Thursday, October 27, 2011

Square one

I cried every day this week. And several days last week. That's a hard thing for me to admit, because I pride myself on being a pretty tough broad. It's been building up for awhile, and at first I figured maybe it was just the stress and hard work... maybe I was just being a baby. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just really, truly hate law school. Not because I hate learning about it, because the intricacies, cases, professors, and people there are all great. I just hate what it is doing to my family. Don't get me wrong, I knew it would be a lot of work, but what I failed to realize was how much it would take away from my relationship with my son (EVERYTHING). It was never about the money I could make or the status of the job that appealed to me, but the chance that I could have a career where I could make a difference in someone's life. And for someone without a family that's totally attainable, but I'm just not built that way and it kills me to have to admit that this just isn't the right fit for me at this point in my life. I can't go days and days of barely seeing my boy, I can't feel like an outsider in his life and watch everyone else doing the things I should be doing--taking him to school, talking to him about his day, feeding him, cuddling with him at bed time, teaching him how to read, write, tie his shoes, ride a bike... I'm his mom, and that has to be my first priority. I can't have this career when the implosion of my family would be the collateral damage.

So now what? Not sure... I had an epic breakdown yesterday where I finally came face to face with all of this (special thanks to my CF coach for being my sounding board). I'm lucky to have so many people in my life who understand and back me on my decisions, in fact I think they might be a little relieved because they're hoping now I won't be so bat-shit insane every day. The not-knowing is what scares me the most, but at the end of the day all I can feel is relief to get this off my shoulders. There are a million options out there, I just have to find the right one. I still want to make a difference, I just need to find another way to do it that won't have such an adverse effect on my relationships and my psyche. At the end of the day I realized that while fear of the unknown sucks, you only get one shot with your kids, your family, with people... law school will always be there, they might not. And I surely don't want to f*$% that up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big Black "S"

I've become too complacent with my life at home. It's been creeping up on me for awhile, and the time has come to face the music before it gets out of control. There's a power struggle involved between the side of me that has gotten set in my health(ier) ways and the side that wants to join in with everyone else while they're eating drumsticks without a care in the world. Most of the time I can make the right decision without skipping a beat; I haven't eaten fast food but maybe once in the past few months, I quit smoking again, always pack a good lunch for school.. but as soon as I make that one bad decision it's like a domino effect and 10 more follow. Seriously.. bad news bears every damn time. Clearly I'm just not the kind of person who can have a small cheat, things get ugly. I'm not opposed to the occasional bad life decision (ie-a night of boozing or a sweet treat on the weekend), but chinese food followed by 6 cookies is unacceptable by any standard.

Yesterday I was cruisin the Crossfit Lisbeth site checking out old articles and essays, and I ran across a 2008 writing she did that felt like it was meant just for me, it was called "Sacrifice" It made me realize that when I make the right choice it isn't about deprivation, it's about giving up something to get something else I want more. A novel concept I know; most of the time the thought of sacrificing leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Let's be honest, nobody wants to give up their vices. But if it can be framed in terms of getting something better in return, it just might be worth it.

Since I can be really good at dodging accountability for things when they don't fall in line with what I want in the moment, I decided I needed to do something symbolic to keep the concept fresh in my mind. So until it becomes an ingrained part of my psyche, I'm going to put a big black S on my arm to look at every time I feel like doing the wrong thing. It'll be like having a tiny Mark Cubberley with me at all times to call me out when I'm making an asshole move!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Learning to Deal

Some moments in your life come equipped with perfect recall.. good or bad, they're the ones you remember down to the last detail be it the next day or the next decade. Tomorrow is one of those days for me. October 12th.. it's funny how it can be just another random date for everyone else, but every time I hear it there's this visceral, gut-wrenching reaction within me. Seems like the passing of so much time should have some effect to make it less painful, but here I am 15 years later and it still feels like yesterday we lost them.

I don't talk about it a lot to people who don't already know about what happened to our family, but in 1996 my grandparents and uncle were killed in a car accident. Nobody can really understand what it's like to go through something so traumatic unless they've been there. People just expect you to get over it. The real fucking kicker is that you never really get over it; you find ways to deal and the day to day hurt diminishes a lot. But then a birthday or a familiar season sneaks up on you, or in this case the anniversary of the accident, and it's like rubbing salt into a fresh wound all over again.

And in that moment, on that day, you just want someone to get it. For someone to just snatch you up and tell you exactly what you need to hear to get through that day.. give you a little bit of their courage when you're running low on your own. Or maybe you need to be that guy for somebody else. Either way remember to be thankful for the great people in your life, and for God sakes don't let a moment pass you by--everyone deserves to know how much they're loved TODAY.

I've spent the last 15 years learning how to deal with life without them.. at this rate it looks like I'll spend the rest of my life still trying to figure it out. Truth is, you never get used to living without the people who mean the most. The pain and the scar just becomes a part of you that after awhile only certain people still notice, like it was there all along. If you're lucky you'll eventually find people and habits and things you love that fill the void on the worst days, and be left with a few bittersweet memories to recall on the rest.

10/12/96



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sanity

It seems I spend most days lately hanging at the end of my rapidly-fraying rope. School, kids, house, bills, family, and a healthy mix of people you just don't wanna fucking deal with... all the stuff they don't tell you about when you're young and you just can't wait to grow up. How to deal? It's a damn circus act for me. I'm pretty sure I washed every dish in our house 7 times this past weekend, did approximately 10 loads of laundry in 2 days, and then had my son come down with a lovely case of strep throat/scarlet fever (yes it still exists) at roughly 8 pm on Sunday night. Cool. What a fantastic way to start the week. I love being a mom, hell I'm starting to enjoy our "kid weekends" more than the free ones, but it is a really really really really realllllllyyyyyy underpaid/underappreciated gig. As if that weren't hard enough, add law school on top of it and my life is like a high stakes game of Jenga--fuck up one area and it's all going to hell.

