US Wellness

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. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I have been on the verge of tears all day.  I came home from work tonight at 6:20 pm in time to change, grab a quick snack, start some laundry and then run to the gym for 7 pm Oly class.  Well....I got home, did all of those things, and then looked around and thought all at once - Laundry!, Crossfit?, packing!!!, dishes!, errands, work, which suitcase?, what to pack?, I wonder how the flights look?, how will I get it all done!?, I'm hungry!!, I'm tired. What will I take for lunch tomorrow? I hate cooking! Ahh! It's now 7:17 pm and I'm sitting on the couch trying to chill out.  Unfortunately, I knew that to feel better I needed more time to accomplish things tonight, so I chose not to go to CF.  I'm disappointed, but I instantly felt better knowing I had some breathing room.  So, I should make this a quick update in order to make the most of my time.

My sleep quality last night was terrible.  It's rare that I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  I struggled with both last night and that is evidenced by my dark under eye circles.  I'd probably fit in with a pack of raccoon right now about.  I was incredibly pale today  ...and while I'm thinking about it I'll go for the trifecta - my hair was a hot mess today as well.  Sorry if you had to see me in person. :)

I made myself scrambled eggs and bacon today (again).  Its easy and I can't screw it up.  Lunch was the other bison burger that I made last night.  I didn't have a chance to snack today, but there were veggies and 2 hard boiled eggs in my bag.  While cooking dinner I ate a banana and then a piece of salmon that I covered with seasoning and lemon juice.  I really try to like fish, but yuck...most of the time I just think its gross.  (PS. Dad, I forgot it was Ash Weds so try to over look that I ate meat.)  I had some coffee with heavy cream.

I have to cook some more tonight for tomorrow's lunch and dinner and then pack my lunch.

I will go to CF tomorrow.  I'm concerned about how my numbers will be at the end of this month.  I'm also excited to see how things went with my goals and to set some new ones, too.

I'm flying to Hong Kong on Friday!!! [insert excitement and also panic]  I'm so happy to see Mark and spend some time in a place I'd probably never have gone.  I'm nervous to fly and to have to entertain myself for 15 hours.  (Another thing I have to do - load my new ipod.)  I think I have enough books - one hardcover and 4 Nook books.

Okay, gotta get movin'!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quick Update

Just a quick update about food today.

Today was my first workday of making breakfast for myself.  It went okay and Mark and I were skyping while I was cooking so it was almost like he was there lurking over me...silently judging my cooking like he usually does.  What?!  Did I just go there?! Sorry, babe! ;)  I made 2 fried eggs and 3 pc of bacon.  The keurig made me some Starbucks Breakfast Blend with heavy cream.

For lunch, I had 2 grass fed hot dogs...which might sound gross, but are totally amazing.  I'm kinda sad that was the last 2.  I also had some strawberries and blueberries throughout the morning and afternoon.

Before I left work, I snacked on some cucumber pcs and broccoli and also a banana.  (So much for cutting back on fruit?!)   I just finished eating dinner - yes, this late - and it consisted of a bison burger and 2 small pc of organic cheese.

No CF today.  I needed a rest after yesterday.  I'm going to *try* to go tomorrow night.  I have to finish packing so I'm not trying to do that Thursday night.

Alright, gotta shower and hit the hay!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank you, Presidents

Having an extra day off is exactly what I needed.  I feel well rested today and ready to take on this week before the trip.  All of the laundry is put away.  (If you know me, this is a miracle!)  The dishes are done and I've even accomplished some work from home.  I started laying out a few outfits for HK - according to everything I've found online I should wear black, bring layers, and bring comfy shoes.  That seems pretty easy.

Before I blog about food and CF plans for the day I want to share a virtual post-it that I found that seems perfect.  Erinn, this is for you. :) 

I ate dinner with Mark's parents last night.  They made stuffed salmon, mashed potatoes, and spinach salad.  Not 100% paleo, but it was really good!!  I also splurged and had 3 peanut butter cookies Girl Scout cookies.  As far as other food yesterday, I had eggs and a sausage slider and some fruit (mango strawberry mix).  Earlier in the morning I had an apple and some almond butter.

The plan for tonight is to go to CF at 7 for Oly class.  I've missed going to that and CF in general, actually. I'll update this post later to include details from the workout.   

