Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To everyone who commented on my last post (updated 3Apr11)

You guys are amazing.  Seriously.  I was all like "blog blag blarg bleah" and you were like "no but yay, see?"  And it helped a lot.

Phil: Thank you!  It's especially nice to be told by someone I consider a total badass that we're in the same boat/tent/other containment device.  If we're ever in the gym at the same time again, we need to have a WOD-off.  I bet you I'll be slower than you.  Loser (of the bet) buys the winner a burger at King's.  Sound cool?

John: Thank you! You can emulate me any day :)  And it really means a lot to be counted in that description, of "people who seemed to be having the most fun. The people who greeted me and the people who seemed get the most joy out of each WOD. Especially by those who seemed driven by love of exercise and not ego."  Awesome.  You always have the best things to say.  And you are a total badass.

Emily: Thank you!  That's so true about the quality of work being the most important - I need to remember that even though I might be slow, I look damn good.  I'm talking about my form, of course.  Also, Recovering-Fat-Kid powers, activate: form of a TOTAL BADASS!  Also, those bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed dates on your blog look kind of amazing.

Maggie (who emailed me): Thank you!  It's more myself and my silly thought process than "the CrossFit thing" that gets me down, but having wonderful people like you around to provide happy thoughts makes everything get whole lot better a whole lot faster.  And you are the baddest of all the asses because you are my seester and I love you.

Amy: If you suddenly appeared in my living room right after I read your comment, I would go in for a full-contact body-check-esque high five that would then turn into a hug.  Thank you!  You are an amazing athlete (without any quotation marks at all because it's TRUE, so fucking ACCEPT it already) and a total badass, and any admiration you have for me is returned tenfold.

Lindsay: I think all the self-proclaimed slowpokes need to have a WOD-off for reverse time.  For serious.  And then Dave can do a feature on the winner, something like "I'm the slowest person at CFD and I can still (deadlift 300 lbs/throw a 20lb wallball over the wall/scare small children with my shoes/blah de blah)."  Eh?  Eh?  Anyways, thank you!  I don't see you in the gym nearly as often as I'd like to, because you're kind of awesome (and also a total badass).  Also, I have no idea why you weren't in my bloglist before.  That has been remedied.

Joanne: You know, "Workout Of Death" is actually a MUCH better way of putting it.  I like your style.  And also, aw shucks I ain't all that *shuffles feet*...but thank you :)  As for being 30 minutes behind everyone else...I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that you're probably much more of a total badass than you think.  I know that was true for me.  And if you're ever down in NC, give me a holler and I'll give you a chance to realise that!

You guys make me smile like crazy.  Thank you all :)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So I've noticed an interesting phenomenon lately.

That is, I've noticed it lately, and realised that it's been in effect for quite a while now.

Here's the deal:

I go to Crossfit.  I get suited up in my toe shoes and my gi pants.  I sip some water and fill up my bottle for easy access during the workout.  Maybe I eat an egg. Stretch.  Squat.  Sprint.  Push ups, downward dog, Sampson stretch, and so on and so forth.

Time for heavy lifting.  Awesome!  Usually I feel like a total beast at this point.  Grr, arg, hooah, etc etc.

Time for the WOD.  (Workout Of (the) Day, for the non-insane people).  Get out the boxes and rowers if the CrossFit gods are pleased with me; get out the jump ropes and wall balls if they are wrathful.  Must remember to get a fatter calf next time.

Start the WOD.

Breathe.  Pace.  Don't smash yourself in the mouth with the barbell like you did yesterday.  Avoid the nose as well.  Keep shoulders firmly in joints.  Breathe.  Don't double over.  Ignore the cramps.  Don't you dare double over.  It's just 15 minutes/4 rounds/whatever it is today, significantly shorter than forever.  You can do that much without dying.  Or puking.  Or crying.  Keep going.  Breathe. 

"You can do it, Nelly!"

Wait.  That wasn't my mind.

I'm just last again.  Everyone else has already finished and is sitting and resting and cheering me on.

