Small victories

Sometimes celebrating the small victories is enough to keep me on track. Example of two of today's small victories:

1) Not letting snomaggedeon keep me from exercising. Although CrossFit was closed for my 6:30 am workout, I woke up and worked out on my own. Tabata Push ups, sit ups, squats. So I didn't even wuss out on my own workout! That might count as two small victories, come to think of it. I have been known to not push myself, when left to my own devices.

2) I was just really craving sugar. Hard core craving sugar. I want to go ravage through a forest of milk chocolate, gummy worms, and maybe some peanut butter cups while I'm at it kind of craving sugar. (You know, the kind of craving that has very little to do with the sugar and much to do with the bandaid the sugar coma would provide.)

The choices I made instead: some nuts (almonds, hazel nuts, and cashews), and some unsweetened dried apple.

Now, is this the awesomest paleo snack in the history of paleo snacks? No. Nuts have anti-nutrients (I'm too lazy to link to it, google it), and dried apples are sugary. But is it better than the peanut M&Ms I ate last week after keeping paleo at a delicious and posh restaurant where the serving was one sausage link, leaving me still voracious? Yes. Small victory achieved. Small pat on the back.


Opening the hips.

So it took a few weeks, but the goal posting was totally worth it. I'm back on the workout bandwagon with a vengeance. 6 days a week, and going to each day happily. Last night, I went to the conditioning skate and learned 1) I am totally capable of doing 1 legged squats now, but 2) I cannot do them for a half an hour.

I also took a stab at sideways skating.

Having done some training in jiu jitsu, I thought keeping my hips open would be way easier than it is.  I can definitely go sideways, but it takes some thought to open up all the way. Any advice on how to train for that off skates?


Goals for the week 12/6-12/12

So, yet again, I'm a little late - but let's take a look at how I did. 
Last week's goals

  1. Make it to the gym 5 times. A-. I didn't make it to the gym per se, but I went to Yoga, Monkey Bar x2, Skating and did a P90X workout from home (derby had been canceled, and the weather was too poor to get out to the gym.)
  2. Continue to be gluten- and sugar-free.  C+.  Gluten free? Yes. Sugar-free? Eh,  not so much. Bit of a sugar binge for 2 days, but I'm back on track, and already starting to avoid all the sweet things, including the GF cookie my coworker left on my desk.  Sugar cravings are gone, weight is dropping, so I feel like the plus is warranted. 
  3. Be social at least 1 time this week. A-.  Much to my friend's chagrin, I begged off several events to finish some briefs, but there was no way I was going to  miss my roommate's fundraiser on Saturday night.  3 hours of entertainment and dancing with friends made for some quality social time, but I need to be better about not flaking on those who can commit to me. 
  4. Send out Holiday cards to friends and clients.  F. Um, they're sitting on my desk, does that count?

So what are the plans going forward?
Goals for this week

  1. Continue to go to the gym 5x a week.  After a terrible, terrible day yesterday, I was proud of myself for forcing myself to make it to the gym.  Hopefully, this will remind me how important the gym is to my daily well-being and get my butt in there more often. 
  2. Pack my lunch at least 3x a week.  One can only eat at Chipotle or its University equivalent so many times a week. Eating Paleo while out is expensive, and typically, underwhelming. 
  3. Continue the social trend.  When I lived in AL, I never went out, but I never really felt like I was missing much. (Sorry Montgomery, you're no Madison.) Now that there is so much to offer and so many great people to do them with, I should really take advantage of it.  
  4. Send holiday cards.  This time for sure, Bullwinkle. 

What are your goals for the week?


On Anonymity and Community

So a long time ago, I had a personal blog.  I talked about everything - my friends, my family, my job, my dating life - though I did so with complete anonymity.  This blog is not anonymous.  Folks who come here can figure out who I am in real life (though if you know me in real life, you probably won't find the blog until I tell you about it.)

At first, I was a little scared by this. I wondered what repercussions it would have for me, my friends, my job. But now I like the comfort this provides. I can share things that are important to me with a growing network of folks who support me, both in real life and the virtual world. That said, there are some things about me that I don't really tell anyone.* While there are good reasons for that, I sometimes think that some of that information should be shared because it helps me, and because hopefully it will help someone else.

Recently, I've found myself struggling. I'm trying to do all the things I know to feel better - to relax, be happier, take it one step at a time -but it's been hard.  I've found myself thinking back to the places I've been before, and remembering how terrible it was to be there. In times like this, I know it's easier for me when I know I'm not alone, and it occurred to me, that maybe someone out there reading this feels that same way too. So I went to the old blog and dug up some of the old me. The me I try not to think about anymore. But a me that still deserves a lot of attention, because she's still a part of the person I am today. And for once, I decided that I'm going to give her voice.
The following is a post from a long-ago deleted blog. 
On Eating.
I love food. I love gourmet food. I love comfort food. I love junk food. I love the way simple ingredients can be combined to make the most scrumptious meals. I love thinking about food, planning a meal, stopping at the store, cooking up the ingredients and delighting in the fact that I made whatever it is that is making me so happy. And there in lies the rub. Cooking and eating is the only way I ever learned to make myself happy.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking "But I love eating! And it makes me happy! and there is nothing wrong with that!" You're right, there's nothing wrong with loving to eat or delighting in the process. But there is something very very wrong with using eating as your only means to deal with things that make you unhappy.
And that's what I've done. Sporadically, over the course of my life, but substantially in the past year or so. In fact, I ate so much, so often, that I started gaining weight exponentially. I gained almost 20 lbs in 2 months. And, coupled with my history of being fat and fear of being so again, I became desperate to slow the process down. So I became bulimic. 
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right. This seemingly well-rounded law school grad, with the good job, and the great friends, couldn't figure out how to make herself happy and so turned to consuming ridiculous amounts of food and puking it all up. And somehow, that made me feel better.
The saddest part of the whole bulimia battle is that I knew how horrible everything I was doing to my body was, but I couldn't stop. Every time I threw up, I would freak out that my teeth were going to fall out from the acid, but that didn't keep me from puking up the 10,000 calories I had just ingested. And yes. It is quite possible for me to eat that much.
In fact, I probably ate that much today. You see, even though I'm in recovery, and even though I'm doing all the right things, I'm never not going to be a bulimic, just like an alcoholic will never not be an alcoholic. Unfortunately, unlike an alcoholic who can avoid booze and bars, I cannot just choose to never eat again. It's not just a matter of putting down the ding dongs.
So sometimes, I fall off the wagon. And this makes sense. My whole life, everyone has told me that food is the way to be happy. And when you look at the obesity in my family, you'll see I'm not the only one with an eating disorder, though maybe I was the only one that purged. So this weekend, when I was surrounded by friends who love to eat and who want to do it a lot, I lost my footing. I started eating a lot and I told myself it was ok because I wasn't binging, I was just overeating, and that if others were overeating too, it must not be so bad. But what isn't so bad for them is horrible for me. After I got home from my mini-binge vacation, I couldn't figure out what to do to make me ok with being home alone and doing work that I hate. 
So I ate. And I ate A LOT. I even went to the store to buy horrible things to eat so I could eat more. And today, when I told myself I would do better, I just went and ate more at lunch than I could ever need even though I wasn't hungry. 
So how do I stop?
I keep telling myself it'll be better when I work out again. And this is true. Working out means I'll actually feel hungry at some point and that will help me self regulate. But that's another issue non-bulimics maybe don't understand - for those of us living with ED, we actually don't know what it's like to feel hungry. That feeling of actually needing food, and the corresponding feeling of NOT needing it anymore was completely foreign to me. I didn't know what hungry felt like until I was in my 20s. And everytime I experience it now, I'm surprised. 
So yeah. I'm not doing so hot right now. I'm on a binge (minus purging) and I need to fix it. So if you see me with that cookie, or that cake, or lord knows what else I bought last night because shopping for bad foods creates a high for me, talk to me about something else, do something with me, invite me somewhere. Because I'm not hungry. I'm just stuck. And I don't know what to do.

