Not ‘gonna lie

So, in putting my body into Ketosis, I lost a total of 10 lbs. and my pants fit great. Flash forward two weeks or so, a weekend spent with friends on a boat on a lake with a deck and a fire pit, followed by Halloween and trick-o-treaters in the office, and I’m still down 5 lbs. but unfortunately and more importantly, lacking the motivation to work-out that I was hoping would kick-in with the drastic change in food intake.

No problem. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The joy is in the journey, not the finish line, etc. etc. etc.

So, what next? Well, a couple of things. Thanksgiving looms on the horizon, a good milestone with lots of treats if you’re looking for a short term goal. So, first, after much canoodling with with a few writerly-friends, I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, which basically means I’ve committed to one of my favorite things, write, every day, for the month of November, with the goal of getting 50,000 words on the page in 30 days. If you’re doing the math, that equals approximately 1,666 words per day, every day, for the month of November.

The beauty of NaNo is that in a way, it takes the pressure off, the pressure writers/artists tend to put on themselves that every word, every sentence, must be perfect. This incessent interior critic consistently gets in the way of just doing the act itself: writing. So, with the goal being quantity over quality, you are sort of forced to let go, and just do. Even in just these first two days, I’ve noticed that instead of hitting the delete or backspace button every time I eek out a sentence on the page, there’s a little NaNo voice now, a reminder, a nudge that says, “Hey, the goal here is to just get words on the page, that’s it, keep moving forward.” And so I do, and it’s quite freeing.

Also, in an effort to drag my body along with my mind in this exercise in daily discipline, I started the Whole30, again. Day 2, and so far so good. It’s really going to be the Whole 26 or 27, because I will be eating stuffing on Thanksgiving, that right there is a deal breaker. So, the last thing on my list, is to start moving again. I could either start showing up to my running group Saturday morning meet-ups. The average mileage is a steady walk/run 3miles. I can totally handle that. Or, hop on the rower in the garage and pair that with some strength training. Following the Wendler Method, starting extra-ridiculously-light, again, taking the pressure off to go heavy or PR or some other term from a lifetime ago.

These are all good things, the hardest part is just getting started, and moving forward in a new routine.

Supplements

“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”
― Jane Austen

Tough Mudder badge

I completed the Whole30 and a Tough Mudder this week. The Whole30 teaches you to read your food labels. Did you know it’s next to impossible to find bacon that does not have added sugar? I ended up purchasing bacon from a local farm but by the time I got home forgot to ask the farmer if there was any added sugar in the bacon. At $8.00 for the pack of thickly sliced bacon I resolved to eat it anyway. So glad I did as it was unbelievably DELICIOUS. Probably the best bacon I have ever had, like ever.

The Tough Mudder tested my stamina. The course was a beast. 4.5 hours running and hiking over and up and down and under and through Gunstock mountain in New Hampshire. I’m beaten down. Elbows and knees and arms and legs scraped and scared.

TM Boston

Now I’m just plain exhausted. Energy level less than ZERO. When my eyes open at 5am without the assistance of an alarm clock, I lie there and ponder what time it might be, what I have to do for the day, is Oliver still sleeping – if I say his name out loud would I hear the thump of his tail? Or was he up on the futon? Sprawled out and delightfully still in doggy slumber.

Last night I dreamt that I signed up for another Tough Mudder with another team and Oliver was handling all the online registrations. We were required to send our registration emails to his attention and he would write back in curt concise sentences confirming receipt.

‘Man, Oliver runs a tight ship..’ I remember one team-mate muttering, displeased with Oliver’s tight ship and lack of letting anyone get away with anything funny during the registration process.

Of course it was all a dream and I barely remember any of it. Except at one point waking up and thinking I should tell Linda, our Boston Mudder Team Captain, that I registered for another Tough Mudder … through Oliver.

Linda would appreciate the possibility.

