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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet!

The mind is the key folks.

How fast can our minds change? Speed of light fast, that's how fast.

I have a pretty high self esteem. I don't often struggle with feeling less than for the most part, at least not in the past year. But Saturday, that old habit of being critical about my body flipped a switch in my head and I spent 2 days thinking things that weren't accurate or kind.

It all started when hubby took some photos and I sat down to take a look at what he captured. I needed some shots to edit for this blog. What I got was a big ole bunch of pretty unflattering stuff. My eye went to those places that I am most insecure about and suddenly my mind gave in to the negative self talk. It's crazy how quickly that reversal can happen.

So what do you do about it? How do you change your mind back?

I just reminded myself that I am more than those pictures and more than just a body. My worth is not tied to how lean I am.

I am more, and so are you.

How do you change to a more positive frame of mind?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Are You a Competitor? World Wide Wod Gym Resolutions 2014

I love competition. I have ever since I was young. However I was always part of a team. I wasn't much for individual competition. Too much of a spotlight on you. 

Now that I'm a little more mature, finding a competitive outlet has been hard. For the longest I wasn't in good enough shape to be a part of a team sport. I ran for a while but that really got to aggravate my Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and I was never a fast enough runner to be competitive at races. 

Now that I'm on track with my fitness and have the RAD under better control, I have the competitive juices flowing once again. This past weekend I competed in my 2nd CrossFit competition and had a serious blast. 

The competition was the World Wide Wod Gym Resolutions. This was a competition that my home box hosted however the scores were submitted and compared nationally to other folks across the country. 

I competed in the 40 year old Scaled division however there was actually no difference between my workout and the younger female scaled athletes. However, since I am still trying to get my double unders (jump rope) I was not able to compete in the RX division. I'm still pretty new to the Cross Fit competition scene so that was fine by me.

It was a great day and when all was said and done, I came in 8th in the nation. I am extremely happy with that and know that my training is spot on at this point. 

Here is a breakdown of the WODS: 

“Helena” 12:00min Time Cap
 Master SC 40 – 2rds of 21x 1.5pood (men)/1pood (women) KBswings,12x jumping pull ups, 200x Single jump rope.

“Karena”: 5:00 min time cap
Complete 60 situps as a “buy in” then wallballs till the clock runs out
Competitor chooses ball weight.
Throw to the normal marks (boys 10feet / girls 8feet)
There is no difference between RX, Scaled, and Beginner.

“Grace”: 6min cut off (if incomplete you will enter the number of reps completed at 6 minutes)
WOD: 30x clean (muscle, power, squat) and jerk/press/push press (aka ground to overhead with a stop at the shoulders).
Masters Scaled 40 = 95#, women = 65#

Love CrossFit and so happy to have the opportunity to  compete as a Masters athlete.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Part III: Nutrition Planning

 Last post on planning for a change! Nutrition. 

I saved the most difficult for last. I really haven’t been looking forward to writing this one. Folks get so mired down in the details when you discuss “diets.” I get it. I’ve been there a bazillion times. You think if you can get that magic diet it will finally solve all your problems. Fact is, often times we know what to eat, we just don’t want to.  


So let’s keep this short and sweet. 

Here are my top 5 suggestions for working on your nutrition.

1.       Think about addition not subtraction. It’s easier to make a new positive habit than it is to break an existing bad habit. So add one good thing to your diet. It might be drinking 8 glasses of water or adding a serving of veggies daily. Keep that up for a week or two and then add something else. After a while the good additions will begin to crowd out the less desirable habits.  Go slow,  but go. 

2.      Eat plenty of protein. A lot of “fitness” related diets recommend 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight. For me that is almost impossible to hit and not necessary. I generally get between 75 and 100 grams per day but don’t stress if I get less. As far as I can tell I haven’t lost any muscle mass and my strength has continued to increase. I just try to have a little protein with every meal and snack. Protein curbs your hunger so you feel full longer. So it helps dampen cravings. Generally speaking, good quality protein is relatively low in calories per portion size so you have a hard time over-eating it. 

