Archive for the ‘Overall Health’ Category

I’m struggling to get up to 2x per week at CrossFit. I love it once I’m there, and always am glad I went, but GETTING THERE continues to be an issue. I was supposed to go yesterday but when the alarm went off at 4am after a restless night of dreaming about getting a C on my final paper for this class (I haven’t even turned it in yet… oh, dreams), there was no way I was getting up.

I did make it there today, however, and am planning on going tomorrow.  So even though it’s at the end of the week, at least I’m going to get it in twice. I have a lot more motivation to go if I’m going with Bob (like this morning) because I consider it a little bit of time spent with him.

I have been working out on my own over lunch, however, at work. Believe it or not, I’m actually exercising as much as I did before I started class. This week I’ll have hit 5 out of 7 days.  Don’t be too impressed, though, because one of those days was our Barbells for Boobs event at our gym (which was AWESOME).

Photo taken by Barbells for Boobs. And yes, this is my first "real" CrossFit picture. I'm psyched.

Photo taken by Barbells for Boobs. And yes, this is my first “real” CrossFit picture. I’m psyched.

See this picture above? I was clean & jerking 75 pounds. Last year, I clean & jerked 45 pounds. (Let’s ignore the fact that my overhead squats were the same weight at 45 pounds…).  That progress (however slight) is what I don’t want to lose while I’m only making it 2x a week during the next 15 (a month down!!) months.

Which is why I’ve started “New Rules of Lifting for Women” — a book my parents gave me for Christmas and I didn’t need then because I was going to CF so often at the time.


It’s split into 7 stages and is a 6ish month long progression at 3x per week. I’m planning on doing twice a week, so the program will be a few months longer for me. It incorporates heavy lifting and interval training, both things I love about CrossFit. Not going to lie, when I saw that deadlifts, back squats, and thrusters were part of the routine, I knew this would work well. 🙂

The first stage has high reps (2 sets of 15) and works down to heavier weights at lower reps (8) over the course of 16 workouts. I did the first two workouts at 15 reps but am skipping 2 workouts and going down to 12 reps at slightly heavier weights. The first stage is FOREVER (16 workouts vs every other stage which is 8) and I am sure it’s to get people unfamiliar with lifting, familiar with it. I’m going to follow the rest of it as prescribed, however, and just make sure the weights are challenging enough.

The first stage doesn’t have any interval training, but I’m throwing my own in there using CrossFit Endurance workouts posted every week in our CF group. My original plan was to do these CFEs on the opposite days that I lift but this week has been a bit crazy so I’ve just tacked them on at the end of the weight lifting. My lunch gets a little long because of that (ran close to an hour and a half yesterday), but I also spend weekends tweeting and Facebooking and Instagramming for work, so I’m not worried.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m settling into a routine, I’m making exercising a priority, and I’m just taking it one day at  a time as promised.

Furthermore, Bob has been INCREDIBLE as I’ve figured out all of this. He’s doing most of our grocery shopping, he’s been cleaning the kitchen while I’m in class, he’s taking care of other things like installing a hot water heater while I slave away over homework, and he has just been all around wonderful. So I know it’s a little bit of a husband brag, but it needs to be said that he is amazing.

Have you ever followed a weightlifting program? What has worked for you?


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So I was super stressed out about this crazy dilemma. I’m ridiculous, I know.

I ended up actually liking the other CF box — but they only offer an unlimited membership which means wasted money because I know I won’t make it in more than 2ish times a week at most.  I still hope to drop in every once in a while at the other place if my schedule allows — I’m excited for their expansion and I’m curious to see how they grow. And besides, they do have a really cute puppy.

What ended up making the most sense (financially, mentally, physically, etc.) was to drop down to 2x per week at FCCF (or maybe a punch card if I can’t make it 2x) and then just supplement on my own whenever I can fit it in, whether it be CrossFit Endurance or a long run to clear my mind or 30 minutes of Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD.  Hey, you do what you gotta do, even if that means getting yelled at from your TV.

Jillian Michaels

I went back Friday morning and even though I was the VERY LAST ONE (10 rounds of 5 snatches and 30 double unders… and the DUs were NOT my friend), half the class gathered around me to encourage me to finish. I love CrossFit for that very reason.  I definitely wouldn’t get a crowd of people encouraging me to finish my workout at the local globo-gym, that’s for sure.

