Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why the "Why" is important.

Situation: You are having a horrible day and you wander into the office break room to get a bottle of water. Upon the table you see two boxes of the most beautiful donuts ever, their chocolatey glaze glistening in the floursecent lighting. They are sooooo delicious looking, but you set a goal of not eating any processed sugar for thirty days.

You reach into the fridge and grab the water and as you are shutting the door, you hear a faint whisper, "eattttt meeeeee. Just one won't hurttttt...c'mon...you know you want me...."

Situation: It's Friday night at 11:30 PM and you just tucked the kids into bed after helping chaperon the school field trip, taking the kid's to a birthday party at the jumpy house and then schlepping around Hell-Mart for an hour and half trying to gather all the decorating and food items for your brother's surprise party at your house Saturday night. Oh, and you still have to finish cleaning the house. You are signed up for a class at the gym in the morning, but you don't really want to go and can think of a billion reasons why you can't.

Will you eat the donut? Will you skip the gym?

In both of these situations, your "Why" will determine the outcome.

If your "Why" is a vague "I want to get fit" or "I want to lose 15 pounds" I guarantee you'll eat the donut and you'll skip the gym.

"Why" has to be specific. It has to be measurable. It has to be something that really gives you pause.

In both of the situations above, if your "Why" was, "I am having a benchmark physical at work in 30 days and I get a discount on insurance if my cholesterol is down", you are more likely to make the healthy choice.

If your "Why" was "I have signed up for a CrossFit competition on June 20th and I want to be the best I can be" you are more likely to make the healthy choice.

If your "Why" is, "I want to lose weight", that's not solid enough. That donut looks and tastes better than losing weight. That extra hour at the house feels less stressful than figuring out how to cram a gym session in on a Saturday when you are tired.

However, if your "Why" is "I am going to do everything in my power to lose 15 pounds by August 30th" AND someone else is doing the weigh in with you (accountability), you'll walk away from the donut and you'll go to the gym.

Here's some of my "Why"s that help me stay focused and make good choices.

1) I own a gym and I coach athletes to be the fittest they can be. I want to set a good example and motivate others, especially women and kids, to achieve things they never thought possible.

2) I will compete in August at the International Weightlifting Federation's Masters World Cup. I have to be strong and make weight.

3) I love to treat my nutrition like a test and try to "pass the test" every day. Did I reach my macro goals? Are all of my micro nutrients checked off? I'm a nerd and that really works for me.

4) Lastly, the heart felt honest "why" I hold deep down inside. As a middle school student, probably 6th or 7th grade, I overheard a friend's mother call me, "short, fat and ugly." Well, by god I might be short and ugly, but as sure as hell will not let that woman win by being fat!

Here are some guidelines for figuring out your why.

1) What do you want deep down? Don't censor you thoughts here. Don't think about what others want. What do you want? (This is my first why)

2) What is a timeline that relates to what you want? (This is my second why)

3) Who can you involve in your why? (Lol, she doesn't know it, but friend's mom on number 4 and the IWF on number 2)

4) Does this why sound more appealing than a donut? Because it has to in order to work. (My number 3 because I'm a math dork and number 4 because I hate to lose)

Comment below and let me know your "Why". Let me be your accountability!

Stay strong y'all!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Murph

As a coach today, I was proud to see so many of our athletes give up their holiday time to honor those servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. If you aren't familiar with CrossFit, most boxes complete the workout Murph on Memorial Day. Murph is in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy and is a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups and 300 squats followed by another 1 mile run. If you have a 20 pound weight vest you are encouraged to wear it. 
60+ athletes completed the challenging WOD (workout of the day)

Many of them more weighted vests!

Coach Sam did the entire WOD in his Sheriff gear! That is tough!

I didn't wear a weight vest this year because I've learned not to let my ego get me in trouble! With my focus being on weightlifting the last few months, 100 pull ups and 200 push ups would be challenging, no need for an extra 20! (I'm not a fan of rhabdo!) This was my first time to do Murph and ACTUALLY RUN both miles! NO WALKING! I have no idea where that came from, but YAY!

So happy to have my CFM Family!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I'm an idiot. (Subtitle: Do NOT leave your gummy vitamins in your hot car)

We made a trip to Sam's Club yesterday and something got left in the car accidently. 

Public opinion poll:

Would you let it solidify again and then just scoop out chunks?

Do you think it will solidify? 

If it doesn't, should I drink it? 

Grrrrr! This pisses me off sooooo much! 

