If I vomit can I stop? – CF Open 14.5

This workout was brutal. It is hard to even describe how my body felt while doing it. There is a high possibility that if I had closed my eyes during it I would have fallen asleep or passed out from pure exhaustion and lack of energy. I just felt off, sluggish, and completely nauseated.

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14.5 was a total of 84 thrusters and 84 burpees over the bar, broken into a rep scheme of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3, alternating thrusters and burpees. Thrusters are where you go down into a front squat, below parallel, then stand up and push the bar over your head.  For the burpees you had to jump, with both feet, over the bar in between each burpee. The female weight was 65 pounds.

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Mid way through the 18 thrusters I looked at my boyfriend, who was my judge, and I told him that I was done, that I couldn’t do it today and I would try again on Sunday. That’s how off I was feeling. I didn’t feel in pain, my breathing wasn’t out of control, I just felt exhausted. He convinced me to keep going, very slowly throwing my body on the ground and picking it up to jump over the bar. During most of the workout I felt like I was going to vomit, and actually wished that I would at one point because then it would give me an excuse to stop.

ImageFor the first time in my CrossFit experience I was the last person to finish the workout. Everyone who had been doing the workout (some doing it for the open, others with reduced weights/reps) gathered around me to cheer me on. At first I wanted to tell them it would be a while and they could go home, but then it turned in to me needing their support and feeling I had to finish for them. I had broken the thrusters into sets of three and each three I finished they would cheer. When I finally finished and collapsed on the floor multiple people came over to high five me. It wasn’t embarrassing at all, as I had always thought it might be, but instead was incredibly supportive and heartwarming to have people care enough to stick around after their workout to watch me trudge along.

It took me a full 35 minutes, which is almost 15 minutes more than I had thought it would. But, as my boyfriend told me as I lay on the ground trying not to pass out, it’s better to be Dead Fucking Last than Did Not Finish than Did Not Start.  And now, my first CrossFit Open is done.

CF Open – 14.4 and Spring Break Starts Now!

Workout numero cuatro is done! This was the first one that I watched the live broadcast of and my stomach kept dropping as Castro kept listing all the things we had to complete in 14 minutes. 60 cals on the rower (about 1000 meters), 50 toes to bar, 40 wall balls, 30 cleans and 20 muscle ups. They call these workouts  “chippers” because you just have to keep chipping away at the vast number of reps.  Toes to bar is another movement I’m not so great at. Unlike these ladies:

ImageIn order for the rep to count you have to have both feet hit the bar at the same time. I finished rowing  under 4 minutes, and spent the remaining 10+ minutes on that damn bar (again…sounds like 14.2). I probably attempted abut 70 times, often time with one foot hitting first or, towards the end, getting about an inch away. I was not happy. So after the 14 minutes was done, I decided I was going to finish the rest of it anyway. 40 wall balls and 30 95lb cleans felt like a breeze after the toes to bar. Then came the muscle ups, which I can’t do either. So I decided to do 20 strict ring pull ups in their place.

In other news, it’s spring break!! The boyfriend and I are going on a mini road/camping trip down to southern colorado and Canyonlands, Utah. Can’t wait to spend some carefree days in this beautiful land. See you in a  week 🙂

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Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable – CF Open

That phrase is used a lot in CrossFit. “Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable”. So far, the Open has been hard. I expected it to be hard physically, to push me past my limits into pure exhaustion and into the uncomfortable. But I didn’t expect it to be as mentally uncomfortable as it has been. It is uncomfortable to hear the clock tick down 3-2-1 signaling you to start a movement that 48 hours ago you couldn’t even do and now you have to do at least 30reps  to move on.

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It is uncomfortable to dangle for 2 minutes from a bar kicking your feet and pulling with all your might to try to pull yourself up until your chest gets above the damned bar. It is uncomfortable to have people watching you in what any outsider could consider a failure as you trip on a jump rope over and over, or fail to heave your body up in the air.  But part of becoming comfortable is realizing that no matter how you rank against others, those things, while uncomfortable, are not failures.  You linked together three double unders when before you could only do one? That’s a success. You got all overhead squats without putting the bar down, even if your score was 10? That’s a success. You managed to get the ugliest, wiggling chest to bar ever seen and it took you a full minute? That’s a success.

Unless you are actually trying to win the games, the goal should not be to be the best. You can’t control how anyone else performs. The goal is to be better than you were yesterday. To have pushed yourself outside of that comfort zone physically and mentally. To not give up when you hear the workout is something you can’t do, but to go in and try your damnedest to at least get 1 rep down, without embarrassment  or apology.

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I cannot go to my box now without seeing someone in the corner whipping their shins as they practice double unders over and over, determined to not let them sneak up on them in a work out again. Countless people may have gotten a 10 on 14.2, but they learned that their working overhead squat weight should be 65#, not 55#, since they were physically capable of doing it, even if it was a little bit shaky.  That is learning to take a weakness and turn it into motivation. Instead of pushing what you can’t do from your mind, you are forced to meet it straight on, to acknowledge it and to conquer it while people watch. That is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. And to me, that’s what the Open is all about.

