Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sometimes Life Comes First

It's been a long while. A LONG while. I've missed you guys, terribly. But with prepping for vacation, vacation itself, Hubby being in he ER after vacation with a stomach virus and everyone generally not feeling well, life's been busy. Slowly things are going back to normal and I am grateful for that. I wish you all Happy Holidays! Little Beast enjoyed opening his presents yesterday, one after the other. He crawled though the 6 foot Tunnel his uncle bought him, then painted on the Easel Santa got for him and enjoyed playing with his train set. I think I enjoyed it a bit more though. Trains are fun.
My Little Artist

Busy Playing with his Train

Santa decided to spoil Mommy as well, I got the lifting shoes I wanted! I am so excited to break them out for CrossFit.

Speaking of CrossFit, I haven't been since before vacation and I am dying to go back. In addition to all that's going on, my dad had foot surgery during Thanksgiving so I have been helping my Mom with his care. That leaves even less time in the day. It's fine. Life comes first sometimes. When things slow down, I'll return to CrossFit, I'm hoping next week or this weekend! 

So the million dollar question. Not million dollars. Just a question. I exaggerate. Anyways, did you see the Crock Pot in the back of the picture of Little Beast playing with his train set? Santa gave that to me as well! Am I excited? Hell yes! Do you know my love of crock pots? It's a love based on convenience and quality. Crock Pot cooking is easy, stress free and pretty much my favorite way to cook. Since my old one is on it's way out, it was the perfect present. It also has a timer so I can set it in the morning before work and come home to dinner. Ah the life. 

Aside from my family life and working out, I have some blog related news. I am still working on  my new site - it's a slow process. While doing so, I am also writing articles for Check out my latest article on Sports Bra Reviews

Hope you and yours enjoy the holidays! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Love to Lift

This past Saturday was the Lift-a-thon in honor of our friend Val's family who lost everything in the Philippine Typhoon. I am proud to say that our box raised $2,000 in a matter of 3 hours. We came really together and pitched in. Love my CF fams.

Hubby and I both participated in the Lift-a-Thon. Hubby PR'd on both his bench press and deadlift. Because I'm a proud wife, here's a video of him deadlifting 275. He makes it look easy. I know he has a 300 lb deadlift in him.

Now after you see Hubby's perfect form, check me out. Awkward and funny - all part of my charm. But whatever I PR'd at 180 lbs!

The rest of Saturday was good. Friends came over and brought Little Beast a tool bench for his birthday. He will be 2 this Friday. I honestly can't believe it's been 2 years already. He spent the entire day playing with his tools. Gotta love new toys!

Since this week is an easy week, work wise, I am planning on going to CF at least 3 times this week. I have been going as much as possible lately and I definitely feel stronger. I'm hoping to stay after class and work on kipping either Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanksgiving day I will need to get a run in. We have a 5K coming up on December 8 and I haven't run since I did 10 miles over a month ago. So it's time to get back on track. My goal for the 5K is under 26 minutes.

After the 5K, we will be going to Jamaica for my cousin's wedding. I am looking forward to seeing my family, partying at the wedding AND of course jerk chicken. Y'all don't know my love of Jamaican Jerk Chicken. It's real. I love me some jerk. Add beef patties to that and I'm in heaven. I swear I'm going to come back at least 5 pounds heavier. Oh well, stay calm and eat on vacation...biiiitch. :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Can't Clean

Seriously I can't. I have a cleaning lady. She comes every other week and turns my messy house spotless. With Little Beast and the Chubbies, it is impossible to have a spotless house all the time. Lie. With me, it's impossible to have a spotless house all the time. I don't enjoy cleaning and I'm not very good at it. Yes I'm a wife and mom. I still can't clean. Sue me. Actually please don't, I spend all my money on my cleaning lady.

Speaking of cleaning, I can't clean very well at CrossFit either. Two days ago, lunges were part of the WOD and the RX was 95 lbs for girls. I did 65. And after the 3rd round (there were 5), I couldn't even clean 65. The Coach had to give me the bar so I could do lunges and said we'll work on cleans another day. Fast forward to today and since it was free skill work day, I worked on cleans. I practiced my form with the 35 lb bar and then practiced more with 55 lbs. It felt easy. I'm pretty sure I can clean 75 lbs now and with practice, I should be able to power clean more so that I can eventually RX something. I want to be an RX girl.

Once I can do that, I will have truly earned this t-shirt and you better believe I will buy it.

Love this shirt!
This Saturday our box is doing a Lift-a-Thon for one of our members that has family in the Philippines that lost everything in the Typhoon. We basically get to pick a lift (our max) and we get 3 tries to get to our max. Then you either have sponsors or pay up to 10 cents a pound depending on how much you lift. I am going for a 180 lb deadlift. Last week my 1 rep max was 165. I'm really hoping to PR and since the more I lift, the more I give, my motivation is pretty high. I'll keep y'all posted. Apparently I was from the South in my previous life. Y'all!

I'm working on some changes to my blog so you may be redirected to another site in the next couple of weeks. Still me, don't be alarmed. I hope you continue to read my endless babble and continue on this journey with me. It'll be fun...ny, I promise.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CrossFit: Church, Cult or Community?

I've been home the past 3 days, either working from home or taking time off, and I have managed to go to CrossFit all 3 of those days. I've had great workouts and a not so great workout. I've seen my friends, made plans and talked about about fitness goals. I've come home tired, sometimes discouraged, sometimes amped and I always look forward to the next day. Currently my box is planning a Lift-a-Thon for a fellow member who's family lost everything they had in the Philippines. We help each other out, we cheer each other on and we're there for each other when needed. We're family. 

You know my addiction to Google. While I was thinking about this earlier, I googled CrossFit Church to see what came up. I found a blog post from a girl that described what's CrossFit is all about BUT she had never been to CrossFit. No bueno. I stopped reading. So here's my thoughts on whether CrossFit is like Church, a Cult or Community. 

Wikipedia. My other favorite. Yes I'm on the internet a lot. Can't help it. Work sucks sometimes. I love the squirrel. Anyways, Wikipedia defines Church as: A Christian Place of Worship. Since CrossFit is neither religious nor a place of worship, I think it's safe to say that comparison is out. We do have events and bring baked goods (ie the cupcakes I brought to the Snatch Clinic) but we're not worshipping anything, except for the person that recently got a movement we haven't yet, in my case my nemesis Kipping Pull ups! So CrossFit and Church, no. Let's talk Cult. According to my friend Wiki, a Cult is a group of people who workship a diety. Greg Glassman (founder of CrossFit) is a pretty cool guy but we don't sit around in a circle sacrificing our muscles to him, well I guess that's debatable. Anyways Cult has a negative connotation and since CrossFit is anything but, we'll move on. Community, according to Wiki is, a small social unit of any size that shares common values. Ding Ding Ding! That's spot on. Everyday I'm at CrossFit, I'm working to attain my fitness goals. I'm talking about my goals, working towards them and cheering people on when they attain theirs. That's community. I genuinely care about the people at my Box and want them to succeed. We see each other covered in sweat with crazy blisters on our hands and yet we all go back for more. CrossFit is a Community and I am very thankful I am part of it.

