Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Katie's Tasty Chili

Ok, so I'm in love with chili.  I know, I know.  It's summer, it's like 8 million degrees here in DC, but I love chili, and so heat be damned, I made a ginormous pot.  The funny thing is, I don't like chili really, mostly because people always try to make it spicy or add some "new" ingredient.  Yuck.  However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way I make it.  It's simple, it's tasty, and it's (mostly) Primal.  The beans are not so bueno, but aside from that, all the other stuff, good for ya! So, since I never measure anything, this will be a little bit hard to write, but I'll do my best.  Feel free to try it out on your own!

Ingredients list (be sure to hit the store!)
1 lb ground beef (as lean as you can get it! I used 96/4)
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 medium onion (yellow or you could try red for different flavor)
2 cans light red kidney beans
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 large can WHOLE peeled tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with roasted red peppers
1 can tomato paste
Ground cumin
Chili powder
5 cloves garlic (I like garlic... adjust as you see fit)

Step 1- Be awesome... just being awesome will automatically make your chili better
Step 2- Chop onion, red pepper, green pepper and garlic
Step 3- Sip wine while sauteeing all of the above ingredients in a pan
Step 4- When veggies are slightly tender, throw in ground beef and finish veggies while browning ground beef.  This allows onion and veggie flavors to cook into beef.
Step 5- While veggies and beef are sauteeing, bring tomato paste, whole tomatoes, and diced tomatoes to a simmer in a large stock pot
Step 6- While tomatoes are simmering, use spoon to break whole tomatoes into uneven chunks 
Step 7- When beef is done browning, throw veggies and beef into stock pot with tomatoes.  Stir
Step 8- Open all cans of beans and drain some of the liquid off the beans, then add remaining liquid and beans to pot.  Continue to simmer
Step 9- Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  I use roughly 1/8 tsp of each.  Add more/less to your liking.  For stronger flavorings, I also use Kosher salt.  Kosher salt is great for cooking because the larger and rougher cut of the grains allow for a different taste. 
Step 10- Cover chili and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Step 11- Dish into big bowls... small ones just won't do...
Step 12- If you so desire... add cheddar cheese, sour cream, or avacado/guacomole for a deeeeee-licious treat. 
Step 13- Enjoy and then promptly fall into happy state of being... :)

Ze end!

Monday, June 28, 2010

So where were we?

It's been over a week since I've been able to get to the computer.  This is both a good and bad thing.  It's a good thing because it means that I've been busy ending a chapter in my life.  It's a bad thing because I haven't been blogging, and I haven't had as much time as I would like to devote to eating well.  It seems I go through a few good days and a few bad days of eating at a time, but I always come back to the good in the end.  It's good because I know what is and isn't healthy now, and I always come back to the healthy stuff when I can.  But at the same time, it's bad because it seems that my life lately seems to be getting in the way of the healthy.  I have ordered Primal BluePrint from Amazon to brush up on the actual do's and don'ts and hopefully now that I'm done ending a chapter of my life, I will be able to sit and read and actually DO the things I want to do.  As I sit typing this, there is a mostly primal pot of chili simmering on the stove, just waiting to be topped with a smidge of sour cream and cheese and completely enjoyed by me.  I'm hoping that nights like this will become more frequent and more varied as well. 

Only time will tell what will and won't happen, and we all know that in the past I've made plans that haven't quite worked out the way I'd like.  I'm feeling more positive this time though due to the changes I've been making in my life.  I have been so busy these last few weeks because I decided to quit my job, well, my full time job anyway.  I still am employed at my restaurant and am still coaching, but I've decided that teaching is no longer for me.  I couldn't continue to work 3 jobs just so that I could continue to be a teacher.  In the end, it wasn't worth it.  I was getting a lot of abuse, having more and more work piled on me, and I truly wasn't happy.  I'm a firm believer in the idea that only YOU can make YOU happy.  You can't wait for something or someone else to do that for you.  So, I took the plunge so to speak and I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going to make me happy.  I know that for a little while anyway the money is ok, but I have begun to scour the internet for possibilities and options.  I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen, but I'm hoping that it's something good.  I'm hoping that I did the right thing. 