Thankfully I've found some outlets.. staying ahead of the game in school, keeping the house picked up, and lucky for me Kev is great about helping out most of the time. But on the days I'm feeling really stressed out or down, my first instinct is to grab some shitty snack; it's just the way I have always dealt with my emotions. My family has always associated food with fellowship, and I never had the right kind of relationship with it.. So I struggled for a long time and still do on the worst of days. I think part of the reason I started this blog was so I could be frank with myself and whoever else reads it as to where I'm at.. it keeps me accountable. And, as it turns out, so does Mark when necessary, haha

I'm trying to make new connections and associations in my mind as to how I deal with the stress. Crossfit Lisbeth is one of my favorite places to go when I need a little inspiration; she has an amazing daily blog that gives great perspective (Like her on Facebook!) And then there's class. Some days I just wanna stay in bed, or go straight home after school and veg out like a bum. But I always know in the back of my mind that I need it, and that if I'll just get my shit together and go I'll feel so much better for it. One hour a day, that's all I need to salvage my sanity. For that one hour my mind is clear; I'm not thinking about school or kids or the most recent thing that happened to royally piss me off. I can talk to my CF friends and joke around and forget all the bullshit that happened that day. Something about that hour a day fulfills a deeply rooted need within me.. I've done things I like/love before, but nothing that compares to CF. It doesn't have to be your thing, but it is mine. Just find solace in something that makes you feel more whole. Try a lot of different shit, eventually you'll fall into the right thing and you'll just know without a shadow of a doubt that it's where you belong.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On getting called out (by yourself)

Guess what? Life is kind of a bitch. You either have to learn to roll with the punches or get rolled the fuck over. This week, I officially got Rolled. The. Fuck. Over.

I have a tendency to let my vices get the best of me, especially when I'm really stressed out (Legal Research and Writing class makes me want to lay open a vein...), so I've been a slacker in every way possible except for school the past few days. The problem for me lies with the fact that when I let one area get out of control, say I don't go to CF for a day or two, then it starts this domino effect where everything else just goes to hell in a handbasket. The next thing you know I'm eating like an asshole, drinking diet pop like it's my job, and I've got a massive stomach ache. Which leads to "I can't get shit done because I feel like hell and there's a carb driven mental fog that cannot be shaken" and finally I just give up altogether. Much as I hate to admit it, I thrive on discipline, routine, and schedules. Once the balance is disturbed the whole damn thing goes out the window, that's just the way it is. But there may be a remedy in sight! Rather than wallowing in it for a change, I'm going to get my shit together, go to bed early(ish), make it to CF in the morning, and hit the reset button on this week. Okay yeah, maybe it's Friday, better late than never though eh?

I guess sometimes I just have to mentally call myself out when I know I'm not keeping my life in line... in case you hadn't noticed, today is one of those days. I decided to do it publicly because I don't like being a hypocrite, and I'm hoping that this will serve as a reminder to keep myself in check. And if it doesn't I'm hoping someone else will take the liberty to call my ass out, because let's be honest--I need all the help I can get at this point! Haha

Friday, September 16, 2011

Specializing in Life

See the title for today's post? That's what we do at the gym. We are Crossfitters, ready to go on anything--any WOD, any given day, every time we walk into the garage. Because one of the cool/incredibly scary things about CF Crave is that you never know what to expect until the moment you walk in and look at the board. Kind of like life, isn't it? You can speculate all you want, hope for the best, believe things will go your way... but when the moment of truth comes, you never really know what to expect and you still have to deal with it anyway.

As CF'ers we have a distinct advantage against the rest of the world, because we know that you have to be prepared for anything and everything. Doesn't matter if you did burpees yesterday, you might have to do them today. Ash went on a kick this summer where I thought we might be training for some kind of marathon based on all the damn running we did. Sometimes in life it's just like that, getting hit with a bunch of bullshit that you never think is going to end. Maybe it will, and maybe it won't. But just like in the gym, we have learned to always be ready for anything.

Watching the 2011 CF games on ESPN2 last night (via DVR), I noticed the theme to the competition was "Fittest On Earth." Amazingly true, and if you don't believe me just watch the games. They/We don't train or specialize to be the best at JUST lifting, or JUST running, or JUST swimming, or any other specific event that other athletes claim title to. No, Crossfitters don't pick an event... we specialize in life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sometimes You Just Gotta Do You

Summer is slipping through my fingers... I can feel it. Connor and I meet his kindergarten teacher tomorrow, and Thursday is my first day of orientation at Ohio Northern where I embark on my new journey into law school. Part of me is ready for this next step now that the house is pretty well finished (we agree that it now feels like home even though we've started yet another painting project), and I'm starting to get so bored with the lack of things to do that I'm actually picking up shifts at work. So yeah, it's probably time to get back in the swing of things.

Maybe it isn't that I'm not ready for the responsibility or time commitment again, but more so a fear of failure that freaks me out about law school. It's like the WOD tonight at Crossfit--deads aren't a problem for me, but once I had the bar at 135# and realized I was gonna have to do 10.. then 15.. then 20 at that weight, well, let's just say I wasn't so confident. Especially since I'm just starting to feel like I'm getting back into my groove after those shitty 5 weeks off. For a split second my confidence waivered.. I thought about dropping some weight and maybe just hitting 115 or 125, but of course my inner hardass said fuck that and left it the way it was--and it wasn't that bad. Yeah, I struggled a little more than if I'd dropped down. I arched my back too many times, had to throw off my gloves and use a switch grip halfway through, stopped a few times. But I made it. Yesterday was the same way when Mark had us do 85% of our max thruster. Normally I would have been content with doing 65#, but I knew he had it set in his head that I was going to do at least 70 so I did and it made me feel good to move up--even if it was just by 5 lbs.

Life is all about moving up, accepting change, making yourself (and hopefully those around you) stop accepting mediocrity and strive for better. So that's the plan--to stop settling for halfassedness. Unfortunately some of the closest people to us are the ones who sabotage our efforts the most, and the support and encouragement comes from unexpected places. The hard part about that for me is stepping up and taking charge of my own life instead of making excuses or letting what other people want me to do influence the choices I'm making for myself. Because at the end of the day, I'm the one who has to live with the consequences. I hope everyone can respect that, but I expect a few people to get their feathers ruffled over this change of attitude. But then again, you know I never really have been one to give a damn what anyone else thinks ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paleo Gripes: Why I HATE Giving people advice...

