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 🙂

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Scenes from the Weekend and a New Workout!

Hello and happy Marvelous Monday lovers!!  Hope you had a great weekend!  Mine was pretty fantastic with a great mix of relaxation, a concert and a movie, as well as some friend and family time!  Here are the scenes from the weekend!

Friday I went out for my daily walk outside and stumbled upon the elusive dancing man!  I haven’t seen him in a while, but he stands on street corners with headphones dancing and singing.  I want whatever he eats for breakfast!  I envy his boldness to dance in public!

Blog Photos May 2013 003I stumbled upon this granola from Kind and have been snacking on it all weekend! It is amazing!

kind granolaSuper crunchy and with really big clusters!! I Love me some clusters 🙂

Friday night the bf and I met up with a couple friends for happy hour at the Brixton on U St downtown.  I’m not a big drinker but this drink, the Groggs, sounded good! It had Appleton V/X Rum, lime, and sugar.  It hit the spot on such a warm evening! Plus, the rooftop bar was so cool!

Blog Photos May 2013 005And look- I saw Schmidt’s twin at the bar!  Crazy!

Blog Photos May 2013 006Saturday morning I woke up early and hit my apartment gym for a fantastic sweaty circuit/crossfit workout. I completed this workout after work Wednesday when my vacation jetlag finally subsided.

Work it Workout

If you need a new workout give this one a go! I was a sweaty mess and felt so accomplished after!  Plus, nothing gets you going like this song while swinging that kettle bell!

Blog Photos May 2013 007I took a couple selfies while doing some bridge and plank work to finish out my circuit workout!

bridge plankI also got a little creative with a photo app on my iPhone 🙂

After my workout I showered and made a light breakfast- leaving room for Saturday Farmers Market sampling and brunch with my momma and nephew!

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My nephew and I plus Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market!

After I inhaled a delicious iced coffee, we stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies.  Check out the haul!

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We stashed our haul in the car before hitting Le Madeline for brunch.  I have seen this restaurant several times and always wanted to try it.  Their brunch was pretty good!

Blog Photos May 2013 017I had oatmeal with berries, my mom had their eggs benedict, and my nephew (the weirdo non-breakfast-food-for-brunch fan) had chicken pesto pasta. I also ordered crepes Romanoff to share. The crepes had a cinnamon and rum-laced cream with strawberries.  It was heaven!

After saying goodbye to my momma and nephew and relaxing a bit, I had some yogurt ‘soup’ with hemp hearts.  I like my yogurt a little liquidy, so I add a splash of unsweetened almond milk and some hemp hearts for crunch. Yum!Blog Photos May 2013 021I relaxed a bit before picking up the bf and heading to the movies to see Star Trek. Yes, I am a proud Trekkie 🙂 The movie was really good!  I highly recommend it- even for non-Trekkies, it was really entertaining!

We had a quick dinner from the hot bar at Whole Foods.  I was so hungry I forgot to snap a photo.  But lots off good stuff was had! Good thing there is no Whole Foods within walking distance, I would have their salad bar every day!

After dinner the bf and I headed straight to Jiffy Lube Live to see Tim McGraw!  Yup, a Trekkie and closet country fan!  Don’t judge me 🙂

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Love him 🙂

I was so excited to see a froyo booth at the arena I just had to have it!!

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Can’t say no to froyo 🙂

Then I met up with my friend A and her friend D for the concert!

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Country fans 🙂

And check out that sunset!  The photo doesn’t do it justice!

Blog Photos May 2013 028Craptastic camera phone photo 🙂

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I was actually kind of disappointed with Tim McGraw- he only sang a couple songs I knew, and none of the popular ones.  We actually heard all my favorites on the radio on the drive back from the concert!  But I loved his opening act Brantley Gilbert!

Sunday morning I woke up craving the breakfast I had almost every day in Mexico- egg whites with jam, yogurt and granola.  Plus, organic coffee I got in Mexico (in the South Africa mug I got for the bf 🙂 ) Simple perfection!!

Blog Photos May 2013 033

Perfect Sunday Breakfast

I spent the rest of the evening doing chores and relaxing.  It was a very Marvelous Weekend!

Do anything fun this weekend?  What was your last concert?  What is your favorite Sunday morning Breakfast?

Rock on lovers 🙂

What I learned at Blend- Recap!

