US Wellness

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Results Update

So who wouldn't like an update about how things are going with my year of changes?  :)  I know that I have not been keeping up with this very well, but I hope that I can get inspired to write again.  Maybe what I'm about to share will be enough?? It's pretty crazy to think about where I was in January when I look back at the old posts.

I have been kickboxing since August and I would obviously credit any of these additional changes to that and also this past month of paleo that I'm about to wrap up.  I'm looking forward to the end of having to be 100% strict.  However, it is easier to eat this way and cheating leads to a slippery slope.  Prior to this month I was hovering right about 138 lbs and I had been there since the summer, which means that I've knocked off about 5 lbs this month from diet alone.  I was sick for a week and I missed another week of kickboxing due to working late.  I'll be going much more this upcoming month as I've really missed it.  Mark and I went to class yesterday and it felt really good (even though I ended up with crazy bruises).

Here we go...

  • Upper Arms (at bicep, relaxed):
    • Left: 11"     /     10.75" /     10.75"  /  9.75"
    • Right: 11"     /     11" /        10.75"   /  10"
  • Waist (at belly button):
    • 33"      /      28.5"   /          28"   /   27.5"
  • Waist (at narrowest point):
    • 28"     /     26.25"/    26"   / 25.75"
  • Hips:
    • 41.5"     /     39" /   39"    / 37.5"
  • Legs (mid-thigh, relaxed):
    • Left:   23"     /     21.75"/      21"  /  20.75"
    • Right:  23"     /     21.75"/     20.25"  / 20.5"
  • Waist to Hip Ratio:
    • .67      /      .67     /    .66  /  .68
  • Weight:
    • 152.4     /   145/  140.2   /  133.6  <-- I haven't weighed this since college! 

    Monday, October 29, 2012


    Why is it that the only stations that seem appealing on Pandora are Monster Ballads and REO Speedwagon?  I get so stuck on certain things sometimes....what I order at restaurants....what things I "can" wear together....etc.  Sometimes I feel like I behave that way out of a need to have consistency and control.  I "know" what it will be like and I won't have to worry that I don't like it.  Maybe?  

    That's part of the reason that I'm back doing paleo again for the next 30 days.  Of all the things that happen in life that you have absolutely no control over.  I can choose to be successful at it or I can choose to fuck it up.  Either way....its all on me.  Its much easier this time around, however.  I know what to expect.  I know what paleo things I like to eat.  Its just a matter of planning ahead and doing it.  So far I haven't really been too motivated to try a new recipe, but I need to push myself to eat a variety of things and to not get stuck on how freakin' amazing hamburgers with avocado are.  (Geez, that sounds really good right now!) I did notice that Halloween candy seemed especially tempting today.  There are a

    I didn't weigh myself last Monday when I started, but I did this morning.  One week into things and I'm 136.6.  If I had to guess I'm a couple pounds lighter maybe?  I've noticed that my clothes seem bigger - again.  I would just like to point out that the goal here is not to be gross skinny, but to finally do away with fat in some places.  I can put weight back on - in the form of muscle - when I start Crossfitting/Oly lifting again.  I should really try to do some before and afters again this round to track changes.  I'll try to do that this week. 

    There are a lot of other things I'd like to blog about so stay tuned for those. 

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Blog Name Change

    8/27/12: I actually started making this post last week and forgot to finish it.  So the first part is from last week and then a little from today. 

    Paleo Update:

    I was *very* well-behaved last week with food until Saturday when I knew I was going to be in a carb-fest situation.  After having pizza on Saturday night there was about a 16 hour period following that where I was "off the wagon."  Sunday morning we went to Wildberry and I had eggs benedict and then in the afternoon I had a piece of cheesecake.  By dinner I was feeling crappy and I decided it was time to go back on.  Weekend weight: 140.8 lbs.

    Kickboxing Update:

    I've been doing this for about 4 weeks now - just one night a week. I may move to 2 nights a week shortly, but I always feel that my legs are still sore from kicking or being kicked from Monday to Wednesday so I usually skip it.  I think that overall, I'm doing okay, but I get frustrated with myself really quickly.   

    Thursday night I did class again.  I feel like things are going somewhat better, but sometimes when I punch my wrists hurt.  Not badly, but just annoyingly. here's some completely unexpected news.  As you read up there I was 140.8 last weekend.  I weighed myself this morning and I was 136.6!  What?!  How did that happen?!  I have no idea! According to my math that makes me about 17 lbs lighter than January 1.  I'll probably try to do pics/measurements again.  Also, I think I'll stick with kickboxing for a little bit and then return to Crossfit asap. 

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Vitamins and Lab Meat (<-- Yuck)

    Because of some of my recent reading I've begun wondering if I'm vitamin deficient.  I have definitely struggled with my vegetable intake even though its improved.  While we were at Sam's Club on Saturday I went to the vitamin aisle and picked out a Women's Active pack.  Its basically a little cocktail of vitamins to promote girl stuff and energy.  Vitamin Link  I also got a Niacin tab to support my breakdown of carbohydrates.  Obviously, I haven't had enough time to notice any differences as I've only taken it for 2 days, but hopefully I will be able to report on this by the middle of next month or so.  This morning, I also took a fish oil tab because I'm unsure if I'm getting enough Omega 3 fats.  I believe, ideally, it should be a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 vs. 6 (the bad fat).  Don't get me wrong, I think I need to do better with the veggies, but I figure supplementing it can't hurt in the meantime.

    I seem to be very tired lately - aka accidental 3 hour naps - even after I'm "rested."  My hair seems to be less brittle, but I can't attribute that to diet at all.  I got a better haircut and I've been treating it with a hair mask often to try to reduce my split ends.  That seems to be working.  If you've expereienced the same thing then you might like:  Moroccan Oil  I got a little kit with sample sizes in it and I gotta say that the hype is true.  Love this stuff and I will definitely get more of it as needed.  Back to the point of this paragraph, I'm hoping that I will see improvement/continued improvement with these things and perhaps with my skin, too.  It is beyond annoying to me that I'm almost 30 and I still deal with breakout issues all. the. time.  :\ 

    I was going to talk about some other random things, but this article just caught my eye:  Lab Meat
    That is the absolute most disgusting thing I have ever heard of.  Never will you catch me eating meat made in a lab!!! Blah!!!

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Size Confusion

    Shopping for pants is torture.  You reach a point, though, when you're swimming in your clothes and belting them just looks ridiculous. The plan was to hit up Woodfield and come home with khakis, cropped black pants, and some dress pants for work. 

    We started at Nordstrom Rack which turned out to be a complete waste of time.  It was cluttered and unorganized and there were zero dress pants that I liked.  On to Woodfield, we started at the Gap.  I picked up a colorful pair of skinny jeans, the black crops, and some khakis.  I know my size varies across cuts, but I wasn't prepared for the drama of the dressing room.  I tried on the khakis first, in a 6.  Perfect fit.  I am elated.  Moving on.  I try on the black crops in an 8.  They fit ok, but I'm worried that maybe the legs are a little tight.  I decide to pass.  If I move up to a 10, then I am psychologically damaged and the waist will be huge.  Finally, the coral colored skinnies - which if I must say were freakin' adorable.  I had brought a size 10 with me into the dressing room and they fit, but they looked horrible.  We leave the Gap and even though I ended up with great khakis I feel defeated by the other pants. 

