisfied with my progress. I am not happy about where I am physically at this point. Happy with how far I have come, of course. But not with my current progress. So 8 weeks it is. Without someone reviewing my food logs and being accountable only to myself. I am confident in being able to make this happen and I just need to take it one day at a time, one challenge at a time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I am Healthy and I Make Wise Choices

Wednesday brought with it an existential crisis, or sorts. Like my previous post states, I ate well this past weekend, but still saw a 3 pound gain on Monday. I know this was not a real 3 pounds. Much of it can be attributed water retention and normal fluctuations. But it never fails that when this happens, I automatically think, “Well why did I just work so hard to be so good if I am just going to gain weight anyway? Why not just eat poorly and gain weight?” I am slowly getting better about fighting off this thought. But it is hard. Often times, this develops into a week long binge and an additional 3 pound gain. I know this is the cycle. I recognize it and I know how it develops. I suppose that is the first step. Now I just have to prevent it from happening.

Needless to say, this week I was not very good at fighting it off. I went out for St. Patrick’s day drinks and tex-mex with a friend and then proceeded to crave all kinds of junk the next day. I went out, got my biggest weakness chocolate nut crunch, from Central Market, and ate a good half a pound of it. Then I wrote Zach a long self-pitying email about why I have an issue with food. I know that when I cheat once, I am much more prone to do it again. And again. And the next thing I know I have just undone what took me a month to accomplish. I am sure other people experience this, but in my case it literally is that disastrous. I can eat and eat and eat and eat until I am sick, and then eat some more. That first cookie is great, but the second one is even better.

So how do I solve this? DON’T EAT THE FIRST COOKIE!!! I wish I were the type of person who could just indulge every now and then and not have it impact them in any significant way. But I’m not. And I know it. Of course I am going to have moments when I give in or “allow” myself a small treat. But I need to try harder about not giving into that and controlling it when it does happen. Also realizing that if I do eat a cookie, it is ok. One cookie will not kill me. When it leads to 3 or 4 or 12, that is the problem. I think if I try to not to be so hard on myself when I slip up, I will be less likely to punish myself with eating till I am bursting with guilt and needless calories.

All of this is to say that I didn’t have a week long calorie-fest this time. Maybe a 2 day one. Then Zachary set me straight. I am healthy and I make wise choices. This is my new mantra. I printed it out and taped it on my desk, my mirror, my refrigerator, and the dashboard of my car. It has actually helped. Those little bites of blizzard or stealing one french fry really make a difference for me. And if I can learn to control or at least prevent this from happening, I think I will be ok.

My workouts the last 3 days have been good and so has my eating. I know it takes time, but I hope I am getting the hang of this thing called “healthy living.”

Thanks a lot to Zach and Mike for talking me down from my calorie induced pity party. You guys are the best!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Keep on Truckin'

This week has started off well. I had a good weekend as far as eating goes. I think I did a good job allowing myself some higher calorie and higher carb indulgences without going crazy. That is always a hard thing for me as I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl. The last two days I have had good workouts. Monday we did thrusters, burpees, and knees to elbows. I finished around 16 mins, and should have gone heavier. Prescribed weight was 65 and I did 55. 65 would have given me a slower time, but I need to just go for it. The burpees were surprisingly not as junky as they sometimes are and I think I am getting the hang of landing with your feet wide so that you land on your flat foot as opposed to your toes.

This morning we had an 800m run, 4 rounds of 25 push ups, 25 deadlifts (115 lbs), 25 double-unders (50 regular), and 25 sit ups then finish up with another 800m run. I haven’t been running much on my own as of late so as much as I groaned about it, I was glad to have to run. I am going to try to get in 2 solid days of running a week and with triathlon training starting next week, that shouldn’t be too hard.

My goals for the rest of this week are as follows:
1-Push the weight in Wednesday and Thursdays workouts. Go heavier than I “think” I can and scale back if I have to.
2-Do a 5k and 3 additional miles (under 10 mins each)

Oh! I almost forgot. Today is the first day in my life that I am wearing a size 10! No bad considering I used to wear a size 26!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grad School

I got in to Columbia!!! Woohoo! Now I just have to figure out if I am going to go there..... I am sure there is crossfit in New York City :o)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Personal Growth

Yesterday I wrote about workout/fitness/health goals. Equally important, I think, are personal goals. So today I thought I would spend a little time trying to figure out some of things I want to accomplish in order to enrich my life.

