Friday, January 31, 2014

30 Day Paleo Challenge Assessment and Now What?

Today is the LAST day of my 30 day Paleo Challenge!  I did it!!  I guess tomorrow is the official weigh in, but I don't always get that done on Saturdays.  During the 30 days, I lost 6.4 pounds.  I lost all of that in the first 10 days and the pounds did not fluctuate that much after.

However...according to the fat % tracker on my scale, I did shift down over an entire percentage point on my body fat.  To me, that is very important.  My only disappointment of not losing more pounds is severely overshadowed by all the good things:
  1. Losing that % of fat.
  2. Sticking to something very strictly for 30 days without going of the rails at some point.
  3. I had no artificial sweetener, added sugar, or dairy for 30 days.  I only had alcohol and white potatoes once and corn twice.  I have NEVER done that before.
  4. My skin feels great!
  5. My jeans fit again!
  6. I kept working out as I focused on nutrition and my body thanks me for it.
  7. I'm sleeping better.
  8. I'm cooking more.
  9. My meals are overwhelmingly more healthy.
  10. I'm eating 2-3 servings of vegetables most days.
I decided that I deserved a reward which I will get a week from tomorrow, so I will share that with you on 02/10.  Stay tuned!

My plan going forward is to continue eating this way with just a few modifications:
  • Adding back dairy, but only 1 serving per day other than a small amount for coffee.
  • I will cook paleo style for myself, but if I'm served or in a restaurant, I can eat white potatoes, rice, corn or legumes if the situation calls for it (keeping that under 20% of the time.)  An example might be the rice on rolls at a sushi restaurant or corn tortillas at a Mexican place...this is not a license to go hog wild, just a small adjustment.
  • I will allow myself one cheat meal a week.  Not a cheat DAY...just a meal. 
I know I should track my food, but I don't want to.  So my deal with myself is that as long as I lose pounds or fat % for the week, I do not have to track.  If I gain, then I have to start tracking.  I think that is fair.

CrossFit this morning was brutal, but awesome.  After a half mile run warm up, we did what we call a CrossFit warm up which is 3 rounds of:
  • 20 second Sampson stretch each side
  • 10 overhead squats
  • 10 back extensions (or supermans)
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 pull ups (I subbed ring rows)
After that was our WOD which was 3 rounds:
  • 50 squats
  • 7 muscle ups (I subbed 14 box dips)
  • 10 hang power cleans (75#)
It took me 9:33 seconds which satisfying.

Today's meal plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee.  Chicken breakfast sausage and egg beaters.
Lunch:  Dry rub wings.  What will be a challenge here is to avoid the ranch or blue cheese.
Snack:  Apple with nut butter, if needed.
Dinner:  Steam pot from Joe's Crab Shack sans potatoes and corn.

Bottom line:  I feel the best I have in quite a while.  That is worth a lot!!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ten Things Thursday

1.  Just a day and a half left in my 30 day Paleo Challege! 

2.  Made it to CrossFit this morning.  It was a benchmark day where we found our one rep max on front squats and presses.  Basically it means you keep lifting heavier and heavier until you can no longer do one rep.  I maxed out at 145# on the front squats which is 10# less than my personal best (October 2012).  I maxed out at 95# on my press which ties my personal best.  I'm definitely getting my strength back, but I need to stay consistent if I'm going to gain ground.

3.  It's cold.  Well, it has been.  It is supposed to be 70 tomorrow.  Texas weather is schizophrenic.

4.  7 days until the Olympics.  I love the Olympics!

5.  I'm very busy today, but I love busy.

6.  I got my feelings hurt today over something silly.  Truly, I am just taking something personally, that I'm willing to bet was not meant that way.  I just need to recognize that and move on.  Sometimes I just have to say it to make it so.

7.  I've been reading This Is Where I Leave You with some Facebook friends and they are already done.  I need to finish it.  I take forever to read a book sometimes.

8.  I'm going to a Super Bowl party and I'm already bringing sausage dip.  But I thought I might make some buffalo chicken meatballs too.  I might get too lazy though, we will see. 

9.  Because I also want to make Pot Roast and Sweet Potato stew from a recipe I found.  I thought that would be great for lunches next week.  Let's see how motivated I actually get.

10.  The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but how happy others can be because of you.  I read that today and I believe it.  If I know that I have made others happy, then I'm automatically happy.  Joy is a good thing.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sticking to the plan.

Three more days!  I'm still working on what life after the Paleo Challenge is going to look like.  I have some ideas, but I flip back and forth on some things.  I have to decide what it is that I want.

I made it up in the frozen tundra (apologies to almost all of the rest of the country that is a billion degrees colder than here) to go to CrossFit.  As always, I'm so glad I did.  One of the things that differentiates CrossFit from other workouts is that the WOD (workout of the day) is typically short.  Most time, it takes anywhere from 3 minutes to 15 minutes.  I would say it averages around 7-9 minutes.  So, short, but intense.

Today was not the norm.  After warming up, we did some muscle up work.  Muscle ups are when you do a pull up but bring your entire body over the bar, like a gymnast.  I can't do that.  My pull ups and muscle ups look the same.  Some day...!

You can see how I have a large elastic band assisting me.  This is from last week, but we were working the same thing today.

After that was our WOD:  5 rounds: 350m row, 50 double unders, 25' handstand walk.

I can't do double unders, so the scale was 100 single jump ropes.  And I can't handstand walk, actually only one person in the class could, so my scale was 1:00 elevated plank (feet on a 20" box).  Five rounds is a lot of rounds.  This ended up taking me about 34 minutes.  That is a LONG workout for CrossFit.  I would say instead of a short burst of feeling like my lungs were going to come out through my mouth, it was more of a steady workout.  It was a little more traditional. 

I feel my lungs coming back.  And I feel my mojo coming back.  I'm not sure if I'm losing weight right now, but I sure do feel like I'm doing good things for my body.  So onward!

Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee.  I gave up on the chicken apple sausage because I just didn't like it.  I moved to chicken breakfast sausage and it was delightful.
Lunch:  Pork loin with root vegetable hash.
Snack:  Apple with nut butter.
Dinner:  Chicken burger with sauteed veggies. 
Snack:  Homemade roasted nuts.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


If you have been following me for very long, you might know that around the time I made the decision to change my physical form, I was also committing to changing my emotional form.  I had become a person I didn't like very much.  I was so tightly wound and worried about what people thought of me, because I myself was Judgy McNosypants. 

I realized that if I just took care of my world and made good choices, I didn't have to worry what other people thought of me because I would be at peace with myself.  It has been life changing.  But I am far from perfect.  I do believe that I have become a kinder and more thoughtful person, but I still say things without thinking of other people's perspective. 

This year, I want to THINK.  I stole this from the interwebs:
As I move through the year, I just want to be more conscious of what I'm putting out into the world.  I want to try to make each situation better for having me as a part of it. 

I want to bring that type of consciousness into my diet as well.  I have no desire to deny myself completely.  I know myself well enough to know that wouldn't last very long anyway.  But I want to be conscious of it...I want to own my choices.

Instead of mindlessly popping some M&Ms into my mouth, I want to ask myself if it is worth it.  If I decide it is, then do it.  But if I will gain no satisfaction from it or if I would really prefer something else, then I want to make the decision not to eat it.  Peer pressure and boredom, neither are acceptable reasons. 

Today's food plan:

Breakfast:  Black coffee.  Chicken Apple Sausage (Still eh, but I need to finish it up.) Boiled egg.
Lunch:  Pork Loin & root vegetable hash (YUM!!)
Snack:  Apple & nut butter
Dinner:  Chicken Burger (I had this for the first time last night.  I got them at Whole Foods and they are delish!) with veggies stir fried in pecan oil.
Snack:  homemade roasted nuts

One last thing.  I think I'm getting my lungs back.  After being sick and not working out all of December, January workouts have been rough.  Last night Jazzercise was awesome!  I was able to do everything high impact, my body felt good, my lungs didn't struggle and my heart rate was up there.  It was fantastic.

Today I decided I needed my workout to be at lunch but I wanted to push beyond my normal "barely workouts" of walking or biking while I read.  Don't get me wrong, those workouts are better than nothing and keep me from going out to eat, but they don't REALLY work me too hard.  Today, I mixed it up. 
  • 2 rounds:
    • 6:00 walking uphill (3.5 incline) at 3.7 mph
    • 4:00 (:40 on, :20 off) sprints
  • 2 rounds:
    • 13 high knees
    • 12 butt kicks
    • 11 jumping jacks
    • 10 mountain climbers
    • 9 squats
    • 8 sit ups
    • 7 push ups
    • 6 squats
    • 5 sit ups
    • 4 push ups
    • 3 long squats
    • 2 sit ups
    • 1 inch worm
Next time, I will shoot for 3 rounds of the little circuit.  But I felt like I worked after and that felt good. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Body Fat Test

I got up Saturday morning and headed to a CrossFit box in a neighboring town.  I immediately saw the Body Fat Test van (it was smaller than I expected) in the parking lot, so I just parked and stood outside.  After a minute or two, a guy came from the building and stood with me.  He had just finished a workout and his was the appointment right before mine.  Shortly thereafter another guy came out and his was the appointment right after mine.

We all spoke briefly.  They were re-testing and both looked like "normal" CrossFitters with healthy body weights.  They were both very nice and seemed to have a similar attitude as the men I work out with at my box.  Before I knew it, I was up.

The guy doing the test introduced himself and asked me a few basic questions.  I was wearing my bathing suit under my sweats, so I just took of the sweats and was ready to go.  The only things in the van was a large metal tub, a metal counter with a computer and a curtained off area at the back to change, if needed. 

I was nervous, but I got into the tub which was warm enough, not a bath.  He instructed me to blow out all of my breath as I submerge myself and once all the bubbles are gone, he will take the measurement.  Then I can come up.  He said that air=fat on the test, so it is very important to get all of that air out.  So, I took a practice breath and then I went down.

Here is something I have learned about myself.  I'm not good at this.  I tend to reserve breath and not blow it all out.  So I ended up getting a nose full of water and had to come up before he got a measurement.  He said that he should have told me to hold my nose.  I tried again and that helped, but at that point, I think I just couldn't squelch my panic.  So, he ended up having me do it by keeping only my nose and mouth outside the water.  Even then I had a hard time blowing out all of my breath.  So bizarre and something I need to practice for next time. 

Anyway, he finally got a measurement that he felt was adequate.  I had a number in my head of where I hoped to measure.  I was .5% over that number.  I was disappointed, but in the end, it is what it is.  Now I know exactly where I am and what I need to do.  I think my biggest disappointment was that I am still off the chats.  For once in my life, I would like to be measurable. 

So, I think that is a very good goal.  In 60-90 days, I would like to be on the chart.  Honestly, I wasn't that far off, so with hard work I COULD be there in 30 days.  60-90 days to do this is beyond a reasonable goal. 

Two things I want to focus on:

1.  I'm still 80 pounds below where I started.  Assuming the same muscle mass (which I believe to be a generous assumption), my fat % used to be double what it is now.  So, that is a pretty amazing thing I have decrease my fat % by HALF and keep it off for years.

2.  This is not a race.  Whether it takes me 6 months or 6 years to reach my goal, the important part is to keep fighting for it.  Keeping that balance of living my life with moving toward that goal is what defines success for me. 

I have less than a week in my 30 day paleo challenge.  I had a few lapses this weekend.  I had some roasted nuts that had sugar in them.  I also had a tamale along with my carne asada last night.  But as of today, it has been 26 days since I have had any kind of cake, cookie or sugary dessert, artificial sweetener or dairy.  That is pretty damn amazing for me.

Today's meal plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee, chicken apple sausage (I heard this was AMAZING, but I thought it was only okay) and a boiled egg.
Lunch:  Hibachi chicken, Filet Mignon & scallops with veggies.  Probably got a little more oil and butter here than I should, but it was my best choice.  I did skip the soup, salad and rice.
Snack:  apple with nut butter, if needed
Dinner:  chicken burger with veggies
Snack:  homemade roasted nuts, if needed  (If I already ate the nut butter for a snack and I'm still hungry, I will have an egg.)


