Thursday, February 24, 2011

Six inches can seem like a lot more than it is

...and I'm not even referring to the naughty context! 

Finally, a CrossFit Update!  I've been out of the gym with the flu of death for the last week and a half, so it was awesome to get back into the swing of things.  Here's what I've been doing:


  • 50 strict GHD machine back/hip extensions (the third move shown in this video.  Turn your sound down before you hit the link; it's got loud screamy music).  These kind of terrify me - as does anything where I'm in an upside-down-ish position - especially as the machine has the tendency to wobble a lot.  Coach Peter Parker (aka Rich)  helped out by holding my ankles while I did the move.  Don't laugh.  It helped a lot.  Thanks, Rich :)

WOD: Birthday WOD for Coach Too-Cute-To-Hate (aka Mike).  Yay!
AMRAP for 9 minutes:
  • 9 deadlifts
  • 6 squat cleans
  • 3 jerks (I did split jerks for the first round and then push jerks)
Got 5 full rounds and 5 more deadlifts out of that, with 65lbs on the bar.  Then, after 3 minutes rest:
  • AMRAP burpees for 3 minutes.  I totally lost count here and have no idea what I did.
The "six inches" thing comes into play here: for each burpee, we had to jump at least 6 inches high.  After a dozen of these, you kinda start to feel it.


Strength: 20ish minutes of L-sit progressions/practice.  I can only get about 10 seconds, but it's pretty solid.

WOD: freaking insane, and I kind of sucked at it.
4 rounds for time of:
  • 500m row
  • 3 rounds of "Cindy:" 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats
So for every round there's a total of 500m row, 15 pull-ups, 30 push-ups and 45 air squats.  Monster bitch.  I had to sub out one-handed KB snatches for push-ups on the last round because my shoulder slipped, but other than that it was straight.  Took me 40:33, which is kind of ew.  Better next time!

Thursday (today!)

Endurance WOD
  • Allison actually had us do barre exercises (sans barre; just held the wall).  Hold the leg for 10 seconds at waist height, followed by 10 grand battements (controlled straight-leg kicks to waist height or higher), doing each leg to the front, back and side.  We repeated the whole deal 3 times, although I only did it twice because I came in late.
  • Rowing, rowing, rowing.  12 rounds of 1 minute on, 30 seconds rest, pacing to keep the speed as steady as possible all the way through.  I started out at a pace of 2:00/500m and kept pretty closely to that to the end.
  • Warm-up: used a PVC pipe for shoulder pass-throughs and around-the-worlds, then worked on snatch progressions for about 10 minutes
  • 5 sets of 5 snatches, as heavy as possible.  This is the hardest of the lifting moves for me because it's incredibly technical: you have to think about your feet coming out (but not too much) and your knees staying in and your hips being extended and your elbows coming up and about 50 other things all at once.  I'm starting to get a bit of a flow, though...and I no longer fall down EVERY time.  Made it with 33lbs for the first two sets, followed by 43, 53 and 63, which is a PR :D
  • Tabata sledgehammer swings, 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 4 minutes.  My official score (lowest number of reps in any round) was 11; got up to 14 on a couple though.
Tomorrow we're doing deadlifts.  I'm ridiculously excited.

I also found out tonight that Coach Peter Parker has a motorcycle.  I seriously had no idea until I saw him all suited up and carrying his helmet.  He's all cool now!  You're a lucky lady, Bea ;)


Friday, February 18, 2011


Good food is just gorgeous.  All these pictures were taken sporadically, and each time I was just struck by how positively artful real, natural food is.  Not even artful - it is art!  Take a look:

Plain omelette with the most perfect yellow bell pepper strips and brussel sprouts, roasted and then tossed around in a hot pan for a minute.  The darkest, sweetest cherries.

My lunch right now: red cabbage, brussel sprouts and onion, roasted til fragrant and flaky.  Just look at that cabbage!  It's like a gem!

Photographic evidence of the best chicken soup ever, for the nonbelievers.  The stock turned out so rich that I cut it about half-and-half with water to make this, and it was still exploding with flavor. 

Disclaimer: I use a free photo-editing program called PicSay (link is to the "pro," paid version) on pictures taken with the coolest phone in the world.  All I do is heighten the saturation just a little, until the picture on the screen more closely matches what I see.  Still learning how to use it but I think I do ok for now.

What is your favorite-looking food?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vicious cycle

So last time I posted in any real length, I had just finished my first Whole30, and was absolutely thrilled with the results - significantly increased energy, mental acuity, the avoidance (for the most part) of SAD and trichotillomania, general feelings of health and vitality and of course the slightly-more-visible abs in the mirror.  I considered it a huge accomplishment and was immensely proud of myself.  And, as a reward for "being good," I was going to stop "denying myself" all those treats I'd been avoiding.

