Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Returned home from vacation a little weary and in desperate need of a re-boot… emotionally, nutritionally, and physically. As much as I tried to eat well and exercise while on vacation, it just wasn’t good enough. By the end, my Husband was asking me if I was alright because I just wasn’t myself. I wasn’t. I could feel the depression creeping in, looking for chinks in the armor, seeping into my head. I was emotionally drained and tired. Everything was becoming an effort. I was losing joy. We all know about the connection between depression and exercise, but I’ve never personally experienced such a direct link. I’ll be honest here, I’ve taken anti-depressants more than a few times in my adult life, mostly to get through difficult life events, but also for a few years or more at a time. Eight months ago I decided to go off of my anti-depressant. Things have been really great, better than great. I’ve actually be able to experience that old saying about exercise being the best anti-depressant. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt better. Two weeks of vacation and erratic exercise definitely threw me for a loop. Making my regular crossfit class this week has already made such a difference. I feel completely back to normal and ready to tackle the hectic school year.

Nutritionally, things needed to be cleaned up and it took me a few extra days to do it. There were too many bites of this and bites of that… and getting back into the habit of making school lunches at night and snacking on the items that I was packing up for the kids. I’m working on making their lunches a little earlier in the evening so I’m not so tempted. Last night was successful so I’m going to try to build on that. My digestive system is still suffering a bit from my vacation… um… hoping it’s all going to work itself out… literally… and soon! :paperbag: I’ve been taking something to help my good/bad bacteria get back in balance.

Physically, it was hard to replicate the intensity of a good Crossfit workout. I’m not very good about exercising on my own, and faced with a room full of equipment and treadmills, I’m just not going to get it done. There was also an issue of being overweight and getting access to the gyms. Did I write about that here… the guy who looked me up and down and basically a thought bubble popped up over his head asking what the heck a fat chick is doing going into his gym and what the heck did I know about exercise. The worst part about the whole thing was that it rocked my confidence to the core, though now that I’m back in my regular environment and my routine, it feels more like a blip on the radar. I’m sorry that it kept me from exploring Crossfit gyms in the area I was visiting. After that, I just couldn’t force my overweight self to go into a Crossfit gym with strangers. It’s one thing to be last with your friends cheering you on… it’s another to be visiting a gym where people don’t know how far I’ve come… and be last and feel like a failure. Introversion wins again! ๐Ÿ™„

So, speaking of how far I’ve come, I received a phone call today from my health insurance company. They wanted to enroll me in their program to help me manage my diabetes, set some goals, and check back in with me every month or so. The lady asked about what I thought some good beginner goals should be. ROFLMAO! Um… okay…. but I have to tell you (the lady) that I’m off all but one of my meds, my glucose levels are completely normal, my A1c is completely normal, I vigorously exercise 3-4 days a week, I eat Paleo most of the time, I’ve lost probably 40+ pounds of fat, gained about 20 pounds of muscle, and since I’ve been doing all of this for nearly 10 months, I’m not sure what else I could possibly do or set as a new goal. lol! She was at a loss as well and decided that she would just put me in the “monitoring” category and send me a letter every few months in case anything changed or had any questions for their nurses or nutritionists. This might have been the best call of my life!!! Lol!!! When I was off the phone, I realized that I’d forgotten to add that I’m also competing in a weight lifting competition in October. And while I’m slightly annoyed that my health insurance company is checking up on me and being rather intrusive, I’m amused that I got to say really cool things and feel like one of the cool kids for a bit.

Oh yes… and that weightlifting competition… I’ll write more about that later… but yes, there really IS an upcoming Crossfit competition I signed up for… oh help me now!!!

Check in from Florida

Vacations are never vacations with a large family. It’s stressful. There’s always an element of chaos. Plus, as drama-free as I’d like my life… three teenagers and two six-year-olds just SCREAM drama… literally… SCREAM!!!

I had two goals at the outset of my vacation: 1) DO NOT GAIN WEIGHT; and 2) Workout a few times.

