Sunday, February 28, 2010

Made it through the Week

I've gotta say, the biggest change I've seen over the last 7 weeks of Crossfit Challenge has been in my attitude and energy level. I used to be the typical office zombie, didn't matter how much sleep I got I would just sort of muddle through my day and complain about being tired. Now, with the change in eating habits and a lot more exercise that's totally changed. I've consistently got more energy and a better attitude. Its nice to wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to face the day rather than dreading the alarm clock. Even the mornings I wake up early for a workout aren't the challenge they once were. Love that!

Other than that, there's not a lot going on. Been really enjoying watching the Olympics and will be very bummed when its over. I know its cheesy and trite, but to see athletes from all over the world doing the best they can is just cool. I realize curling has become sort of a cult hit of the Olympics, and I have to say I'm hooked. Its not just the smokin' hot Danish women, there's a lot of thought and strategy behind it. Pretty cool once you get into it.

This weekend was gorgeous, took advantage of it and spent a lot of time outside getting my Vitamin D fix. So that's the update, nothing earth shattering this week.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The week ahead

Its going to be a very, very long week starting Monday. I've got meetings every night Monday - Thursday, including an overnight in El Campo. Its not going to be easy sticking to the workout regime. Eating, I'm a little concerned, but I'll make it work. That's the beauty of making this a way of life, not just a diet and exercise routine that gets thrown off when the routine changes. If you embrace it and make it who and how you are its easy to stay on track. That being said, the EPOC Wod's for this week are intimidating as all hell... Love that I'm getting stronger though.

Today was a lot of fun, got together with most of Team 2, including my peeps from Team Zach for a workout. Brought Lucy and little Lindsay with me and they were so very good. They played and ran a lap with me. When we were done with the workout the girls tried some of the stuff, the rower, kettlebells and pull up bar. Totally cute!

Overall, the week definitely improved from Monday, so can't complain too much! Been able to catch some Olympics coverage which I LOVE!! Totally love the Olympics so that's been nice. Even curling isn't too shabby once you watch it for a little while. All in all, life is good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Feelin' it Today

If the measure of a man is how they perform when they're just not feeling it, I am not a man. The last five weeks have been very high intensity, focused effort, and today it just wasn't there. I'm feeling burned out and it showed in the workout. I picked what I thought was the easier of the 3 workouts (4 rounds for time 20 mountain climbers, 20 plank knees to toes, 20 push ups, 20 painters) and nearly puked. Had an idea of doing a run when I finished but totally bailed on that. The worst part is that it was entirely mental, I just didn't want to do it and let my mind overcome my body.

So, five weeks into the Challenge and my enthusiasm is at a low point. Hopefully, group workout tomorrow will help to reinspire. The company of like minded people is a great thing. Need to do something because Wednesday I'll be doing a solo workout and will need to feel strong.

This is something that I struggle with. Some people have the ability to self motivate, to pump themselves up. I don't. I need external motivation, something to get me rolling from someone or something else. I envy those who have that passion and fire. That I think is the largest goal for myself; to find that passion, that thing inside that will motivate me when I'm not feelin' it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thoughts on the Halfway Point

Most anyone reading this blog knows I'm doing the I am Crossfit Challenge through Crossfit Central. We're just past the halfway mark and Coach Zach asked us to post our thoughts and progress towards our goals on his blog. Well, I can say that I'm making progress. Haven't done a pull up yet, and need to really practice that over the next 3 1/2 weeks if I want to make that goal. My pants are fitting looser, and I've lost some weight (although pounds is not the focus). Finally, I'm getting faster, I've been able to stay in the same round as the faster people in the group. Haven't kept up, but I'm not getting lapped anymore, which is nice. So, progress is being made.

The thing that sets Crossfit apart from other workout programs and gyms is that it focuses on improving your whole life, not just your fitness. I don't know if this is just what they do at Crossfit Central, or if its part of the larger Crossfit philosophy (or cult as some would call it). I appreciate the hell out of it whatever it is. The first day of I am Crossfit wasn't a gung ho, let's workout whoo hoo kind of thing. It was a very deliberate exercise in goal setting for your whole life, not just 8 weeks of working out. Yeah, that was part of it (a Magic Laser Focus Intensity), but what they really wanted us to think about was 10 years down the road, what we want to be, and how we can get there. I'm a Planner, I help cities look 10 years down the road but I've never done it for myself until that night. Now, I do have a list of goals, a larger direction for my life that I didn't have before. Crossfit is a tool to help you accomplish the goals in your life, its not the be all, end all of your life, if that makes sense.