Today 5:30 was too early for me to be awake; I'm not on a morning schedule at all right now, so I'm probably going to need a nap if I want to salvage the rest of this day with any level of productivity. But right now I'm waiting to pick Connor up from my parents house, so I'll enjoy an iced tea and some bitching before I do so. Let me qualify this by first saying that I love when people ask me about paleo or Crossfit. Two of my favorite subjects, sometimes I have to cut myself off because I know it probably gets annoying to listen to me drone on about these two subjects to no end. But I really believe in both of them as an important part of my life, so sometimes I have a hard time reigning it in. That being said, one of my biggest irks is when people ask me about it and then proceed to do one of the following:

1. Tell me that I'm wrong, or that I "need" grains/carbs/fill in the blank as to whatever other bullshit food group that they put stock in.. Really, because YOU'RE looking a little bloated today! Perhaps it's the 37 servings of grain that the government has prescribed you! Don't stand in front of me with a footlong sub, a bag of doritos, and a 40 of Coke and tell ME about health and macronutrients. Grab you a copy of Gary Taubes book "Why We Get Fat," then come find me and we'll have an educated conversation about food (over a 3 egg omelette and an order of bacon ;)

ORRRRR...

2. Ask me to dedicate my precious time and energy telling you EVERYTHING I know about Paleo/macronutrient breakdown and why carbs drive insulin drive fat.... and then continue to eat like an asshole. And THEN give me a whole crapload of excuses why you're doing it. Guess what? I don't care what you put in your body; what I do care about is that you not waste my time bitching about your weight or how bad you feel when you obviously have no ambition to do anything to change it. They say "when you know better, you do better." Definitely not the case with some people.

We only get this one life, and this one body to live it in. I've been down the hard road where I let things get out of control, and I know the struggle and the toll it takes mentally and physically to bring yourself back. Hell, I'm still not 100% where I want to be but I'm certainly not giving up--I know if I stay on this road it'll take me where I want to be. Maybe this wasn't my usual funny and light-hearted message for the day, but sometimes you gotta get bitchy so people will sit up and listen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life, Balance, and Change

Today I was browsing around Facebook checking out pics; one of the things I love most about these social networking sites is that there's a constant record, be it good or bad, of our lives. And I gotta say, I never get tired of marveling at the transformation my body has made over the past year. While I dropped some weight here and there, the real journey toward change (with a legit level of commitment) started one year ago in August of 2010. Hard to believe that just 12 short months ago I was like 80 lbs heavier, struggling to "jog" from one pole to the next. When I finished my first 5k at the end of September it was one of the most prideful moments of my life. I guess I look back at those pictures and I can't even imagine going back to that place in my life. It's a hilarious but really scary reminder as to how bad things can get if you let your life get out of control. The first picture I posted on here is from my little bro's wedding on July 17, 2010--a little over a year ago.. the second is from my friend's wedding this year on July 2, almost a year apart.... YIKES.... lol



Speaking of control, I finally feel like I'm getting some balance back into my life--part of that has to do with the fact that my new kitchen is FINALLY free of power tools, and part of it is because I have some pretty legit looking bruises on my legs as a result of being back into Crossfit. I was talking to one of the girls in class last night about Crossfit/diet/weight loss, and I realized something really important came from my past month of sloth.. not only did I gain an understanding for how important CF is to me, but I also stopped obsessing over the scale and over every bit of food that goes into my mouth. That doesn't mean I have any desire to eat like an asshole, bc I just feel better when I eat paleo at least 90% of the time.. but it does mean I can enjoy dessert or a piece of pizza once in awhile and not beat myself up over it or gain 10 lbs as a result. It's not about the scale for me anymore... it's about how I feel. CF'ing makes me feel confident, strong and solid--I could literally feel my body composition turning to sludge over the past month. Okay, maybe I was just paranoid and a little dramatic, but still.. it could happen. At any rate it gave me enough perspective and a better level of understanding and control over myself mentally to salvage what little sanity I have left.

This summer has been ridiculous between the house and the other random bullshit I've had going on in my life. Change and transition is never easy, but thankfully it has gone more smoothly than I ever expected for us in the huge changes we've been going through, especially the past month. Now that August is already starting to fly by (WTF!?), I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for law school. The thought alone is a little daunting, but I think as long as I can maintain a solid routine things will be fine. I feel really lucky to have a great family to help with Connor, and Kev around to help with the kids on the weekends. The key to getting my life together is going to be routine and keeping my priorities in line, so hopefully I can keep that on lock without going completely bat-shit insane... wish me luck!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back in Action

July has been one hell of a month for me.. so many awesome things happened--I took an amazing vacation with some great girls, got to be apart of two of my closest friends' wedding, my best friend became my boyfriend, and along with that I gained 3 awesommmme kids into my and Connor's lives. I worked my ass off and have almost finished the new house, and somehow found a little time here and there to really enjoy the summer. But there was one thing missing from this epic month--Crossfit.

I'm a big believer in 'everything happens for a reason' so I tried really hard not to be bitter about the lengthy list of issues and circumstances that found me WOD-blocked for the entire last month. Some days were better than others, but I got some serious clarity on just how much an integral part of my life that CF has become. It's not just about the workout either.. it's the people, the feeling of accomplishment, the confidence it has allowed me to build in myself, the discipline... I miss EVERYTHING. At the risk of sounding really dramatic, I don't feel like myself without CF Crave. I can't tell you how ready I am to walk back into that place next Monday, to get my ass kicked and work til I'm not sure whether it's sweat or tears rolling down my face, haha. It's a little ridiculous how giddy I am even though I have perfect recall as to how brutal those first couple weeks back are gonna be. But it's all good, and it's totally worth it to be back where I belong with my crossfit family. See ya'll in a week!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Renewal

As I write this post, I'm sitting on the deck of our beach house soaking up the rays and listening to the waves roll in. I fucking love Alabama. And yes, I'm rubbing it in haha... The past few days have been unbelieveable for me, sometimes you just don't realize how freakin keyed up and stressed out you are until you take like 5 seconds to chill out. Gulf Shores is my escape from the crazy. You know how it is when you've just juggling too much stuff, eventually you lose your shit.. that's where I was about 4 days ago lol.