*This is how you can tell I adore Meagan. There is very little that she doesn't know.


Blast it.

So, I'm doing really well with the whole gym business this week, but eating is a DISASTER. I've been doing work I don't want to do, and so eating to avoid it.  On top of that, I end up having to work late, so keep eating to stay awake. TOO MUCH FOOD.

Notably, it's about 800x harder to give oneself a pass after reading this.


Goals review and update for Dec. 1

So, I take Karen's point about goal-setting, but in actuality, last week's post wasn't about setting the goals as much as it was giving me a vehicle for this post -- the one where I hold myself accountable.  So lets' see how I did.

Here were the goals for Thanksgiving week:

1) Stay gluten-free.  A+.  I  give myself an A+ for this.  Even at Thanksgiving, everything but 1 stuffing, 1 gravy, and 1 pie was gluten-free, and in the end, the folks that could eat those were still stealing all the awesome gluten-free stuff.  You haven't lived until you've had cornbread stuffing with bacon and sausage topped with turkey drippings thickened with tapioca starch. ((dies))

2) Begin the sugar detox, with the exception of dessert on Thanksgiving. B.  I actually think I did pretty well with this, all things considered. I went out with the derby girls 3 nights that week and at not a drop of sugar.  I did eat lots of GF desserts on Thanksgiving. The reason I give myself a B though, is that I extended Thanksgiving an additional 12 hours and had GF dark chocolate tart for breakfast on Friday.  I regret nothing.   

3) Work out 5 times during the week. C. This was an epic fail. Sunday night, I pulled an all-nighter, so skipped Monday from exhaustion. Tuesday, I went to conditioning class only to find out it was cancelled, so played trivia at the bar with my derby girls instead.  Wednesday, I went to open skate (yay!), Thursday was Thanksgiving, Friday, I missed gym class by 10 minutes because of unforeseen circumstances, and Saturday and Sunday, I skated. So, overall - 3 of 5 days.  Not the best. Not the worst.  But still disappointing.  This one should be pretty easy to fix though. 

4) Figure out my Christmas gifts. A.  Done and done!

So, what's in store for this week?  Let's give it a go:
1) Make it to the gym 5 times. Seriously. No excuses this week. 
2) Continue to be gluten- and sugar-free.  'Nuff said. 
3) Be social at least 1 time this week.  I love my derby girls. I love my coworkers.  I love my gym buddies.  With that many people, there is no reason to not hang out with folks, and as I've noted before. . . .mental health is important to physical health. 
4) Send out Holiday cards to friends and clients.  Ugh.  I procrastinate on this every year. BUT, I already purchased my cards, so now I just need to get them out! 

What are your goals for the week?


Thanksgiving Week Goals, Pt. 2

Good call, Roommie T. My goals for this week:

1) Go to crossfit M-W, Friday. I'll be in Colorado on Friday, but luckily there are about 50 crossfits in Boulder, so I should be set ;)

2) Eat clean through Thursday.

3) Not eat like crazy at Thanksgiving. I may be weird, but: I don't love Thanksgiving. I'm not crazy about Turkey, pie, or green bean casserole. (Especially not green bean casserole.) But when socially ill-at-ease, I eat. So sometimes at family gatherings, even when I'm not feeling it, I eat as something to do. But this time, rather than just beat myself up before, during, and after for the social-unease-eating, I am going to bring knitting! It's kind of gross to think about knitting with food-dirty hands. Who wants to gift someone a scarf that has turkey grease woven in? Ewwwwww. So I'm planning ahead, and bringing several knitting projects to keep my hands busy. AND if I'm knitting, my extreme social awkwardness will be totally normal--"oh, she's one of THOSE types," the extended family will think, "a KNITTER. Well, no wonder."

4) Figure out a cute outfit. I've been feeling so shittily about myself as of late that I've been dressing like a ragamuffin to work, to go out to brunch, and to go to the grocery store. It's MUCH easier to self-sabotage when you're looking schlubby-and much less desirable to be the weird obsessive eater if you're looking hot.

5) Call Tricia. She's clearly the path to this girl getting back on track and feeling better about herself. As I do right this very minute! Thanks, T.


Goals for the week

The author of a financial blog I read has begun posting their goals for the week every Sunday, and then assesses them every Saturday.  This smacks of the type of personal responsibility I would like to have, so I figure I should give it a try.

Goals for Thanksgiving Week:

1) Stay gluten-free.  I've had some weird lapses this week, so I need to get back on that bandwagon. Even for Thanksgiving. I'm in charge of dessert, and my roommate is making a cornbread, gluten-free stuffing, so I really have no excuses.  I'm not actually staying paleo at the moment. I'm remembering how much I love corn tortillas and chili with beans.  Both are necessary for my sanity (i.e. budget) right now, so I'm not going to fight it.

2) Begin the sugar detox, with the exception of dessert on Thanksgiving.   I don't know how I got on this crazy train, but I need off.  Like I said, I'm making a dessert, so this shouldn't be too big a deal, but on the off-chance someone else brings something awesome, I'm not going to make myself feel guilty about the holiday.  It's a time to be thankful, not self-loathing.

3) Work out 5 times during the week.  I think I can make this even without Thursday and Friday.  Here's keeping my fingers crossed.  I'm tentatively hoping for the gym on Monday, gym/skate conditioning on Tuesday, gym on Wednesday, and derby on Saturday and Sunday.

4) Figure out my Christmas gifts. I've already planned my holiday travel, so now it's just a matter of getting my gifts in order. I hate hate hate doing things last minute, so it's time to figure out the budget and get it all under control for better sleep and less stress next month.

What are your goals for this week?

I'm sort of concerned this may actually happy


How to cure your workout blues

Step 1) Go to a happy hour (or generally be social) with your work-out buddies.  Seriously. Do it. I spend a lot of time at the gym and love the ladies that push me to be better, to take on bigger challenges.  That said, sometimes it's hard to appreciate how great they all are when they are only gym buddies.  Get to know the people who inspire you outside the gym.  You'll find they have a whole lot more to offer you than advice on your form.  Last night we had a get together, complete with wine and cheese, and I was reminded of all the reasons the gym is a great place to be - the elation that comes from a new PR, the communities that are built, and having a safe third-place. Plus, gossiping about your trainers (yes folks, we do gossip about you) can actually remind you why certain people motivate you in the first place. All I know is all that talk about the gym certainly has me ready to go back.