As I was packing up my classroom, it was a lot harder than I thought.  Putting 5 years of your life into boxes is a hard thing to do.  Consolidating, deciding what to keep, toss, and donate was like parting with children.  While packing, I finally realized just how much of myself and my own money I'd been putting into this job.  There is literally probably $10,000 worth of supplies that I purchased, just to be able to DO my job.  Somewhere in there that doesn't seem to make sense.  Why in the world were those things not purchased by the schools? Why are teachers spending that much of their OWN money?  In the end I decided to keep most of my things in case I ever decide to go back, but it was truly eye opening to realize just how much there is.  Not to mention, it was just truly sad. 

So, the boxing and the moving and the sorting has taken a while.... not to mention, until last Thursday, I was actually TEACHING.  It seemed like this year was never going to end, but it did, and one chapter of my life has ended while another one is just beginning.  I'm trying hard not to worry about the money, but of course, I am.  For someone who has always had money issues, that's a hard thing not to do.  But, like I always do, I'm going to keep on trying.  A door has closed, but perhaps a window has opened. 

Before I go though, there's just one other thing I want to touch upon.  DATING.  Is anyone reading this really good at it? Because if so, I'm willing to hire you to give me lessons.  I SUCK at it.  Very very very very badly.  It never fails that I always seem to say the WRONG things at the WRONG time, and that when I try to express myself, it always just comes out WRONG. I actually met someone whose company I REALLY enjoy.  We hung out a few times, and already I seem to have completely fuzzed up EVERYTHING just because I am who I am.  I'm not saying I thought we were headed for relationship land, but I really was interested in getting to know this person better and seeing where things might possibly lead.... but no sooner did they start than it seems like they have ended just as quickly. I always seem to speak too much, text too much, or in general just be TOO much.  I have literally been sitting on my hands, trying to reel in my excess of communication but it just seems like I always f up.  I really liked this person's sense of humor, and I'm totally bummed that again, I seem to have stuck my foot in my mouth and ruined everything.  Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm totally at a loss here.  What did I just say though? I should keep trying... :( I just don't know that this is a horse I WANT to get back on.... regardless though, I have other things to focus on now, and they SHOULD be my focus now anyway.  But regardless, I'm still bummed.  Harumpf... :(

Monday, June 21, 2010

Playing in powder!!!

So over the weekend I received my shipment of protein powder that I had ordered from  I have toyed with the idea of using protein powder for awhile now but I have been hesitant to use it because I wasn't sure how I would like it.  In trying to change my diet though, I've noticed that I rely heavily on dairy for protein, and that I have a hard time getting enough into my body.  I ordered from LuckyVitamin because the powder I wanted to try was $45 for 2 lbs if you buy directly from the manufacturer's site.  From there, it was about $12 cheaper, so I decided to go that route. 

I have to say that the product so far has really been great.  It's not chalky or gross which I was afraid of, and aside from the taste, I definitely feel better with more protein in my system. I heard about the product from someone who I workout with and so far, I've been really pleased with it.  We'll see if maybe the extra protein in my system helps me to keep feeling better.  The nice thing about the powder is that it's super easy.  I've been making shakes with fruit, a little water, some powder, and a little bit of heavy cream for some easy fat.  It really tastes great and has a little bit of everything.  If you're someone who does use powder, one of the reasons I wanted to try this one is because it is all natural.  I'm assuming that's the reason that it is way more expensive than most powders I've looked at, but I do really like it. If you're interested, you can check it out here

As far as the eating goes, well, it comes and goes.  The crazy days have not been so good, but last week I made some great quasi taco salads that were really good and totally Primal.  I used 94/6 ground beef and mixed it with sauteed onions and peppers, and then put that on Romaine lettuce.  I put some shredded cheese on the ground beef and then topped that with some garden salsa (I'm a wuss when it comes to spice) and then I added some Trader Jose's guacomole, which added some great fat.  It was great tasting and I didn't feel like I was "dieting".  This weekend was a little harder though with my first swim meet on Saturday am, a dinner shift at the restaurant on Saturday evening, then a double yesterday with Father's Day literally kicking my butt.  Appparently dad's like beer, so our alehouse was swamped for Father's Day and I didn't get to eat the way I would have liked.  My choices for meals were good, but I got into the soda fountain again..... no coffee yesterday, but I did drink a lot of soda.  I ran for 12 hours straight without a break or sitting down, and the extra sugar helps.  I don't know why but it makes me at least keep going.  I know it's not good, but I couldn't help it.  :( Baby steps... once Thursday comes and I am no longer employed, I have a feeling this will get much easier.  I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and keep working....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I play the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Murph and Annie have kids... say wha?