Get involved in Hula
Start singing again
Find a church/spiritual community I feel comfortable with and attend regularly
Make more time for Keith/have more date nights
Go out more often and enjoy my 20’s!
See more live music
Do yoga
Join Austin Outrigger Canoe Club
Get a dog
Begin graduate school
Go to the theater more often
Learn to cook
Reconnect with old friends

I don’t really have dates for these things. A lot of them are contingent upon where I get into graduate school because that determines if we are staying here or moving out of state. It is a rather liminal (look it up) time for me because there is a lot of uncertainty in my life and it is hard for me to make long term plans because I really don’t know where I am going to end up. But I will hopefully know something soon and begin planning out the next steps.
But in general, the above list is just the things I have been thinking about for a long time, planning on doing, and just haven’t made time for them. I have to remember that while my health is a huge priority, I also have to give myself enough time to enjoy the other things in life. It is all about balance. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to incorporate these things, knows of any good local organizations that I can get involved with, or has similar interests and wants a buddy to do them with, just let me know! (Only you cannot participate in date night because that would just be awkward :o)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goals and Dreams

I realized that I have never really written down my goals. I mean, I know what they are, but I haven’t really given myself a timeline. So here it is. I am making an outline of where I want to achieve and when I hope to achieve it by.

Push ups on toes – 1 month (April 1st)
Pull ups (at least one)– 2 months (May 10th)
200 lbs deadlift – next Crossfit total (June)
Down to 150 Pounds – 1 month (April 1st)
20% body fat – Spartan 300 assessment (May)
Workouts at prescribed weight – 6 months (September)

I need to step up my game. I am stronger and more capable than I think I am and I need to start showing that in my workouts. I cannot be scared to fail. I have been involved with Crossfit for almost a year now, and although I have come a long way, there is still a lot that I have yet to achieve. Watching the Fittest Games this weekend was truly amazing and it has really inspired me to dig deeper. I don’t want to be someone who is just there going through the motions. I don’t want to spend the time, money and effort month after month to just be comfortable. My mind knows this. Now I just have to tell my body and shut my mind off so that I just do it. I am so thankful to have such great coaches who continue to make me fight to get better. I really don’t want to disappoint them or myself, so I just have to make it happen.

Monday, March 9, 2009

#1 Reason I love Crossfit...

It works!!!! People have been asking me about crossfit a lot as it grows in popularity and people are starting to hear about it more and more. Why do you do it? What is it all about? Isn't it really hard? All I do now is show them a picture and say...I am Crossfit because it works!

I found this picture the other day and it is now my new favorite before picture. When Keith saw it, he said, "You were really that big?" This is clearly me at my heaviest and I didn't start crossfitting at this weight. But I can tell you crossfit has taken me from a person with the mentality of someone who is still morbidly obese to someone wants to be active, loves going to the gym, and has all the tools to stay fit and healthy for the rest of my life. When I started crossfit, I felt like I still looked like the girl in this picture. Crossfit has changed me inside and out and I love it!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good Day


1/2 "Linda"

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1


Shoulder Press

Squat Clean

We did this with 1/2 body weight...I only did 55 pounds. Hey! I could be 110...in my dreams! But it was still difficult and it allowed me to do all my shoulder presses. I finished in 15:18, so I felt good about it.

I had a healthy healthy day. Walked 3 miles at lunch, ran 3 miles before the gym, then got my butt kicked my Mike. My eating was spot on. I feel like I doing good things. I just have to stay the course.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I am Crossfit

Saturday marked the end of the “I am Crossfit” challenge. This was an eight week program designed to push people to the next level in terms of fitness and health. Everyone was assigned a coach who reviewed our daily food logs as well as workouts. Depending on what level people chose to participate in, we were mailed a number of workouts to be completed on our own in addition to our days in the gym. I picked to do 6 work outs a week, so 1 in addition to the 5 days I go to the gym.

At the beginning of the challenge, we completed a workout and did body assessment. 3 rounds of 400 meter run, 15 pull ups, and 7 power cleans. I did 65 pound cleans and since I still do jumping pull ups, I had to do 30. Then, after 8 weeks, we did the same workout again and got our body assessment done to see how far we had come.