Here's where I get torn.  On the one hand, I'm absolutely thrilled to be counted among a group of people who care enough to cheer and yell and keep me going until I finish, even though they have no particular personal interest in my times and PRs.  On the other hand...I'm last.  Again.  Even though I pace myself.  Even if I scale the movements down.  Even back in my bootcamper days.  Even when I rejoin the bootcamp now, for old times' sake.  Literally, almost every single time.

Merh.  Arglebargle.  Fuck.

I can lift heavy (210 lb deadlift, at last count).  I can jump high (30 inch vertical).  I can run fast (in brief spurts).  But throw anything resembling an endurance-style, just-keep-going workout at me and I turn into Jabba the Goddamn Hutt.  Never mind the fact that I've been doing this for over two years, not once missing a bootcamp session or more than a week of regular WODs. 

It irks me.

That's all.

< /wordvomit >


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I knew this would happen eventually

Some wonderful person has finally combined my two loves of CrossFit and window (browser window...) shopping for clothes I'll probably never buy to create this amazing blog:

Every day, a new workout outfit.  Simple as that.  But they're pretty!  Sometimes they have themes...

...or ridiculous/amazing/ridiculously amazing shirts...

the hoodie shows a woman lifting a barbell over her head while riding a unicorn.  via
it's a unicorn puking rainbows! via
the front of the shirt says "shut up!" via
...and sometimes they're just badass as all hell, while still being undeniably feminine.
the back of the shirt says "trained hard." via
Of course it's geared towards XFitters, which means a lot of the outfits feature knee socks (where did we get that fad from???), but that doesn't make them any less wearable for people who are not crazy.  And there are links provided with each entry for every item featured!  Love it.  Check them out!  Now!

Also, I really, really want this shirt.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Money Monday 21/3

Wow, haven't touched this tag in a while.  Before we blow the dust from it all over the place, here's some food:

Two eggs and two tomatoes, all fried in bacon grease that I've started saving.  Avocado for some more fat.  Mmmm, fat.  Part of a grapefruit the size of my head.  And coffee.  Nom.

This week's questions (original post here):

1. The most I've spent this last week was on PAYING OFF MY STUDENT LOAN IN FULL!  Yes I know.  I am just that awesome.  That's an extra $150/mo I have to play with now, and I'm probably going to put it towards rent.  Yep, I'm looking for a new place.  Anyone know of a cheap-but-not-crappy 1BR/1BA in a safe neighborhood somewhere around downtown Durham?  Let me know.  Hardwood floors and fireplaces droolworthy but not necessary.

2. Today I feel slightly abashed towards money.  I've been sadly neglecting my budget plans and my ledger for a month or so now, and while it was nice to just have fun without obsessing too much (among others, by taking off for the Outer Banks for a few days), it's time to kick it back into high gear.  I'm thinking about enacting an envelope system for the paying of bills and such, but I'm torn.  On the one hand, it's nice to literally see exactly where all your money is going; on the other, I'd like to set it up so I can pay my bills and rent online.  And even with checks, the money would still have to be in my account, not an envelope.  So maybe just sticking with virtual budgets for bills and rent, and doing the envelope shuffle for variables like food and gas (hopefully going to go down soon!)?  We'll see.  Any tips?

3. Money can't buy happiness.  One free thing I did last week was to go on a riverwalk!  For the uninformed, this is when you go to a river, normally one in a wilderness park with a hiking trail next to it, and then ignore the trail and just walk in the river.  It was a gorgeous warm day but the water was freezing!  Still amazing, even when it got up to my armpits.  I think I scared some hikers with my squawking.

4. I will consider this week a success if I stop slouching!  My back hurts like a mofo.  Also, total paleo at least 5 days.  I've been lax lately and I'm noticing the results.