Coming down here... it just gives me a new perspective on things, on life, on the people around me, my relationships--everything. I'm not gonna lie though I do miss being home. It isn't the kind of homesick that makes you sad, it's the kind that makes you actually appreciate what you have. And I'm going through some serious Crossfit withdrawals which is NOT fine... seriously can't wait to get back in the gym and have Ash kick my ass all over that place. I might even do some burpees today, we'll see how things play out haha. At any rate, this is my last day here so I'm going to chill out by the ocean and take it all in. See ya'll in a few days! (Yeah, it's fine I've developed a creepy southern accent...)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making Fran your B*tch

Ok so maybe I didn't make her my bitch, but I did have one of the highest PR's in our CF group for the "Fran-off." For those who don't understand what I'm talking about, Fran is one of the core benchmark workouts for CrossFit. It's a good measure of where you are in your abilities, and in May I did it for the first time along with the rest of my crew. You should know something about Fran--she should be done fast. Real fast, like 3-4 minutes fast. 21 Thrusters with a 65 lb bar, 21 pull-ups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each--and it can be done so don't even shake your head like you don't believe me. At any rate, my modified Fran was a 55# bar and pull-ups using dark blue and red bands because I suck at those, and my time in May was 7:34.

Yesterday I walked into class with a purpose. I had so much nervous energy balled up in my stomach that I could puke, I get that all the time but I'm not sure why.. it's not like I've ever NOT finished a workout or something. Definitely had a few "come to Jesus" moments, but never officially died on the floor there. So instead of freaking the fuck out, I told myself I could do it and that I was fine.. and that not only was I going to PR, but I was going to push myself as hard as I could from the jump.

By the way, you wouldn't believe how many thoughts can go through your head in 6 short minutes; it's pretty amazing when I think about it. When the boss yells "3, 2, 1, GO!" I always have that second of hesitation where my body says "no I can't do this!" to which my brain replies "The hell you can't!" and I fall into a rhythm. I have a tendency to count backwards in my head because getting to 1 seems so much more monumental than randomly counting to 21 one time then 9 the next--ONE is always the end point. And then while I'm counting backwards in my head, I'm talking to myself like "keep pushing," or "one more before you take a break," and then there's "stop breathing so much." Yesterday there was a moment on the pull-up bar where I thought for sure my hand was about to tear or something.. I had it pinched funny and almost decided to stop and readjust. Until I remembered I was on my last 9, and that was clearly just a waste of precious seconds so I just kept going til I got down to 1. (As it turns out my damn hand was fine anyway.)

I had a mild idea about where I was time-wise throughout the whole ordeal, but to be honest I was mostly focused on just going as fast as my F-A could carry me lol.. so I think I surprised myself when I looked at the times on the board and realized I had PR'd by over a minute--6:16 to be exact. No, I didn't do Fran unmodified, and I wasn't the fastest person to finish, but to be able to physically see a difference in where you are as far as your abilities from one month ago--those are real results. Everyone kicked their own ass! That's motivation and inspiration at it's finest!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Today's project post is about the little things..

Five Things that Make you Happy to be Alive:

1) Driving down the road on a nice day with the perfect song on blast. Sunglasses, sunroof, the whole damn deal. You can't tell me that doesn't put you in a great mood just thinking about it!

2) Chillin' and Grillin'! Seems like at least once a week a few of us get together just to hang out, grill up some badass food, and drink a few beers. Life is just better when you have a sense of community and family with people you're closest to. Which is why I'm also really looking forward to the hog roast with the rest of my CF crew in mid-July!

3) Traveling/Road trips! Getting there is half the fun! And of course getting to see new places, enjoying the view when you drive through the mountains, spending that time with a few friends, having ridiculous stories and pictures to share later (that only you can fully appreciate lol).. I'm also stoked about the upcoming trip to drop in on another box while I'm there!

4) Hanging out with my parents, especially now that I'm older. I just like going over there to relax and talk, sometimes Mom makes me and Con up a plate for dinner. Makes me feel like a kid again, takes away the insanely high level of responsibility that I always seem to be shouldering even if only for a little while.

5) Walking out of class for the night after a really kick ass WOD. C'mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later lol.. I just love the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I could choose to sit at home and be a lazy ass, sometimes I think I'd prefer it, but like I said before I have never regret showing up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No Regrets

I've come to realize that I need my sleep. Summer and the new house (and all the work it entails) has thrown me for a loop as far as my schedule goes, especially my go to bed/wake up times. I've been hitting a good mix of am and afternoon CF classes, and have noticed that on the days I go at 6 am, I'm a royal effing hag by about 10 am, and my attitude pretty much sucks for the rest of the day. My apologies to anyone whose head I've ripped off on those days, I now know that if o don't go to bed by 10 or 11 I will absolutely be going to afternoon class the next day lol.. just thought I'd throw that out there.

Yesterday after class I was beat up, it was a 'burpees til you die' kind of workout, but I couldn't help but be satisfied with myself for going. See sometimes with the afternoon class I find myself trying to make excuses to skip, like I'm painting or I'm tired or whatever other bs comes into my head. I ultimately decide to get my shit together and go, and I realized last night after that killer workout that I NEVER regret showing up. Not once. Sure, it's tough, and I'm probably going to add a new bruise to my collection or leave with even more callouses on my hands... but I never regret doing the WOD.