UPDATE: Food and the Oly Workout

Okay, so first, the wod.  Before I even get into numbers let me just say that tonight was a good night!! I had 2 PRs. :)

  • Snatch: 60%, 70%, 80%, 85% (all x's 2), 90% x 1, 95% x1 or 1RM x 1
    • I started a little lower than 60% because I had been off for a week and I wanted to make sure I was warmed up.  So my numbers were as follows:  10 kg, 14kg, 16kg, 18kg, 20kg, 23kg, 25kg, and *26kg*  (57.2 lbs)  
    • That's definitely a PR for me as I think my previous best was 23 kg.  
  • Front Squat:  60%, 70%, 80%, 85% (all times 2), 90% x 1, 95% x1 or 1RM x 1
    • I started higher than my 60% this time because doing the bar is easier than trying to load the lighter bar with more weight and doing more math. :)
    • Lifts = 35kg, 35 kg, 36kg, 39kg, 42 kg, *44kg*  (97 lbs)
    • My previous best was 92 lbs and I actually did that a while back before Xmas.  I didn't fail on this attempt and I put it up with only a little struggle so I know its not a 1RM.
  • Hang Clean:
    • By this time I was tired!
    • 60%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 80% (all x's 2)
    • Lifts = 25kg, 32kg, 34kg, 39kg, 40kg (I failed on attempt 1 and decided I was spent)
  • Snatch Pull - I didn't get to.
After I got home from the office, I snacked on a couple pieces of cheese and 2 grass fed hot dogs with some mustard.  Dinner may be a piece of salmon....or a hamburger....I haven't decided.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Return to Zumba and 2 Exciting Pieces of News

I had the wrong idea today that Zumba would be a "piece of cake" because I'm a *ahem* Crossfitter now and I did it for solid year before we moved into the city.  About 30 minutes into it I looked for the clock and I was desperately hoping that it was 11:50 and we'd be cooling down soon.  [Insert face of disappointment here]  Honestly, the hour went pretty fast and it was fun, but I couldn't help but notice that my cardio ability was not as great as I'd hoped.  By the time a year had passed when I was doing it in the burbs I would dance my heart out for an hour and it hardly phased me.  In Crossfit we are doing some cardio activities, but just different things and for much shorter durations typically.  Rest is built into a lot of workouts.  I think I will probably try to keep up with Zumba to keep this piece going.  The challenge is how do I find time for CF and also yoga and Zumba? On a side note, I was a bit nervous about going to class this morning - the whole new girl who doesn't know the routines thing.  However, I think that I did pretty well on the fly and for being front and center in class.  :)

This post seems like it will be a bit sporadic because I have lots of things to comment on.  I'll jump to weighing myself.  As you know, I didn't do any CF this week and I had to do the best I could with paleo at Starved Rock and at my parents' house.  I'm happy to say that I weighed myself this morning and I was 142.6.  I maintained and that's awesome!!  I will be very glad to get back into swing of things with the gym again this week and then do my best to do some physical activity while I'm in China.

So for the 2 exciting pieces of news which are gym related:
1)  I did NOT ONE, BUT TWO 100% boy push-ups today in a row.  :)
2)  I've noticed that my legs no longer touch when I'm standing with my feet together - clothed or not.

I went to Whole Foods this morning post Zumba to stock up on some things for the week.  It was an expensive trip because I tried to get some things that were pre-cut, pre-packaged, and easy as I know this week is going to be hectic.  In terms of snacks I got some fruit and some veggies to supplement the nuts I had bought to take on the retreat.  For dinners I got some grass-fed buffalo meat (for burgers), a piece of salmon (You read that correctly, Mark), and some chicken breasts.  I also picked up some frozen veggies.  Simple is best for me right now.

I ran onto this article recently...maybe WCCF posted it? or I found it somewhere?  I can't remember. Why Women Need Fat  I was reading it more thoroughly this morning.  Maybe give it a look if you're struggling with the idea that you have to eat fats (omega 3, specifically).  I know this was something that I couldn't really wrap my brain around last spring.

I'm making the trip to Hong Kong this weekend to hang out with Mark.  I'm incredibly nervous about going for some reason.  I'm excited to get there, but its the travel part that is stressing me out.  As a friend suggested to me this morning I'll need to take a Tylenol PM when I get on the flight and sleep so that I'll be more in sync with HK time when I get there.  I hope that works because I don't want to waste a lot of time with jet lag.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Jeans Saga: Part 1 and Thoughts from My Mom

Jeans shopping  s-u-c-k-s.   (Its right up there with swimsuit shopping.)  Its easier to shop for jeans when you have plenty of normal options, but stores are full of cheap and tacky looking options right now.  Rips, fades, washes, and bedazzling - oh my!  Not to mention the ultra super low rise option?  My mom called them "Vagina Jeans" because your crack woudln't be the only thing showing if you wore them.  ;)  

Friday night I propositioned my mom to head into Peoria to shop.  She agreed and so we decided to start at Gordman's (because I didn't want to spend $$$$$ for jeans that might not fit me for too long) and if that didn't work - Bergners and maybe the Gap.  Gordman's was a joke.  Nothing even worth trying on.  Next stop - Kohls.  To my surprise they are now carrying Rock and Republic jeans which looked promising.  No luck.  Finally, we ended up at Bergners where I tried on a couple of Guess pairs and one Jessica Simpson pair.  I wasn't feeling confident about either, but to my surprise the Jessica Simpson pair worked.  They were $60 and I thought that was reasonable for a pair that I might not fit into if I lost much more weight. 