This constant fatigue might be a bi-product of the surgery. I fell asleep in the chair at the hairdresser yesterday. I just simply can’t keep my eyes open. It’s exhausting just trying to get into the car to drive the short distance to work. It’s exhausting making dinner, let alone going to the grocery store. My exhaustion leads to being constantly hungry. Like, famished. Which is not good for the figure or the CF diet to perform, so while I just want to CHOW on a giant pizza, I’m trying to be good. This has led to a bunch of research on the internet for possible remedies. The best suggestion says to up my iron and B-Vitamins, even taking Maca root might help. I’ve since found a decent looking multivitamin and Maca root supplement which I’ll start today taking daily. Something… SOMETHING… has got to help.

I’m in sort of bubble, all the world is muted and it’s everything I can do to poke through the fog and concentrate, let alone get from A to B. As I type this now I just want to go home and go to sleep.

Days 17 – 24 – Lost: Mojo

If we were friends on FB you might notice that my recent posts are trending along the following lines:

First official WOD back at Albany CrossFit in 6 weeks. I’m weak, and slow, my stamina is for sh*t.
But I’m ready.
And oh so happy.

Or, this:

Lost: one tall chick’s Mojo. If found, please feel free to kick its ass.
Reward offered.
Maybe.

Or, how ’bout this:

Last to finish tonight’s WOD, but I don’t mind at all. Patience. Thanks Kim Seevers and Pat Dee for the extra awesome-sauce encouragement. Oh, and for the double rainbow.

So, what’s happening? I’m not really sure. I wrote this whole long drawn out mellow-dramatic email to a friend last night trying to work through the possible scenarios of why I might be feeling so less than motivated; change in staffing, member turn-over, or the obvious like loss of strength and stamina… Am I drinking too much coffee? Has the Whole30 made me too clean? Who knows.

The real point here is this: It’s Life. Change is constant. It will always be this way.

Here’s another news flash: Some days are harder than others. Yep. It’s true. So what do you do?

You have friends that post things like this to your timeline when you’re feeling like a total slacker:

someone has to be awesome339_n

And then if you can, reach out to another friend, an old coach, a mentor, someone that knew you when – that perhaps you have not connected with in a while that knows your history and where you started. Tell them your more recent story and ask them for help.

Ask for help. Reach out.

Maybe they can do something, maybe they can’t, but it will get you telling your story and flushing out what it might be that really has got you stuck. This process in itself can be cleansing.

Then, if necessary, if you start cherry-picking the WODs and making daily excuses as to why you can’t show up, as to why you deserve to eat ice cream out of the container on a daily basis, put out another ask, and another; I’m planning on going to the 5pm, anyone want to meet me? I guarantee a bevy of hands will go up and this will be the greatest motivating factor of all.

Friends encourage friends to do good.

If you’re interested, here’s the email I sent to Dean. It’s been almost a year since training together, and I just need the help, the motivation, the shove off from shore. We meet on Friday at noon.

Hi Dean,
I hope you are well. It’s good to be in touch with you again. I missed you! Sometimes I feel like, where did everybody go?
So, just some personal history, I stopped training for six weeks, beginning in April, for some minor surgery. Had a large fibroid removed (girl stuff…) I’m fine now but lost a lot of my stamina and some strength during the six week hiatus. It’s slowly coming back but I think the one thing I miss most of all in all of this, is: my motivation, my mojo.  Have you seen it?  What happened to it?  I dunno.
I’ve been eating clean, Whole30, the past 3 weeks and that feels good. Other than building up my strength again, I mostly want to work on my form, getting down and under the bar when I clean or snatch. My form probably makes the coaches cry under the privacy of darkness.
I’d like to improve it.
As for measureable goals, I’m going to be hitting DT in the next week probably at 85 or 90lbs, and then plan to do so again at the end of the summer at RX. 105 overhead is a big deal for me. I’m also signed up to compete in the Mass State Strongman on August 10. I can bring the print out with me when we meet.
Anyway, I hope you are well.  Talk to you soon. see you on Friday at noon.
Mary
Here was his response:
Mary, we will find your mojo!!!!!
I feel better already.

