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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

5 Year CrossFit Anniversary Post 3

In honor of my 5 year CrossFit anniversary, this week I am sharing five things that have changed since I started. The third is how I spend my evenings.

When I started CrossFit in 2013, I spent a lot of time in bars. I was going out 5 or 6 nights a week. It wasn't unusual for me to work all day, go to happy hour at 7, go back to the office until 10:30 and then go straight to a bar on the UES. I was maintaining "regular status" at four different establishments. It's safe to say that I drank a lot.

I lived alone, I was in my twenties, and I was in New York. I wasn't the only person in those bars every night. CrossFit gave me something to look forward to in the afternoon and evenings. But I was definitely still going to happy hour either before or after class.

I moved to Georgia in May 2014 and I had no friends. The only people I knew in Atlanta were one girl with whom I went to college who seemed to like when I visited her but shut me out as soon as I moved down here, and my then-boyfriend's family. I was dating my boyfriend long distance. I had no social life. Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands.

I was at the gym a lot. Since I worked from home, it was the only human interaction I had all day. I went to sleep pretty early because it's not like I had anyone keeping me up, matching me drink for drink. I've never been good at CrossFit, but during this 10 month period, I improved like crazy. I got my first handstand. All my lifts went up. I squatted 200#. It was a magical time.

In the fall of 2014, Eric and Brandon bought CrossFit Identity and brought over a lot of members from CrossFit Decatur. The majority of CFID's original membership were married with kids. A lot of the new members were single and into going out. I think the community has a nice blend of people in all stages of their lives, but I remember being pretty excited about the new demographic. On a side note, being a member at CFID has shown me that you can be happily married with three kids and still be the coolest couple ever, so my fears about marriage and children are largely unfounded.

My boyfriend and I broke up the following summer and I decided to make up for every single night I stayed in while we were together. I became a regular at some Atlanta bars. (You can see my smiling face on the back TV at Moe's and Joe's.) I made friends with the people at my apartment complex. I was back to going out regularly. I definitely woke up with a lot of hangovers, but my dogs kept me in check. And bars close a lot earlier in Atlanta than they do in New York.

Somewhere over the past year, I found more of a balance. I do enjoy going out and I am so thankful to have so many friends here in Atlanta, but I stay in most school nights. I rarely drink at all during the week. Having wine with dinner on a Tuesday just isn't my thing. I train at 5:30 AM two days a week and I need to get to bed early to be able to perform at that ungodly hour. I'm singlehandedly keeping the rosé industry operating Friday and Saturday, but I box it in.

CrossFit has given me an opportunity to socialize daily without alcohol. It has also given me the greatest group of friends to drink with. CrossFit can be contradictory.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5 Year CrossFit Anniversary Post 2

In honor of my 5 year CrossFit anniversary, this week I am sharing five things that have changed since I started. The second is how I eat.

When I started CrossFit in 2013, my diet left a lot to be desired. I ordered Chinese from Hunan Delight thirty-eight times that past year. THIRTY-EIGHT TIMES! (There was an intervention in 2012.) ConEdison contacted me every 6 months to inform me that the gas might not be working in my apartment because the stove had not been turned on during that period. There was a lot of skipping meals followed by epic binges.

One morning I woke up one Saturday hungover and didn't eat per usual, and I pinned myself under the lady bar. I realized the reason I always felt like garbage was because the majority of the calories I consumed came from alcohol and dumplings. I slowly started cleaning up my diet.

I followed a pretty common CrossFit diet trajectory. I decided to embrace the Paleo diet after dabbling in it in the past. I tried another Whole30. I remember coming home at around 11 PM after going to the 9:15 PM CrossFit class and being so damn tired that I would throw a bag of veggies into the microwave and just cover them in coconut oil. I'm not sure I ate protein besides bacon. Someone pointed out to me that cocaine is Paleo but oatmeal is not, and I started to question if it was really that bad to eat Greek yogurt. I switched to Primal and ate a lot of Kerrygold butter.

My diet got better when I reconnected with an old boyfriend who tracked everything he ate in MyFitnessPal like he would be executed if he didn't. I still followed a mostly Primal diet on weekdays but then we would binge eat all weekend. Nothing like two former fat kids in love and let loose in a Publix. We would strategize the cocktail hour at weddings to make sure we maximized our hors d'oeuvres intake. He would beeline for the bar and get drinks while I filled up two plates and found a table. Then we would alternate returning for our favorites while the other person held down the fort.

I tried to follow macros but was still very wary of carbs. I tried using a Paleo meal service but got discouraged when I realized the macro calculations were significantly off. I started prepping my own meals, which sounds like crazy talk to anyone who knew me while I lived in New York. I ended up hiring a macro coach and had some success with her. I'm not very compliant on weekends or when I travel, and it was only after I acknowledged and embraced that fact that I started to see real progress.

I learned that I could eat anything as long as it fit my macros. I went from being scared of carbs to putting Gatorade in my protein shake and eating Jolly Ranchers during workouts.