Backing up to my arrival at my parent's house I was showing my mom my need for new pants by pointing out the roominess in the waistband.  She didn't say anything there, but as soon as we go in the car she said that my face is very thin.  "You should probably stop losing weight"  she added.  I understand the concern about weight loss - afterall, I was the first person to tell Mark that I thought maybe he needed to stop.  However, I still think there are changes to be made - without dropping tons of weight.  I still have "problem areas" and I have high hopes that those will change.  It's not my goal to weight 135 lbs and be stick thin.  It's my goal to weigh what I will, but to decrease my body fat and increase muscle. 

Food recap from Friday - now:

Friday Brunch:
Scrambled Eggs

Strawberries with Almond Butter

Chili Colorado fajitas (minus the tortillas)
*chips and salsa (my mom made me)

Saturday Breakfast:
Scrambled Eggs
Coffee with Skim Milk (all they had here)

I looked into signing up for yoga tomorrow morning, but the classes and the waitlist are full.  I think I'll try Zumba again and then get back into CF this week.  I'll weigh myself when I'm back home in Chicago so I can use the same scale. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starved Rock: Day 1

I know that the first day of being at Starved Rock isn't over but I'll blog about food and my lack of physical activity. 

I'm glad that I thought ahead to bring lots of paleo-friendly snacks because there are zero options here if I was having to make decisions on the fly.  For breakfast this morning, I had a large cup of coffee with half and half (no heavy cream available) and a banana.  Mid morning I snacked on some almonds.  I thought I might be starving at lunch time, but my cravings were manageable.  For lunch they offered a buffet of cold cuts, salad, and etc.  I filled my plate with some roast beef, onion (with mustard) and some salad (with ranch).  I sampled a couple of other meats and I also had a TINY bit of potato salad. 

Dinner is going to be a bigger challenge as fried chicken is generally on the menu.  If I have that as my only option, then I'll remove the skin.  Surely there will be salad and veggies.  After dinner, I may have a couple of drinks, but I will definitely keep it light. 

I'm not even sure if there is a gym here....I would guess so?  Obviously I haven't gone to check it out.  I probably won't.  :P  I'll do a travel wod tomorrow at my parents' house. 

I forgot to mention the other day that Mark brought up the idea of adding a food review/critic section to our blog in which we document our trials and tribulations of eating paleo at restuarants.  I thought that sounded like a great idea so once we're back in the swing of things we'll start doing that. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overdue Updates

Things have been so busy the past couple of days that I haven't had much chance to update.  Both Monday and Tuesday nights we didn't go to CF as we both worked late and then celebrated Valentine's day yesterday. I'm feeling guilty about not being more motivated to go in the mornings, but this week I'm just not.  I'm not sure if we'll hit up the gym tonight either.  It's "Grace" (see below) tonight for the wod, so I would like to do that one for time and see where I'm at.  While I'm out of town for work I'm going to try to hit up the gym (if there even is one?) at Starved Rock.  It won't be CF, but the best I can do.  I guess this will be a rest week and that will just have to be okay!  Hopefully I can sign up for yoga this weekend and start the week off right.

Food has continued to go well.  The only cheats I've had were 2 chocolates the other night that Mark's mom bought us for Vday and some milk.  Other than that, I've been back to pretty strict paleo.  I can't remember exactly what I had on Monday for lunch (maybe steak and avocado?), but breakfast consisted of eggs and bacon.  Monday at the work Valentine's party I had a bit of fruit and a couple pieces of deli meat.  There were TONS of temptations there, but I stayed away from everything.  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for the will power that I have when I need it.  That night Mark cooked up a couple of sausages for a late night dinner/snack.  Tuesday I'm sure we started the day with eggs.  Lunch was 2 sausages and some pineapple and strawberries.  I made a paleo recipe for dinner and while I followed directions I didn't think it turned out very well.  The recipe was for chicken breasts with a sun dried tomato sauce and I'm not sure what I expected, but it was tooooo sweet.  Mark thought it was fine (at least he said), but I would never make it again.  Today we again had eggs and beef bacon.  For lunch I had 2 grass fed hot dogs, a banana, and some nuts.  Dinner will be grass fed bison burgers.