    At Express I walk in thinking that I probably won't find anything because they have a 30% off everything sale AND I have coupons.  This if, of course, a recipe for terrible selection or pleats as a new trend for fall.  I was pleasantly surprised to get 2 pair of dress pants that fit perfectly in a 6.  Thank you Express for the redemption that all my hardwork wasn't for nothing! :)  Again though, the red skinnies were a no-go.  I will rock the colorful denim trend this year if it kills me! 

    On a side note, what the effffff is going on with the "going out clothes" at Express?!  They are gaudy, too revealing, and just generally ugly.  It looks like the Kardashians puked up their horrid style all over the store.  I am thankful that I am no longer in need of those clothes.  Here is yet another sign that I am drifting farther and farther away from my college days!

    Switching topics competely, I downloaded a new book.  I took a little hiatus from reading for pleasure for the past few months when we were moving and unsettled.  Feels good to be really excited about learning new things again.  I haven't been sucked into non-fiction since I finished The Hunger Games series.  Instead, I took an interest in relationship/self-improvement books due to a challenge to check one out by a friend.  I went through 4 of those and now I'm onto something of a similar style. 

    Here's to another week of challenging myself to be active every day and to resist eating cheat foods.

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Paleo is changing??

     Upcoming Paleo Changes?

    I came across this yesterday and I had mixed feelings. It is very difficult to be super strict or do the Whole30.  A more relaxed approach seems nice.  I think that it makes Paleo seem like less of an "extremist" kind of thing and pulls it back into do-able lifestyle.  Other things I agree with:
    • I do agree with the first comment that evolution of this practice is a good thing 
    • Just don't eat processed, shitty foods and if you do then only once in a while   
    • Fruit was encouraged so that makes me happy  :)
    • There probably is something to the comments in the 5th section about paleo for weight loss and paleo for optimum health. I still consider myself in paleo for weight loss and when I get to where I want to be - paleo for optimum health. 
    Questions I had:
    • On the other hand, it didn't really tell me where I should be looking to get said carbs.  
    • Also, I think that I wouldn't be where I am now with goals unless I had been very strict for a while. 
    • When do you relax? 
    • Is that for everyone? 
    • How harmful is it to eat strictly for longer? 
    • Who decided this change? 

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    How do you figure out what works best for you?

    You hear it all the time - There is no "one size fits all" way to get into shape.  There are so many variables that can effect this -stress, eating, body predisposition, sleep, and etc.  To make it more complicated, these things affect eveyrone differently.  So, how do you figure out the right combination that works for you? I honestly have no idea and that might be one of the most frustrating things about trying to change my habits.

    Beyond the fads and ridiculous "lose 10 lbs and 10 inches in 10 hours by drinking 10 protein shakes in 10 minutes" nonsense, there are tons of seemingly legitmate ways to get into shape.  Every so often Yahoo! runs an article that sums up this dilema into a bottom line of: eat less calories than you expend.  Mathmatically and biologically, that is bound to create some change, right?  I dont know about everyone, but being in a diet/exercise plan like that makes me crazy.  It makes me irritable.  Have you ever tried to eat less than 1,200 calories per day?  OMG, its annoying and I get so jealous of non-dieters and their food.  Then, let's say you cheat and you eat something worth 200 calories.  You head off to your globo-gym and you have to be on the freakin' eliptical for three hours straight just to burn off the cheat, let alone make a dent in your other daily caloric intake.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I feel like this plan breeds hungry, work-out crazed lunatics.  I've been there.  When I get really into it, that's when I start to play this game with myself about just how few calories can I eat in a day? (READ: I become psychotic.) Clearly, this is not sustainable for me nor anyone else really. 

    Moving on - so what SHOULD you do for exercise?  Stick with one thing? Mix it up? Machines? Aerobics? Weights only? Weights and cardio? Cardio? Crossfit? Yoga? Zumba? Pilates? Yozumbalates? <-- No one steal this idea.  I may be on to something here! ;)  I guess what you choose depends on how you want to look?  I don't think any exercise (in moderation) can really be bad for you, but you can't expect muscles if you're only doing cardio.  You wont necessarily burn all of your fat if you're lifting weights.  You want to make sure you're doing something fun so maybe you want to throw in dancing or pilates?  For me, I think the best combination (arrived at through much trial and error...mostly error) is Crossfit and weights.  Ask anyone - I wasn't sold on weights AT ALL prior to last Christmas.  However, they 100% made the biggest change to my body I've ever seen. (and quickly)  I really miss lifting weights and I hope that soooon I will be back at a CF I like and I can resume them.  I think intense cardio (aka kickboxing or CF) will be my key to making the rest of the changes I would like to happen.  I suppose you also have to do what you're motivated to do or perhaps not if its not giving you the body you want?

    As much as I have read and experienced I still don't think I have this figured out.  I ran onto an article yesterday about residual fat being attributed to eating fructose.  I, of course, curse this article because I like to eat fruit.  Cavemen had fruit...that's not exactly fair now is it?  Fruit might not affect some people, but it could be my hang up.  This food peice continues to stump me.  What is acceptable to my body and what isn't?  I 100% think that gluten is not a friend, but dairy? I'm still undecided.  Carbs are a "frenemy."  They seem ok and harmless, but then they take up permanent residence on and around my butt. 

    Back to my orignial do you know what works?  I guess trial and error, educating yourself, and trying to control the other variables in your life that might be impeding your progress.  As for me, I think I've made progress, but it will be an ongoing experiment to determine the best approach.  I guess I just have to become okay with that!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Post Vacation Update

    Hey blog fans its been a busy few days since I updated last.  I do have some cool things to share with you, though! 

    • I started kickboxing.  I was complaining to Mark about not really working hard in a workout (especially with Zumba) and that I was missing some intense cardio.  As I'm sure I mentioned in previous posts, I've lost around 15 lbs and I've been able to maintain that with just a little bit of flux.  (Whoo freakin' hoo!)  I know that I've lost muscle since I quit OLY lifting temporarily, but I'm sure I can get that back quickly.  My only real complain is that I'm still packing a little layer of fat on my hips and thighs and I. want. it. gone.  I think for now, without Crossfit, blasting it with cardio is the way to go.  Enter kickboxing.  Mark does this weekly and I've never really been very interested.  He mentioned me trying it and I actually liked it.  It was tough and a definite workout, but its fun.  I've been twice now and Mark has only sustained one injury from me so far. ;) 
    • Mark and I took an impromptu vacation to Savannah, Ga and Hilton Head, SC, over the last weekend.  Oddly enough, it was my first time being in the Atlantic Ocean.  The beach at Tybee Island was relaxing and I got to shop at a really a huge outlet mall. Overall, I think a weekend away was much needed and I'm glad Mark set up the trip for us!
    • I weighed myself last night and I was 142.8 - which I was VERY happy about.  I've been cheating and eating carbs left and right.  I had 2 days last week where I stuffed myself with pizza, had airport food, ice cream, crab cakes, and a gyro.  All this and I'm still 142?  I'll take it.  It's back to eating paleo, now.  It just feels better to eat that way, even though crap food tastes good.   
    • On a similiar topic, none of my pants fit.  This is a good thing, however, I hate the thought of having to buy all new pants.  I DREAD shopping for pants.  I have the weirdest body shape.  I'm tall, but I don't have extremely long legs so my inseam is inbetween regular and long.  I'm very skinny around the waist, but I have a bigger butt and thighs so trying to accomodate all of that sucks.  I have an extremely long torso so low waisted jeans are not flattering on me and that's all they make now it seems.  I don't like funny washes or details on jeans.  I just want a plain dark wash.  I have discovered that this is impossible to find!!  Of all brands, I found that Jessica Simpson jeans at Macy's were close to what I needed, but not perfect.  They were only $60 though, so they were sufficient for now.  I am totally open to suggestions. 
    • One of my very best friends is moving back to Chicago.  I cannot wait.  I have been without an old (affectionately old) girlfriend here in the city for a loooooong time.  I miss girl stuff.  Don't get me wrong I like my sports and tomboy stuff, but I need elevated levels of estrogen.