So for all of you out there who have googled something or the other and have come across this post - Go out there and sign up for a class. And no, I'm not getting any kickbacks for saying that. Just go out there and try a CrossFit class and you'll see what I'm talking about. 

Back to me! Really I am not that self absorbed.  Okay maybe I am. I PR'd on deadlifts today at 165lbs! Wohoo! This is the week we are all discovering our 1 rep maxes so I was pretty happy with my deadlift. I wasn't happy yesterday with my shoulder press 1 rep max of 55. I had 55 back in July and seem to have plateaued. You win some, you lose some. Now that I know my 1 rep maxes, I know what I need to work on. This handy dandy website has been a tremendous help for me with regard to goal setting. 

I'm curious. Have you done CrossFit? What are your thoughts? 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Me vs Kipping

Life has drastically changed (little exaggeration here) since we bought a squat rack for our garage. Hubby and I have been working on our lifts and kips ever since he and Little Beast assembled the rack. Cute huh? Check them out!

Love my men <3 td="">
Speaking of kips, I am still not there. I have managed the swinging part but don't have the strength to pull myself up. After working on them last night, I realized I'm probably doing something wrong so I googled help with kipping and came across this blog. She's awesome. I have already subscribed to her blog. Anywho, the blog post referred me to Jason Khalipa's tutorial on kipping pull ups. So I watch the tutorial with Mr. and Mrs. Khalipa and after thinking about how cute they are, I realized that I am not bringing my knees up to my chest. I forwarded the video along to Hubby and we have big plans to bring the laptop to the garage with us when we work out. Let's see how that goes. We already have Little Beast using the PVC pipe to practice his version of overhead squats. Yea, that's how we roll.

Today's Friday and usually my Fridays start with the Hell WOD at CF. Unfortunately, I had to come into the office today so I couldn't go to CrossFit. Hubby and I are planning to work on deadlifts tonight in the garage. Last time I deadlifted 135 lbs for a 5X3 so I'm thinking my max is 155-160 lbs. I have no clue how all that math works. What you can lift 5X3 should be 85% of your 1 rep max so that would make my 1 rep max around 160 lbs. Yes I just busted out the calculator. We'll see how I do tonight.

Last night I worked on back squats and did 5X5 with 75lbs. I'm assuming that my 1 rep max is around 100 lbs there. I'm slowly getting stronger. It's tough because in the beginning, you make gains very quickly but now I feel like I am plateauing. It just gives me more motivation to keep working at it though.

Recently I've run into people who have asked me what I've been doing to lose weight. While I'm only 10 lbs lighter than I was last year at this time, my body has definitely changed. I always smile and say CrossFit. Some people know what I'm talking about and some don't. To those that don't, I translate into I lift heavy...hey, it is heavy. Maybe not as heavy as others but this is heavy for me! I'm proud of how far I've come and happy to inspire others to make changes as well.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I was so tempted to buy these Trick or Treat socks for CF today but I decided against them and chose a pair I'd use more. Bad move. A fellow CFer rocked her Zombie Killa socks today and I was jelly. Next time, I'll follow through.

Today was the first day I went to CrossFit in 6 days. Hubby and I recently bought a rack for the house so now I can do the WOD at home. Woohoo! No more excuses. I worked on back squats, push
press and kipping on Tuesday. Today, the WOD was Front squats (5X3), and then 5 rounds of 15 KB swings, 20 push ups and 25 air squats. I maxed out at 80 lbs for the front squats. I then did the WOD as prescribed. Yes you heard me, as prescribed. I used a 35 lb KB for the swings. I've been using that kettlebell lately so it didn't feel too bad. The push ups killed me though. I suck at push ups. It's next on my list to work on. Well maybe after double unders.

After class, I worked on kipping again and Coach said my kip is good and that I should focus on strength now to be able to pull myself up. He told me to do ring rows and lat pull downs (think that's what they are called) in order to build strength. He also, get this kids, told someone else to look at the way I kip as an example. Totally not kidding. I was in shock. I actually did something right! I came home and read an article on how to quickly build lat strength and found this. I like the Grease the Groove idea for every time you walk in a doorway. We have a pull up bar that I can put up in the bathroom but leaving the bathroom door open 24/7, um that's not happening. I will go out to the garage everyday and work on other exercises to build strength though.

So while I don't have an unassisted kipping pull up yet, I'm well on my way. I'll be back for the crazy Friday Hell WOD tomorrow.

Tonight, it's on like donkey kong. Is that my costume? No and I have no idea why I went back to 1989. Anyways, Little Beast is a boxer and has a parade at daycare this evening. I will update this post with pics later. Yesterday, we carved our pumpkins.

Yea right, these aren't ours! We're not that obsessed. Okay maybe we are.

Our Pumpkin Family :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Me Against Myself

So this little Miss made it to CrossFit again this morning. I had to go for the 7:30 am class because I had a meeting at 9 am. My hands were blistered out from yesterday's kipping session and this was today's WOD:

10/24 WOD aka Not Good for Blisters

I can't remember the last time I did Squat Cleans. Maybe never? I didn't have anything to work towards but I ended up finishing at 70 lbs. I tried to clean 75 but I'm not there yet. I did however use 55 lbs for the Shoulder to Overhead first two rounds of the WOD. I had to go down to 45 lbs because I was having trouble cleaning 55 lbs towards the end. The worst part of the workout was gripping the Kettlebell for KB swings. OMFG did that hurt! I moved up to a 35lb KB recently and usually have no problem with it. I mean I struggle but it's a good struggle. Today however, it was a bad struggle. My hands were fighting me. My blisters burned. I just wanted to throw the KB down (thankfully I didn't, I'm clumsy as hell and would have probably thrown it on my foot!) and look at my poor gross hand. But I fought the pain and kept on moving. I finished in 15:24 and I was last. I was also lifting the least, at least with regard to Shoulder to Overhead.

When you look around you and you see people lifting much more than you, it's motivating and discouraging all at the same time. I was using the least amount of weight for squat cleans. But when you really think about it, you can only compare yourself to yourself. I am stronger than I was yesterday. A couple posts ago, I was complaining about only push pressing (what I usually choose for Shoulder to Overhead) 35lbs. The fact that I was push pressing 55 lbs today is awesome. Sure I wish I could do as much as some of the girls in my class but I have to be proud of where I am and how far I have come. Eventually I'll lift more.

I'm home again tomorrow and will probably be going for Friday's Hell WOD. I am actually going to pick up some workout gloves tonight so that I can save my hands a little tomorrow.

Ewwwk! Yeaaahh Go me!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are You Motivated by Workout Gear?

Cause I sure am! There are adorable shirts out there and who doesn't like yoga pants and tights! I'm a frequenter of AMRAP Style and have bought a number of things she puts together. My most recent purchase was Nike Twisted Running Crops. Cute huh? I absolutely cannot wait to wear them, which means I will be going to CrossFit the day they arrive. If that isn't motivating, I don't know what is!

