Tuesday, December 15, 2015

5 Stages

You know that old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" That's been me the past few weeks. Here is a quick timeline:

  • August - I started getting vertigo. I (and the doctor) thought it was related to tight neck muscles.
  • Mid-September - the headaches started. Again, the doctor thought it was muscle tension. It gave me a whole new appreciation for chronic headache sufferers. Honestly, it was a horrible time.
  • October 7 - I finally had my Lap Band checked and it had slipped. They immediately took out all the fluid. The headaches and vertigo went away within 24 hours. However within a few days, my old nemesis, GERD, made an explosive appearance.
  • October 14 - I went to a doctor that specialized in bariatric and abdominal surgeries. My GERD was eating me alive and my pre-band hunger had returned. I had forgotten how overwhelming that was. The doctor ordered an EGD along with some other testing.
  • November 16 - I had my follow up appointment with the doctor. My diagnosis:
    • Lap Band slip (no erosion, thank goodness!)
    • Hernia (that was new, I didn't have one when I got my band)
    • Loose esophageal sphincter. Wha?
The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster. I don't think I realized at the time, but once I found out I was losing my lap band, I started grieving. I'm not even remotely comparing the depth of emotion to that of losing a loved one. But I did go through the stages.


During the first couple months of issues, I didn't even want to contemplate that it was my band. Looking back, there were signs, but I didn't want to believe that was an issue. I did not want to face the consequences of what that might mean.

After finding out that my issues were indeed stemming from my band, my initial reaction internally was that it's fine. I changed my life enough that I didn't need it anymore. It's fine.

Those words? "It's fine." I do that a lot. I say "It's fine" until it is fine. Fake until you make it, right?


When the swelling went away after the fluid was taken out of my band, the hunger returned. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I forgot how painful it was. I've experienced normal hunger over the last several years. What I experienced before banding and now? Not normal. It is awful.

Pair that with the hellacious acid reflux that only really feels better when I'm physically eating? It is a recipe for disaster. Damn right I was angry. I had worked my ass off (almost literally!) for years now to get to and maintain a reasonable weight. I wasn't skinny, but I was strong, fit and healthy. I had eaten well, better than most people I know by a mile. I worked out A LOT! And my working out was hardcore. It is just crap that I work this hard to get this far and now I'm headed straight back to zero.


The website says that guilt is often bargainings companion. "If only." If only, if only, if only. If only I would have eaten differently. If only I had lost more weight. If only I was different. If only I didn't have this @#$%%^& reflux.


But I do. I do have this reflux and this hunger. And I have gained 5 pounds on the scale but I know that it is much more than that in reality. I've lost a lot of muscle and my clothes don't fit. I'm the biggest I have been since July 2010 and it makes me really f$#@king sad.


I'm a different person than I was six years ago. I remember when I first decided to have WLS. I was so sad, so anxious, so lonely inside. I'm not anymore. In fact, my life is awesome in every single way. Except for this. The doctor has told me that I can have a surgery that will take away my acid reflux, fix my hernia and help me lose weight in the process. They told me that weeks and weeks ago. But because that corrective surgery is called Gastric Bypass, I couldn't really accept it.

I can't honestly tell you if I would move forward with the surgery if it was only for weight loss. I would like to think I'm strong enough to ignore the societal judgements of it. Because honestly, that would be all that would hold me back.

But the fact is, the only way to avoid taking 80mg (yes 80!) of PPI per day is to have this surgically fixed. (For the record, all of that PPI plus a Pepcid at night when I go to bed, and I still have GERD symtoms. It is crazypants. I choke a lot, classic symptom. I feel butterflies in my chest, classic symptoms. Recently, it has felt like a caterpillar crawling up the back of my throat, that's a new one. And disgusting, I might add.) If I don't have this fixed, I'm almost certainly looking at cancer down the road. At a minimum, there will be long term effects from the PPI. So, to me it is a no brainer. It must and will be done.


I'm adding another stage. Now that I have accepted my future, I'm ready to move forward. Now I'm just waiting on insurance to make a decision. Honestly, I can't imagine how they wouldn't cover this. I have a bariatric exception with my insurance, but the treatment is actually for the reflux. Either way, we can't proceed until we hear from them. Tomorrow will be 30 days from the day I told the doctor's office to proceed. Sigh.

I'm leaving for the holidays on Thursday. I'm going to meet my parents and then go on a cruise with them and my brother's family. It is going to be so fun and I will not let a few extra pounds define me or my attitude. I can't wait!

It would be nice to have all of this done and scheduled so I could enjoy my holidays without it on my mind. But all things considered, it's no big deal. Things will happen when they happen. There is peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

I'm ready to feel better and face anything that life has to throw at me. One day at time.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I had forgotten...

For roughly the last five years, I have had to:
  • Work out consistently
  • Be prepared each week with healthy food
  • Focus on eating only when I'm hungry
Sometimes I had to be a little stricter than others, but it was doable. I found out during about a 6 month stretch in 2012/13, I couldn't just eat whatever, whenever without being prepared. That little experiment got me 20 pounds that I was never able to lose. But I did learn that I will always battle my weight, no matter what. But you know what? Many, many normal people out there have to work at it. I have accepted that and I'm actually cool with it.

Well, I was cool with it. Until a few weeks ago. In my last post, I expressed my happiness that the source of my headaches was found and sucessfully treated. I also mentioned my trepidation at what comes next. What I hadn't experienced yet, was what it really felt like to not have the assistance of my Lap Band anymore.