So how did Saturday go? Well, good and not so good. I lost 14 pounds and 12 inches. In 8 weeks, I am pretty proud of myself. Down side is I only lost 1.7% body fat and my workout was actually slower for some reason. The first time, I finished all but 2 cleans during the 12 minute time limit. On Saturday, I had all 7 of them to do. The cardio seemed a lot harder for me. My lungs were really burning by the time I was done. Also, I have been having some issues with cleans as of late and I think the mental side of things really slowed me down. All in all, however, I am proud of myself. I am pretty good at buckling down and getting things done when I set my mind to it. It is easier for me to keep on track and push hard when I am accountable to someone else and when I fear disappointing someone other than just myself.

Now the challenge is going to be keeping on track without turning in a food log or my workouts for Zach’s scrutinizing eye to examine. I have 6 pounds to go until I reach my long time goal of being down to my 4th grade weight. After a few not so hot eating days, I am ready to refocus and give it that final push to get to where I want to be. From there, who knows! I think once I feel like I have conquered the scale, I will be able to pay less attention to it and really focus on getting stronger and gaining intensity.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

5K Fun!

I cannot believe that I didn’t blog about my 5k this weekend! I am training for a triathlon in May. Part of the things I am most worried about is making it through a run after a swim and a bike. Running is not my strong suit and I struggle with increasing my stamina and endurance. So this past weekend I signed up for a 5k just to see where I stood with my running.

It was a cold and windy day in Barton Creek, which is a particularly hilly part of town. I really wasn’t looking forward to the run, but I new it was something I had to do. The last 5k I did when I was in 3rd grade and my mom and I walked the whole thing. That should tell you how small a role running has played in my life! Before I began, I told myself to make it throughthe first mile without stopping, then see how I felt. Well I ran the first 2 miles, then got to a huge hill, which was a struggle just to walk up, and then ran the rest of the way. So I would say I ran 95% of the way and came in just over 32 minutes. SO even with a little bit of walking in there, I still averaged 10 minute miles. Running a steady 10 minute mile was one of my goals for I am Crossfit. On the treadmill, I tend to be able to run a lot longer then I can “on the streets,” but I run slower. I usually run a 12 minute mile on the treadmill. So 10 minutes was great for me. I ran faster and longer than usual and I finished well under my “acceptable” time.

I guess it goes to show what you can accomplish when you stop your mind from telling your body that you can’t.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I just got home from doing "Grace." A seemingly simple WOD. 30 clean and jerks. This is a fast workout involving getting heavy weight above your head. I am not good at this. Heavy weights are not my favorite and I usually struggle with the clean. Tonight was no different. Perscribed female weight was 95 pounds. I cannot clean 95 pounds and had a hard time doing 85 the other day in class. So I put 65 pounds on my bar and what do I hear? "Susannah, you can go heavier." Heavier? Heavier? Are you nuts? I really didn't want to go heavier because I know how hard it is for me to clean heavy weights. But if there is one thing I hate it is disappointing people. And Mike was giving me that look like, "I expect you to go heavier." So I went up to 75 pounds. And it was hard. Once I get the bar into the front rack position, I can get it up the rest of the way no problem. But it is so hard for me to clean the bar. But I did it. Yes, it took me longer than everyone else. But I went for it. So I am proud of myself. And you know what? I have to do it for myself and not for anyone else. Sometimes it bothers me that I have been doing this for almost a year and there are people who have only been there a few months who can blow me away. Mike made a comment along those lines tonight and at first it bugged me. I don't like to feel like I am not as good as I should be or that I am not giving it my all. But then something went off in my head. Just do it! No, I might not be as far along as I could be or should be or whatever. But I have come a long long way and I just need to keep on working it and pushing it and make sure that I don't get comfortable. So thanks Mike for pushing me harder than I push myself and giving me the support and edge that I need to go further. Kick it up! No excuses, right?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Week Closer

