Week 5: The Excuse Train

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Christ, I need to get my eyebrows done.

We are into Week 5!

Woo!

Last week, I hit the gym twice. Which is not something too exciting. Mike and I were going through some fun times with moving things around for his job so we were busy all last week and barely had a moment to breathe.

This week, I have hit the gym twice so far (taking today to do body weight exercises) and continue to rock Thursday as well as Friday, too.

I was talking to a friend this week about how they can’t find the willpower or motivation to go consecutively to workout. Let me tell you, friend.

If you think every single athlete in the world never misses a gym day, you are so incredibly wrong.

Remember, it’s okay if you miss. Don’t beat yourself up but don’t make it a habit. If you miss, just make the effort to go the next day. It takes 21 days to make a habit so you gotta keep on top of it and it’ll get easier, I promise. No one is perfect in any stretch. Just keep going!

Some tips for not missing the gym (Doesn’t work for everyone but if you want to try!):

  • Make it a meeting in your calendar. I live and die by my Planner and Google Calendar. If I see it, I know that it’s on my To-Do List.
  • Bargain with Yourself. Every day I go to the gym, I bargain with myself. I say, “If I go today, I’ll take off tomorrow.” I never take off tomorrow but I tell myself I will to motivate me.
  • Keep a Journal. When I really don’t want to go, I look back on my progress. I try to write in it here and there about what goals I achieved. How good I felt. It reminds me that going is better than not.
  • Count Down. I set a time specific to go the gym. I always go before rush so I don’t have to fight people for the machines. If I go at 2:00, I have a goal to get my day work done and housework so I can do it. “2 more hours. I am going to do laundry.” “One more hour. I got to start getting ready.” and then when it’s time, I have no distractions, work, or housework.
  • Singing Reminders. I am a terrible singer, but I have a song I sing when I am getting ready that is basically, “Go to the gym” over and over. I sing it when I put my clothes on, get in my car, and go. I am hearing it, saying it, experiencing it.
  • Rewards. I will admit I am not on top of this but when I remember, it helps. For every workout, I reward myself with $1. That way, when I get enough money and reap the benefits of working out, I can get a new workout item (clothes!).
  • Following Inspirational People on Instagram. While you may not be rockin’ Crossfit, I follow a few of their top athletes from Stacie Tovar to Julie Foucher (which is easy. She works out at my Cleveland Box). But, also, I have picked up some friends along the way. My friend Nicia is always rockin’ updates. When I am in a slump and I see that they have hit the gym, it sparks me to get moving.
  • Social Media Accountability. There was an article that a friend of mine posted that said those who post their workouts are sociopaths. Call me a sociopath, but it’s literally the most beneficial for me. I don’t post my workouts to say, “Look what I did” but instead, I post them to say, “I did this. I need to be held accountable.” I also sometimes will look back at it and go, “I didn’t want to go that day, but I did!”
  • Accountabilibuddy. My husband is mine (though he’s slid since changing jobs. But, that’ll change soon!) but sometimes I would check in with another CF’er and say, “Hey! I went to the gym today. When are you going next?” And you motivate each other that way. You don’t have to go to the same exact gym at the same exact time to have an accountabilibuddy.

You may even find your own way to motivate yourself. If it works, stick with it. You can do this. I know you can.

Week 3: Science!

So, got to the gym last week! Horray!

I have been really loving Planet Fitness if only because I get there, do my thing, and leave. It’s no fuss and I am loving it.

What I do need to invest in is a set of weights for home so that will be next paycheck. I considered a kettlebell but the 50# ones are insanely expensive so I am going to go with free weights instead.

This weekend, we had two of our friends visit from Madison, WI. It was an unhealthy eating experience, to say the least. But, I felt less guilty on Saturday when we walked 4 miles around the Field Museum

I always love museums. I don’t know why people don’t go more. Chicago actually has the entire month of February free for their museum circuit which is always a plus! I learned a lot and the Field Museum Tattoo Exhibit was definitely an awesome experience.

Bonus, one of our guests has a cousin who works in Public Relations so we got a sneak peak of the behind the scenes hallways, libraries, and science things!