Holy Moly, Happy Friday everyone!!  I am back from a mini blog hiatus/vacation jetlag.  I have a bunch of posts lined up but wanted to start off Friday with a bit more on things I learned at Blend Retreat! Get ready for a picture heavy post!!

I learned:

Swag bags rock.

Lugging said swag bag plus weekend bag uphill, after 5 hour flight-from-hell + hour drive home at midnight, still reeling from GPP bootcamp workouts, do not.

Niel from GPP Fit

Niel from GPP Fit

GPP bootcamp workouts will leave you walking like a crippled old lady. Seriously, I was sore for DAYS!

Things that come in mini size, wrapped with ribbon, or in mason jars are adorable.

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Mini Blue Print Cleanse Green Juice…yuck, not my cup of, uh, green juice.

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Veggie packed mason jars.

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Snagged mason jar Chobani oatmeal for the plane ride.

I want to live in the mountains.  With this view.

Blend Retreat 2013 143Chobani has THE BEST reps.  Seriously, they were so incredibly friendly and amazing.

Blends and Chobani Gals

Blends and Chobani Gals- Source

They also have THE BEST yogurt.  And cater THE BEST breakfast.  Ever.  Period.

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Chobani smoothies, fruit, oatmeal and pancakes!

Blend Retreat 2013 138

Chobani bites! Flips! Awesomeness!

Best spread ever

Best spread ever

If I cant live in Park City, then I want to vacation at this hotel every year.

Blend Retreat 2013 098Blend ladies are amazing.  Meeting them in person- kind of surreal.

Blend Retreat 2013 088 Blend Retreat 2013 084 Blend Retreat 2013 080 Blend Retreat 2013 134 Blend Retreat 2013 110 Blend Retreat 2013 140Hemp hearts changed my life.  Blog Photos May 2013 022

No, Vega changed my life.  Blog Photos May 2013 023

Wait, Chobani‘s sponsored breakfast spread Sunday changed my life. (see above photos 🙂 )

Muesli Fusion (cough and it’s owner cough) are flipping amazing.

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Yowza

Blend Retreat 2013 090 Blend Retreat 2013 094Lastly, I learned that I must go self-hosted on my blog.  It’s time to get legit. Too legit to…Sorry, had to go there 🙂

Oh, and a 5 hour (middle seat) flight with screaming children, broken reading light, impossibly long wait for bathroom with multiple people cutting in front of me, aisle neighbor’s spouse yelling to her spouse right next to her while I am sleeping, and crazy turbulence make for the worst flight ever.  Ok, so this wasn’t at blend but damnnnn was it the worst flight I have ever had!

That about does it!  I plan to do more recaps soon (to include the last South Africa recap and Mexico vacation!) This weekend is jammed packed- happy hours with the bf’s friends in DC, brunch, farmers market and shopping with momma, and I am hopefully going to see Star Trek!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!  I plan to be back Monday with a marvelous post 🙂

A Day in My Life

Hello lovers and Happy Friday!  As you read this I will be boarding a plane headed to Blend Retreat!!  I still can’t believe I won the giveaway and am headed to Park City, Utah to meet some of the most amazing and inspiring bloggers I read on a daily basis.  I am SO incredibly excited and nervous- what if they don’t like me?  What if I don’t make any friends?  I know it sounds silly, but I am super anxious to make a good impression while still being my quirky self.  And of course I hope to learn a lot, network and make a ton of new amazing friends, and enjoy the whole retreat in Park City!

Blend

Since today will not be my typical work Friday, I wanted to share with you a day in my life- what I do from breakfast to bedtime.  Especially since I am not able to be online as much to comment on blogs (thanks government job), I thought you’d like to see what I do everyday!  Warning- it’s not very thrilling!

5:47am  Alarm goes off. Annoying intro to DC101 plays. Instantly get out of bed to turn that crap off. (DC area friends you know what I’m talking about).

5:50am Feel like this:

cam diazSource

6:00am  Quickly make something of my super-fine/thin hair.  Try to impress coworkers with makeup skills.

6:06am  Realize I have no makeup skills.  Feel like Jenna Marbles doing the drunk makeup tutorial.  Except I am sober.

jenna marblesSource

End up doing normal makeup routine.

6:15am  Finish the ‘do and face.  Get dressed.

6:17am  Forget deodorant.  Rush to put on.