Thursdays are my most hectic day of the week. I go to the gym at 5:30 am, work from 8 to 5, usually spend my lunch hour walking around the lake, then go to swim class at 6:15 pm. I get home around 7:30, shower, cook dinner, and get ready to do it all again. It is now 9 pm, I just finished eating and have 2 hours to kill before I pick up Keith from work at 11. I work out tomorrow at 5:30 in Lance's class. This weekend I have UTB on saturday and then Wendy and I are running a Mardi Gras 5k. What is my point? I am working my butt off. Running around trying to keep busy. I think it is as much to avoid being home alone as it is just wanted to be out doing stuff. Yes, I am tired and some mornings it takes everything I have to get up to hit the gym. But I am doing it. And you know what? Change is possible, you just have to work on it. I am trying to get stronger mentally so that when times get hard, I do not fall back on old habits. I am really proud of myself for getting out there and trying new things. I hate running, but I need to learn to love it. So the 5k this weekend should be very telling of how tough I am and what I am made of.




Need to work on these! I am getting better, but I still pull from my back. I have to not pay attention to how heavy others are going and just get my form down.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Changes in the Air

I have been kind of a Debbie Downer recently. Frustrated with my workouts, discouraged about weight loss, and pretty much over eating healthy. The last few days I have felt drained and really unmotivated. I have been giving up on myself and giving into the negativity. Today, I put two and two together. I think there is a direct correlation between your mental state and your physical state and there is something to be said the power of optimism. So today is a fresh day. I am going to accentuate the great things instead of getting so tied up in the things that are not so great.

What is great about today? Well, 2 things. The new jeans I bought 3 weeks ago that fit perfectly are now a little baggier. I hadn’t worn them yet and I put them on expecting them to fit just as they had in the store. But they are noticeable baggier. So that is good. The other positive thing is that I am motivating and encouraging my husband to get healthy, eat right, and start moving. He means the world to me and I know how much my journey has improved my life, so I want nothing more than for him to succeed. It is a hard road to walk, but once you are on it you will find it is well worth it. The benefits are immeasurable and your quality of life will improve tenfold. So I now need to be strong not just for myself, but for him as well. Show him that it is possible with a little hard work, dedication, and planning.

We had a very active Valentine's Day walking around the zoo and then today Keith hit the trail for a good 3 hours! I am super proud of him and I think it is a good indication of the changes to come.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Staying Strong

I feel like I have hit a wall. Since the start of January, I have been going to the gym 5 days a week and doing at least one workout on my own. Usually this is just a run or something and I sometimes skip it if my week has been particularly hectic. But, for the most part, I have been pushing myself harder than ever before. Physically, I feel good. A bit tired and probably in need of more sleep. But for the most part I am adjusting well. Mentally, I feel great. I am proud of myself and know that I am making steps to get to the next level. Now it is my new routine to go 5 days a week so it is not as difficult as it was at first.

So here is the down side. I am working really hard, but my weight has stayed the same for about 3 weeks. It’s like my body doesn’t want to go any lower than 160. Stuck. Every now and then it will drip down to 158 or 159, but then on my “official” weigh in days it is always 160. Seriously. I know. I know. Don’t pay that much attention to the scale. But it is hard, especially when you are watching everything you eat and working out like a crazy lady. Then I see other people who are not nearly as diligent and they can drop 2 or 3 pounds like that. I know every body is different, but it drives me nuts. This is when I usually backslide. This is when I get frustrated and figure if I am not making any progress, I might as well cheat. So this time is going to be different. This time I am going to stick it out and push through. My goal for the end of “I am Crossfit” is to be down to 150. That is three weeks away. I don’t care if I see it on the scale at the gym, but I want to see it that morning at my house. Can I do it? Is it possible? Now is the time to turn up the heat, keep doing what I am doing, and have faith that things will turn around sooner or later. But for my mental health, I could certainly use a little reassurance that sooner is not out of my reach.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Be Agressive, B-E Agressive

How does one become more aggressive?

Last night, Mike told me I need to be more aggressive in my workouts. Zach has told me repeatedly to get more fired up. Gain intensity. Be explosive. For those who know me, I am not a very aggressive person. I will stand up for myself, speak my mind, and call you out when need be, but aggressive is not a word I would use to describe myself. I have certainly gotten better. I have gained a thicker skin and am not so nervous about trying new things. But I am not sure how to become aggressive. Is that something you can practice? Is it a skill you can acquire? Or is it just something you either have or you don’t?