Day 3 – To the Finish.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

After last night’s rant I slept like a log. Just goes to show you how pouring out all your struggles on a blog and then crawling between the blankets for bed can lead to sleeping oh, so soundly. It simply helps to get things out. It genuinely does make one feel better. Like hitting the refresh button.

Today in our Whole 30 FB Group, the question was asked – Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish? We all want to lose a little weight so think of something besides that.

My FB response: I’m terrible at finishing things. I see the finish line and think, well, I’m almost there, good enough and stop mid stream. This has lead to many plateaus. I want to know what it feels like to finish, to push through the plateau and see true results. If I start with my body then I believe it will translate to other areas. New level of strength and endurance and confidence in training = changes in how I see the world = new opportunities.

Disclaimer on food – If you’ve read this blog you know I experiment with a lot of different approaches to my food; Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting, zone, Paleo, Paleo-zone while standing on one foot and eating over the kitchen sink. This is all a learning process. I love to experiment and learn what works best for my strength and happiness and health. In the end, the goal is to find what works best for me. End of story. My goal with joining our lovely Whole 30 FB Group is primarily to reign in my poor habits starting with the one area where I have instant and immediate control, my consumption of calories.

The Plan for the next 3o Days – I’ll be eating paleo; no sugar, no alcohol, no cheese, no legumes, no grains. If I reach for dairy (in the form of heavy cream in my coffee) it will only be allowed if sourced from a sustainable healthy beast; farm raised grass fed goats/cows.

Most importantly, the majority of my protein will be obtained from local, grass fed, humanely raised, animals. Whether it leads to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Meat-Share, or a simple Saturday drive to the local farm to purchase a week’s worth of proteins. Hey, it’s the season of Farmer’s Markets too so what better time to rise to the challenge! Literally, on early Saturday mornings. The plan is still unfolding and it’s glorious to consider and research and strategize recipes.

FOOD JOURNAL:

Breakfast – coffee w/ heavy cream (finishing out the last of my Trader Joe’s heavy cream…)

2:30 Lunch – Chipotle salad to go, with extra lettuce, carnitas, pico de gallo (that’d be salsa…) and that’s it. Used Olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper for dressing.

Dinner – spaghetti squash with roasted chicken breast and Rao’s marinara sauce. So. Good. Personally, Rao’s is the best tasting and ingredients closest to the source, but it’s also crazy expensive, 8+ per bottle. Therefor I only buy when on sale and when it is, I stock up.

Post dinner snack – raw almonds and cashews and dried blueberries with added Himalayan salt. I’m concerned I’m eating way too many nuts. Like, way too many. How many? I’m afraid to actually keep track.

WOD: (my first WOD back at ACF in six weeks):

High Bar Back Squat 5 x 2 @ 80%

* Rest 60 Seconds Between Working Sets

** Quick Descent, 5 Second Pause in the Bottom, Bounce and Quick Back Up.

Completed: at 95lbs. about 50% of my 1RM 6 long weeks ago.

Conditioning:

3 Rounds For Time of:

Run 400m

7 Muscle-Ups

21 Kettlebell Swings

* 20 Minute Time Cap

Completed: in 13:50. Scaled to 14 ringrows and pushups, KB’s at 35lbs.

Facebook Post:

First official WOD back at Albany CrossFit in 6 weeks. I’m weak, and slow, my stamina is for sh*t.
But I’m ready.
And oh so happy.

Day 2 – Making a come back.

“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”

“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.”

― Ray Bradbury

Facebook post: It’s interesting how; Say you’re having a really bad day and your usual way of coping when u get home is to eat a lot of unhealthy food, or have beer or scotch or both, or some other habit u know may not be so good for you – Take those former habits away, and you are forced to create a new routine, a new habit.. It is in that choice of a new habit that amazing things can happen.