It made me think about how that expands into the rest of my life, my outlook and attitude have really evolved over the past year, even just the past few months since starting CF. My confidence soars every time I see myself improve in time or do a really hard WOD.. wait, what am I saying, they're all a b*tch. I consider myself realllly lucky-- for making the life changes I've made, improving my life and my health, for finding Crossfit and Ash and the barbells and the burpees and the fucking awesome people. It's all led to a major paradigm shift in how I approach life and challenge. I'm living for each moment instead of waiting for better things to come, and realizing that I'm strong and capable enough to deal with anything that comes my way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

I had a rough weekend. Again. It was probably my own fault, I've been feeling pretty cocky about how easy things have been lately, how I haven't been craving anything bad or overdoing it on anything good, and how I haven't felt compelled to buy almond butter in a few wks. Enter the brag monster.... we won't even go into detail about what I ate this wknd. Just know that it took me down a notch or two and that I felt freakin disgusting. Always a big 'told ya so' reminder as to why I choose to only eat real foods. They don't make my poor guts grumble or mess w my digestion. I mentally pressed the reset button on life yesterday morning, so it's best now to own up to the bad and move on! And what a great way to start the week I might add--

Five Things I'm Grateful For:

1) My new home, and my parents for helping me find/buy/fix it. We could've easily lived and thrived in this apartment for the next few yrs while I finished law school, it has been a great place for me, Connor and Brutus for the past two yrs. But having a home gives such a greater feeling of permanence, it's hard to describe. And it's ours. And there aren't a bunch of crazyyyy ass people living in every effing direction. Amen!!!!!!

2) My job, not that I love it or anything because God only knows some of the things that go through my head.. but it's been steady for 3 yrs now and I always make enough to pay my bills. I like most of the ppl I work with, which helps get through the crappy days, and they've always been pretty flexible with my schedule and letting me do what I need to do.

3) I'm grateful for the amazing opportunity to go to law school at minimal cost to myself. I know that's something I essentially earned for myself through a lot of hard work at Wright State and time spent studying for the LSAT, but ultimately if it weren't for the academic scholarship I wouldn't be going to ONU next year bc there's no way I could financially burden myself on that level without having some kind of mental breakdown.

4) I'm grateful for a functioning body, one that has the ability to rebound from yrs of bad food and inactivity, or just a weekend of it for that matter. I'm grateful that I can run, jump, play with Connor. Ride bike instead of driving, do some half ass pullups and (finally) get vertical enough to do unmodified box jumps.

5) There just aren't words to describe how grateful I am to have such an awesome network of people in my life--parents, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, fellow crossfitters, Facebook friends. I've been rallied and encouraged by so many people in the past year that it defies logic. It still surprises me on some level, especially when it comes from the most unlikely sources. But I take it all in stride and remember those golden moments when the going gets tough or I'm having a bad couple of days. Thank God for good people!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learning to love yourself

On to day 2 of my project, this is definitely one of the tougher ones for me because I'm always so Damn critical of my own body. Now I have to write about 5 things it can do!? Does 'storing an unacceptable amount of fat' count? Okay, I kid I kid, things have gotten much better and it's not necessarily my body's fault per se that I abused it so badly. But the truth is, I've never been 100% comfortable in my own skin. That's one gift I've received already from doing crossfit--I can finally feel that starting to subside. I love my arms, the dents that are starting to develop in my triceps, the muscle I can feel starting to develop in my ab wall, the smoothness of my calves. I'm finding good things, and trying to move past the bad. It's a start, right?

Five Things my Body Can Do:

1) My body can sustain life--not just for myself, but it can grow another human! I think we take the whole process for granted, but if you really sit down and think about it that is a freakin amazing ability. Not only that, but I was able to provide him with the nourishment he needed for the first 9 months he was on earth. A lot of people balk at the idea of nursing their children, and gone are the days when it would be acceptable to whip out a boobie and go to town, but it was one of the proudest decisions I ever made as a young mom because it was selfless.

2) Coupled with number 1 above, my body can give birth sans pain medication. Tell me that doesn't make me a badass!!

3) My body is incredibly self-sustaining, something I've noticed now that I pay more attention to its cues rather than blindly adhering to some kind of schedule. I've realized that I am rarely as hungry as I used to be, and that a lot of those hunger pangs were just based on the fact that my body was used to getting a meal at X time. I eat when I'm hungry, some days more often than others but solely based on necessity and not 'cuz it's time.' I sleep when I'm tired, rest when I'm overly sore, and don't pop a pill every time I feel the slightest ache.

4) My body has the ability to endure a lot. The other day I went out for only my 3rd run since March. I used to be the cardio queen, so I wasn't expecting to be able to do nearly as much as I used to let alone my speed. I ran to the ball park to watch some Sunday softball, then went back home to drive my route and was shocked to see that I had run 4.5 miles with very little difficulty! Crossfit has improved my strength and endurance in a huge way, there's no doubting it!

5) My body can forgive... it has done an amazing job of bouncing back in the past 10 months from YEARS of abuse with overeating and underexercising. For this, I am most thankful.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A New Project

I ganked this from another blog because I thought it was a cool idea, it's always good to find things you're happy/positive/thankful for. Those who know me well can tell you I'm infamous for being a bit on the self-loathing side and overly critical of myself, so maybe seeing it in black and white will make me more introspective about what GOOD I have to offer. Then again maybe it's just bullshit lol, hell I don't know. At any rate, and without further adieu--A 5 posting project in which I think about the following:

Five things you love about yourself.
Five things your body can do.
Five things you're grateful for.
Five things that make you happy you're alive.
Five people who you love.

Five things I love about myself? Hmmmmm...

1) My sense of humor. A trait I undoubtedly got from my mom (and aunt Kate), and thank God because if I took any aspect of my life seriously I would've had to be admitted several times over. My sense of humor got me through the toughest times of my bad breakup with the ex and the ugliness that followed. My comedic 'nothing is ever serious' take on life has won me a lot of friends, and a reputation among them for being able to find humor in even the most critical of situations. I just like being funny, making people laugh fills me up and gives me a sense of purpose, it's just what I do. And being the fat girl for several years there, well, I had to find some way to compensate! If people are laughing with you, finding you interesting and maybe just a bit charming, there's a good chance they won't be laughing AT you.

2) My relationship with my son. I don't claim to be mother of the year material, I haven't always done everything right, and I know there are plenty of mistakes to be made in the future. But he and I have a great relationship and I can honestly say that having him made me into the responsible adult that I am today. I shudder to think what my life would be like if Connor hadn't come along--a happy little accident that changed my life and literally made me do a 180... I love him more than anything.

