3 days in a row!

Okay- 3 days in a row of working out makes me extremely sore! I also had kickboxing on Monday but this week wasn’t much of a workout, just learning the reasoning behind some of the defense techniques. This week was kind of a trial period for me, trying to jump headfirst into the workout mentality. I know sometimes its not good to work really hard the first week because then you lose steam and don’t keep up with it, but in the past I have started off slow and ended even slower. So I’m trying something different and want to just get in the mindset. And I have sort of started off slowly. I have been doing kickboxing on Monday nights since the beginning of January, and I do yoga every so often. Anyways, I think this week has helped get me back into at least remembering the good feelings you get from working out- I have been on a natural high pretty much all week. It’s such a great feeling. Tomorrow I am going to do yoga in the morning, which I am thinking of as an experiment. My body is so sore and I feel like some hot yoga would help stretch my muscles a bit, but it could also make me more sore the next day- so we will see. Tonight and Sunday I will definitely rest! 

Yesterdays workout was kind of ridiculous if you ask me. Two things I never thought I could do/never wanted to do in front of other people: 1.) Thrusters, and 2.) Kipping pull ups. At home on my pull-up bar I can do 5 regular pull-ups (I cheat a little by getting a jumping start), but when people are around I get intimidated. And not only were these all the the workout comprised, but you had to increase your reps by 3 until you couldn’t do anymore. I never thought I would get past 3 for either of them, but I was allowed to cheat on the pull-ups since I’m new (thank God)! Also,doing this workout with others around wasn’t so bad because everyone is really encouraging and I’m sure they all know its a tough workout. I keep reminding myself- everyone has to start somewhere!

Here was the WOD for yesterday:

Open Workout 12.5
AMRAP 7 (As many reps as possible in 7 minutes)

3 Thrusters
3 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
6 Thrusters
6 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
9 Thrusters
9 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Continue to go as high in the ladder as possible in 7 minutes.

Rx: Thrusters 100/65
Level 2: 65/45, Regular Pull Ups
Level 1: 45/35, Band/Jumping Pull Ups

I used 10lbs of weight on each end of the barbell, and for the pull-ups I was allowed to jump up to chest level off of a bench. I was able to get up to 15 thrusters in a row and up to 9 pull-ups in a row. Total of all was 72.

This workout was super-hard for me, and seeing everyone complete it was crazy and amazing all at once. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to complete it doing the kipping pull-ups! Either way, I am proud to have made it through this week and when I went there last night I sat down and talked with the trainer about some goals. I realized my goal is so general: to be as fit and healthy as possible. Obviously everyone has a different definition of health and fitness, so there is a need for me to clarify this. I think that if I work out regularly that will lead to fitness, but the kind of workout makes a difference as well. For example, to some people being able to run long distances equates to fitness. For me, while I would be really proud to attain that, my goal for fitness is to be able to make working out using a similar style to CrossFit workouts a regular part of my life. I’m sure I won’t do CrossFit forever, but I do think that it will give me the tools to workout on my own again in the future without giving up after 3 months. 

From now on I will be paying monthly, I decided to start with 3x a week for a month and see how it goes. I also want to incorporate yoga into my fitness goals because I feel that its really important for my muscles as well as my mind, but that seems really busy to me trying to fit all of it in! The kickboxing on Mondays is something I am considering giving up because its far away from home and its an extra thing to pay for. However, Caleb and I do this together and I really enjoy being active with him and I think its been really beneficial for the both of us. I also enjoy learning how to defend myself and having my cousin as the teacher is also nice because I get family time as well. So its a difficult choice. I’m going to keep at it for another month and see how it goes. So it seems that my schedule will be:

Monday- Kickboxing (7:30-8:15); Tuesday- Crossfit (5:30-6:30); Wednesday-Yoga (6-7:15); Thursday- CrossFit (5:30-6:30); Friday- rest; Saturday-CrossFit (9:30-10:30).

This seems like  a LOT to me, so I hope I don’t get overwhelmed because I do like to spend time with friends after work occasionally. Who knows, this will probably actually help me SAVE money cause I won’t be able to do that all the time and spend at least $30 each time I go out.

Maybe I should call it a trial month! 

 

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I’m sore!

