Exercise: Want vs Should

If you follow me on twitter, you’ve seen my tweets about my anguish over whether or not to continue going to Crossfit.  As much as I love the intensity, I don’t think my body can handle 4-6x a week (as much as I would like it to), so I decided to email my Crossfit box to decrease my membership again (I switched from unlimited to 13x a month for May as I was going to be on leave for a good portion of the month).

Well, after getting a very snarky email reply, I started seriously considering quitting. Especially after I received a reply tweet from Leslie saying a similar thing happened to her friend. She and I chatted about the CF ‘cult-like culture’ making me feel like I am not as committed as I should be. Even though I know each box is different, recently I have been feeling this pressure and becoming more frustrated.  Workouts were becoming more stressful with how much I should be doing vs what I want to be doing.  (And yes I know not all workouts will be sunshine and daisies).

'Yummy' airport snack?  NOT

My feelings exactly for crossfit recently.

Adding fuel to my growing CF-distaste-fire, my mojo has been off, I’ve been going less frequently, and I actually get anxious and stressed about going.  It doesn’t help that I have an hour between work and CF to stew about a workout (yes I realize I have strange anxiety issues).

I read a really interesting article about why someone hasn’t tried CF yet (and doesn’t plan to), and I think I may have gotten caught up in the fad she explains. While I love the intensity and group inspiration during workouts, I really don’t like the CF culture that is ‘crossfit is the only way to workout.’ Sometimes I just don’t have the energy for an entire hour of intensity/weights/craziness. Sometimes I just want to do a dvd/go for a run/just do yoga. Sometimes, I want to skip a workout entirely and do what my body wants- REST. (Insert audible gasp here)

Patty all snuggled :)

Resting like Patty here 🙂

Initially I thought I had to go every day since I was paying so much and I wanted a ripped Crossfit body. I know it’s only been a short time and I can’t be discouraged by non-immediate results. I must focus on what I have accomplished-I have been lifting heavier/getting stronger/muscles getting firmer/etc. But I don’t know if I can be one of those people totally addicted to CF- their whole lives consumed by it- they hang out with just CF people, talk nothing but RX and PR and the ‘girls,’ and eat only paleo. I usually get caught up in fads for a while then go to something else (whole30, repeat breakfasts, running). I was hoping CF would have cured my exercise ADD, but I think its just my personality to want to keep changing things to do what I want to do- which is how exercise should be, right?

Here’s a novel idea: exercise should be what we want to do vs what we should do.

With that said, I came home from work last Wednesday itching for a good sweat session.  Since I was still a little miffed with CF (yes I am immature), I decided to make up my own workout- doing what I want to do. Here’s the workout I did and posted yesterday:

Work it WorkoutI finished in roughly 30 minutes and felt totally accomplished.  Want to make it even more sweaty? Simply make sure your gym has the AC turned off during a heatwave!! 🙂

After chatting with friends and the bf about it, ruminating about it for days, considering all the pros (feel great after each workout, getting stronger, encouraging atmosphere, challenging workout), and cons (price, distance once I move, email, increasing cult-like atmosphere, loss of mojo), I decided to quit my membership (all you dedicated Crossfit goers, insert your shock and shame face here).

scaredAlthough I can financially afford it, I am moving in with my bf soon and want to save as much money as I can so I can pay off my student loans as fast as possible.  I plan to join the bf’s gym which offers bootcamp and bodypump classes, as well as continuing my own Crossfit-like workouts.  Now that I know what the intensity should feel like, the right way to perform lifts and other Crossfit moves, I think I can continue and stay fit for a fraction of the cost- and the anxiety!

That’s all the heavy-ness I have for you today.  Thoughts?  Am I silly to quit? Have you ever agonized over quitting something?

Rock on lovers 🙂

The Comfort Zone vs Safety Zone

Hello hello loves!  Sorry I have been a bit MIA- last weekend was crazy with the bachelorette party, family fun, and relaxing.  While the weekend was great, this week is a bit hectic.  Not only do I have this AMAZING event to look forward to:

BlendI also will be leaving for Mexico the Tuesday after I get back to celebrate my one year dating-versary with the bf!  I can’t believe we’ve been together for a whole year!  It has been such a great one, too.  I honestly cannot picture my life without this man.

December 2012 349He is the most kind, patient, understanding and loving person and I am so lucky to have him.

