Thursday, April 19, 2012

Challenges Ahead

If you follow my Facebook page, or you know me in real life, you've probably noticed I've mentioned a few things about this Spring Clean Up Challenge thing I'm doing. So....what exactly is it? It's a six week challenge at my CrossFit box. It's a competition, yes, but more so it's a personal challenge to push ourselves, to clean up our nutrition and to spend the next six weeks focusing on ourselves, putting US first (because we all need a little reminder to do that once in a while).

I signed up for the challenge, even though it involves strictly following a diet. If you've been reading this for a while, you know that I do not believe in food "rules". We eat a fairly clean diet and when I started CrossFit, I swore that I would not "drink the Paleo Kool Aid". I wasn't interested in it. I liked to say I was "partially paleo". *sigh* In all honesty, I said that because it gave me an out. It was an excuse to let some not so healthy things into my diet. I still believe that the occasional indulgence is fine, however, mine were becoming more and more occasional.

So, here were are....Spring Cleaning time, why not clean up my body during this annual ritual instead of just my house? We had the choice of using The Zone Diet or the Paleo Diet. Naturally, I picked one and my husband picked the other. I'll be following The Zone, but traveling as much as my husband does, it just wasn't practical for him track so steadfastly.

I'm finding The Zone to be pretty easy to follow. I'm still, for the most part, eating all of the same foods I always have, but it's keeping me more accountable to portion sizes. Yes, it turns out you can over eat on broccoli, chicken breast and almonds. Bummer..... I haven't been hungry at all. In fact, I was concerned at first that the calorie count on The Zone wouldn't be high enough, but I'm actually having a hard time getting all of the food IN. It's been eye opening, to say the least. Oh, have I mentioned I'm only on day four?!

This isn't something I intend to do for the rest of my life, but I do think checking in with oneself and making an attempt to get back to baseline, to completely clean up and start from scratch, is a good idea. The challenge lasts six weeks and I figure I can do anything for a month and a half, right?

Oh, and there's prizes involved!! We were weighed, measured and performed two workouts: 1 rep max Clean & Jerk and then an AMRAP involving push ups, row machine & sprints. The girl and guy with the most improvement overall (weight loss, inches lost, diet compliance, and time/weight improvement) will win the challenge. That = $$.

As I said above, though, it's less about the competition with the others and more about carving out time to take care of myself. I've been at this weight loss blog for almost two years now and I've bounced up and down a couple of times. This time, though I'm certain it's going to stick. I've found not just a gym, but a community. I've made friends. These friends know what I mean when I complain about some bitch named "Jackie", they understand how much it hurts when my hands get all jacked up because I didn't care for my calluses properly, they cheer me on without judgement when I'm the last one working out still and they're all done with their protein shakes, shoes changed and ready to walk out the door.

I didn't get the CrossFit thing at first. I was scared to death to walk into the gym, but now I can't imagine ever working out some where else. I'm down a total of 8 pounds since starting CrossFit two months ago and two of those pounds are just since starting The Zone. I realize it's not about the number on the scale. Yes, I caved on the no weigh in challenge, but I'm ok with that. It's for the right reasons, it's not about being OCD about it. Besides, when the number is going down, it's fun. But if the number stalls or hits a bump, it doesn't own me (anymore). I'm doing what I'm doing now because it's fun and I know it's good for me. Scale number be dammed!

This Spring Clean Up Challenge is exactly what I needed to kick start this latest adventure in my journey. Oh, and I have every intention of WINNING!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Catching UP

Phew!! The husband has been home for over two weeks and he's home for another 10 days still. My computer time (or at least blogging time) seems to take a HUGE hit when he's home like this! Don't forget though, that my Facebook page is always more active than the blog, and I keep that going no matter what!

We decided to take advantage of this time off and dropped the kids off with my (newly retired) in laws and we headed off to wine country. It was an amazing, relaxing three days followed by two days staying with the entire family at my in laws house. It was exactly what this stressed out, over scheduled mama needed. We're back at home now feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the world!

While I was gone, GoKaleo and a few other bloggers started a movement. It started out calling for everyone to reject the images in the magazines. No, not the impossibly thin models that we grew up seeing in the pages of Cosmo and Glamour. She's talking about the chiseled, muscular, perfect bodies of the women on the pages of fitness magazines and those "inspirational" photos that are all the rage on the internet right now.

Just as, in the 90s, young women didn't understand why they couldn't achieve this ultra thin, underfed "beauty", women now don't seem to understand how low BF% needs to be in order to see every single muscle in her body. Even the models don't look like that all the time. It does the same thing to body image and self esteem as those commercials featuring Kate Moss did to us in high school.

The movement took off like wild fire and they're now calling for everyone to ignore the scale for the entire month of April. This does not mean to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want. It's about living a healthy lifestyle, but not tying your self worth to an arbitrary number that you may or may not ever achieve. I know my mood is often effected by what number I see on the scale. Even though I know I'm doing everything right right now and I understand fluctuations are normal, that number still has a huge emotional hold on me. Not this month.

If you recall, I gave up the scale around the first of the year. It didn't kill me, but I was also at a cross roads with my exercise and I wasn't doing much during that time. This time, though, I've just come back from a mini vacation and I've jumped both feet into the deep end of CrossFit. Watching those numbers on the scale has become a bit of a safety net for me. And still has such a strong hold on me it has been known to determine what I eat the rest of the day.

Numbers down? Awesome, I'm gonna be extra perfect today. Numbers up? Fuck it. I'm just gonna eat whatever, it doesn't seem to matter anyway. How screwed up is that???

So, there you have it. No more weigh ins until at least May. Will you join us? There's a FB page where we're all posting and cheering one another on. Come play!