Yesterday afternoon I biked over to CrossFit (a 2 mile ride) since Caleb had the car. It’s a nice ride over, a lot of hills to go down and the sun was out, so it was lovely. To be honest, I had a hard time leaving the house for this one. Caleb had come home for a few minutes to make him and I dinner for later before he went back into work. He is a massage therapist and is on call most of the week, so he can come home at some points. Anyways, having him there made it difficult for me to leave. For some reason when he is around I get lazy and want to just sit on the couch and watch TV with him. This is one reason why maintaining a workout routine is challenging for me- but excuses will always be there. Maybe tracking what I do and seeing that I faced the challenges head on and was happy about it after will help me the next time I come across an obstacle. I know that being in a couple can really put a damper on working out and living a healthy lifestyle for a while, so its important to re-establish your routine time and time again- which can be really tough. But that might be a blog for a different day! 

The workout was:

“Winsome”
10 Rounds

Teams of 2
Athlete 1
200 M Run

Athlete 2
12 AbMat Sit Ups
12 Kettlebell Swings

While athlete 1 is running, Athlete 2 will be trying to complete 10 AbMat Sit Ups and 10 Kettlebell Swings.
When Athlete 1 returns, the partners switch roles.
Athlete 1 is trying to complete the run before Athlete 2 can finish the AbMat Sit Ups and Kettlebell Swings.

Score is how many FULL Rounds of AbMat Sit Ups and Kettlebell Swings are completed and total time for team.

 

When I first saw this workout it didn’t seem that hard, but when I was actually DOING it, that was a different story. I was so out of breath at the end. My partner and I finished 4 rounds each for a time of 12 minutes. I used a 15lb kettlebell to start, although the recommended weight for level one was 25-35lbs. After I get the moves down, I think it will be okay to move up. I’m really sore today but that means its working! 

Tracking my workouts

In an effort to keep myself motivated I decided to try out CrossFit since I have heard so many good things about it and actually seen great results on a few of my friends. The one I go to offers one week free for new members, which I am in the middle of right now. I have gone 3 times so far and I am loving it. I think it is a good fit for me because they really pay attention to you and make sure you have the right form for the moves, but best of all they give you a lot of positive reinforcement- which I really need when I’m getting tired from the workout. I have gotten a lot of support from my friends who have done CrossFit in the past and have used them to answer a lot of my questions about it, which makes me feel much more comfortable with it. Starting new things can make anyone feel uncomfortable, so its nice to know that I don’t need to feel that way. Everyone was new at one point. And as my friend pointed out- nobody is there to judge you, they all just want to get in shape. I need to remind myself of that.

In talking with my friend, she also noted the importance of keeping track of my progress and the workouts that I do. So- lets start with yesterday. The “workout of the day” (WOD) was: 

“Chatter Box”
For Time

21-15-9

Power Snatch
Box Jump

They included recommendations for levels 1 and 2 for doing the weights, but I had a lot of trouble with the Power Snatch because I feel like I couldn’t get past a mental block I was having. The trainer broke the move down into sections and then put it all together again and for some reason my brain does not work well with that. I know that I can do it, I was just so pre-occupied with getting the form right that it wasn’t working for me, so I ended up doing the 15lb weight for the Power Snatch. And can I just say that I hate that name? Done. I hate it. 

So my time for the workout was 7 minutes and 30 seconds. 

Can’t wait to see how I improve!

Why am I here?

High School

I’m going to be honest about everything here. I am not a blogger, I don’t feel that I am entertaining enough, and I’m certainly not a fitness and health expert. This may be in part why I’m here. For the past 10 years I have always had a future goal to attain, or more of what I would call: something hanging over my head. For me, this was education. Growing up I had no idea that I would go to college. It wasn’t until Junior year in high school after a fight with my dad over my grades that I had even begun to think about it. And as selfish as it was, I remember the exact phrase that pushed me into thinking about it “if you go to college, I’ll buy you a car”. Ha! Whatever it takes I guess, right? I know that’s a ridiculous thing to motivate me, but in all honesty, it may have saved me. From then on out I began to really try at school so that I could get better grades. Previous to this I was getting C’s and B’s and I would often get in trouble for talking in class and I really could care less about studying for tests. Something happened to me that year in high school. I remember the first time I actually started to do well. I had a math test in Trigonometry (I always hated math), and I had been meeting with my teacher for help and had vowed to myself that I would stop talking to my friends in class and pay attention to this teacher, who was so eager to help. I was one of the last students finished with the exam, but when I got it back I had a 93, unheard of for me in math… especially with the difficult material we had just covered. This pushed me even further. I began to appreciate math, because there is always an answer to every problem- you just need to acquire the tools to figure it out. I began staying after school to get extra help, and I actually began to enjoy getting the grades I was getting. I was driven to succeed in my other classes as well. I was on the honor roll for the last two years of high school. Something had changed in me.

