Becoming OK with Weight Gain and the Scale

I have gained twenty pounds since I moved to Colorado three years ago. 2-0. The weight of a small child has slathered itself across my body. I’d like to say it’s all muscle, but it’s not. When I moved here I was partying too much, eating too little, all while running a ton of mileage while training for half marathons.

How I got my exercise before CrossFit

How I got my exercise before CrossFit

When I got my mind right and healthy eating on track, my body put on more than just muscle to reach it’s happy place. Unfortunately, it took some time for me to be okay with that happy place. When there is no mirror in front of me and I’m doing something I’d proud of, like CrossFit, I feel like I’m the baddest thing to walk this earth. Most days I can look in the mirror and be more than happy with what I see. But some times that urge to step on the scale overpowers me and, when I do, it shatters that confident image of myself

I was talking to some girls at my box a couple weeks ago about how crazy it is how those little numbers on a screen can make or break you day. No matter how much I preach, and usually tend to believe, that you should value performance over looks, it’s hard not to have a little part of you that still wants to be at that magical number that you have in your head that is your “thin/sexy/hot/goal” weight. I went out to dinner a couple weeks ago with my non CrossFit friend and she was telling me about her struggles to loose weight. She told me that no matter what, her body just stays at her current weight. I told her it had probably just reached a healthy homeostasis and she said “Yeah, probably…. I just wish my natural weight were 5 pounds lighter”. What is it about NUMBERS that can drive us crazy? She is absolutely gorgeous, but somehow 5 lbs that no one else would notice is the difference between a good body and a “bad” body.

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I was talking (well, annoyingly whining) to my boyfriend about how I felt big the other day and he told me I need to delete all my instagram “fitness” accounts because they are giving me unrealistic expectations of what girls should look like. I know this, I wrote a blog post about this, but I still tried to justify it with “No, it doesn’t, it motivates me to work out”. He responded “No, it makes you feel bad and guilty about yourself, so you go to work out”. He then proceeded to give me a long talk about valuing performance over looks, that society has constructed the idea that women shouldn’t have muscle but there is nothing sexier than a girl busting her ass to give it her all (He’s pretty great, huh?::sigh::). He then made me read the article “I became awesome, not skinny“, which every female athlete should read.

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So I deleted all the instagram fitness accounts I followed, but I still couldn’t get out of my funk. That is, until this past weekend at the Tuff Luv CrossFit Competition. I was suddenly surrounded by some bad ass women, in all shapes and sizes, with no make up, hair in messy ponytails with enough confidence to fill a football stadium. I was overwhelmed with love for the human body and what it can do. I was reminded, once again, of my goals, which don’t involve dieting back down to a size 2. If my body is making gains and lifting heavier weight at this size, then this is the size that I need to be. Because, in the end, being able to clean and jerk 195lb like the woman did this weekend is gonna make me a hell of a lot more ecstatic and memorable than fitting in to my old jeans.

 

Can the scale still make or break your day?

How do you plan on getting over that? Or how did you?

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Inspired by Competition – Tuff Love

This weekend my box hosted a competition called Tuff Love. 90+ people from boxes all over Colorado, as well as a couple from New Mexico and I think one from Wyoming, showed up to compete at a pretty elite level. The competition was a boy/girl team event, so there were about 45 teams total. We had 9 teams from my box compete, a couple of whom had never competed before but kicked some major ass! The competition had three events, “First Date”, “Second Base”, and “Walk of Shame”.

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“First Base” was a crazy 10 min AMRAP mix of rowing, hand stand push ups, toes to bar and burpee box jump overs that required a killer engine.

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“Second Base” was a clean and jerk ladder complex, with 1 power clean, 1 hang clean, 1 squat clean and 1 jerk, all done without putting the bar down. There was one woman who kicked complete ass and got up to 195. 195. I was so impressed. A couple of our girls PR’d, including one girl who double PR’d, which is incredible after having already tired herself out going up the ladder and with having to do three cleans! She had a whole bunch of people from our box cheering her on and she said it helped push her through.

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I love CrossFit competitions for so many reasons, but one reason in particular is the support that everyone gives all of the athletes. This especially showed on this ladder.  As athletes got higher and higher in weight everyone came forward to cheer them on, not just their own teammate. When the woman who got 195lbs attempted 205, the whole box erupted to cheer her on and help her shake it off when she didn’t make it.  When one of the guys went for 265 and got it, everyone cheered, even his competition. I love that.

I also love CrossFit Comps because I find them so incredibly inspiring. Seeing people push past that “dark place” where they feel they can’t go on anymore, to keep going and truly dig deep to give it their all. All those months of hard work paying off. The look on their face when they finish and are proud of what they accomplished. I find it truly moving. The couple that ended up winning it were recent additions to my box, after having moved from a different box in Boulder. The female qualified for the games last year, but couldn’t go because of her work (she’s a marine). Watching her do butterfly pull ups was truly beautiful. She moved so gracefully and so fast, we all just watched her with our jaws dropped to the floor. It was also great to see just how proud of her her boyfriend was (who is also ridiculously good at CrossFit). I love seeing couples that are that supportive and proud of each other.