I stuck it in the fridge when I got home with the bright idea of using my melon baller to scoop it out into small portions. Then I was going to weigh 2 gummies from the jar I have that isn't melted to figure out what size the new chunks need to be.

This is my melon baller now.

Yep, it's so gummy it broke my baller. 

Stay strong y'all!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eating out with Flexible Dieting

My supper last night at Tap 216! To make my dinner out macro friendly, I managed my carb and fat intake throughout the day to have a bunch left for supper. I ordered this delicious sandwich, Grilled chicken with no mayo. I asked for hummus on the side and used a little of that for extra flavor. Hummus can be high fat, but I don't like mayo so I'd swap it out anyway. Then I removed the top bun and ate the sandwich open faced. I asked for no waffle fries, but since they sent them, I ate a couple. A side salad and a Redd's Apple Ale washed it down! You CAN still go out to eat and do flexible dieting! 

Stay strong y'all!

This blog has been posted over at FitfulFocus.com, please check out Nicole's Site!

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Want some help with flexible dieting? I offer online nutrition coaching and I'd love to help you achieve your goals! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

My +1 Practice

No, this has nothing to do with party and wedding invitations where you freak out because you don't have a "plus one." Nor does this have anything to do with integers. This a practice that forces me to not be lazy and to do just a little bit more. Let me explain.

Say I'm staring at a pile of laundry that I don't want to deal with because I'm tired and it's huge. I tell myself just "plus one". I tell myself it is just fine to only put up one thing and leave the rest of it for later. I grab one towel and fold it. Of course, at that point I might as well do another because hauling one towel by itself  upstairs is silly. And then I just keep "plus one"ing until I've done a lot! I may not get the whole pile, but I'll get quite a bit!

If I have a goal of finding seven things to donate or throw away, I'll often challenge myself when I'm done by looking for a "+1".  Just one little extra thing gone will make a huge difference over the course of multiple purgings!

Stretching and mobility is something I know I should do, but it's so boring! My mind is always thinking about things I "should" be doing instead and I get frustrated. Some days I challenge myself to just "+1". This means I just stop for one minute and stretch. That plus one isn't much, but it's better than nothing and it usually translates into more than just a minute!

When I'm picking up around the house and think I'm done, I try to do +1. Maybe it's washing one more pan or throwing in one more load of laundry. Maybe it's picking up one more of Jeremy's shirts out of the floor! Doing +1 doesn't take that much more time, but the difference it makes is exponential!

Have you ever done a max rep set of an exercise? This is where you do as many reps as you can until failure. Many times we quit just shy of true failure because we don't have confidence in ourselves. When you do that rep you think is your last, challenge yourself to "plus one" it. You can do it! And if not, you still gained from the attempt of +1!

When you are setting your goals, make them harder by applying the plus one theory. Have a goal of 3 strict pull ups? Make it 4! Want to increase your business sales by 20% next year? Go for 21%!

We are capable of so much more than we realize! When you apply the +1 practice, you push yourself to do better. It's simple because one is so small. One isn't intimidating! One is do-able.

Giving yourself permission to start with just +1  is not scary. Cleaning out just one drawer is complety within reason. Thinking about all 15 you need to do is frightening!

Plus one is a great way to get started or to go a little further!

Jeremy would disagree that I apply this to ALL areas of my life (picking up my toys at the gym, ahem) but I try use what I call the "plus one" practice every day.

Do you think you could use the +1 practice to enhance your goals and progress?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Love to see my athletes reaching their goals!

I love to help athletes set goals, make a plan, train hard and see the results of their efforts! Getting little messages and updates from them make it all AMAZINGLY COOL to have my job!

Text messages!


In a weekly progress updates!

I love my job!!

Lunch lately

I've been reading a great deal lately about micro nutrients and it has sent me on a tear to improve the color and variety of my meals.

One lunch this week was steamed broccoli, hot sauce, boiled eggs, strawberries and Sweet Potato Tuna Cakes from PaleoGainz! Sooo delicious!

Another lunch this week was steamed kale and spinach, eggs, tuna, sweet potato with chili powder, blueberries and clementines!

As you can see, I eat a lot of tune. I love it and it's easy! I also eat a lot of steamed veggies. Again, they are easy. 

I hope this gives you some meal ideas!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's not a bad day until.... USAW Regionals St Louis.

Many of you know that I've decided to focus this year on weightlifting and have had a moderate amount of success. Two of my goals, to total at the Arnold and to qualify for Pan-Am Masters, have already been met. But this past weekend, I had the Worst.Meet.Ever. I mean, things could have gone more wrong, but it would have been challenging. 