I tried reversing and a bulk, which left me a lot heavier than I would have liked but it taught me a lot about how I eat, what my triggers are, and what I can do to set myself up for success. After being able to make almost anything fit my macros, I realized I like eating whole foods, and I enjoy chicken and broccoli. I track from 7 PM to 6:59 PM so my dinner informs the remaining 24 hours. This switch has been the most helpful.

Right now I am using macros from Affinity Athletics Coach Delta and trying to be reasonable on weekends. To be honest, that usually means eating small amounts to offset the amount I drink in the pool. I prep almost all of my own foods when I'm home, but do eat out frequently because of my work travel. I will always make room for tacos. I still enjoy margaritas.

CrossFit has made me see that what I eat (or don't eat) has a direct impact on my performance in the gym. You really can't outtrain a shitty diet, abs really are made in the kitchen, and it's really hard to get bulky because I've tried.

This is just proof that I do sometimes use my oven:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Year CrossFit Anniversary Post 1

My 5 year CrossFit anniversary was Sunday. It was also Father's Day so I didn't want to steal my dad's thunder, but it felt like a momentous occasion. A lot has happened and changed in five years, and I credit all of the good things to my decision to start CrossFit.

I chose my CrossFit anniversary as the date I started CrossFit Essentials, basically the same on-ramp, foundations, 101 you took at your CrossFit, because it was the day I committed to being a member at CrossFit Hell's Kitchen. Earlier that month, I had convinced my friend and then-co-worker Selby to take me with him to a class. We did Nicole. I got stuck in a pull-up band hanging from the rig. Years before (in 2010), an old boyfriend took me to a soon-to-open aspiring CrossFit affiliate in Connecticut. None of the things I love about CrossFit (the community, barbells, lady wolfpacks of badass women) were there because it wasn't actually open yet and so I kept my Equinox membership for three more years. Sometimes I regret that, because what if my first CrossFit experience was awesome and I had started back in 2010? But I don't think I was ready for it yet. I needed to become an ultrarunner and continue to make terrible life decisions for a while.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Weight Loss Wednesday 5.30.18

I survived two days in a Ford Expedition with my parents, aunt, and uncle as we drove around Iowa and Missouri. And somehow I consumed my weight in Crunchy Cheetos but I came home at the same weight as when I left.

That's me shoved in the way back with all the luggage. Sadly that is a plastic pin full of fake floral arrangements and not a margarita maker.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Weight Loss Wednesday 5.23.18

We are back on the weight loss train folks.

May 23, 2018 Progress Photos

Weekly Average Weight: 151.6 lbs
Body Fat Percentage: 23.6%
Lean Body Mass: 115.9 lbs

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Thank You Letter to Greenville, SC

Dear Greenville,

Thank you for making my days a little bit brighter after a week that was awful personally and professionally. Thank you for welcoming me to your beautiful city and for letting me get outside in nature. Thank you for having good food and a kickass hot yoga studio. I will be back.

With love and gratitude,


Last Sunday I drove up to Greenville, SC from Atlanta because I was presenting at a conference. The week prior, I had to cancel yet another vacation, been forced to work on my days off, and my relationship hit the skids for what is probably for good this time. I have a stressful job because I like my job and enjoy solving problems. I don't want a stressful boyfriend because I don't like stressful boyfriends and the way he treats me has been my problem. A two and a half hour drive is a good time to do some self-reflection. I ended up listening to Barbell Shrugged instead. Is anyone else frustrated by the Shrugged Collective podcast channel? What if I only want to listen to certain podcasts? Can I filter for them? Or do I have to seriously sit their and add only Barbell Shrugged to my queue so I don't drive someone off the road trying to find the good stuff?

Here are some highlights from the trip.

Monday, April 16, 2018

I am Very Satisfied

I got back from visiting my parents' last night and for the very first time ever, I woke up the day after my trip weighing the exact same amount that I weighed the day I left for my trip. My parents take me to some really great restaurants and they pay for it all. I usually stuff myself like a person who doesn't know where their next meal is coming from. I eat until it hurts because this is my opportunity to eat THIS for FREE, and now that I live in Georgia it's nearly impossible to get (insert some New York food item that they might actually have in Georgia.) But for real though, you cannot get a legit ham egg and cheese in the state of Georgia and it pains me.

It was awesome having my mom take my progress photos this week for the challenge #potatoes

I'm a big fan of Alex Maclin. He was a co-host on Barbell Shrugged during this period when Mike Bledsoe, Doug Larson (who I love!), and Chris Moore temporarily passed the torch to some other guys. The way he describes things just speaks to me. Lucky for me he started posting articles. In his latest post for the Basic as F*ck Nutrition Eating Habits Series, he posted this infographic:

Alex Maclin's Infographic

I just stopped eating each meal at a level 3. I didn't try to track it or shove the protein portion of the meal down to hit some numbers. It was so freaking mind blowing.