Friday, January 24, 2014


I'm excited today because tomorrow, I'm having a body fat test.  You know, one of those tests where you are submerged under water?  It is supposed to be the most accurate way to test your body fat percentage. 

I'm fully prepared for some not fun news.  There is no question that I'm medically overweight.  But it will tell me where I am exactly.  Over the next four months, I really want to focus on losing body fat...not necessarily weight, because I plan to put on more muscle.  In four months, I want to retest and determine if what I'm doing is working.

It only takes 10 minutes!  I can't weight (get it?) to tell you about it on Monday!  :-)


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Perfect is the enemy of good.

I heard the Voltaire quote "Perfect is the enemy of good" on my drive home last night and along with a lovely conversation I had with a fellow blogger yesterday, I got to thinking about that.  So often we strive for perfection and are dissatisfied with good or great performances because they weren't perfect.  In my quest to do this 30 Day Paleo challenge, I have read a lot of blogs and posts from people doing the same thing or even Whole 30 challenges which are even stricter.  It is inspiring to me to see what people can commit to doing and what they can actually do. 

When I point out my lapses or paleo "cheats", if you will, I am simply monitoring the deviations from my commitment.  What I can't do is allow perfect to be the enemy of good.  What I can't do is allow myself to quit because I had some wine or some beans.  And that isn't my intention in the slightest. 

In my brain, I will always be a fat girl.  And I will always have to pay attention to what and how much I eat.  That's okay.  Knowing that keeps me on top of it most of the time.  If I didn't, it would not take too long for me to be close to 300 pounds yet again.  So, it is all VERY worth it to me.

However, with my fat girl mentality comes an amazing ability to rationalize and justify bad behavior.  What I'm learning to do, and I think successfully, is to find the balance between expecting perfection and just chucking it all and living on doughnuts and Nutella. 

I have one more week plus one day of this challenge.  It is important to me to finish it strong.  To prove to myself that I am in control of my choices.  So that when I decide 2 months from now (or whenever) that I really want a piece of yummy bundt cake, that I can enjoy that sucker with no remorse.  I will never be perfect, but I will be good.  I have come a very long way.

CrossFit happened this morning. It was cold, but not as cold as it is supposed to be in the morning, so I crawled out of bed.  We worked on muscle ups this morning, which I can't do so I worked on my pull ups.  Muscle up: 
Then we worked out.  Five rounds of 10 lunges (holding a weight plate overhead), 10 box jumps, 10 sit ups, and 2 rope climbs (or 4 scaled rope climbs), resting after each round.  Once finished, I was glad to be done and ready to go, but the trainer decided we needed some dessert.  So we did 3:00 of planks and 20 push ups.  I have to admit that it was some good extra ab work!  Hopefully when I go back on Monday it will warm up a bit.  I have apparently officially become a southerner.
Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee.  Frittata.
Lunch:  Sweet potatoes with duck confit and spicy broccoli covered with an over-medium fried egg.  One of my favorite meals and one of my favorite restaurants!
Dinner:  Going out for dinner as well, so some kind of meat with veggies or sweet potato depending on what is available.  I will abstain from alcohol.  This time.  :)
I have noticed this week that I don't seem to need my afternoon snack.  I haven't been eating more for breakfast or lunch, I don't think.  But I seem to be full or satisfied anyway for longer.  That is a definitely plus!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hump day!

Good morning!  It is Day #21 of my Paleo Challenge.  As I sit here sipping my black coffee that I don't hate anymore, but don't love either, I was thinking about the last three weeks.  There have been just a few lapses:

1. The infamous night with 2.5 glasses of wine.
2.  I had legumes on two occasions.
3.  The night of the wine, I ate from a buffet, so I'm not certain everything was compliant.
4.  Two days when I was waiting for my band to be loosened, I ate full liquids which obviously weren't compliant.
5.  Last night I had corn because it was part of the mixed vegetables I got with my steak.

First of all, 5 deviations from a very strict meal plan over the course of 20 days/60 meals is not bad at all.  In fact, at 92% that is still an A.  Second, of the 5 items in the list, the only one that bothers me even a little is the wine and that is only because I could have and should have stopped at one glass.  But really...I don't care that much.  I'm proud.  In fact, I'm proud of a lot:

1.  The night with the wine and buffet, I selected meats, veggies and fruit and passed up delicious bread, cake, pasta and more.  That is a big deal for a foodie and I did it with very little fanfare.
2.  Every time I have gone out to a meal, I have selected something compliant and for the most part, haven't felt cheated.  I will say that having a best friend that eats gluten free has helped tremendously.
3.  I have made time on the weekends to prep my food for the week which makes my daily choices so much easier.
4.  I have been drinking black coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day.  I did make some strawberry water for home to have something a little different at night, but other than the fruit, there is nothing else in it.  This is a big change from my creamed up and sweetened coffee and diet peach tea all evening long with a soda mid-day. 
5.  I ate a paleo compliant bowl from Chip0tle.  I LOVE that place.  It is the place that helped me put on the last 30 pounds before my weight loss surgery.  To make a bowl compliant, I had to remove my favorite things:  rice, sour cream, cheese, corn salsa & the tortilla chips. Insane.  But I did it.

So there are 5 major things I have done that offset the 5 lapses.  This is by far the best I have done and the longest I have been compliant with this type of meal plan.  However, in another week or two, I will need to evaluate if it has been effective.

I don't think there is any doubt that I'm doing my body good.  I'm eating a balanced diet (low carb, but they are definitely there), the foods for the most part are natural and not processed, and I'm limiting sugars.  All very good.

Additionally, I've noticed good things with my skin.  Where there were little bumps before, almost rash-like, there are none.  I seem to be sleeping more soundly.  And there is no question that I have lost the bloated feeling. 