5. I am thankful for this boy right here:


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back from heaven, again

Heaven can be, and certainly has been for me, a lot of different places.  Some of the memorable ones don't seem overly special at all - a porch flooded with morning sun but warmed mostly by coffee and conversation; the soft grass under a tree and the stars on a warm summer night; the couch beside a blazing Christmas tree, the only light in the house.  And now I get to add another one to my list.  I'll let The Man present it to you, because he does it so very well:
We went to the Outer Banks!  He and a friend took a Spring Break road trip from Ohio down to Georgia for a few days to see the sights and chill with his family there, then they hopped over to my place for the rest of the time.  Now, I don't know if you know this, but if you are ever in North Carolina with a car and some spare time, you must see the Outer Banks.  Seriously.  It's written into our state constitution. 

They got in late on Tuesday night.  I don't think I slept a wink the night before, and the day was spent in rushing around trying to get everything ready for the visit.  I told them (two over-6-foot black men with big appetites) that I'd have dinner waiting when they got there, and decided on roasted chicken and vegetables.  Apparently there's some kind of private joke about black people loving chicken; I had no idea of this.  But it was the first tome I'd ever cooked meat for The Man (last time I saw him, at Thanksgiving, I was still pescetarian!), so I wanted to do it right, and not to brag or anything but I am kind of the queen at roasting chickens.

I was so excited I forgot to take any pictures of this, but you guys have to try it!  Joanne, I'm looking at you here.  Followed this recipe from the indefatigable Mark Sisson, and holy gods is it ever worth the trouble.  The secret is in smothering the bird with herbed butter - it's spectacular.  The men got in just as everything was finishing up, so I turned off the heat, ran outside and performed my signature greeting-the-boyf move (I call it the run-and-jump; from his perspective it's probably the grab-and-spin.  yes, so stereotypical rom-com, I know), then herded them inside to nom on delicious tender thyme-flavored bird and wash it down with this amazing $3 wine I found at WF.  And there's another piece of heaven you guys need to visit as often as possible - homemade food and cheap wine consumed at the kitchen table around 10:30 pm, with good friends and plenty of laughter :)

So the next day, we went grocery shopping to stock up for the trip, then hit the road.  Our friend Ellison had never been to NC before, so we stopped along the way to check out Duke Gardens and Duke Chapel, some more must-sees if you're ever in Durham. And then it was off to the coast, stopping only once to briefly stretch our legs.  My baby Lucille is good for a lot of things, but I have to admit that she isn't big on leg room if the passengers are over 6 feet tall.  We finally got to the motor lodge where we'd reserved a room, but the office was closed and we had to call the owner several times before she finally picked up - a bit of an annoyance, as it was cold and crazy windy, but she'd just gotten a new cell phone with an unfamiliar ring and literally ran from her house to the inn office to let us in!  AND, on top of that, when we discovered that our room hadn't been cleaned from the previous guests, we got upgraded at no charge to one of the best rooms on the lot: oceanfront, with two queen beds and a full kitchenette.

And then, for the next day and a half, it was pure bliss.  It was too cold (and part of the time, even stormy) to go swimming, but there were long walks on the beach and romantic dinners and an omelette-off between The Man and me (I won, hands down :D) and more cheap wine and LOTS more laughs.  And there was the best way of all to hear "I love you:" first thing in the morning, with the sky barely beginning to glow and the sound of the surf in the distance, and the softest kiss on your forehead.  (Whether or not this was to avoid morning dragon breath, I will not speculate).

the only full day we had there it was stormy and freezing
The day we left, it was brilliantly sunny and we had a ton of fun playing with the waves.  I was behind the camera most of the time, so here are some shots of the boys having fun:

chillin like they do
I am not ashamed to admit that my photo-taking style depended heavily on lining them up to pose, then waiting til the waves were just about to hit them before snapping the pic.

Hey, if it gets me great shots like this, then I say it works :)

Bottom line?  You've heard that quote about how "hell is other people," I'm sure.  Well, as it turns out, the reverse is just as true.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Laundry day conversation

You know the day I mean.  You look into your closet or dresser, pull out the very last outfit you can possibly put together without resorting to knee socks and cocktail dresses, and think "Yep."  Then you suit up as quickly as possible and tiptoe out of the room, trying to avoid eye contact with the teetering mountain of fabric as it sits there, looming at you.