***

Today marks 5 1/2 weeks since surgery. The six week mark and the official end to my recovery is Monday, May 13th. My diet has been good for the most part during the last six weeks. My biggest fear of gaining weight not coming true. Mostly because I worked to maintain a pretty strict Intermittent Fasting schedule of one meal a day, usually around dinner time. This was not easy sometimes sinking into extreme bouts of hunger during lunch time at work. Part of me wonders how much of my hunger was fueled by true actual hunger and part of it by simply pushing back against a long well worn habit of eating a salad at my desk. The internal alarms going off in my head telling me it is time to EAT, like punching a clock – it’s time to wake up it’s time to drink coffee it’s time to eat lunch it’s time to take a nap – with no real true indicator from my body as to whether or not it was truly hungry for calories.

Now that it is time for me to return to CrossFit I struggle with stepping back through the doors at ACF and jumping into the daily WOD. We knew this would happen. But why? Is it intimidation? Is it laziness? Fear? Both? Part of it is intimidation, knowing I’m not as strong as I used to be and certainly do not have the stamina I once enjoyed.

Part of it is laziness.

I’m enjoying these long summer afternoons at home after work with Oliver, sitting on the lawn in the settling sun and reading. Even the simplest act of throwing the ball for Oliver gives a great simple pleasure. It’s the trees and the air and the breeze and the warm spring sunlight. It’s Oliver running and jumping and performing stellar acts of doggy strength in every attempt to fetch the ball. I love to watch him go.

It’s me just being.

No where to go nothing to do no one to please or thank or run errands for. On Friday I decided I should change my Facebook status to being in a relationship. In a relationship with the word: Thank You. I employ the word about 8,883,987.25 times per day.

.25 because some Thank You’s are not always as sincere as others.

I work for a non-profit and everyone that walks through the doors, be it a volunteer or a donor or a member in need of our services or even a fellow employee deserves daily doses of honest Thank You’s because we are all there despite best varying degrees of difficulties. As an employee there is no money to be made, a below average standard of living at best, as a volunteer you are sharing the most valuable of commodities, your time and thereby in my mind deserve an extra-special round of gratitude. As a member receiving our services there are probably a hundred million different places you would rather be, but you’re not, because chances are you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick or who has just passed and you are sad.

So many Thank You’s to give.

I am an appreciative person, but doling out so many thank you’s on a daily basis can be exhausting. You tend to give so much of your self, stopping at all points in the day to offer assistance or lend a patient ear or a word of encouragement or additional set of hands to unload a car. The list of needs, the list of opportunities to stop and be patient and be helpful is truly endless. With this list can come a sense of doing good. This is true. But there also comes a point of feeling like a stone with no more blood to give. It’s called being burned out.

My struggle lies in feeling burned out but not knowing what to do about it. It’s not the fault of the people around me that I feel this way. It’s nobody’s fault but my own. But here it is. In all its glory, this feeling that I just don’t want to do what I’m doing anymore and also feeling trapped, not knowing where to go, or what to do, and as an added bonus feeling intensely lonely in all this angst.

Digressing.

Why is it I’m having a hard time getting back to the one thing I do love: CrossFit? I’m not sure. Probably a little bit of all of the above, sprinkled with intimidation and baked with a final dash of laziness. I don’t want to give up the time. The time to do what I want to do in the quiet of my home with Oliver dutifully, silently at my side. Where the only task asked of me is to be fed some kibble and throw a ball and sit with me in the sun or the shade and listen to the birds and the wind and watch the setting shadows.

This, I can do.

But the world waits for no one. And every one needs a Why. So, I must find my Why. And when I find it, I must start doing it. But where to start…

Perhaps the best place to start is the place closest to home. A place where I have immediate and instant control, my body:

Goal No. 1. Complete the Whole 3o Challenge – Join your peers from ACF and from now until June 5 partake in the Whole 30. Get lean. Get strong. Stop the bullshit.