3) The OCD person in me, that bitch refuses to let me half ass anything. The days I wanna skip crossfit out of sheer laziness, the nights I'm dead on my feet but I do the dishes before bed anyway, the project I finished for my very last class at wright state even though I had considered totally blowing it off bc I would have still passed (which I aced incidentally), pushing myself to step up my weights and push through a tough workout when it's so hot I can't tell whether I'm crying or my effn eyeballs are sweating... all thanks to the obsessive nature that lies deep within me. I love her because she makes me better, even when I would rather settle for mediocrity!

4) I'm an excellent friend. Yeah, probably sounds a little self absorbed but damnit it's true! I'll do anything for anyone, I'm loyal to a fault, and even though it has ended up biting me in the ass a million times I've never regret being there for people when they needed me. Look out Mother Theresa... haha

5) My forgiving nature--I should qualify this by saying 'as long as the crime is against me and not someone that I care about.' If you make that mistake, well let's just say I feel sorry for you because the crazy bitch in me doesn't put up with that shit. But if someone screws me over I'm likely to forgive and forget because that's just my nature. I figure holding a grudge is a heavier burden for me than for you, and even though I lift a lot of heavy shit, I'd rather not waste my time on that kind of personal baggage. Besides, I figure in the end you have to answer to God and bad Karma for whatever ugly things you do so it isn't up to me to judge.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Before I get down to business

Tuesday morning, much to accomplish starting with today. Normally I'm uber-productive on Monday's but I so totally wasted yesterday.. I think all the crap I did on the wknd caught up with me and made me bitchy and tired. At least I'm self aware enough to admit it lol. I made it to morning CF class, but it was pretty much all down hill from there.. I took a two hr nap, woke up pissy bc it was so God-forsaken hot, and had to work a few hrs in the evening, 0 for 3!! Thankfully things went smooth and the rest of my night was better, aside from subsequently not being able to sleep last night (nap) and deciding I'd have to do evening CF tonight. That's ok though, sometimes it's busier but I really like seeing the other half of the crew that doesn't do mornings. The only downside is that I'll be thinking about it all day and psyching myself out, haha.

One thing I've noticed now that my body has adjusted to not having a constant influx of high carbs crap is that my energy levels are finally evening out (yesterday was apparently an exception). I think some ppl make the mistake of giving up on paleo too quickly bc your body really does take some time to learn how to run on the right kind of fuels. I've also noticed my hunger tapering pretty significantly. Not that I don't feel totally ravaged some days, but I figure those are probably high repair days for my body and so I throw on a little more good fats than usual. My meals are kind of random, I don't force myself into any sort of time slots these days, instead I just eat when I'm truly hungry. That's kind of a big step for me because it means changing the relationship I have with food in a big way--our extended family is full of amazing cooks, and eating has been part of everything for us.. celebrating good times, holidays, hard times. I desperately needed this paradigm shift! It's no longer about living to eat, but rather eating to live.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Funday!!

I feel like shit today. Not that I'm exceptionally hungover or anything (although I'm pretty sure I should be based on last nights epic beer consumption), I just feel blah... I've been avoiding alcohol for the most part lately, and I also ate like half a potato w my steak Friday night when we decided to grill out at 2 am. I kind of just gave myself a free pass to be an asshole this wknd so I'm pretty sure the result was some kind of violent reaction inside my body. Literally can't even think straight today.. God I hate me right now, lol... this is that occasional reminder as to why I avoid grains and booze. Gross.

Obringers party was a hit last night despite the weather, they never fail to deliver an awesome time! At some point in the night when I'm about 8 beers deep we start talking about Crossfit and of course I whip out the pictures and start telling them all about it. Next thing I know I'm arm wrestling grown men. Yep, bitch was hosting the gun show last night. What thee hell. But it was a great time, it gives me something unique to talk about and people are always impressed when you tell them you could probably deadlift them, haha!

So in an effort to feel like less of a lardass after my wknd of debauchery I'm thinkin I'll go out for a run this afternoon. Running is where it all started for me last year; I'll never forget that first month seriously I was like 250 and barely making it from one pole to the next without dying. That must have been an effing sight. I can't even imagine ever being that unhealthy again... I wasn't really living life. It's amazing how much your perspective can change through the practice of new habits. At any rate, I've been a superslacker in the running dept since starting cf'ing, it just feels unnecessary to force myself if I don't really want to do it. But last night we were discussing the warrior dash, since I wasn't able to do the one in Hocking I'm planning on signing up for September so it might be advisable to get my shit together and pound pavement a little more often!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Box Jumps, butt cracks, and other randomness

I think I'll take a few more moments to toot my own horn again today. For one, I followed through with my pledge to cancel the cable; I'm thinking that was a good move toward productivity and maybe getting my ass to bed at a more legit time this summer. They still haven't shut it off, but I've made it priority to leave it off most of the time for the past two days and I've noticed a certain peace that comes from the silent practice of just relaxing without outside distractions. Tonight I just folded some laundry and listened to the sounds of summer outside, it was great. I finished my hellish business plan/final project (begrudgingly) and decided to lay down to blog and read for a bit before bed. Monday marks the beginning of being ass-deep in this new house project, so I should probably enjoy the laziness while I've got it!

On the workout front, I'm stoked to report that I've mastered the box jump and am no longer pissing around on a short box with plates stacked on top. This is no small feat for me--those damn things are tall and I'm no slim little number with an impressive vertical jump lol, it definitely ain't pretty but I've got it down and that's all that matters now. That marks my second unmodified WOD today, another notch in the proverbial crossfit belt!

Oh, and one more quickie before I wrap things up for the night--let me just say that there is nothing fun about doing sit-ups til you rip your butt crack. I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that one...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer and New Ambitions

Hallelieuja, summer has arrived! Con and I spent yesterday at the pool soaking up the sun to round off our great holiday wknd. I'm proud to report that I made it through all parties and cookouts without cheating! I knew I was up against formidable odds bc I do love my booze lol, but since I'm having Ash do my body fat and measurements Friday I felt like I had more important things at stake and found a way to tough it out.. honestly, I'm surprised at how little effort it took for me to stick to the plan. I'm starting to realize how much it has to do with just making a conscious decision to do what's best for me.