Personally, I cannot eat that way every day because I wouldn't get enough protein, would undereat during the workweek, and start to bring back bad binge/restrict cycles. But hell fucking yeah, I think I just showed myself that I can handle vacations and other short periods of not tracking. Woohoo!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2018 Quarterly Goal Update - Q1

January I made it to 15 CrossFit classes.
February I made it to 8 CrossFit classes.
March I made it to 17 CrossFit classes.
Quarter Total: 40
Total/Year Goal: 40/180

January I attended 1 Be Hot Yoga class.
February I attended 1 YogaPod Austin class.
March I attended 6 Infinity Yoga classes.
Quarter Total: 8
Total/Year Goal: 8/50

January I tucked 3 times.
February I tucked 11 times. There was a studio challenge.
March I tucked 2 times.
Quarter Total: 16
Total/Year Goal: 16/50

March I ran 11.3 miles.
Quarter Total: 11.3
Total for Year: 11.3

January I attended 2 SoulCycle classes.
Quarter Total: 2
Total for Year: 2

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Terrible Day

Today I had a terrible time at CrossFit. CrossFit is literally the only time in my entire day when someone isn't asking me to do something for or give something to them. I look forward to going usually. I recently committed to staying after class on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to complete the exit work programming, even if I don't like it because I want to be better at CrossFit. It's been difficult to reconcile that pretty much the entire gym got better in the past two years and I have gotten worse. Yes, I can look at my stressful job and my required work travel as justifications for why I am where I am now, but the straight truth is a lot of people worked their asses off practicing and I did not. I spent 8 minutes in the bottom of a handstand push-up last Saturday, not even remotely kipping off the ground, which shouldn't be surprising since I haven't attempted a HSPU since 2016. The last time I did them, I used two ab mats.

Which brings us to tonight. The extra work programming today was 10x10 unbroken handstand push-ups. I told myself last night and all day today that I had to stay and practice. So after the workout, even though I wanted to go home, I went and grabbed two ab mats and went to practice HSPUs by myself. Apparently we don't use two ab mats anymore, even for practice, which I learned when the coach stopped coaching the 6 PM class to ask me if I liked breaking ab mats. I don't think he meant to hurt my feelings, or at least I hope he didn't, but I was humiliated. I wasn't trying to break anything. I just wanted to work at something that I am really bad at in hopes that I could improve and not spend 8 minutes futilely attempting to handstand push-up next year. I felt so stupid, so fat, and so uncoordinated. When he told me to put the ab mats back, I choked back tears while I wiped them down. And then I walked to my car and cried. I ugly cried sitting in the parking lot for 10 minutes. I ugly cried all the way home. I ugly cried while I texted my friend Kayte. I'm actually ugly crying now.

I think I can usually take a joke. Maybe it's the constant feeling of failure at work, or being at home all alone all day, or not seeing my boyfriend for months, but I've just felt awful for a really long time. I didn't want to be a person who sneaks out of the gym to cry in the parking lot. CrossFit used to make me really happy, but lately it's just a reminder of things I can't do well anymore. My working sets for 80% back squats today was my old warm-up weight. It's humbling. It's also easy to walk out right after the workout instead of staying to work on things that I suck at, and so I guess I was particularly sensitive to these comments.

So of course I want to quit the gym and find somewhere else or something else to do, but I know that if this happened to someone else and that person asked my advice, I'd tell her to let herself cool down and just go back tomorrow and put her head down and get back to work. I guess the only thing I can do is put my head down and practice because otherwise the only person I am hurting is myself.

Here's a picture of my new Blender Bottle. I think it's pretty and it's about the only thing I've got going for myself today.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Exploring Yoga

One of my 2018 goals is to attend 50 yoga classes. I want to increase my flexibility and fix my janky shoulder. And I need to relax. I have had several trying months. My anxiety and stress reached an unbearable level to where my coping method has become to do nothing. Like actual nothing. Sit on the couch with the tv on to repeat television and reset my alarm over and over again telling myself just 30 more minutes nothing. I have decided to do more by committing to less.

I started the New Year with a few classes at Be Hot Yoga. It's bastardized Bikram but the only thing you can get in in-town Atlanta.

I've discovered that I like vinyasa, power, and flow classes. When I was in Austin last week I stopped by the newly opened Yoga Pod studio. It's located in Arboretum Crossing, which is apparently in/near/somewhat close to Far West Austin. I think means the bougie burbs. I liked the studio a lot.

I went to podFLOW2 taught by Bryce Valdez. "podFLOW 2 classes, set to music, are dynamic and accessible, offering more challenging postures and variations based on the fundamentals of the podFLOW1 classes. Teachers bring their own creative element to podFLOW 2, resulting in diverse and inspiring classes. Each class focuses on proper alignment techniques and safe and intelligent sequencing progressions." podFLOW2 wasn't super advanced. If you've attended a few yoga classes in your life, you could keep up.

Last night I tried Infinity Yoga in Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta. I live nearby, I've heard good things, and they have a $20 new client special. I went to Infinity Flow taught by Ashley Lorenzo. Infinity Flow is described as, "powerful dynamic flowing sequences with music! Many skill levels come to this class so many options are given, however knowledge of sun salutations and solid all around fitness is recommended for this class. Be prepared to sweat and have fun! Classroom temperature is WARM (between 82-87 degrees)." It was an advanced class. My body doesn't contort in those directions. But I had a good time and I'd go that class again.
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