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Short and Sweet

    Today was my Friday and it was another good day.  I got a lot of things accomplished.  :)  I like when I go home feeling like I've made progress.  I'm most proud of the fact that I ate pretty strictly again today and even passed up cake and fudge at work without batting an eye.  Its been a while since I've been able to do that.  I am still having a bit of dairy for the calcium.  Food log goes like this:
    • Coffee with heavy cream
    • Chai Latte -> I'm not perfect, ok :)
    • Mixed veggies, chicken + broccoli
    • Buffalo burger, cucumbers
    Food may have gone well, but the bright spot in my day was the baseball tickets I received as a gift.  It's always nice when people appreciate the things you do.  I've only been to one baseball game so far this year so this will be good.  (I do wish that I was still able to walk to Wrigley, rather than drive!) 

    Tomorrow I'm getting my car back.  I left it at home last weekend because it was making a crazy noise.  My dad gave me his car to drive around so if you saw me this week that's not my Mitt Romney sticker.  :P 

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Great Mood :)

    Inspite of a lot of stresses, I was in a fantastic mood today.  Numerous reasons, but I'm so excited that my best friend is moving back to Chicago.  Its been quite a while since I've had good "girl time" with her and I'm looking forward to doing all the stuff that girls do! ;)  Another friend got some really good news and called to share it with me.

    I FINALLY saw The Dark Knight Rises last night!  I had lowered my expectations for it because I've always been so in love with the second installment, but it did not disappoint.  There was a solid story (holy twists and turns, batman!) and of course, the effects were cool.  I would gladly see it again to try to pick up on anything that I might have missed the first time!  The sleep deprivation was totally worth it.

    I was introducted to the iced chai tea with coconut last night at Argo.  Not sure how, but its better than the ones from Starbucks.  Its probably a good thing I don't have access to this on the regular.  I have limited myself to 3 of these this week, instead of daily.  #progress

    I left work tonight hoping that I could speed home, change, and run to Zumba.  My usual 30 minute trip took 50 so there was no way I was going to make it back over to Arlington Heights in time.  Its probably a good idea to just start keeping clothes in my car so I can just head straight over there.  There's class again tomorrow, so I'll go to that. 

    My cute new Tory Burch shoes showed up in the mail today and I love them!! :)  They will definiately become a new staple. 

    I ate very strictly today.  I started the day off with coffee with a bit of heavy cream and then I had some strawberries.  For lunch I had a Chipotle salad with pork.  For dinner I had a fish burger (sounds gross, was decent) and some salad.  Feels good to have had a "clean" day! :)

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Back to Blogging

    I know it has been months since I made my last post.  I've been thinking a lot lately about how fun I thought it was to share things with you guys earlier in the year and I want to start doing it again.  I also need to have some accountability for changes I'd like to make going forward. 

    So why did I quit blogging before?  Honestly, a combination of a lot of things.  I got disappointed in myself with lifting and Crossfit.  Because of some changes in my work life and a lot of traveling I couldn't make it to class hardly at all.  Since the middle of May I've been to CF 5 or 6 times.  When I did go to those classes, my performance had decreased and that was difficult on me mentally, even though its the logical thing.  In June, Mark and I decided that to save some money we would not renew our lease and we would move out to the 'burbs for a while until we figured out what we wanted to do.  It was probably the best decision for us, but not being in the city is depressing to me.  The overall point here is that I could have continued to post, but I thought it best to stop when I felt like all of the things I had to say were negative.  Who wants to read that all that time?

    Today is July 24th, which is hard to believe.  I've had several weeks of haitus from pushing myself in the gym regularly.  I've been off and on with my paleo diet.  Its time to make some changes.  I am not thrilled with the CF gyms out in the 'burbs.  One of them wants you to show up, do your skill work on your own (unsupervised) and then partake in a quick wod.  It just doesn't seem right that someone isn't looking at my technique.  Also, the first night I tried them out the trainer tried to change my snatch technique a ton and I know that if there's ONE LIFT that I rock at....its snatch.  I'm not changing.  Sorry dude.    I haven't made it over to Crossfit Rise yet to work out.  It's on my to-do list.  Even though its been so hot, I've forced myself to run at night to do some activity.  To my surprise running doesn't seem nearly as horrible as it used to.  Surely because I have more endurance, I'm stronger, and I'm 15 lbs lighter than I've been in a while.  I also returned to Zumba last night, which didn't make me sweat.  I used to leave class panting and exhausted, but I felt like I barely worked last night.  Perhaps its the routines she was teaching or my own personal changes.  Even though it wasn't that taxing it was still fun and I'll probably keep doing it while we're out in the 'burbs. 

    I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks, but the fit of my clothes hasn't changed.  I dropped to about 137 lbs in early June - loss of muscle probably.  My jeans that I had just gotten in the spring were falling off of me. If I had to guess I'd say I'm about 142 right now.  Enough background....get to the new plan, right?  Ideally, I will return to CF and strict paleo.  The combo of those 2 things seems to be the best thing for my body.  I would love to supplement that with Zumba or yoga for the cardio and the stretching. 

    In the past couple of weeks I've gotten to do a lot of things for myself to help with stress.  I got a really awesome massage at Asha in Schaumburg and I got a pedicure at this place I LOVE in Rolling Meadows.  (Honestly, if you live by LeBleu and you don't go there.....your loss.  They will spend quality time on you and its cheap!)  I also splurged and got a haircut at Asha, too.  I've gotten some skinny clothes and thrown away or donated my "fat" clothes.  I ordered myself a really cute pair of Tory Burch flats and I'll probably wrap up this Month of Erica with a new purse. :)  [Stay tuned...I have my eye on a few different ones.]

    Goals for the Month of August
    1. Exercise (in some way) at least 4 days per week.  I am not sure if CF is in my August future, but running, Zumba, or yoga should be. 
    2.  Quit drinking Starbucks iced chai tea lattes with whole milk all the damn time otherwise I will have to enroll in an addictions program
    3.  Blog daily
    4.  Weigh in at the end of the month at no more than 140 lbs

    I hope everyone wants to follow this again and leave me comments. I always geeked out on looking at the number of hits I had every day.  :)  #lovegraphs

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    3500 m row

    Well, I hoped for an exciting WOD today and I think that worked out.  It's row 2000 meters, take a break, row 1000 meters, take a break, and row 500 meters.  I love to row!! :) I'll report on how it goes later.  I think I'm going to the 7 or 7:30 WOD.