Playing dodgeball -- photo by Laura Davis Rice (FCCF)

Playing dodgeball — photo by Laura Davis Rice (FCCF)

Then Friday night, Bob and I headed back to the box for the dodgeball Halloween party. It was a much needed evening of good food, new & old CF friends, and lots of balls.

Our winning team, Team H. :) (with Rachael & Eric, great dodgeball teammates)

Our 3rd place winning team, Team H. 🙂 (with Rachael & Eric, great dodgeball teammates)

This is only temporary. It’s 16 months, and it’ll go fast. And I’m not going to stress myself out about getting in exercise. I’ll do what I can, when I can, and I won’t beat myself up if I need to choose sleep, or Bob, or homework, over exercise. I also won’t beat myself up if I choose exercise over sleep or homework if I really need it, either. I’ll find a balance, but it just may take some time to figure it out. And that’s ok.

I don’t have to have everything figured out now. I just need to take one day at a time. One workout at a time. And one paper at a time. 🙂

Oh, and here’s the meal plan for the week:

Monday:  Chicken enchilada stew. Because I have to finish a paper and don’t want to waste time cooking. Also, it’s delicious. (I usually top with avocado & green onions & cilantro).

Tuesday: Salads! With bacon. Because every salad is better with bacon. And maybe even hardboiled eggs and avocado.

Wednesday: Some kind of crockpot pork with roasted broccoli and cauliflower

Thursday: Breakfast for dinner!! Eggs, sweet potatoes, bacon. You really can’t go wrong with this meal choice.

Friday: Some kind of meat (chicken, sausage, etc.?) with sauteed cabbage and Paleo slaw.

Someday I’ll be able to cook more elaborate meals again. But until then, it’s all about finding the simplest food to prepare without a lot of extra ingredients.

Do you have any simple meals that are favorites I could add to my lineup?

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So we’ve been total slackers the last week on our blog. I’ve been getting into a routine for grad school (hello, LOTS of READING) and Bob’s been getting into a routine of never rarely seeing me. Also, I attended an awesome conference last week (High Ed Web) so I wasn’t able to blog for a few days anyways.

Excuses, excuses. At least I’ve been getting my exercise in, although not much of it is CrossFit. I finally went back Thursday (hooray!) and was so happy to be back. I missed my CF friends. Unfortunately I was up too late Thursday so Friday morning didn’t happen.

However, Friday was so beautiful that I ended up taking a half day and spent an hour trail running at Durand Eastman Park. It was gorgeous. It took me a little under an hour to run 4 miles because I nearly killed myself on a root at the beginning… so I decided that walking/running was a better way to go. My wrist just started feeling better — I wasn’t about to sprain an ankle.

Gorgeous views on my run on Friday

Gorgeous views on my run on Friday

Sunday was a day full of reading and paper writing. Because I can’t read textbooks for three hours straight without wanting to fall asleep, I decided that at the end of every chapter I’d do 20 jumping jacks, 10 squats, and 10 push ups. That worked pretty well until I hit the beginning of chapter 9 and was going stir crazy.

Really thrilling content.

Really thrilling content.

Despite the fact that I had enjoyed a delicious pumpkin ale while I was reading, I headed out for a run with the pupster. Pro tip: don’t run after drinking a beer. Pro tip #2: if you DO run after drinking a beer, just accept the fact that you’ll be slow because your legs will be heavy and tired. 3 slow miles later, I was ready to go back to reading.

Stanley joined me after our run while I finished up some reading in our office.

Stanley joined me after our run while I finished up some reading in our office.

Couldn’t make it to CrossFit this morning because it was rainy and dark and I had some stomach issues (probably from running after beer-drinking), but I packed a bag and plan on doing the WOD over lunch at work, subbing out pull-ups for push-ups.

I was worried about fitting in exercise — and I still am worried about fitting in CrossFit (I think I’m going to drop down to 2x a week) — but running may just be my saving grace throughout grad school.  And the cardio room at work over lunch.

Because Bob & I were visiting his family this weekend, we made our meal plan on the back of a coupon for Dunkin’ Donuts. Hey, you do what you have to.