Speaking of science, there’s an article going around my friends’ list currently and it is definitely one of my favorites. It shows a woman who did a ton of weightlifting, exercise, and eating healthy and how she is one pound difference from before to after.

Why am I against scales? Muscle weighs more than fat. This is not an opinion. It’s science. You may actually never meet your goal number especially if you’re doing weight training or lifting. 

This is probably the most normal situation, especially in Crossfit. The problem with scales is they are a tool, yes. But, I have too many friends who live by it. If you are gonna weigh yourself obsessively? Throw out your scale.

If you want to measure your weight loss, the best thing is a tape measure. If you cannot throw the scale away, I ask that you consider only weighing yourself once a week at the same time (I weigh myself every Monday at 2:00 PM at the gym because I don’t trust myself with a scale at home).

Above all, the most important advice I have learned through this is you have to love yourself, regardless of your weight and before you jump in, let me tell you why.

If I don’t love myself at my current weight, I won’t love myself at my goal weight. I am not here to tell you to stop working out or eating healthy. I want you to keep at it! But, remember – you’re the same person no matter how fit you are. 

I have a friend who has to be in a specific number. She’s fit, she looks great. However, if she gains one pound (even if it’s muscle), she freaks and goes on crash diets and works out until she’s so fatigued that she crashes.

Having a goal is awesome (mine is 70 lbs away!) but I have friends who live and die by a few pounds measured on a scale. You’ll kill yourself doing that. If you want to get healthier, I encourage you. If you want to hit a specific number and you can’t go above or under that number — you’re screwed, friend. 

Saying, “I would like to live a healthier lifestyle” is a good start. Saying, “I would like to look and feel healthier” is also good. Putting a number on that is going to crush you especially if you live and die by the scale. Pay more attention to how your clothes fit, how your run time gets better, or how you can lift heavier things. That’s progress. 

This week, I am going back to healthy eating and keeping up with my 3 times a week to the gym. Next blog? We make some new March goals!

February Plan

So, January (after Midwinter), I:

  • Tracked food.
  • Walked 10k a day.
  • Drank a whole butt load of water.
  • Ate healthy

In February, I plan to:

  • Continue January Goals.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Go to Planet Fitness 3 times a week for cardio and will increase times when I get comfortable with three.
  • Go to Crossfit once – three times a week with Mike.
    • However many times Mike does not go to CF, I’ll supplement weight training at PF.

Exciting news, too. My friend Leia, my very best girl, has been wanting to get in shape for some time. Crossfit was too much heavy lifting, yoga was expensive, and so on. I proposed Planet Fitness to her and she is all about it. So, I have a workout partner! Which is pretty exciting.

I called PF to see if I can come in tonight, late, when Mike goes to bed. They said absolutely as they are staffed 24-7. I am pretty excited that I will be able to go whenever I want.

I am feeling really motivated right now. I know that if I can’t go to Crossfit, I have a 24-7 gym at my disposal. No excuses.

Drive by Face Gains.

So, yesterday, my friend Rojir tagged me in a two year old selfie. I was shocked that my face was that big. That it literally had its own shadows. So, I grabbed the most recent front facing photo I had and well:


It’s small.

It’s minimal.

But, it’s noticable. No more shadow cheeks. I have a neck! And I have more teeth in my smile! I have lines in my cheeks when I smile!

Slow and steady. 

Athlete Zero? More like Patient Zero.

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Last time we spoke, reader, I was about to journey on the road of quitting smoking.

Did I quit?

You bet I did. But, there was a very “fun” twist.

The stress I got from quitting forced me to get one of the worst stomach aches I have ever gone through. Five straight days of nausea, random nose bleeds, stomach pain (sometimes sharp), vomiting, and migraines. It came in waves, too. Half the day I felt super amazing and wonderful. The other half of the day I felt like I needed to go to the hospital.

The strangest part was when I went to Crossfit? I wasn’t sick. I didn’t get dizzy.

I was weaker, to be sure, but I didn’t feel like I was ill.