Goal No. 2 – Start WODing at least four times per week. Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday 5/8. Mix it up, stop feeling obligated and create an adventure, meet new fellow CF’ers, hit the noon class, a late 8:30, maybe a morning mayhem, anything… just get yourself through the front door again. And again. And again.

Goal No. 3 – Track all food and workouts here. Every day. Every. Single. Day. Write something. Here. Log it on Double Under Dogs. Be accountable. Do what you love, write.

If I can stick to these 3 Goals, every day, from now until June 5 – then a shift will occur. For just like my post today on Facebook, there is no try, you just do. And by choosing new habits, you slowly but surely start steering the ship in a new direction. With making the right choices, with making healthy choices and creating a new routine and defining a different type of day, you will chart a course in an unimagined direction towards a new and bountiful horizon full of knowing Why.

The Grass is Greenest Where it is Watered.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

Warm-Up:

Snatch Skill Transfer

WOD:

I. Snatch – 5 x 2 – Rest As Needed Between Sets

Completed: focusing mostly on form @ 55lbs.

II. Front Squat 3 x 3 @ 80% 1RM – Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

Completed: again, focusing on form, working up in weight, 55lbs., 75lbs., 95lbs.

Thanks to Nicole and Richard for being great partners today.  For sharing stories between reps of personal successes, failures, and confusion as to why some people say the darndest things out loud. Rich summed it up pretty well, ‘Some folks just lack a filter.’ Indeed.

III. Chin Ups (Chin Over Vertical Plane) 4 x 15 – Rest 1 Minute Between Sets

Completed: Ring Dips with wrists towards the ceiling, max effort.

Then onto Strongman. A group of us (StrongWoMen, mostly) have signed up for our first Strongman Competition in Perth.  Competitions make me want to vomit urine from fright. Which is all the more reason to do them. This will be my first. Below is the level at which we will be competing:

   Super Yoke Tire Flip Log Press Truck Pull Deadlift Farmers Hold
Women 140+ 310lbs 250lbs Max Weight Ford Ranger 175lbs 110lbs (per handle)

I’ve performed each of these movements at least once. So I got that going for me. Except one, the Truck Pull. But its only a Ford Ranger, so, you know.

The Super Yoke at 310lbs. seems the most intimidating item on the list. We practiced tonight. The Yoke itself weighs 150lbs. We worked our way up from there in 70 lbs. increments; 150 lbs., then 220 lbs., then 290 lbs., then finally 310 lbs. Thank goodness there are no Math WoD’s at ACF, and the fact that Margarite has the ability to calculate the sum total weight of bumpers and steel on the spot. My skill in this department is sorely lacking and I’m okay with that for now.

I’m in a cleansing mood. Been cleansing my diet, 14 days into the Whole30 and going strong. Cleansing my home too, of all clutter. Never was a clutter person to begin with, but now I’m even digging into the little momentos and tokens from the past that have been holed up in the back corners of my closet and shelves. Just feel like getting rid of all of it. Yes, there’s memories there, some cherished, some not so much. Some more like reminders, of a time that indeed helped shape where I am now, but do not write the story of who I am now, or a minute from now, or tomorrow. That story is for me to tell from where I’m standing now. The urge to purge comes from a general feeling of lightness. My mind is light, and clear, and focused. I want my surroundings to be even more so too.

I think sometimes I had the tendency to get weighed down by having too many priorities, too many focus points, too many places I wanted to be. More from a scattered ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ approach, then one overtly movtivated. You can’t split yourself into eight, and take off in hot pursuit into eight different directions with the same fierceness and intensity of applying that force to one united direction. The hot pursuit gets diluted into a luke warm simmer.

Paralyzed by too much opportunity.

Call it mid-life, call it finally settling into what it is that I really want. Call it whatever the F* you want. But, I do know that I like it. And it is all too welcomed. There is a stripping away of non-priorities, and the priorities that remain are few, precise, and crystal clear.