Ok, mushy gushy over.  I have also been MIA because, well, I have been hanging out with this:

heatingPadSource

And this:

foam rollerSource

And this:

aleveSource

I somehow, sort of, slightly, kind of, maybe injured my low back during deadlifts at Crossfit Monday.  From the start I did not enter the box with a good mindset.  I was tired.  I complained I was tired, but pushed myself to go, knowing I would regret not going and would love the accomplished feeling afterwards, like I always do.

After a good dynamic warmup that included some kettle bell snatches, burpees, atlas stone pickups, and rowing, we got into the strength portion of the workout:

5x5x5x5x5 deadlifts at 80% (this is 80% of your 1 rep max).

It had been a while since I last did deadlifts at a wimpy and conservative 65#, so I decided to bump up the weight.  With each set I added more and more weight.

Dumb idea.

The last 5 reps I was at 105#.  I knew I could go heavier, but I was also a bit fatigued at that point so I stayed at 105#.  As I grabbed the bar and pulled on those last reps I heard/felt a small ‘pop’.  Since nothing really hurt right away I continued with the actual WOD, which included lots of dumbbell push presses and over-the-box jumps.

Good news though- both yesterday and today I am just really sore- like I pulled or strained my back.  Nothing is excruciating  so I think I am ok.  I plan to take it easy the rest of the week so I can do the boot camp workouts at Blend this weekend.  I also plan to keep taking an anti inflammatory, foam roll/stretch and heat. But lesson learned- yes, keep pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, but not past the safety zone. I MUST stop trying to be a badass and toss my ego out the door.  Which is really Crossfit 101.  Shame on this crossfitter.  Shame.

p shameSource

Question: Have you pushed yourself a bit too far and not have the best results?  Any exciting weekend plans?

Rock on lovers 🙂

What True Gratitude Really Is

I wrote this post for VA is for Bloggers a couple weeks ago.  As Easter just passed and an important but sad anniversary occurs for me tomorrow, I thought today would be a great day to share a post on gratitude.

I think there comes a time where you lose yourself in the chaos that is life.  Family reunions, student loans, car troubles, bad hair days, spouse annoyances, dishes, workouts, grocery shopping, daycare, commute, rent… I haven’t even mentioned work stress yet!  Factor in loss, grief, anxiety, worry and you begin to wonder if happiness will ever make an appearance again.

worryPiggybacking off a recent post I did about remembering to savor the little joys in life, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about being grateful–not only for the those little things in life, but much more.  Life can be so hectic that we end up focusing on only the chaos and negatives in life that we forget to be grateful for what we do have.  I think gratitude is so much more than just being thankful for having a job and a working car.  I think gratitude is different for every person, but I feel true gratitude is a deep-seated, encompassing, touches-the-soul appreciation for what keeps up sane, keeps us grounded, and keeps us going in life. I think true gratitude can really affect the outlook you have on life and can really cultivate the happiness we envy of those that naturally exude it.

I myself am guilty of forgetting to be grateful.  After my father passed, it was hard to feel anything other than sadness and despair.  The profound void his absence left affected so many other areas in my life-relationships with family, friends, my passion for fitness, and even my love for baking goodies for coworkers faded.  It was hard to find happiness in almost everything that used to bring me joy. It was especially hard to be happy for others.

But this lasting sadness was exhausting. One day I literally got fed up not being my normal, former-happy self. I knew I couldn’t flip the switch from sad to happy, so I simply willed it- fake it ’till you make it was how I learned to get back to happy. Even today when I feel sick of being stressed out, I will a better outlook. It’s kind of a mantra I silently repeat to myself throughout the day or when life gets chaotic: It will be a good day, I will not let stress overwhelm me, I will have fun. It took years of practice, but on really bad days it works. Yes, I still have days where I am a grumpy, moody B because of stress and grief. But having this outlook helped me to see the good things I was missing by being mentally absent.  I learned to have a new appreciation that, with a bit of practice and awareness, I can be happy again, and that life does go on.  And the gratitude for this knowledge is priceless.

Color Run on my Birthday!

Color Run on my Birthday!

