Thursday, May 19, 2011

Client #75

Friends - I read an e-mail recently from one of my 'clients' who has finished 45 days of paleo recently. This was the FIRST time she did this sort of a challenge for this long and I can tell you the physical results are AMAZING!

But more importantly - and as I'm noticing the theme of this blog is becoming more focused on - her mentality. Read what she wrote me in a recent e-mail. And of course - if you're on the fence contact me about how to get started! Since this client really gets it, she can spread her wings and fly now, leaving me room for another client =)

I asked her if she was pleased with her results. . .

Honestly, I had to look at the pictures again to accurately answer if I am pleased or not. Yes, I am very pleased. I think I was hoping for a miracle, to be a Victoria's Secret model in a month and a half perhaps. ha But there are great changes. My boobs are in a comfortable range where before I could barely keep them in the my bra. My legs are getting more definition and from the back my butt is higher and less butt crease. (Ooooh that sexy butt crease where it doesn't get tan and just makes it that much more noticable. Plight of pale chicks perhaps.) haha And finally my waist is actually lower. I have had to realize that this is life now and there will always be work to be done. I am finally happy with the way I look. I don't look in the mirror and say, "blah I wish..." I now say, "Fabulous, today I can....." enter whatever to finish the sentence. I don't say I'm fat. I don't complain. I am.... thankful :)  And, more importantly I feel awesome. People need to realize that after day 30 it only gets better. Results happen faster and workouts get easier and more productive by the day. Just keep pushing.
This is so cheesy but my life has changed since I started this. I don't think I have ever been proud of myself. Well, I am proud of myself. I finally broke free from that addiction and am going somewhere in my life. Eating better has reduced my anxiety levels (a tricky battle in my family and medicine has been suggested but I just didn't/ want to) and helped me become a more organized person. I can think better and remember more information and I no longer want alcohol to mask issues. I got an A in both my classes and don't fear what is to come. And its weird to say, I love people/family/friends more.
All that from a diet? yeah, all that from a diet. Even if I am not a model and my body is not exactly where I want it to be, everyday has become a day to get better.
Yes, I am pleased.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 976: I'm one of 'those' girls now =)

Yesterday I officially crossed something off of my bucket list. . .I completed a half marathon. Yes, my __ lb body carried myself 13.1 miles through the streets of Atlanta.

It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty and I'm sure at certain points during the half marathon someone would have looked at me and wondered if I was even moving =) But I DID IT!

Now this post will have very little to do with paleo. . .and more to do with how my mentality has changed as a result of CF and paleo, but it took a REALLY long time. . .so I'm hoping to share this in order to speed up the process for anyone else.

One thing you should know about me is that I'm extremely self-aware, which often leads to being self-critical. I know the things I'm good at and the things I'm not good at. I am surrounded by things that I am decent at in most parts of my day - school, writing and writing =) BUT when it comes to all things physical I know I'm not good at those things. I'm not an athlete, never have been and for the majority of my young adult life I didn't move.

That's right - I didn't move

. . .or if I moved I moved from couch to food. Which of course caused the ridiculous amount of weight I gained. Finally, when I started my weight loss journey I was so out of shape it was a struggle to do anything - mostly, because I was embarrassed. I remember being too embarrassed to use the machines at the gym and took group classes for about 6-8 months in order to not be seen. When I did use the machines and felt comfortable enough I started running - it seemed natural to me to run to lose weight. . .but my body could only take so much. I would run for 30 seconds at a time and walk 4 1/2 minutes. repeat. One of the trainers came up to me at the gym and told me that I didn't need to run and could hurt myself. All of those things obviously contributed to how I see my physicality. Basically, I've felt that I'm not one of those people. . .you know, those people who grew up playing sports, who ran in college just to run, etc.