Two girls from my box asked me this weekend if I wanted to do two different competitions with them in may. My response was that I don’t have pull-ups, doubleunders or hand stand push ups solid enough to compete. But, I’m gonna try hard as hell to get them up to par by April (at least enough to qualify to compete) and I would let them know. By Apri 1st my goal is to have 10 pull ups, 20 double unders strung together and at least 2 hand stand push ups. I am not quite sure if it’s possible, but this weekend really made me want to get out there and give it all so I’m gonna do all I can to get there.

What motivates you to compete?

What sport/type of competition do you like watching best?

Handstands, Powder, and Green Chicken

Although I’m not the biggest football fan, it’s hard to walk around today seeing the sad faces of all the Broncos fans whose dreams were shattered by yesterday’s game. Like a lot of people, I watch the game just so I have something to talk about with coworkers and for the commercials. I thought last nights commercials were pretty decent, minus the random Maserati one and the annoying bud light one. My favorite was the Budweiser puppy/horse one because I’m a sucker for emotional animals. Remember that happy elephant video that literally made me cry? Yah, it was around that level.

Prior to the game, I went to a WOD and stayed after to conquer my fear of doing handstands. Two weeks ago they made my stomach drop and tears come to my eyes, but this weekend I made some major progress.

Hand Stand Push Ups here I come! Just kidding, that might take a bit while to accomplish but being able to do a handstand is the first step! Just gotta work on keeping my feet together.

On Saturday I went up to the mountains with my boyfriend and our friend from CF because there was some ridiculous storm that dumped over 24 inches of snow, which is about waist level. I know this because I tried to walk on what I thought was solid ground in an attempt to sneak into the words to, um, relieve myself and fell in past my waist. Snow down my pants, not so fun.

ImageI had never snowboarded in real powder and it was a lot of fun. We went to the side of the mountain that isn’t groomed, so there were lots of bumps which was a bit rough for someone with not so much experience like me. At least when I fell it was like falling on a cold, damp cloud.

On Thursday my coworker had brought in some Green Chicken that she had made from a NomNomPaleo recipe. It was so good that I decided I had to recreate it myself Friday night. It’s supposed to be grilled, but (a) it was snowing and (b) I guess more importantly, I don’t own a grill. So I baked it. It was still delicious. I added some cabbage and beets that I had cooked in water/apple cider vinegar mixture (also courtesy of my coworker). I love cabbage cooked this way and thought it was also amazing.

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Did you watch the Superbowl? Were you rooting for either of the teams? Which commercial was your favorite?

What’s your favorite winter time activity?

Hero WOD Murph – 43:30

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CrossFit has a set of workouts called “Hero WODs” which are designed to test your physical limits to commemorate and pay respects to certain people who have earned the title of”Hero”. This morning myself and two of my friends decided to do the Hero WOD Murph – in honor of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings in 2005 after sacrificing himself to get to higher ground, and expose himself, so he could get a signal to call for help in an attempt to save the rest of his group. No matter your view on war, you have to commend a man who is selfless enough to choose to sacrifice his life to get his brothers to safety.

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The idea came about to do this WOD after I saw the movie Lone Survivor, which tells the story of operation Red Wings. My friend’s husband who I visited in Hawaii is a helicopter pilot in the Army and my boyfriend is ex Air Force and current AF Guard. After watching the movie, my friend and I were both discussing how we had heard both of them talk about the level of brotherhood and the amount of mental toughness they had built during their times in service, but we hadn’t been able to comprehend it until we saw it played out in front of us in that movie. When my CF Friend Emily told me there was a Hero WOD after Murph, I jumped on the idea of doing it in his honor and in honor of the 18 other people who died during that operation.

The Workout Is:

1 Mile Run

100 Pullups

200 Pushups

300 Squats

1 Mile Run

We decided to break it up into 10 Pull ups, 20 Push ups, 30 Squats for ten rounds. The Pull ups and Push ups were assisted with bands/from the knees, as that’s a lot of pull ups and pushups to do strict. Several times during it one of us would comment that we were getting tired and the other one (mostly me, bc I’m a dramatic sap) would respond with “At the end of this, we will still be alive and we still be fine. If this is the worst we have to deal with, I think we’re pretty good”. Total time was around 43:30 minutes. Great way to pay respect and appreciate life on a sunday.

Death by Gymnastics and Clean 30 Day 2 – Kalua Pulled Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli.

I find gymnastics torturous. I was never one of the little kids on the playground swinging from rings or doing handstands and cartwheels. I liked the swings. Nice and simple and completed while sitting on my butt. Starting today, every wednesday’s strength class will be devoted to work on CrossFit Gymnastics movements. These include handstand walks, pull ups, muscle ups, dips, rope climbs and L-Sits. I was dreading going in today because I find those movements so incredibly hard. They require a lot of upper body strength and perfect movement patterns. I also have a ridiculously strong fear of kicking up into a handstand. So much so today that when it came to that part of the workout today I nearly burst into tears when my coach told me I had to do it. We worked slowly with him grabbing one of my feet and holding it in the handstand position for 15 seconds. After about 10 minutes I was able to kick up into one on my own. But the excitement from this was short lived, as we next started to work on “skin the cat“.