While summer isn't exactly upon me yet (still have to BS my way through one more project Thursday), it definitely feels like it outside since it's about 9000 degrees and I'm sweating just sitting here. I've been thinking about what kind of changes or different goals I want to look toward for the next few months. Of course I want to finish up my weight loss goals, gain more strength and toning (although with cf that kinda takes care of itself); maintain my paleo eating style. But something new I've been considering is to cancel the cable. Not gonna lie, I feel like we're a little addicted in my house. There are so many things I need to do this summer--not limited to health goals: renovating the new house, doing lots of reading to prep for law school next year, and just generally enjoying my first (and last) summer of complete freedom for awhile. In the long run we'll save like 70 bucks a month--that's a day trip to the zoo with Connor, or tickets to Kings Island! Painful as it is, I see that it must be done.. but I'll have to cut it off soon before I change my mind, lol..

Friday, May 27, 2011

UNmodified!!

Today I did my first completely unmodified workout--no bands, lower reps, or scaled down weights. Of course I'm really proud of myself (despite the fact that everyone did the WOD unmodified), it gives me a real sense of accomplishment nonetheless. We're coming into the final days of our 30 day challenge, and I'm kind of pissed at myself because I had a couple of slip-up days when what I really wanted was to go the full distance with zero cheats. It always seems to happen once on the weekends though, so my mini personal goal is to get through this Memorial Day weekend 100% paleo.. we'll see how that goes!!

Now that Connor is out of school for the summer and I'm rapidly approaching graduation (yay!!), I'm having a hard time finding a balance. Granted the busy-ness of finishing up at Wright State is probably the biggest barrier, but it's tough to peel myself out of bed for CF at 5:30 am every day when it would be sooooo easy to sleep in :) Then again, I know myself well enough to realize that waiting till afternoon class gives me too many opportunities to come up with an excuse to be lazy so I'm thinking 5:30 am and I might have to learn to be friends... hmmm...

I'm also really excited to report that my little sister will be joining my CF family soon, which is awesome! I'm really looking forward to having her come with me, we've become a lot closer in the past couple years so I think it will be really fun for us to do this together! And for those who don't already know, it appears that I have a busy month ahead of me in June since Connor and I now have a new house! Yay for not living in the ghetto anymore, although I was really looking forward to teaching Con how to use a shank.. hahaha j/k

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's a love/hate relationship..

Since I started getting serious about paleo eating, I've realized there are certain foods that I just can't keep in the house. They're just too damn tasty and I'll overdo it before I have a chance to red flag it, lol.. so here's the short list of incredibly yummy paleo indulgences--

Two words: ALMOND BUTTER. Especially the crunchy kind by Maranatha.. mmmmmmm...... they also sell a creamy chocolate spread, all of which are great for paleo baking recipes. But when you're trying to stay away from the sweet addictions you just gotta say no to the nutty goodness lol..

Almonds that aren't pre-packaged. It's easy for me to grab the snack packs and just have one, but if I get a bag/canister look the hell out bc there's a good chance I'll find myself zoned out, bored and hungry just noshing away on wayyyy too many almonds. I just need that portion control, it is what it is!

Dark chocolate--questionable in the paleo/primal eating world but I bought an 80% dark Belgian chocolate almond bar on excellent discount a few wks ago thinking I could eat a few squares here and there, which was an epic fail. Once I get started on the sweets it's all over but the cryin lol. One of the many reasons why I figured a 30 day strict challenge would be good for me because as with any addiction you have to learn to 'just say no' if you don't have self control!

Friday, May 13, 2011

I think I'm gonna puke...

I was a little on edge about the fact that today is Friday the 13th; call me crazy but I guess I'm a little on the superstitious side and I err on the side of 'what can go wrong will go wrong.' It actually ended up being a really lucky day for me! I got to sleep in til 7, my all day class only lasted until noon, getting to enjoy a round of golf with some fun people, and rounding it off with a call from work saying they didn't need me to come in tonight-- hot dog!

I missed morning Crossfit bc of my class, which sounded lucky since I got a 7 am text from Josie berating me for being lucky enough to somehow always miss the HARDEST workout days. Being the completely insane jackass that I am, I decided that since I didn't have to work I should try and hit the afternoon class (on a full stomach mind you) knowing FULL WELL what was in store. I shot Ash a courtesy text telling her she would be well advised to get a puke bucket ready due to the combination of heat, a full belly, and an ass kicking workout, which she most definitely delivered! I layed on the ground for a few minutes at the end of our WOD having on of those few 'come to Jesus' moments, all the while trying to catch my breath and choke back the puke. Rough....

There's one thing that's been bugging me about all this.. why the hell did I do it? I had fair warning that it would be torture, and I showed up anyway. Even after I had just eaten lunch (chili) and it was hot as balls out. Still showed up. I guess I'm surprised and maybe even a little proud of myself; I realized today how much more seriously I take my commitment to myself, my health, and to other people who expect great things from me. I walked a little taller on my way out of class today, albeit almost doubled over, limping, and dripping sweat...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time and Money are two Terrible things to Waste..