We're all adults here... or at least I'm hoping we are... but anyway, I'm sure we all know the story of the little Itsy Bitsy Spider. The little spider climbs the whole way up the water spout, just to get flushed out. And then what happens? As if once wasn't enough, once the sun comes out, spider turns around AND GOES UP AGAIN! WTF? Didn't Spider learn the first time?! Apparently not. But you know, I sort of feel like the spider today.

I keep saying I'm going to get on track with my diet and things seem to go well. Last week I was rockin' it out, and I wound up actually dropping 2 lbs. And that feat is pretty amazing considering that it was the week directly before "THE week" and I can PMS with the best of them. So I was proud of the fact that I was so motivated and hung so tough, and then, THEN came the weekend. Remember me saying that BEING around food makes it that much harder to resist? Oh yeah. I drank soda, all diet, but still... I stole a few chips from the chip bin, I drank coffee and I had bread. It was like the biggest train wreck of all. And the worst thing, is that the train wreck seemed to run right into Monday when the staff decided to have ice cream sundaes during the staff meeting. It was like my worst nightmare. So, what did I do? I ate it all, and felt incredibly guilty afterwards. INCREDIBLY. I want to succeed, so many people WANT to see ME succeed, but it just seems to keep getting the best of me. In all fairness to myself, this is a horrible time of the year to attempt to change my diet. The end of the year in schools is LITTERED with reasons to cheat. End of the year luncheons, classroom parties, summer birthdays, final staff meetings... etc. etc. etc.

But in all fairness as well, these are EXACTLY the same reasons I NEED to make a lifestyle change right now. I'm not going to do myself any favors by eating all of that junk. Not now and not ever. Is that to say that I can never again enjoy the ocassional coffee and ice cream? No, but it definitely needs to be way more limited than it is now. So, basically I'm starting over, all over again, just like the freakin' spider. I think the important thing in this case, is not to admit defeat per say, but to admit that I've fallen. I've had an accident. Now that I've admitted that I'm not perfect and that I've gotten derailed, I need to get up and put the train back on the track. I just need to keep trying. I will say that I think being away from the restaurant and away from the school will help, but right now I still need to suck it up and keep moving forward. I am making positive changes and I am making some baby steps, but I need to keep going in the right direction. My meals are mostly primal, but I need to now work on eliminating the extras and getting a better balance of carbs/fats/proteins in with the meals. I'm working on purchasing protein powder to help out with that, and I'm working on eliminating all the extra crap.

I think that my cause will be helped immensely by the fact that I will be out of the school after next week, and in fact, I won't ever be returning. As it is, I resigned two weeks ago from my position. I have no new job to go to, no plan. All I know is that I wasn't healthy and I wasn't happy. This job has created some sort of alter personality. I don't feel like myself anymore, and I've become obsessed with work and working and I never have a life. CF is one of the few things I do that I enjoy and when even that started taking a hit, I knew I was in trouble. I haven't been happy with my work for some time, and when the proverbial straw fell, I knew I was done. I'm scared, I'm nervous, but in a weird way, relieved. The pressures of this job, the stress, the long hours, the countless amounts of money, the abuse that I took... gone... all done. I'm hoping that since my stress will be greatly reduced that my need to be a stress eater will also decrease. Stress eating is one of my biggest problem areas, so I know this is sort of a cop out, but hopefully if the stress goes down, so will the eating. I know it doesn't solve the stress eating issue, but for now, maybe it will help.