My biggest disappointment (?), frustration maybe, is that despite my diligent compliance, my weight is the same as it was two weeks ago.  I think I have mentioned before, that I do not get too upset about daily fluctuations or lack thereof.  However, after two weeks of the same, it does get frustrating.  And unfortunately, I only took my measurements last week (I definitely should have done that day 1), so I won't be able to see much change there yet. 

So without tangible evidence of weight loss, I continue on.  I will absolutely do this through the end of the month.  If I were at or close to my goal weight, I could do a slightly modified version of this indefinitely.  But I'm not.  I don't want this to seem like I'm really fretting.  I'm just contemplating.  I'm glad I committed to a month because I shouldn't change what I'm doing right now.  I need more time to see results.  I did notice (or I felt like I noticed) that my workout pants are getting looser.  These kinds of things are as happy making (maybe more so) as scale movement.  They just aren't as clear and tangible, so I have to pay attention.

No CrossFit this morning.  I went out to dinner last night with BFF and a couple of our friends.  I had a carne asada steak with veggies on the side.  Oh wait...I did do a shot of coffee liqueur last night after dinner because they were free.  Oops...6 lapses.  Ha!  Still fine.  Anyway, BFF & I drove together, so we carpooled to work this morning.  I plan to do some hill walking at lunch.

As for my anxiety, it has faded.  I think I identified what my real issue was and I was able to put it in perspective.  I'm truly blessed that I don't suffer from day-to-day anxiety or depression and I have a lot of sympathy for those who do.  That is just tough. 

I did get a nice treat this morning.  At noon, I have an appointment on my calendar that says "good things will happen to you on this date."  Ha!  I don't know if I had a fortune a while back that said that or what, but it did make me smile. 

Today's meal plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee.  Frittata.
Lunch:  Shepherd's Pie (yum!)
Snack:  Turkey and boiled egg.  I will say the last two days, I have not needed a snack.  Breakfast has kept me full until a late lunch and lunch has kept me full until dinner.  This has been a great benefit.
Dinner:  Chicken sausage and mixed vegetables.
Snack:  Some homemade honey roasted pecans.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Day

For some reason last night I felt really anxious and self-critical.  I don't really have any reason for that, but nevertheless, the feeling would not go away.  I had a hard time falling asleep and even woke up through the night with these feelings.  I hope it is some hormonal thing that will fade, because it sure isn't enjoyble. 

Yesterday was a great paleo day.  The Shepherd's Pie was even better heated up.  I didn't even need the avocado on it.  YUM!

I made it to CrossFit this morning even though I was tired from not being able to sleep.  I think the exercise helps with the anxiousness, so that's good.  After warming up:

A. 6 rounds: 1 snatch deadlift with two shrugs.  115#  My shoulders will be feeling this later!  It is basically these two moves combined.
B.  6x6 Snatch High pulls  85#  6 is a big number sometimes.  :-)

C. We ended with 6 rounds of 3 strict pulls ups.  I have to use elastic bands to assist, but I am seeing progress.

Today's meal plan:

Breakfast:  Black coffee.  Still not a fan, but it is getting a bit more tolerable.  Leftover frittata with salsa.
Lunch:  Leftover paleo shepherd's pie.  If you are interested, follow the link above to get the recipe.  This is one of my favorite things so far.
Snack:  Boiled egg & turkey. 
Dinner:  We are going out for Mexican.  So either fajitas with no cheese, sour cream, or tortillas.  Or maybe carne asada with veggies. 

I doubt I will need a snack after that.  Looking for another good day!


Monday, January 20, 2014's Monday again.

This morning I got up for CrossFit and started to get ready.  But I decided that I just didn't want to go and crawled back into bed.  But then I laid there feeling guilty and hating myself.  So I got up and hurried to get ready but when I was walking out the door, I saw that it was 6:15am.  Class starts at 6:00am and is 15 minutes away.  Sigh.  So I crawled back into bed so annoyed with myself.

Then I woke up.  Yep, it was all a very realistic dream.  I didn't know whether I was relieved that I could go to CrossFit or disappointed that I had to get up and go.  Ha!

Monday is my weigh in day.  After a week of super compliance with paleo (only non-compliant thing was the wine on Monday), I gained 1.8 pounds.  Sigh.  I shall forge ahead.  I promised myself 30 days no matter what, so I shall continue and not dwell on it.  I do feel good so it is what it is.

CrossFit was actually pretty great and intense today.  After warming up:

A.  10:00 OTM (on the minute) 2 Power Cleans at 80% of my one rep max.  We just found our one rep max last week which was 125# for me, so I used 100#.  It was heavy but doable and got easier the more I warmed up.

B.  5:00 OTM 1 Power Clean & Jerk at 85% of my one rep max.  So I added 5# to be at 105#.  This was tougher.  Even though you only did each move once, jerking it up over my head was really hard.  I think I was really doing more of a push press, but I got it up there.

C.  As if that wasn't enough, we finished with 10:00 of burpees.  We did get to pause from the burpees every 1:30 to do 30 double unders or in my case, lateral hops (jumping side to side).  So, I would break from burpees, by jumping up and down.  Yeesh.  It was a long 10 minutes.

But I did it! 

Today's meal plan:

Breakfast:  Black Coffee.  Leftover frittata.  I made a big oven baked frittata over the weekend with sausage, kale and parsley.  It is pretty good although I think I cooked it a scosh to long.  I topped it wish some salsa.

Lunch:  Paleo Shepherd's Pie.  I made this weekend and it is delicious!  It is ground beef and chorizo combined with some onion, adobo sauce and some spices to make a meatloaf.  Then I topped it with a sweet potato and cauliflower puree.  Yum!

Snack:  Turkey breast and a boiled egg.

Dinner:  Leftover chicken and veggies.  My chicken is from last weekend so I hope it is still good!

Snack:  If I need it I can have a serving of the homemade honey roasted pecans I made over the weekend.  I'm not a huge fan of honey, so there is no danger that I will OD on them.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Goods and Bads

Good morning, all!  I'm feeling super good today.  I don't know whether it is the Paleo, the CrossFit, the fact that it is Friday or all of the above, but I feel good!

