My {brief} Love Affair with CrossFit

As quickly as the affair started, last night it ended.  Since lacing up my first legit pair of running shoes in late 2011, running has been number one in my heart when it comes to exercising.  Sure, I like to do other things like yoga, cycle or kayak but running has been numero uno.  Well, until this month when I let another form of exercise into my heart.  CrossFit.   But alas, yesterday evening was my final class.

running

If running is my love, CrossFit has become my paramour.  I realize that may be a bit of an extreme example, but it’s the best way I know how to describe it.  When I signed up for my month of on-ramp (beginners level) classes at Bandit CrossFit I had some expectations of what I hoped to achieve. My ultimate goal was to learn some weight lifting techniques that would improve my running.  What I gained from the experience was so much more than that.

From the very first class, I knew I had found something special at Bandit.  CrossFit has always intimidated me quite a bit and to say I was nervous is a complete understatement.  I was petrified of the unknown.  Can I handle this? Am I going to make a fool of myself? Lord, please don’t let the instructor eat me for breakfast.

Wall balls practically chewed me up and spit me out.

Bandit CrossFit. Best. Box. EVER.

However, all that worry was completely wasted energy.  When I met my instructor Janice (she also owns Bandit CrossFit) I practically laughed at how worked up I had been.  Janice carries herself with the ease of someone you’ve been around your entire life.  She and her amazing assistant (co-instructor) Kim have the patience of Job when teaching us something new. And trust me, my lack of coordination meant LOTS of patience.  But don’t mistake that patience for slack, I got my butt handed to me on more than one occasion. “McKnight! Chest to the floor. McKnight! All the way down on those squats.”

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

I learned to push through the bruises and muscle aches to discover a strength in me I didn’t know I had.  Over the course of this past month I did things I had previously told myself “I can’t” do.  Man, am I glad I threw “I can’t” out of my vocabulary! Because I learned that I can….and I did! I did climb a rope all the way to the ceiling. I did do pull-ups. I did do deadlifts, hang snatches, wall balls and rowing. And I did do lots of other fun stuff. Each class was a new challenge and I couldn’t wait to tackle it.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish we the right mindset.

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn't go so well. BUT I owned that rope the week after!

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn’t go so well.
BUT I owned that rope the week after!

What??? You don't dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes? Clearly you're doing it wrong.

What??? You don’t dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes?
Clearly you’re doing it wrong.

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in? I present to you my poo stance.

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in?
I present to you my poo stance.

The other thing I was surprised to find was how much of a ‘family’ my on-ramp class became.  The cheers and encouragement of my fellow crossfitters helped me push through the WODs when I felt completely spent.  Each time one of my classmates pushed themselves past their limits I felt complete pride in them.

Happy on-ramp graduates. LOVE this group of people!

Happy on-ramp graduates.
LOVE this group of people!

I honestly didn’t expect to grow so attached to CrossFit which makes stopping so much harder.  However, with training for marathon #3 (in a year!) looming in my very near future, I won’t have the time to dedicate to it; after all, my husband needs to see me sometime, too.  After a month of CrossFit, I feel like I accomplished my goal of learning techniques to improve my running.  I’m excited to take that knowledge and apply it on my own. But I can’t lie that I’m going to miss the heck out of it.  I’m still trying to figure out a way to mesh the two (running and CrossFit) together but haven’t come up with anything yet.

If you have ever wondered about CrossFit or considered taking a class, I highly recommend it.  Put your fears aside and just take the plunge.  YOU CAN DO IT! I encourage you to do an on-ramp class first that way you don’t get overwhelmed.  If you live in an area that offers more than one Box, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right one.  You want your box to have instructors who will take time with you, teach you proper form and correct you when you’re wrong.  I was lucky to find my box, Bandit CrossFit, in the first try.  If you’re on of my local readers, I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.

And before I completely forget, the winner of my ViewSPORT sweat activated t-shirt giveaway, selected by Random.org, was lucky comment #40.

viewsport winner 2viewsport winner

Congratulations Hollie for sweating like a man and being proud of it! Be on the lookout for a message from me on how to claim your prize.