Let's talk about today's WOD -

My 1 rep max for deadlifts is 145lb. Today I did 135lbs for the 5X3 so my 1 rep max should be about 155-160. I am still using a 35 lb bar for power snatches and I really got a chance to work on my form today. Coach says I'm getting better, it's just going to take a lot of practice. I can't wait for the day that I can do a 65 lb snatch. I did 5 rounds and 12 for the WOD and it took me 3 minutes and 26 seconds for the 300 regular jump ropes. I really need to focus on learning how to do double unders. That's next on my list after kipping pull ups.

Speaking of kipping, I stayed after again today to work on it. I ended up losing the band and just worked on my kip and I came about 4 inches from the bar. I'm close. It will happen by the end of November. That's my goal. 

I haven't been feeling that great so I'm happy I pushed myself to go to CrossFit today. Since workout gear is a huge motivator for me, I wore a pair of my new CF socks. You like?

One Love bitchess!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where I Get My Inspiration

It's easy to get caught up in excuses. My favorite is when people without kids and a full time job say they have no time. Really? After I had Little Beast, my excuse was - I'm a mom now, I can't do that. Or I should accept that I won't have time to work out because I'm a mom. Of course I later realized that was complete and utter bullshit. You make time. No matter where you are in your life, you make time to do the things you want to do.

In a previous post, I mentioned one of my fellow moms at CrossFit. She's extremely strong, looks a lot younger than she is and has two children. When I first saw her, I thought she was single without kids and that's why she had the time to stay in such great shape. Boy was I wrong! A couple days ago, I ran into another fit momma again with two children and the time to work out. When you see people like that, people who have time constraints and full lives yet still manage to take care of themselves, you have inspiration. I truly admire the other women I CrossFit with.

One of the other CF moms is 6 months pregnant and still kicking ass at CrossFit. Words cannot describe how much credit I give her. Yet another one had a baby 4 months ago and is in great shape. The point of all these stories is that when you find yourself coming up with excuses, think of other people in the same or worse situations and continue to push. That's where you'll get your motivation. It's certainly where I get mine.

I've been working from home a couple days this weekend and managed to go to CrossFit yesterday and the day before. I'm taking a rest day today and plan on going back for tomorrow's Hell WOD. My recent goal is a non banded kipping pull up and I have a ways to go. I've gone from 3 bands to 1 and I have been working on getting the motion down for the kip. I still need to build some strength though to be able to pull myself up. It will happen. And when it does, I'm going to thank all my CF chicas for motivating me.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Since Hubby's still on furlough (don't get me stahted - yes I said stahted. Love Boston accents. When I lived in Bean Town, a friend of mine once said Renita get in the cah. The what? The cah. What? Come on get in the cah so we can get to the pahty. That really happened. After he picked me up off the floor, I was dying laughing, we made it to the party. Long story short - not really sorry - I love Boston and I love Boston accents.

Let's start over. Since Hubby's on furlough, I convinced him to go to CrossFit for the Friday Hell WOD. Today's WOD was:

100 ft walking lunge (45/25lb overhead)
30 Box Jumps (24/20)
20 Wall balls (20/14)

I did the workout as prescribed except for hand stand push ups in 34:10. I can't get them yet so I do them off the box. One day. I just love Fridays. The feeling you get after you complete an insanely tough workout is amazing. There's just something about pushing your body to its limits and not giving up. After class, I worked on kipping pull ups. Yes I did more. I figured out the swinging part but haven't managed to pull myself up yet. It will happen. That's my next goal. One thing at a time.

Socks. You know those adorable socks all the extremely fit CF chicks wear. Love. When I'm not dreaming about Indian designer dresses, I'm dreaming about socks. I seriously need to start getting more creative with my dreams. Anyways, a friend of mine told me about SoxBox. Dude Love. No not dude love but dude, I love. I just bought 3.

I realized I've never posted a pic of me doing anything workout-esque, so you may be wondering if in fact I do what I say I do. Here's some proof (these pics weren't from today's WOD btw).

Me doing a Box Jump

Me scared doing a Box Jump

Exhausted Me!

I'm not the greatest but I try my hardest and that's what matters, right? Right.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

6 Months Later

As of this morning, the Paleo Challenge is officially over. I just rewarded myself with four cookies. Oops. Anyways, this month also marks 6 months of consistently working out so guess what, I have updated pictures. First things first, let's talk Benchmarking WOD on day 1 of the Paleo Challenge and how I did earlier today.

Front squat 7X1
    Pre Challenge: 90 lbs
    Post Challenge: 95 lbs

Ring Rows - Consecutive
    Pre Challenge: 13
    Post Challenge: 20

15 min AMRAP - 400 m run, 15 KB swings, 15 box jumps
    Pre Challenge: 3 rounds, 400m run, 15 kb, 6 box jumps
    Post Challenge: 4 rounds

Front squats kicked my ass today. My form was off and I had trouble focusing. I just didn't have the I'm going to kick ass mentality. Hard to describe. Anyways I barely did 95 lbs and Coach even said it was the worst front squat he's ever seen. Ahkk! So yea ring rows, I did pretty well. I think I could have done a couple more but I stopped at 20. And then the 15 min AMRAP, I started that with the kick ass mentality. I knew what I did last time around and wanted to finish 4 complete rounds this time..and I did! Woohoo! So yea, while I did better all around, I definitely think I have more in me. I'm excited for the next challenge and the next time we do this particular WOD. 

Picture update. Keep in mind that this is roughly 6 months of working out, I took the two previous pictures towards the end of the month and took this one early in the month. I also didn't fully commit to the Paleo challenge. I was really good for a month and slacked a bit these past couple of weeks. That being said, you can still see a difference. See for yourself.

So can you see a difference? Since July, I have lost about 6 pounds. I also run faster now. I avoid adding sugar to anything but yes, I eat a cookie here and there. I'm human and I like it. 

This challenge has made me realize that I want to focus more on strength building now. I want a 100+ front squat and to build my core. I want to learn how to kip and stop using bands to do pull ups. I want to do a hand stand push up. 

Here's to new goals and making gains. I've come a long way and I'm definitely not done yet. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The End is Near

Unfortunately, I'm not referring to the Government Shutdown, I'm referring to the Paleo Challenge! Woohoo, it's almost over!

Today's the last day of eating Paleo and then tomorrow is the benchmarking WOD to see how I have improved since the challenge started. I was pretty strict with eating paleo for the first month of the challenge and have slacked the past couple weeks. I've still lost 6 pounds and discovered a few things. My general stance on eating 100% Paleo after the challenge is that it's a bit stressful and expensive. Hear me out. The stressful part is figuring out a meal that Hubby and Little Beast will eat and then modifying it to be 100% Paleo for me. That's tough. Don't get me wrong, it's doable but it's a lot of my time and energy focused on eating and I'd rather just eat things in moderation and focus on generally eating meats, fruits and veggies. Also the whole grass fed thing, while I love it, it does increase our grocery budget by round $50 a week and some weeks, that's not feasible. I will make an effort to buy grass fed first but I figure grain fed meat is better than pasta! Post challenge, I'm going for 80/20 since it's extremely feasible and allows me to enjoy cheat meals here and there. I will continue to avoid bread and grains since they make me feel icky and I'm sticking with almond milk. Yum!

For Life Biiiitttchhh!