I have one negative thing to touch on briefly.  Today for the third day in a row, I am up on the scale.  Today it was almost a whole pound.  It is possible that Monday (wine) and Tuesday (big meals) are catching up to me.  It is also possible that the big muscle work from yesterday is keeping that water in tight.  I hope that's it.  I talked to my CrossFit trainer and Paleo aficionado and she said to limit the fruit and nuts.  It is a good suggestion, but yesterday I only had one serving of each, so I can't imagine I'm overdoing it.  I promised myself I would give 30 days no matter what, so we will see how the weekend plays out.  Yesterday, I ate exactly what was on my meal plan.  I cannot believe that I'm doing the wrong thing, so I will press on.  Enough of that!

CrossFit was fun today, as usual.  After the warm up, we worked on handstands and handstand push ups.  I'm proud to say that I can kick up into a handstand against the wall and in fact, now I can do it with a lot of control.  I can even hover away from the wall for a bit.  However, when I try to lower my head to the ground, I'm still too heavy and I crash down on my head.  Talk about a headache!  So while I work on getting lighter and strengthening my shoulders, I will work on that control.

Our WOD (workout of the day) was 30-20-10 Overhead Squats and Pull ups.  Here is an example of an overhead squat:

These are hard because you leave the barbell above your head the whole time and you have to use a lot of balance.  I wasn't able to do 30 unbroken, but I think I did them 15/8/7, then the 20 set 10/5/5 and then 10.  I can't do pull ups, so I substituted ring rows:

I used 55# on the barbell and finished in 8:38.  Everything is already feeling it!  I'm sure I will be sore tomorrow.

Tonight is my middle godson's birthday party and he wanted a fish for a gift.  So after work, I'm going to go buy a fish.  I hope the people at the pet store can point me to a good starter fish, because I know nothing!

Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  Black coffee.  (still sucks) Sausage and egg scramble.
Lunch:  Going out, so I will have to play by ear.  Hoping to steer us to a BBQ place or something like that.
Snack:  hard boiled egg & chicken
Dinner:  Chicken and veggies.

Hopefully by Monday, I will be over this little hump.  It is going to be a good weekend regardless!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ten Things Thursday

It has been a long while since I have done a Laura Belle patented TTT.  Here we go!

1.  Went to CrossFit this morning.  I was winded with the warm up.  I really hate getting out of shape!  Got my personal record in the Power Clean this morning, so that was super awesome.  Here is a Power Clean:
My PR was 125#.  I think maybe if I would have pushed myself, I could have done a little more, but we were short on the light plates and I didn't want to aggravate my back.  I believe it is 20# more than I have ever done so I'm quite pleased.  Afterward, we did a 5:00 AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of Power Clean & Jerks:

I lifted 75# for 26 reps in the 5:00.  I wish I could have gotten more in, but that was my best.  Great workout!

2.  Today represents two full weeks of successful Paleo!!  Yay for me!  I'm slightly concerned that the scale has gone up two days in a row.  I don't usually get too upset about day-to-day fluctuations as long as down is the overall trend.  Just keeping an eye on it.

3.  I am trying black coffee today.  It is flavored coffee, but still black.  I don't like it.  But I don't really like the hot tea either, so I might as well work on liking the black coffee.  Maybe if I drink it everyday for two weeks, I will be able to drink it with just a dash of cream and no sweetener.  One can dream!

4.  My shower caddy bag was not as waterproof, or rather soap proof as I thought.  My liquid soap came open and it was so bad I had to throw the bag away.  Guess I will be looking for a new shower caddy today!

5.  I have a new adopted soldier.  My last one got to go home.  YAY for him!!  I tried to send a package to the new one but doesn't like his address so I will have to go to the post office.  Silly  I emailed them and they are supposed to email back within 24 hours.  We shall see.  If I don't hear from them, I will go to the post office.  The dude is in Afghanistan in what I imagine to be god-awful conditions, I at the very least can make myself brave the joyous folks at the USPS.

6.  This weekend I'm making Paleo Shepherd's Pie.  It is basically a meatloaf with a sweet potato/cauliflower topping.  Hopefully it turns out okay.  I will keep you posted.

7.  I'm wearing my new earrings.  They are Stella & Dot and I LOVE them!  You can kind of see them here:

8.  Looking at this photo, I have some bags under my eyes, but I can definitely see more definition in my face.  With the weight gain, I was getting round in the face.  Nice to see that fading a bit.

9.  My goal for the weekend is to get my bedroom organized a little bit.  When my parents were here, they helped me rearrange my furniture and I never really got things put back together.  On Saturday, I would really like to get everything put away in its place so next weekend I can start digging into my organization project a little.

10.  Today's food plan:
  • Breakfast - Black coffee!  Breakfast sausage & eggbeater scramble.
  • Lunch - Baked sweet potato, leftover chicken & veggies.
  • Snack - Boiled egg, apple or pear & almond butter
  • Dinner - Mustard Balsamic Chicken & veggies.  Have some mixed fruit for dessert if I want it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It was worth it.

I felt no bueno yesterday.  Hungover apparently.  Geeze.  Anyway, I went to my monthly girls dinner last night and we had a blast as always.  This particular restaurant has a menu that is paleo inspired and the food is just amazing. 

I usually make my own bowl combination with sweet potato hash, brisket, mushrooms and put a fried egg on top.  I decided to change it up and have a suggested combination of sweet potato hash, duck confit, spicy broccoli with bacon topped with an over-medium fried egg.  It is my new favorite!!  I hate the whole thing!  We also had dessert with a paleo compliant flourless chocolate cake.  OMG.  It was amazing!!

For you BOOBs out there, you can spy miss Debi in there too!  Now, I ate so much yesterday that even though I was compliant, it was still not good.  I couldn't eat like that every day.  But it was totally worth it! 

I watched the IU game last night when I got home.  I expected it to be a quick watch because they were playing an undefeated team ranked third in the nation.  But the game was so close, that I ended up watching it all.  In fact, they WON!!  Then I couldn't sleep!  So I'm still tired today, but I'm feeling good anyway.