6:19am  Ensure I have everything packed- badge, lunch, phone, book.

6:20am  Head out to catch metrobus.

6:21am  Realize forgot part of my lunch.  Run back to apartment, snag said item, rush back out to catch bus.

6:25am  Wait for metrobus.  Read Twitter feed.  Check emails.

6:30am  Grumble that metorbus is late.  Again.  If I can be on time every morning, why cant the bus?

6:32am  Board bus.

6:45am  Arrive at bus station.  Catch metro into DC.

6:58am  Arrive at DC metro station.  Contemplate spending exorbitant amounts of money for a bucks coffee.

6:58am  Decide I love foamy caps.  Must have foam.

Foam

7:01am  Arrive at bucks.  Order new fav coffee- tall skim cap, dry.

7:03am  Obtain foamy cap.  Enjoy the warmth of the cup in hand and head to the office.

7:04am  Try not to slosh coffee and deflate foamy goodness.

7:07am  Arrive at office.  Bid adieu to my cell (and outside world) for next 4-5 hours.

7:10am  Turn on computers.  Work.

10:00am-ish  Take break.  Eat packed snack.  Wonder if I can squeeze in a nap after work.

10:00-noon-ish  Work.

12noon-ish Take lunch break- but go outside and walk around.  Contemplate making a run for it.  Think better when I remember the student loans I have…

anxiety

12:45-3:30pm Work some more and finally head home.

3:30pm-4:30pm Commute home via metro and metro bus.

4:30pm-5:30pm Rest, change clothes (if going to Crossfit).

5:30pm-6:30pm Crossfit (or veg on the couch).

7:00pm-8:00pm Shower, eat, prep breakfast/lunch for the next day. Chat with bf.

8:00pm-9:30pm Watch tv, attempt to blog, catch up on other blogs.

9:30pm-10:00pm Get ready for bed.

10:00-10:30pm Stay up late reading twitter/blogs on iPhone. Try to fall asleep.

10:45pm Curse insomnia.

11:15pm Hopefully fall asleep.

ariel bed(I know I just used this, but I love it 🙂 )

Welp, not too exciting, huh?

No worries- tomorrow will be AWESOME!!

yeah

I should probably go finish packing…and get to sleep as I have to wake up at 4:00am.  Pray for me.

Have a fabulous Friday and great weekend!!  Can’t wait to share everything from Blend!!

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 🙂

It’s ok to not be Superhuman

This post is a bit difficult for me to write as I hate admitting defeat.  But it needs to be said- for my own mental clarity and for others that may be feeling the same.  Plus, admission is the first step, right?

Recently I have been going through what I can only describe as burnout.  I am exhausted.  Mentally and physically.  I am losing my motivation to workout, to bake, to go out and do anything really.  I am indecisive, snippy, and easily frustrated.  I am in a slump am finding it hard to get back to my happy self. I hate feeling this way. I am trying hard to fake being happy, but it’s not working. I fill any free time I have with activities so I don’t have to acknowledge these emotions. But I think it’s catching up with me. This infuriates me.  I am strong and should be able to handle life’s ups and downs…so what the heck? Snap out of it, woman!!

harrySource

But no matter how much I try to push out these feelings, I think I may break if I don’t allow myself to let go and accept that I am not superhuman.

And that’s ok.

I am an Employee Assistance Program peer counselor at work and last week we had a quarterly meeting to discuss how to handle dual relationships- coworker and friend, friend and peer, coworker and peer, etc. What is EAP? Per Office of Personnel Management:

Basic EAP services include free, voluntary, short-term counseling and referral for various issues affecting employee mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.” 

Basically I received training to help my workers if they are in need for the above mentioned reasons.  I am not a licensed therapist; rather I am there to listen, assess, and refer.

Anyway, in our training we discussed how difficult it can be to help a friend that is also a coworker. At what point is the line between friend and coworker defined? Trying to fit all the roles our friends/coworkers/peers need can be exhausting, especially when juggling this as a collateral duty to normal work responsibilities and our own personal issues.

ryan stressOur instructor then said something that has stuck with me since:

“We all struggle, even those of us that have years of training to help others. We are all human with human feelings and emotions that can be overwhelming. We are not superhuman.  And that’s ok.”