Unfortunately, seeing myself that way created so much negative self dialogue in my head for a long time. I would estimate that the entire first year of my membership at cf was not fun for me because I was so concerned with the board, my time, how I compared to so and so, etc. . .And while I worked out I would tell myself these awful, awful things (yes I talk to myself while working out - who doesn't - right?).

The combination of spending two weeks in Europe (and recognizing that Americans [including myself] are some super scary high anxiety, Type A crazies) and my approaching half marathon forced me to reflect on what I was telling myself and to shift my focus.

Instead of allowing my thoughts to even get to the point where I started to worry about coming in last or how I was doing in comparison to so and so, I simply stopped. . .Instead I told myself (on repeat) all of these positive things

"Your body can do this"
"This is mental - your body will do it"
"It doesn't matter how long it takes you, you're doing it"

So I tried that approach at CF when I came back - and surprise surprise, it made working out more bearable =)
And yesterday, that's what I did for 13 miles. . .I only allowed myself to say positive things the entire time. The second a negative thought came in - I let it go, quickly. . .It was amazing what a difference it makes.

It was at the end of the race that I realized, sure there are other people who have more physicality, who have been life long athletes, but now I have something that they have to - a mentality that physically I'm as strong and able as I tell myself I am.

Is it really that simple I wonder - can you really just keep telling yourself you can do something, and than you can do it? I hope so. . .because now that I've crossed that off my bucket list I have to get to some other things.

PS - I would be remiss if I did not shout out my supporters. . .where do I begin. The folks who have supported me all along the way, new and old friends, life long friends, runners and non-runners. Your support is immeasurable. I recognize that this is not a journey I have gone through alone, and it is only possible because of friends that have become family, and family that loves me through it all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 1 million: Europe, Lent and Other Musings

First, I apologize for my absence in writing. I am writing this long book er. . .my dissertation so the idea of coming to a computer and typing is unheard of at this point =)

On the other hand I've been prodded by a recent write up by my Nugs. . .I on the other hand will be writing about my new work/life attitude since a recent trip to Europe has inspired a complete and total ability to relax and remain calm in all situations. . .more to come on that later!

Anyway - I think a lot of Nugs questions have sparked my own internal debate about what to do for Lent. . .what do you folks on the interwebs do? 

What does Lent mean to you? As someone from a religious background I look at it as two different things, first a sacrifice in preparation for the ultimate sacrifice, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace” – 2nd Timothy 1:9 and secondly the 40 days that Christ represented in the desert before public ministry where He endured constant temptation from Satan.

It is a tradition to give up something for Lent. Traditionally growing up you gave up soft drinks or sweets or homework (“it’s because of religious beliefs I swear” never really worked as an excuse). Now as an adult we use it as a crutch because let’s be honest the majority of us have already failed with our New Year’s resolutions. My family traditionally gives up sweets which is hard, however, the more I looked at it the more I realized that sweets isn’t my weakness, it’s BREAD. I love pasta, I love grains, and I could roll around and sleep in pizza… I have issues with all things grain- it’s a love hate relationship. So this year I’m giving up grains.

Some of my friends are actually adding to their life, they’re giving up bad habits like biting their nails, hitting the snooze button (keep the dream alive), being late to work, etc… I’m super proud of them. I have a friend who gave up NOT going to the gym- how awesome is that!?

Are you giving this up as a true sacrifice something that permanently will change who you are and every time you’re around it or tempted you say WOW what an amazing thing Christ did for me or are you giving up something because you’re supposed to and it is what you always give up?

Have you made any exceptions or pre-determined cheats? I did. I’m donating blood which means I get Oreos and Juice and Gatorade, I’m having 1 beer and a Hot Dog at the Braves Home Opening Day (if you know me, you know that this is basically my Christmas), and I’m having a slice of wedding cake at my friend’s wedding. There are certain things that deserve exceptions, I think if you go ahead and outline what they are it actually makes it easier to not cheat… you say well I really want this, but is it really on the same level as one of my closest friends weddings? Am I doing something good that is so taxing on my body it is a need to break like donating blood or running a marathon, or doing a huge workout competition you never thought you could do?? Is there a huge event in your life that you don’t want to miss out on? Have you formed the right support group to get you through the day to day even if it is just someone who goes to eat with you and doesn’t tempt you to break lent and helps you make better decisions?    