I went to the doctor on Friday and got some blood work done. The doctor was positive that I was getting sick from quitting smoking which I absolutely agreed with him. My blood work comes back tomorrow so we will see if there is anything odd. So far, my blood pressure has dropped below normal (due to quitting) and I might have a gluten intolerance though if I do it’ll be extremely minor. I’ll find out tomorrow for sure.

Also, they weighed me and I am 12 lbs down. I was so excited and the nurse was so confused when I said, “Oh yay! 12 down!” and threw my arms up in the air in the middle of the hallway. It was the best news I had gotten all week despite how gross I felt.

After my blood work, Mike took me out to lunch. We ran into my Head Coach who asked if we went to the gym on Friday. When we said we don’t usually go on Fridays, he convinced us to head over there. Again, I felt really good and sweat out a lot of the gross toxins that had been infecting me all week.

Today, I feel about 50% better. I am still a little dizzy when I stand and I am a little bit tired but I have cleaned the house and made a checklist of all my things I need to do. I have a busy week ahead but Crossfit is definitely on that list.

Here is to feeling better.

 

Week 5: Reflection

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So, I am at Week 5. I have done some of the most insane workouts and have eaten 90% healthy and within my macros.

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I say 90% healthy because sometimes meeting those protein macros is horrid. Or hitting my calorie count (sometimes I am terribly under) is a nightmare as well. But, it’s trial and error and process.

I am currently baking chicken with Penzey’s Northwood spice as well as little red and yellow peppers scattered across it. I am doing my best to include my protein in my diet (powder in my coffee in the morning).

I think I have made a few strides.

  • My back squat went from 105# > 155# for my three rep max.
  • My push press went from 85# > 105#.
  • My front squat went from 90# > 135#.
  • My cleans are better.
  • I still hate burpees and Coach Carl literally includes them once – twice a week. I am getting much faster on these, however. When I started in August, I had to do burpees off of a box because the movement was too complex for me. Now, I can do it without a box. A real burpee.
  • I have not cried during a WOD yet! I have, however, screamed Carl’s name in vain. Multiple times.
  • I have learned to love the sled. It makes you feel insanely powerful.
  • I feel smaller in some areas. I know my stomach has gone down, my legs have tightened, my arms are smaller. My only issue is getting over the mentality that results are immediate. I know in my brain this is false but I can’t help but get frustrated sometimes. I have to realize I am not trying to lose 1 or 2 pounds. These are pounds I put on in college and through my polycystical ovary (not an excuse, just didn’t take care of it earlier on).
  • I am REALLY liking vegetables more and more. I have always liked them but when you get a cool recipe, you just start getting creative.

And then some things I need to work on a bit more.

  • My deadlift is still at 275#. I know that in time, that will go up. My goal for June is to get it to 300#.
  • My running stamina has gone up, but very slightly. This is something I need to work on more. Chicago has been surprisingly rainy the past few weeks which has placed me on the rower a lot.
  • I need to do a box jump. This one is 100% mental. I know I can jump high as hell but when a box is there, I immediately shut down and get too trapped in my head.
  • I gotta do an assisted pull up by the end of the year. Another thing I can totally do and need to get out of my head space.

Over the past few weeks, my husband Mike and my Gym Buddy Katy have been immensely supportive. My friend Laura from Cleveland has been just amazing and always checking in on me. I am forever grateful for her, too.

Katy will always doing an Athlete Zero WOD with me and encourages her son to do it with me, too. I told her she can be Wonder Woman in our pack of superheroes. She instead, calls me her Wonder Woman because she’s kind. She’s someone I want to grow up to be like, honestly. She’s about my height and she’s in probably the best shape I have ever seen someone. She pushes me all the time and challenges me. Like, for my back squat? She saw me do 100# and said, “Put more weight on.” It’s always put more weight on.

Coach Carl has finally gotten around to calling me ‘Lady Flash’. I have returned the favor and called him ‘Batman’.

Tonight, I am hitting the box with Katy and Mike. Katy has to bring me a hair tie because my adorable cat, Banjo, has squirreled away the rest of the them. Not sure what the WOD is yet, but I’ll know when I get there.