I think a lot of it comes from the fact that I don’t like to draw a lot of attention to myself. I am almost more afraid of success than I am of failure. Does that make sense? I limit myself with weights, speed, intensity so that I am just average and blend in. Not that I am some hot shot, but I know I have more than I am giving. We got done with Fran yesterday, and after a minute of heavy breathing, I could have done it again. If I hadn’t been meeting a friend for dinner, I would have gone for a run afterwards. You shouldn’t feel that way after a crossfit workout. Your tank should be empty because you left everything you had on the floor. So is aggression a mental thing that has physical ramifications? Let your body take you as far as it can go and then get fired up to push beyond that. I suppose I need to stop having negative connotations of the word “aggressive” because it is not a bad thing altogether. I have to look at it as another tool or skill that needs to be worked on. If you have any suggestions on how I might do this, I am all ears. Maybe I just need to go back to my gangsta’ attitude of 7th grade…but even that was pseudo aggression. You can’t fake anything in crossfit.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Small Victory!

I have decided to participate in the Danskin Triathlon in June. It is a ½ mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run. I don’t think I have ever swum continuously more than maybe 4 laps in my life, I don’t own a bike and haven’t been on one since I was 12, and I hate running. Why am I doing a triathlon then? To see what I am made of. To push myself where I wouldn’t otherwise go. I know it will be difficult, but I am ready to take it on. I have 4 months to get ready for it and my goal at this point is to just complete it.

In preparation, I am taking a swim class at the YMCA with one of my co-workers who is also doing the Danskin. Our first class was last night and it felt good to be in the water. It wasn’t anything super difficult; we just practiced our different strokes and the instructor evaluated where we were. Thursday will be the next class and he said we will do more difficult stuff then. I am glad I have taken the first step, but I know there is a lot left to do if I want to make this a reality.

So the most exciting part of my time in the pool didn’t have to do with swimming at all. In fact, it had to do with sinking. When I was little, I could never stay on the bottom of the pool. I was always a great floater because a good 40% of my body was fat. I would try and try, but I could never stay down for very long because I would instantly start to float back up. Last night while Wendy and I were waiting for our instructor to come back, she joked that we should have a tea party. For those of you too cool to know, that is when you sit on the bottom of the pool with your friends and pretend to drink tea. Well, when I went down, I stayed down!!! For a really long time! I didn’t float up or anything. I was amazed. I wish I could hold my breath longer so I could stay down there, but it was such a great feeling. It is such a great feeling when you have those little, unexpected milestones. A pound on the scale is great, but it is the everyday impact it has on your life that is really what counts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sobering Weekend

This weekend was a rather sobering one for me. I went to Galveston with my dad and some of his students from Southwestern for a service project. We worked with the Episcopal church to help rebuild some houses that were damaged by Hurricane Ike last September. I got married in Galveston and Keith and I made many a trip there in the year leading up to our wedding. My dad’s family also has a long history with the city, so I have always had an affinity for it. I hadn’t been down there since December of 2007, but we sailed by on our way out to see on our cruise in October 2008. Anyway, I knew there had been a lot of destruction and damage, but I hadn’t really heard more than that.

When we arrived in Galveston on Friday, it was already dark. However, there were piles or rubble and trash every where and holes in the horizon where homes should have been. As we drove down the main street, many of the houses and store fronts were dark and you could tell nobody was living there. The next day we went to work on the house of an older couple that had already been totally gutted and had new sheet rock and insulation installed. We worked on mudding the seams, which was an all day project. The house was in a neighborhood on the ocean side of the city and at a lower elevation. They had about 4 feet of standing water, which wasn’t too bad all things considered. Some part of the city got much more than that. It was great to help them, but you realize that your whole day’s work accomplished only a very very small part of the job that has to be done before those people can return to a normal life. A lot of people are not that lucky and I got the feeling that many people just left and didn’t come back. Some people don’t have the money to rebuild, others have nothing left to even work with. The whole city seemed to be empty and rundown, which is beyond sad to me.