Let's talk about things non paleo, CrossFit and running. Seriously who am I? Anyways, my cuzzo's wedding is in December in Jamaica and no it's not a destination wedding. The lucky bastard lives there. So Hubby, Little Beast and the rest of the nutty clan are all set to go. Except it's an Indian wedding (woohoo!) and figuring out outfits is like a one night stand - both require tons of time and analysis for just one night. This past weekend I went to the Indian Designer mall down the street and I saw the most beautiful outfit I have ever seen - slight exaggeration but it was actually very nice! I'm all about Indian fusion and it was an actual dress with indian touches. Love. Like a lot. I fell in love. It's unhealthy. I have been dreaming about the dress. Hubby's jelly. Buy it? Yea right, it's $1200 which is like $1000 over my budget. So now I'm trying to get a knock off made. #IndianGirlProblems. I hate hash tags yet I use them. Sad. Okay I'm done here. Let's move on.

Guess what? They finally decided to purchase almond milk for the work fridge! When I saw it yesterday, I was ecstatic. I actually ran to the receptionist and gave her a high five!

I can't draw

While I'm excited today is the last official day of the paleo challenge, one huge benefit is that I stopped adding sugar to everything. My morning coffee used to contain around 203 teaspoons of sugar. If I made pasta sauce, I'd add sugar. Now I drink my coffee black or with almond milk. I try to use raw honey instead of sugar or in the case of pasta sauce, I add carrots to give it some sweetness. Yum-o! Err forgot for a second that I'm not Rachel Ray. Thank God.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's benchmarking WOD to see how I improved and will keep you all posted. I'm also due for some more "during" pics so I'll take a couple and post those as well. Stay Classy.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Found Motivation

As you all know, I have periods where I am completely on track with everything - eating and working out and then I have moments where I completely fall off the truck, track, what's that saying? This past weekend was the CrossFit Open and even though Hubby and I weren't competing, we took Little Beast to go cheer on our fellow box members. Since the Paleo challenge is still going on, I made Pumpkin Swirl Brownies. Dude, they were awesome. I had to tell Hubby not to eat them several times before we went! PaleOMG's Juli created yet another masterpiece. If you haven't checked out our blog, check it out, she's got a great personality and is a great cook! 

So CrossFit Open this weekend, all I have to say is that I was truly inspired. Four girls from my box participated and each one inspired me with her strength and determination. They pushed until they couldn't push anymore. It was amazing to see. The guys kicked ass as well and I was proud of how well our box did. It gave me the motivation I needed to run the next day despite my half marathon being cancelled. I ended up running 10 miles yesterday and felt fantastic after it. Last time I ran 10, I was sore for days. This time I feel a lot better. I never thought I'd be able to run 5 miles, let alone 10!

I am going to switch focus now. I will continue to run 5Ks and will eventually run a half marathon but I want to get better at back squats, double unders, wall balls and pull ups. I want to focus on increasing strength and getting better with the barbell. As I mentioned in my About Me section, my fitness goals are constantly evolving and right now I want to focus on strength. I'll still run but instead of focusing on long distance runs, I want to focus on a faster 5K.

I'm hoping to one day compete in a CrossFit Open but I have a ways to go. The scaled WOD at the competition this past weekend would have been really tough for me. I'll get there, one day.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Doomsday Prepping

Hubby's a huge fan of Doomday Preppers and now Doomsday Castle (which I like as well). Some of the preppers are glorified hoarders and just plain crazy while other preppers are prepping for economic collapse. Could it happen? I used to laugh it off but these days, I think it could. We're in debt. The government can't make a decision for the life of them. They are playing games and wasting time. Currently there's a furlough which means government employees are forced to stay home without pay. Does that sound like a flourishing economy?

While I'm not about to go buy a bunker and live on a farm, I am seriously considering how much I value things. We value money. We all work hard for money. But eventually if the dollar means nothing, what are we working for?

I was extremely lucky that my parents paid my college tuition. This allowed me to get out of college without debt and with one foot forward. But these days, college tuition is higher and salaries haven't really increased so how are people supposed to pay off their college debt? Grants and scholarships are a thing of the past. So you have to wonder if a college education will be obtainable for the vast majority of Americans. If not, what's going to happen to the future of our country? To add fuel to fire, did you know that it costs the same to go to Harvard for 4 years and to be imprisoned in NY for one year? I kid you not. See this article. Why we spend so much money on convicts is beyond me. Instead, we should spend money on grants for smart children that don't have the means to pay for college. Simply put - we're doing it wrong.

I'm not trying to be depressing just trying to highlight the fact that we all really need to think about what matters most - family, friends, etc and worry less about "getting ahead". While important, money comes and goes and sometimes, it's not in your control.

There's a Hindu saying (I apologize if I got this wrong, my Mom mentioned it to me the other day) that Goddess Laxmi, who is the goddess of wealth, is fickle and will leave you but Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of Knowledge, will never leave you once she is with you. Knowledge is more important than wealth. I remind myself of this daily to not get hung up on stressing about money. When things are out of your control, you can't really stress them.

My first ever half marathon is scheduled for this weekend. I just received notice that if the shutdown is still in effect Friday, that the half marathon is cancelled since it's at a National Park. So not only does the shutdown affect the many government employees, Hubby included, that are not getting paid, it also affects other more fun aspects of our lives.

Here's to hoping the furlough stops soon.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ups and Downs

I've been taking it easy these past couple of weeks. Little Beast and Hubby were sick and my body was all sorts of exhausted. My eating went to crap as did my energy and motivation. All of those told me that my body just needs to rest. So I rested. I wore pajamas and hung out on the couch. It sounds horrible and I felt pretty bad about it but that's what I needed to do. This past weekend I got my mojo back. I was sick of being sick and signed up for an Autism Speaks 5K this past Saturday. I hadn't run in about 2 weeks and needed something to motivate me to get back in the game. So I went. And I ran. And guess what? I PR'd. I finished in 26:24, my fastest yet. And that was the clock time, I'm assuming my chip time was a little less.

2013 Run Stats (totally going from memory so each of these could be a couple seconds off):

1st 5K (March 2013): 30:44
2nd 5K (May 2013): 27:02
3rd 5K (July 2013): 28:30 
4th 5K (September 2013): 26:24

Thankfully I'm back on track since my first half marathon is this weekend. So far my farthest run has been 10 miles so running 13 this Sunday will be tough. But I welcome the challenge. After the run on Sunday, we have the Paleo Challenge ending next Wednesday. As I mentioned earlier, I haven't been doing too well on that front. I'm pretty good during the week for the most part but my weekends aren't that great. I mean they are fantastic, but my eating isn't Paleo. I blame Starbucks and their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Totally unrelated but worth mentioning - you know what I dislike? People who do what you specifically ask them not to do. So last night was the LAST episode of Breaking Bad ever. I wanted to watch last night but Hubby was tired and fell asleep. Since we usually watch the show together, I decided to wait until tonight to watch it. Like any normal person would, I updated my facebook status asking for no spoilers and then I logged out of facebook just in case I read something about Breaking Bad. Well, Hubby was on this morning and would you know - someone posted a comment on my status with a Breaking Bad spoiler! Seriously, keep it to yourself a$$wipe. Yes I'm angry. Anyways, thankfully I didn't see it.