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Have you been able to do all the moves in the workouts? If not, how have you felt about it?

What would your ideal open work out be?

A Week of PR’s

Well hello there! Sorry it’s been a while, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been ridiculously busy at school, work and in general  kicking ass and taking names. I know, I know.. I’m been cocky but I feel I’m allowed to brag a little since this week I got four PRs in Cleans, Jerks, Front Squats and Back Squats. I’ve had a couple people ask me if I am still doing the Oly Comp and all I can say is hell yeah, I am! It’s less than two weeks away and I am slightly terrified, but I signed up to push myself outside of my comfort zone and get a foot in the Oly Lifting Door, so here I am. I’m not expecting to do anything crazy as far as heavy weight goes, but I do feel like for me it’s finally all starting to come together. My squats are getting lower, my hips are thrusting faster (haha) and I’m getting my elbows up in record time (for me).

This past week I took advantage of the open gym at my CrossFit box and went in for two separate workouts on Sunday. The first one was just Cleans, trying to actually find my one rep max, front squats and presses. The previous time I did this I was at 103. That was one month ago. On Sunday I got 115 and was so close to 120! I came in later that day to attempt 120 again because I couldn’t get it out of my mind, but still couldn’t quite get it. I stepped away, did a WOD to take my frustration out and know that in a little bit more time that 120lb clean will be mine.

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I also PR’d with Front Squats with 105 (Yes I know its weird I can clean more than I front squat, that’s my main problem), finally was able to squat my body weight (140), which has been like a 7 month goal and this morning I got a 120lb Jerk. Now if I can just bring my clean up to 120, I will be all set for the comp!

I’m also going to take the plunge and invest in some real Oly Lifting shoes. My CF Coach had me try front squatting with 5 lb plates under my heels and it made a world of difference. I will definitely still work on stretching out my hammies so I don’t need that extra boost that the shoes provide, but until then I think the shoes will definitely help me and I’m looking for any help I can get before the comp.

Now, question for you. Up to this point, all my shoes are pink. I’m not quite sure how that happened, because I don’t own any pink clothing outside of gym items. Should I keep in the pink trend with my lifting shoes, or go for the black and whites?

Pink

black

Let’s Talk about Miley’s Ass

Today is my birthday, I’m feeling a little old and over the hill, so I thought – “what better way to metaphorically tell these youngin’s to get off my lawn then by chiming in too late to comment on people’s reaction to Miley Cyrus’s butt “? I figure if it’ still on the front page of CNN (…) then I have the right to still mention it on here.

I know you all know what I’m talking about, Miley’s now infamous performance at the VMAs where she appeared in a nude skin tight bikini and humped the air with a foam finger. I’m not going to get into the debate about what her performance represented for feminism etc. I have plenty to say on that, but this is a healthy living/fitness blog. What I am going to talk about is the fall out of prancing around in that barely there bikini.  I woke up the next morning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the blog world posting things like this:

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with the caption “At least GaGa squats” and this…

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Now my questions is.. Why? Why did countless WOMEN post these pictures solely to shame and criticize another woman’s body? In a world where 24 million America’s are affected by eating disorders, and more money is spent researching boob jobs/viagra than on Alzheimer’s, do we really need to put more focus on image? I’m not perfect, I definitely laughed when I saw this.. but then I took a minute to think about what type of message I was endorsing. Women especially should be congratulating each other, cheering each other on, and helping each other fight the negative media images, not supporting them.

Now I don’t necessarily think that Miley really needed “support” and “cheering on” for her performance, I don’t think I’ve seen a lazier performance in my life. HOWEVER, I do not think that it warrants images of her butt being plastered around the internet only furthering the unrealistic ideal image of what a woman’s body should look like, and enforcing the notion that if it doesn’t look like that then she has the right to be publicly scorned.

I know people might say “it’s her job to look perfect” and I say you are wrong. It is her job to perform, to sing, to dance. But to have a tight ass? I don’t think that’s listed in her contract.

Do you agree/disagree? Why?

#Fitfam: Coverup for Eating Disorders?

Before I had a blog I was a member of the Twitter #fitfam.  The #fitfam on twitter and tumblr is where thousands of “anonymous” twitter users come together to bond over a love of fitness and strength. Or so they say.

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(Common #Fitfam Picture)

I joined looking for people who shared a love of a healthy lifestyle, a place to find recipes, share tips and inspiration.  What I found was a large percentage of #fitfam accounts that used being “fit” as a cover up for eating disorders. It wasn’t hard to get followers, I had 80 within the first day, each one desperate for advice on how to lose weight and for someone to commiserate with. Each one posting things on their own twitter accounts chronicling every single thing they put in their mouth, sharing guilt about missed workouts while at the same time talking about how they didn’t want to be “skinny” they wanted to be “fit”. They would then share photos with the hashtag “fitspo” that showed women equally as skinny as the eating disorder idealized “thinspo”, just with a small amount of muscle mass. (Following pic NSFW)

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(One of the MOST often posted pictures of “#fitspo”, posted with the remarks that this body was attainable if you worked out enough compared to stick thin “starving” girls, even though it’s just as impossible for most to achieve)

In the 72 hour period that I was a member of the #fitfam I witnessed multiple people talk about how their twitter account triggered past eating disorder behavior, while still having multiple exchanges with others about what breads were the lowest calorie and how many calories other girls ate, following it all up with “I feel bad for the girls who want to be skinny, I want to be strong #fitfam”. I would throw out questions asking girls for their fitness related goals, trying to shift the focus on what you could do with your “fit” body and not how being “fit” looked.  While at the end of my 72 hr fitfam experience I had almost 250 followers, not one responded to any post on fitness goals or ability.