So, what's the real bottom line here? I f'ed up. I ate a bunch of crap, and I f'ed up. So what am I doing about it? Well, I went to Trader Jose's, I stocked up, I have a meal or two planned this week which I'm hoping I can cook without falling asleep as soon as I get home, and we're going to go a day at a time. I'm looking to have three good days in a row. Yesterday was decent, but not perfect, and today has been better, but again, not perfect. So I'm looking for another good day tomorrow to keep the path rolling. If Jerry keeps putting together workouts like today, I should honestly have no trouble taking weight off.... good lord the man is evil! I swear that today I met the evil love spawn of Murph and Annie. Jerry made us (and I swear, he did make me... he probably would have drug me out of bed had I not shown up) do this (I have not so lovingly named it "Muran")

100 pull-ups
100 box jumps
100 sit ups
1 mile run

I ran the slowest mile EVER today and it blew. I mean, the whole thing blew. There was no niceness about this thing at all, but the mile run, I mean BLEW. If there ever was the blowiest bunch of blow ever, THIS was it. I couldn't get my legs stretched out, I couldn't breathe because I live in the middle of a swamp and after April the humidity spikes to 100% and stays there, and in general, I sucked. Regardless though, I need to give my metabolism a good old fashioned kicked to the bum, so wods like this will definitely help. I just need to hang in there. A few more days, a few more weeks, and life could change dramatically. Just gotta keep on keepin'....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Women who stare at french fries...

I didn't go see the movie "Men Who Stare at Goats" but the title DID inspire my blog today. I haven't been posting about my wods, just because things have been crazy and honestly, it's kind of boring. I mean, really. Who wants to read about me doing KB swings and 400 m runs and jumping lunges?!? :P (It seems I've been doing a lot of that lately!) Anyway, the whole Primal thing... yeaaaaaaahhhhhh... about that.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not perfect. Not yet, but this week was a much better eating week than I've had in a long time. That's definitely an upside. The downside is that I spent a BOATLOAD of money because I'm trying to eat fresh fruit and trying to eat meat, and trying in general, just to eat healthy. The reality of the matter for this country is that it is way more expensive for us to live a healthy lifestyle than it is for us to eat french fries and get fat. It's sad, but most definitely true. But again, the upside is that I have been doing it. I have not had ANY soda since last Saturday, I have kept myself to LESS than my goal of two coffees in a week, and the only really bad slide I've had was actually yesterday when I was so tired and so cranky and PMS'y (yes that IS a word... I just invented it!) that I just said "F you!" and had ice cream and Tostitos. Do I recommend this as a part of a well balanced Primal diet? Certainly not. But I feel like even with that rather large moment last night, it certainly was a moment, I managed to stay at least relatively close to the 80/20.

I wrote down everything I ate this week, and that certainly helped me to see patterns in my eating, and it also helped to keep me legit. The only problem is that I know I forgot things, mainly because I've been so busy, it's almost be like writing an after action report. One thing I need to try to do is write immediately after eating something so I don't forget the little tiny details. Did I snag a chip at work? Did I snag a piece of the dark chocolate? Writing things down is important and that's one thing I still need to work on.

While going through this week though, I have to admit that one thing that REALLY helped me was the fact that I WASN'T in the restaurant this week. Because swim team practices run from 430-630 it's not really feasible for me to work shifts during the week right now, which leaves me with just my weekend shifts there. Not being around the food definitely helped to keep me from eating it. Last Sunday when I started my shift to clean eating, I was on a double at the restaurant. For those of you who have never been in restaurant work, it means you work the lunch shift, maybe or maybe not have a break, and then roll into dinner shift. This also means that for the majority of the day, I was on the expo line staring at the food, especially the french fries.

As an eater, one of my downfalls is that I love, and I mean LOVE carbs. If it's a potato or a piece of bread, GIMME. So, since all of our sandwiches happen to be served with french fries, it means we have a lot of those around. While standing on the expo line, I literally was staring at them and SALIVATING. I wanted to eat them so badly it was ridiculous. I had managed to escape for about an hour between shifts and had hit Trader Joe's with a baby of a shopping run, but I had managed to grab a few things I could munch on when the desire got REALLY bad. Staring at those fries was like torture. But it was also a test. I KNOW that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to be presented with all sorts of situations like this and if I give in EVERY time I just want to EAT something because it looks good, I'm never going to win here. I'm never going to be able to lose weight and accomplish my goals. So, I stared at the french fries. And I stared, and I stared and I stared. And eventually the shift ended, and eventually I got to eat the right food before going home.