I tried reading on my phone while on the treadmill yesterday and I managed, but it was difficult.  So today I brought my iPad and I'm going to try that.  The reading makes the time go faster, so I want to make it work.  Plus it gives me good reading time which I don't often have.

Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  White & Green fusion tea.  (Eh.)  Breakfast sausage and egg beater scramble.
Lunch:  Leftover Char Sui Pork with vegetables.
Snack:  Boiled egg, grapes, mixed nuts combo.
Dinner:  Mustard balsamic crock pot chicken with veggies.  I have some mixed fruit for dessert.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's Go Mavs!

Good morning!  I'm dragging quite a bit.  My one glass of wine treat last night at the Mavericks game turned into three glasses and apparently when you have been eating well, the next day that feels like shots.  Yeesh.  So, that is my confession, close to three glasses of wine. BUT, I made very good food choices...chicken, prime rib, roasted veggies and fresh fruit.  No bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no dessert. 

I felt good about my decisions but was concerned that the scale wouldn't feel the same this morning.  However, I was down 4 tenths from yesterday, so it appears no harm done.  But we had so much fun!  Sitting court side and mingling with the VIPs is such a fun thing once in a while.  We were sitting next to one of the part owners of the team and BFF got to try on his championship ring.  Too cool!  We ate dinner with and then sat a few seats down from M00SE Johnston.  He is a former Cowboy and current FOX commentator.  I spoke with him very briefly but he seems like a nice guy.  I also got to give a little shout to a former IU player that now plays for the Magic and got a smile.  Good times!

But now it is back to reality!!  I have a lot to do at work today but I'm going to make myself stop for lunch and work out.  Then tonight is my monthly girls dinner and we are going to a restaurant that has a mostly paleo menu, so that will be awesome!

Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  Peppermint tea (18 days to coffee!).  Egg beaters and breakfast sausage.
Lunch:  Leftover Char Sui Pork & veggies.
Snack:  Grapes and mixed nuts.
Dinner:  Not sure yet.  I would like to try something new, but I usually get the same dish...sweet potatoes, brisket and mushrooms with a fried egg topper.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Recap

I hope everyone is having a delightful Monday!

We saw American Hustle on Friday night.  I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I did Silver Linings Playbook last year.  The costumes and such were fantastic and Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job!

Saturday I spent the day cooking.  At least it felt like it.  I realized that the recipe I had chosen required me to cook a whole other recipe first.  The Char Sui Pork was delicious, but the fried "rice" was just okay.  I think it will take a while for me to get used to cauliflower as rice.  But I did it.  Plus on Saturday the Saints and the Colts both lost.  So BFF and I are sad.  But the Hoosiers won, so that was good. 

Sunday I watched more football and finally took down my Christmas decorations.  My goal for the first 6 months of 2014 is to organize my household a bit.  I want to purge some things.  My thought process will be to pretend I'm moving in July (I'm not) and prepare for that.  Let's see if it works.

Saturday at Jazzercise I tweaked my back a little bit.  Nothing big, but I didn't go to CrossFit this morning because I figured lifting weights over my head would only exacerbate it.  So I'm taking today off and I will be back to working out tomorrow.  Not CrossFit though because we are sitting court side at the Mavericks tonight (aren't I so fancy?) so I will be out late.

My official weight loss for this week was 3.4 pounds.  Nice!  I know it will slow down some now, but it certainly would be awesome to lose a couple pounds this next week.  My success so far certainly motivates me to keep going.

Today's food plan:

Breakfast:  Eggbeaters with breakfast sausage.
Lunch:  Leftover char sui pork with mixed veggies.
Snack:  Grapes and a hard boiled egg.
Dinner:  I'm eating at the VIP buffet at the game (I told you I was fancy.  Ha!) so I will just have to do my best.  My goal is to stick to the meat and veggies and avoid the dessert table.  I kept telling myself that if I was good over the weekend, I would allow myself a glass of wine or bourbon tonight.

I'm very eager to get into my smaller clothes.  I'm at the point now where my current clothes are just fitting better (i.e. the way they are supposed to fit) so I need to lose another 10 pounds or so to start getting into the smaller stuff.  I'm getting there though!


Friday, January 10, 2014

40 By 40 Challenge Check In

Today was my 7th check in for the year.  Four of the months I have lost weight and three of the months I have gained.  No bueno.  But I'm not going to dwell on it because this month ended great!

Loss Goal: 40
December Loss:  3.4
Total Loss:  11.6
Left to Lose: 28.4

I had gained a ridiculous amount of weight during the holidays.  When I weighed on 01/02, I was NOT feeling good about myself.  But I started my Whole30 preservatives, no grains, no sugar, no sweetner, no dairy, no alcohol.  Since then, not only have I lost my holiday bloat, I lost a couple pounds beyond that.  Now the REAL work begins!!

My plan is stick to the Whole30 for the full 30 days which ends 1/31.  After that, I will evaluate what I want to do.  I know I want to stay Paleo, but I think I want to add back in dairy in moderation.  I'm still going to really try hard to limit sugar and sugar substitute.

I went to CrossFit this morning.  After warming up, I did 5 sets of 10 Deadlifts at 115#.  That was kind of low but I'm just getting back into it and I was feeling it plenty.  Then using two heavy duty elastic bands, I did 4 sets of 3 strict pull ups and then 1 set of 2.  I'm terrible at strict pull ups because I'm still a VERY heavy person and you can't use momentum.  My goal has always been to be able to do just one kipping (using momentum) pull up unassisted.  I know I have to lose at least another 20 pounds to even come close.  But it is the goal!

After that, we finished with tabata wall balls.  Tabata means :20 on, then :10 off eight times which is four minutes.  Wall balls are when you squat with a medicine ball (mine was 10# which again was on the low side) and then throw it up against the wall above you.  They are crazy and it was a lot of work.  But I felt great when it was done!!

Today's food plan:

Breakfast:  Peppermint tea. (Man, I miss my coffee.)  Egg beaters with chopped roast beef and salsa.
Lunch:  We are going to Saltgrass Steakhouse so I think I will get the 1/2 rack of ribs sans BBQ sauce and a sweet potato.
Snack:  mixed nuts if I need them
Dinner:  We are going to the movies tonight so I want to be full before I popcorn!  We are going to Joe's, so I think I will get a steampot sans potatoes and corn.