March, post Arnold- I get an invite to Regionals based on my total at the Arnold! Hmmmm... Sounds fun!! Register immediately. SUPER PSYCHED to lift with the big kids!

Sunday, April 19th- J and I had the privilege of attending a Donny Shankle seminar. That man is amazing! Listening to him speak about weightlifting is like a combination of a church revival and a pep talk before a big battle! We were all pumped up and ready to go to war with the barbell! And when Donny Shankle says, "And now you will hit PRs on your lifts" YOU DO! I mean, who wants to let the Lion Killer down? I hit a PR on my c&j at 77kg and PRd my front squat by 2 kilos bringing it up to 93.5kg. I almost matched my snatch PR.  Everything that day was feeling pretty darn good! The next weekend I was scheduled to compete in the Nashville Open along with 5 of our athletes, but I decide to not lift in order to help coach our athletes and rest for Regionals. 

Tuesday, April 21st-  Well, I had decided not to lift at Nashville, but they released session times and I was not lifting with any of our lifters. They were all in Session 1, I was in Session 5. Yes! I could coach AND lift...and I had already paid for it so.... I was in! 

Friday, April 24th- I drank a lot of water, kept the food light and didn't eat or drink anything past 6 PM. 

Saturday, April 25th-  Since all our lifters weigh in at 7, J and I got up and met them all at the gym. They all make weight and start warming up. Then they all proceed to do an AMAZING job at their first meet! I, however, am about to die because I don't weigh in until 12:30 and I haven't eaten or drank anything since 6 PM the night before. I easily make weight at 52.4 and then inhale ALL THE DONUTS. I go 1/3 in snatch, but hit a meet PR of 73 in c&j. I was happy to have hit a meet PR, but I was feeling exhausted and wiped out. I knew that my body had been in competition mode for too long and doing this meet was a mistake, but I had done it. I decide not to lift at Regionals. That night I eat everything including pizza and half a quart of ice cream.

Sunday, April 26th- Still eating everything. Finish off the pizza and the ice cream. And a ton of other crap.  

Morning, Monday April 27th- Still eating everything. 

Afternoon, Monday April 27th - Decide to lift at Regionals because I'm not a quitter. I signed up for it and I must follow through. (Please note all the eating I've been doing. Generally, leading up to a meet you cut back.)

Tuesday, April 28th- I realize I do not have a USAW legal lifting belt because I had passed mine on to someone else and hadn't ordered a new one. I get on Amazon and pay an extra $20 to get it to my house by Wednesday. 

Morning, Wednesday, April 29th- I get a shipping confirmation from Amazon that my belt will get here THURSDAY! Ummm....We were planning to hit the road Thursday morning so that won't work. Call Amazon and get a refund on shipping, but no belt. (Are you seeing all the red flags starting to pop up saying "don't do this"??)

Afternoon, Wednesday, April 29th- Borrowed a belt from another athlete. OH MY GOD I CAN'T FIND MY SINGLET!! Did I leave it in a gas station in Nashville? I thought I put it in my gym bag! It's not in the car! It's not in the closet! For 4 hours I was in pure panic mode until Jeremy found it under the seat in the car. I wish I could say I knew how it got there, but nothing frisky had happened 

Thursday, April 30th- On the road to Regionals! My plan is to stop eating and drinking at 6 PM as usual, get a good nights sleep and then tear it up Friday morning.  All is well until we get stuck in traffic for an hour. Finally at 5:30 we get out of the traffic jam and run into Ruby Tuesday. I fix myself a huge salad because I feel like I need the fiber. I gulp down the last bite at 6:15. (Red flags everywhere!) When we get to the hotel, I attempt to make a mini-sauna, but the water doesn't really get hot enough.

And here, folks, is where the fun really starts. At the time, it wasn't funny at all, but now I am laughing as I type it
Friday, May 1

 I woke up at 5:30 AM and stepped on our scale in the hotel room. 53.7! Oh CRAP! If you are unaware, I need to be 53kg or less. Salad was a BAD, BAD IDEA!! What was I thinking? I throw gum in my mouth and jump in the shower. The water is as hot as it will get, I'm spitting like a redneck.

Get to the meet, officially weigh in 53.7. OH MY GAWD!! 

Really nice weigh-in ladies remind me to strip off all jewelry, hair ties, and clothes- 53.5 OH  MY GAWD, OH MY GAWD!!