I was worried earlier in the week about having to eat at the work function and what I'd do for snacks.  At Whole Foods on Monday night I got some bananas, apples, and nuts.  I hope this helps me to keep any temptations at bay.  If dinners are as they've been in the past there are a lot of carbs involved.  :(  I hope that not a lot of people notice that I'm not eating them because I hate trying to explain paleo to people who aren't really interested in it.

Mark leaves tomorrow for Hong Kong, which changes my schedule around as I blogged about a few days ago.  Earlier to bed and earlier to rise so I can skype with him and make myself breakfast and lunch.  I'll be on the hunt for new recipes for the next few weeks too that aren't super complicated.  If anyone has any ideas for me that would be awesome.  I definitely have Erinn's salad ideas in mind.

I'll try to update as I can for the next few days!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hot Yoga

We started off our Sunday at Power Yoga Chicago in a bikram class.  Mark found a groupon a couple of weeks ago that got us 20 classes for $40.  If we go 4 times it pretty much pays for itself so there was no way that we could pass it up.  For those of you who aren't familiar with bikram its hot yoga.  The room today was heated to 90 degrees, which actually wasn't bad at all.  A couple of months ago I tried out Om on the Range and while I really liked it, the 110 degree bikram was a little overwhelming.  Class was 75 minutes and it went by pretty quickly.  I noticed that I've gotten a ton stronger from CF as the last class I was in I felt tired and had to take several breaks pretty early on in the class.  Today I felt awesome and totally in control of my body.  The squats we did were no problem for Mark or I.  I'm definitely excited to continue to go to class.  I may try and work it in a couple times a week for active rest.

I weighed myself this morning again and I was 142.8!  Can we say "Holy Shit?!"  I thought for sure I was going to be 144 because we'd eaten pizza last night.  Consider me thoroughly surprised and happy.  Prior to starting our challenge I would leave the house thinking that I looked okay and then I might catch a glimpse of myself in a store window and I'd be completely upset by how unflattering I thought I looked.  Today was different.  We went to the auto show and every time I saw myself I was shocked at how thin I was.  It was like me with a totally different body.  I'd been a thin person for most of my life so this feels much more normal to me.

After the auto show we went to Cafe Iberico to celebrate Valentine's Day early.  We ordered some stuffed tomatoes with goat cheese, ribeye, pork chops, octopus, chorizo, and some potatoes.  The food was pretty good.  I think I still prefer Cafe Ba Ba Reba, however.  We also killed off a half pitcher of white sangria.  Backing up to breakfast, we had 2 fried eggs and some beef bacon. 

Tomorrow I have to do the wod early because I won't be home until after 9 otherwise.  I hope its a good one.  I won't be able to make it to any OLY classes this week.  (Sorry Cori!!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Finally broke 143!!! :)

I was up early this morning due to some phone calls.  Before I managed to get back into bed for another couple of hours I weighed myself - 143.6 lbs. I don't think that I've been this weight since maybe 2007?  Its almost unbelievable to think that since January 1, 2012 I've lost almost 10 lbs.  :)  Motivation is feeling good today!!

I missed the 9 am OLY wod this morning because I had gone back to bed (as I mentioned above).  I drug myself out of bed for the 11 am class even though I tried to talk myself out of going.  My motivation had a minor blip there, but it returned once I got to WCCF.  The wod had a couple of parts:

  • Take 10 minutes to find your heavy triple for cleans
    • I started at 55 lbs and found my heavy triple at 75 lbs.  I pretty much knew were I was going to be with that so it didn't take me very long.  That might be my heaviest clean that I've done so far.  (So, this is definitely up more than 10 lbs from last month.)
  • 7 rounds as fast as possible:
    • 5 deadlifts (185 lbs was RX, but we did 100 lbs)
      • This part sorta sucked.  My form went to shit about 4 or 5 rounds into it.  100 lbs might have been a little bit ambitious for me today.  I know that my shoulders were rounding towards the last few reps.  
    • 5 box jumps (20")
      • These were fine.  I didn't feel winded when doing them at all. :)
  • 3000 meters of rowing - relay style
    • We decided to break it up into 250 m chunks and this seemed to be very manageable.  I love to row so this part was easy for me.
  • Overall time for the deadlifts, box jumps + row:  22:20

Here's a run down of food from yesterday:
Breakfast: eggs with veggies and spinach, coffee with heavy cream
Lunch: Chipotle salad with pork, fajita veggies, mild salsa and guacamole
Snack: banana
Dinner:  piece of steak and avocado

Today I think I"m going to make the paleo chili if I can get the meat un-thawed.  I forgot to pull it out last night before we went to bed.  Oops!  Also on tap for today is running a few errands and then picking Mark up at the airport.