Question:  Have you ever done something outside of your comfort zone and loved it?

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Sweat Like a Man….and Win a Shirt!

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of doing some sort of athletic endeavor with me, it’s no secret that I sweat like a man. But not like a stinky man. More like a dainty, feminine man. Hmmmm, not sure a sweaty feminine man is quite the visualization I was going for… Basically, I sweat a lot during workouts.

Taken: 1/29/13 Ignore my awesomely sweaty self.  That's what 7 miles of speed work does to me.

Proof I sweat like a man. I was trying to show off my baby bicep in this picture after 7 miles of speed work.

Before I really got inundated with the athletic community, I was actually a bit embarrassed to sweat in public. I mean after all, girls don’t sweat, they ‘glisten.’ Pfft. Whatever. I’m glad I got over that fear quickly. I’m actually quite proud of those little liquid drops of awesome that I produce; let’s me know I’ve done some work. {Side note…my Handana rocks the house for keeping sweat off of my face!}

Sweat is your body’s natural defense to heat. The more you sweat, the more efficiently your body is working to cool you down. If you’re not sweating, there’s most likely something wrong. (No joke.) A study conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute found that the average runner will lose 2 to 4 pounds of sweat per hour while running in 85 degree heat and 40% humidity. That’s a LOT of sweat.

sweating3

Ok, I don’t sweat THAT much…. But it is a funny movie.

Since sweat basically keeps us alive in the summer (ok, slight exaggeration) shouldn’t we celebrate it? Well, the creative minds over at ViewSPORT certainly think we should. They’ve created a whole line of sweat activated athletic shirts. As you sweat it up in your workout, a secret message is revealed. The tagline for their shirts is “Motivation Revealed.”

When I received a shirt to review, I was super excited. Not only do I sweat like a man, I’m also incredibly easily amused and a sweat activated shirt is basically the entertainment equivalent of playing with your food.

shirt

The first thing I noticed about my shirt was how buttery soft it was.  It’s not a tech shirt but I didn’t have any problem running almost 9 miles in it; no chafing or irritation.  I wouldn’t recommend you take it on a 20 miler but it’s great for 10 and under.  It’s also great for gym workouts and every day wear.  I really dug the cut of the shirt, too.  I have a longer torso and this was the perfect length, not to mention it came in slightly at the waist and then relaxed over my hips. I hate wearing t-shirts that just hang all the way down.

shirt 3

Gotta love pre-run pictures where you’re still basically asleep.

I took my shirt for a test drive on my long run last Saturday and I probably drove my friend Mel crazy by asking her 27 million times ‘what does it look like?’ ‘can you see the hidden message?’ If you haven’t figured out the hidden message on my shirt appeared on the backside.

Well sure enough, by the end of the run I had managed to sweat enough to reveal “BOOM.”  I love it!  Finally, a shirt that rewards me for sweating like a man!

My spibelt sort of messed up the bottom of the O's but still, how awesome is that??

My spibelt sort of messed up the bottom of the O’s but it’s still awesome….
and gross that I sweat that much.

And the best part? ViewSPORT wants to reward one of you lucky readers for sweating like a man, too! They make both male and female shirts so for all the fellas out there, don’t be shy, this contest is for you, too.

Mandatory entry:  Leave a comment answering if you sweat like a man and are proud of it.

Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each one you do):

  • Follow ViewSPORT on twitter
  • Tweet about the contest.  Ex. “I’m proud to get sweat like a man and want to win a @ViewSPORT shirt via @asphaltnosher. http://wp.me/p28bf6-IB&#8221;
  • Upload a picture to Instagram showing me you sweat like a man. Make sure to tag me @asphaltnosher and @viewsport.

That’s 4 chances to win an awesome shirt! Contest ends on at midnight (EST) on Wednesday, April 24th. The winner will be announced in Friday’s post.  Wish me luck, tomorrow I’m running my first Warrior Dash!!

Marathon #2: 1/2 Way There!