So yeahhh! Breaking Bad series finale last night. Totally and up and a down. I'm excited to see the last episode but disappointed to never see one again. It helps that The Walking Dead is on again in two weeks. I'm not really a couch potato. Okay maybe I am. But I work out a lot so my rest is earned. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CrossFit Fever

It's been tough juggling half marathon training with CrossFit and the Paleo Challenge. On my long run days, I do eat things that aren't paleo because I crave sugar and carbs. I do, however, limit it. I used to eat whatever I wanted on my long run days but that behavior is long gone. It's been a week since I went to CrossFit so I was very happy to be able to go this morning. The WOD included Front Squats which are part of the Paleo Challenge WOD so I was happy to be able to work on them. Since the RX was 5 X 3, I was supposed to do 85% of my 1 rep max or 75 lbs. I did that and started adding weight and had a really hard time with it since it was 3 reps. Eventually my form sucked. So I went back to 75 (as I should have) and stayed there. The WOD was:

12 min AMRAP:
5 HSPU (hand stand push ups)
10 Pull ups
15 KB swings

I completed 4 rounds and did 12 reps of my 5th round. I also only used 1 band for pull ups (woohoo!) and used a 35lb kettlebell. I came home sweaty and proud of myself. Since I'm down to 1 band for pull ups, I'm going to start working on kipping. For those unfamiliar, here's a video -

I also went back to having CrossFit fever and will most likely attend the death class this Friday. That means I have to figure out when to get my long run in - I need to do 9.5 miles this weekend sometime. I'll probably do it Sunday morning. Less than a month until my first half marathon!

Hubby found this article today - 25 Signs You're Addicted To CrossFit. With that said, I'm definitely addicted. You should see me stalking the WOD the night before the workout! I also ordered Boxlife magazine and follow some CrossFitters for motivation on Instagram. Hey, whatever works right!

So what workouts are you addicted to? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Breaking Baby

As you all are well aware, Little Beast hasn't been such a good sleeper recently. On Saturday night, we decided to try the cry it out method, hence Breaking Baby. He cried on and off for about 40 minutes and then fell asleep. While he was crying, we checked on him every 5 minutes. It was tough. I asked Hubby if the neighbors would hear him cry and call "The ASPCA for bad parents on us." Yes I said that. I'm a nutcase. Anyways, Breaking Baby was a success. However, he did wake up at night. I went into his bedroom, laid him back down, gave him his Bobby (that's what he calls his Paci - don't ask) and he fell right back asleep. Last night Hubby bored him to sleep with a book he's reading so that was pretty easy. We'll see what's in store for tonight.

The weather this past weekend was beautiful. Saturday, we took Little Beast apple (aka appum) picking and he got on his first ever hay ride!

Today's Monday which means Hubby and I have a DVR'd episode of Breaking Bad to watch. No spoilers please! Monday night is our wine and watching Breaking Bad night. I'm excited biiiitch.

We picked so many apples that I had to bake an apple pie yesterday. Hubby forbade me from baking anything Paleo so I had to subtract a lot of points! I am still on the Paleo challenge and all things pumpkin have been messing me up,well this past weekend, it was all things apple. The farm we went to had apple cider donuts. Boy were they good! I had 3. Oops, I'm human afterall. Don't judge. Anyways here's the delicious apple pie I baked.

Yea so I went slit crazy. Next time it will be prettier! It was damn good though. I love me some apple pie with vanilla ice cream!

I'll stop being a fat ass now. I officially registered for the Jersey Shore Half Marathon today. I know I have been saying it for a while and I have even been training for it but I formally committed today. Last Friday's run was 8 miles and I am planning on 9.5 this Friday. I can and will do it. I am committed.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Does Cooler Weather Signal Hibernation?

I absolutely love Fall. I love the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, pumpkins and all things pumpkin - pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pie (oops, said that already..well I really love it). Anyways I look forward to Fall every year. The weather is starting to get cooler and I am really in the Fall spirit. So all good right? Wrong. For me, Fall is all things cozy - comfort food, hoodies, etc. And since I am only on Week 4 of the Paleo Challenge and training for a half marathon, I can't afford to get cozy just yet. I need to focus.

It's 4pm today and I have made every single excuse on why I couldn't work out. I didn't go to CrossFit this morning because Little Beast didn't sleep much last night and they were doing wall balls. Did I stalk the WOD and avoid it? Hell yea. But the truth is that wall balls leave me sore for DAYS...and I can't afford to miss my long run this weekend or have any knee pain because the half marathon is in 1 month! It's exactly 1 month from today!

As I sit here, unshowered (gross maybe but that's the only way I could make sure I would get a run in today), I'm wondering does cooler weather mentally signal hibernation? Do we just have a natural tendency to hibernate when it's chilly out? As natural as the urge is, I sure as hell fought it last winter. The coldest day I ran was 13 degrees. I only ran a mile but it made running in 30 degree weather a whole lot easier. Last year hibernation didn't get to me much but I also wasn't doing as much as I am this year.

8 miles later. What can I say? I felt so disgusting unshowered that I just had to get my run in. I feel so much better now. And no, not because I'm clean (I have yet to shower) but because I ran my farthest yet! 8 miles! Woohoo! It was tough but I told myself I could do it and I did it. I stopped twice, one to take a Gu packet - first time having one of those and boy are they nasty. But they certainly work! At 5 miles, I told myself I could stop at 6. at 6, I said 7 and at 7, I said I'm going to finish this.

I refused to give up and I didn't. I'm proud I met my goal for today. 

Regarding that whole cooler weather hibernation theory, well, I can't say yet because it certainly wasn't cool when I went for my run. Whether it is or it isn't, I really think it's up to you to decide if you want to spend the winter indoors under a blanket of if you want to put cold weather gear on and get out there to do something fun! You obviously know my thoughts on it. That's why we have Under Armour base layers. :)

Here's to Fall, pumpkin pie, cool weather runs, and hoodies! Have a great weekend guys!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guest Post: Tips to Overcome Hypothyroidism and Get into Great Shape and Health

If you’re one of the many people out there that has recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism then you’ll know the struggles of actually being able to lose even a small amount of weight. And it seems that this condition isn’t relenting anytime soon as more and more people are getting diagnosed every single year!

Right now there are said to be about 25 million plus Americans who have officially been told by their doctors that they have an underactive thyroid but there are still many more out there that are still awaiting for an official diagnosis.

Surprisingly hypothyroidism isn’t the only condition that’s getting more and more common. Subclinical hypothyroidism is another disease that more and more people are getting every single year. While not as damaging as hypothyroidism (as the thyroid is not affected) the person still experiences many of the symptoms that are usually associated with people who have full blown hypothyroidism. The good news is however that if you improve your diet for the better then you will be able to get rid of this disease for good.

Anyone with an underactive thyroid will essentially have a much slower metabolism which will basically mean that they are not going to be able to burn the calories they need to burn in order to lose weight.

Having thyroid glands that are just not producing enough essential thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) will mean that your metabolism will slow right down. This is because these hormones are the ones responsible for making sure that your metabolism is running as it should be.

Not having the right amount of thyroid hormones inside your body will mean that you are just going to burn way fewer calories than normal. Hence why people with hypothyroidism find it so difficult to lose weight.

