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!!

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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 🙂

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?!

5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Meditation into Your Day

Happy Friday lovers!  I have a treat for you today- a guest post from the lovely ladies of Fit.Fun.Femme!!  This is a fantastic post that I definitely need to incorporate into my life! Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!!

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Hey Tiny N Fit readers! Sara and Natalie here from Fit.Fun.Femme and we’re super pumped to be guest posting today. Thanks so much for welcoming us into your home for the day. 🙂

We wanted to talk to you guys about something we are both passionate about – meditation. Yea – we know what you’re thinking. It’s really freaking hard to quiet your mind. If it were easy it wouldn’t be called practice, right? RIGHT!

To help convince you to power down your computer/phone and be still for 5 minutes a day we’re sharing some pretty awesome health benefits associated with meditation that you definitely want to know about.

  • Meditation can help reduce stress by lowering production of the stress-related chemical, cortisol. Pretty cool, huh?

  • Suffer from migraines, backache or chronic pain? Meditation can benefit you, too. A study showed that patients who meditated were able to reduce and sometimes eliminate symptoms just from doing meditation. FOR REAL!

  • Got a little anxiety in your life (who doesn’t?!) and want a way to combat it without pills? Meditation has been proven to decrease anxiety. SCORE!

So this is pretty much a no-brainer. Carve out 5 minutes in your day to dedicate to your well-being. We promise you won’t regret it.

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Here are 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Meditation into your Day:

1. Wake up 5 minutes early. Seriously – it’s not that hard. Sit on your floor (or yoga mat) in the middle of a room or against a wall if you need back support. Inhale and exhale deeply. Set your timer on your phone for 5 minutes and enjoy.

2. Walking the dog? Having a hard day? Driving in traffic? This is the perfect time to meditate. Focus on your breath and begin inhaling to a count of four and exhaling to a count of four. As thoughts come into your mind allow them to pass like clouds in the sky. If this is too difficult and your mind is racing (this is totally normal) say a mantra to yourself. Maybe “I am calm and steady” if you’re experiencing a lot of stress or “I am awesome and confident” if you have a presentation at work coming up. Tailor your mantra to suit your needs and you’ll see what a difference it can make.

3. If waking up early isn’t your thing (really, we understand) how about taking 5 minutes before bed? Sit upright in your bed propping yourself up with pillows. You can set a timer on your phone or forget the timer and see what happens. You’ll likely sleep like a baby after a little mind relaxing.

4. Try adding some music to your meditation practice. Turn your phone to Pandora or Spotify and search “meditation”. Find something that clicks with you and go to town.

5. Smile! Ok- we know that one sounded a little weird. Studies show that the act of smiling can actually make you happier. If you’re having a hard time meditating (mind is busy, back hurts, dog is barking) put a slight smile on your face. It might help you release whatever tension you’re holding on to so you can slip into serenity.

Know that there is no right or wrong way to meditate and there is no such thing as a bad meditation session. Just like we all have awesome runs and really crappy ones, meditation will be the same. The important part is that you did it!

Questions? Fire away! Want to learn more? Check out our list of recommended meditation reading below.

1. Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton

2. How to Meditate by Pema Chodron


Wishing you a beautiful day – Sara & Natalie

Pin it Partaaay!

Hiya lovers!  Today is a special day- Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean is hosting a Pin it Party!  It’s such a great idea and way for highlight our favorite posts, increase blog exposure, and spread the pin love! I have five posts I would love to see pinned more in Pinterest, and I plan to pin some of the amazing stuff other bloggers have linked up.

Here are my top five posts!! Enjoy and don’t forget to check out other amazing bloggers- and join the party!! Thanks Lindsay for such a great idea 🙂 Happy Pinning!!

Quinoa blueberry and oat muffins

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These are made with quinoa flakes, oats, and frozen blueberries.  I also have a cinnamon recipe for these muffins on the link, too!  The muffins make a great breakfast or midday snack!

Pumpkin chocolate chip quinoa cookies

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These cookies are also made with quinoa flakes and have an added protein kick with protein powder.  Even better? They’re grain and gluten free! A perfect healthy treat!

How to choose your Crossfit Box

choose box

When I decided to join Crossfit, I had a few choices in which box (Crossfit term for gym) I could go to. After a workout one day I got to chatting with other members about how they chose our box.  This post has great information on what to consider when choosing your Crossfit box.

Home Circuit and Homemade BBQ Sauce

At home circuit Pic

No gym?  No prob!  You can do this circuit workout in your living room while watching your favorite evening show! I won’t lie-it is intense! Especially going into the third round, I was a sweaty mess!  Bonus- there is an easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe on the post!

True Gratitude trapeze tg

I think this is something we can all relate to- remembering to be grateful for all we have in life, especially when times are tough.  A long-held belief of mine is that without suffering there can be no compassion.  I feel that without true gratitude there can be no contentment.

Hope you enjoyed my post for the Pin it Party!  See more on Lindsay‘s blog!