I hope y’all had a great Christmas and that you were able to enjoy some down time.  I know I did! Unfortunately, I got to enjoy some sort of virus, too.  Boooo. I rarely get sick so it’s strange to be sick twice in one month.  Oh well, tis the season for stuff like this, right? I’m the living embodiment of a snot faced punk right now…

In my down time, I was looking at my current training plan and realized that eight weeks ago I ran my first full marathon and that in another eight short weeks I’ll be running my second 26.2, the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in New Orleans.  EEP!

rnr

I’ve been kind of unintentionally mum on my training for this marathon so I figured now that the ½ way mark has crept up on me, I’ll give y’all an update.

The first few weeks of training were actually spent recovering from the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM).  Just taking the runs nice and easy, keeping the legs moving and blood flowing.  My training girls and I decided that we didn’t want to lose any conditioning from the MCM so we kept our easy paced mileage in the manageable range of 20-25 weekly.

First run of marathon training numero dos.

First run of marathon training numero dos.

Then December rolled around and I realized that I had a ½ marathon in 9 days that I totally hadn’t prepared for.  The longest distance I had ran since the MCM had been 9 miles. I wanted to get at least one double digit run just to make sure my legs remembered how to act right so I squished a 10 mile run in the first week of December.  My legs did fine and I even PR’d at the ½.109141-111-018f

Last weekend I met with my running girls to tackle 15 miles.  It. Was. Freezing! Well, almost.  It was 36 degrees.  I realize temps like that are a heat wave to some of y’all but it’s freezing to this Northern-turned-Southern girl.  I didn’t want to get out of bed but after having some choice words with myself I made it to the designated meeting spot.  And I’m SO glad that I put my big girl panties because it turned out to be a spectacular run.  The kind where you just don’t ever want to stop.  At 14.5 miles I knew I wasn’t ready to stop so I said goodbye to my running girls and ran until I was content.  I stopped at mile 18 when my foot said ‘Hoooooooold up…What do you think you’re doing to me?’  I’m sorry foot, I got carried away…

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It was so great to have a run like that; I really needed it to get my head focused back on training.  I’ve been pretty apathetic with this round of marathon training.  When I was preparing for the MCM, come hell or high water, I wouldn’t miss a run.  I wish I could say that’s still the same for this marathon but the truth is, I’ve slacked off big time.  I’ve skipped a few runs and cut others short.  I’ve also totally skipped out on my yoga and cross training.  I have this ‘I’ve already run one marathon so I don’t need to train as much’ mentality which is going to get my tail in trouble.  The worst thing I could do is toe up to the line on February 24th without being properly conditioned.

Speaking of not being properly conditioned, I haven’t ran since last Saturday.  Thanks to that virus I mentioned earlier, I’ve decided to play it smart and give my body a break this week.  I’m going to try to tackle my long run tomorrow but I’m not sure how it’s going to go.

So with that being said, I’m totally getting down to business these next eight weeks.  I’m bidding adieu to my laissez faire attitude and welcoming back the ass kicking, take no prisoners Gina that put in the hard work to earn her first 26.2 eight weeks ago and who will earn her second 26.2 in eight more weeks.  Even typing that feels empowering.  I am woman, hear me roar! Well, right after I blow my nose.

quote

Don’t forget to enter my Sparkly Soul giveaway!! The contest closes tonight at midnight!

Question:  Do you ever get into a training rut? How do you get yourself out of it?

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

In Wednesday’s post I recapped my weekend fun around DC and at the expo but I left you hanging for my race recap.  Sorry, that wasn’t very nice.  Forgive me?  Since this was my first marathon and because I ran it in memory of my brother I really wanted to put some serious thought into the recap; he deserves it.  So bear with me, this is going to be a long post and have lots of pictures (you’re welcome Mom & Dad).

In the interest of making the recap easier to read, I feel like I need to introduce you to the two names you’ll see the most.  1.) Mary – She’s like a mom to me.  2.) Stacey – My die hard training buddy and constant race partner.  Now that you know these girls I can just call them by their first names. 🙂  So here it is – the good, bad and the ugly from the MCM.  (Ok, there really wasn’t any ugly.  I just like being dramatic.)