Happy Saturday everyone!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Upcoming Anxiety

I don't want the title of the post to overshadow some good things that are happening at the gym (and I'll totally talk about those below), but first I am going to word vomit about some upcoming things that are going to interfere with paleo and CF. 
  • Next week I am going out of town for work from Wednesday - Friday.  I'll be visiting my parents' house on Friday night and staying until some point on Saturday.  This basically means that I'll be missing CF Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then also on Sunday (open gym).  Its also going to be a struggle to eat paleo while I'm gone as there won't be a lot of options.  I'm going to have to really plan and bring snacks.  I'm sure it goes as no surprise that I feel that this is really going to screw up my month and stall progress. :\  
  • Mark is leaving for China on Thursday.  I hope to talk to him as often as I can until I see him when I go to China to visit(!!!!), but with us being 15 time zones apart my early morning is his bedtime. This equals skyping at the butt crack of dawn, when I already struggle with hours of sleep.  Obviously, I'm happy to get up to be able to talk to him and "see" him, but the planning for it will be hard. 
    • On a completely minor (and spoiled) note related to this - I will now have to make myself breakfast everyday. 
  • I'm also going to China as I just mentioned above so I'll have to deal with the hotel gym and who knows what kind of food options while I'm there and also traveling.  I should shut up about this though, right?  I'm. going. to. China.  I'll try to table this so I can maybe ....enjoy myself?
  • I had some more cheats last night after CF.  Mark and I went with a few new friends to Black Rock to get wings and hang out.  I was really excited to go, even knowing that I was going to cheat, because I really want this social aspect of the gym to take off.  I had wings, some tater tots, and a light pilsner beer.  As you can imagine, I'm feeling a bit guilty today.
I'm overreacting and I know this.  There's just so much going on at once right now that it seems very overwhelming.  I'm trying to be so dedicated to making these changes and I'm so impatient with results.  I don't want set backs because I know me and how it will effect my motivation.  However, I know there are good things and experiences to come of this, too.  Its just a matter of pushing those thoughts to the forefront and pushing the other things into the back of my mind - and keeping them there.

Let me switch over to the good things so I can end on that.

  • I set a goal of increasing my lifts by at least 10 lbs each.  I don't think that is going to be a problem at all.  Last nights lifts were really pretty good. 
    • Strict OH Press: 50% x 3, 60% x 3, 65% x 3, 70% x 3, 75% x 3
      • I started with 15kg and eventually I got to 27 kg.  That's about 60 lbs.  What's cool about that is that I failed on it last week.  This week I did it with triples.  :)
    • Snatch: 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 90% x 3, 90% x 3, 80% x 3 
      • This also went pretty well.  I failed on my attempts when Mark was watching me, but that was just because he was watching me.  My 90% snatches were a little over 50lbs. or 24kg.  Last month I was at about 40 lbs.
    • Overhead Squat: 60% x 3, 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 90% x 3, 90% x 3, 80% x 3 
      • This is a lift I also really like.  My 90% attempts were at 68 lbs.  Last month that's what I predicted to be my 1RM.
    • Dead Hang Pull Ups: 5 sets of 5 reps – add weight each set
      • Pull-ups were probably the worst part of the workout.  I was still sore from the wod the other day.  I had to do them with the green band. Although I tried to get as high as possible while I still could so some were chest to bar.  I didn't add any weight.
  • Workouts seem easier.
  • I didn't really freak out last night when I failed on lifting attempts in front of people.
  • I haven't really had any crazy cravings since the cheats.  I worried that I might be "off the wagon" so to speak.
  • We are making friends at the gym.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The other things working against me

You always hear that, right?  What weight loss boils down to ultimately is that you have to burn off more than you take in.  In other words, your body has to run in caloric deficit.  I discovered an article yesterday (and of course, I can't find the link today when I want it) that suggested that that's only a piece of the weight loss puzzle.  Something that wasn't shocking to me is the interplay of hormones in weight loss.  It's 100000 times easier for guys to lose weight than it is for girls.  I swear, if Mark thinks to himself before bed "I'd like to wake up 3 lbs lighter" - HE DOES.  It is so f#@!ing not fair.  When I go to bed wanting to be 3 lbs lighter I usually wake up 2 lbs heavier - at least.  There's not much that I can do about hormones, however.  I'm sorta stuck with the composition that I was made with.