But please, worry not my friend, follow the steps below and you’ll end up in the best shape of your life. In fact you won’t even notice that you have hypothyroidism.

1. Get Down To Your Doctor Immediately To Get Diagnosed and Treated

The most powerful tip of all and one thing that will help you get your health back to where it should be is to get your doctor to diagnose and then give you the adequate treatment you need. Don’t do this and none of the other tips will matter, so please take this step very seriously.

Your diagnosis will actually depend upon the results of the blood test. This blood test will actually measure the amount of T3, T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone you have in your blood at that moment in time. If the results come back and show that you have low amounts of T3 and T4 in your blood but high amounts of thyroid stimulating hormone then chances of you having hypothyroidism are quite high!

If you’re one of the few unfortunate people that have been officially diagnosed as having hypothyroidism then more often than not you’ll be given some medication by the name of levothyroxine. This medication will work to slowly but surely get your levels of thyroid hormone back to the right level. Once this happens your metabolism will begin to rise which is exactly what you want to get into amazing shape!

2. Start Eating High Quality Meals That Contain a Good Amount Vegetables and Protein in Them

Losing a good amount of weight even when you have an underactive thyroid is super easy when you start eating healthy and nutritious meals that contain a good amount of vegetables and protein in them. Having a clean diet is absolutely essential because you’ll never be able to get results unless you do.

While vegetables are absolutely essential so is making sure that you consume a good amount of protein. Protein not only helps to preserve all that metabolism boosting muscle mass but it has the quality of being extremely satiating which is very useful when you’re on a mission to lose a lot of weight.

3. Start Eating A Lot of Foods With Fiber in Them and Totally Avoid Sugary Junk Foods

Nothing is going to be a bigger hindrance to your weight loss efforts than eating foods that are full of sugars! So if you’re really serious about getting healthy and losing weight you’re going to want to get rid of all the junk foods you’ve been used to eating. Do this and you’ll notice the weight literally melt away! Rather than consuming junk foods, you should focus as much as you can on eating foods that contain a lot of fiber in them. These are really great for your digestive system.

Ensuring that you get enough fiber through your diet will mean that you will help prevent any sort of chronic constipation from coming about which is really common among people who have an underactive thyroid. Of course the other benefit of consuming fiber rich foods is that they are extremely satiating which is great news when you want to lose weight and get into great health!

4. Implement a Proper Fitness Routine into Your Life

Believe me, exercise is a very important part of your long term success when it comes to overcoming hypothyroidism and getting into great shape. Even if you can only spare 10 minutes a day because you live a really busy and hectic life you’re going to want to do something because it all adds up to helping your metabolism get higher and higher.

To get even better results you are going to want to get involved with exercise such as weight training. This will not only help you burn more calories but it will help you build up some muscle mass which is going to result in your metabolism boosting up even more. 

And of course we all know that the higher your metabolism the more calories you’re going to end up burning.

Always keep in mind that the person that is the most consistent is the one that is going to be able to overcome hypothyroidism for good and get into remarkable shape fast!

You need to remain positive at all times and make sure that you always keep working towards your end goals of good health and a great body. Keep putting in the work and it’s only a matter of time before you end up in the best shape of your life!

Susan Upton really loves to help people all over the world overcome hypothyroidism and get into really incredible health. Go visit her over at where you will find out everything you need to know in order to get into really incredible health fast!

If you have any questions for Susan, please comment below. Thank you Susan for your post!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Operation Don't Compare

Lately Little Beast has decided he's anti-sleep. Night night lasts an hour and a half to two hours and it's full of crying and frustration. It's been tough but we're working through it. That said, I am sleep deprived yet again and when you're tired, having energy to work out is tough. Yesterday I went back to CrossFit after a week off. Little Beast was sick last week and I spent some quality time with him (Love my little man). Anyways, I was exhausted yesterday since the night before I barely slept. I was debating going and remembered my previous post on The Real Challenge learning to exercise exhausted. So I signed up and went. The WOD was:


Back Squat 5X3

3 rounds:
    15 Thrusters 
    15 Pull ups


100 Abmat Sit ups

Yes it sucked. Lately back squats have been really tough for me. I maxed out at 85 lbs yesterday (increased by 10 from the last time I went) so I did pretty well. My partner who is more or less at the same level as me, did the same and had an easier time with the squats. She actually mentioned how much more all the other girls were squatting. Before she said anything, I really wasn't paying attention. But after she did, I couldn't help but look around. The girls next to us were squatting about 140-150 lbs. The ones to the right of them probably around 170-180. I couldn't help but get discouraged. I know. I should practice what I preach. I always say comparing yourself to others will get you no where yet that's what I was doing. I couldn't even take pride in my workout because I was too busy wondering how they were so much stronger than me! For thrusters, I did 45 lbs and then scaled down to 35 for the last set. I used 1 band for pull ups the first time, and then used 2 for the other rounds. All in all, I did really well for Renita. Why Renita compared herself to the other girls is totally beyond me. 

I'm really going to make a conscious effort to compare myself to myself ONLY. I'm stronger than I was yesterday and very happy about it. My body has changed pretty drastically in the past 4 months and I am happy about that too.

So this morning what did I do? I told Hubby how all the girls at CrossFit are so tanned and how I'm pasty (for an Indian). He just looked at me and told me to STOP COMPARING! Seriously what's up with me? I'm all down on myself. That changes now. I have come really far. I am a lot stronger now than I have ever been. From now on, no hating. No hating on myself and no hating on other people (I don't do that too much anyways). Operation Don't Compare will take effect today.

What about you? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you usually say you're better or worse then they are?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lowkey Labor Day Weekend

You can telll it's a really lowkey weekend if I'm blogging. Usually we have a million things planned and actually end up saying no to some things because we can't manage everything. This weekend, I am proud to say that Hubby is taking his Level 1 CrossFit Instructor Certification. Since he's not around all weekend, I am getting tons of quality time with Little Beast. He's still nursing a cough and getting better so we're keeping it lowkey this weekend, which means I am getting a ton done around the house. Five years ago, I would have called myself lame. Today, I call myself productive.

Anyways, the pantry is organized - Thank God. That place was a disaster. As the Chubbies get older, they get more ear infections, eye infections, etc so I have a bunch of their meds in the pantry. Little Beast, as you know, has a ton of meds himself - well mostly cough medicines, tylenol, advil and his nebulizer. Is it normal to keep medicine in the pantry? No idea, that's where I put it. I went to Target yesterday (again - productive not lame) and I found two baskets in the $1 section. I now have those in the pantry which the dogs meds in one and Little Beast's meds in the other. Who cares if they are bright orange? They were $1!

Orange Organization

So the pantry is organized and I can cross that off my list, or Hubby's list since he made a list of things for me to do and taped it to the pantry door. I'm not kidding. He did. But in his defense, he bought me a box - the Rogue box - and I was to do things around the house as a result. That was months ago, and little by little I am crossing things off his list.