    Update:  Rowing 3500 m wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. 
    • 2k m = 9:23
    • 1k m = 4:50
    • 500 m = 2:15
    The only part of the the whole workout that was hard was the last 400 m of the 2k row.  I think I could have finished well sub 9 mins if I hadn't pooped out towards the end of that. 

    To review my food for the day:
    Breakfast = chicken sausage scramble with peppers and onions
    AM = coffee with coconut milk for cream
    Lunch = left over shepard's pie
    Snack = almonds + coconut shreds, grapes
    Dinner = TBA

    I've been stressin' about my "trouble spots" lately - namely my lower abs and thighs.  My abs, however, over the past few days have looked pretty good so I'm excited about that.  (Maybe we'll actually do pictures one of these days?)  I'm still in a love/hate relationship with the lower half of my body.  Somedays I think it looks different and other days I think it looks grossly out of proportion to the rest of my body.  (Hello, body dysmorphia!) I didn't pass the "butt test" the other day at the gym, but I didn't really care.  My butt needed to shrink in size.  It's my upper inner thigh that is currently not budging and giving me fits. I swear its like the only thing keeping me from going down another pants size.   


    Monday, April 2, 2012


    I'm sure if we're Facebook friends you've maybe checked out the videos I posted yesterday.  If so, just deal with me reposting them here.  I am so freakin' excited about them!!  :)

    SNATCH:  That's not a very heavy weight on there (~ 22kg?), but I love how it looks like I throw it up there like its nothing.  I was telling Mark that the only time I feel that weight is when I'm first picking it up.  Otherwise, it just feels like it floats up above my head.  Very excited about snatching right now!!

    CLEAN and JERK:  So...that's about 40kg or so on the bar.  My form on this is not as good.  You can tell that I am more forward on my toes and the bar is going out a little bit in front of me.  All in all, I think it looks much better than when I started.

    I decided to take a break from OLY tonight and force myself to go to a regular WOD tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that I'm excited about it tomorrow when I check the website.  I PR'd on 2 lifts yesterday - Snatch 30kg and front squat 50kg.

    For lunch today I had the shepard's pie that Mark made yesterday.  I also had some almonds and coconut and a banana as a snack.  For dinner, I had some more of the left overs.  Tomorrow will be more of the same because there is a ton left, but I don't really mind.  Hey, its not a burger right?? :)

    Oh also, that's my new grey lulu shirt in the videos. It's awesome!  I really need little reason to justify it, but I will clean out the rest of my workout clothes that I'm not wearing to make room for some of my new things.  I cleaned out my regular clothes yesterday.  See ya later "fat" clothes and other things I never wear. :P

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012


    I'll lead with my semi-exciting news.  I weighed myself this morning - with pj's on - and I was 141.4.  That's good for having been back on a clean diet again for 4 or 5 days.  I'm sure I will be all sorts of excited when I'm under 140.  I think one of the things that is most exciting is being able to shop for new clothes.  I want to rid my closet of all of the things that are too big and just not go back there.  It makes me unhappy just to think about wearing those clothes. 

    If you remember, one of those goals was to have white jeans for the summer.  That'll be happening once I figure out what store makes the best ones for me.  On a side shopping note...what the heck is up with Target's clothes?!  I hate them.  They are my usual favorite place to shop for things for cheap.  (I have a clothing problem.)  Lately, I want to go back to the outlet mall in Aurora and cause some trouble there.  If I had my way I'd just own everything from J Crew and be done with it. 

    Occasionally, I find that I get once peice of clothing that I want in my mind and I'm honed in on it until I get it.  Right now, its a long sleeved Lululemon shirt.  Yeah, yeah, I know, its ridiculously over priced yoga stuff - BUT, its hella comfortable, made well, and all of the pants make my butt look good. (Which is obviously most important.)  I drug Mark to the store the other night in Lincoln Park, only to find out that they closed at 7.  WTH?!  I thought I'd outsmart Lulu and find one on Ebay, but they really weren't any more inexpensive there. 

    I went to CF last night even though I wasn't very excited about it.  I'm not sure if I'm getting bored or what.  I'm still making gains on my lifts so I'm not really sure of the reason.  We've done similar workouts before...snatch, hang clean, and, and front squat.  The percentage scheme was similiar for all 3: 60, 70, 75, 80, 85, 80 - all x's 2.  My front squats were the worst and I broke form and it was stressful on my back.  In my defense, this was like 45 kg' almost 100 lbs...and that's a lot for me.  I've noticed that I'm not making gains on the bigger squat movements like I am on the clean and jerk, snatch, ohs, etc.  I wonder why that is?  I've been around 100 lbs now for a while. 
    • 85% of my snatch is 24 kgs
    • 85% of my hang clean is 37 kgs
    • 85% of my front squat is 45 kgs
    Today is a rest day and an "I don't understand the WCCF workout" day.  It's 7 cycle thing with a minute of work and a minute of rest after each thing.  I just don't understand it. 

    Food has been back in check as I mentioned above.  This morning I had egg "cupcakes" as I call them.  They were little quiches made in a muffin tin.  For lunch I had....wait for it.....wait for it.......a BURGER and some avocado. Not sure what we're having tonight for dinner. 

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Sheepish Blog Post

    Okay, so I am a big, fat liar.  It's not on purpose, though.  Blogging falls off my list of things to do when I'm not excited about my blog topics.  :(  I really don't know what to do to get it back. On the bright side, I did eat paleo this weekend - finally - I strung together several days in a row without cheats. 

    Food doesn't taste as good and I'm not sleeping very well.  I find myself thinking that only a few things sound good when Mark asks me what I want for dinner ...usually this is a burger.  I can't even begin to tell you how many burgers we've eaten in the past few weeks.  Both times we've eaten out its been...DMK or Burger Bar (I'll review below).  I've been on this burger thing since before I went to China.  Don't read this like the only thing I'm eating is burgers and nothing else.  I'm eating other things.  Its just the only thing that really tastes good is a burger.  Yesterday, we looked through a paleo cookbook and found a few things.  Mark made mahi mahi fish tacos last night and they were pretty good.  I can't remember all of the other things we picked out, but the pictures peaked my interest.  Let's hope they're good. 

    The past couple of weeks I've had horrible sleep.  Partially, this is my fault because I'm not winding down to go to bed until 11:30 pm.  Sleeping 6 hours on the regular is not working for me.  I am having to down huge cups of coffee.  Even 7 hours last night did not make my body happy.  I'm convinced that we need a new mattress. 

    I went to CF on Thursday night.  The workout was light.  It was OHS, which I PR'd on and then a strict press.  Strict press was much tougher for some reason.  After that I did pull-ups and box jumps.  I didn't go to CF on Saturday.  I wanted to go to the lake to run/walk, but that didn't end up happening.  Sunday's plan was to go to open gym at CF, but again, it didn't happen.  Back to the grind this week, I guess.

    I keep thinking that I need to take my pictures again, but it just seems like whenever I'm thinking about it I can't do anything at that moment. Then, I forget.  At this point, maybe we'll wait until the beginning of next month.  I doubt my measurements have changed much as my weight's been back up and back down again.  I haven't weighed myself since the other day and I was 144.  I would assume that since I was good over the weekend that its probably the same or maybe a little less.  I haven't attempted my "skinny, 143lb" pants lately.  I should do that.  I have noticed that it is infinitely easier to get dressed in the morning when I don't have to worry about what fits me.  Everything I own fits me and lots of things are big.