Did it feel good to do what I did? Yes and no. I'm glad that I did not just begin housing french fries up and down the expo line like some sort of derranged psychotic. Yes, I feel very good about that. Did it feel good to be presented with a situation where I had to sit and stare at something I couldn't eat? Absolutely not. But that's reality. That's going to happen in lots of places, and I need to start building up that resolve and start building that determination NOT to eat things I know I shouldn't. Is it easy? God NO! I wanted to shove those things in my mouth and house those b*tches! But I didn't.

In the long run, avoiding places where you know food will be a temptation is by far the better way to go. However, having said that, you can't ignore every social invitation because you know there will be beer/pizza/cake/ice cream/chips/non-Primal/Paleo food. If you're going to go, go prepared. There are some feasible solutions. First and foremost, set limits. If you know you're going to drink or eat unhealthy items, set a limit for yourself. If it's beer, maybe it's 2 or 3. If it's food, maybe a handful or a plateful. Try to keep it sensible.

If it is a party situation, ask the host politely if you can either bring your own, or if they can provide a healthy alternative for you. I know that as someone who has tried to lose weight, this is something I would be very hip to and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. If it is an 'outting' situation, perhaps suggest to go somewhere that has a menu with at least a few options that are ok for you, or at the very least, while not the BEST choices, are better than say pizza and french fries. If you're going to drink, go with Red wine,or spirits EXCEPT RUM. The higher the proof, the less sugar there is in a paticular spirit, but Rum tends to have some sugar added to it. Not to mention the fact that it's derived from cane sugar or molasses. *Side note though, this does NOT include the flavored vodkas. C'mon guys, use the noggin'.* Your best bet would be to do with with Cran or OJ, or water. Again, not perfect, but far better than throwing back 4-5 beers with way more carbs and way less nutritional value. At least you get a LITTLE something from those. Hey I said LITTLE.

Your best bet is most definitely to keep things away from you. You're far less likely then to go on a bender. But if you're like me and you WORK around these things, then unfortunately, you just gotta suck it up. You've got to tap deep into that resolve and become a woman, or man, who stares at french fries. It is feasible. It is possible, but just like the box, you gotta put the work in. It's not magic, and it's not just going to poof and go on it's own. You've got to put your foot down and say, enough is enough. Become a woman or man who STARES at the french fries. Whatever you do, DON'T EAT THEM!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The view from the bottom...

A little over two years ago, I decided that there were things about my life that needed to change. I didn't like what I saw for myself, and I decided that things were going to be different. I was going to alter the course of my life. And so, with much gusto and vigor and determination (that all important #3 from the list) I did. I followed the Zone principles and was a steadfast student. I was certainly not 100% perfect, but in the end, I was doing a great job of changing my diet and losing weight and fat. I was getting healthy. I was stopping the downward spiral.

With all of my dietary progress, progress in the gym happened too. It was a natural side effect it would seem. Once my diet improved, so did my workouts. An old friend referred to me as "a poster child for CF" and the types of changes that hard work and a good diet could make. At my very lowest, I had dropped a whopping 25 lbs. 25 lbs!!!! That's a whole plate that I literally eliminated from my body. It was amazing. It was life changing. I was so stoked about what I had done that I shared it with everyone. I talked to others about changing their diet, not because I wanted to be pushy, but because I was that excited about what had happened that I wanted other people to have the same experience. It was terrific.

Flash forward to the present day. All that weight that I have lost, has returned, with a vengance, with gusto... dare I even say with determination? And now the girl who two years ago was standing atop a pedestal shouting about how great life was, is now slinking along someone at the base of it, trying hard not to be noticed. I keep asking myself how this happened? How did things slide this far? I know that regardless of the "how's" and the "why's", it happened. I can see it, I can feel it, I can tell when I put my clothes on. I'm not just being hard on myself, I'm not just imagining some water weight, it's full on there.