 

College 

I began college in 2002 at Rider University in New Jersey. The first year in, I asked my dad about that car he had promised. His response: “if you go to UNH I will co-sign for a car”. What???!! What kind of college student makes payments on a car? I was in no place for that. Regardless, after several discussions and some serious thought, I transferred to the University of New Hampshire in the Fall of 2003. This was another one of my “best decisions ever”. 

From the beginning to end of my undergraduate career, I was stressed out. Because school had become so important to me and I was so obsessed with getting A’s and B’s, this was my only focus. I gained weight, my face was always broken out, and my eating habits were terrible. Aside from having moved from home for the first time in my life and having endless amounts of junkfood available just a walk away in the dining hall, keeping up with homework was a major stress in my life. For some odd reason I have always had it in my head that as long as I have work to do for school, I can’t do anything else to enjoy myself. I have never really been able to get over this. Because of this, I have never been able to start a healthy routine of eating right and working out, and actually maintain it.

In 2007, a year after college ended, I started working in Boston, MA. Shortly after, I started taking classes toward a Master’s in Biotechnology. In the beginning, I simply wanted to take advantage of the tuition reimbursement offered by my employer. I had no intentions of graduating with a Master’s, in fact, I had no intentions of staying on Boston for longer than 2 years. 5 years later, I am graduating with a Master’s in Biotechnology. Funny how life turns out. I wasn’t sure I would make it this far because I had not one ounce of desire to complete a thesis, a requirement for completing the program. But I had come as far as completing all the courses, and this was one less thing to do. In my mind, the sooner I completed the thesis, the sooner I could move to California- a long term goal that I have had since I moved to Boston (hence only wanting to be here 2 years). Well, here I am, thesis just completed, graduation scheduled May 24th. Ta-da! I never in my life imagined this. EVER. 

The feeling of just having completed the last portion of school I ever plan to take has left me surprisingly nostalgic. I had this feeling when I graduated from UNH. Its a strange feeling that you never really expect. No doubt I feel relieved, but on some level I felt like my goals have all been achieved. My long term goals still include moving to California, staying for a few years, and moving back east and starting a family. But at the moment, I have nothing hanging over my  head. Nothing that relies on the other people for help or a grade. 

 

My Motivations

Throughout my life I have always wanted to be really fit and strong, but have never committed to doing anything about it because I was always so busy with school and “didn’t have time” to focus on it. I would start working out to Jillian Michaels, or something I found on demand; or I would work out in my basement doing circuit training workouts that I had made up from looking around online… but I had trouble maintaining this. I remember things such as getting sick, or going on vacation interrupting my momentum, and I would give up the workouts. And they would stop. 

Finishing my thesis left me feeling minutely sad, relieved, excited, and anxious about the next chapter of my life all at the same time. I have made the decision to use these feelings to empower myself in formulating my next goal: I want to be as healthy and fit as I can possibly be, and I want to maintain this for life. I want to do this to feel strong and like I am taking advantage of every last second that life has to offer, because you never know what can happen. I consider myself a realist, many consider me a pessimist but it doesn’t matter to me, because I know myself better! As a realist, I have motivated myself to begin this new journey by the simple fact that I CAN. Accidents happen, people lose their ability to walk, talk, move, breath on their own, feed themselves, or even live, in one instant. You never know when your life could completely change. I have thought about this many times. If something like this ever happened to me, how would I feel? In all honesty, I would feel like I didn’t take advantage of what I had. I didn’t take advantage of this wonderful body, air and life that God has offered me. This alone provides a lot of motivation to succeed in my goal.

I have nothing “hanging over my head” that needs finishing, I am 27 years old and fortunately, perfectly healthy. Why am I not taking advantage and pushing my body to be the best that it can be, why am I not living my “Best Life”? I have seen what age, eating poorly, and constantly being stressed out can do to you, and am hereby vowing to myself that I am going to try as hard as I can to live a long, happy, and healthy life. 