The article also talked about sleep.  Obviously we all know that we're supposed to get 8 hours.  I am still not coming anywhere close to that - on average.  I'm not sure how to get myself to wind down at 10 pm to go to bed.  It just seems that I have so much to do at night once I get home from work that that isn't entirely possible.  In the past few years I've streamlined my morning routine so that I'm efficient as possible and I can sleep as long as possible.  I'm sure it helped a little.  I've also started showering at night and then just re-wetting my hair in the morning hoping that that would give me some extra time.  The time added is nothing significant.  So, sleep continues to be one of the things I'll work on for this year.

STRESS.  It's a six letter word that dominates my life. If you know me you know this isn't a new thing.  I'm 100% Type A personality.  I worry about anything and everything.  Hell, I worry about worrying too much.  I think its going to be imperative that I work on this above all this year.  I don't want something like this causing any disruptions to me physically, mentally, or emotionally. 

Finally, the article touched on drinking water (another resolution).  I think I've been really sucking at this one, too.  I try to have water bottles around but I don't really seem to make dents in them during the day.  I know I could put myself on a little program where I reward myself for X amount of water drinking - but I'm sneaky and I'll find a way around my own simple program and also forgetful and I might not keep it up if I'm not motivated.  If anyone has any ideas for how I can make my water bottle more salient to me during the day or for increasining my drinking please feel free to share them.  I am a little stuck here. 

I guess what I'm getting here is when I start to plateau, which I assume will be sometime here this month or next for sure I am going to have to make other changes.  So, where to go from here? 

I hit up the 6:30 am wod today - mostly because I guilted myself into going.  I woke up at 5:55 am with my alarm and shut it off.  My first thought was, "No way in hell I'm getting out of this bed."  But then instead of drifting off to sleep, my mind said: "But you didn't go to the gym yesterday or the day before?,"  "You promised that you would get up today and go!,"  "If you don't go now you know you can't go tonight either," "Don't you want to be skinner by the end of February?"   Five minutes later I was out of bed and brushing my teeth.  I'd worn gym clothes to bed to make it out the door even faster. 

The WOD was good.  It entailed 6 rounds (as fast as possible):  2 pillar shuttles, 8 burpees, 10 chest to bar pull-ups.  I felt really good through the first 3 rounds.  My pull-ups, even though band assisted, were really solid.  Rounds 4-6 were slower and I found myself having to take a couple seconds of rest after every few pull-ups.  I did finish with 10 good chest to bar ones though.  So all in all, I'm glad I went. 

After CF, I made myself 2 eggs and I had an orange.  In the morning I snacked on some almonds.  For lunch and also afternoon snack I had some cocktail shrimp with a little bit of cocktail sauce.  When I felt hungry after lunch I finished up a few blueberries.  Dinner tonight is going to be lemon scallops. 

Before I sign off, I figured I'd share a question that Erinn asked me yesterday.  She said that it seems that we don't eat a lot of raw veggies or leafy greens.  Why was that?  Well, its because I think they taste disgusting right now.  Veggies are something that I need to eat more of.  I should be eating spinach salad, too.  An assignment for you all then ......find me a paleo salad dressing recipe that is worthy of putting on spinach or dipping veggies in and I'm all over that. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What do you want first? The good news or the bad?

I'll start with what I consider the bad news.  I've been on a motivational skid since we came home from Atlanta.  I've felt guilty about food and its caused a ripple effect with CF.  I skipped CF last night because I was tired.  (In all honesty, I did sleep almost 12 hours last night so that was really true.)  I've been tired on other nights, though, and still gone.  I told myself (and Mark) that I would get up and go early this morning as I had a late day at work.  However, 6:30 am came and went and I stayed in bed.  Bottom line here:  I'm in a little funk.  I'm scared to weigh myself.  I'm struggling with motivation.  I'm hypercritical over the lingering "food baby" that I think I have from the weekend.  I'm over analyzing my food choices now.  We haven't been to the grocery store since Atlanta and I'm stressed over having to go out for food.  Ahhhhhhh!

Here's a run down of my food for yesterday and so far today:

Monday Breakfast:
spinach eggs
coffee with heavy cream

Monday Lunch:
2 spinach sausages
apple slices
handful of almonds

Monday Dinner:
2 sausage sliders (I know, surprising huh?)
(I would have snacked more, but I fell asleep.)

Tuesday Breakfast:
.....2 sausage sliders

Tuesday Lunch:  (Lunch was light because I had just eaten breakfast at home.)