It took a few days for the swelling to subside. The cramping was gone, my headaches were gone. For a few days, I totally thought everything was roses. I had some acid reflux, but I was on over-the-counter PPIs, so I thought it would be fine. I had forgotten that I was on 80mg PPI (PER DAY!!) prior to being banded. It was one of the main reasons I had weight loss surgery. The weight loss itself was one too, but the acid reflux was a big deal.

I was lying in bed the other night trying to fall asleep when I started feeling something in my upper abdomen. For a minute I thought it had to do with my band. It was a familiar feeling, but I couldn't place it. It felt like there was a butterfly in my throat/stomach. It also at times felt like the butterfly's wings were on fire. It wasn't super painful, but it was unpleasant and there was no way I could fall asleep. I realized suddenly that it was the reflux. I had forgotten what that felt like!! I went from taking 1 pill per day to 4. FOUR pills a day and I can still feel it in the back of my throat every day. Not only is that no fun, it is dangerous.

The good news is that my pill popping is at least keeping the butterflies at bay. I have a scope scheduled for Thursday. Once I have my follow up about a week later, I will know what my options might be.

Once I got a handle on my reflux, I realized that I was still having an ache in my stomach. It was consistent in the mornings and got quite bad in the afternoons. I started really paying attention to the timing and realized that the ache went away after I ate. Holy crap, I was just hungry. I had forgotten what it was like being hungry without the assistance of my band.

I would argue that the first year after my weight loss surgery (possibly 18 months), I was less hungry than a "normal" person. But your body adjusts, and once my body adjusted to my band, I started getting hungry like anyone else. I could eat when I was hungry and be satisfied with a "normal" portion. I rarely finished what was on my plate, I lived on leftovers which was totally fine with me. Heck, it was cheaper too!

Boy...now I remember. Before I was banded, I used to joke when I was hungry that "I'm so hungry my stomach is eating itself." My friends and I will still say that to each other on occasion. But now I remember why it started.

It is a little disheartening, but honestly, I feel much better prepared to deal with these things now than I did 6 years ago. I'm stronger, I'm happier and I'm at peace. My two goals for the next two months is to work with my doctor to treat the reflux and to not gain weight.

Since the moment my sister-in-law and I walked into Olympic Park in London in 2012, I have been eagerly awaiting 2016. It is going to be an amazing year and I'm looking forward to Rio like you would not believe. I'm thankful I have this blog that I can put down a post like this and then get back to my amazing life that is not solely defined by these issues!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Good, Bad, & Ugly

Lots can change in a week. When last I checked in, I had just gotten a partial unfill of my band and was having horrible tension headaches.  Gradually over about 5 days after the unfill, my headaches faded. Turns out that the headaches were my body's way of screaming at me that there was something wrong.

The good news is that headaches are gone.

The bad news is that a heaping helping of acid reflux has taken their place. I will say, I can handle the reflux better than the headaches, so that's good. But long term, it is really bad for me, which brings me to...

The ugly news is that likely I will need to have my Lap Band removed. Not going to sugarcoat it, it sucks. I was unsuccessful for years in trying to lose weight and finally I found something that helped me enough that with diet and exercise, I could do it. I have kept off almost 70 pounds for years now. I do not regret this journey in any way, shape or form.

But now comes the big unknown. I will be meeting with a surgeon soon to first rule out any other possible issues and confirm that the problem is indeed, my band. Then comes the hard part, what to do next.

I'm not sure if it is coming across very well, but I'm actually in a wonderful mood. With the headaches gone, I feel like myself again. I'm bummed that I have to deal with the band issue and reflux, but I'm in a place in my life where I know that I can.

My ultimate goal is to be healthy and at peace in my life. Now I just have to determine the best course of action to make that happen long term.

I will keep you posted.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Quick Check In

Checking in to say that all is well in my Never-ending Questland. While it is true that the frustrations of the "never ending" part are high, it is also true that I remain steadfast in my belief that my life is awesome and if this is the worst I have to bear, then I'm truly lucky.

I've had a series of unfortunate things occur. (1.) When I ramped up my weight training, I developed shoulder tendinitis. (2.) As I was treating the tendinitis, I started having tension headaches. (3.) Monday night I got some sort of stomach bug and spent the entire night heaving and cramping. (4.) Yesterday it became clear that the stomach bug had caused a problem with my Lap Band.

Today I went and had a cc of fluid removed. It was weird because it was actually painful when they removed the fluid which has never happened to me before, even in emergency tight situations. I was uber swollen. But almost immediately I had relief, so hopefully the stomach issues will all be sorted in the next day or so.

My shoulder is most definitely healed.

Now I just have to figure out the headaches. A little of me is hoping that they will just go away. I have NEVER been a headache person so it is a bit frustrating. Why does one all of a sudden start getting tension headaches? I'm working with a chiropractor and sport massage therapist to see if that will help. I have another appointment with them tomorrow. My PCP has referred me to a pain management doctor but the appointment isn't until late November. That is a long time so I really hope the appointment ends up not being needed.

All that being said, things are really good. I'm enjoying the Rangers in the post season. We have been doing all sorts of fun stuff like was always do. Tonight we are going to a 90s band concert which should be fun! The weather should be nice and it is a great time to hang out outside in Texas.