Later that day, we all went over the ferry to Bolivar, which is where Keith and I got married. Bolivar was probably the hardest hit by Ike and most of the dramatic pictures taken during and after the storm where from Bolivar. I knew our house was more than likely not going to be standing, but it was heart breaking to see that there was literally nothing left. No foundation or stilts or even grass. Just a lot covered in sand, two dying palm trees, and the little concrete sidewalk that served as our aisle. The two houses next door were standing and obviously being rebuilt, but they were the exception. Almost all of the ocean front homes were gone or unable to be salvaged. The ones farther back were in a little better shape, but it seemed like it was total chance which ones were destroyed and which were spared. The dunes are also gone. No grass anywhere. The beach grew considerably because all of the sand that eroded off of the island beaches was pushed up to Bolivar because of the currents.

I have never been to war and have never seen a “war zone,” but it is really the only thing I can compare it to. There were homes that had fallen off of there stilts and were sitting just next to them, fully intact, on the ground. There were others that were still standing, but were missing huge chunks to where you could see through the house. We drove by a field that had an upside down house that looked like a monopoly house someone had thrown across the table. There was trash everywhere from when the water came in. A forest of plastic bags. The ferry landing didn’t even have power. There were no animals aside from the occasional stray cat. It felt like nothing was alive. The grass had been suffocated by sand and the leaves on the trees had all been blasted off. There were impromptu mobile home parks and tent cities of the people who had nowhere else to go.

It makes me sad to know that the place where I have so many amazing and beautiful memories has been reduced to such chaos. It makes me sad that we can never go back and rent the beach house where we got married or even walk down the path that served as our aisle. It makes me sad that for every home that you see destroyed, there is a family left picking up the pieces. It makes me sad that people have to live in conditions that are unsanitary, dangerous, and often hopeless. But it pisses me off that more is not being done about it. It was a big deal when it happened, and then the media forgot about it. Where are the pictures now? Where are the stories about the recovery process? Why isn’t this as important as Katrina or Rita? Where is the federal aid? I don’t think that people realize how bad it really is down there and how much help is needed. Even if you can only give a day or a dollar, that is more than some people have at this point.

I will post some of the pictures I took once Keith gets back with our camera. But I encourage anyone who reads this to educate themselves more on the situation in Galveston and Bolivar and what they can do to help.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not So Hot

Usually I feel great after a workout. Energized, pumped, ready to face anything. Tonight...not so much. The WOD was max rounds in 20 mins of 150 m row, 10 in and outs, and 15 box jumps. I love to row so no issue there. But box jumps are really something I have to work on and I am SLOW at them when I jump. But nothing I can't deal with so I was ok there too. It was those in and outs that killed me. First of all, my upper body strength is nowhere close to where it needs to be. Second, my coordination was just off. And once I feel defeated, it is hard for me to get my head right again. I only finished 6 rounds and started on my 7th. For me, this was one of the harder workouts we have had in a long time. Harder than the mile run and deadlifts. Harder than the flying barbell. Give me a run any day over tonight's workout. And it frustrates me because my upper body is something that I feel is not getting obviously stronger. I know I am, but I don't think I am where I should be. But the only way to get stronger is to work on it and do the things that scare us. So junk mood or no, I just have to suck it up and chalk it up to a growing process. Tomorrow is a new day and will bring a new workout!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy New Year!

Tomorrow is Chinese (lunar) New Year and since I didn't get around to making any profound observations on January 1st, here is my go at it.

Looking back on the past year, there is really nothing more I could have asked for. For one, I got through my first year of marriage to my great husband Keith. I got a new job, I started on the road towards graduate school, and I got my cat Romo who has been nothing but a joy in my life. I have really become an adult and I no longer feel like I am struggling to find my way. I have also done things this year that I never thought I would be able to or even want to. I have gotten stronger, faster, and in general smarter about working out. I started eating on the Zone, which has done amazing things for me physically and mentally. The urges to cheat and sneak food are pretty much gone. I am cooking almost all my meals instead of heating up frozen diners or pre-packaged food. I am pushing myself to get uncomfortable and do things that are difficult and challenging. Who would have thought that I would go on 3 mile runs just for fun? I have met some of the most amazing and supportive people at Crossfit Central who are nothing but supportive and a lot of fun. 2008 was probably one of the most significant years in my life and I will always think of it as a changing point in my life.