MORE IMPORTANT here’s the million dollar question, what happens after Easter? Do you continue this lifestyle or have a go crazy session on your favorite things for 6 weeks etc.

BIG THOUGHTS, little Nugget!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Abs ARE made in the kitchen - Client #1's Results, "You have nothing to lose but fat"

Hi friends.  .I wanted to share with you the results from my VERY first client. We'll call her Rosa =) I met Rosa a while ago when we worked together and she continues to support me in my health and wellness goals - even sending cards of encouragement as I struggle through this Ph.D. program.

Rosa is naturally tall and lean. As you'll read from her descriptions she was an athlete her entire life and has generally taken a healthy approach to eating and fitness. HOWEVER, last year Rosa kept telling me about her lack of energy, need for diet cokes, a desire to be even leaner and inability to ever feel full off of what she was eating. Around this time I was toying with Paleo and suggested some things to her, but hell I wasn't even really doing Paleo myself. BUT when it finally started to click for me I URGED Rosa to commit to eating Paleo.

She refused

It was like trying to get my near narcoleptic dog to wake up - NOTHING I said mattered. She finally came on board but complained for about 7-10 days. . .her energy was low, she was hungry, what could she eat here, what about here, what about when she went out to eat, etc, etc.

At this point I was doing strict paleo so her complaints fell on deaf ears and after the first week of tough love I can say without question that Client #1 is a ROCKSTAR! I saw Client #1 at my fantastical birthday party and she was the leanest I'd EVER seen her.

 Additionally, her commitment to eating has caused her to get ALL of her pants taken in. . .wait - let me repeat that.

Can you ever imagine in your life having to get ALL of your pants taken in?

I share client #1's results with you (she doesn't have a before picture but her abs in this photo I think say enough) =) because of the following

1. Many of the folks that I encourage are naturally lean like Rosa. And most of you complain and refuse like she did. As you'll see in her interview she NEVER imagined she could be this lean - ALL from changing the way she eats.

2. Rosa doesn't even do Crossfit (yet!). She's starting in February and I can't WAIT to see those results.

I hope this interview inspires you (regardless of your size-but especially for my more thin friends). . .look at what she says about sleep, energy, feeling full.

So the question is - why AREN'T you doing this?

PS - I'll be posting my 30 and 90 day reveal shortly

1. Client #1 (=)) - introduce yourself to the people of the interwebs. Tell them about yourself. . .what type of fitness activities have you done throughout your life? What do you currently do?
I am an (almost) 30 year old, married, professional woman living in Atlanta. I work full-time in a job I love and balance my work stress with working out - mainly running and swimming. Exercise is my best form of stress relief, self-confidence and fun! I have always been very active and started swimming competitively when I was 9. I swam relentlessly through high school and switched to playing water polo in college. As part of training for both of those sports, I have always lifted weights, run and done a combination on in-and out-of-water work outs. After college, I continued to swim, run and lift weights to stay in shape. More recently (in the last two years) I started adding structure to my workouts by training for road races, specifically half marathons.  
2. What was your nutrition like before paleo? What did you typically do to maintain your body weight?

Before I started eating an 80/20 Paleo diet, I didn't pay too much attention to what I was eating. I felt like as long as I was cooking at home - nothing too rich or creamy - I was doing my husband and I a favor by eating healthy. I focused on balanced meals that included meat, starch and vegetables, but didn't place too much emphasis on how much of each was involved in each meal. My philosophy was that I exercised so I could eat whatever I wanted. The long, intense exercise I did on a regular basis (3 - 4 times a week) kept my weight steady.