Step 2) Let workouts sneak up on you. Nothing will inspire you to get your butt back to the gym than an impromptu  test of your strength.  Last night, we were competing for the prize for our internal gym challenge.  We couldn't decide who won, so one of the ladies said that whoever could explain what an "oompa" is, would get the prize.  I was all over this.  When no one understood my explanation, I hiked up my skirt (derby-style), and told someone to get in mount, so I could show them. I completely forgot that my derby girl partner also took jiu jitsu, so when I went to do the hip-escape, was taken by complete surprise that she resisted.  A full roll later (complete with knocked over furniture), and I emerged victorious (with some badass new socks as a prize.) But more importantly, I also remembered how nice it feels to move. If I had been asked if I wanted to roll, I would have declined. But given no choice, it was exhilarating to get back at it again. Now, not everyone is going to have a random rough and tumble sneak-up on them. But you can take on some activities that you may not think of as inherently physical.  Volunteer for habitat for humanity.  Clean out your garage.  Wash your car.  Whatever it takes to make you move without thinking of it as working out.  There's nothing like a sneak attack to get you going. And finally,

Step 3) Go back to what you love. When I'm in the middle of gym burnout, I find myself really wishing I could just do a certain workout (usually boxing or muay thai.) Right now, lifting and strength exercises just aren't my thing. I want to feel that solid thwap of a well-thrown punch, or the wind against my face as I race around the track derby-style.  But in actuality, my schedule is only permitting me to get to monkey bar.  PFFFFT to that I say.  This morning, I went to derby again for the first time in weeks and I IMMEDIATELY wanted to be moving around all the time.  So maybe strength training isn't my thing right now. That doesn't mean there aren't other ways to get strong. I'm thinking about buying a 10-pack for boxing lessons.  Whatever it is that will get me into the gym is clearly the right thing to do.


Turning on the filter to avoid getting turned off

Like a kid whose favorite local band has  gone big, I've got some feelings of resistance towards watching the Paleo-trend take hold.  I'm resistant. I want to do what's good for me, but am loathe to be lumped in with the folks that are becoming the poster-children for clean-eating. Luckily, the folks over at Tribe of Five have tackled this issue already.  It's made me feel better, and it might help you too. Seriously. Go read it. 


I am flailing. It's 11:30 am, I have a headache, I feel dehydrated, and I just want to go to bed. Yesterday, I worked from home. I never left my bed.  These days, I'm feeling a lot like this:

I'm not sure what's brought about this sudden surge of depression, but I have a lot of guesses.  First, I haven't been to the gym since last Thursday. I know, I know! I love the gym. I love working out. But between work hours (which are not convenient for gym hours) and all the traveling I've been doing, it just hasn't happened.  And now that it's been a week, I. Don't. Want. To. Go.  The only things that interest me at all are 1) skating or 2) muay thai, and those are hard to come by. (Derby is only on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Second, I can now say that telling yourself that feeling no repercussions on the days you eat SAD-food does not mean that those choices are without consequences.  Over the weekend, I went to LA, where I generally ate fine, but had some desserts after 2 meals.  Which means the sugar monster reared it's ugly head and on Monday, I had birthday cake at school. BIRTHDAY CAKE.  Not only was it sugar-filled, but I broke my 3-month no gluten streak.  Suffice it to say, while I felt fine at the time, and shortly after, it's now 3 days later and I do not feel fine.

Finally, it's dark out. All the time. It's dark when I come to work. It's dark when I leave the office.  I have no windows.  And it's only November. I'm really concerned that I may get Seasonal Affective Disorder. I've lived in cold climates before,  but I've never felt quite so down.

So yeah. SAD food + SAD weather = SAD Tricia.  And I'm not sure what to do about it. For now, I'm focusing on rehydrating, eating clean, and forcing myself to get out of bed.  Any other ideas?


Happy Soon-to-Be Halloween!

Would it be sacriligeous for a paleo-ista to wear this? Or just a fashionista? Discuss.

(Cap by herbalnights on etsy. h/t Say yes to Hoboken!)


Getting it together

In true competition style, I've been struggling with a fever for the past few days. It also means I've been eating way too much squash. (When I'm sick, I want comfort food. For the record, pumpkin is the ultimate comfort.)  Not having someone to push me into the gym is getting to me, which means it's clearly time to get my act together. 

To that end, I played hooky from my conference today (shhh!) so I can both 1) avoid bad food and 2) hit up the gym tonight.  In order to make this easier for myself and hold myself more accountable, I'm also putting together a google-docs spread sheet of the food I've been eating. I've been lax on my calorie counting. NO MORE.

In case you didn't know, I entered this challenge solely because Meagan believes in me. And while it's pretty easy for me to excuse/disappoint myself, I'll always believe that whatever team Meagan is a team full of winners.  So watch out folks.  I'm coming for you.


PSA: Those in glass houses...

This morning at the gym, I watched as this guy cheated his way though the workout. I got so incensed as I watched him, because he was doing EXACTLY as the instructor had just told us NOT to do, or we'd be cheating.

On the way home, I took stock: I was not perfect, my workout had included some short-cuts. Maybe not the same as the guy's, but enough so that I was not above reproach. Who was I to judge him if I couldn't make sure my own form included no cheats?

Plus, the guy finished the WOD, while I got half-way through when time was called.* I wasted all this energy mentally tearing down the other guy, and not focusing on my own damn self. I was totally that friend who pays you backhanded compliments because she can't stand to see you winning at life. I sentenced myself to time-out. Meaning, NO cheating next time at the gym, NO comparing myself to how others are doing and NO wussing out on the workout.

*But seriously, Black Box, what the hell is up with all the hero workouts? 20 minutes is way too long to be busting my ass day after day. Or, you know, every other day...



Today's workout was Bulger. This was my first real WOD since September, when I stopped in twice to CrossFit Casco Bay, where they kicked my ass there, too. (They were really nice, helpful, and good-looking about it though, so if you're in Portland, you should drop by!) Let's just say today FELT like the first WOD in a very long time, and I was mad at myself the whole way through.

If you were too lazy to click on the link, Bulger is:
10 Rounds
150m row (because we're in NYC and the running space is limited)
7 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
7 Front Squats
7 Hand Stand Push Ups

The cut-off time was 27 minutes. I got through 6 rounds (or seven, I lost track, don't tell Tony), plus 150m row and 7 C2B.

OK, so rowing was no problem--for the most part I was able to stay below 30 strokes per minute, and I stayed below a 2:15/500m pace, which, for being a not-strong rower and newly-back-in-the-saddle, is not bad. (Many rounds I stayed below 2:05! Woot!)

Chest to Bar pull ups. Ugh. I am SOOOO mad at myself for being in the green band. I mean, yes, gaining 10 lbs and not doing them for 3 months means I'm not going to be badass at them the first time round. The good thing is I only had to break up two of the rounds 5 and then 2, and for the most part, I was chest above bar. (Unlike most other people in the gym, I might add. Ahem.)

Front squats. Historically my favorite part of a WOD have been the squats--if I can get there, it's my "rest." Not so any longer. Let's start with the paltry weight I used - 65 pounds. And then form. My form SUCKS. I'm leaning over too much, not getting below parallel often, and just hating it the whole time. I think the most bewildering part was that I wasn't loving the squats. It's like I didn't even know myself anymore! *sob*

Hand stand push ups. I can kick up to the wall, but since I haven't been doing it for awhile, I don't stay on the wall very long. So after the first round where I wasted probably a minute trying to stay up right, repeatedly kicking up, I just went to box push ups. It felt wimpy. But, as I've never been a great handstand pushup-er (it's always been a celebration when I lowered myself two inches in the hand stand), this was less frustrating.

I left the gym feeling kind of high (it's inevitable) and kind of shitty. Mostly, I felt lonely. I've not met anyone at the gym, and there's no camraderie. I know I will meet people, and it will be fine, but for now, I'm in a dark place. Good thing when I win the challenge, it will all seem like a distant memory, and not even that unpleasant. Right?