    As I mentioned above we've eaten out twice recently - at 2 burger places.  Last week we went to Burger Bar.  I had the forgeddaboutit' burger.  It's a grass fed patty, then tomatoes, procuitto, and some amazing sauce (probably not paleo exactly).  I didn't have the bun, but added sweet potato fries.  As you can imagine, its not hard to eat paleo at a burger place.  On Saturday night we ate dinner at DMK, which is one of my favorite places.  I had my usual, bison burger with onions and goat cheese.  We shared some sweet potato fries.  Two thumbs up for both places for taste and ease of paleo ordering.  We will definitely go back, especially while I'm addicted to burgers.  

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    After much discussion, Mark and I both agree that we need to recommit to our resolutions. We've leaked and strayed enough that we're unhappy with how things are going. Without planning for the week, we often cheat. One of us *cough* Mark *cough* eats candy at work even!!! ;) Nevertheless, we'll blog again and hold each other accountable.

    We drug ourselves to oly tonight after a quick nap. For it being hot and me being tired I lifted pretty well. It was a light workout with us only getting to our 90% of clean and jerk and back squat. We worked up to the 80% on hang snatch. Mark can let you know how his went. :)

    Tomorrow I'll blog about food and get back into my posts.

    Monday, March 19, 2012


    I started this post on Friday and never got a chance to post it....

    FRIDAY - 3/16
    I've been debating whether or not to share this information with the blog for a couple of reasons.  I've been doing so well and I don't want to have to admit publicly that something has gone wrong this week.  But since I've tried to be brutally honest on here I've decided that I'll its only right that I do.

    I'm sure there's a number of things playing into this, but I weighed myself this morning and I was 145.8.  I freaked.  I nearly cried.  I complained and I didn't listen to a word Mark had to say when he was calming me down.  That's a MONTH's worth of progress gone this week - if that's true.  Now that I'm slightly calmer I'm trying to figure out what's going on.  I had some cheat foods this week - pad thai, pizza, and wings + fries.  However, to legitimately gain that much weight I'd have to have eaten like 15,000 extra calories, which I did not.  I have been very stressed.  Yesterday, I was very thirsty.  Maybe some of it is water weight?  Either way, I feel terrible about it.  I feel like I've totally failed at this right now.  I'm completely embarassed and frustrated.  I've worked so hard and it confuses me that I went on vacation and had cheat foods and didn't work out much and I didn't fluxuate, but here I've been working out and this happens?  How is this possible?

    I'm sure you know where this is going....I'm going back to paleo without cheats.  I cannot have come this far to only to slip back to where I was.  It's just not happening.

    MONDAY - 3/19
    Okay, so to update my weight first yesterday I was 141.8.  I felt relieved that it was back down and Mark was more convinced that it was just an outlier.  Maybe it was because of some salty food and water weight? I have no idea.  I'm just glad I'm going in the right direction again.  We're definitely going back to paleo still though. 

    Saturday was an OLY "meet" at the gym.  I was insanely nervous about doing this and almost skipped going to the gym all together.  Even though I didn't do my lifts in front of the entire group (nor did I want to) I got PR's on snatch and clean and jerk. 

    • Snatch: My previous PR was 26 kg and Saturday I put up 28 kgs.  That's 61.6 lbs. 
    • Clean and Jerk: My previous PR was 37 kg and Saturday I put up 41 kg.  That's 90.2 lbs. 
    I was really excited when I finished that I'd put up good numbers!!

    Just to wrap things up I'll just say that things have been so busy that its been really hard to update.  I think part of my issue this weekend was the weight thing, but I've relaxed a bit.  We also hit up Burger Bar this weekend and I ate paleo so I'll review that asap. :)

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    80's Music

    I love 80's.  Mark and I are currently rocking out to Def Leppard.  We are horrible singers, but we try really hard.  :) 

    Food was not too good today.  We didn't wake up in time to make breakfast and by 10:30 am I was STARVING.  I microwaved my chili left overs around 12.  In the afternoon, I needed a coffee and so I made a run to the gas station to get that and some nuts to snack on.  For dinner, which we just finished, I had a buffalo burger and some nuts.  I passed on my broccoli because it just didn't look good.  To be honest, nothing really sounded good nor looks good.  I'm in a food funk. 

    The gym went well today.  There is a mock meet on Saturday so we're gearing up to peak then.  Tonight's workout seemed short, but it was heavy.

    Clean and Jerk -  %'s - 60 x 2, 65 x 2, 70 x 2, 75 x 2, 85 x 1, 90 x 1, 95 x 1
    • My original 1RM was 33kg, but tonight I put up 37 kg pretty easy.  That's 81.4 lbs.
    • Other lifts: 20kg, 28kg, 30kg, 35kg, 37kg (x 2)
    • No shoulder pain at all!!!
    Backsquat - %'s - 60 x 3, 65 x 3, 70 x 3, 75 x 3, 85 x 3, 90 x 3, 95 x 3
    • Not sure what my 1RM is exactly, but I based my %'s off of 110.
    • Squats were are follows: 35kg, 35 kg, 40 kg, 45kg, 47kg, 48kg
    • 48 kg is approximately 105 lbs so probably on target with my 110 max
    Clean Pulls - %'s - 95 x 2, 105 x 2, 105 x 2, 95 x 2
    • 26kg, 35kg, 35kg, 26 kg
    • This was ok.  It's a funny movement so I'm not the greatest at it yet.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012


    Sorry I've been neglecting the blog the past few days.  I'm not really sure why that's been happening.  I guess I haven't felt like anything I've been doing has been exciting enough to share??  In no way is my next statement a criticism of Mark, merely an observation:  When he's less serious about this stuff its easier for me to be the same way.  Mark's not eating a paleo diet, nor is he as motivated about the gym.  It's definitely infectious, but by no means an excuse for me.  I still have goals.  I need to remember that.

    I promised myself that I was going to go back to strict paleo this past weekend and that hasn't totally happened.  Sunday I had several desserts at Becca's shower and today I had pizza.  Starting tomorrow, I am committed to being back on track and not cheating.  I'm guessing my weight won't change too much this week if my metabolism is up, but it won't be a week of progress.  

    I couldn't believe it the other day when I got on the scale and it said 140.  I think I said, "oh my god, no way!" about 80 times in a row.  I can only imagine my excitement when its under 140 for the first time in years. :)

    Monday's CF workout was good:

    Snatch: 60% x 2, 65%x 2, 70% x 2, 75% x 2, 80% x 2, 85% x 2, 75% x 2
    • I started at 15kg and worked my way up to 26kg for my 80%, which if you stalk me and my percentages you would know is my 1RM.  I put it up easy, but when I told Cori it was a tie for my PR she said to stop.  I didn't do my 85% or 75% again.
    Front Squat:  60% x 2, 70% x 2, 80% x 2, 85% x 1, 90% x 1, 95% x 1
    • My FS 1RM is 101 lbs.  For my 85% I did 99lbs 3x.  My legs were spent after that so I finished up there.  But, 99lbs 3x probably means my 1RM is 110?
    Snatch Pull:  95% x 2, 105% x 2, 105% x 2, 95% x 2
    • I warmed up with 24kg because I had never done the movement before.
    • Then, I did 30kg, 34kg, 34kg, and 30kg again.