My point of this post is to document for myself that I'm having a tough time focusing on weight loss (which is fine) but to make sure I don't go off the rails somewhere. I have had a rough (easy to feel sorry for myself) week and sometimes that can mean that I "deserve" a shit ton of carbs. I don't want to let that happen so I decided a reality check blog post would help.

Hope all is well with you out there!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WTF Wednesday

So, this is the third time I have started this post. The first time, I just quit. The second time I finished it but the blogosphere ate it somehow. Third times a charm?

I have been a bit frustrated. Since the beginning of August, I have been eating paleo and working out hard core. Even though I was feeling good, I was getting frustrated that I just seemed to be treading water as far as weight is concerned. So I went on vacation and used it as an excuse to behave poorly. It isn't like I went crazy, I just ate and drank what I wanted when I was hungry. I came back from vacation 5 pounds heavier. Le Sigh.

Back to the hamster wheel. I was happy that Facebook gave me a bit of a reality check though. Being frustrated that I'm treading water at this size beats the hell out of being frustrated at treading water at my former size. 

In addition to the 50 or so pounds that separate these times in my lives (the left picture is not at my heaviest and the right isn't at my lowest), there is also a significant difference in my strength and muscle tone. I may never be thin, but I can absolutely be healthy and strong. I know that this is a lifelong battle and my life will be full of resets. As annoying as it can get sometimes, it's okay. I have to believe that if I continue doing what is right, it is the best thing for my body whether or not the weight comes off.

I was telling BFF this weekend that if it wasn't for truly wanting to go hang gliding in Rio, I wouldn't even care as much. I'm learning to be happy with the body I have and working to make it strong.

I never thought I would get to the point that I didn't hate my body, but I'm actually getting there. I love that I can see muscle definition even if there is a little cushion around it. I have had two doctors lately tell me that it is obvious I work out a lot. That feels good!

However, no amount of body acceptance and love will overshadow that if I want to do this thing, I need to be lighter. The same would apply to anybody, it's not like anyone is picking on me. It is just how it is.

So, the bottom line is, how do I get that done? How do I stop losing and gaining the same 10 pounds as I have since late 2012 and actually break past it? I've tried positive rewards (like hang gliding) and negative consequences (like Diet Bet). I have tried Weight Watchers, Paleo, logging food, working out more, blah, blah, blah. What will it take for me to actually do it?

On another note, I have developed bicep tendonitis. That might also be a source of frustration. The one thing I'm good at controlling (working out) is limited. Yesterday I got up and went to CrossFit but instead of the WOD, I ran. It is dark in the mornings and it really isn't safe to run in my neighborhood, but my gym is in a really nice neighborhood with a hotel with a lot more activity in the morning. I was going to do the same today, but I didn't want to get out bed and convinced myself that I would run at lunch instead (which is fine.) Well...the work gym and locker rooms are closed. So...I have to really want it. I will have to change in our office bathroom, go outside in the heat and come back and get ready in the office bathroom. It isn't ideal, but that's what happens when you put stuff off. Tomorrow I will just get up and do what I should.

**Update** So I just went to go work out. I had to go back and forth to my office because I forgot my sunglasses, then my phone with the running app...all the things that I don't normally need to use downstairs, but need for outside running. The big bathroom stall was occupied, so I changed in the little one which is not easy, but damn it...I was running. When I was done, I went out to the sitting area where I left my bag to put on my sneakers and lo and behold...no sneakers. I just lost it. I absolutely couldn't contain the sobs. It might be the most defeated I have felt in a long time, but I dried my eyes, changed back into my work clothes and got myself together. *&$#^Q(*&^(*#!!!!!!!!! But shit happens. I will run tomorrow. **Update**

Some things I'm super happy about:

My Rangers are leading the division! Woohoo! Just a month ago, everyone had written them off. But here they are, not just fighting for a Wild Card spot, but for the pennant!! Plus we have tickets for the game tomorrow night and Saturday night. I can't wait!!
 We booked our tickets to Rio! We don't have return tickets yet, but one thing at a time. Ha! We were able to book first class to Miami then business class to Rio for an acceptable amount of miles. There was a strong chance that they were going to be charging more miles, but it didn't happen and I'm super excited. Crossing my fingers that next week will provide the same opportunity for the return flight!
 My mom has decided she is going to come for a visit next month. We always have fun when we are together, so I'm looking forward to it!
My life is really great. It seems like a weight problem should pale into comparison with everything else. Yet, it doesn't really feel that way. I just have to keep reminding myself that...



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dizzy as a Bee

Third day in a row at CrossFit this morning. Feeling strong, baby! Interestingly, I have been getting vertigo the last several days, weeks even maybe. But the last few days it has been particularly bad. I noticed it a lot when I turn over in bed and I get the spins. Or when I tilt my head to neti pot and get dizzy. There is no accompanying shortness of breath, nausea, or weakness...just vertigo.

I started doing some checking and apparently it can be caused by tight neck muscles. Who knew? It would make sense though because with the extra CF, my traps are rocks on top of my shoulders. I bought some essential oils a while back but hadn't used them. Last night I broke out the Panaway oil which is a mix of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove & peppermint.

I added some of the oil to some fractionated coconut oil (fyi, I don't know what fractionated means, I just know that this type of coconut oil is a liquid as opposed to the solid that I cook with...) in a roller bottle. I rubbed some on my muscles and massaged the best I could. I will do that each night and see if it helps.