After 3 nights of 4-5 hours sleep, my thought process has been reduced to a 7-year-old's. All I can think is: "I want cookies! I want cookies! I want cookies!"

Oh, how I wish this was me!   Someone, please make it stop. 

My heart overfloweth

Both Karen and Tony have blogs that I already can tell I'm going to love and eagerly await posts from each of them. Karen's is here. Tony's is here.

I highly recommend you check them out--they are two of my favoritest people on earth. It's true.


If I had to draw my sugar cravings, it would look something like:

image by Joe Alteria via uncrate.


Strength is sexy

Yes. We're back. And not just the two of us - Crossfit Genius is here with us, too. There's something special about the challenges Tony and Karen throw at us, and even more about accomplishing them together.  Maybe that's because they understand how Crossfit strengthens all of you: your body, your mind, and, more importantly, your self-image.  As Karen so eloquently states:

Self-confidence comes from mastering a challenge not enduring 45, mindless minutes in the fat-burning zone. And self-confidence is sexy.  Muscles are sexy. Strength is sexy. Sweat is sexy. [Aiming to be] Skinny is….just sad.

So here's to strength - both the kind that one builds oneself, and the kind that comes from being built up by friends.

Zomg, where did we go?!

So who knows if anyone is still reading this blog. I know that my personal plan over the "hiatus" was to gain 10 lbs. Yes. I know. Even badasses can turn into lardasses if they're lazy.

Enter Karen and Tony and their Turn the Tables Challenge. And their emails about the challenge. Multiple emails that I ignored outright. My thoughts went something like this: I've just started a job where I get in by no later than 8am, and never know when I'm going to get to leave. My apartment is not even unpacked yet. The landlords left a walk-in closet with a rod for hanging clothes that is about 8.75 feet high. I am 5'4" tall. AAAARRRGHHHH. I can't for the life of me figure out debt financing structures. Or what I did with the contact paper to line the pantry shelves. Transition is such a bitch. I am definitely too stressed for stupid challenges that make me accountable.

And so when Tricia and I emailed about it together, I was non-committal. Oh, we don't have ready access to barbells? Guess we can't do it then. Oh, it won't be the same when we're not IN the gym, talking shit? Yeah, that's another obstacle. Too bad, so sad.

But then, when we were sitting across the table from each other yesterday, suddenly the obstacles didn't seem so bad. Suddenly, I remembered why I had been so successful at the first challenge--getting jazzed to do fun things is super easy with Tricia. Hell, getting jazzed to do not-so-fun things is easy to do with her.

Me: I'd do it if you did it.
Tricia: Well, I'd do it if you did it.
Me: Oh.

And I am nearly as pumped as I was the first time around, only this time, it is indeed going to be a bigger challenge to stay motivated without Tricia and Tony and Karen to see every day. The black box in NYC is OK, but it's no home. So I'm hoping that we'll use this blog again to keep me--er--us pumped.

Because I can't help it. I'm a badass. Badasses get pumped, the harder the challenge is.

Have no idea who Tony and Karen are but intrigued about this challenge? They have one spot left for someone to join who is not a member of their gym. Excellent trash talkers are encouraged to join in.


Leaving CrossFit Genius (or, a mushy-a** post)

I haven't posted on here in quite some time. Mostly because I've been leading a life antithetical to to the lean, mean machine I was over the spring (and boy is my body showing it!) I have a thousand excuses and self-recriminations, but those are not what concern me right now. Right now, I'm wallowing in sadness for a different reason.

Today I left my CrossFit gym, and it's mildly devastating. Though my behavior since Tricia moved would suggest otherwise (aka showing up at CrossFit no more than 3 times a week - and that was considered to be an excellent week), I loved my CrossFit gym. I came into myself at that gym, and my self-image was forever altered because of the gym.

I chose to go to CrossFit Genius despite the fact that dear friends, who I wish nothing but success for, opened a CrossFit gym at the same time across town. I fear this choice strained my relationship with those friends, and for that I am sorry. But I cannot explain the feeling of "this is right" that I got from the first time I worked out with Karen and Tony.

These two were encouraging from the get-go in a way that just worked for me. While I was not-so-privately using Tricia as the person I wanted to keep up with (or do better than, if I could), Karen and Tony kept reminding me that this is about ME, not my roommate. This is about what I excel at, what I can do for myself. What a gift. It was because of these gentle reminders that I was able to see Tricia as not an adversary but a buddy in this fun game of kicking ass and taking names. It hasn't been the same without her, but I couldn't have discovered this ally-ness of her presence in the gym if not for Tony and Karen.

I am now someone who considers herself badass. (Or generally badass, with a few months of badness as of late.) How did this happen? How did someone who has always seen herself as the fat, uncoordinated, ungifted girl get to this point? From constant encouragement, laughter, and gentle pushing of two amazing athletes who saw something in me that I had no idea existed.

This is a long-winded, poorly-articulated post dedicated to two people who are badder than bad-ass. Thank you is not enough to express my gratitude.


And then there were 19...

Today is my birthday.  I had planned on celebrating it with some sweet potato hash, coffee, and the paper at Montey's Blue Plate, but last night's festivities got the best of me, and I think I'll be staying in with my coffee and paper this morning.  That said, our celebration was totally worth it, even if it did cost me a SOM.

The night started with dinner with the roommate and "family" at their favorite local bar/pub, Mickey's.  Not only did the family buy me my steak salad dinner, they also picked up my 2 NorCal Margaritas.  This is where I will stress the importance of being a regular somewhere. Not only were the folks at Mickey's happy to make us a NorCal maragarita, they've now incorporated it into their repertoire, which means we can order it by name.  It is also quickly becoming a fave among the folks around here.  Post-dinner we headed back to our apartment for a housewarming/birthday cocktail hour.  Appropriate attire required.

Several pitchers of Sangria later, and our houseguest brought out 3 bars of fantastic chocolate (including a bar of Mexican chocolate), and some tiny tarts for dessert. Considering it's my birthday, and the chocolate and booze was totally delicious, I'm going to consider this a quality use of a SOM.


Tip for success: Don't shop when you're hungry

I made a classic mistake yesterday: going to the grocery store hungry.  The key to eating clean and feeling good is preparation.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the key to succeeding at anything. So sometimes, I have to ask myself, why do I make things so hard for myself?

Yesterday, I went to BJJ for a semi-private lesson, and then ended up going to class after that, too.  3 hours of BJJ on top of my regular commute to and from work and I was hungry. Of course, I didn't really have all that much to eat in my house, so I decided to stop at the local co-op. Clearly, I was not thinking. Here's what I got: 2 zucchinis, a bag of carrots, a package of unsweetened banana chips, coffee, a lb of 100% unsweetened chocolate pieces, seltzer water, and some crazy paleo bar from the coop bakery made of sesame seeds, almond butter, coconut oil and coconut.  I'm not even sure what I was thinking when I picked up these ingredients.

A normal person would go home and make something with protein that is delicious.  Maybe an zucchini and carrot  basket with a fried egg on top.  Unfortunately, I was too hungry to think and tore into the paleo bar (which was meh, but sooo nice to be eating) and a bottle of seltzer right there in the parking lot.  This is not what it means to be prepared, folks.