It's incredibly disheartening to know that just a short time ago, I was in a completely different place than I am now. But, broken hearts, busy schedules, lack of energy... all these things seemed to team up to conspire against me, and now here I sit. The former poster child of CF and good nutrition is a washup. An old hag, a has been. I no longer stand on my pedestal shouting about the benefits of eating clean. I now slink along the bottom of the pedestal with a brownie in my hand, hoping and praying that everyone just THINKS it's a Paleo muffin. I'm the girl who spends the majority of her time when she is in her home sleeping because that's just how little she's there. I'm now the girl who eats out almost every night because I have no energy to cook. I've become that which I swore I would never be again. Defeat. It has won.

So what now? I am sure I'm not the only person who has ever gone through this, and I'm sure that I will not be the last. But the question remains. When you hit the bottom, when you look up one day and realize, "Oh shit. This IS the bottom of the barrel." what do you do? I'm sure that there are many people out there who get frustrated and give up. They pull the old, "I'll never get back down there again *sigh*" and continue on being unhealthy. But there is an aternative. There is another way. #3.

I will be honest, I know that hitting my goal for weight loss is going to be hard. I never thought it was going to be easy, but now, I'm slowly becoming more determined. The mental aspect of losing weight has held me back more times than I can count in the past several months. My heart is always in the right place but after about a week, my mental focus wanes. I'm spent mentally and physically from working so much and things not on the "good" list, suddenly have become much more appealing. The more I stare at myself, the more unhappy I am with what I see. I see someone who had a really good thing going for her, and f'ed it all to hell and back. So, now it's sheer determination. I'm determined to get this weight off, and get back on that horse!

Like I said above, I know I'm not the only person to ever go through this, and I'm sure I'm not the only person to be at the bottom and have to look up at this mountainous task that needs tackling. I'm positive of that. The view from the bottom can be daunting, but if you're a CF'er rely on #3. If you can tackle Murph, if you can make it through Cindy, if you can tackle Fran without batting an eye, you can do this. You just need to treat it the same way. I know that this task for me will not come easily, and I will slip. Just like I did when climbing up that hill at regionals with a sandbag. I slipped in the mud and ocassionally I had to stop and rest. I may slip, but eventually I will get up there. I just need to be determined and I need to stick to it.

Getting started is the hard part. Change is hard, especially when you already have that little voice in the back of your head telling you "You did it once and look what happened." Damn, that little voice is annoying and for a long time, I've been shutting her up with cookies and Starbucks. But now it's time to change. I don't WANT to slink around the bottom of that pedestal embarassed anymore. I want to stand on it once more and say, "Look. I'm human, and I did it once and then got too loose with my diet. But now here I am again. You CAN do it."

Diet sucks. I'm not going to lie. For a very long time food has been my nemesis and I thought I had tackled a lot of my issues, but from how I look now and the things that have happened, it's clear that I haven't. So, the washed up poster girl is headed for makeover central. I have a goal in mind. I want to hit that goal in roughly 3 months. (It's still early enough in June that I feel like I have the whole month of June.) So, my goal is to do this the smart and healthy way. It is to shed the weight over a period of time and hit my target weight by August 31. I know that in order to reach my goal, I am also going to need to get back to the box more. I've been going 4 days a week with the goal of getting back to 5 but working as much as I have been has flat out tired me out. With summer coming soon, I'm hoping to have more energy to devote to the box and getting in there more frequently. With no school, and more flexibility in my schedule, that should help since I don't HAVE to get up at 0400 to get to the 0515 class.

So, the view from the bottom sucks, but to get up I have set a goal for myself, which I didn't do before, and I have to set some paramaters. A friend really wants me to go Paleo, but I don't think I can do that, and I don't think I want to. I like to eat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit, and with a strict Paleo diet, you are supposed to eliminate dairy. I understand that dairy is not something that existed in caveman times, but really?!?! Milk and cheese are bad for me? That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. This is why I like Primal instead. I feel like it's a little more sensible (for me and my crazy life anyway) with most of the same Paleo ideals and I can still eat some of the things I like. Sisson also is a big believer in the 80/20, which I agree with. I know I'm not going to be perfect 100% of the time, and if I think that, I'm setting myself up for failure, because I know the second I cheat I'm going to feel guilty, and associating food with guilt is never a good start to a healthy food relationship.