    I'm noticing that usually when I post I'm really excited to share my accomplishments, but not so much today.  I'm not writing as much, nor checking my notebook.  :(  

    Sunday, March 11, 2012


    The results from February:

    My initial reaction to my following stats was that of disappointment.  I didn't do as well this month as I had last.  But, then Mark and I were talking about the month and realizing that I missed a lot of days of training.  I was out of town for work in the middle of the month and then a week or so later I was in China.  My diet was not strict at all.  Keeping that in mind, I'd say I did ok.  I'll post pictures tomorrow.

    • Upper Arms (at bicep, relaxed):
      • Left: 11"     /     10.75" /        10.75"
      • Right: 11"     /     11" /        10.75"
    • Waist (at belly button):
      • 33"      /      28.5"   /          28"
    • Waist (at narrowest point):
      • 28"     /     26.25"/    26" 
    • Hips:
      • 41.5"     /     39" /   39"
    • Legs (mid-thigh, relaxed):
      • Left:   23"     /     21.75"/      21"
      • Right:  23"     /     21.75"/     20.25"
    • Waist to Hip Ratio:
      • .67      /      .67     /    .66
    • Weight:
      • 152.4     /   145/  140.2   <---- Umm, what?!  I was completely shocked.  

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Flu Bug

    Skip this first paragraph if you aren't interested in the bug that's put Mark and I under the weather this week.  I started feeling squeamish last Thursday before I left China, but after I got home I rested all weekend and started the week feeling tired, but ok otherwise.  Mark also started feeling weird the night before he left China, the following Tuesday.  We both had similar symptoms - stomach cramps, headaches, and just a general blah feeling.  We chalked it up to the food/water in China getting to our systems.  Back in Chicago, my symptoms returned and Mark's have continued.  We wake up most days with headaches that come and go all day long and stomach cramps.  Now that we've been home a while, I think that maybe we've had a low grade flu or virus.

    We didn't go to CF tonight, just to give ourselves another day of rest.

    Food Log for 3/8:

    • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs
    • Snack: blueberries
    • Lunch: Chipotle salad with chicken
    • Snack: mozzarella cheese 2 pcs
    • Dinner: hamburger with egg
    Today wasn't the best food day for me.  Its evident that when we don't plan ahead its harder to be more strict with paleo.  

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Hey so I'm back from Hong Kong and decided I should try to blog more regularly again. I have been terrible about it.

    I ate like crap in Hong Kong. I ate usually some rice based meal and pretty often went to burger king for lunch. I blame convenience mostly.  They spoke decent english there, but it was hard enough to order without trying to specify ingredients etc. Most menus had a ton of pictures and we'd just point.

    Breakfasts at the hotel were probably the easiest to control. I usually ate an omelette with peppers, onions, bacon, ham, and cheese. I also usually had smoked salmon and some sausage and whatever veggies they had plus some pineapple. I would also drink a few small glasses of whole milk (not paleo I know but I want to get used to dairy again and start introducing it).  There may have been a few times in there where I had a muffin or pancakes too, but that's neither confirmed nor denied :)

    Lunch while at work was always either traditional cantonese in the cafeteria at the airport office or in the food court at the terminal. I would usually get either some thai dish, dumplings or burger king (when I had had my fill of rice dishes, which occured a lot in the last week). Again, not one of those was paleo, but oh well. I was off the wagon for most of the trip.

    Dinner was all over the board. I went to outback twice (once w erica). We did some traditional chinese, and a few days early on I didn't even eat dinner cuz I was so jetlagged, I would fall asleep before dinner and sleep til 2 am. Of course, the problem with that was I was then wide awake til work and it was a pretty vicious cycle that took me a couple days to break.

    Oh well. Back to the norm now that I'm home. It was a fun trip i guess, but two and a half weeks was a lil long. I'm glad to get home and get back on track with training and food.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Crazy Weight and a PR

    Okay, so I've gone from the girl who didn't want to weigh herself all month when this started to the girl that weighs herself daily.  This morning I got on the scale when I first got up and I was 141 flat.  It's been 5 years since I've been this weight and I'm so excited about that.  I've noticed that I feel myself excited, but not because of a new I've never been thin, but the return of my old one....the way I always think of myself.  I'm back to my old self...and maybe a bit better since I was not lifting before.  It's a good feeling to know that I'm not going back there, bc paleo seems to work for me.

    So lots of awesome stuff happened at CF today.  I did the OLY wod and I was very tired [aka jetlagged] for the first part. Here was the workout:

    Snatch: 60 x 2, 65 x 2, 70 x 2, 75 x 2, 80 x 1, 85 x 1, 70 x 2  (%'s)
    • I was tired and sluggish during this.  I did manage to put up 25 kg or 55 lbs for my 85%...which looking back is 1 kg/2.2lbs off of my PR from before I went to China.  Not too bad when I look at it that way. 
    Hang Clean: 60 x 2, 65 x 2, 70 x 2, 75 x 2, 80 x 1, 85 x 1, 70 x 2 (%'s)
    • I'm still struggling with this a bit.  I keep jumping my hips foward a bit when I'm exploding up.  I did manage a good couple of reps towards the end.  I easily cleaned 77 lbs tonight. 
    Front Squat:  60 x 2, 65 x 2, 70 x 2, 75 x 2, 80 x 1, 85 x 1, 70 x 2 (%'s)
    • I lifted heavier on this than I intended too, but I PR'd so oh well.  My partner was lifting heavier and I think that motivates me to do more than what I do when I'm alone.  For my 85% I got 101 lbs/46 kgs.  Before China I PR'd at 44kg or 97 lbs.  :)
    In other good news, I did some pull ups during the warm up with a 1/2" band.  I got about 5 before my arms were cashed, but that's a new thing for me.  It will happen by the end of the month.  I will have at least one strict one. 

    I'm going to be so sore tomorrow!! I probably won't do the wod b/c Mark will be home by then and I want to see him.  I could probably use a rest day, too.

    Food was eh today.  I had a fried egg and 2 pc of bacon for breakfast.  For lunch I went to Buono Beef because I was craving a chicken salad.  I got the buffalo ranch one without corn or cheese.  Yes, there are tiny tortilla strips in there and buffalo sauce so not ENTIRELY paleo, but I wanted it.  Dinner hasn't really happened tonight - I got home, went to CF, ran to Whole Foods, and then talked to Erinn on the phone.  I'll probably graze before I go to bed.  Mark's home tomorrow though so he'll start cooking again. :)

    Gotta go! It's late and I need to shower.  I got this new macadamia oil hair mask thing and I really like it so I want to use it again today.  <-- Oh, the simple things that I enjoy!! :)

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Feb Progress and March Goals

    What did I want to do in February?  A little cut and paste job from a month ago:

    So, to get there I need goals for February:
    1) Weigh under 143
    2) Get my guy-style pushup
    3) Add at least 10 lbs to all of my lifts
    4) Do Fran again in under 7 mins with 40lb thrusters and a smaller band than before
    5) Do Zumba & Yoga on Sundays

    How did I do? 