Tomorrow I'm getting up and going to Jazzercise with BFF, but the rest of the weekend is basically football and food prep.  :)

You know, before I wrap up I have two things.  One...I got my labs back and other than a very slight elavation in my cholesterol (no danger at all), everything was just perfect.  Two...the key to doing this Whole30 and I think Paleo in general is food prep.  The food you can have is DELICIOUS and you can eat as much as you need to be satisfied.  But if it isn't prepped, it is so hard to get it done.  If you can prep, this nutrion plan is excellent.  I also want to say that I obviously don't follow it 100% because I take shortcuts that include preservatives.  Like the egg beaters and salsa I'm eating right now.  But I do the best I can and I think the results are showing!  YAY!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

One week down, baby!

I did it!!  I went an entire week eating as healthily as possible.  No cream for my coffee (never actually cut that out before.  And actually I have cut out the coffe because it wasn't worth it to me without cream and sweetener), no artificial sweetener (which basically took me to no caffeine), no grains, no alcohol...just meats, veggies, and healthy fats.  There were a couple of times out of necessity I had to be flexible, but I only flexed when I HAD to and not when I WANTED to, so I am proud.

I snuck a peak at the scale and I'm quite pleased.  Tomorrow is my weigh in day for my 40 by 40 Challenge, so I will check in with my weight then.  I squandered a lot of time in this challenge, so I have 5 months left.  I want to give it my all so I can wear something smashing for my 40th birthday!

My workout for today will be at lunch.  I think I will walk some hills and work the booty some.

Today's meal plan:

Breakfast:  Peppermint tea.  Egg beaters wrapped in roast beef.

Lunch:  One zucchini boat.  And then I'm going to chop up a boiled egg, avocado and some zucchini for a little salad.

Snack:  Boiled egg, cucumber and mixed nuts.

Dinner:  Some leftover stuffing from the zucchini boats with leftover mixed vegetables from last night's dinner.

I have gotten several good lunch ideas from people and I have a good list going.  Keep the ideas coming! 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Doc says I'm all good.

Good morning!  Yesterday was great.  Worked out in the morning and then a little at lunch.  Followed my food plan.  When I got home last night, the chicken I was going to cook had gone bad so I subbed burger patties.  I grilled 4 little slider burgers and mixed them in with my leftover vegetables from yesterday.  Delish!

After CrossFit, I went to the doctor this morning.  CrossFit was great...a little more cardio than I have been doing.  We did loads of pistols, so my glutes are going to be feeling it tomorrow!  Doctor visit was fantastic!  Vitals all good and I had lost 6 pounds since I was there sick on New Years Eve.  I do think I wore my shoes that day, but whatevs.  That holiday bloat is GONE!  That is 100% due to my nutritional changes.  I'm looking forward to see what my labs have to say.

Today's food plan:

Breakfast:  Peppermint tea.  Egg beaters wrapped in ham.

Lunch:  Zucchini boats.  Have veggies if I need to supplement.

Snack:  Apple with raw almond butter.

Dinner:  Burger patties and veggies.

I'm trying to think up something easy and delicious for next week's lunches.  These zucchini boats are going to be hard to beat.  I might make a pork loin and have pork tacos (wrapped in lettuce.)  We will see.  Let me know if you know of something I should try!

Oh, another thing.  I have been so exhausted the last few months.  Part of it the last month was that I was sick, but even before I was sleeping 9 hours a night and still very sluggish.  I went to be about 9:30 last night and woke up at 4am ready to go!  My body is definitely responding well.  I just have to stick with it.

One day at a time.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Let's see how today goes!

I'm very proud of myself for yesterday.  I went to the doctor to get my unfil.  .4 cc's to be exact which is a huge amount for me, but yet I still felt very tight.  I'm sure there was a lot of swelling.  For lunch I ate some cream of broccoli soup to help let it heal.  For dinner, I tried to eat some roast beef, but couldn't, so I just ate the mixed veggies.

The reason I am so proud is that I didn't comfort myself with junk.  It is a big deal for me to stay focused and I did it.

Last night I went to Jazzercise.  I knew I wanted to wake up for CrossFit this morning, but I also knew it was going to be cold again.  So I jacked up my heater by 3 degrees so it wouldn't be so cold in the apartment when I woke up.  It worked!  I actually made it there this morning and I'm so glad I did.

Food plan:

Coffee substitute:  Peppermint herbal tea.  This seems to be my favorite and it is good for me to drink something hot before eating in the morning.
Breakfast: Egg beaters wrapped in ham.  (Eating these now and all seems to be well. I just have to take it slow.)
Lunch:  Zucchini boats.  (hollowed out zucchini stuffed with taco chicken and baked) topped with avocado
Snack:  Apple with raw almond butter.  I haven't needed a snack yet so I still haven't tried this.
Dinner:  Slider burger patties with mixed vegetables.

Even though I worked out this morning, I told my friend I would work out with her at lunch so I think I will take it easy and ride the bike while I read my book.

Also, I think that I'm used to not having caffeine and I actually feel better.  I still don't think that I will be able to give it up for good, but it is good to know.

So far, so good.  One day at a time!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekend Good & Bad

Bad - after two fantastic Paleo days (Thursday and Friday), I was not Paleo over the weekend.

Worse - that was because I got stuck on something on Friday and wasn't able to eat solid foods.  It is pretty near impossible to be paleo when you can't eat. 

Good - I still got up for Jazzercise on Saturday morning even thought I knew I wouldn't be able to eat all day.

Better - I didn't use it as an excuse to eat badly.  I so wanted to get ice cream and Starbucks, but I didn't.  Saturday, I had two smoothies and Sunday I had broccoli cheddar soup for lunch and some really mushy braised cabbage for dinner.  No coffee, no ice cream, no chocolate, no pudding.  I did however end up eating tortilla chips, but of the choices of things I could eat, that was about the best.