 

What I have tried

Historically, I have always begun dieting and fitness as a means to lose weight. However, I have found that once the weight is off, I get this new-found confidence that helps me put my guard down and I have trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Right now, I am happy to say that I am very satisfied with my weight, and will not be disappointed if I gain weight in the form of muscle. My first “diet” started in college when my father and I decided to do the South Beach diet. I read the book in its entirety and was amazed at all the things I was putting into my body. I am not advocating a diet like this, but this was a great start for opening my eyes to the possibility that food could do a lot of harm to a person. The book was an easy read and really helped me to want to learn more about what I put in my body. When you are young, you eat what your mother gives you. When you move out of the house, its a whole new experience where you have the power to buy all those foods that your mother would never buy or let you have… its like Christmas! And its easy to take advantage of it, especially if you were never taught that some foods are really bad for you. Previous to reading the South Beach Diet book, I had no idea about any of the food that I was eating. So this was a really good stepping stone to get me informed. And I did lose my “freshmen 15” , so that was something. And although I gained some of it back after, I at least knew what I should be eating, even if I wasn’t always adhering to it. 

A few years ago I also tried weight watchers, and this has actually worked. I lost 15 lbs, which was more than I wanted, but I knew that I was eating the right amount of food. I actually felt pretty good. And ironically I was able to see my muscles even though I hadn’t worked out in a long time! To boot, doing weight watchers gave me so much confidence and self control that I didn’t think I had. I was able to pass up the best of junk foods including chips, macaroni and cheese, Ben and Jerry’s, cheese, etc… when my loving boyfriend would be indulging late at night. I was happy that I could be comfortable in my body and still be eating things that brought me happiness. Which is also how I also learned that if eating a certain food gives you true enjoyment and satisfaction, then you should take your time, eat it, and enjoy every minute of it- but overindulging in it takes that away from you. I learned to appreciate the flavors of things I was eating, and when I eat something like Ben and Jerry’s, I try to take my time, enjoy it with a smile on my face, and save some for later!

While counting calories gave me an idea of the portion sizes I should eat, it wasn’t without flaws. There were definitely times when I would consume the right amount of calories, but I wouldn’t be eating the right foods. For example, if I wanted to indulge in Ben and Jerry’s, occasionally I would substitute it for dinner! Not always the best mentality, but sometimes we falter. Also, the weight I lost was not seen as a good thing to others. Unfortunately, at 115lbs being 5’3′ I also had people telling me I was too skinny, on a regular basis. I never thought I would be hurt by those words, and I know that people who feel bad about being overweight are probably ready to stab me right now- but I let these comments affect me, and they really bothered me, as much as I tried to ignore them. I started eating more junk food and indulging more and more. And I gained a few pounds back, but to be honest I am not worried about that at this point. Now I am more concerned that I get the right things in my body and that I become as strong and fit as I can be! I don’t care if I gain 15 lbs doing that- as long as its in the right manner (and its proportionate)! 

 

Journey to Fit

I am going to blog about my journey to fit, in hopes of maintaining my motivation. I believe that being able to see where you began can give you an incredible amount of hope and confidence in getting where you are going. I have noticed this by looking back at journals I have kept, in which my ability to handle certain situations has improved incredibly, and I am able to give myself a pat on the back and be proud of how far I have come. I would like to feel this when looking back on my journey to fitness and health, and feel successful. I hope to achieve fitness, health, satisfaction, and the confidence that I can do anything that I want to do. I see so many examples of people doing things that make them so happy, and I find it easy to sit back and do things that are easy and comfortable. I want to be one of those people. And suddenly, over the past month or so, I have realized that its really not that hard. I admit that I don’t have any one passion in life and this has bothered me for some time now. But I am now accepting the fact that I can use this to my advantage and try everything I have ever wanted to try- in search of that passion. I have always wanted to feel fit and have a strong body, I have always wanted to be entertaining, I have always wanted to be able to talk louder (silly I know), I have always wanted to be a dancer, have a farm, do martial arts, live in a city, be an avid hiker, snowboard, live in another country, speak another language, have an amazing job, have children, buy a house, go skydiving, take a roadtrip, get crazy about yoga, etc… This list could go on. I am going to attempt to do all of these things because, well- WHY NOT?