3. You've been athletic your entire life and seem to have a long and lean body type why were you looking for a change in your nutrition. What sort of changes did you want (did you think these things were possible)

I inherited some great genes - I am 5'10 with a slender frame and have enough athletic ability to really enjoy it and experience some athletic success, but I have known for a long time that I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs. As I got older (yuck) it has been more of a challenge to stay lean. I found that even though I was a healthy weight and had a great shape from consistent exercise, I wanted to get leaner mostly through my hips and thighs. I started running more, which helped, but it didn't quite get me to where I wanted to be. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't working hard enough and that with my lifestyle, I would never have the time or energy to do what I needed to to achieve success. Mind you, in high school, when I was at my leanest, and in college, when I got into incredible shape, I was working out twice a day at least 4 times a week, so I thought that's what I needed to do. So I gave up on working out more and decided to live with it.

Then, earlier this year, I found myself just absolutely crashing every afternoon around 2 or 3. I felt hungry after each meal I was eating and in the afternoon I felt like all I wanted was a nap. I tried more caffeine, less caffeine, more food, less food, more exercise and less exercise. Nothing was making me feel better for an extended period of time and it was getting really frustrating not to be able to focus for three hours of my work day - let alone go home, cook and work out!

Ultimately that's when I decided to try Paleo. If anything could give me more energy, I was willing to try it.

3. What were the three hardest things about switching to paleo eating in the beginning? 
Figuring out what I could take to work to eat was tough - packing three lunches every day was a challenge, but once I figured out a few "go to" meals, it was really easy.

Making dinner my husband would eat was hard - he's not Paleo, so it had to be delicious and filling (because if it wasn't filling he'd want to go out for ice cream after, which didn't help me much).

Getting used to eating more often without obsessing about the volume I was eating was the hardest part. At first I felt like I was eating all the time - just shoving it down. I didn't understand how that could be good for me and it took a while for my metabolism to catch up. I actually worried about getting fat - sigh.

4. What have been the largest gains and benefits you've seen since switching to paleo?
Fat loss - woo hoo! I started seeing a difference in my body fat in the first two weeks. It was amazing. I was shocked that I was able to get leaner and lose weight without working out more. I was seeing a difference that I never anticipated.

No food guilt! I can eat often and as much as I want as long as it's Paleo and I don't have any guilty feelings of overeating. It's such a relief.

I have a better sense of being full. Now that I eat more often, I have noticed that even when I want to overeat, I notice when I am full much sooner than I used to. So even for cheat meals, I don't eat as much as I used to.


5. How much weight have you lost? Have you changed clothing sizes? 

I lost about 8 pounds since the end of July when I started, which is a pretty big percentage of my overall body weight. I am not sure how much was fat loss. I have dropped a pants size (my dress size is still the same because of my build and that most of my fat loss was in my hips and thighs). Crazy! I never wore this size before - ever, not even in college. I had been a size 8 for as long as I can remember.

6. I know you recently had a PR during a half marathon. . .What can you attribute that to?

I bettered my previous best time by 5 minutes. I think there are a lot of factors that led to my PR - a flatter course, colder weather - but my training regiment was the same one I used for previous half marathons. I trained on easier courses, which should have meant I was less prepared for the race itself, but I found I was running really good times on my training runs. I had an incredible amount of endurance and while I am not ready to say it was ll because of my change in diet, I think it definitely played a role.

7. You mention that your energy levels are through the roof? Why do you think that is? What was your energy like before? Are you sleeping better?
I thought my energy before was pretty good. I was alert and engaged for most of the day, except for the afternoon. Once I hit a low between 2 and 4, I would rebound a little bit with a snack and a workout. Now, I have sustained energy throughout the day unless I don't eat enough protein at a meal. I have noticed a huge difference in the role of protein and how it relates to my energy levels. Also, everyone knows that eating carbs is a great way to get sleepy, so by minimizing the processed carbs, I am not wasting energy digesting those.