Pantry, check. I went outlet shopping with Mom on Friday and bought a ton of things for Little Beast. Let me tell you how depressing it is to buy 18-24 months, when you see you all these cute little things that are 3 months or 6 months. Mom didn't help because she kept bringing me over things she thought were cute...they were all 9 months. And have you ever noticed how 3/4 of all kid's clothing stores have girl's stuff in it? I get it. Girls are adorable with their skirts and accessories and tights and all. But what about boys? I went to Carter's, Children's Place and Gap to get his fall/winter wardrobe. Check.

I also got myself a new handbag from Michael Kor's! Woohoo! I have been eyeing the crossbody bag. Is that what it's called? That sounds a little morbid. Anyways, I got that for myself and some reebok crossfit shorts and my first ever pair of Cole Haan shoes. I am excited to see what this Nike Air technology is all about.

For all my guy followers, I apologize. You must be rolling your eyes at this entire post. So now, let's talk about

Yesterday I made Paleo Pumpkin Cookies (can't find the recipe right now but it's pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, almond flour, raw honey, baking soda and cinnamon). They were absolutely delicious!

Today's lowkey day involved going to Wegmans and Chipotle with Little Beast and then more lame/productive stuff around the house. I did however make slowcooked pork for dinner with sweet potato mashy (mashed potatoes, we say mashy in my house). 

I also planned my 8 mile route for tomorrow. Since Hubby is home, I will be able to go out for a run! Thankfully so, only a month until my half marathon! In a couple days, we will be starting Week 4 of the Paleo Challenge. It's getting easier. I have also lost 6 pounds. I wasn't big to begin with so I'm going to make it a point to eat more during the day because I really don't want to lose too much weight. Don't get me wrong - I am very happy with the 6 pound weight loss!

Hope you all are having a wonderful Labor day weekend, whether it's lowkey like mine or completely jam packed! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Times are Tough

I don't usually post about negative things. It's part of the way I live my life - focus on the positive and you can get through anything. Well recently things have been tough. I usually drown my sorrows in wine and cannolis but since I'm on the Paleo Challenge, there's none of that going on. Well there is wine but not enough to drown in.

Here's what's going on. In my professional life, I don't feel challenged. I accepted that and became complacent. It's not an excuse. Recently I've decided to be more aggressive and give my all in order to hopefully obtain a promotion next year. Since the focus has switched, I feel a little better. But I did apply to one very exciting internal job and just found out, right now, that I didn't make the cut. I'm bummed. It was a work from home full time job which would allow Hubby and I to finally make our move. We are planning on moving out of the state and are focused on trying to get jobs near where we want to live. So that job would have been perfect. But woulda coulda shoulda, it didn't happen and I need to move on.

Now on to my personal life. One of my Chubbies, my pug Bruno has been having health issues and he's only 4 years old. He has permanent vision loss and it is very difficult for me to accept. I know animals don't feel pity and he's not completely blind so I should be thankful (and believe me I am!) but it's just hard to not be able to do something for him. We're taking him back to the vet in a week for a second checkup (he had an eye infection and his eyes are not making tears) so I am hoping for a little improvement. I'll keep you all posted.

Love this guy!
To top things off, Little Beast is sick and has a fever. He hasn't slept well which means Mama is exhausted. Because of my exhaustion, I have no energy to do anything and I haven't worked out since Monday. I am hoping to go to CrossFit tomorrow morning but it really depends on how Little Beast is doing. Poor little guy.

CrossFit is my Therapy

It's also been extremely difficult to stay on the Paleo Challenge. Yesterday was the start of week 3 and I'm getting cranky. My fellow crossfitters are extremely motivating and post amazing food pictures on facebook. I am getting my motivation back but it's a slow process. That said, I haven't strayed too much and I have subtracted points for every time I did cheat so it's not as bad as I make it out to be. This morning I made myself a Banana Cinnamon Muffin Bowl with a little raw maple syrup. It was delicious. I am also planning on making Paleo Pumpkin Cookies later. If I have acceptable "sweets", I won't get cranky when my sugar cravings kick in. At least I'm hoping so.

Here's to staying positive despite having a lot of things going on. I know this is all temporary and that it will pass. I'm looking forward to getting over the hump and going back to my usual active happy lifestyle.....biiitch. I had to do it, just had to!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Two Loves: CrossFit & Running

Of course this comes after my first loves - Hubby, Little Beast, Chubby Wubbies (my two other fat children).

I've been running on and off for almost a year now. I started at just under a mile last September. I've had good running days and bad ones, times when I'm not motivated to run at all, and others when I want to run twice a day. I used to think that in order to be a good runner, all you needed to do was run. Totally not true. If you run every day of the week, that doesn't guarantee you will be a faster runner. In fact, you risk injuring your knees or your ankles because of how much you hit the pavement. At my max, I was running 13 miles a week and that was all that was feasible for me. I can justify working out up to 4 times a week but anything beyond that I feel is time I could be spending with Little Beast.

Enter CrossFit. I was initially scared my running would suffer because of spending a couple days a week at the box. I actually lost motivation to run because of how fast I saw my body change with CrossFit. I certainly didn't see those changes when I was just running. After a month of not running, I had a 5K I signed up for with my local running mom group. I assumed my time would suffer and wondered if I would even break 30 minutes. I ended up coming in 3rd for my age group. So the more you run doesn't necessarily make you faster.

CrossFit has definitely helped my running. I have stronger legs and more endurance now. I also have a general feeling of being physically fit - hard to describe - but this has helped my confidence. And to be good at anything, you have to be confident.

Now that I am training for my first half, I do one long run a week (just hit 6 miles last weekend) and I go to CrossFit 2-3 times a week. Usually at least one of those WODs has a 400m run in it. I could probably run one more time during the week but unless it's a jogging stroller run, it probably won't happen. Little Beast is growing up way too fast and I don't want to feel like I missed it. He says at least 20 words now and one of them is "Outside". He is growing up to be just like Hubby and that is perfectly okay with me!

So back to running, I really enjoy my long runs on Sunday and I really enjoy CrossFit during the week, especially the crazy Friday classes. I love the combination of the two and am more than happy to be able to do them both.

Are there two sports/hobbies that you couldn't live without? Do you favor one over the other?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y that's a Integrity

Let's play a game. If you grew up in the 90's, you'll know the answer to this. The artist who sang U.N.I.T.Y that's a Unity. Do do do do do do do du du du du do do do. Who is Queen Latifah? That's right! 90's musicians for $100 Alex. Okay let's move on.

Integrity is important in work, in your personal life and for working out. You can't cheat yourself and expect to see results. Let's take CrossFit as an example. Surprised? Yea I know I have OCD - Obsessive CrossFit Disorder. Anyways, in CrossFit, you're constantly counting - counting your rounds, counting your reps and counting how much you lift. It's easy to forget where you are in a WOD. In that case, I normally back track to where I remember leaving off and start from there. That means I occasionally do more than I need to. I'd rather that than cheat. But I have seen people who say Time before they complete a workout and I honestly have no idea why someone would do that. Are they really winning? Though we compete in time, the real competition is with yourself. I don't want to be last, but I'm completely okay with not being first. My focus is on doing the WOD properly. If that means I'm slower when it comes to time, I'm okay with that. The few times I actually did the WOD quickly, I was concerned I cheated, either I scaled too much or I miscounted. Learning how to scale workouts for yourself takes time and I have learned not to think I cheated because I have to scale some WODs. That said, I am a person of integrity and that's why I think this way. Those who cheat, need to realize they are just cheating themselves. Now that I am beginning to sound like my mother, I'll stop.