Also, I scheduled a 30 minutes neck and shoulder massage tomorrow along with a 90 minute full body next week. I'm also planning to go to yoga tonight. I'm hoping that the combination of all things will make the vertigo go away.

Today's workout:
  • 40-30-20-10 Kettle bell Swings - I started with 35# and got through 30 but then switched to 25#. 100 is a lot! :)
  • 5-10-15-20 Handstand push ups. I tried to kick up in a handstand today which is normally no problem for me, but the vertigo just wouldn't allow it. I did my push ups off the side of the box today.
  • 8:00 EMOM (every minute on the minute) 1 high hang snatch + 1 hang snatch + 1 overhead squat. I used a 55# barbell and felt quite strong for this section of the workout.
I plan to take tomorrow off, but go back on Friday then Jazzercise on Saturday.

I still don't think this pic does my hair justice, but since I chopped it off, I wanted you to see.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Stronger

The CrossFit consistency is paying off. The scale still refuses to budge (except to go in the other direction. I'm actually up 2.5 pounds from the beginning of the month. Le Sigh.) HOWEVER, I have noticed some non-scale victories that are really important:

  • First and foremost, I feel GOOOOOOD! Not just okay or pretty good, I feel awesome. 
  • I feel stronger. This morning I did 50 pull ups. Not just that, I actually decreased the size of resistance bands I've been using to help me do them. This seems like a small thing, but it is actually a really big thing. It has been on my bucket list for a long time to be able to do just one unassisted pull up and it seems like it might actually be possible with some really hard work.
  • My cardio capacity is increasing. Things that were impossible just a few weeks ago are happening now. They happen SLOWLY, but they happen. 
  • Saturday I wore a dress that I had slowly started to phase out of my rotation because it was too tight. It was decidedly NOT too tight on Friday.
I had promised myself that in August, I would commit to eating Paleo and put a focus on CrossFit. My plan was to reevaluate at the end of the month. I still have about a week to decide how to approach September.

I have a very real goal of losing weight for a specific reason, namely hang gliding while in Rio. I absolutely have to lose pounds if I'm going to do that. What I have to decide is whether what I'm doing now is correct and my body will catch up OR whether I need to make some sort of change.

I joined Amy's next diet bet for a little extra immediate motivation. Wish me luck!

If you are interested in the food side of my week, you can read more here.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday, fun day?

Happy Monday! I can't tell you the last time I had a weekend with absolutely nothing on the calendar. It was delightful!!

Friday night, BFF & I got pedicures after work then went to our respective homes for dinner. I was proud of myself for not picking something up, but then ended up eating Ore Ida french fries for dinner. Not cool! But the good news is that they are all gone. So...

Saturday I got up and went to Jazzercise. We did one routine at the end during the strength portion that has all but killed me. You start by laying on the ground and then pick your booty off the floor so you are on your feet and shoulders. And we pretty much stay like that through the whole song. Sometimes you just pulse up and down. Other times you walk your feet. Other times you bring your knee up to your chest. But never do you lower your booty to the floor. Sheesh! I can still feel it!!

After church on Sunday, BFF and I came back to my apartment and I cooked. You can actually read all about it here. I started another blog that focuses on food. My biggest reason in starting it was to review restaurants about their gluten free-ness. Since I'm the social planner and pick most of the restaurants, I always like to make sure BFF (who is gluten free) has options. One of the best resources is blogs, so I'm contributing to the cause. It will also have some recipes and other food related commentary.

Sunday I did chores and sat around catching up on TV. It was amazing! I don't have lazy weekends like this very often, so I took every advantage.

This morning I got up at 5am and got over to CrossFit. It is getting a tad easier now that I'm going a little more consistently. The strength portion of workout was 5 rounds of 5 reps (5x5) overhead squats. To me this is a really hard move because everything is so much heavier when you put it over your head! I got up to 75# this morning which is good for me (at my fittest a few years ago, I got up to 105#). I might have been able to go a little heavier, but since I tweaked my back a little the last time we did squats, I tried to be careful.

This is an example of what it looks like. 

The conditioning WOD was Helen. 3 rounds: 400m run, 21 kettlebell swings & 12 pull ups. I swear that running never gets easier for me. Ugh. I used a 25# kettlebell instead of the prescribed 35#, again, just to be careful with my back. All seems well, so I think I can push it more next time.

I still use two bands to assist my pull ups, but I have graduated to one big one along with the smallest one. My goal is to drop the second one soon. Baby steps. My coach was helping me with my form today. I could feel the difference so I'm hoping I can build on that.

The scale seems to be stuck. I took measurements and frustratingly, those don't seem to be much different either. However, I'm wearing (comfortably) a pair of pants that I haven't worn comfortably in quite a while. So either, I wasn't measuring myself fairly or I'm just crazy. Could be either, who knows.

Bottom line: I feel great! Honestly, that is the most important part, truly. But it doesn't mean I don't want to lose weight, if for no other reason than I still have some to lose if I'm going to go hang gliding in Rio. But I KNOW I'm doing the right things because I can feel my body responding in good ways. I just have to keep myself encouraged.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Transitioning from summer travel mode to normalcy...

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. Summer is hot. And work is busy. And it is hard to stay in a routine. And it is hot.

BUT...Summer means travel and I do love that. I made it to Louisville, Chicago, Washington D.C., a Texas ranch, a Dallas staycation convention, Louisiana and NYC. If I were filthy rich, I would travel constantly. But I'm not and it is still flipping hot.