    1)  CHECK!  I'm 142.4 today.  I was 143.8 yesterday, but I'm back down today so I'm going to consider this met.
    2)  CHECK!  I accomplished this right before I went to China.  I can't string a bunch of them in a row yet, but that's ok!  Now to refine them and work on doing more.
    3)  CHECK!  I put more than 10 lbs on my snatch, OHS, press,  and clean and jerk.  We didn't really work on back squat this month, so I can't say for sure on this.  I only did front squat once and I PR'd but I wasn't a max effort.  The last time I maxed I was at 92 lbs.  I easily put up 97 lbs the other night so I can assume that I can do 5 more lbs on top of that. 
    4)  I didn't have the opportunity to try Fran again. I hope to try it again this month.  I did accomplish some pull ups on a smaller band this month so that's progress there.
    5)  CHECK! I Zumba'd before I left for China and we went to yoga also.  We were gone for 2 of the Sundays - in Atlanta and the recent trip.

    4 out of 5  - Not too shabby.

    What to work for in March?

    1)  a strict pull up
    2)  10 push ups strung together
    3)  A regular WOD a week or yoga + OLY
    4) Average 7 hours of sleep per night
    5) Return to paleo - another pretty strict month

    I am having more trouble with adjusting my sleep patterns back to normal now that I'm home than I did in China.  Both nights I've been back I've struggled to sleep before 2:30 am.  Last night I ended up taking a tylenol pm around 3:30 am.  I wanted to stay in bed this morning and skip yoga, but I decided I should go.  I'm going to fight the urge to nap today and I will be taking another Tylenol pm tonight EARLY so I guarantee myself some zzzz's.  I should cook today, go through all of my emails, and do laundry. 

    Yoga went okay today.  I felt tired and tight, but that was expected.  Mark and I signed up for next Sunday already.  I like this yoga studio b/c its not so hot that I want to die.  Today it was warm enough to feel good.

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Braving the Scale

    I wondered on Facebook this morning the last time I'd been in bed since noon......probably a couple of years, if not longer?  Is that weird? At any rate, it was wonderful and I probably would have slept longer but a text beep woke me up.  I decided that it was time for a shower.  I know this is going to sounds so gross, but the last time I showered was....Thursday night in Hong Kong.  I traveled Friday and all I wanted to do was sleep when I got home.  I don't know what it is about showers but they always make me feel good.  That's probably why I like to stay in there forever.  It's too bad that we don't have endless hot water here anymore - 30 mins just doesn't cut it sometimes. 

    After my shower, I was standing at the sink and I could feel the eyes of the scale buring a hole in my back.  I didn't really want to get on it.  First I told myself, "No.  Don't do it. Give yourself a week to get back on track."  The scale continued its stare down.  I started to crack.  "Well...maybe it won't be that bad?  I need to know what damage I did."  The scale quickly won that show down.  I got on.  "Let's hope for 145 or under. I'll be "happy" with that."  ....143.8!  (Only a pound heavier than when I left.)  Not bad for all of the bad things I ate and for not really working out.  "I blame United for this and all of their stupid desserts,"  I added to relieve myself of any responsibility.  :)

    So, I slept through CF today.  I woke up at 8 to use the bathroom and I thought about staying up for about .4 seconds.  I added myself to the waitlist for yoga tomorrow morning at 10 am, so I hope I get into that.  I think the sweating and stretching would do me good.  I guess if that doesn't work out I'll go to Zumba at 11. 

    I went to Whole Foods last night to get some groceries.  I actively tried to pick out more veggies along with my usual fruit staples.  I've been on a burger kick lately so I got 3 lbs of grass fed beef to make more of those.  I've been craving cheese so I got a little bit of fresh mozzarella, too. Eggs, bacon, and a few other odds and ends rounded out my shopping trip.  I'm feeling really uninsipired when it comes to recipes.  I'll try to find some new and exciting (read: easy) recipes. 

    Until I get motivated to get back out of bed I'll be right here watching HGTV.  :)

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Back Home

    It's good to be back home.  I arrived in Chicago around 11:30 am and after going through customs and taking the blue line back into the city I crawled into bed for a nap around 1:30 pm.  I hadn't slept well the night before - I always feel like I'm going to oversleep something a flight.  Mark and I went to breakfast at 7 am and then took the train out to the HK airport so I could try to get on the non-stop flight home.  With the flight leaving at 11 am (HK time) they cleared the standby list at 10:15 am and I had to hurry to get through immigration and security.  I made it on the flight, but had to be in coach. I can entertain myself, but the ability to lie flat in the first leg of the trip was crucial.  Also, if my Nook wouldn't have frozen on BOTH trips...that would have been awesome!! 

    Another reason I'm glad to be back home is my ability to control my food better.  I know that I made choices this week to stray from paleo and that's not what I'm refering to.  There were times when I wanted to eat differently and couldn't.  For example, on the way home there weren't many food options.  Pretzels were our first snack and then a chicken dish with rice and a roll was served.  The portions were small, so I felt obligated to eat my roll and also the dessert just to fill up.  Midway through the flight they gave us a snack back with a banana, tort, and crackers inside.  Again, not knowing if they would feed us again until we were close to Chicago, I ate it.  I needed to snack again before breakfast so I snagged another banana from the kitchen.  For breakfast, they gave us eggs, a sausage link, and 2 hashbrowns and a pastry.  (Honestly, United...what's up with all the desserts?!)  I'm happy to be able to go back to my routine.  I know I traveled and my body clock was off for days, but I felt like my change in diet made me sluggish and hungry all the time. 

    Another thing I'm looking forward to is going back to CF.  I want to be back on track with things.  We'll do measurements and etc when Mark gets home.  I doubt I could do all of that myself anyways - accurately.  Tonight, I'm going to lay low and try to catch up on my sleep.  I might venture out to get some groceries and get out of the house, but not much else. :)  I'm totally okay with that. 

    Looking back on the trip I'm really excited to have had the opportunity to go.  Overall, traveling wasn't bad and China was fun.  I was glad to see Mark and to spend the day with him on Wednesday when he took the day off.  :) 

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    HK Update #2

    Hello again from Hong Kong!  It's Wednesday am, 2/29 here.  I was just laughing with Mark about the fact that I haven't updated in a few days and its probably because I'm ashamed to report what I've been eating.  :P That's part of it, but also no real exciting gym updates either.

    So, I'll just air all of my cheats now and get it over with.  There's a Subway across the street from the hotel and I've had that twice when we were in a hurry and grabbing snacks on the go.  Breakfast buffets at the hotel haven't included all paleo options and in order to feel full I've had to include things like hash browns and dumplings.  Yesterday, I was ambushed by a small box of Danish cookies....I didn't want them to get the best of Mark so I ate them to protect him.  The things I do for him, right?  :)  Last night for dinner we grabbed some happy hour snacks - some may have been deep fried.  This morning for breakfast I had a ham and egg sandwich and a cinnamon danish.  I was really fighting with myself over food choices, but I decided that while I'm on vacation I need to relax.  Paleo will be there in Chicago when I get back.

    Monday I blogged a bit about Crossfit here in HK, but I don't think I described the workout.  It was a 30 minute amrap of 10 burpees, 15 box jumps, and 5 clean and jerks.  Mark and I were on a team together and in 30 mins we got through 6 full rounds.  It was a decent workout - pretty tough.  I know I held us back but really only on the box jumps.  (6 x 2 mins = 12 x 2 people = Mark probably averaged about 2 mins per round and I was about 2:30 per round)

    Tuesday I hit up the hotel gym.  I did some squats and lunges, stability ball work, and a couple of machines.  I rode the bike for about 10 mins or so to cool down.  Yesterday, I didn't feel like going to to the gym because I wanted to shower and head out.  I should go today just to stay in the swing of things.