Sunday morning started with an early wake-up call.  Mary’s alarm went off at 3:45a.m. (which is really 2:45 my time).  I had my alarm set for 4:12 but once I heard her alarm go off I was wide awake.

It was race day! The day that I had been prepping for for the last four months.

I got up, got dressed, ate some breakfast and of course snapped a few pictures.  Mary surprised me with her shirt which read on the front, “I’m with the birthday girl”.  I loved it!!

After we put our shoes on, we (Mary, myself and our hubbies) walked a few blocks to the race shuttle.  I chatted with a lady who was running the marathon and told her this was my first one.  Have you ever noticed that people always have input when they find out something is your first? She immediately likened running a marathon to giving birth.  It’s long and painful but 100% worth it at the end.  Sheesh lady! I didn’t need to hear that – I don’t have kids for a reason and labor is one of them.

After we made it to the starting area we were surprised to find that the military chaplain was just starting a prayer service.  This just made my day.  It was amazing fellowshipping with other believers right before the race.  Definitely helped get my mind right.

After the prayer service ended Mary and I said goodbye to our hubbies and then huddled together to try to warm up.

It was cold, humid, and I kept getting splattered with random drops of rain.  I said a quick prayer that Hurricane Sandy would hold off long enough for the race to be done with.  We hit the port-o-potties a few times and headed off to the official start line where we heard the National Anthem and watched the flyover.  It was incredibly moving.

Right after the flyover we met up with the girls I trained with.  It was so great seeing everyone’s smiling / nervous faces!

Just a few minutes to go.  The atmosphere was electrified; the excitement and tension almost palpable. Veteran marathoners encouraging the newbies, newbies nervously watching the actions of the veterans.  25,000 sets of feet with the same goal to accomplish.

I was too busy soaking in the atmosphere that I didn’t hear the howitzer blast which signifies the start of the race.  However, I felt the crowd start surging forward, pressing me towards the start line.  No times for nerves now.  This. Was. It.  I crossed the starting line and embarked on my journey through the 26.2 miles of the course.  (This is where I put my camera away so there aren’t many pictures until the finish.)

The first few miles of the course were gorgeous, winding through the outskirts of the city.  It was completely picturesque with vibrant golden, cardinal, and amber colored leaves floating around us as we ran.  It was very overcast but the temperature was perfect and there wasn’t any rain.  The only downfall was the fact that the course was so congested it was hard to get up to speed without literally running into someone.

At mile 5 I opted for a potty stop; I knew the lines would be shorter earlier in the race verses later.  It was around this point that I happened to look over into the woods and BAM hello naked booties.  Apparently some runners didn’t want to wait in the potty line.  My mom taught me better.  I tried to not look over into the woods again.

Everything was going  flawlessly until the water stop around mile 7.  This is where Mary and I got separated; thankfully Stacey and I were able to stay together.  I stopped a few times to look for Mary and I kept thinking I would be able to spot her and reconnect.  After about 2 miles I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I did something most runners would never do.  I pulled out my cell phone and started making calls in hopes of locating her.  I called my husband to tell him I what happened and kept my fingers crossed that he and Greg (Mary’s hubby) could help us reconnect.  I managed to keep my pace but I never imagined I’d be talking on the phone during my first 26.2.

I was so upset about loosing Mary that I didn’t notice a lot of what was going on around me between miles 8-11.  Around mile 12 a guy behind me decided to try to use me as a speed bump.  Not on purpose; the race was just so congested with runners that this was almost inevitable.  I felt what was about to happen as his shoe brushed mine and I was able to dodge him falling on me.  I turned around just in time to see him writhing on the ground clutching his elbow in pain.  I felt terrible but there was nothing I could do.  It was also around this point in the race I noticed someone had put large pictures of Marines that had been killed in action.  This was a much needed reminder as to why I was running this race in the first place.