In case you can’t read my chicken scratch, here’s our (very simple) meal plan for the week:

Sunday: we ate leftovers Bob’s parents so graciously sent home with us. Butternut squash & sweet potato soup, sausage & onion & mushroom soup, turkey, and sauteed vegetables. Delicious.

Monday: Leftovers for lunch, and roasted vegetable medley of butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and delicata squash with baked chicken for dinner. (I’ll post a recipe soon for the vegetables. SO GOOD.)

Tuesday: Leftovers for lunch. Salad for Dinner. We’ve decided that Tuesday nights will be salad night because it’s something easy for me to pack to eat during class, and easy for Bob to eat while I’m not there.

Wednesday: Salad for lunch, Paleo Pad Thai for dinner. I’ll do the prep work for this tonight — roasting the spaghetti squash & making the sunshine sauce – because I have a happy hour Wednesday I’m going to so Bob is going to have to cook!

Thursday: Leftovers for lunch.  Hooray, we’re home together for dinner!! We’re making Paleo Nachos which are my FAVORITE easy meal. I’ll prep the chicken the night before — I use this recipe for the pulled chicken. Then I cut up bell peppers & top them with traditional nacho toppings (minus cheese, sour cream, etc.) using this recipe as inspiration. And of course, using homemade guac (recipe soon!) These are great for lunch the next day, too. YUM.

Friday: Baked fish, sauteed cabbage, cauliflower rice. (I always try to make fish on Fridays because I don’t like leftover fish for lunch the next day).

Saturday: Paleo potluck maybe? Or else we’ll figure something out.

What are you eating this week? How was your weekend?

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Since my last post I have cleaned up my act. For the most part. I mean, I had a few animal cookies yesterday, and a few sugary drinks over the weekend, and some rye bread last night, but it’s been nothing compared to the “EAT ALL BAD THINGS” bender I was on for a few weeks.

Because of this I have successfully lost 2 pounds (Hooray!) although my pants still feel tight and I still feel pretty gross. Too bad you can’t lose weight as quickly as you gain it.

However, I have not gotten my butt back to the box. Part of it is a very valid excuse: I have poison ivy ALL OVER MY BODY and am just now starting to heal.

How does this happen to someone, you may ask?

Well this idiot I went traipsing through the woods to find a few geocaches over Labor Day weekend without any regard for poisonous plants. And then the next morning, guess what showed up? Poison ivy rash. On my leg. I immediately covered it with calamine and refrained from itching.

Tuesday morning last week I woke up and realized it had spread from just my left thigh to pretty much everywhere else — my back, my chest, my arms, my ankles… so I went to the doctor. Who put me on prednisone.

So I’ve been on steroids to shut it down (apparently your white blood cells can carry poison ivy all over your bloodstream which is why it spreads all over) and I’ve been sleeping poorly because I’m up all night trying not to itch and then giving in and itching and then forcing myself to stop and then giving in again and… well, you get the picture.

But it’s not really a valid excuse any more because my poison ivy is (mostly) gone. So back to the box tomorrow, for better or for ill. It’ll suck, and I’ll hate life, but then it’ll be over and I’ll fall in love with CrossFit all over again. I hope.

I did run a few times last week, and I actually am starting to enjoy running again.  Believe it or not, I looked forward to tackling 6 miles on Saturday (3 were part of a 5k, the other 3 were done afterwards and VERY SLOWLY).  So that makes me pretty happy. Hooray, running! It’s good for the soul.

I plan on getting back to blogging regularly, especially because Bob has a Paleo challenge starting on Monday next week, and I’ll be doing meal plans for that again. Even though I’m not doing the challenge, it’ll still be helpful for me because I’ll be supporting him by cooking Paleo-friendly foods.

Have you ever had poison ivy before?? How long until it went away completely?

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I have fallen off the clean eating wagon and my body hates me for it.

French Fries shared with friends at the Kenny Chesney concert.

French Fries shared with friends at the Kenny Chesney concert.