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This awkward movement requires a lot of core and shoulder strength as you start hanging from rings, bringing your legs up until you are straight up and down with your feet in the air and head towards the ground, then continue to bring your legs around so that your shoulders are twisted behind you… and then you flip back around. I had to do them with a little jump off the ground to get me going and I found it very difficult, once I had made it around once, to come back around again. Add it to the endless list of things to work on.

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Next it was on to muscle ups, which was kinda a joke as I can’t even do kipping pull ups yet. I practiced my kip glide as I watched the guys (I was the only girl today) land muscle up after muscle up. A part of me couldn’t help but feel really lame just sitting there swinging back and forth like an idiot. But, nothing comes without some practice so I just keep swinging along and practicing my kips.

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This evening I went back for the regular WOD, since it had the second benchmark workout for the Clean 30 Challenge. It was 3  * 2 min AMRAPs of Pull ups, Push ups and Sit ups back to back. Can’t wait to see how much I profess over the next 30 days!

For my Clean30 dinner today I made Kalua Pulled Pork, sweet potatoes with bacon and broccoli.  I cooked the sweet potatos by skinning them, cutting them into strips, placing some bacon on them and cooking them in the oven. It makes them have a hint of bacon deliciousness.

ImageI might need to get a new pan….

Do you like gymnastics?

What is your favorite gymnastics move?

Clean30 Day 1 – Mustard Chicken Thighs RECIPE, Sautéed Spinach, Cooked Carrots and Mashed Cauliflower

Clean30 Starts….. NOW. Well, technically this morning but you get the point. In case you missed my post about the Clean 30, my box is doing round 3 of 30 days of strict paleo. It’s meant to show you how good eating clean can make you feel, look,  and how much it can improve your fitness… also…the most important part… it’s a competition. You get points for different achievements (attending CF WOD is 2 points, working out outside CF 1 point, totally clean meal 2 points, a day with no no alcohol 1 point, 7+ hours of sleep 1 point so on and so on) and you keep track of them on a nifty little scorecard they give you.

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You also do three benchmarks WODS on day one and then again on day 30 to see how much you progressed. You get points for your progression as well.  You are placed on a team, with a coach who sends you encouraging emails and helps you throughout the process.  In the end there is an individual winner and a team winner. But really, in the end,  aren’t we all winners?… awww……

ANYWAY, today’s dinner: Mustard Chicken Thighs, cooked spinach, cooked carrots and mashed cauliflower. The entire dinner for 2 and leftovers took me all of 15 minutes to prep and a total cook time of less than 30 min. So easy.

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Mustard Chicken Thighs

2lbs chicken thighs

1/4 cup melted butter/ghee

2 tablespoons mustard

pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in microwave, takes about 10 seconds.

2. Mix butter and dijon mustard and pepper.

3. Spread on chicken thighs

4. Cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done.

5. Go spend the rest of your night relaxing because dinner took no time at all to make.

For the spinach – I placed raw spinach leaves in a saucepan with a bit of water, garlic powder, butter and salt. Cooked on medium for about 10 minutes.

Cauliflower – Steamed in a pot until soft, mixed in nutribullet with butter and salt.

Carrots – steamed for about 20 minutes and squeezed orange juice on top.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE COOKING and still want delicious gourmet paleo meals for $12.40 a meal – check out my last post on Caveman Cafeteria’s meal delivery. They are offering $50 off a month of delicious and nutritious meals if you use the promo code “BeAboutIt” after clicking here. 

Caveman Cafeteria Meal Delivery – 50$ Off PROMO CODE

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Imagine every city in the US having a vertical farm, so that all produce can be grown locally and organically, with a kitchen at the bottom to produce natural, wholesome food. That’s the vision that Caveman Cafeteria: Where the Hunters Gather, a Denver based gourmet Paleo company is aiming to achieve. They are hoping to become a household name over the next 25 years, creating delicious meals that can be delivered to your door for a simplified, healthy lifestyle.

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I had the pleasure of first discovering Caveman Cafeteria in May last year. I liked them so much that I wrote about them here, on the blog. Last Friday they were one of the vendors that came to the Chris Kresser talk that I attended. I chatted with the owner about their paleo meal delivery, which delivers 40 meals per month to people living in the Denver Metro Area. Some of their meals include: Curried Chicken Salad, Pepper Crusted Beef Steak with roasted red peppers and asparagus with garlic aioli,  Irish Lamb Stew, Slow Roasted Wild Boar and so much more.  The menu changes regularly, so you won’t get bored eating the same things over and over again.

The owner offered me a $50 off promo code, which reduces the cost of the meals to $12.40 per meal. No excuse to not eat healthy, wholesome foods if you can have it delivered to your door! Click here if you are interested and enter the promo code “BeAboutIt”. It’s time to start treating your body right so you can finally see just what you are capable of.