In my quest to adapt a more paleo lifestyle, I've noticed a few things.. for one, I'm oddly obsessed with my bruises. Constantly showing them off like 'yep, see those baseball-sized beasts on my shoulders? NBD, just did a shitload of front squads yesterday at 85#'. Other people probably think I'm a weirdo but it's fine bc I wear them like medals of honor. Well, except the ones I get on my collar bone since I'm sure everyone is judging me for those.. they look like effin hickeys I swear! Another thing I've noticed is my addiction to reading blogs about nutrition and other people's journey; I bookmark a new meal almost every day, and I've ordered several really interesting books that I see other people referencing. It floors me how little we all truly know about our own body chemistry--it's a little unsettling.
I've also noticed that throughout the past several months my budget consciousness at the grocery store has gone completely out the window. I'm not sure when this happened, but I just started noticing it the past couple of weeks and it needs immediate attention. Anyone who has followed this WOE can tell you it isn't nearly as cheap to live on a relatively high protein/veggie/fruit/nut diet as it is buying a ton of low quality, highly processed garbage. But there are ways to make it manageable, and I'm starting to find great ways to save..
- Shop the ad at whatever stores you like--mind you I don't have time to mess around with going to several groceries, so I go wherever the best deals are on the meat and produce I want. Chiefs a great deal on their pick 5 for 19.99 meats, and Walmart always has huge packs of chicken breast for 1.99/#. They might not be trimmed down and ready to cook, but I do them all at once and grill a shitload of it for the week, which also saves time!
- Clip a few coupons--this doesn't mean you have to become one of those insane extreme coupon ppl.. NOBODY NEEDS 93 BAGS OF CROUTONS, EVEN IF THEY ARE ON SALE. But if you find a good coupon for frozen veggies, save it til you see them on sale in the weekly ad then stock up! You'll save a lot more that way, and it usually tides me over til the next time they go markdown.
- Start a small garden--this is a new endeavor for me this year, so we'll see how it goes. But I figure if I can grow a little fresh produce right in my backyard, it'll be fresh and free so I win double!
- Eggs!!--they're cheap, easy, can me made a million different ways, and great for protein. Nobody said you had to eat a big fat steak or chicken breast at every meal. I love eggs in all form, which is strange bc I always hated them before! Ever since I cut out processed shit my palate has changed immensely, just another benefit I'm reaping from this WOE!!

So there you have it, a few of the ways you can stock and save. And just one more thing I've noticed if you're not sold yet--my food is 10000000x better tasting than anything I can order in a restaurant. Which makes me sad bc I love eating out... but I must admit, I find it mostly sub-par in comparison these days. Oh well, just one more way I'm saving mulah!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fave Fives

So it was shock and awe for me to walk out of class this morning and see the sun. I'm in a goof mood even though I busted myself in the chin twice doing my cleans, and decided to do a list of the top 5 things I love about CF class:
1. Lifting heavy shit-- it just makes me feel like a badass, and knowing you can step it up and get stronger the next time is the greatest feeling

2. Pullups-- don't get me wrong, they're hard as hell and I still use a band lol. But the first class, I used THREE bands. And now that I have my kipping down it's only a matter of time till I'm on a weaker band, maybe one day none at all. High hopes! Lol

3. The People-- yeah, this should probably be number 1 but I'm not switching things around now haha. But in all seriousness, these are some of the coolest, most badass people I've ever met. Everyone has been nice and welcomed me since day 1, and there is always a feeling of camaraderie when you walk into that place.

4. Ashley-- she's pregnant and can still do every WOD better than the boys. She kicks my ass daily, doesn't let me bullshit around even when I'm tired and I start arching my back, and she always texts me to check in if I miss class. Do the lovely people at snap do that? I think not!

5. Paleo-- eating real food all the time just makes sense. If you want me to go in depth sometime I will, but the bottom line is you are what you eat. I wish I had known this several months ago when I was justifying eating weight watchers cake bc it fit into the points system, lol. The bottom line is, health really is 80% nutrition and only 20% what you're doing with your body. Doesn't mean you can't indulge once in awhile, but for God sakes put down the stack of oreos! Lol

Maybe it's the residual endorphins from this mornings epic WOD, or possibly the fact that the sun is out for the first time in like 3 months.. either way, I'm feeling relatively optimistic about this day despite the fact that I have to work and then go straight to a 5 hour class. I've been thinking a lot about what makes me happy and how that list has evolved over the past several months. Aside from my family and friends, the basis would have been an all-inclusive list of vices, foods, and other incredibly self destructive hobbies. Being that I'm only 5 wks from finishing my Bachelors (hallelieuja!!), I feel myself starting to slack a lot--I'm getting that old itch of senioritis that starts to spread from classwork and papers into the rest of my life pretty quickly. I felt lazy, and with the holiday parties I noticed my 90% paleo eating habits slipping to 85..80.. you can see where that leads.

Which is why I am so grateful for the May Paleo Challenge that most of us are participating in. It's 30 days, no cheats. Zero. No BLT's (Bites, Licks, Tastes).. no alcohol.. and for myself it also entails no paleo baking, gum chewing, or diet pop, because these are two of my crutches that I know keep me from doing the very best I can. I'm really hoping that I can stick it out because the physical and mental rewards are through the roof for a former food a holic like myself. I grew up living to eat instead of eating to live, and that's a really hard habit to break. So I'm ditching the paleo cookies and dark chocolate chips this month, I won't even snag a tootsie roll or Swedish fish from Connor's leftover Easter candy. We'll see where the next 25 days takes me!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In the Beginning...


Since I delved into the world of Crossfit and subsequently Paleo living, I've become a little obsessive about reading the blogs of others following the paleo lifestyle. I guess by nature I'm the type of person who will take an idea and run with it, so I've been trying to learn as much as possible about primal practices if you will through the wealth of info and experiences that others have put out there. As for this, well, my cousin encouraged me to start a blog to chronicle my progress in this new undertaking. Looking back I wish I had started back in August when my weight loss journey really began, but I guess it's recent enough to still have a fair amount of fresh perspective.

At any rate, here I am about 6 wks into starting crossfit. For those who have never had the pleasure of a CF class let me assure you that it is unlike anything you have probably ever experienced in the way of a fitness class. I'll never forget the first two weeks, I was so unbelievably sore--there were days I could barely lift myself out of bed! But it was a good pain, amd I knew that I could power through it and eventually not feel like I was dying (enter week 3, lol).

Don't get me wrong, there are still classes that cause me to have one of those 'come to Jesus' moments, and truth be told I will probably ALWAYS get nervous before every WOD, but the beauty is being able to push past that fear/nervousness and prove to yourself that you can do more than you thought. It is perhaps the biggest benefit for me; while my body has changed so much the past 9 months or so, I still struggle with the fat-girl mindset that I lived with for so many years prior. Being able to now succeed at something so hardcore that I love SO much is an unbelievable feeling.