I have always been a really good sleeper, so I didn't notice a change there.


8. And finally. . .WHAT would you say to the tons of folks out there who are on the fence about paleo. . .who are resistant? Particularly those who are already athletic, thin people?
Oh my god - you have nothing to lose but fat! Try at least an 80/20 Paleo diet and if you don't have more energy and less fat in a few weeks, you can say "I told you so." Give it a try and really commit to it - you'll feel so much lighter and your body will feel so much cleaner and efficient you'll see the returns in the mirror and the gym. As hard as thin, athletic people work in the gym, going Paelo for a month will seem like you're cheating somehow and getting more return out of the work you're doing in the gym. You end up getting so many more returns for very little sacrifice. Just try it!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Diet = Size 24, there I said it =)

If you've set a new years resolution it's dumb. . .plain and simple. I hate to tell you but even dumber is calling what your doing a diet. I can say this because I pretty much have consistently dieted since the age of oh. . .I don't  know 12 or 13. Obviously that didn't work because at one point in my life I was wearing a size 24. So yes, diet does = size 24. . .

That being said. I am encouraging EACH of you to change the way you think about your health this year (after all I could care less what you weigh - I care about your overall health and wellness). So if your goal is to lose 20 lbs, deadlift 50 more lbs, run a half marathon (kill me - I don't know why I still am considering running 13 miles when no one is chasing me, but more to come in the next blog post). Start thinking about how you're going to get there. You won't get there from a diet or an exercise program.

Instead, you'll get there from 3,000 decisions you have to make EVERY DAY. Sounds daunting I know - but that's the reality of health and wellness. 

90% of the people you work with, go to school with or hell, even live with are not that concerned about their health and wellness. So if you're going to go against the grain and do something different you must be CONSISTENT in your decisions, to do better than you did the day before.  Although it's not ALWAYS going to seem this hard, in the beginning it IS going to seem like a struggle  But I'll leave you with this quote because it can become second nature

The hard must become habit.  The habit must become easy.  The easy must become beautiful.  ~Doug Henning

Below are my nugget's thoughts about resolutions - you'll see a theme here, there dumb =)

How many times have you set resolutions and broken them? Pretty much every year right? How many times do you set unreal expectations and resolutions for yourself then when you fail get more disheartened than before?

Jasmine has always encouraged the people she helps with paleo and crossfitters to set realistic goals... and I am here to re-enforce her concerns and encouragement all in one short blog. The number 2 New Years resolution for 2010 was to get fit and to lose weight, etc. but for all of those who failed this past year, was it realistic or not? Looking back on it, did you set a goal to loose 300 pounds or realistic numbers?

Now who would I be if I didn’t relate to the blog I posted. My goal this year was to get a 6-pack, did it happen? NO! Don’t stop reading now, keep going. So I may not have a six-pack but lets go over what has happened this year, I’ve lost 13 pounds, I am the thinnest I’ve been since high school, and I’m down to a size two COMFORTABLY... so what would’ve been the realistic resolution? To get fit and to get strong or to get a 6-pack... as I posted in an earlier thought from a nugget, it’s all about balance... could I get a 6 Pack, most likely, however, I will most likely not ever have one and the reasons are as follows: Mac and Cheese, Zaxby’s, and overall happiness.

Now don’t read this and completely jump the bandwagon, still set goals for yourself, still grow and achieve what you set, but find the best way to do it and maintain your happiness and most importantly, don’t set goals too high for yourself and get down on yourself when you fail...

If you’re still planning on setting the second most popular resolution and you’re debating joining a crossfit, please just try it... Crossfit Peachtree is one of the best things that has ever happened to me... The people are amazing, the workouts are challenging and hard, but not so hard that I’m miserable for days on end afterwards, and the results are indisputable!

I’ll keep this short and sweet! Hope you’ve had an amazing Christmas. Here is to 2011, may it only be better than 2010!

BIG THOUGHTS - little nugget...