I don’t know how I’m doing on the first part of the goal, won’t know until I get back, but as for the second part, I’m doing alright. I had two formal workouts at the resort gym, a few VERY active days (12 hours at Disney), and a great pool workout full of push presses, bicep curls, and jumping squats using the 6 year olds as weights. lol! Chances are that I’ll be able to get a few more workouts in before I leave Friday morning.

Now… the struggle… the trip down wasn’t so great. There was a lot of drama and stress with the kids and I turned to food. There was a Cracker Barrel for breakfast on the road… and we’re in the South so there were grits… and gawd I miss grits… and there was a biscuit or two. After that first breakfast, I decided to make my non-paleo indulgences really count. I chose my cousin’s homemade mac and cheese with 3 different gourmet cheeses… and her old fashioned green beans, which I haven’t eaten in years. Basically, I chose food that is special to me and that I’m unable to get anywhere else…. a begniet… a half of a roast beef po-boy made with french bread flown in from Dorignac’s Grocery in New Orleans… important stuff! I find myself doing really well for breakfast and lunch. I even do well at dinner… but for some reason, I’m eating a bite of this or a bite of that after dinner… of the not so special stuff. ย For the last two days, I’ve done really well, but there’s no doubt I feel compelled to eat more in the evenings. Maybe it’s the stress of the day catching up with me. Maybe it’s my food addiction. Whatever the reason, I need to figure it out or I’ll never make the first part of my goal… DO NOT GAIN WEIGHT ON VACATION!

Leaving for Vacation Today

I’m leaving today for a nearly two week vacation, including four travel days. My schedule has already gotten all messed up, so instead of hitting the gym for some lifting and Fran, I’m loading up the car and leaving a full 12 hours ahead of when I intended. Instead of heading into my vacation strong, I’m heading into it feeling disorganized and weak.

Eating on the road is hard for me. The car is packed… there are seven of us, all of our luggage, and Miss Molly, our beloved doggie. There’s lots of whining and bickering, as you would expect with five kids, each with vastly different personalities, yet all sharing the trait of grumpiness. There will be lots of stops. There will be lots of begging for this snack or that snack. At some point we’ll give in. Gas station snacks are something we plan for… once on the way down and once on the way back. We have lots of water packed but this will be my first trip without gas station coffee… that sugary chemical concoction that I’ve historically relied on for that extra bit of energy to get through the day.

After the travel days, there’s a full day at Disney and then a week at a resort. I’ll have control over many of my meals, which I’m thankful for. There will be a few meals out of my control and I plan on doing the best I can. I will also have access to basic exercise equipment for much of my trip… but it’s always been a problem getting away from the kids and the Hubs to do anything. I might end up doing burpees in my room every day… and anything else I can do… push ups, sit ups, squats… lots of squats. I might have to challenge my teens to a squatting contest to see who can do the most before failure, just to make it fun.

It’s 10:20am, breakfast has been eaten… bacon and eggs… bulletproof coffee is being consumed as I type. There’s a bit of cleaning and packing to do… then we load up the car and head out. I’m a little disoriented because on M/W/F I’m supposed to be at the gym right now. I’m a little sad because today is Fran and I was really looking forward to beating my previous time. I was so scared of Fran for the longest time, now it’s one of my favorites.

So… I’m just rambling… worried about what I’m going to do on vacation and how I’m going to continue to eat well and exercise… hoping like mad that there’s no major setback when I feel like I’ve been doing so well.

There’s also the added stress of visiting family that I haven’t seen in a while. They know I’ve been eating better and doing Crossfit… but I’m sure I don’t look all that much different. Is my stomach smaller…. yes… but is it small enough to meet their expectations. Will they look at me and say, eh, thought you’d be healthier by now? Sigh. I don’t know. I keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter… but a little outside affirmation, that the changes I’m making are showing, is nice.

Okay… bulletproof coffee has been consumed… time to get back to work on this vacation…

Just a Quick Happy 9 Month Anniversary!

I could have had a Crossfit baby by now. lol!!! I have officially made it nine months since the first time I walked into the gym for my first real class.

Speaking of first real classes, today was my very first Olympic Lifting class. The box changed the times and now it works perfectly for my schedule. Thank you Crofton Crossfit!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was just as much fun as I thought it would be. I worked up to 3 heavy full squat clean and jerks, 90#. Then, I did 5×5 back squats at 175#. I’m looking forward to more!