The miles were flying by. 12…13….Half marathon….15…and before I knew it Stacey and I passed mile 16.  I looked over at her and said, “I hate to be the one that points out the obvious, but we only have 10 miles left!’  I was feeling great and our pace wasn’t too far off from what we trained for.  I passed Mary’s husband at mile 18 who told me I was about 10 minutes ahead of her.  I ran backwards for a little bit (I got some crazy looks from other runners) and then made the decision to stop and wait for her; it was much more important to finish together then worry about time.  (I looked at my splits and my time for mile 18 was just short of 21 minutes.) Stacey was sweet and hung back, too, and as soon as we saw Mary we took off.  I had never been so happy to see her face!

The miles kept ticking by and before I knew it, I was looking at mile marker 23.  We passed my hubby on the sideline and it gave me such a boost to see him cheering us on!

This is a really awkward shot of mile at mile 23. All smiles after seeing Jody.

By mile 24 my body was starting to fatigue.  I was having some fairly intense GI cramps (I broke the cardinal ‘don’t ingest anything new on race day’ rule) and I could feel my right IT band starting to get tight.  The wind picked up (thanks Hurricane Sandy) and I was starting to slow down.  It was right around this time that we were treated to Dunkin Donuts on the course.  They were stale but gave me the sugar kick I needed to finish. I need to mention that the crowd support was amazing during the entire marathon but especially encouraging during the last few miles.

The last part of the race ended with a killer incline leading up to the Iwo Jima Memorial.  This was a tough way to finish but I really wouldn’t expect anything less from the Marines.  Stacey, Mary and I crossed the finish line together and I just remember giving both of them a huge hug.  I had become marathoner!

*MARATHONER*

The sweet Marine that placed the medal around my neck.

I had anticipated bursting into tears as I crossed the finish line but I was surprised to realize that I didn’t shed a single tear.  As we stood in line to collect our medals, my calve muscles and IT band on fire, I couldn’t help but think about how excited I was to already be signed up for my next marathon.   I think I’m officially hooked.  Admittedly, one of my character flaws is that I’m always thinking about what’s next, instead of basking in what just happened.

We got disposable jackets instead of space blankets.

Me being silly showing off my medal and Semper Fi socks.

Hands-down, the best athletic supporter ever!

The official chip time was 4:55:47 (only one second different from my Garmin) and the actual distance was 26.75 miles (I guess that’s what happens when you run backwards for a bit).

This was such a huge accomplishment and even though I didn’t run it in the time I trained for, I have no doubt that I can run a 4:30 marathon.  It’s important to remember that some races aren’t about time but merely the journey itself.  Preparing for this race was very cathartic and really allowed me to work through some residual issues with my brother’s death.  I miss Roger terribly but I feel like I have more closure and I’m so blessed to have run this race in memory of him.

It was humbling running side-by-side with amputees, men in wheelchairs, and seeing all the pictures pinned to people’s shirt.  The race was not nearly as physically or mentally exhausting as I thought it would be and I think it’s because I kept thinking about everything that Roger, his brother’s-in-arms, and all of our deployed soldiers went/go through.  If they can fight to keep me free, I can run 26.2 miles in honor of them.

As for how I felt physically after the marathon, I was {pleasantly} surprised at how little I hurt.  I was pretty stiff Monday but was back in the gym Tuesday for some easy cycling and upper body strength training.  And since my next marathon is in 3 months I’ll be getting up early tomorrow for a 10 mile run.  If you have ever considered running a marathon, I urge you to do it. Don’t let fear, hesitation or self-doubt get to you.  It takes grit and determination but if you can commit the time, you can accomplish it!

Question:  What’s your proudest accomplishment in life? A PR? An award? Children? College Degree? Tell me, I love hearing about your achievements!

MCM Training Recap: Week 12

I can’t believe it’s October 1st. Not only does today mean it’s officially the month of the Marine Corps Marathon (yikes!!) but today is also my brother’s birthday.  Roger would have been 31 today so in memory of him I’ll be running 3.1 miles this morning (then doing my scheduled training run this evening.  Who doesn’t like 2-a -days?).  And in just 27 short days (on my birthday) I’ll be running in memory of Roger again. This time instead of a 5k it will be the real deal 26.2!

