Monday, August 26, 2013

A Year (+ some) later.....

**Warning!  This post went in a completely different direction than I'd originally planned.  I just started writing and let the words come out.  My apologies if it seems a little disjoined**

July 2012 ~ 202.5#
I posted this pic a little over a year ago.  I wrote this blog post to along with it and decided it was time I updated what's been going on since.

After that blog post, I just kept going on about my business.  I had done reasonably well in the diet challenge at our box the previous Spring, but just couldn't seem to get "back on the Paleo/Zone wagon"  I started to feel like a failure and was continuously beating myself up mentally because the scale was no longer moving in the right direction.

October 2012 ~ 195#

What I hadn't realized at the time was that a lot of physical symptoms I was experiencing were a direct result of that diet I was trying so desperately to get back to.  My hair was coming out in clumps every time I showered.  My nails were brittle, I was skipping periods and I had to take a 2 hour nap almost every day.  These are all classic symptoms of starvation.  My "bingeing" was my body trying to preserve itself.  Around this same time, all of my lifts and performance progression stalled out.  I got very frustrated and was tempted to throw in the towel.

Instead, I swung in the other direction and decided to double up on my workouts while easing up a little on my diet standards.  I ended up sick and overwhelmed.


Feb 2013 ~ 198#


After the holidays, and once I was healthy again, I threw myself back into the workouts and tried one more time to get back onto "The Zone" wagon.  I lasted less than a week and then couldn't stop bingeing.  I realized this wasn't healthy or normal behavior and decided that day to swear off all diets.  FOREVER.  It was also around that time that I joined the "Eating the Food" group on Facebook.  This group, I honestly believe, saved my sanity.  They assured me that there wasn't something wrong with ME, there was something wrong with the diet industry.  The binge/restrict/binge/restrict cycle is rampant throughout our society and all it manages to do is fuck up people's self image & metabolism.  Eating enough food to support your activity (the biggest issue I had with The Zone ~ 1300 - 1500 calories) while not unnecessarily restricting foods.  Now, by unnecessarily, that doesn't mean all foods are created equal.  We know that's not the case.  There are certainly some calories that contain more nutrients than others.  It simply means eat food that makes you feel good and supports your current goals.  Sometimes my goals are building strength.  Sometimes my goals are fueling an endurance workout, and sometimes my goals are simply to gain pleasure from what I'm eating at the moment.  Learning that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want has been the most liberating lesson I've learned in my entire life.  I no longer fear food.  I no longer label food as "good" or "bad".  And I no longer binge on food.  Funny how that works, huh?

March 2013 ~ 205#
As I was finding food freedom, I continued to Crossfit about 3-4x per week and started to get myself mentally geared up for the The Open.  That was absolutely the most exhilarating six weeks of my Crossfit experience, to date.  I blew myself away with my performance.  Sure, I still had a ton of room for improvement, but considering less than a year prior I was still spinning my wheels trying to become a runner/step aerobic queen, I couldn't believe what I was able to accomplish.  That lit a fire under me and since I was no longer obsessing about food, I was able to throw my entire mind, body, and soul into performance gains.  I had a plan and I couldn't wait to implement it.

Turns out I bit off a little more than I could chew with that plan.  It looks great on paper, but I seemed to forget that I was a mom with other responsibilities.  Damn.  So, the frustration continued.  I struggled to get all the planned workouts in, and cherry picked the WODs at the box because I wanted to lift heavy and only lift heavy.  I didn't exactly understand hypertrophy at that point and I thought lifting heavy weights for 1-5 reps was the way to get HAYOOGE.  Turns out that's the way to get strong, but not huge.  Slightly lighter weight in the 8-12 rep range is what I should have been focusing on.

April 2013 ~ 205#
I kept doing the Crossfit thing and trying to come up with a plan to get the results I wanted, while noticing a slight twinge in my elbow from time to time while doing laundry, putting dishes away, etc. I just grabbed the lacrosse ball & kept rolling out my arm and ignoring the issue.

Once summer started and (I thought) my schedule opened up a bit, I decided to start really focusing on strength and committed to working on the Strong Lifts 5x5 routine while still going to the occasional met con.

That lasted two weeks and my elbow pain migrated up to intense shoulder pain & discomfort.  Add in a few unforseen life circumstances and unplanned trip out of town and my summer basically turned into one big "deload".  My workouts for the last three months have been sporadic, at best.

June 2013 ~ 210#

I'm still dealing with some shoulder issues, but it's getting better and my plan is to get back in the gym, doing the regular Crossfit programming on M/W/F and work on the Couch to 5K program with my son, who is working on his endurance to help with soccer, on T/Th and to take Sat & Sun as rest days.  We'll see how that goes.  One thing I've learned in the past year is that plans can look great on paper, but fitness and health is a journey, not an end point.  Being flexible and maintaining an active lifestyle is way more important to me than making sure I get xxx number of specific workouts in each week.

There were a few times over this last year that I considered giving up my Crossfit membership.  I love the workouts and I really really love the community, and if truth be told, THAT'S what's kept me coming back.  The main frustration I have is that relying on someone else's programming was sometimes in conflict with my personal, specific goals.  There were some days that I "needed" a heavy, low rep workout and a longer, lighter weight, high rep WOD was programmed.  I had to reconsider my priorities.  I'm still sorting through this, but I'm realizing that one of the things I love about Crossfit is that someone else does do the programming for me.  As I stated above, I'm a busy mom with a lot of responsibilities and right now I do not have the time to research and write my own programming.  There is no absolute perfect program out there, at least not one that I've found yet.  Kitsap Crossfit is the closest thing I've found to perfect, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

Aug 2013 ~ 217#
So, this is me today.  I'm almost 25 pounds heavier than the lowest I saw over the last 12 months (I saw 191 once, but stabilized at about 193 for several weeks last fall), but I'm still wearing the same clothes and am approximately the same size.  The scale doesn't matter and I've broken the habit of weighing myself daily.  In fact, I weighed myself this morning just so I could write this post.  It'd been over a month since I stepped on the scale and I don't have any plans to do so again anytime in the near future.

I'm just looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months bring.....


  1. Hi Jessica, I very much enjoyed reading this. You are a great inspiration. You look great.

  2. This needs determination and hardwork. I am amazed! Although with exrecise, you can have some Meal replacement shakes and smoothie diet.

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