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 🙂

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?!

Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD

Tears rolled down my face when I read this on facebook yesterday:

CrossFit Stafford will once again host the Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD (Workout of the Day) on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 10AM to Noon.

MarkWOD11

The cost of participating in the WOD will be $25 and with your donation, you will receive a t-shirt and admission to the cookout following the WOD. 

Please preregister on link on the left sidebar.  This is an open WOD so you don’t have to be a member in order to participate.  All proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Bring your friends and family to support this charitable event and to honor Mark’s memory.”

I went to high school with Mark and had NO idea he took his own life- and two years ago, no less!  If you know me than you know my heart-breaking connection with suicide and passion for suicide prevention.  While we were never close, I do remember Mark’s jovial yet reserved manner, and I cannot believe he is gone.  It is never easy to learn a friend has passed, and even harder when I learned it was by suicide.

As much as I would LOVE to do this WOD at Crossfit Stafford, I will be attending a close friend’s bachelorette celebration.  However, I do intend to donate to the cause and spread the word.

*Fellow Crossfitters, please spread the word about this memorial WOD.  And if you’re in the DC Metro or NOVA area, please consider joining Crossfit Stafford for a WOD to honor Mark.  As mentioned above and on their site, its an open WOD and anyone can join.*

crossfitStaffordSideBar

You are not alone.  You matter and there is hope.  If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  You can find more information on Suicide Awareness and Prevention on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention‘s website.

Quinoa and Oat Breakfast Muffins- Two ways!

Hello and happy hump day!  I hope everyone’s having a great week- and that you had a stellar weekend like me!  Here’s a quick recap:

I drove to my momma’s house this weekend with the bf for a quick visit.  I didn’t get to spend time with my niece, nephew or sister as they headed to a cheer competition a few hours away.  I’m sad I didn’t get to see much of them but they won several titles!!  Proud auntie right here 🙂  Friday night we had a fabulous Mexican dinner out, followed by movie night where we saw ‘Olympus has fallen.’  While the firearm-instructor bf and federal-government-employee-self kind of nitpicked the validity of the movie, it was still very entertaining and suspenseful!  Plus, this man in any movie is a great movie!

Swoon

Swoon

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Saturday I spent a couple hours tossing out junk I saved from my childhood so momma could have her garage back.  I still have several more boxes to go through in her basement, but it felt good to clear out stuff I no longer need.  (PS- this site has great advise on when to let sentimental things go).  Other than a few key pieces (my high school diploma, old photos) I said a quick goodbye to my pogs and tossed the rest out.

Aside from the normal GCL- grocery/chores/laundry- the rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing.  At Crossfit I found my 1RM (1 rep max) for overhead squats- 55#.  Not much, but it’s a good starting point, and I can only progress from here! I also dead-lifted 65#- more than I ever thought I could do!  I am seriously in love with Crossfit.  I am doing so much and pushing my body more than I ever imagined and it feels amazing!! I have never been more sore but it hurts so good!

muscle hurt

Truth

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Well, what better way to finish off a great weekend and break up the work week than with a recipe?  I never really had the intention to post these until Bethany urged me to after seeing this pic on Instagram:

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

I was in such a baking mood I decided to make two different kinds of muffins- cinnamon and blueberry (pictured).

These sucker’s are dense and lightly sweet and packed with healthy ingredients that make a great addition to any breakfast- and they have some serious staying power!

Ok ok, enough tempting, now get to baking!

Blueberry or Cinnamon Quinoa Flake and Oat Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • just under 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 T lil shuga (or stevia to taste)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to taste

Pick one (or add your own! Get creative!):

  • 1/2 T Cinnamon (for cinnamon muffins)
  • roughly 1/2 C frozen blueberries (for blueberry muffins)
YUM!

YUM!

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners- and spray the paper ones with non-stick spray, this batter sticks! Whisk eggs, applesauce, vanilla, almond milk and spices in a bowl until well combined.  Add quinoa, flax seed, and oats and mix until just combined.  If making blueberry muffins, add the barely-thawed blueberries (just take out and let them thaw while you prep your other ingredients) and mix until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool a bit and serve!  I topped mine with a little sunbutter- well, because I put that shizzle on everything! (ha ha like Franks redhot, but BETTER!)

Get creative with these- add in mini chocolate chips, use other frozen berries or dried cranberries, add a couple tablespoons of nutbutter- or sunbutter!!- add chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds.  The possibilities are endless!

Have a great week everyone!

Rock on lovers 🙂

The little things

Happy Wednesday!! I cannot wait till this week is over.  I have been in such a blah mood I can’t seem to shake. When I get a little down about life circumstances (crummy job, finance worries, etc), I try to focus on the good things in my life. I was touched by a post Julie did over at Peanut Butter Fingers where she described the little things that bring her joy.  In rough economic and political times such as these, I think its a great idea to remember the little things are what make life worth living. Here are some of mine:

Reading in bed with my boyfriend M. So yes, we are old.  Both M and I love to read so frequently before bed we read next to one another.  It’s a bit cheesy, but I love it. I just finished The Host by Stephenie Meyer. It was a fantastic read that I could not put it down!! I highly recommend it for all you fellow dystopian novel lovers!

Making coffee for my mom. When I visit my mom I usually wake up before she does (woah, role reversal!).  When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and was home a lot, he would still make it out of bed to make and bring my mom her coffee in bed before work.  On weekends it was a leisurely thing they enjoyed together, sipping coffee and talking about weekend plans.  I make it a point to make and bring her coffee when I’m home. Even though I can’t replace her soul mate, I feel like, for a brief moment, I can provide a tiny morsel of that joy I know she misses so much.