Although I'm proud to say that I have somewhat stayed on track this summer. I think when I checked in last, I mentioned that I had new weight loss inspiration...hang gliding in Rio! That actually seems to be working. Except during trips, I am eating Paleo and committing to CrossFit at least 3x per week.

I decided to make a goal of losing 30 pounds over the next year. I won't lie, I'm reaching for 30 so 20 seems more doable. Ha! As of today, I'm 5 down. I think what is really getting it done is that I'm not eating any bread or grain carbs at all. In addition, I'm severely limiting sugar and drinking, particularly during the week. But being consistent is making it (a little) easier.

CrossFit wins are coming faster now that I'm really focusing on being there 3x a week. My kick up to a handstand is looking stellar. And I did a version of a hand stand push up progression!!! I had to stack an ab mat on top of a 15# plate on top of a 45# plate, but I did it. It looks kind of like this:

Also, I hurt my back a bit one day doing squats. I rested a couple of days and got right back to it. My core is strengthening!

Thanks to Miss Amy for giving me a kick to post. My mind is a little scattered, but after a break it is hard to get back to it. I needed to pull off the band-aid and make it happen. Here is me doing that. :)

Here are some pictures from my fun summer:
In NYC with one of my former blogger friends Liz from the Bronx.

BFF & I took 4 kids (ages 2-12) to the circus. The wine and sushi came after!!

BFF's birthday. The hen of the woods mushrooms at this place made me cry. Yumilicious.

These will be my Rio companions!!

I hope you are all well out in Blogland. I look forward to getting back to some normalcy!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Making it happen

I keep losing time this summer! It has been 2 weeks since my last post!

When last I wrote I had just finished the juice cleanse. Now that I'm a couple of weeks out, I wanted to follow up. I lost a ton of bloat during the cleanse, but most all of it came back as soon as I started eating solid foods. HOWEVER, it did rid me of my carb cravings and I have been successfully eating paleo since the cleanse. Except for one night on vacation with pizza and beer and then a couple of meals with some rice, everything I have eaten has followed the paleo platform.

Speaking of vacation, here is a big ole selfie (groupie?) of my BFF's family right before we popped fireworks on 4th of July...

While I might enjoy some cake or bread, I don't have that super strong urge to eat it like I have in past paleo attempts. Yesterday was a very typical day of food:

Breakfast - egg frittata with ham, mushrooms and cheese topped with salsa
Lunch - salmon, chicken breast, roasted veggies & some salad
Snack - mixed nuts
Dinner - MY FAVORITE! I sauteed boneless skinless chicken thighs (cubed) in some pistachio oil with mushrooms, squash, zucchini and walnuts. SO FREAKING GOOD! I swear, moving from olive oil to nut oils has made all the difference in flavor to me.
"Dessert" - About 10 sweet cherries

A couple of weeks ago, I was researching next year's Rio trip (which is my favorite hobby...) and I found out that in order to be sure that I can go hang gliding while I'm there, I really need to lose about 20 pounds. That is a lot, but I have a year and really hope that is the right motivation. I need something to get me past this 10 pounds I keep losing and gaining.

Speaking of Rio, BFF & I got these little rubber ducks when we went to see the USA Volleyball team in Chicago. So now Duckys are popping up on Instagram, Facebook, and now my blog on their road to Rio. :-) Here is Ducky at the pedi spa this weekend...

This morning's WOD:
4 rounds...25 sit ups, 500m row, 400m run, rest 2 minutes

Everyone in the class was done with the WOD by the time I was on my last row and like the awesome folks they are, 3 of them ran the last 400m with me. It is truly amazing to workout with people that do everything way better than you do and still never feel anything less than a beast.

Hope all is well in the Blogosphere!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today feels really good

This morning I did not wake with the same energy as yesterday. Plus, it was storming outside and I just wanted to roll over and snuggle into my comfy bed. But I told myself I would CrossFit today and that meant getting out bed and getting out the door. Once on my feet, I was good to go.

I knew what was coming because I had looked the night before. I took it one step at a time. The first part of the hour focused on strength.

5 Rounds: 1 Strict Press, 2 Push Presses, 1 Push Jerk

Quick tutorial: All three moves start in the rack position with the barbell at your shoulders and end with the barbell overhead, arms extended. With a strict press, you do not move your legs. It is entirely focused on the strength of your upper body. With a push press, you can use the momentum of your legs, so you squat a bit and the push to the sky in one motion. With the push jerk, you squat and push to the sky, but instead of all the momentum going up, you squat a little lower under the bar so you can extend your arms while you are in the down motion...then you stand up straight with the bar raised above you. The differences are slight, but it can greatly affect how much weight you can handle.

Since you are doing all three moves in the same set, you are limited by what you can strict press. I managed to get up to 80# which felt really good.

Next came the conditioning part of the hour:
  • 50 Sit Ups
  • 50 Double Unders (Sub 2 for 1 Singles)
  • 50 Sit Ups
  • 50 Lunges
  • 50 Sit Ups
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Sit Ups
We had a 35:00 time cap and I was worried. It took a little while, but I was fine until the burpees. Man, I have only done 50 unbroken burpees two other times in my life and I'm pretty sure I substituted squat thrusts for much of them. Most everyone finished by the time I got to the burpees, but no matter, I pressed on.

With 10 to go, 3 in the group did them with me to help keep me going. By the time I got to the last 50 sit ups, it was like I was in a different place. I could hear two of the girls counting me off sets of 10. In between the sets, one of the guys would count off 5 slow seconds for my rest. I didn't think. I just did what they said and tried not to choke on my own breath.