I’ll have a post on the 5k run for my brother’s birthday later this week but for now, onto week 12’s recap.  I feel like I need to pre-apologize for the amount of whining that’s in this post.  Sorry.

I can honestly say this is the first week I was less than enthusiastic about my training.  In fact, I downright disliked it.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, I was just exhausted and overwhelmed. We had a huge fundraising event at work that I’ve been helping plan since March.  It was one of those weeks where training and work collided and there were a few times I {briefly} considered hiding under the blankets and refusing to come out.  However, I’m not really a hide in the closet type person so I grabbed the bull by the horns and got everything done.

Adding to the mix, I ate terribly, too.  A Larabar here, a peanut butter and honey sandwich there, I literally snacked my way through the week.  I didn’t eat a real meal until yesterday so I definitely didn’t properly fuel my body for the miles.  And let’s not talk about what I ate at the event Saturday night.

So back to the running.  Tuesday’s 7mile run was the best run (which isn’t saying much) of the week and included an amazing sunset.

Wednesday’s run was tough.  It was another 7 miles but it was 7 miles of speed work and because I read the training plan wrong, I had us (me + one of my running friends) running a much faster speed then we should have.  Oops…  By Thursday my legs were just beat.  I got the run done but it really wasn’t pretty.  I was so happy to have a rest day on Friday.

Then it came Saturday.  This was a cut back week so it was only 14 miles.  Easy, right? Well it should have been but not quite 2 miles into the run it started down pouring, complete with sideways rain.

We took shelter and waited for it to stop but it didn’t.  It wasn’t thundering or lightening so we decided to tough it out and finish the run.  At one point in time we were running in ankle deep water. Bleh.  It eventually stopped raining in between miles 6-7 and we finished with just enough time for me to run home, shower and help set up for Moonlight Masquerade (the work event).

I ended up working about 55 hours last week but by the end of Saturday night, it was worth it.  We had a great turnout of people (almost 500) who enjoyed a great evening raising both domestic violence awareness and critical funds for the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence.  I’m going to leave you with some of the pictures from Saturday night; I may or may not have enjoyed several of the desserts from one of the pictures…

A few of my fellow gorgeous MCM’ers!

Yes, that is a replica Eiffel Tower filled with various wines.

Question:  How do you bounce back from a difficult week?

Kick the “I Can’t”

This wasn’t the post I intended on writing, but apparently I needed to write it since it’s what came out of my fingers/brain.  I’m totally overwhelmed with things going on this week and needed to remind myself that I can get things accomplished.  I had a terrible run last night and between work (we have a huge event Saturday), marathon training, and just life in general, I think I might be bald by Monday.  I’m pretty sure my face can’t pull off the Britney Spears look.

Something I hear come out of my mouth way more than I care to admit (especially weeks like this when there’s not enough hours in the day) is “I can’t…”  I can’t do this, I can’t do that, blah blah blah… I have so many things that I want to do but have never done because “I can’t”.  After Sunday’s long run, I had the realization that unless I have some physical impairment, which thankfully I don’t, I should be able to do anything I put my mind to.  I may not be great at it, but who cares?

One of my favorite quotes of all time!

If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever be able to run 20+ miles, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and then I would have spit out something like this: “Oh, I can’t do that because I injured my knee a while back”.  Oh boy, have I used that excuse WAY to much. Well luckily I came to my senses sometime over the past year and something amazing happened.  I was able to do something I “couldn’t” do.  Yippee! (Side note – I’m certainly not telling you to ignore an injury; just don’t use it as a crutch like I did.)

But I really started wondering.  Just how many times have I cheated myself out of something amazing because I told myself I couldn’t do it? Honestly, I have the type of personality that if I don’t do something well the first time or don’t see instant results, I chock it up as lost.  Call it fear of failure.  I sometimes get so scared of failing that I convince myself I can’t do ‘x-y-z’.  Seriously? With that type of mentality, it’s amazing that I’m not living in a plastic bubble, quivering at the sight of my own shadow.