(Warning: there is no delicate way to describe the next hour)

Run to bathroom, force a baby poo- 53.4

(I have 43 minutes remaining to make weight)

Put on all the clothes I have with me and go run a mile on the treadmill.

Run to bathroom one more time. Try to pee. Try to poop. Try to vomit. Realize I'm in the men's room.

Back in the weigh-in room with the two really nice ladies and Jeremy. Butt naked. 53.27

WHO'S GOT SCISSORS??? I'M CUTTING MY HAIR!! Seriously, I was going to do it.

Go try to pee again.

(8 minutes left to make weight)

There is an age old trick wrestlers and lifters use to trick the scale. 


Let me remind you of the scene again.

Two really nice ladies, large room, one scale, Jeremy.

And then me.

Doing handstand holds.



Praise Oprah!

I sit down to eat and drink my coffee and try to come to terms with what all had just happened. Traumatized is really too harsh of a word, but still.

5 minutes into my eating and as I am pondering my future life plans since I clearly couldn't show my face after naked handstands, my tummy grumbles and I have to go number 2. For real. I probably lost 2 kilos in the bathroom. WHY BODY?! WHY DID YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THAT?

The really nice ladies from the weigh-in room come out and smile and say they will see me later. They are working the Marshals table and judging my session. KILL ME NOW.

In the warm-up area I shared a platform with some really cool people from CrossFit Fenway. Eric and Ky were super nice and they both did a great job with their lifts! If I'm ever in Boston, I'm checking out CFF!

When they called us to line up for the session start, I realized the oldest person in my group, besides me, was Ky and she was 23. All of these kids could have been mine! Some were only 14-15!

The snatch went as well as could be expected for me. I had wanted to go 45/48/51, and hit a new meet PR, but I got a no lift at 48 so we decided to only go up to 49.  I hit it and breathed a sigh of relief, because the Clean and Jerk is my jam.

I was so confident in my clean and jerk because I rarely miss under 73. We planned for me to open at 70 and go 70/74/76. Hitting 74 would have given me a new meet PR C&J and a new meet Total. This scheme made me the last person to clean and jerk so we were a little concerned I'd have to follow myself and not get a lot of rest. However, I wasn't overly worried. 

When it was my turn, I walked out on the platform with confidence. I hit 70 all the time. It was no big deal. I set up and was a little too confident and missed the clean. 

Umm...what was that?

I told Jeremy I wanted to go on up to 71. When it was my turn, I hit the clean easy, but pressed out the jerk and got three red lights. 

I'm pretty upset at this point because I have never had this much trouble at a meet. 

Now, I didn't mention earlier that I had gotten a phone call on the way to the meet with very troubling news so my mind was already full. The tears are brimming up. I'm starting to realize I should have just sat this one out. 

I tell Jeremy to send me to 74. I suck it all up and KNOW I CAN HIT IT. 

The 74 clean was the easiest one I had done all day. It was make or break time. I had to hit the jerk to get a total.

And I miss.

I felt like such a loser. What a waste of money coming down here. How embarrassing to let the weigh-in ladies down after they had cheered me on all day. I had let my athletes down. My CFM family that was cheering me on just watched me fail. My nutrition coaching athletes just watched me almost not make weight. I felt like a fraud!

And the person I felt worst about letting down was Jeremy.

I felt this way for about 24 hours.

And then I gained some perspective. It was a freaking competition. Something I did for FUN! I was sitting there pouting and crying about not making my lifts when there were real problems going on in the world.

Some of those kids competing were really trying to make it the Olympics. I was just an older lady playing with a barbell.

Someone I love had just gotten a cancer diagnosis.

Some friends had a family member in critical condition with serious injuries.

Friends and family were praying that they both would be healed.

And I was crying about a silly lifting competition.


I realized I wasn't really all that upset about my performance. I was really upset about the news I had gotten and instead of taking time to process it and feel it, I had shoved it aside to think about tomorrow, Scarlett O'Hara style. Once I let the news settle in, I realized how trivial the "failure" I had this weekend was. It was no big deal.

Lessons learned.

1) Listening to my body is important. If it is screaming no, listen to it!

2) Listening to the universe is important. If stumbling blocks keep appearing, maybe you should slow down and appreciate them instead of kicking them out of the way.

3) Eating a big bowl of veggies is a terrible idea prior to a weigh-in.

4) Allowing yourself to be upset and feel your feelings is ok. Trying to be stoic is honorable, but it uses a lot of energy.

5) Friends and family don't care how you perform. They love you no matter what.

6) You aren't really having a bad day until you are doing naked handstands in front of strangers.

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