What of the year to come? I just want tot ake things to the next level. Keep working like I have been, but just go beyond even my own expectations. I want to finally accomplish the major goal that I set out to do, which was to get below 150. But it has become about so much more than that now. I want to do all my push ups on my toes, do a pull up, do the suggested weight on our WODs, and take my fitness outside of the gym and start enjoying all that Austin has to offer. I think my life in on the right track and I just need need to keep up with all the things I have begun already. I want this year to be full of the unexpected and cross my fingers that I will be able to overcome any obstacle that might come my way.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Annoying Things About Losing 110 Pounds

Warning - Do not read this if you are squimish about the ugly side of losing weight or are worried about haveing too much information about me and my body. That being said, read on at your own risk.

I have gotten to that point in my weight loss journey where I am starting to see what the "end" result is going to be like. I have taken off a lot of layers and inches and fat and all of that and the body that is undeneath is coming through. I have always said that when I was 267 pounds, i never thought I had any problem areas because everything just kinda blended togeher. Now that I have more definition, I have big time problem areas. In my eyes, the biggest one is my stomach. Now, I am not trying to fool myself and think that I will ever have a flat stomach or be able to wear a bikini or something. But is it too much to ask to have a stomach that is in proportion with the rest of my body? I mean come on! I was so huge that the skin on my stomach had to stretch to an ungodly size. Now, it has shrunk as much as it can and I now have to deal with a whole bunch of empty skin. And there is nothing you can do about skin, short of plastic surgery or something. But I feel like my stomach is really the thing that prevents me from having a very acurate sense of my size because I look at my stomach and I feel like it looks like it belong on someone who weighs 200 pounds or something. And it becomes beyond annoying when I am working out. For one thing, none of my pants will stay up and I find myself stopping a million times during a workout to pull them up. And I apologize in advance for this, but things like push ups or dumbbell rows seriously suck because everything just kinda hangs. Sick, but it's my reality. Maybe I need a tummy tuck. Since starting crossfit I have lost a lot of fat, which has been great, but it has really made the skin issue even more serious. I don't know what to do about it and I would rather have some left over skin than have it full of fat. But it sucks and it sucks even more because there isn't must I can do about it. Oh well. Just keep on working and hope for the best.

Oh, one of the pictures is me at my heaviest. The other is from one of the healthiest times in my life which was last september.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little by Little

Running is getting easier. Last night we did a WOD with two 800 meter runs in it, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was dreading. Was it easy? No. Crossfit never is. But I did it and ran the whole way and didn’t cut any corners or give up. I actually think the longer distances are better for me because once I find my stride, I am usually good for a bit. It is the stopping and starting that is hard for me. Like I always say, I have a long ways to go, but I will get there one step at a time. Now I just need to work on my box jumps, pull ups and push ups…

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day of Rest

I have worked out 11 of the last 12 days. The “easiest” of those 11 workouts was a two mile run.

Reading those two sentences blows my mind. If I continue as I am supposed to, I will have worked out 26 of the 31 days in January and that was even with a slow start the first week. To some, this way seem like a lot. To others it might seem normal. To me, it just feels good. When I workout on a regular basis, the days that I rest feel like a reward instead of something I should feel guilty about. When I go for 3 days without a workout, it is too easy for me to make an excuse not to go on the 4th or 5th day and it becomes a lazy week or lazy month or worse. So while it feels like a lot, I think this is the best thing I could have done for myself. I am not sure that I am going to continue going 5 days a week to my gym forever, but I know I am not at the point where I can do it on my own and still get the results I want.

The downside to this is that my body hurts. No lie. Last Friday I was beat and went to bed about 9 o’clock. Today, more muscles in my body hurt than I care to count, muscles that I don’t even recall using. My calves are on fire, the back of my knees pinch every time I walk, and there is something funky going on my back that is a mix between an ache and a throb. But you know what? All that tells me is that I am working hard. Nothing is unbearable and hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow. But it always surprises me that I can continue to be sore after doing this for so long. People say “I have done aerobics for 6 months so I don’t get sore.” That just means you are working the same things over and over and your muscles are used to it. Crossfit always mixes it up so your brain and your body never know what they are in for.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Run Run Run Run Everybody Run Run

My workouts for the last 3 days have included running. On Sunday I did a timed 2 mile run. It was slow, but I did it all without stopping so that felt really good. Yesterday, we did 4 rounds of a 400 meter run and 50 squats. That was killer because your legs feel like jello after all the squats plus it was rather chilly last night. But I didn’t stop once on any of the runs or even cheat and make a wide turn at the end. That felt amazing! Then this morning we did 5 rounds of 400 meter run and 15 snatch. I only did 35 pounds and I really should have gone heavier. But the 5 rounds of running in the cold morning air was hard. But again, I did it. I think I maybe walked a total of 10 steps the whole workout and was happy with that.