And then I was done. I finished in 26:40 which was slow, but I finished. And I did every. single. rep. It was 7am and I had just done one of the hardest workouts of my life.

Life is Good.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Post cleanse high

I feel great!! The juice cleanse ended Friday night. I have never been so happy to be eating a paleo diet. :-) Some people say that they have a lot of energy on a juice cleanse. I did not. Not even remotely. But I did try very hard to do some sort of physical activity throughout.

As a reminder, my reasons for doing the cleanse:

  1. To get rid of the carb and sugar cravings - this totally happened. I actually noticed the afternoon of the first day that my desire for afternoon sweets was way lower than normal. It made me think that in the future a 1 day "after vacation" cleanse might be a good way to refocus my efforts.
  2. To get rid of my bloat and jump start weight loss - This also happened. My net weight loss for last week was 7.2 pounds. A lot of that was bloat but it has made me feel so much better and my clothes aren't so snug.
  3. To show myself that my will power is strong enough to make the sacrifice - I was proud of myself for seeing it through.
 Saturday morning I got up and went to Jazzercise. I was still weak from my cleanse, but I work out well in the morning so it wasn't bad. I had paleo choices from Chipotle for lunch.

For dinner, I made a paleo stew that was in an article my friend Gwen had posted. Here is the recipe:

 Makes 5 big servings
2 pounds of chopped chicken thighs
chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (solid)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 bag of frozen mixed peppers and onions
1 jar of Sharwood’s Indian cooking sauce (I like their Butter Chicken) Salt, pepper and
spice to taste. (I like lots of red pepper.)
1 cup of water
1. Heat cooker on medium high, stir in coconut oil, chopped onion, and garlic.
2. After onions are translucent, add the chicken and stir for about a minute. Season
with salt, pepper and spices.
3. Add bag of frozen peppers and onions, add jar of Indian cooking sauce, add 1 cup of
water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat once pressure lid is on and let simmer for 25 minutes.

Interestingly, the list of ingredients calls for a large chopped tomato but the directions don't. Oh well! I LOVED using the pressure cooker. This is my first time and it was great! BFF & I went to church Saturday night and I was able to cook it when we got home. The chicken was cooked perfectly in about 35 minutes. I will have to find some other great paleo pressure cooker meals! I haven't had a lot of good exposure to Indian food so I was worried about the flavors, but this was really good. I chopped and roasted potatoes and used as a base. BFF liked it too!!

Sunday I made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yum! For lunch I had leftover stew. For dinner I cooked up some salmon and roasted some brussel sprouts. Delish! I like all of these foods anyway, but after only 3 days of not eating (chewing), everything was fantastic!

I leave for Louisiana Friday morning, so I have prepared everything to eat until then. Baked ham and cheese fritatta for breakfasts. Lunches and diners are leftover stew or salmon. For snacks I have lunchmeat to have roll ups. I also make a tomato & cucumber salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I should be all set!

I made it to CrossFit this morning and I felt STRONG! This isn't the greatest picture, but I love my dress today. I have had it for a while, but I love the fun colors.

 My hope is that the energy and strength stays with me through the week. I'm also glad that I'm in town and can get caught up on what you all out there have been up to these last few weeks!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dirty Dancing and a Juice Cleanse

Good morning! I'm at work bright and early this morning because I wanted to take some time to check in. As I mentioned a few days ago, June is always super busy for me. It seems like it wouldn't be too difficult to find 15 minutes in the day to refocus, but it is truly that busy.

I went with my friend Debi to see Dirty Dancing the musical on Tuesday night. We had an absolute blast! The lead male was a TERRIBLE actor but he was a good dancer. I never really thought of Patrick Swayze as a great actor, but it was clear when this other guy was saying the same lines...Swayze wasn't too bad. It was amazingly nostalgic and I want to go watch the movie right now. That was one of my favorite soundtracks as a kid.

Many years June is a bit of a lost month. Between my birthday, the volleyball trip, and the Jazzercise convention, I wake up and it is the 4th of July. If we have something after the 4th holiday, then it just blends to BFF's birthday at the end of the month and next thing I realize, it is August. I'm typically fat and happy and ready to focus on my health and wellness.

This year I'm trying to be more proactive. My friend Glam did a juice cleanse and had me thinking I might try one. I figured right after 2 weeks of travels, food & drink would be the perfect time. I know myself well enough not to try making them myself. I decided to try the BluePrint Cleanse. It is ridiculously expensive so I thought that would provide extra incentive. Ha!

My reasons for doing the cleanse:
  1. To get rid of the carb and sugar cravings
  2. To get rid of my bloat and jump start weight loss
  3. To show myself that my will power is strong enough to make the sacrifice

I couldn't start the cleanse until Wednesday, so Monday and Tuesday I tracked my food and ate well. To give you an idea of how much I bloat, I lost 4 pounds on Monday and Tuesday alone.

I have 6 juices per day:
  1. Green Juice (2) - kale, apple, ginger, romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery, parsley, & lemon.
  2. PAM - pineapple, apple, mint.
  3. BAC - beet, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger.
  4. Spicy Lemonade - lemon, cayenne, agave.
  5. Cashew Milk - cashew, vanilla, cinnamon, agave

I started yesterday with a green juice. Honestly, it tasted like liquid salad, heavy on the cucumber. I do like cucumber so that was good. It wasn't great, but it was doable. I also felt like it did give me some satiety for a while.