Luckily, the gals over at Sweet Cheeks have your back. They too are on a clean eating challenge and have come up with some wonderful shopping lists with delicious recipes attached.  Assuming you want to enjoy your eating experiences more than I did last night, I highly recommend heading over and taking a look.


A sputtering start and my less than triumphant return to BJJ

So I was derelict in my duties and didn't put up a kick-off post. Day 1 was rough. I'm not going to lie.  I woke up too late to go to the strength class at Monkey Bar Gym. I still have mixed feelings about the class, but since I need to workout 5 times a week for the challenge, I figured it would fill the void.  Being too late, I decided to kick off the burpee challenge with 100 burpees for time in my backyard.  10:42 excruciating minutes/seconds later, I called it a day, showered, and biked to work.

At work, I realized I, too, had failed to meet Meagan's checklist for success and didn't pack a lunch.  A quick trip to Chipotle for a salad with veggies, meat and guac, and I was good to go. While not the most prepared start to the challenge, I was getting by. 

Unfortunately, that's when my body decided to rebel and the migraine set in. A quick bike ride home, and I was in bed by 6pm, and out till 7am. At least I know I got enough sleep.

Day 2 went much better. I didn't pack a lunch, but had plenty of snacks: celery with guacamole, and bumps on a log with almond butter.  More than enough to get me till lunch.  Around 3:30, I realized I hadn't yet eaten and went back to Chipotle for another delicious bowl of meat and veggies. One cup of coffee later, and it was a bike ride home in a thunderstorm to unpack some more boxes, then off to brazilian jiu jitsu for the first time in over a year.

For those of you who have never gone to a bjj class, let me tell you -- your first day back after any time off, let alone a year, is rough.  Your muscle memory doesn't really kick in.  You feel awkward.  You *know* you know the next move, but you can't remember what it is.  I knew this was going to happen, and wasn't really looking forward to my first day back. That said, it was totally worth it.

I showed up about 5 minutes early, checked in with the front desk, then headed to the mats.  There were about 20 people there.  Most in their 20s, and all male. No one said a word to me.  I thought, this does not bode well.  1 minute before class began, a woman blue belt, showed up.  Class started on the dot, and we began a 30 minute conditioning warm up. We were told not to stop moving, even if waiting in line for our turn in the rotation.  Run in place, do jumping jacks, whatever, but you had better be moving.  If someone was caught not moving, everyone had to do 10 burpees.  Suffice it to say I got my burpees for the day in. 

The warmups were extensive, but I was pleased that I was strong enough to do everything except the handstand to front rolls, handstands to back rolls, (I'll get it someday, I swear), and had no problem with endurance. About 10 minutes in, we were doing 3 push ups, then jumping through with our feet to a prone position. I was jumping through when I felt an awful pop.  The mats had moved and my little toe had gotten caught in the mat.  It was bent in a 90 degree angle in completely the wrong direction.  I thought it was a little weird, but was sure it would fix itself.  I finished the rotation, jogged back to the front, and noticed it still hadn't moved. I reached down, pulled it out, and popped it back into place. The joint and the entire right side of my foot turned purple -- I had dislocated it. Ignoring my toe, I finished up my warmups.  On our water break, I asked the other woman in the locker room if she had any tape. After looking at me like I had 3 heads, she said no. 

When we returned, our instructor, a black belt, paired us up to work on passing the guard.  He paired me with Kelly, the other woman.  She seemed a little friendlier this time around, and we worked our 5 passes.  I was pleased that I knew all of them, though some of them were more ingrained in my mind than others. After that, we were paired off again and rolled for 6 minutes with different partners.  Because there were so many people, we rotated rounds on and off the mats.  After 3 rounds, our 90 minutes were up, and it was time to go home.

Overall, I felt awkward and out of practice, but I definitely wasn't the worst. The fundamentals are there, but the secondary steps are lacking. At the end, one of the brown belts asked me if I would be interested in helping him by serving as the 3rd person in a private lesson he's giving another woman. He said it would all be very basic for me, but that it would be great for her to have a partner.  There was no way I'm turning that down.  Between that and just a general feeling of accomplishment of making it through all 3 rolls with my first dislocation ever (even if it is just a toe), I definitely can't complain.  It's been a slow start, but I've made it through.  And really, that's what matters. 


Checklist for a successful 100 day challenge

Or, in my case, for not flubbing it on Day 1.

1. Make sure you have enough food at home that you have no excuse to eat out/eat poorly. [ ]
2. Find ways to make the commitment easier [X]
(I have made sure that my other two officemates are going with me to crossfit tonight-if I feel like I am motivating them and not just me, it is a lot easier. Also, knowing Tricia is going through this, too, is helpful, in that I can't lie to my [former] roomie! That would be wrong and bad.)
3. Establish goal posts to reach along the way. [ ]
4. Look cute. [ ]
(This may sound weird, but I think that finding "cute" [or at least not "I feel fat" workout clothes helps me stay motivated. If you think this is malarky, I won't be offended. This will have to wait, as tonight I use my last clean sports bra/workout pants, and when you reach the last ones, inevitably it's not pretty.)
5. Get pumped about the workout. Today's workout involves one of my favorites: the press! What comes after that in the WOD I consider my penance for eating southern food yesterday in excess. Either way, I'm excited to get back on track. If it's hard, it will be that much more rewarding. Or something.


Speaking of 100 day challenges. . .

this girl is about to start one of her own.  It's high time to get back into gear. While moving, I tried to eat paleo, but I was nowhere near the 80/20 mark.  This means my poor little stomach is very very SAD, and now that I'm in a new place, with a new job, meeting new folks, it's time to kick it into high gear on getting back into fighting shape.

Because living paleo means making it work for you, this challenge is less strict than the Whole 30.  But the point of it is to solidify this as a lifestyle, and I think the rule changes get me on that path. So here goes.

The 100 Day Challenge

The Food:
  • Basics: Eat meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fat, no sugar.  (No grains, legumes, or dairy.) Nut and dairy disclaimer -- I'll be cutting dairy except for heavy cream in my coffee. This challenge is about solidifying the lifestyle. And that's part of it for me.  I'm also going to restrict nuts as much as possible.  They upset my stomach, and I need to find more reliable snack options.  I may still use some almond butter here and there, but no more buying of nuts for nuts' sake. 
  • Special Occasion Meals: Out of 100 days, you may eat 20 "special occasion meals."  No more, no exceptions. This is less than the infamous "80/20" rule.  By that rule, you'd get up to 4 non-paleo meals a week (assuming you eat 3 meals a day.) That's too much.  I figure 20 meals over 100 days (300 meals) is much better, and fairly realistic.  Personally, I'm going to make a point of not wasting any SOMs on processed foods.  If it's a special occasion, it had better be celebrated as such. 

The Workouts:
  • Short and Fast: Workout hard 5 times a week. While I won't have crossfit here anymore (though locals tell me they know some folks. . . ), I'm going to shoot for 5 days a week of lifting/muay thai workouts. 
  •  Long and SlowBuild long, slow-paced walks into your routine. Following Mark Sisson's advice on low level aerobic activity, my daily commute is going to become integral to my well-being.  Currently, I live about 2 miles from my new job.  So far, I've been walking to work, though I intend to start biking.  In the winters, I'll take the bus. My commute, plus all the walking that comes with living in a real city is bound to add up. Unless it's a dire storm, there's no excuse for me to drive anywhere now. 
  • 100 Burpee Challenge: Complete the 100 burpee challenge. You may have remembered Meagan's successful completion of the 100 burpee challenge.  Watching her rock it for 100 days straight makes me wonder if I, too, could exhibit that amount of perseverance.  From Unfit to Crossfit is also planning on starting on June 1, so I'm on board.  Rumor also has it that Crossfit Genius may be starting something soon. . . 