Here are just a few of the many symptoms that show me I need to clean up my act, and fast:

  • All my pants tight. In fact, my “fat pants” that I reserve for “that time of the month” are even too tight.
  • All I can wear are skirts and dresses. And I even feel uncomfortable in those.
  • I have a zit on my chin. I NEVER get zits. I have been blessed with very clear skin. Except for when I eat like crap, apparently.
  • I am super grumpy for no reason.
  • I am tired ALL THE TIME, and I can’t sleep.
  • My digestive system is all sorts of messed up.
  • I don’t want to work out. I only made it to CrossFit twice last week, and I was super sore for days. Eat like crap = bad recovery.

So much sugar. So much dairy. So many grains. And while the last month of summer has been incredibly fun, it has also been incredibly unhealthy.

Incredible dessert while out to eat with Bob. Mine was a chocolate orange mousse, his was a pb&j parfait.

Incredible dessert while out to eat with Bob. Mine was a chocolate orange mousse, his was a pb&j parfait.

And it has finally caught up with me.

So, here’s my confession: I’m up to a weight I haven’t seen in a LONG time. And I feel generally really crappy about myself. I’ve been saying mean things to myself about how I’ve let myself go and how I look terrible, etc., etc., etc. WHY do we allow ourselves to say such terrible things to ourselves when we would NEVER say it to someone else? I would NEVER tell my best friend that she looks like hell because she’s gained 7 pounds in a month.

I used Bob's birthday "week" as an excuse to also celebrate. And the leftovers from the sundae night made for a few more additional bowls of ice cream...

I used Bob’s birthday “week” as an excuse to also celebrate. And the leftovers from the sundae night made for a few more additional bowls of ice cream…

So here’s my second confession: from now on, I’m going to try to treat myself like I would treat my best friend. That includes reminding myself that it’s just a phase, that I’ll lose the weight quickly because I’m jumping back ON the wagon today (after the two(!!!!!!) whoopie pies I had for breakfast), and that the extra weight doesn’t make me a bad person. That the extra weight simply means I had a great summer, and I just need to refocus my priorities on fueling my body properly so I am a more pleasant person to be around.

The last one, I swear. SO GOOD.

The last one, I swear. SO GOOD.

And finally, if I was talking to my best friend, I’d tell her that she was beautiful no matter how tight her pants feel, and that she shouldn’t allow herself to be defined by her food choices. But that if she NEEDS to feel better about herself, she better start now instead of continuing to make excuses.

So I still have some events where I’m going to be making less than healthy choices (wedding, girls’ night, etc.) but that doesn’t meant that the surrounding days can’t be full of lean meats, lots of vegetables, and healthy fats.

Here’s me, getting back on the wagon. And hoping my pants will fit again soon, because I REALLY don’t want to go up a size.

How do you get yourself out of the cycle of eating poorly? How do you handle poor choices emotionally?

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So we had a fantastic weekend, including a big party Saturday with all of our friends. I’m not sure there’s a better way to spend your Saturday night than playing lawn games, chatting around a camp fire, and making s’mores.  Nope, pretty sure there’s not.


Does anyone else feel like summer JUST STARTED and all of a sudden stores are putting out FALL and HALLOWEEN decorations!!?? What the crap!? What is wrong with America that you can’t simply enjoy the season that you’re in? I for one am going to suck every last drop of life out of summer days before the days turn crisp and I have to dig out sweaters.  I adore fall, but only when it’s TIME FOR FALL.  And it is not yet time for fall. It’s still the middle of August. Good grief. It’s 80 degrees today and Wegmans has Halloween candy out.

Anyways, before that rant, I was going to say that we have a busy week this week so we’re actually only making dinner tonight & tomorrow night (grilling sausages tonight & burgers/chicken tomorrow night) — we’ve got fun plans Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then Saturday I head back to Bradford for my 10 year high school reunion.

But despite the busy week, we’re trying to make healthy choices because of the many indulgences on Saturday. My trick to staying healthy over lunch time even if we’re going out for dinner a lot? Salads. Big-ass salads. With grilled chicken (I’m going to grill some up tomorrow night when we grill up hamburgers) and lots of veggies. They’re easy, they’re delicious. and it’s really hard to make a home-made salad unhealthy.

Remember a long time ago, I made a goal to get double unders? And toes to bar? Well, I finally HAVE DOUBLE UNDERS. No lie. I’m pretty sure the best moment of last week was when I strung 20 in a row during a WOD and Jeff (our box owner & coach) said something to the effect of, “Holy crap, Meg!” and I smiled and said I had been practicing.  We all say that Jeff is like the box dad because we all want to get his praise, and that moment was worth the multiple whip marks, crappy low WOD scores from promising myself I would only do double unders from here on out, and sore calves. Hooray for finally practicing something and seeing results.