Yes.  I would reward myself.  With food.  (But in moderation, of course.) just didn't work.  It never has.  And I'm ashamed at how many times I've performed that same routine, thinking that it would turn out better this time.  Because at the very core of how I want to view food is the complete avoidance of seeing certain foods, especially ones that I know are bad for me, as "rewards," and seeing good, healthy, clean eating that makes my body work like it's supposed to as some incredibly tough act that I have to cajole myself into doing, and then praise and treat myself like there's no tomorrow when I actually do it.

But every time I do feel accomplished enough to treat myself and ease off slightly from strictly clean eating, that treat inevitably leads to a backslide.  At first I am the very soul of moderation: just a dash of cream in my coffee on one day, then a square of dark chocolate another, then a glass of wine a few days later.  And then my brain starts to warp, and I think, if I can handle this much "bad food" and still feel pretty good, what's wrong with a little more hedonism?  I start to have sugar in my coffee a little more often, or duck in the back at work for a handful of chocolate chips just because I'm stressed and annoyed, or steal a few handfuls of my employee's fries even though I know there's delicious healthy food waiting for me at the house.  Meals start being based around cheese and fruit (and chocolate)  instead of meat or eggs and veggies.  I start to feel worse and I have less energy, meaning I'm more likely to skip workouts, meaning I'm more likely to feel even crappier.  My sleep and mood start to suffer.  And then it all just goes to hell, by which I mean the breakfast of nothing but 6 cups of fully-caffeinated coffee with cream that made me (and my poor bowels) realise that it's high time to clean up the act. 

I have to stop seeing clean eating as a finite act.  If it's just a "bout" that I go through, whether it's for 30 days or a year, it ends up culminating in one brief shining moment of glorious accomplishment, followed by far too long a period of doing the one thing I should NOT do when it comes to eating, which is eating crap that I know will make me feel bad for no other reason than it tastes good right now and I feel like I earned the right to reward myself.

...wait. You know what this makes me think of?

There is no occasion whatsoever where a Bill Cosby quote (or even a full routine) is not totally apt.

But anyways.  My biggest issue here is learning to see clean eating as not just something that I have to complete.  It should be the means to an end: I should eat well so I AM well (and fit and happy), plain and simple.  Is there room in that scheme for cookies and wine?  Absolutely, as long as it's based on an event or something I'm sharing with a friend, and never just because I want to, or think I deserve it.

I'm gonna wrap this up here.  I've got some other stuff (in particular, this photo-dieting fad and what I think of it) to talk about, but I think this is enough for now.

In other news, I made chicken soup from complete scratch this morning, with my own homemade stock, and I bet it was even better than Colin's. So there!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super-quick update

So at today's WOD (which was aMAZing, sledgehammer swings are the best!), we worked on deadlifts for the strength portion, figuring out a new 1-rep max.  If you guys remember, my last 1RM was 185 and I was very very proud of it.  Also, I made it one of my 101 in 1001 goals to lift over 210, which is about 1.5 times my bodyweight (as far as I can guess; haven't weighed myself in almost two months now!). 

Welllll...considering the fact that 1001 days is several years, I may have definitely did severely underestimate myself.  My final lift today was 210.  Next goal?  Break 300.  Hopefully that'll keep me working for slightly longer.  Maybe.  :D


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I finished Whole30! Here's some stuff I learned

 I did it, you guys!  I went an entire solid month (barring one insanely small piece of eggnog fudge) with
  • no sugar
  • no grains
  • no dairy
  • no alcohol
  • no processed foods
  • no legumes
 Check out the site if you want to read about the whole dealio. 

Not gonna lie, this was hard, especially at first.  Going cold turkey on anything is never fun, whether or not it comes with actual physical withdrawal symptoms.  But honestly, it's a hell of a lot easier to practice total abstinence than to exercise truly sensible moderation - and if it's something you need to completely quit, doing it all in one fell swoop really is the way to go.  (Case in point: if you have trichotillomania, shave your head.) 

But once you get past the "paleo flu" period caused by your body relearning how to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs, and recovering from the hangover caused by all the crap you were eating starts to work.  Really.  I promise.  All that stuff about the endless stores of energy you get, able to go for days at a time?  Well, it's not true 100% of the time, obvs.  You need sleep too, and as a very wise young woman told me recently, "everyone has off days."

Overall, however - and forgive me if I start to wax poetic here - life just seems a little bit fuller.  I'm not sluggish, dragged down by all the crap and fake food in my system.  I'm more awake, more alert, and because of that I'm more alive.  I feel like I am experiencing life more richly  - not just from the weird (but cool) increase in my senses of taste and smell, but in general, life just seems...more.  I wouldn't make such a big deal of this, except for the fact that it's winter, and I have SAD, and it's barely shown up at ALL.  That's ENORMOUS.

But on to the lessons!