I am happy to say that I’ve noticed the older I get the less I worry about failing and the less I hear “I can’t” come out of my mouth.  I’m pretty happy with myself and I actually tend to embrace my imperfections and have fun with life.  If I can’t keep up with the big dogs, I can at least entertain them, right?!  Maybe by the time I get into my 30s I’ll have life figured out.  Probably not.

So why am I sharing this? In hopes that you realize you can be amazing.  There isn’t anything you can’t achieve with the proper amount of work.  I have some goals in my sights for 2013 (like a triathlon) that I’m going to have to set aside the “I cant”s in order to accomplish.  So we’ll see if I can stay true to myself and kick the “I can’t”s out of my life.  As far as the rest of my chaotic weekend goes, if do lose all my hair, I’ll make sure to post some pictures!

Question:  Have you ever told yourself you can’t do something only to surprise yourself later on when you did it?

Confessions of a Clean Eater

I think this post might be better titled ‘Confessions of a Not So Clean Eater’.  The past six weeks I have indulged a bit here and there.  Ok, I’ve indulged more than I care to think about.  It started with my anniversary weekend when I talked the hubster into sharing a bourbon glazed bread pudding.

The next day we stopped at this cute, kitschy fruit stand called the Tomato Place.  They had a bacon, avocado, tomato sandwich that I just haaaaaaaaaad to have.  All of the produce was homegrown and the wheat bread was made from scratch.  Really the only part not clean about this was the bacon but I’m sorry, you can’t have a BLT without bacon. Oh, and the fried okra.  Definitely not clean but oh so tasty!

Then my stepmom came into town and I made homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I’m proud to say that I only ate 2 of these total.  Did I mention they were made with Ghiradelli chocolate? I’m not going to lie, these were good.

I may have also had a daiquiri to celebrate the kickoff of my Marine Corps Marathon training.

The final straw was me making 3 & 1/2 dozen red velvet cupcakes for my class; it was my last class before I graduated and I was attempting to secure an A with my mad baking skills.  Of course I had to eat one….quality control anyone? (In case you’re wondering, grades posted Monday and I did get an A in that class. Was is because of the cupcakes? Who knows.)

Whew! I feel better getting that out in the open!  I know it’s really easy to fall into justification mode and I’m one of those people who can justify almost anything…It’s really bad.  Seriously, if you ever want to feel better about something, come talk to me.  An example of my justification: when I decided to eat the bourbon bread pudding, I justified it several times over by telling myself ‘it’s ok, it’s my anniversary’, ‘It’s ok, I raced in a duathlon this morning’, and finally ‘It’s ok, I need to gain some weight anyways’.  But by justifying things I’ve cheated myself out of what I love and introduced unnecessary guilt into my life.  And let me tell you, with the exception of the BLT sandwich, each time I ate the the food in those pictures I got sick to my stomach. After a year of clean eating, my body just can’t handle those foods.  Was it worth it? At the time, yes.  But the after effects of guilt and feeling sick? Nope, not all, no way Jose!

I know that most of you are reading this going, so what? You ate a few things with sugar in it – get over it.  What’s my point in spilling my not so clean secrets? There are several reasons 1.) Anytime I eat something not clean, I feel like I’m cheating on, well, myself.  2.) Nobody’s perfect and if you meet someone who seems perfect – look closer.  There are cracks and flaws there.  3.) Just because I may have had some moments of indiscretion doesn’t mean that I’ve ruined anything.

Reason #3 is one of those truths in life that applies to almost anything.  If you’re trying to lose weight, and have indulged when you shouldn’t have, don’t throw in the towel.  Just wipe your mouth off 🙂 and start over. It’s going to be ok!  So you’re training for an specific event and skipped a training run or scheduled day at the gym? Do you throw your hands up and say better luck next time? No! You get yourself back on track and finish the plan! The worst thing that you can do is embrace the self-defeating attitude of ‘I’ve already messed up so what’s the point in continuing?” No one ever said that living a healthy, active lifestyle would be easy but let me tell you it’s worth it!  You were created by God to do great things in your life but you have to be willing to work hard to accomplish those things!  “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” -Ezra 10:4

Question:  What do you do when you get off track?