The Community:
  • Recipes: Try 1 new recipe per week. Per Meagan's suggestion, we will be creating and posting a new recipe each week.  We're still posting on the Crossfit Genius Paleo Cookbook, but we'll link here.  (Also, can I tell you how much I love the fact that googling "generally badass paleo" brings that up?)
  • Social events: Attend (or host) 1 social event each week.  Humans are social creatures.  We need social interaction to thrive. Or at the very least, to help reduce stress.  Because I've moved, and because it's easy to just throw myself into my work and ignore the world around me, I'm building a social component into this challenge.
  • BloggingPost or check in once a week.  I've been derelict in my blogging duties.  Because this challenge, the move, and the new environment should be giving me plenty of fodder for new blogging goodness, I'm aiming for a new post every week.

So that's it.  The 100 day challenge.  Perfectly reasonable, and definitely do-able. While I'm starting to eat paleo again immediately, challenge officially starts on June 1.  Who's with me?



Today marks the end of the 100 day burpee challenge that I engaged in. Because I have such a supportive gym, guess what today's WOD is?

The 100 day challenge has stunk. At around day 55, I started thinking, "OK, thanks, I get the idea, I've built up my burpee strength, I think I can quit now." There were more than a few days, I'll admit, when I had over 100 burpees to do because I'd missed the day(s) before, whether because I was on the road or it just slipped my mind. I lost many workout days to catching up on my burpees.

So now it's over, and like any goal you set for yourself, I'm glad I proved I could do it. I'm glad my burpees are strong--no more squat thrusts for me, thankyouverymuch--but I am so ready to get back into normal lifting and WODs and joining in with the rest of the gym.

And, just in case anyone was worried I was going to start slacking now that I'm not doing burpees at every turn, today Whole 9 posted their 30 day challenge again. Who's in with me? (I was looking for an excuse to go to Bourbon Steak this weekend anyway...)


Fighting Shape

It's been a stressful few months for me.  I don't want to admit it -- I think we all lead stressful lives -- but some things have been getting the better of me. And that means I haven't been doing as well on the eating, sleeping, having fun, working out front as I'd like. I was pretty hard on myself about it, because I know I can do better.  Thankfully, several people have pointed out to me that I'm using the wrong rubric -- I've been comparing myself to me without stress, and that's not fair.  Really, I should be comparing myself to someone with equal amounts of stress: someone else in the middle of changing pretty much everything about their life.  We can only juggle so much, and if people keep throwing more balls up in the air without giving an extra hand to keep them going, we're going to drop some.  So, I've dropped some stuff. It makes sense. 

While I've been trying to pick everything back up, I've started thinking -- what is it that I really want? What is the purpose that is driving my actions? I know there are all kinds of good reasons for being healthy, but I'm not very good at doing things just to do them.  I try to choose my actions to keep in line with a goal.  And for now that goal is to get back into "fighting shape."

I can hear you now. Fighting shape? What are you talking about?  As much as I like to remember the brief periods I dabbled in boxing and muay thai, I'm a lawyer not a fighter. (Though if I were a client, I'd hope they mean the same thing.)  Like the term "home," "fighting shape" means a lot of different things to different people.  So here's what it means to me.

Being in fighting shape means
  • feeling strong when I walk into a ring, be it a physical, legal or personal arena;
  • being rested and alert enough to face any challenge;
  • being guilt free about the choices I make and the values I hold to walk with swagger no matter where I go;
  • having a corner of talented folks who have my back;
  • having a gameplan, but being able to change it depending on what my opponent throws at me;
  • not being afraid to get hit.
It's simple stuff really, things I'm sure everyone wants.  But it's a heck of a lot easier to think about preparing for a fight than preparing for life, so I'm going to stick with the analogy and roll with it.  Strangely, just thinking about it in these terms has helped me come up with the plan to get where I want to be.  I'm rolling out a new personal challenge soon, and would be delighted if anyone else wanted to join.  Details will come shortly.  For now, just know I'm glad to have y'all in my corner.


Paleo Living Pet Peeve

I hate it when you go to say, a Mexican restaurant. You tell them they don't need to bring you chips. And then you order a steak fajita salad, hold the cheese, hold the disgusting taco shell, add a side of guacamole, please.

And you're eating it, and it's OK. Because it's paleo in theory, what it lacks in sizzle, it makes up for in virtue. And you're patting yourself on the back, "I avoided all potential landmines! Hell yes!"

It's not you're back in your office and it's three hours later that you realize: whatever it was that you ate, it was not paleo-friendly; you're f**king starving, then totally sleepy, in a way that you just never feel when you've had a good paleo meal.

And then, you have a second realization: G-ddammit, I paid $8 to feel this way.


The Double Down

I couldn't help it. Everyone's been talking about it. The critics are finally eating it. I couldn't get it off the brain. I had to know -- what would a paleo/primal friendly Double Down taste like? Unable to wait a moment longer, I decided it had to be made tonight. And because Meagan is the best roommate ever, we made it happen. Here's how we went from this:

The KFC Double Down

to this

The Paleo Double Down

The Recipe:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cups pecan meal/pieces
  • 4-6 strips nitrate-free bacon
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • pepper
  • salt
  • chili pepper
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Tomato, sliced (optional)
  • Romaine lettuce (optional)

Fry up the bacon and set aside.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan to use later.

Cut the chicken into tender-sized strips.  Find 3 bowls or containers big enough to dunk your the tenders into (I used tupperware.) Beat the eggs and place in one bowl.  Place the almond flour in the second, and the pecan meal in the last.  Add any seasoning you want for your tenders to the pecan meal.  We used salt, pepper, chili pepper and garlic.

Take one tender and coat it in the almond flour until completely covered.  Dunk it in the egg, and place in the bowl holding the pecan meal.  Turn the tender until coated and place onto a clean plate. Do the same for each tender until all are battered.

Heat up the bacon grease over medium high heat until it is just starting to smoke.  Fry tenders in the grease, about 3 minutes each side, depending on the size of your tender.  Make sure you have enough grease in the pan that the tenders are swimming -- if not, they will stick to your pan and lose their crust.

Remove tenders and plate with toppings.  For the original Double Down, place 1 slice of monterrey jack cheese and 2 strips of bacon.  While we plated one this way, this wasn't our favorite.  Both Meagan and I favored avocado instead of cheese (to make it truly paleo) and added some tomato.  I found the Double Down even more delicious and easier to eat wrapped in Romaine (and with some hot sauce for kick.)

The Verdict:

The Double Down is good. It feels sinful -- anything deep fried does.  But while it was tasty and filling and insanely fun to make, it's not really that different from what us paleo-ites eat anyway.  Chicken, nuts, bacon? All sound  pretty normal to me.  So if you're looking for a new flavor combination, or something that's going to blow your mind, don't try this.  But if you're looking for something fun to get your non-paleo friends attention, give this a go.  I can't imagine anyone could argue that the paleo version is NOT tastier than the original.

Meagan's Take: It was too much. Clearly, KFC wanted to be talked about, and it succeeded. But whilst I love avocado, tomato, bacon, and paleo-style fried chicken, there was just no need to put them all together. In fact, I'd say that the problem is too much fried stuff going on at once for the Double Down to be enjoyable in its entirety. And really, if you're eating bacon, it would be a shame to not enjoy it!