3.       Watch your energy levels. When I was dieting, I always went for the most extreme diet thinking that it was going to give me the best results. So I’ve gone from mostly carbs to no carbs and what I learned was my best diet lies in the middle. Duh! Mostly protein (Adkins) and I get headachy, cranky, low energy and miserable. Mostly carbs and I get bloated, cranky and my cravings go berserk.  So I mix the best of both worlds. That sweet spot where I have great energy combines protein, carbs in the forms of veggies and fruit and a little starchy carbs and lots of good fat. I might have a serving of the starchy carbs a day or I might have just a few bites. It depends on how much energy I anticipate needing to produce. If I’m CrossFitting or have a competition that day or the next, you better believe I’ll eat a little more starchy carb. It translates into better performance for me every time. 

4.      Unprocessed food is superior. Packaged and boxed food has been so manipulated and mutilated by the manufacturing process that little good is left in it. Think about white flour. The ingredients list the word “Enriched.” Why does it need to be enriched? Because all the best has been stripped out of it in the manufacturing process. Do I eat some processed food? Yes, but a relatively low amount. I do have packaged bread every morning and often greek yogurt and from time to time I’ve been known to eat a cupcake or donut or even Taco Bell.  But I try to stick in an 80/20 area. I eat as unprocessed as possible 80 percent of the time. The other 20 is whatever I want. 

5.       Be your own guinea pig. Just like exercise, one size does not fit all. Try things out and if it doesn’t work, adjust. Eat foods you like. “But I don’t like veggies!” Have you tried all the veggies? Have you tried all the veggies prepared in all the ways possible? I didn’t think so. Experiment! And honestly, sometimes I don’t like being an adult. But guess what, I am so I have to make uncomfortable decisions from time to time to do what is best for me or those around me. Children live in ignorant bliss. Not grown adults. Have you heard the phrase, “Embrace the suck!” Embrace it and really before very long at all you will be one with it. It won’t bother you as much. 

6.      BONUS* Eat more. Eating too little food is a sure recipe for failure. Sure you can lose weight for a while, but what kind of weight are you losing? Probably water and muscle. Muscle is the engine that burns up the calories and fat so if you lose it, you burn less. When you cut your intake, your body goes into survival mode and shuts down your metabolism in an effort to keep your body where it is. Feed your body and your metabolism revs up. I really like this article from Built Daily on Binge Eating. It does a great job of explaining why you should eat and how that can actually give you control over your hunger. Another source that I really like is a book called Diet Recovery by Matt Stone. Very informative on how eating more may be the answer for you especially if you have been in the deprivation dieting cycle.  

Of course we could list several more things but this is a good place to start. Be kind to yourself and patient. It is so very hard to change. But it can be done with a positive attitude. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

To Supplement or Not to Supplement?

The last couple of weeks we've seen news stories about the benefits of multivitamins and supplements in general . This is a revolving news story and one that keeps the confusion of supplementation alive. 

I have supplemented for years and honestly I'm as confused as the next person. I want to find things that work to help not only my general health but more specifically my Rheumatoid Arthritis issues.

I love this visual data  piece below. It is not only beautiful but useful. Information is Beautiful produced this and it is super cool. There is an interactive version as well which when you click on the individual bubbles, it takes you to the scientific study supporting the placement of the bubble in the hierarchy. Slick!

I always ask myself why all the confusion on an issue and really you can almost always answer that question with one word; MONEY. Big Pharma makes a ton on supplements.

So what is one to do? I say let's be our own scientist and if we are interested in a supplement, read up on it and try it out with an open mind. Give it 30 days and if we don't see any noticeable differences then kick it to the curb. I'm guessing that most likely we will be left with very few supplements to pop. 

That being said, are there supplements that you can already say work for you? 

For me, folic acid is one. I get a lot of mouth sores with my RA and when I take just at 2,000 mg of folic acid, I get dramatically fewer of those painful things. And I've not only added it to get that result, I've also taken the folic away and experienced the unpleasant result as well. So folic acid stays in my pill box. 

I'd love to hear about what really works for you. Leave me a comment!

Information Is Beautiful