In my case, the laundry-day outfit usually isn't too crazy.  I have a ton of old tee-shirts from high school and college - for plays I've been in, concerts I went to, the sorority I was in for about a week, etc. - but the lower half is slightly more difficult to clothe.  My thighs have this awesome power to eventually shred the inner thighs of every single pair of jeans I've ever owned.  I've got about four pairs of these sad sacks - they're actually starting to look more like chaps than jeans, except the ass isn't worn off (yet) - in my dresser, dreaming of the day when I will be handy enough with needle and thread to fix them up.  For now, I mostly just wear them anyways and keep my knees together.

Today, however, I'm going to my chiropractor.  Something tells me he wouldn't be amused if he got me all twisted up, trying to snap whichever part of my body defies me today into place, and suddenly my pants decided to finally give out all together.  Well, at least I hope "amusement" wouldn't be on the list of emotions.

But anyways.  I reached for a pair of pants that are still somehow intact, but which I almost never wear anymore, because they fit so oddly.  They're trouser pants in this really thin, kinda stretchy pinstripe material, and they're almost tight on my quads but really loose everywhere else.  As in, I don't have to unzip or unbutton them to put them on.  So they just look weird.  But they cover the naughty bits, so they'll have to do.

So I wandered down to the kitchen, grabbed a frying pan and started chatting with Amam as it heated up.  I looked down at my pants.  "You know," I said, "these pants used to be my skin-tight go-clubbing-in pants."  No really, it's true!  I can't even picture how that worked now, but I used to only be able to button them without discomfort on a "skinny" day.

She nodded.  "You've made a lot of strides!"

I smiled a self-satisfactory little smile, confident in the fact that damn, that is true.  I gloated for a moment, but only in the cute way.  And then I thought...

"I think the biggest stride I've made is the fact that my "weight goal" is now something that I want to LIFT, as opposed to something I want to BE."

I think I amazed myself a little bit with that statement - I've been pondering on it ever since.  That difference - the complete 180 mindset shift - really is the biggest and most wonderful change I could have hoped for, in this entire quest for health I've been on for gods know how long.  Of course I'm not immune to the bad-body-image demons - there are days when I entertain thoughts of going on a crash diet and losing the few bits of pudge that still drive me crazy...but then I go to CrossFit, and remember how important and awesome it is to fuel yourself with clean, delicious food.  The more I take the time to fuel myself correctly, the better I feel, the more I can lift and do, and the stronger I am.  And I LOVE that.

And then I ate three eggs cooked in butter for breakfast.  True story.

Lurkers: Tell me something you love about yourself.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's for breakfast? PALEO SEX MUFFINS (recipe!)

Do you read Finn's blog?  If not, you should.  Like right now.  He has no hair, he swears more than I do and he is infinitely sexable.  And he made a muffin recipe just for me, because he's awesome.  Here it is!

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey and baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • about 1 to 1.5 cups of Medjool dates, de-stoned
I ground my own flour for these.  It's super simple - I have a heavy-duty spice/coffee grinder that I use solely to grind nut flours and the like.  Just fill it up (not too full), pulse til the desired fineness is reached, dump out and repeat.

Sift all the dry ingredients together.  This part is mostly to get the baking powder completely mixed in.  Near the end, there were a bunch of gritty almond pieces that wouldn't go through the sifter, so I just dumped them on in for more texture.

Whisk the eggs and honey together.  This might be difficult.  Just do what you can.  I didn't have acacia honey, so I used good ol' Blue Ridge Parkway deliciousness.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix together until everything has the same consistency.  Then add the dates and mix until they're thoroughly combined.  Using your hands is best here, really.  It's a little messy, but it works.

Grease a muffin tin (I used coconut oil) and go to town.  These don't rise too much, so make them as big as you want them to end up.

At this point, if you are reading Finn's recipe too, remember that he uses Celsius.  It would take a really, really long time to bake these to doneness at 180 Fahrenheit, as I realised after about 10 minutes.  The proper temperature here is about 325-350 for 15ish minutes, baked in the lower-to-middle section of the oven so the tops don't scorch.  Keep an eye on them, changing the time and temperature as you see fit.