I have been ruminating about this since I recognized that on top of this mental/emotional burnout, I may be experiencing a bit of crossfit burnout.  I went crazy hard immediately after I completed elements. I would go 4-5x a week and on my off days I would run. But sometime towards the end of last month I lost my crossfit mojo. Everything in my body began to ache. I was losing my gains in lifting heavy. I didn’t enjoy going.

liloMaybe not quite this dramatic…but you get the point.

It was obvious I needed a break.  So I began to take more rest days. I went to Crossfit less. And as much I despise it, I did some yoga.  Yeah yeah I know, shame on this healthy living blogger for not liking yoga. 

Dawn Fletcher wrote this interesting article on Crossfit Burnout for WOD Talk Magazine that resonated with me:

“It is not a good idea to go hard and fast in all workouts and throughout your life. The CrossFit Methodology asks that of us. Pair that with highly motivated individuals and I see a common problem across my clients, athletes, other coaches and owners. It is an unhealthy routine that drives people to physical and mental burnout and therefore lack of fitness gains.”

After I read this two thoughts came to my mind:

  1. “Makes sense.  I should rest more.  Then I’ll be in beastmode in no time!”
  2. “Wait, burnout…after only a couple months?  Already?!!  I am such a failure!” 

frustrateionSource

But then I remembered I am still struggling- trying to fit in my normal work responsibilities, life, friends and family in addition to working hard and pushing my body to be my best at Crossfit.  I am still struggling with my grief and how to help my mom with hers. I am feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, grief, and sadness yet have this opposing, rebellious need to still hit Crossfit like these awesome women.  It is exhausting to feel this way, but I have to treat my body and mind with love and kindness.

I am not superhuman.  And that’s ok.

Question:  Have you experienced burnout, and how did you deal?

Best MIMM YET!

Happy Monday lovers!!  Man do I have an amazing MIMM for you today! I am so so excited to share something awesome that happened Friday afternoon…but first, some marvelous bits from this weekend!


I bought some new clothes spring clothes and daringly broke out of my shell and wore this super cute outfit Thursday!

outfitI love the blazer with rolled up sleeves!

Even though I can’t make Mark’s WOD on the 11th, I completed the workout Friday afternoon in my apartment’s gym:

Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD

5 rounds of 12 repetitions for time

  • M- Mnt climbers
  • A- Ab mat sit ups
  • R- 200M run
  • K- Kettle Bell Swings (KBS)
  • B- Burpees

It was tough, especially the last two rounds, but I finished just around 20 minutes.  I think if I didn’t have to keep switching from the weight to cardio rooms I would’ve finished a lot quicker.

Saturday morning I stopped by Crossfit Stafford to pick up my Memorial WOD shirt.

CF staffordI spoke with Mark’s dad for a bit and we both acknowledged how hard this complicated grief is- both of us agreeing it just plain sucks and no one should have to experience our heartache.

After picking up the shirt my boyfriend and I met my mom at the farmers market in Fredericksburg and picked up some items for dinner.  We also ran by Wegman’s for some sushi and crabs- check out our yummy spread!

crab spread

OMG addictive!!

OMG addictive!!

Momma is awesome- she always stashes her pantry with goodies for me to snack on.  New find- these oatmeal cookies from Barbara’s.  SO good with awesome ingredients, too!

omeletteEven though you cant see it, there’s apricot jam and feta in there- just like Sarah makes! ‘What the what’ you say? Trust me, the combo of sweet and savory is awesome!  The bf made this one egg-two white omelet for me and wanted the praise for making the perfect omelet.  Awesome job, babe!

trexSaw this on Instagram.  Hysterical.  If you read the T-rex trying blog -plus a crossfitter!- you know how funny this is!!  Poor T-rex 🙂

Ok ok I can’t take the suspense anymore- I bet you can’t either!!  I have to tell you that I won a giveaway Friday…and not just any giveaway

BlendI won the Blend Retreat Giveaway from Janetha! I was blown away when I got the email and I am SO SO excited to go!!  I actually wanted to go last year but felt I was still kind of a blogger newb.  I get to meet so many amazing bloggers- I mean check out the list of who’s going!!

I still feel kind of in awe- someone pinch me!! I never thought I would be going and now I can’t believe I will be in Salt Lake City in just a couple weeks!!

Needless to say this is a very Marvelous Monday!!  I hope you had a marvelous weekend as well!

Question: Who else is going to Blend Retreat?!