Two hours later, I had the PAM and it was so delicious. I'm not a huge juice drinker, but this was just tasty. I'm not sure how lasting it was, but I was busy so that helped.

At lunch, I went to the gym to work out. I had to go later than normal so I can't really compare my energy levels. I ran the day before, but yesterday I just walked. I power walked and did hills, but it was still walking.

After working out, I had another green juice. It was totally fine. Again, I didn't LOVE it, but I was able to drink it and be satisfied.

In the late afternoon, I had the spicy lemonade which mostly just tasted like lemonade. It was nice and refreshing, if not necessarily filling.

When I got home from work, I immediately had the BAC. So...beet juice tastes like dirt. That took a little while to get used to, but I managed to get through it.

My last "juice" of the day was the cashew milk. I couldn't do it. It wasn't necessarily that is tasted bad, it just tasted odd to me after all of the fruit and vegetable juices. I couldn't even get the whole thing down.

I wanted to go to CrossFit this morning, but the workout was almost exclusively toes to bar and double unders. I can't do either and would have to seriously modify the workout. On a normal day, that would be fine, but I saw it as a sign. I packed my Jazzercise clothes instead.

I didn't expect to see much change on the scale since I had lost 4 pounds in the two days prior, but this morning, I was down another 3.4 pounds. Sheesh. This girl can retain a whole lot of water.

My friend said that she felt great and had a lot of energy during the cleanse. I can't say that for myself. I'm tired and a little draggy. I'm not as cranky as I expected to be though so that is a plus. I do have this weird reflux-y feeling which is just so odd but hopefully that will fade.

I have two more days, so I will let you know how it goes. My plan post-cleanse is to focus on a paleo diet. One step at a time.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Life Is Good

Settle in, folks. I've been busy!!

When last I left you, I was busy. I guess I still am busy! Ha! This is how June always seems to go for me. Not complaining though because it is always so fun!!

First up was my eldest godson's confirmation. Well, in all fairness I'm his sponsor, not his godmother, but close enough. He is one of my flock. It was long, but lovely and I totally enjoyed spending time with him and his family.

Saturday night, BFF & I celebrated my birthday. First, dinner at Saint Ann's...

Then, House of Blues to see Bowling for Soup which is my most favorite band. Hold on a minute, I gotta go put my computer a BFS playlist...  Okay, I'm back. I love them.

A few days after my birthday, BFF & I went to Chicago. First up, we met up with some of my long-time blogger friends...

I swear, I can not see these girls for years, then meet up and it is like no time has passed. I have so much love in my heart for them. Also, I may have been a little drunk because I found this selfie I took in the bathroom...heh. I have absolutely no idea why I took that.

The next day we headed out to Hoffman Estates to watch the men's Team USA volleyball team play Poland. If you have known me long, you know how big of a fan I am. As far as the actual games go, this trip might have had the most exciting yet. The crowd was probably 75% Polish so it was almost like an "away" game for us. I think I still have "Polska *clap*clap*clap*" running through my dreams. We went 5 sets the first night and squeaked to a victory. The next night it wasn't as close, but it was still competitive and fun. We were undefeated (6-0) in World League play when they left the USA, but I heard that we lost both sets in Iran last weekend. I think they miss us.

Ducky enjoyed the game...
 On Monday of last week, I was home and got a chance to do some laundry and rest up because on Tuesday I headed to DC for a work trip. I did get to have a little fun while I was there, but it was mostly work. I got home on Wednesday night and Thursday early morning, I left with 3 coworkers to head to the Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, TX for a work retreat.

The retreat was a lot of fun and we learned some things too. We did some behavioral exercises which helped us understand how to communicate with each other. I also found out that I am a master stool builder. Seriously. One of the events in a team competition we had was to build a stool. Our team of three had eight large dowel rods and a roll of duct tape. We had to build a stool that would hold one member of the team in a sitting position with one leg off the floor for 30 seconds. We had a time cap of 16:00. My team finished in 4:00. We smoked the other teams (some didn't even finish) and it was awesome.

After the retreat, BFF & I went straight to the Hilton Anatole in Dallas for the Jazzercise convention. Friday was a bit low key, but we did a Jazzercise class that evening before dinner. We cleaned up nice though...
It was a miracle because every single one of us loved this picture!!

On Saturday, we worked out for 5 and 1/2 hours. That is a REALLY long time. We did 2 and 1/2 hours of Jazzercise in the morning. Then had lunch. Then we planked for 2 full minutes for which I was totally stinking proud. I had never done that before!! Two minutes is a lifetime when you are on your elbows and toes.

In the afternoon, we did a hip-hop dance class, then a country/hip-hop dance class, then finished with an hour of Jazzercise. My feet were so sore I can't even put it into words. We still managed to get dressed for dinner though. Food and drinks were calling my name!!

Okay, now for the current part. I have learned to be less critical of myself in pictures. YAY if I can get a flattering pose and but if it isn't, I deal. No problem. But someone took this picture of me at the work retreat and I almost cried.

Now don't get me wrong. There was a time when this size was a dream come true. When I was pushing 300 pounds, all I wanted to do was shop in normal stores. But now that I have gone beyond that, just fitting into a 14/16 isn't okay anymore. I'm not packing on pounds, but I'm just not losing anything and I seem to fluctuate higher and higher. So what am I going to do about it?