Everyone loves bacon

Thinkgeek shows us how much:

Download the "You've got a friend in meat!" ringtone here.

Absolutely Horrifying

I really can't get over any of this.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Via: Online Schools


Meet Lucy's cousin, Ardi

I've always loved the idea of archaeology. Reconstructing someone's life from thousands of years ago based on clues left behind is just so cool. In a similar vein, paleontology has also always fascinated me. (Perhaps this paleo thing was fated?)

I was excited to hear about a new find on the radio the other day, that helps add to our understanding of early humans. (For those of you who don't know who Lucy is, that's what Wikipedia is for.)

Here's an NPR story.
Here's a Daily Tech story.


50 + 60 + 61 + 62 + 63

296 burpees last night. Ugh, I'm tired just thinking about it.

I'm going to go hide in shame in the corner now--I did no working out this past weekend and clearly, did not stick with the 100 day burpee challenge. In comparison, the 64 burpees I have to do tonight seem so insignificant...


Things I learned this week (or my last semi-whining post)

So my last post was less than exciting to read, but it had to be done.  And luckily, both writing it and reading your comments helped me figure a lot of things out. Here are some things I learned this week. 

1) I like constructive criticism more than placating comments. 

As much as everyone likes to hear nice things, I genuinely appreciate it when people put me in my place. Y'all are right. It's not the end of the world, and I'll get through it/over it. I was just feeling particularly stressed on that day and had to get it out before it ate me up. I'm taking y'alls advice and sticking to my food journal and trying to move, even if it's just walking a few miles each day with the puppy. I'm also going to try and get back to CFG every day, even if just to do warm-ups or get some jump rope/rowing in. I associate CFG with a) happiness and b) moving, so only good can come from that. 

2) Working out is necessary to maintaining my mental health

Honestly, I really think a lot of the frustration I feel right now is because I'm not working out.  Even if my body is isn't how I want it to be right now, if I were working out, it wouldn't matter as much. Knowing I could still rock a PR, push myself to do something I thought I couldn't, or just keep up on a WOD gave me a feeling of accomplishment each day. My job doesn't have much in terms of instant or even short term gratification.  Crossfit is what gave me that, so without it, I'm going a little nuts.

 3) I am no longer going to eat nuts.*

In trying to pay attention to my body, I've noticed in the past few days that I'm really craving veggies and berries, and while eating those, I feel great!  Enter just one serving of nuts, however, and I feel lethargic, heavy, dull.  On Monday, I was on the road all day, and basically subsisted on jicama and almonds. (More on jicama to come later!) The nuts seriously feel like they are just rotting in my stomach, and I was dead to the world the next day.  Sadly, I just made a super delicious batch of Melicious' spicy nut mix that I'm going to have to donate to stronger stomach than mine. If anything though, cutting out nuts will help with the weight gain, and generally make me feel better, so that's good. 

4) I enjoy blogging about science, workouts, and news more than blogging about me. 

Lest you worry, I will be returning to my normal random fact style of blogging soon. I felt pretty weird blogging about my internal thought process on this one, but in the end, I think it was the right thing to do. Bodies are weird. Science is weird. And seeing someone struggle with trying to do things right has it's own merit, so I'm going to chalk it up to that.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

*Yes, I realize this is a random revelation.


So at first I thought I was imagining it,  but no, my feet and ankles are most definitely swollen. I can no longer get several of my left shoes on. What the heck is going on, body?! Anyone? Bueller?

I'm officially overweight

That's right. After weighing myself this morning and seeing a number I haven't seen in -- oh, I don't know, maybe 10 years -- I went online and checked my BMI. I plugged in my weight (136.5lbs), and my petite 5'2" height, and there it was. In print.

I am overweight.  

Yes, yes, BMI is bad. Scales are bad.  Go with how you feel, how your clothes fit, keep eating clean, and everything will be ok.  But the fact of the matter is, things are not ok.   I don't feel good.  My clothes are way too tight.  Couple that with the scale this morning, and something has to be done. 

Now, I know you are all very supportive folks. And that's part of what keeps me on the paleo/crossfit bandwagon.  But the thing is, I don't really want to hear how you can't tell, or how I've been sick and my body is fighting off illness.  While those things may be true (and very sweet), telling me everything will be ok actually just makes me feel bad for feeling bad, and that's silly.

The facts are facts: I'm getting bigger. And I need to do something about it.  I'm going to try being more strict with my food journal (ugh, I hate food journals), and try to get some crossfit in, with maybe some lowered weights and reps. (Going hard has been leaving me out of commission for a few days afterward. Sigh.)  Otherwise, I'm plenty open to suggestions of things to do other than waiting. For the record -- I am not good at waiting. 

Trust me, I know paleo and crossfit are good, and weight gain in and of itself is not bad. Just a few short months ago (around mid-February), I remember feeling awesome. I was getting strong.  I was not freaking out that I had gained 5 lbs because I was sure of how it got there.  It's the 10 lbs on top of that are annoying me -- the ones that have come while laying around and doing nothing.  And that's why I'm not going to do nothing about them.


Keeping it up while traveling

Wow, that sounds mildly dirty. Anhoo.

I have trouble keeping my momentum going when I travel. Food-wise a bit, but even more exercise-wise. Lucky me--this weekend my sister is going to be traveling with me, and she is interested in crossfit. Yes, there has been a lot of cackling and hand-rubbing as I devise what we're going to do. I'm hoping that by posting it here, we'll actually get the workouts done.

Friday: Add in 9 burpees to the warm up. WOD 7 rounds for time: 7 squats, 7 burpies.
Saturday: Warm up: 59 burpees. WOD 5 rounds, 15 lunge steps, 10 push ups. We'll see if I switch out the push-ups, as I'm still doing them assisted, and I don't want to bruise my knees right before wearing a dress. (Oh, and there's that whole thing about how girl-push ups are not a great modification...)
Sunday: WOD 100 burpees. I'll probably do 10 on the minute, since my sister is a newby. It's a delicate balance between scaring her and having her love it.
Monday: Warm up with 61 burpees. 4x25 jumping squats. I'll be on my own for this one.


Happy Birthday, Mr. Chavez!

Cesar Chavez would have been 83 today.A hero in the non-violent movement school of justice-achieving, Sr. Chavez was seriously badass. In honor of Chavez, today I'm taking the day to remind us all that

"There is no food justice without labor justice.
No workers, no farms. No farms, no food.

That pearl comes from EdibleAria. If you live in California (and even if you don't), please visit the UFW's site to see which farms in your area treat their workers with dignity and pay a living wage. Just as paleo peeps wouldn't want to eat inhumanely raised animals, we should also make it our mission to avoid eating food from farms where workers are treated inhumanely.



Tricia's thoughts about not cutting calories vs. just not eating the damn cake reminded me of things I've been mulling over since I started eating paleo.