Just to see the reaction, I tried posting trivial things like “Wheat will make you look bloated” I would get 15 questions about how much wheat do you need to eat before you look fat, mixed in with “omg no way! Maybe that’s why I look like a blimp.”

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(Things like this showing pride in effort were simply ignored)

After 3 days I deleted my account. It made me too sad to continue watching hundreds of girls, a lot of them in high school, picking apart every aspect of their body and truly believing looking a certain way would bring them happiness. I could relate and I feared if I hung out long enough I would begin to think the same way again. Feeling guilty for missing a workout is not healthy. Restricting and then binging is not healthy. Hating yourself based on what you consumed that day or because you don’t look as good as the unrealistic “fitspo” that you stare at is not healthy.

This article came out last week describing exactly my experience. I hadn’t written about it before because I didn’t want to get personal or offend people. Of course there are people who follow the #fitfam groups to truly find motivation to accomplish goals other than becoming thin and hot. But as the ice was already broken I thought I’d put it out there for people who currently are an active part of the twitter/tumblr fitfam to stop and consider if you enjoy being fit because of what you can accomplish, or if you believe achieving that perfect fitspo body will truly make your life better. Almost all the girls AND guys I saw on twitter were consistently lonely, no matter how amazing their body was, and hoping that they would be happier and have more friends once they obtained that perfect body. Just like I mentioned in my previous post,  image is not what makes you happy. You have to change your relationship with the world from the inside, changing what you value and what’s important. Once you do that, the image on the outside won’t matter as much.

How Psychologists are making you addicted to junk food.

I have a confession. I love Cheetos. Back in college, they were my go to junk food. Especially the spicy kind. I couldn’t get enough. I could eat multiple bags and still not be full.

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Thanks to an article last week in the New York Times, I now know why. Cheetos, along with every other type of junk food/processed food, is the result of thousands of hours of scientific research with the ultimate goal of making that food as addictive as possible. Not just the marketing. It’s a well known fact that primary colors attract kids, especially orange, that red stimulates the appetite etc. What I didn’t know is that everything down to the sound that the chip makes when it crunches, or how fast the cheetos dissolves in my mouth (a term dubbed “Vanishing Caloric Density”), has been tested over and over to find what is most appealing to consumers.

The article follows one of the prominent Food Psychologist, with a PhD from Harvard, as he talks about several products on the shelf today, from Dr. Pepper (high carbonation added to it’s popularity) to Prego Sauces (as much sugar in a 1/4 cup as two oreos and chunks of mystery meat skyrocketed it to #1), Lunchables (built with a three month non refrigerated shelf life, “cheese” and all, as well as almost much saturated fat as a kids supposed to have in a day) and Potato Chips( the perfect mix of starch to give you a quick glucose sugar rush, fat to send happy signals to the brain, and salt to satisfy our most basic animal cravings).

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If the idea that your food is being psychologically designed to make you an addict doesn’t disturb you enough to make you think twice about processed foods, then I’ll bring out the gross factor. Lots of ingredients that make up anything from your Starbucks to your ice cream to your gummy bears are “enhanced” by ingredients that aren’t publicly advertised.

Let’s take the natural flavoring “castoreum”. It’s used to enhance vanilla flavoring, like in ice cream or candy. It is indeed natural, that’s no lie, but that’s because it is made from Beaver Anal Secretions. And it’s even FDA Approved. 

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Don’t eat vanilla? Well how about that mushroom pizza you ordered? Or should I say, that Maggot Mushroom pizza? The FDA approves up to 19 maggots and 74 mites in every 3.5 ounce can of mushrooms. Next time, buy them fresh.

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Lastly, I’ll leave you with the one that hurts me the most, because I love them. Gummy Bears/Worms/Fish you name it. First, if you’ve eaten any gummy item that has red dye in it you can proudly say you’ve eaten a beetle, because that’s how it get’s that lovely red color (Same with those Strawberry Frappuccinos you love so much..).  But Gummy Bears don’t stop there, the gelatin used to create that fun texture comes from boiled connective tissue, most likely pig.

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Now don’t get me wrong. I still love my gummy bears, pig skin and beetles and all. I try to follow a 80/20 rule, as in 80% of the time I eat clean, 20% I allow myself cheats. But keep in my mind how much junk food you may be eating and whether the hours of time put into making it addictive are working on you.  Remember they don’t have your best interest at heart.  As the head of General Mills said, “Don’t talk to me about nutrition, talk to me about taste. Talk to me about sales.”