Yesterday's strength element was back squats. I haven't done back squats since my last day with Trainer and I wasn't able to beat my 1 rep max of 125. Well, yesterday, we were doing 5 reps so my max was 85. And that was extremely tough for me. Hubby mentioned the other day I'm quad dominant and I'm beginning to realize I am. Wall balls leave me sore for days because of my weak hamstrings. I also can front squat 90 pounds. Since front squats require more quad strength, that completely makes sense. Now that I've realized my weakness, I'm going to work on building my hamstring strength. This article details exercises that help weak hamstrings.

Today marks the completion of Week 1 of the Paleo Challenge and I am happy to report that I have lost 4 pounds! You all know my journey is not about weight loss and that's not the reason for participating in the challenge but it is really nice to see the added benefits of eating clean. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Trouble with Paleo

I'm on Day 6 of the 8 week Paleo Challenge and doing relatively well. I start off with 10 points a day and then subtract points depending on what non-Paleo foods I eat and how much alcohol I drink. Weekdays are much easier than weekends and I have learned that sticking to Paleo, while tough, is much easier than not drinking wine. I refuse to not drink wine for 8 weeks when I'm not pregnant. You may think that's an excuse or a cop out and it may as well be but I just won't do it. Hubby and I frequent wineries often on the weekends as a reward to how much we push ourselves during the week. That's one reward I won't live without - unless of course I'm preg with Baby #2 - which I'm not.

Saturday Hubby, Little Beast and I went on a hike at Jenny Jump. The trail was a little overgrown so it wasn't too long of a hike but it was absolutely beautiful.

My Men
Hiking Mama

Before the hike, we went to a pizzeria for lunch. Little Beast had pizza, Hubby had some cheesesteak pizza that looked absolutely wonderful and I had a cheesesteak - without the cheese and without the bread. Yes, I was that person. I basically had steak with mushrooms, peppers and onions. And you know what? It was pretty damn good. I think I found my paleo pizzeria meal.

Paleo at a Pizzeria
Pretty content with myself for staying paleo during the weekend, I enjoyed the hike as well. After the hike, we weren't ready to go home just yet and I was dreaming about this Chocolate Cabernet I had a winery on my birthday. Yes you heard correctly - Chocolate Cab! So we drove about 45 minutes to go to 2 wineries - Vynecrest (their Blush and Summertime Red are great in the summer!) and Clover Hill (amazing Riesling and Chocolate Cab). At Vynecrest, Hubby ordered a cheese, grape and cracker plate. I tried to resist the cheese but ended up having a tiny bit. Lost 2 points there. I also had a total of 3 glasses of wine at 2 wineries (not too bad considering) and I lost 4 points a glass or 12 points for that. I ended up being negative on Saturday. The Trouble with Paleo is that I can't drink wine. There's a grey area when it comes to red wine but my box rules say no alcohol so I will most likely be negative every Saturday. I accept that.

Aside from my love of wine and the fact that I will continue to drink it during the challenge, I am not having as much trouble with eating Paleo. Hubby ate a hot dog in front of me (if you knew me, you'd know of my love of hot dogs) and I had no desire to eat it.

I have been experimenting with cooking paleo and have a couple recipes of my own. I'm debating adding a recipes section to this blog but since I'm not very good with taking pictures of food, I may hold off of that - not trying to gross any of you out!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Paleo in the Morning, Paleo in the Evening, Paleo at Suppertime

When Paleo's on a bagel, you can eat Paleo anytime! Sorry I had to say it. Anyways, today is the start of my CrossFit box's Paleo Challenge. The challenge is effective from August 14 to October 9, roughly 8 weeks of eating paleo, counting points if I cheat, and working out. Challenge accepted.

So as part 1 of the challenge, today's WOD was a benchmarking WOD that I will repeat in 8 weeks. Here's how I did today:

Benchmark 1: Front squats - 90 lbs (prior to today, 70 was my max)
Benchmark 2: Ring Rows - 13
Benchmark 3:
               15 AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
               400 m run
               15 kettlebell swings (26 lb)
               15 box jumps

I did 3 complete rounds and nearly finished the fourth, I was at box jump #6. Let's see how those stats compare to what I do in 8 weeks. I am definitely looking forward to being stronger and leaner.

My fear of box jumps returned today and I actually had my first box jump accident. It was my second box jump of the first set. I had no choice but to overcome my fear and keep on moving and that's exactly what I did. My shins are all messed up anyways from rubbing the bar against them so what's another dent?

Box Jump Fail
With all the bruises I have (you should see my caloused hands), people must think Hubby beats me. I seriously need to wear this sign around my neck!

Because is spelled wrong the second time :)

I will keep blogging about the Paleo challenge and how I'm doing. At the end of the challenge, which is a couple days after my 1st half marathon, I will post before and after pictures so stay tuned and wish me luck!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Are 30's the new 20's?

I just turned 32 a couple days ago (yes I realize my About Me section still says 31, let's just leave it like that for now, mmkay?). Anyways, I'm in my 30's. I just finished a Hero WOD at CrossFit and was high fived by a fellow mom in her 30's. She is in unbelievable shape and does not look like she's in her 30's at all. When I first saw her, I actually thought she was in her 20's. But she's 35 and has two children. It just goes to show that if you work hard and keep yourself in shape, you'll look and feel a lot younger! With CrossFit, 30's are definitely the new 20's.

So let's backtrack to yesterday's WOD:

Strength - Overhead Squats 7x1

800m run
3 rounds:
   20 knees to chest
   30 push ups
   40 air squats
800m run

Sounds tough right? Well get this, Coach decided to do something special for my birthday. So for my class he added another WOD to the one we were already doing. Yesterday's WOD turned out to be this:

32 burpees
32 lunges
32 box jumps
32 KB swings

10 minutes rest

800m run
3 rounds:
   20 knees to chest
   30 push ups
   40 air squats
800m run

Absolutely insanity. I apologized to everyone in my class multiple times. We braved through it though and on that last run, my legs were butter. Yet I still signed up for this morning's class and here's what we did today:

10 rounds:
3 hand stand push ups (I did them off the box, can't do the hand stand ones yet)
6 deadlifts (I did 95lbs)
12 pull ups (I used 3 bands, hoping to go down to 2 next time)
24 double unders or 72 regular jump rope (I did regular)

It was tough but easier than yesterday. You actually have to work through the workout to know what's easy for you and what isn't. Next time there's a deadlift in a WOD, I can probably add another 10 pounds. And next time there are pull ups, I'm going to try my best to use 2 bands instead of 3. Hand stand push ups and double unders are on my list as well.

Deadlifts and pull ups result in man hands. Here's a picture of my hand post workout.

Very lady like huh? Oh well blisters and callouses make strong hands and I would rather strong hands than weak ones!

I am also very excited to announce my new purchase. I recently bought Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0's. I heard they are awesome for box jumps as well as lifting so I'm excited to try them out at my next class. I'll also write a review and let you all know how much I like them!