At least Ryan doesn't mind the angry red marks on my ankles and wrists from my double under failures.

I love Ryan. I love this meme. I’m sorry for repeating this but I can’t help it.

Those toes to bar? Well, those will take a while. I finally started getting knees to elbows, so as long as I force myself to do them right, maybe by the end of the year? Eh, you can’t win them all.

Oh, and one other recent victory. We had a CFE a few weeks ago that was an AMRAP that included 20 push-ups. I ended up with 117 push-ups, which are the MOST push-ups I have ever done in my life. That was pretty cool. I couldn’t use my arms for a few days, but it was a small price to pay to be able to brag to co-workers that I could do that many REAL push-ups.

Sorry, one more update. I’ve been running again (slowly) and trying to get in a few runs over my lunch break during the week. I’ve been trying to do one CFE and one 3 miler to get my body used to running more than a mile. I’m a lot slower than I thought I was, which is really frustrating. I’d like to chalk it up to the fact that I’ve been running at noon when it’s hottest and super humid, but I can’t imagine that’s all there is to it. Bummer. Taking time off of running really messed up my long-term endurance.

This is my attempt at another selfie today over lunch before running. It's so bad I had to share it. It's fuzzy and WHERE DO YOU HOLD THE PHONE!? And also, note the awesome running clothes. It's time to do some laundry.

This is my attempt at another selfie today over lunch before running. It’s so bad I had to share it. It’s fuzzy and WHERE DO YOU HOLD THE PHONE!? And also, note the awesome mis-matched running clothes. It’s time to do some laundry.

Now I just need to get my butt back to CrossFit. I haven’t been since Thursday. I laid in bed wide awake from 2am to 4am this morning so I elected to skip the WOD. I later found out that it was a 5k row. I’m not sorry I slept in. I’ve only done a 5k row once, and it was terrible. It’s so boring. It’s the same reason I hate running on a treadmill. I must have a slight case of ADD because when I cannot last longer than a mile on a treadmill unless I’m doing intervals.

What gains have you been seeing lately in your fitness? Are you trying to hit any goals?

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Just a few updates/thoughts/etc. for you on this happy Friday!

  • My cold is gone! Hooray! And I went back to CrossFit yesterday (Cindy… boooooo I hate push ups so much) and today. 
  • Bob and I are on a team with two other CrossFItters to run a relay for the Rochester Marathon in September.  This is the same race last year that I ran a half marathon. We wanted to do the half again this year but ran out of training time because of Bob’s glute.
  • So that means I need to start running again. I ran a (SLOWWWW) 3 miler yesterday over lunch and a quick 1 mile after CrossFit this morning when I got home. Love my new shoes (Saucony Omni 12 — I’m a bad over pronator). But I don’t love that my quads hate me for doing lots of squats yesterday THEN running over lunch THEN running again today.
  • I have 1.5 months to go from 3 miles to 7 miles. Eh, I can do it. For my half last year, I had about that time to go from 4 miles to 13.1, so if I did it then, I can probably do it now.  But that means I need to start running at LEAST on a weekly basis, if not bi-weekly… hello, lunchtime runs! (Note: Don’t try to increase your mileage like this — it’s not recommended by anyone!)
  • I’m officially submitting my request next week to be considered for the masters in marketing degree at the college I work for — which means the college pays for my tuition and I pay for books & incidentals. Holla!
  • Except I’m starting to get REAL NERVOUS about the work & time & commitment that it will take. It’s a 16 month program, and it’s  CRAZY INTENSIVE.  I’m hoping I can still CrossFit. Maybe just twice a week?
  • I’m so excited about this weekend. Tomorrow night we’re going out to celebrate paying off my student loans AND a raise that Bob just got because he’s a kick-ass worker. Then Sunday we have our annual church picnic and THEN we’re going out to dinner to celebrate a friend from CrossFit who’s turning 21!! (That makes me feel old…)

Have any fun plans this weekend? And have you ever worked full time + went to grad school + balanced exercise & eating healthy? 

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