That's what sets Crossfit apart, yeah, its a kick ass workout that is more effective than anything else I've done, but its a whole life thing, not just the one hour you're at the gym. The other thing that's different is the attitude of the coaches, they're all wicked fit, but they don't have that cockiness and 'I'm the king turd of poop mountain' you see in a lot of big box trainers. They'll kick your ass and push you harder than you thought you could be pushed, and they definitely don't take whining and excuses, but its about making you better, not boosting their own egos.

Anyway, that's thoughts for the day. I'm beat down today, the Endurance WOD yesterday (4.5 miles of 3 minutes at 80%, 1 minute 50%) and Karen today wore me out. I'm hoping it helps me sleep. Sleep has been elusive the last week or so, taking a LONG time to fall asleep. I'm working out, I'm not hitting caffeine in the afternoons, I'm eating right, so I don't know what the deal is. I guess there's some subconcious thinking happening, but I can't figure out what it is.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How to Eat

A post on Zach Thiel's blog inspired this one as he made the point to eat Whole Foods. He didn't mean the store, he meant that what we should eat is REAL FOOD. Simple rule for eating, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. If the ingredient list looks like your college chemistry textbook, don't eat it!

People can, and do, argue all day about what kind of diet to follow, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, low fat, high fat, Hollywood cookie, Subway, Taco Bell, yadda yadda yadda. You can find somebody wanting to sell you a book that will justify eating almost any way you want to with 'scientific data' to back them up. Personally, I think it comes down to two things - processing and portions. Here's why...

There's that silly question, 'Why aren't the French fat, they eat cheese, cream, butter, fatty foods, and so on?' Here's why the French aren't fat, nor are the Inuits who eat a ton of fat and protein, nor the folks in Asia who eat a ton of rice, nor the Tarahumara in Mexico who eat a ton of corn and beans. They're not fat because they're eating REAL FOOD, not some overly processed, flavor enhanced, 'vitamin enriched', preserved faux food. Example - Butter is simply milk that lost a fight. Margarine (at least the kind in my fridge) is water, vegetable oil blend, salt, gelatin, nonfat yogurt, natural soy lechitin, vegetable mono and diglycerides (potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA) lactic acid, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene Its 35% vegetable oil spread, 10% yogurt, what the hell is the other 55% Don't know, doesn't say, but SCARY!!!!

Now, which would you rather eat? How did we convince ourselves to eat this kind of stuff, and how did we think it would be good for us? Why are we surprised when our bodies react poorly??

Second thing is portion control. Yes, there is blame to be placed on restaurant owners who realized they could put 10 cents more french fries in the bag, charge 50 cents more and we think we're getting a deal. My thought on this is twofold. We're eating more because fundamentally our food doesn't taste good so we're not truly satisfied. Example - a really great shot of espresso is just that, a shot. You don't need a giant mug of the stuff. Same with chocolate, a really rich, excellent quality bite of chocolate is enough, you don't need a half pound slab. Second thought on portions - the food we typically eat is so devoid of nutrition that our bodies are eating more and more just to try and get some vitamins, minerals, and nnutrients from the food.

The American export economy isn't dead, its just moved from exporting real products like cars to exporting ideas and culture. Unfortunately our over processed way of eating is one of those exports and people all over the world are starting to get fat. The over processed, poor tasting, nutrient barren food we've been eating for 40 years (yeah, I'm blaming that first Swanson TV dinner here) is taking over the world and its starting to show.

Now I'm not advocating throwing away all your food and only shopping at the Farmer's Market (although that's not a bad idea) I'm just saying be more thoughtful in what you put in your body. Look at the chicken you buy, you may think natural, organic chicken is too expensive; however, typical chicken is often injected with up to 15% 'solution'. 15% of what you're buying is salt water, mmmmm tasty, and a giant waste of money!! Cooking is not hard, convenience foods are not that convenient, and you will feel better eating REAL FOOD!! Don't get caught up in the diet scam, the first three letters spell DIE! Eat REAL FOOD, in moderation, work out, and you'll be fine.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Virgin Blogger

I guess I should look at blogging sort of like an extended Facebook post. I've sort of used Facebook as a 'mini-blog' posting funny things that pop into my head and things that make me say 'Hmmmm' I guess the blog is just another opportunity to expand on that and share more of me with the world.

Most of this blog will probably relate to workouts, eating, and those sorts of things mostly because that's what I'm focused on right now. Don't know how much I'll share about the kids, probably some of the funnier things they say and do, which are frequent. Probably have to throw in some random thoughts, politics, whatever strikes my fancy on any given day. I guess that's the beauty of the blog is that its completely narcissistic and allows me to do what I want. You as the reader can visit and enjoy or not.

I've learned with Facebook sometimes things I think are freakin' hilarious get nowhere, while a totally random post can generate a great conversation. We'll see where this blog goes.