Again, I am not the fastest runner, but I am not super worried about that. I just want to be able to do it first and then I will worry about getting faster. Running still scares me and I have to admit when I walked into the gym this morning I was trying to think of any excuse possible not to run again. The old me probably would have thought of something lame and punked out. While I still have those urges and the thought that I can’t do it, they are slowly fading from my mind. I know that the run is hard, but the only way to get over that is to work on it. Every run gets easier. I don’t know that it will ever be easy and I am not sure that I want it to be. I have learned that easy doesn’t get you very far in life. But once you can face your fear and address your weaknesses, you can only get stronger. And for me, that is the name of the game. I am thinking I might even jump on the treadmill tonight while watching Biggest Loser. The day when I can just go out for a run with friends and keep up and enjoy myself is a day that I really look forward to.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week 1 and Counting

Week 1 down. 5 workouts, M-F. It was hard, more mentally I think than anything else. But I was beyond tired when I finally got to bed last night. I took today off and will get my 6th WOD in tomorrow. I 4 mile run which I am not looking forward to, but I know I need to work on. Now I just have to make sure my eating habits are on point. During the week is not a problem because I am so busy. But weekends are a little harder. It seems like every time I go to my parent's house to eat, I eat more than I should and/or things I shouldn't eat at all. So that will be the struggle. I have done well so far this weekend. I had a few more blocks for lunch than usual, but it was a big old salad so I am happy with that. My mini-goal is to see 163 on Monday, which considering I was 170 on the 3rd is not too bad. Water weight and difference in scales aside, that is the goal. Week 2 will be here all too soon, but I am ready for it. It feels weird to go for 2 days without going to the gym or seeing my workout buddies!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Matter Out of Place

"Matter out of place" is an anthropological term referring to when something or someone is not as it should be or not as we expect it to be. For instance, a shoe in the middle of the road is matter out of place because shoes do not belong in the middle of the road. At the same time, a person without an arm might be seen as matter out of place because people are "supposed" to have two arms. I love the idea of matter out of place. I think it is very indicative of societal norms and stereotypes and forces us to face what are often subconscious thoughts.

Recently, I have begun to feel like "matter out of place." I spent so much of my life being inactive that the reality of being a "gym rat" (as my friends would call me) hasn't really sunk in yet. I still get nervous about going into the gym with a new group of people. I wonder if I can keep up or what they are going to think about me. I sometimes feel out of place and like I don't really belong there. Don't get me wrong. I don't feel this way because people aren't friendly or inclusive because that is not the case. In fact, the community at Crossfit Central has made this whole transition into a healthy lifestyle really "easy" for me. But I am a very cerebral person. I think way too much. My mind will tell me I can't continue long before my body gives out. So I tend to fall back into the mind set of someone who isn't active or who couldn't do the workouts. I second guess myself all the time and doubt my abilities. I can tell when this happens because it really impacts my workout. I hold back and don't push myself as hard as I could.

The reason I am writing about this today is because I am starting a new class tomorrow. Since I switched to 5 days a week, I had to add a class on Fridays. So I am going to Lance's 5:45 am class. I haven't worked with him before and I am excited to start. But I am nervous about working out with a new group of people and getting used to the dynamic of the class. I felt this way before I started Mike's class and even more so before I started with Zach at the beginning of my crossfit experience. I know it is silly to be scared because I now LOVE both of my classes and have a great time, so I know it will just take a few days to get used to and then I will be fine. But it is still a reminder to me that this whole process is just as much mental as it is physical. Mind over matter. I have to work on thinking like a healthy, fit person instead of feeling like I am just faking it. There is nothing fake about my determination or commitment so I might as well tell my mind to accept what my heart has already decided.