Tuesday Dinner:
*hasn't happened yet

So, here's for the two pieces of good news.  First, this morning I didn't have to work until later and I took the opportunity to try on a pair of skinny jeans that I haven't even though of wearing since like 2007. (Erinn, they are the skinnies from H&M that I had to have because you had them!!)  They fit!! I'm so excited to wear them on Friday you have no idea!!  As with most of my pants right now, they are super loose in the waist and they fit in the legs.  I'll take it though!! It felt soooooo good when they got on and zipped.

The second thing was that a friend of ours from Atlanta texted me today that she's doing paleo.  I thought it was so cool that she was going to give it a try.  She told us a lot over the weekend that we look really good and even though I get embarassed about that stuff it was really awesome to hear.  They don't see us very often so we must have looked pretty different.  I'm excited to talk to her about how things are going as she gets started. 

Tomorrow morning I'll drag myself to CF because I haven't been in a couple of days.  I hope its a fun wod. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I cheated on the caveman.

We just got home from a super fun weekend in Atlanta.  I went into the weekend intending to maintain the paleo thing except maybe to branch out with drinks.  I was getting tired of wine and it always gives me the worst headache the next day no matter if I have one glass or one bottle.  Friday night we went to Yeah! Burger as soon as we got into town.  I'd never been before, but it was soooooo good.  If you've never been there before, its basically set up to be ordered in steps - type of meat, bun/no bun, toppings, sauces, etc.  I ordered a grass-fed burger with no bun.  For toppings I chose an egg, avocado, pickles and cucumbers (and ketchup).  I'm in love with this place.  Thank god there isn't one in Chicago or I'd want to eat there every day.  Its really cheap, too!! 

So, here we are on Saturday - the day the food of Atlanta seduced me.  After Crossfit we went to a little place to pick up some breakfast stuff.  There were zero paleo options so I resigned to cheating a little.  I picked a sausage + egg wrap with avocado.  It seemed like the best option of the choices I had (muffins, croisannts, bagels, etc).  Satruday afternoon with Allison at the Corner Pub in Little 5 Points I had a hawaiian salad, which I thought was a good choice and wasn't cheating at all.  It was really good, which is a huge compliment from me as I think most salads are really boring. I wish mimosas were paleo as I had 2 of them! For dinner I ordered a burger from R. Thomas without a bun.  It came with mushrooms and avocado.  ....That was a good choice on my part, but the wings that Mark ordered as an appetizer weren't.  I'm sure the sauce contained something that wouldn't count and if not that, I dipped them in ranch.  The rest of the evening contained strays from paleo.....more mimosas, beer, and Fellini's pizza.  I had a total "food baby" when I went to bed and I was feeling pretty guilty about it.  Today, I started off with a sausage and mushroom omelet and a few potato wedges.  We made a road trip to a Brazilian store and Maurce bought some fried goodies.  Everyone was taste testing them so I had a few bites, too.  They were amazing, but I only took a couple of bites.  Mark and I ate dinner back in Chicago at La Cuidad.  At this point, I know that I have to get myself back on track so I ordered fajitas (no tortillas).  The food was incredible and I think we would definitely go back!

I've had mixed feelings about my choices, I go back and forth in feeling guilty and not.  I know that its not realistic to never falter from it and its not as though I have zero willpower.  So, in this instance I think its ok and I'll be back on track and continuing to make progress this week.  I was 144.8 as of Friday.  In order not to punish myself in case I've gained a little weight, I won't weigh myself until next weekend.  I have to say though I can definitely tell a difference in how my body feels on those foods.  I just don't feel as good or as full on them.

Mark, Maurice and I went to CF on Saturday.  It was an interesting wod  -  50 squats, broken up into varied sets of 10.  You could choose your own weights for each set, but I stayed pretty consistent.  The first 10 was slow....20 seconds total for your round trip up and down. The second set was bottom to bottom squats. The third set called for holding the bottom position for 10 seconds before returning up.  The fourth set made you do 10 squats with eyes closed and the final set was explosive squats.  I was pretty consistent with my weights as I mentioned with 55 lbs being used for all of them.  My quads are sooooooo sore today so I'm very happy with how I lifted.  I'm totally ready for the wods this week at WCCF. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Riding a big high

All I can say is "wow" over the response to our results blog.  Thanks everyone for being so supportive!!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was back on the wagon today with food.  For breakfast I had a sausage and egg scramble and some coffee.  The coffee was from Speedway, though, because the coffee cup I brought from home took a ride on the roof of my car for few blocks before tumbling off.  OOPS!! ;)  For lunch I had some spaghetti squash and meatballs that Mark made last night.  I didn't have time to snack during the day until I got home from work.  I had a few pieces of fruit.  After CF, I made myself 2 eggs and 2 sausage sliders (amazing!).  Now, I'm back off to work with a cup of coffee in hand.