    As far as activities go, I've been walking around  a lot during the day.  Monday I explored around TST (a neighborhood...think Lakeview)  which surrounds the hotel.  There's a ton of shopping and stores (Erinn, you would love!!).  Yesterday, I ventured out a little farther to the Rodeo Drive of TST called Nathan Avenue.  I went in a bunch of places, but didn't really buy anything.  There's obviously high end things, but also very moderately priced things.  My hold up on the cute stuff is that I'm not sure what the store's equivalent is in the US...Forever21? TJ Maxx?  I don't want to spend money on something that is going to fall apart in 2 seconds.  I got a pedicure while I was out yesterday, too.  Last night, Mark and I went to Mong Kok to find some street vendor shopping.  We were pretty successful with finding gifts for people.  I'll do some more shopping today, too.

    I think tonight we are going to head to Victoria Peak to see the sights.  As far as tomorrow goes, my last day here, I'm not sure what I'll do.  Maybe get a massage?  Gear myself up for the flight home.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    First class cashew fairies

    The blogger website is only showing up in Chinese for me on Chrome so I'm going to do my best to update.  I have so much to say since the last time I posted, but I'm going to try to keep it brief because I have some exploring to do while Mark's at work.  First off, its Monday morning at about 10:30am for me here we're about 14 hours ahead of home.

    If you talked to me in the days before I left you know that I was nervous about the flight.  As it turns out, getting first class rids you of all of those worries.  First was incredible!  I've never been in first on an international flight so I'm sure it was painfully obvious to everyone sitting around me that I had no clue how to work anything or that there was a snack station at the front of the cabin the WHOLE time.  :)  I'm experienced now, so *hopefully* on the way home in first I'll seem like a pro.  The 15 hours and 45 mins went by fairly quickly with a combination of movie watching, tv watching, listening to early 90's music, snacks, naps, and reading.  I kept myself busy and it wasn't until maybe...2 or 3 hours left to go that I got a little restless.  Conclusion:  I am a spoiled flying brat now.

    As far as food on the plane - I tried to keep it paleo without being a pain in the ass.  I took a brief nap and when I woke up there were warm cashews sitting next to me.  How could I disappoint the cashew fairies that visited me while I was enjoying my first of four Tylenol pms?  Simple, I couldn't.  For an appetizer they they use braized duck with a yellow curry sauce and crab cakes.  Delish!  Then, a mushroom soup and a salad followed that.  My main course was mahi mahi with a sweet potato souffle thing and some steamed spinach.  At some point later on in the flight I asked if the cashew fairies could return.  This time they also brought an apple.  Breakfast as we were approaching China was fruit, yogurt....and a croissant.  I didn't really want the croissant, but I was unsure how long it would be before I ate again.

    The first night Mark and I went to dinner and then I needed to crash.  I timed my sleep on the flight well, so my jet lag has really been minimal.  Sunday morning we ventured over to the only CF in Hong Kong.  I wasn't impressed and they were sorta a-holes about giving us a shirt when we brought one from WCCF to trade.  Later in the day we took a 1 hour ferry to Macau, a neighboring province, to spend the day with an old friend of Mark's who lives there.  Macau was a juxtaposition of OLD Portuguese and Chinese architecture (like 1480's) and Las Vegas.  I mean, literally, we were standing on top of an ancient military fortress looking at the casino - completely illuminated from foundation to top with flashing lights.  Bryan got us tickets to Dancing Water, which is a Cirque-like show.  Incredible!!!  I'll try to find a link to the website and post it here later.

    We had a traditional Chinese dinner last night at a nice place inside one of the casinos.  I even successfully at noodles with chopsticks.  This morning we hit up our hotel for breakfast and I had some more cheats.  (Paleo will begin again in full swing when I get home.)  Their take on American food here isn't bad for breakfast.  I tried to french toast, eggs, hash browns, etc.  Not too bad.  I'll have to figure out something for lunch today by myself as Mark is at work until 5pm.

    I'm going to hit up the hotel gym and see what that's like.  I realize I'm on vacation, but I don't want to sacrifice my motivation to go and I have the time.  After the gym, I'm going to venture out on my own for a bit.  :)

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Eve of the Hong Kong Flight Blog

    Unfortunately, I am not any less stressed or anxious about the HK flight tomorrow than I was yesterday.  I'm not sure if this is unqiue to me, but whenever I travel I always picture a map in my head and I think here's where I started (ok, Chicago) and now here's where I am/am going.  Whenever I do this for this trip I start to sweat.  I'm going to force myself in a minute to finish up my packing and go to bed. 

    I ate a late dinner with my friend, Dave, after Crossfit.  We ordered pizza.  Originally, I was going to experiment with gluten-free pizza, but I couldn't find a normal size pizza that got a good review.  Anything decent was the size of a personal pan pizza.  We ended up going with the regular pizza route from Ranalli's.  It was pretty good, but not tempting enough to go back to eating it all of the time.

    Crossfit was good tonight, but I didn't think it was going to start out that way.  Warming up I felt pretty weak.  Sometimes I think I feel that way if we're doing lifts that I don't like or struggle with [aka clean and jerk] as a part of escape maintained behaviors.  Tonight we were doing overhead squats and they're my second favorite thing, so when light weights felt heavy I started to gear myself up for a less than stellar performance.  We were supposed to max this out tonight and I think I did a pretty good job with that.  I didn't fail, but my last 2 reps were pretty hard so I'm guessing I would have failed on the next round.  I didn't realize it when I stacked the weights but I had 31 kg on there which is about 68.2 lbs.  That beat my previous PR of 29 kg.

    The second part of the workout was push press.  I also did really pretty well with this.  We weren't going for PR so when I'd done 6 sets - following Cori's percentage scheme I moved on.  I think my 85% rep was also 31kg.  These lifts actually went up really easy. :)

    For my individual assignment I worked on clean and jerk.  I kept the weight pretty light because on my first attempt I felt the shoulder pain.  I did 20kg, 20kg, 21kg, 22kg, 23kg and then I stopped.  After the first set I didn't really feel any pain, but I didn't want to chance hurting it again. 

    To finish the workout, we had to do 30 GHD situps and 25 pull-ups.  GHD sit ups make me feel nauseas.  I can make it through the first 10 and then after that I literally have to stop after every 2 and compose myself.  I struggled through the second 10 and then decided I had to stop.  The nausea didn't wear off for probably a good 15 mins after I got home.  Pull-ups were good!  I used 3 REALLY skinny bands to do them.  They were strong...maybe my best sets yet. 

    Here's a run down of my food for the day:
    • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 pc of bacon, coffee
    • Snack: fruit
    • Lunch: fruit and yogurt, 2 hard boiled eggs, coffee
    • Snack: hamburger with tomato and guacamole
    • Dinner: 2 slices of sausage, mushroom, and onion pizza
    I'll try to keep up on posts while I'm gone.  I'll be 15 hours ahead there, so my posts will show up at weird times - not the usual 7 - 10 pm at night.  I'm really excited that we've still had a lot of readers this month - thanks for always checking the blog out. :)