An interesting article I found online noted that gratitude can make it easier to cope with stress and trauma, even after such a traumatic event like 9/11.  “A positive perspective allows you to obtain a better grasp on suffering. ‘Expressing gratefulness during personal adversity like loss or chronic illness, as hard as that might be, can help you adjust, move on, and perhaps begin anew,’ Lyubomirsky says. In the days following September 11, 2001, gratitude was found to be the second most commonly held emotion.”  That is pretty amazing, don’t you think?

A long-held belief of mine is that without suffering there can be no compassion.  I feel that without gratitude there can be no contentment.  I believe anything worth having is worth fighting for.  I think this is especially true for complete happiness.  I believe true happiness is worth fighting for, and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to strive for happiness every day.

I am grateful to have a wonderful and loving mom, sister, and niece and nephew:

Christmas at Disney

Christmas at Disney

I am grateful for my amazingly supportive friends:

Tubing!

Tubing!

I am grateful for my incredibly patient, kind, and adoring boyfriend:

NY Reunion and VAB trip Aug 2012 021

Love 🙂

And lastly, I am so grateful for this one life I was granted to fill with hope, wonder, laughter, memories, experiences, and love.

Wee!

Wee!

What are you truly grateful for in life?  Do you practice gratitude?

Rock on Lovers!

Opposite of Content

So this is a bleak post and the reason I haven’t blogged in a couple of days.  Last week was rough.  No, worse than rough.  It was a roller coaster of emotions and stress I don’t care to experience again anytime soon.  A multitude of things occurred last week, not all of which I will share, that have really tested my sanity.  First was the three year anniversary of my fathers suicide.  I really didn’t think much of it, knowing that it was more of the anxiety leading up to ‘the day’ that was stressful.  What was actually stressful was my mom.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother and would not be here without her unwavering support during our shared trauma, but she and I have such different grieving and coping paths that makes communication between us difficult.  She is still very much in a moping and dwelling stage, saying things like ‘at my age I never thought I’d be alone, a widow, I guess I didn’t love him enough’.  I’m sorry if this makes me a terrible daughter and person, but its just pathetic.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have definitely ‘moved on’ a bit, while my mother refuses.  She thinks she will be ‘letting him go entirely’ which isn’t the case.  Its just another step in moving on in her life to a better, happier place.   But being the stubborn woman she is, she literally refuses to be happy- and there are moments she is happy, the will then force herself to feel guilty and revert to moping.  As part of my ‘growth’ in the 3rd year of grief I make an effort to try and accept her way of grieving, but sometimes I just need to step away and let her do her thing, just as I’m sure she does the same with me.

Next on my blah unhappy list- my weight.  Some days I am completely content with the way I look.  Ok, that’s not true.  Not in the slightest.  I am happy with how far I’ve come, but I cannot seem to lose these last 10 pounds.  I got pretty close to my goal weight, but only after severe calorie restriction and crazy cardio sessions.  I was happy with my weight, yes, but not happy in life. I was cranky and moody all the time.  Right now I am frustrated that after a month of doing insanity not only have I not lost any weight, I have gained weight (barely a pound, but even the smallest amounts are a lot to a 5’1 person). Also my clothes feel tighter, not any more loose.  What gives?  I’ve read message boards about calorie amounts may be to blame (I was eating below the recommended amount for insanity), as well as muscle swelling/DOMS affect.  I don’t think muscle swelling should still be an issue while in recovery week, and I really really hate how my body feels.  Squishy, blobby, and just not comfortable.  I do not like what I see in the mirror and I want to give up on insanity entirely.  But I will stick it out, as many of the message boards say many people like me didn’t see results and to just keep it up.  I know diet it’s the majority of the plan to see the results I want, but I just don’t know what my body truly needs.  Well, last Thursday I had an appointment to get my metabolism tested by a RD/nutritionist.  Well, I wasn’t too thrilled with the results.  It really wasn’t anything I didn’t already know.  It was interesting to see how much I burned (a little higher than normal, which damnit should be the case since I work out frequently), and to east x amount to lose weight.  She did mention to keep track of my calorie intake on the weekends (which I don’t normally), and after just a few days of really focusing and sticking to intuitive eating, I have lost a couple pounds!  Now I just need to focus and keep my determination to finish off the second month of insanity that I started yesterday.