CF was a light workout tonight, but a good one.

Behind the head press:
50%, 60% 65%, 70% (all x's 3)
20kg, 25kg, 27, 25,

  • I had to go down on weight because I had maxed out.  Having not done this before I wasn't sure how heavy to go.  I did 25 the first time with no problems, but then 27 and the second 25kg weights were tough.  My shoulder felt okay though.

50%, 60% 65%, 70%, 75%, 75% (all x's 3)
19kg, 20kg, 21kg, 25kg, 27kg, 27kg

  • This actually felt pretty good.  I didn't have the sharp shoulder pain at all!! Also, I think this is a PR for the jerk and its not my 1RM either.  (@ 59.4 lbs)

50%, 60% 65%, 70% (all x's 3)
16kg, 20kg, 22kg, 25kg

  • Again, I like this one and the last set of 25kg (or 55lbs) felt good and easy. 

5 x 5 dead hang pull ups
2 sets = blue 1" band + purple skinny band
3 sets = green 1.5" band

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some good lifts today all things considered...

I felt off at the gym today. Just not focused on the task at hand. I wasn't really thinking about anything else but I definitely was having a hard time staying in the moment.

Nonetheless, my numbers were fine. It was a light day today so that we can go heavy next week. I left my logbook at the gym so these are guess-timates until I can correct them tomorrow.

45x3, 54x3, 59x3, 63x3
Hang Snatch
28x3, 33x3, 38x3, 41x3
70x3, 85x3, 91x3, 98x3
Romanian Deadlift
70x5, 90x5, 100x5

Are you ready for this?!

We got up early this morning to take our measurements and weigh in.  Mark also busted out the camera to take some before/after pictures.  (They are below....against my better judgment!)

*Drum Roll Please*

As a reminder from where we started I'll post my Jan 1 #'s on the left and my Feb 1 #'s on the right.

  • Upper Arms (at bicep, relaxed):
    • Left: 11"     /     10.75"
    • Right: 11"     /     11"
  • Waist (at belly button):
    • 33"      /      28.5"    <--- Wow!!
  • Waist (at narrowest point):
    • 28"     /     26.25"
  • Hips:
    • 41.5"     /     39"
  • Legs (mid-thigh, relaxed):
    • Left:   23"     /     21.75"
    • Right:  23"     /     21.75"
  • Waist to Hip Ratio:
    • .67      /      .67
  • Weight:
    • 152.4     /   145

Here are Mark's numbers....

  • Upper Arms (at bicep, relaxed):
    • Left: 13.5"     /     13"
    • Right: 14"     /     13.5"
  • Waist (at belly button):
    • 34"      /      31"
  • Waist (at narrowest point):
    • 33"     /     31"
  • Hips:
    • 39"     /     38"
  • Legs (mid-thigh, relaxed):
    • Left:   21.5"     /     21.5"
    • Right:  22"     /     21"
  • Waist to Hip Ratio:
    • .85      /      .81
  • Weight:
    • 170.4     /   159.6

I must say that I am actually legitimately happy with that!! As much as I complained the other day about being 145 instead of 143 at the end of the month that number is a bit skewed.  I have put on muscle for sure.  The inches don't lie though.  :) 

Where would I like to be as a goal? 
  • Arms = I am ok with this.  I am pretty skinny on the top half of my body, if anything this might increase as I get "Crossfit arms."
  • Waist = @ the narrowest part maybe 24" or 25" and @ the natural waist I think 26" or so would be a goal to shoot for
  • Hips = my problem area for sure...maybe 36"?  I will not be losing all of this because I have to face the fact that I have a booty.
  • Legs = 20" or so? 
  • Weight = 140ish
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

Today I cheated a little bit at lunch because I just needed to get it out of my system.  I went to Buono Beef to get the buffalo ranch chicken salad - which comes with black beans, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, corn, and little torilla strips.  I asked for it without corn, but I decided that the rest of the stuff was ok for today.  It was delicious and totally hit the spot.  Back on the wagon tomorrow. :)

Sadly, I am not lifting tonight.  I started feeling like I was hit by a bus at work today and was just driving home exhausted.  I need another rest day and to go to bed early.  Before I sign off and let Mark take this over I just want to thank everyone again for this month's encouragement and interest.  We had 1100+ hits on the blog which far exceeded my expectations for the month.  :)