So, I think I'm going to begin to follow the Primal diet again, and I'm going to work hard to eat as clean as I can. If I fall off I'm not going to beat myself up, but I'm going to immediately get back on with the next meal. I'm going to do my best to eliminate soda completely (and IMMEDIATELY) which will be hard but is something I have been trying to do for some time now. I know that that is one of the single worst things I've been doing to myself, even more so than sugary snacks or processed food.

Soda is nothing but sugar in a can, and I could probably eat the same and eliminate that and still lose weight! That's how bad that is for you! Not that I'm going to do that though because this is about more than soda, but it's one of the things I know I need to do. Even drinking diet (for those of you who argue that it's about the calories) is not good for you because your body still believes that you are getting sugar and prepares your insulin response. Then lo and behold your body is like, "WTF mate?" and there is no sugar, but still a lot of insulin. Soooo I'm ditching the soda all together. I'm also going to have to greatly reduce my Starbucks intake. My goal initially is to go to 2/wk. (From 7/wk, that's a big step, so please don't judge.) That's still a lot I know, but I'm going to have to wean myself off. I really like coffee.

As part of my goals, I'm going to log what I eat. I did this before with my blog, but that became too hard. If I didn't get to write a blog that day I would sometimes forget what or how much I ate, and if I wrote earlier in the day, then I would have to go in later and edit and adjust and that was just a pain. So I'm keeping a journal. I also started to do this once before, but dropped off after a few days, but now, this matter is more pressing. It's more than just the proverbial five pounds I wanted to lose before. This is more of a serious health risk here. So, I'm going to be logging what I eat in my journal and I'm going to have to stick with it. I'm sure it will be interesting to see after the week what sort of trends I have.

So, if you want to join in on this journey with me, hop on. I'll be blogging and sharing as I have in the past. This time feels a bit different though. It is feeling closer to the way it felt the first time I lost weight than it has in a long time. I have a mindset, I have goals, I have things I want to achieve. It's not going to be easy, in fact I'll wager it's going to be harder this time. But I have a system I want to follow, I have a goal in mind, and I've already set parameters for myself. In the back of my head, I have also set mini goals, markers, along the way. As I reach each of those mini goals, there is a reward attached, as well as a reward for the final goal. They're not food related (they are totally material) but when I reach said points, I will reward myself for the hard work I've done, and continue to encourage myself to do more. I'm not going to tell you what those rewards are because they are girlie and really silly, but let's just say they are things that every girl would like to have.

The view from the bottom sucks, it really does. But the only way to get to the top is by starting to climb. I'm starting. I hope I packed the right gear, but if not, let's hope that along the way I pass some other climbers who will be willing to lend a hand. It's a journey I'm about to start, and it's time to get moving.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What does it take to be a CrossFitter?

Getting to the keyboard and hammering out some thoughts is something that has taken a bit of a backburner these days.  Swimming has started again and school is still ongoing, and serving is still challenging me as well.  I've got a lot on my plate and unfortunately my blog has taken a hit.  I have learned, finally, that sometimes when life gets this hectic, you have to let some things go.  It's not that you really want to, but for sanity's sake and the sake of other projects and needs, you have to. 

This doesn't mean that I have managed to stop thinking about blogs though, or that I've stopped having thoughts.  Lord no! I have those, and plenty of them on a daily basis.  But since life has yet again gotten retarded kinds of crazy, I just don't always get a chance to get my thoughts out.  But recently I've been thinking a lot about being a CF'er.  Not only that I got to thinking about what it takes to BE a CrossFitter.  When there are tons of obstacles in your way, what keeps you going? What do you need to have in order to be a CrossFitter? 