It is beyond frustrating to me that it is so easy to eat "bad for you" things, but healthy things like meat and veggie/fruit skin is so hard to eat (with a Lap Band.)  I realized that I had gotten into a habit of eating a small amount of very bad for you things.  I wasn't gaining weight because I didn't eat much of it, but I wasn't losing because I was eating crap. 

Once I tried to eat the healthy stuff, my band shut me down.  I'm leaving shortly to get an unfill.  I'm having peppermint hot tea instead of coffee this morning and I WON'T get my traditional post Lap Band adjustment Starbucks.   

I will see how I feel after the adjustment.  It is possible that I will need to eat cream soup at lunch to give myself a little time to feel better.  Hopefully by the evening, I can have my grilled chicken and veggies.  After no real food for a couple days, it sounds delicious!!  For lunches the rest of the week, I have made zucchini boats stuffed with taco chicken (slow cooked chicken thighs with rotel) and I have avocados to put on them after they are heated up.  Should be delish!

It was 18 degrees here when I got up which is a lot warmer than up north, but with the cold and a couple of days of no eating, there was no way I was getting up for CrossFit.  I do plan to go to Jazzercise tonight though.  CrossFit will happen tomorrow!

The best news of all is that I have lost all of my holiday bloat and even a little more.  During the Christmas holidays, I gained 3.2 pounds.  Since starting this challenge on Thursday, I have lost 4 pounds.  I plan to have a very good week and I can't wait to see how I do by Friday.  My goal is to lose another 2 pounds by then.  But as long as I do what I'm supposed to do, I will be satisfied.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Appreciate Yesterday, Focus on Today

I did it!  I did one full day of Paleo without "cheating".  It's a big deal, folks.  I told you yesterday that my breakfast scramble was good.  Lunch was tasty as well, however, I think I got stuck on the meatballs or the skin of the veggies.  Paleo is tricky with a lap band, but I'm going to keep at it. 

I really wanted some coffee at lunch, but I knew I wouldn't drink it black so I had some hot peach ginger tea.  It was okay.  Dinner was awesome!  I actually used the George Foreman grill I have had for eons (mostly used to grill cheese sandwiches and hot dogs) to grill a chicken thigh.  I just sprinkled it with some salt and pepper and that sucker was done in 5 minutes.  Sweet!  Do you have one of these grills?  What do you make on it?  That was fast and I need some new ideas.  I also had some leftover braised cabbage from New Year's.  I could seriously eat the whole pan of that stuff.

So, one day in the books.  No stretching the rules, no cheating, just doing it.  I can do it.  Here is today's plan:

Breakfast:  drinking some hot peppermint tea now.  It isn't coffee, but it does help for me to drink something warm in the morning, especially if I haven't worked out.  When I get hungry, I will have my leftover black-eyed peas from New Year's that I didn't need yesterday.  It is a Paleo cheat, but they are good for me and I'm not going to fret about it.

Lunch:  same as yesterday.  Meatballs with cucumbers & green peppers with Paleo creamy Italian dressing. 

Snack:  I didn't need a snack yesterday but that was mostly because I felt a little stuck.  I have an apple with raw almond butter if I need it.

Dinner:  same as yesterday.  Grilled chicken thigh and braised cabbage.

I didn't get up for CrossFit today for many reasons, but I will ellipticize at lunch.  Plus, I plan to Jazzercise tomorrow morning.

Oh...good news!  I got on the scale this morning and 2 pounds of the bloat were gone.  My goal for the weekend is to keep it off.  I have a terrible tendency to eat badly on the weekends and bloat on Monday morning.  My only goal is to not gain anything Friday-Sunday.  It is reasonable, now I just have to do it.

Saturday is a busy day, so I should stay on track.  I do have a party Saturday night and I will eat whatever the hostess provides, just no alcohol or desserts.  Sunday, I plan to cook for next week.

Hope you all are having a nice start to the new year!!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014...Let's do this.

2013 was a good year.  I lost 3.8 pounds in total which is the right direction.  I had some fun vacations and spent time with family and friends.  Work was busy but productive and I continue to love my company and my job.  All in all, I'm happy and satisfied!

2014 is going to bring a lot of things, I think.  I was sick a lot of 2013...more than I have been in a long time, so I want to take some time and focus on my health.  I work out A LOT!  But I continue to eat like crap.  My New Year's Resolution is to eat Paleo style for 30 days to detox myself and then reevaluate after that time to determine what to do next.

Today's menu:

Breakfast:  Egg, ham & salsa scramble

Lunch:  Meatballs with cucumbers & green peppers with a Paleo friendly creamy Italian style dressing.  I also have my leftover black-eyed peas from yesterday that are not paleo, but everything else in the dish is (ghee, ham & onion), so I'm eating them anyway.  I refuse to believe that this is an horrific cheating event.  Hmmm...hope that isn't a sign of my bigger problem.  Stay tuned.

Snack:  Apple with a bit of raw almond butter.  If I need a second snack, 1/4 c mixed nuts.

Dinner:  Grilled chicken and leftover braised cabbage from yesterday.  The cabbage was super yummy and I think it will be good leftover.

I actually didn't get home from the store with the roast beef and ham that I thought I bought.  I didn't realize it until I was planning out my meals last night before bed.  I subbed the meatballs for the roast beef because I had them in the freezer.  Then when I got to work, I bought some ham from the restaurant from the lobby of my office building.  It was expensive ham, so I can't be doing that a lot!!  I'm proud of myself for being flexible and hope that continues.

The only thing I have eaten so far was the breakfast scramble and it was delicious.  I usually eat cheese with it...heck, on I have to get used to that, but it was still good.  I didn't even have coffee this morning!!  I credit going back to CrossFit for being able to get through no coffee.

I had been sick all of December and hadn't had a good workout since Thanksgiving.  It wasn't even particularly tough today, but my lungs felt like they were going to come right out of my mouth.  It was not pleasant.  But I did it and I didn't die, so tomorrow will be a little easier. 

I have been a sh*t-tastic blogger lately, so let's see if I can do better this year!