These last nine months have been lots of fun… a few tears… more frustration that I want to dwell on… but mostly, I’m amazed that I’m still here… still doing it… and with no intentions of stopping anytime soon.

Happy 9th Month Anniversary to me… and bring on ONE YEAR!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

At Least my Liver isn’t Fat Anymore

I’ve been thinking about this post for the last few hours and I still don’t know what I think about my doctor’s visit today. I’m thrilled about my bloodwork… not so thrilled with the scale.ย 

Let’s start with the Happy! My Liver isn’t fat anymore! Yay!!! I have had a fatty liver for the last 7 or 8 years, at least. Last time, my ALT was heading in the right direction, but still had a bit to go. This time, it was completely normal… not even borderline… completely NORMAL!!!

I am a “fat-loving” girl, let me tell you! I love my morning bulletproof coffee with extra grassfed butter and unrefined coconut oil. I eat avocados on my eggs and in my salads. I roast my veggies with olive oil. I eat bacon about once a week but it would certainly be more if uncured bacon weren’t so dang expensive. This girl loves fat. There’s no doubt that I’ve increased my good fat intake over the last several months as my grain intake went down, and now, there’s no doubt that my liver likes it! Hooray for skinny livers!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Everything else looked pretty good too. My Vitamin D is outstanding at 89… and I religiously take 10,000mg a day. I’m sure some people think I’m going to kill myself by Vitamin D overdose, but my bloodwork doesn’t lie. Every time I stop supplementing, my levels plummet. Believe me, there’s enough fat on my booty to metabolize all that D, plus some!ย 

Oh, how can I forget about my A1c??? It was 5.5… also totally normal. This was the major catalyst for starting Crossfit in the first place. I’d crossed over from borderline diabetic to diabetic, or on the threshold anyway. Functionally, I was a there. Now… completely normal! Yay Crossfit! Yay Paleo-ish eating!ย 

Why am I not jumping for joy??? That damm scale again. My home scale and my doctor’s scale don’t match up. According to the doctor’s scale, I’ve only lost 5 pounds since my last visit, 3 months ago. So of course, the first thing I did was run home, take off all my clothes (DUH??? Don’t you?) and hope on my home scale to see the difference. Well… that was down a great big ONE pound! Ugh! Sucks!!! Any way you look at it, I’m down exactly 20 pounds….. in nine months. I keep telling myself that I’ve put on a heck of a lot of muscle… muscle that I can see and feel every single day. I keep telling myself that I’m doing bigger lifts these days, proof that my muscles are getting stronger. I keep telling myself that I’m running more than I ever did before. I keep telling myself that I’m just about 3 pants sizes down from when I started and the number on the scale does not matter… but at the end of the day, I’m still roughly 250 pounds and there’s no way to look at that and be happy or proud.ย 

I read stories all the time about people who lose 50 or 60 pounds in 3 or 4 months with Crossfit… and maybe they haven’t blown out their metabolisms like I have… or maybe they aren’t dealing with PCOS… but what am I doing wrong??? I’m leaning out, for sure… my coaches and my friends see it. I even saw my face recently and saw it smaller for the first time… so what’s the story???ย 

The next thing I did after getting on my home scale, and getting dressed again, lol, was to come downstairs and make myself a nice salad for lunch, eat two pieces of 90% dark chocolate, and a couple of dark espresso beans… and now it’s time for the pity party to end. I’m meeting some friends at the 5:30pm class and I’m going to run my arse off and swings some heavy things over my head… then relax with a nice yoga class… and hit my regularly schedule Friday morning class… and just get on with it.ย 

Things are heading in the right direction… and I’m sure I could speed things along with some drastic changes, but here’s the thing… what I’m doing now is doable. I can do this for the rest of my life. I’m not making any temporary, radical dietary changes and I’m not going nuts at the gym. I’m living my life in a manner that I can sustain, and have sustained, for nearly 9 months now. It might take me a lot longer, but I’m going to get there… and because I haven’t done anything drastic, by God I’m going to STAY there!!!