1.  Patience-  I think we've all been in that place where we want results to come and we want them to come fast.  Or we want to be better at things, and we want to be better, RIGHT NOW.  Unfortunately though, that can't happen.  As CrossFitters, we need to understand the value of patience for those things but we also need to understand the value of patience when life gets in the way.  The boss called a late/early meeting and messed up the wod.  You blew a flat tire and didn't make the wod.  You got sick/injured and missed a week.  Boss burdened you with a new project due in 4 days.  PATIENCE.  These things will fade, a new day will come.  Breathe.  Tomorrow is a new opportunity to hit the box, and get what you want out of your workout.  It will eventually get here.  Be patient. 

2.  Pain tolerance- Lots of things we do are fun and we do them because they are fun.  While we're doing them we don't really pay much attention to the other things that are going on because we're having fun.  But sometimes, sometimes the things we do really super suck.  They hurt like crazy and we want to lay on the floor and just die.  It isn't fun.  But if you're going to be a CF'er, you need to understand that there are both kinds of days.  Be ready for the fun, but be ready for the pain too.  And to help with the pain, make a tennis ball and your foam roller your new BFFs!

3.  Determination- My dad always used to tell me that if it were easy, everyone would do it.  It didn't matter what the "it" was, but whatever it was, if it was easy, then everyone would do it.  Clearly we know CF isn't easy, so we know that not everyone IS doing it.  But that means then that CF is HARD.  Which means, it's going to take some work.  It's going to take some grit, some guts, and some sticktoittiveness.  Yeah, that's right, I just made up my own word.  Sticktoittiveness.  Like a mamma bear would fight for her cub, you may have to fight to get it right.  Again, doesn't matter what the "it" is.  It might be snatches, cleans, jerks, air squats, pull-ups, mu's... doesn't matter.  Many of the things we do in CF take that tenacity.  That determination to muddle through.  So by all means, whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP!

4.  Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em-  There is a fine line between a suck it up type of pain, and an injury type of pain.   As CF'ers we learn to walk that line very well.  Sometimes though, we may get a toe or two over that line.  But yet, it seems like with CF'ers we are all so full of #2 and #3 above, that we seem to forget that an injury is our body telling us to slow down.  With CF, you need to know when to push, and you need to know when to back off.  While your head may be saying "Go for it!", you've got to slam the break on every now and again.  If you want to live to WOD another day, this knowledge may be what keeps you from getting a serious injury.  If you drop a wod, or scale a wod, this does not make you a p*ssy.  It makes you smarter and stronger because you will be able to wod again.  The guy down the room trying to grit through everything, may not.  Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.  It's a very valuable lesson... so valuable in fact that Willie even put it into a song.  ;)

5.  An understanding of life- It seems like as CF'ers we want every WOD to be perfect, every time to be fast, and we want to be 100% all the time.  I'm learning, albeit very slowly, that sometimes, you're going to go through the slump.  You're going to go through the times when life is kicking you while you're down, and things at the box just aren't going the way you'd like.  But here's where #3 comes in.  Determination.  Be determined to get to the box and do the best you can.  Be determined that when life settles down again, that you will continue to push and get back to where you want to be. Don't let up because things got you down.  Just keep moving.  Or as Dori likes to say, "Just keep swimming."  However, regardless of whether or not you keep swimming, understand that you CANNOT speak whale.  :P

6.  A sense of humor- Guys, CF should be fun.  If it's not, why are you doing it?  You already have a job, or if you're like me, 3.  Why do you need or for that matter WANT another one?  If your WOD has started to feel like a job, reevaluate.  What can you change? What can you do differently? How can you make it enjoyable again?  After regionals, I lost the fun part.  Now, I'm slowly regaining my desire, slowly regaining my sense of fun, and slowly regaining my sense as part of the family.  It got lost for a minute and I had to readjust the sites.  My scope was a wee bit off.  So, if you find yourself losing sight of things, don't be afraid to take a step back and reevaluate.  It's ok.  It should be fun, and you should be able to laugh a time or two while you're in the box.  Cause I mean, after all, how can you not laugh when I mention snatches? ;)

So the question remains, do you have what it takes to be a CrossFitter? If so, then get some!