Easter weekend recap- slept, vegged (healthily), and spent time with mom.  I guilty spent no time with my niece and nephew.  I just didn’t have the patience last weekend and just wanted to spend time with my mom.  But enough chat!  I promised a recipe…but to make up for my lack of posting I will give you TWO!!  Yes I know, you are just tickled with excitement about this 🙂

First is a recipe I found from Breakfast to Bed.  I LOVE Twix, but they are SOOO bad for you.  All kinds of sugar, saturated fats, etc.  So when I found this healthy recipe for peanut butter twix (because everything is better with peanut butter!) I just HAD to make it!!

Super Yummy and Healthy PB Twix Bars adapted from Breakfast to Bed

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp chia
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • powder stevia to taste
  • 1 very ripe banana (my fav way to eat them all spotty!)
  • 1ish cup of PB2 made to a paste
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine almond milk and chia and set aside for 10mins or so until you get the chia gel affect

Mash the heck out of that already uber ripe banana and it with combine chia milk mix, oats, whites, crunchy pb, stevia, vanilla.

Mix until well combined

Mix and mash it up!

Spread into a pammed (greased) cake pan and bake for around 25 minutes until edges are slightly browned.  Once cooled, spread the creamy PB2 on top, freeze, then melt the chocolate chips and add that glorious layer on top of the PB.

Chill and cut those suckers and devour.  I made an even healthier version with just a couple chocolate chips on top instead of the layer of chocolate, because sometimes I like more PB than chocolate.  Yes, I’s weird.
Enjoy!
Next recipe will be posted tomorrow…because I am a tease and quite frankly you wont want to miss the story of my adopting a stray…goldfish 🙂
Also I will have my first rec soccer game tomorrow- wish me luck!!
Rock on lovers 🙂

Am I Insane?

Hello lovers and Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I woke up around 10am Saturday and had a glorious bowl of egg white oatmeal before watching a few hours of tv and napping until 3pm!!

Egg white oatmeal with a dollop of unsweetened apple butter and sprinkle of Natures Path Pumpkin Flax granola. Ah. Maze. Ing.

Later I treated my mom and I to manis and pedis to prepare for my first day on the new job.  I also caught up later that with my best guy friend from high school who was on leave from the Army.  I hadn’t seen him in over 5 years!  He wasn’t in a good place when I saw him last, but this time he was doing so well- he looked great and I could tell he has really turned his life around and I cant wait to see what he does with it!  I rounded out my weekend with some chores and a little insanity.

But Krista, that’s normal for you..a little insanity…

You misunderstand.  I got the Insanity workout DVDs.

I know, seems I always change up my workouts.  But that’s how you keep from getting bored, right?  I wanted a change.  While I can do written fitness routines (plyo, tabatas, HIIT, etc), I always do my best when I follow someone yelling at me what to do.  I also wanted a big fitness change, so I thought why not?  I got them half price from someone on Craigslist (she apparently had a stroke/heart attack recently hence why she couldn’t use them).  Fortunately they are the correct DVDs (unopened even!) and not some shady bootleg copy.  Yesterday I did the fit test- whew, I was worried for today’s first actual workout after that!  But once I completed it, I was so proud.  I actually did more of it than I thought I would be able to.  I was actually a bit terrified to do day one.  Watching the commercials, seeing everyone in the video lying on the ground gasping for air.  Which I wasn’t at the end.  Don’t get me wrong, I was SHWEATAAAY.  And I was wiped.  But it was a GREAT sweat session and I cannot wait for tomorrow!  And I really really want to do the whole 60 day thing to the best of my ability (I may miss a day or two because of work, vacations, etc).  But I cant wait!

To continue the Insanity of this Monday, not only did I decide to start a new fitness routine but I also started my first day in my new division/unit!  I was pretty nervous and probably just as terrified as I was with insanity, but I knew I was going into a unit with good people and my friends were close by.  I also had their confidence and support so I went into my first day with my head held high.  I spent most of the day reading information being thrown at me, attempting to understand all the new people I met, the projects we work on, and the hardest part- all the new acronyms (we love those in the government).  Its like learning a whole new language!  Needless to say a few full sheets of paper filled with notes, a couple index cards with the acronym definitions, and several email folders later I think I have the teeniest tiniest itty bitty grasp of what I will be working on.  I even sent out my first ‘product’ for higher management to review!  Well, I sat with my ‘supervisor’ and we completed it together, but I sent it… He is also working a big portion of what I will be doing while I work on learning the whole duties of my position.  With so much to do and learn the day really flew by. And the best part?  My phone didn’t ring once!  At my old position I was in a very ‘customer’ oriented position.  I was the main POC for the program and had to answer all the policy/technical/etc questions ALL day by email and phone.  Though my current position has a big email volume, it is all to do with our unit and their products/projects.   I’ve met and made friends with my ‘supervisor’ and a couple people in the unit, and had a chance to visit my old unit, too!  All in all, it was a pretty productive, exciting, and info-filled day!  Thanks again to all my family and friends for all their support and assuaging my fears!!