Watching the sunrise/sunset. Cliche? Nope. I don’t watch it every morning and night, but especially when I go on vacation, I make it a point to watch at least one sunrise and sunset.  It is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and wonder to see the sun rise and set in different parts of the world.

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 117 - Copy

Sunset on cruise ship in Europe with S

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 119 - Copy

Sunset continued

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 312 - Copy

Sunrise in Mediterranean Sea

I also enjoy seeing the beautiful sunrises on my commute to work.

No filter and yes I took this :)

No filter- walk to work

Sadly, thanks to daylight savings, I don’t see them any more 😦

Sunflower seed butter.

sunbutter

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know my obsession love for sunflower seed butter.  Especially Once Again nut butter, which is made where my boyfriend grew up! They make excellent things there 🙂

Tiny accomplishments at Crossfit. It’s hard for me to be proud of the little accomplishments in Crossfit.  I tend to want to get things right the first time and get frustrated when I’m the ‘wimpy’ one in class, but Monday night I didn’t care.  I did power snatches with the ‘training’ bar and added 5# to each side, plus the wood plates for stability, with no shame.  I even had a SUPER hardcore coach who was taking the class work right behind me, intensely power lifting his way through with a crazy intimidating, weight belt-strapped-muscle-heavy body.  His name is Sven…. doesn’t that just ooze intimidation?!  But I did the workout and finished with good reps and did not even care he was there!

Cat snuggles. When my roommate is home, her two cats predominantly stick to her side.  But when I get home before she does they latch themselves onto me and it is so cute!

Patty all snuggled :)

Patty all snuggled 🙂

Patty will snuggle with me on the couch and Phindus will sleep on my bed.  They aren’t mine, but for a few hours it feels nice to have fur babies comfort me 🙂

Those are just a few for now.  Maybe I can do a regular post about the little things in life I enjoy to help inspire others that are also in a rut!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

What are some of your little joys in life?

Crossfit Elements #1 Recap and Why I Workout

Hiya happy Tuesday! How are you all doing? I am fantastic!! I am a bit sore this morning but it hurts so good!

hurtSource

As you may have read in yesterday’s post I was pretty nervous for my first of 8 Crossfit Elements classes. All new Crossfit members must take this ‘fundamentals course’ to learn the proper movements for exercises, Olympic lifts, etc. The first class was pretty easy compared to the intro class. The instructor chatted for most of the class about the what and why of Crossfit. After a quick warm-up, we then learned the proper way to do pushups, pull-ups, squats, sit-ups, and burpees- all with scalable, modified options to work your way up to the full, hard version of the exercise. We completed the fist class with a small WOD- a mini ‘Cindy.’

Mini Cindy:
AMRAP in 10 minutes of:
5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 air squats

I completed 7 rounds + 5 pull-ups. I used a green band for the pull-ups (not sure what that equates to?) and did pushups on my knees. Most of the pull-up bar space was taken by other members and newbies, so I got stuck with a taller bar- so this shortie had to jump on a super high box to reach it and needed help looping the band on my foot a couple times. I think I could’ve done at least 1-2 more rounds had I not had a hard time pulling the band under my foot for the pull-ups. But I didn’t want to overdo it and completely wear myself out for class  tomorrow either. Like our instructor Aviv said- check your ego at the door!

egoSource

After class wrapped up I briefly chatted with Aviv about my previous torn rotator cuff injury. He said some movements like the clean and jerk may need to be modified, but to tell the coach beforehand of any class of the injury and definitely not push through anything that feels iffy or painful.

I was so excited I did pull-ups for the first time in ages I called my mom. I think my dad would’ve been more open to this discussion as my mom was completely un-phased by my excitement. She placated me a bit before mumbling something about not seeing the reason behind why I workout. I told her exactly what Aviv told us-When I am old and in a nursing home I want to be able to get up and use the bathroom without assistance! I want to make sure I keep my one and only body in this life healthy and able to do anything I want in 60+ years!

This got me thinking of other reasons why I workout and keep healthy:

  • To be a strong woman for myself and my family
  • To feel amazing and accomplished
  • To help ward off anything I am genetically predisposed to (cancer in several forms, high blood pressure, etc).

Even though I know my mom didn’t mean to ask me in a condescending manner, I was a bit miffed.  Odd workout words aside, my mom was proud and excited at the end of the conversation.  And today when she wasn’t particularly happy with a sarcastic response, she replied, “Oh go do some crosstraining or something.”  Moms.

Bright side? My new shoes rocked!!

Snazzy!

Ninja Shoes!

That’s all I have for ya today!  I am so excited for class again tomorrow night!  I hope its a tough one 🙂

Rock on Lovers:)

ps- Quick pet peeve rant.  At my job we have an instant messenger (to stalk people/IM like in high school/get angry when someone doesn’t instantly reply and therefore think we’re slacking off).  Well a coworker IM’d me to ask for help.  We are not on each others’ frequent contact list so he had to look me up…and the dude still typed out Krystal when my name is clearly labeled Krista.  I would even let Kristan slide since my official name at work is Krista N.  Grumble.  Ok I’m done 🙂

Question: Ever tried Crossfit?  Why do you work out? Pet Peeve??

pps- Looking for people to do a guest post while I am away with the bf this weekend!  Email if you’re interested! tinynfit@gmail.com