1) If you've sucked out all the calories, I'll pass, thanks. I think this about Diet Coke, specifically, and other products such as fat free _insert item that is normally filled with fat_. If I really want that item, I'll take it regular, and pay the price--the reduced calorie version is going to taste like crap anyway and probably have all sorts of junk in it that doesn't exist in its natural state outside of a lab.
2) If the shelf life isn't over for 2 more years, I'll pass. What could I possibly be eating that will look/taste just the same in 2 years as it does now? If the food item is not aging faster than I am, as a general rule, I don't want any part of it. (This also fits in with my vanity, but that's a post for another day.)
3) If it costs $.99, I'm guessing it's not real meat. You see these commercials all the time for $.99 breakfasts at Wendy's or Burger King or other fast food places.* If your profit margin is such that you can charge me only 99 cents for meat patty and not worry about it, I am pretty sure what you're serving me is not meat. At least not any kind of meat that I want to put near my precious internal organs.

*I understand that sometime fast food restaurants will take a loss on one item because they'll recoup the money when people inevitably buy something else with a high mark-up, but my point remains the same because they're not going to be willing to lose that
much money on any item.

This last one in particular bugs me, and illustrates why eating paleo is as much political for me as it is about getting strong and lean.

I don't think that eating healthily should be an option open only to wealthy people. Yet those of us who follow a paleo diet know that it can be expensive. So you compare the added costs of grass fed beef to the uber cheap fast food meat, and there is very little chance that indigent people will see paleo eating as an option.

Yesterday I spent the day driving through very rural, very poor (often Black) parts of Alabama. Fast food ads were everywhere. It so rural that there would be nothing around for 30 miles except a McDonalds. How often do you think the supply truck makes it up there to restock the goods? The deals were so cheap (like the $.99 breakfast) that there is little chance that you could feed your family that cheaply by going to a grocery store, assuming there was one to go to.

Which brings me to my most central thought, which is: if predatory lending is outlawed, why don't we do something about predatory fast food? (I need to get a better description of what it is. But basically I mean the centering of fast food in poor neighborhoods, and the food prices that make not eating at fast food restaurants prohibitive.) And what could we do about it?



You know you're officially a member of the paleo/primal/crossfit cult when you find yourself taking weird supplements.  After a horrific week wherein my insomnia won the sleep war with my mono, I succumbed to Tony and Karen's advice and ordered me some vitamins. At their suggestion, I picked up some fish oil, super enzymes, Natural Calm (magnesium) and vitamin-D.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any Carlson's Fish Oil, so I picked up some Arctic Pure. (I'm sure this means something to somebody.) I've been pleasantly surprised by its mild lemon taste -- it's serving as a fairly tasty dressing for my salad right now.  I was not so pleasantly surprised to read that super enzymes have Oxen Bile in them. Um, Tony, Karen, you couldn't give me fair warning on that one?

Going forward

So, despite this blog, and my love of CFG, I've been resistant to say this, but here goes: this challenge has changed my life. As strange as it is to think, things will never be the same, though the changes aren't necessarily in ways I expected.

Yes, I'll continue to eat mostly paleo (with the addition of dairy), yes, I'm going to keep on Crossfitting (where available), but more importantly than that, I'm going to pay a whole lot of attention to sustainability, food politics, and what we are doing to the environment around us.

The biggest changes in my life? I'm going to limit the amount of packaging and waste I use daily. Other than condiments (and until I find a good butcher, meats and cheese), I'm going to try and buy all my food unpackaged and unaltered by man. It's going to be a rough row to hoe, but from now on, only organic produce and grass-fed/range proteins. If it's not from the source, it's not going into my body. And if it's going to destroy the environment to get it to me, it's not going in either.

I know, crazy right? How does a gal go from a challenge on fitness and diet to a transformation in her environmental and food politics? Try reading the ingredients label on all your food for 30 days, and see where that takes you. Add in some information about crazy stuff in meat, a blog about what we feed our kids, a documentary on our individual impact, and well, you start to see a pattern. It's all connected - what we eat, what we buy, and what we believe. And I believe we need to do something more than just get ourselves in shape. We need to get this planet in shape - physically, politically, and environmentally.

So yeah, there are going to be some big changes coming for me. There are a lot of things I want to start doing now and some not till I move. (Don't worry, I'll be posting about them as I go.)  But the fact remains. 7 weeks of eating right and moving right with a community has changed my life. And it sort of makes me want to change yours.


We did it!

Today is our last day of the GBOGH challenge. I do believe tomorrow I will have a cup of coffee. I've missed it.


In honor of my roomie:

A bit of art for your Monday morning:

From the ever-fabulous Ashley G., whose couple drawings I'm sort of in love with.


I have mono

So, at the urging of some friends, I went in for a physical yesterday to check on my ridiculous drowsiness. Turns out, I have mono.

There's not really much I can do about it. Doctor said to rest, eat, drink and be merry, and otherwise, I just have to wait it out. I figure I'll definitely stick to paleo for the time being -- natural foods are healthy foods, but I have no idea what to do about crossfit. According to what I've read online, heavy lifting is out. It puts too much stress on the spleen, and can cause it to burst. (Wonderful.) For the time being, that's fine, because all I really want to do right now is sleep. (I feel asleep 4x in the doctor's office.) That said, how will I know when I can workout again? How long does it take? A week? 2 weeks? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Brilliant idea

Colleague just told me what she had for lunch. Looking it up on the restaurant's online menu, it cost her $9.99. I will make some and take to work next week for much less than $9.99.

The idea:

1. Take a shrimp (pre-cooked or not). Score it down the middle, so that it's sliced, but not into two pieces.

2. Take a jalapeno pepper slice and stick it in the scored-pocket.

3. Wrap shrimp with piece of bacon.

4. BBQ until bacon is done. Won't take too long.

5. Devour.

I'm thinking this is PERFECT for a springtime picnic. Anyone want to join along?


Keeping me humble

Earlier this morning, I took off my suit jacket because it is so dang hot in my office, and have been sitting around in a tank top to try and cool off.

Client: Been working out, eh?
Me: Huh?
Client: [Reaches for arm to feel my muscles] Weeelll, you've got some muscle at least. [Proceeds to show me his guns and how well defined they are.]
Me: Stop showing off! That's my job!
Client: I don't even work out.
Me: Again, stop bragging! It's not nice!
Client: He he he. You'll get there someday, Meagan.


I have several posts in the queue, but I can't bring myself to write them. I've been exhausted for the past 2 days, not physically, but in a "I can't keep my eyes open" sort of way. This is pretty much me at work right now:


Challenge Benchmark #1

My results

Push press (3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3)
3/8: 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100
2/1: 55, 65, 75, 85, 90, 95

Metcon: 5 rounds for time 200m run, 10 burpees
3/8: 10:20 Rx'ed
2/1: 11:19 - modified with squat thrusts instead of burpees

I wish I had tried to go up 5 more lbs on the push press, but by the time it occurred to me, I had already done the metcon, and couldn't press it out over my head. The burpee metcon was great for getting my burpees out of the way (I'm doing the 100 day burpee challenge), but not much else. I loathe being the slowest person in the gym, and I was by far today. Sigh.

Tricia is right

Ripe avocado makes everything better.


Sweet Potato with Almond Butter

OMG you are delicious. Thank you to my lawschool classmate Sarah and her sister Katelyn on this one:
I always hesitate to post simple meal ideas, but then again the simple things are sometimes the hardest to conjure up in a moment of hunger. So I give you the Simple Sunday Sweet Potato--roasted (ok, nuked for 4 minutes then put in the oven at 450 to get the carmel factor without the time), then topped with 2 T almond butter. The almond butter melts into a thin swirl of richness. Complemented with a huge pile of torn chard and spinach wilted with olive oil, sea salt, and garlic, this was everything it needed to be. Any type of nut or seed butter would be delicious.
Via Today I Cooked