Lastly, I got my first email and my first match for Foodie Pen Pals sponsored by the lovely Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean.  An overview of the program is here, but basically you get paired with another blogger or reader and you ship a box of goodies and get one as well!  If you’re a blogger you’ll write a post about what you received.  I am SO excited!  I’ve been reading her blog for months and decided to join the fun!  I love finding out about new products and meeting new bloggers/readers.  I am so excited!!

Well lovers, I am wiped.  It was a mentally (work) and physically (workout) exhausting day and I am SO looking forward to a full night of restful sleep.  On tap for tomorrow- more craziness!  Hopefully I will retain the info I learned today.  And I hope I’m not sore tomorrow.  I need to be in top shape to (finally!) book a cruise to the Mediterranean with one of my best girlfriends!  There is a funny Iceland volcano story I will have to share at a later date.  For now, I leave you with this caahhraaazaaaay photo revelation…

Woah. Kind of makes you feel old, huh?

Rock on lovers!

 

Question:  Have you tried insanity?  Do you ever feel the need for a big change- work, workouts, etc?

Treat Yo Self – Happy Valentines Day!

So to make up for my missed Monday post- you get a bonus post today!!  Here is my favorite quote for anyone- single like me or attached. I hope you were able to treat yo self this Valentines Day because you are awesome and deserve it!!

Happy Valentines Day!!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

Cuteness 🙂

And I have to add this because its too cute- and melted my heart 🙂

Adorable!

Sunday Inspiration and Treadmill HIIT

Hello and happy Sunday everyone!!  Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Mine wasn’t too shabby. I had a pre-Valentines weekend celebration with my momma.  I bought her tickets to her favorite movie/play/musical at a dinner theater- Fiddler on the Roof!  I’m not usually a fan of plays, but this was fantastic!  And my mom enjoyed it SO much!  I also got her a pair of earrings (you’ll hear a lot about me buying jewelry for my mom; since my dad has passed I have to make up for it!) that she lost and she was SO surprised!  She couldn’t stop smiling all night!  I love when I can make my momma happy 🙂

I spent Super Bowl Sunday doing not-so-Super-Bowl things.  I hit the grocery store and Wal-Mart, and then did the usual Sunday chores and gym session.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some football.  But none of my teams are in and it’s a school night, so I’d rather just relax and maybe flip to it every now and then while watching a Sex and the City marathon!

Speaking of Sunday workouts- I’ve been really well with Body Rock, but since I haven’t been doing well diet-wise (damn you snacks!) I decided today it all changes!  I bought all good food and super healthy snacks for work this week, and I plan to write out my workouts and check them off as I complete them.  Although I may workout a lot, I realize that’s only a small percentage if I want to see real change.  I have to stick to healthy eating, portion control, and NO over-snacking!  I do confess I’ve been a bit preoccupied with my body and weight. Whereas many of my friends have the uber-metabolism I would kill for, I was blessed with the fat gene.  Plus, my ‘fun-size’ stature makes any weight gain noticeable on my tiny frame, forcing me to work extra hard for the physique I want.  But I am determined!!  So my plan this week is to have the mindset that I can do this, I can change my body, I can get fit and healthy and be confident!!

You CAN Do This!!

Back to the workout for today.  One good thing about working out on Super Bowl Sunday- a gym all to myself!!  Today I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) treadmill routine from One Fit Foodie.  It was killer!  I topped it off with a 5 minute ‘cool down’ on the elliptical and a Body Rock workout.  Needless to say I was super sweaty!

I hope that if you find yourself worried about not hitting the gym as hard or as often as you wanted, slipped at family gatherings and had one to many pigs in a blanket, and are lacking confidence in the awesomeness that is you that you realize, too, that you CAN do anything you put your mind to!  You are strong, sexy and confident, and with a little determination can reach your goals!!  Make yourself proud!!