More to come...


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Where does time go???

It has been over two weeks since I last posted. I can't let myself veer too far away. I need to refocus myself for the challenges summer brings.

I have been holding my own the last two weeks. Work has absolutely exploded (in the best way) and I have been hitting the ground running every morning when I get in.

CrossFit is going very well. We are all starting to get to know each other better so I think we are having more fun. I managed to get there a third day this week. Here is my crew:

Monday and Tuesday's workouts were full of pull ups and hand stand push ups. On Monday, I did pull ups (with assistance bands) for the first time in about a year. On Tuesday, I can't do hand stand push ups, so I was doing pike push ups.

I was a little embarrassed that I had to scale it to this degree, but what are you going to do? We started with 25 of them. Then for the workout, I did 50 more. What I found out is that after 75 of those suckers, you are going to feel it the next day. I was walking around like a T-Rex all afternoon.

It was nice to do some stretching and mobility work today. The workout involved wall balls, toes to bar (which I modified to lifting my knees up as high as I could) and deadlifts. The coach told me my deadlifts were awesome. Woohoo, go me! Speaking of my coach, it was totally cool because he is an alum of my old box. Made me a bit nostalgic, but I'm just glad I'm working hard somewhere.

Tonight is my newest and eldest godson's confirmation. I can't wait to be a part of this big day for him. I have three other godsons, but they are all young so this is my first confirmation.

Tomorrow starts my birthday weekend celebration, lots of food, drink and fun friends! I need to find the balance of enjoying myself while not eating all the things. :)


Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

I hope you all had a good weekend! I sure did. Friday evening after work, I drove to Fort Worth to see a friend and her 3 month old baby. I got some good squishy time.

Saturday I got up ready for my run. My goal was to simply run further than I did last week. For perspective:
  • Last week (my longest practice run in a few years) - 2.53 miles
  • Normal week - 2.1 miles
  • Longest practice run ever - 2.65 miles
  • Longest run ever - 3.1 miles (all 5K have been for races/public runs)
On Saturday, I ran 3.23 miles. Woohoo! My longest run ever. Not bad. The only issue is that because I started the run right outside my apartment, I had a few long traffic light delays that seriously messed with my time. So I think from now on, I will walk to the trail, then start the run so I can compare each run to the next.

I'm taking advice from Blogger Badass Amy and increasing my practice run distance to work on increasing stamina. I think I have actually made a goal to run a 10K. No commitments yet, but it is rolling around in my head. Right now, I'm focusing on adding about 5-10 minutes per week. Hopefully it won't get too hot too quickly.

After my run, I walked for another mile or so then went home. After freshening up, I went to the Dallas Convention Center to watch the CrossFit Games Regionals. My old box had a team competing. Talk about badass!

 One of my former coaches who was also a competitor.

Our team in action.

After the team competitions, I watched a couple of heats of the women's competition then headed home. After church, BFF came over and I made sushi rolls. Can you imagine? I was nervous to try it, but it was one of the options with my Home Chef box this week so I decided to try it. They weren't bad at all! I wish I would have taken a picture. The first one I didn't roll tight enough, but I did get better. I also need a sharper knife...

On Sunday, I went back to the CrossFit Games to see the conclusion of the team events. Our team finished 13th which was pretty awesome in my opinion. I spent the rest of the day doing chores and catching up on TV.

This morning I got up and went to CrossFit. My squat form really deteriorated over my hiatus. Even with little to no weight, I'm leaning too far forward and not keeping my chest up. My coach thinks it is my hips. I have a massage booked tomorrow night to help. I'm also working on some stretches. Anyway, the first part of the WOD was 5 rounds: 3 Front Squats & 7 Strict Ring Row. Since I was only doing 55#, it wasn't too strenuous, just trying hard to hyper focus on form.

The second part of the WOD was 28-21-14-7 Thrusters (I did just the bar at 35#) and Tuck Jumps (I was happy if my feet left the floor...not really, I jumped as high as I could, I just can't jump very high.) That was absolutely exhausting.


I'm trying not to focus on the fact that scale jumped up again this week. I absolutely don't want things to get out of control, but I also know that I'm having some dehydration issues right now and don't want to freak out. We shall see how it goes. I did order some Arbonne nutritional pre-workout stuff. I tried it on Saturday and it seemed to help. We shall see. 

 I will leave you with this...


Friday, May 15, 2015

Well, It's Something

Yesterday was tons of fun! We went to the Nelly, TLC and NKOTB concert last night and had a blast!

I felt a little old, but who cares?! The TLC and NKOTB songs really took me back.

When I woke up this morning, I hopped on the scale and that little bloat that I had at the beginning of the week is still there. I had to accept that it might not be bloat, but actual weigh gain. Damn it. So, I packed my workout clothes and some lunch. I "always" go out with my friends for Friday lunch, but I told myself that obviously I have to make a few tough choices for a while.

My lunch was one of my Home Chef meals. It was an Asian BBQ pork chop with a soba noodle cold salad. At least it tasted good. My friends went to Mattito's and had Bob's dip. As much as I wanted it, I knew I would eat way too much and be sad. I went downstairs to the gym and I power walked while I listened to episode 2 of Undisclosed. Side note: if you listened to Serial, you need to listen to Undisclosed! So boring lunch, but I'm not mad at myself.

After work I'm driving to Ft. Worth to see a friend and her new baby. It will be great to see them, but man, that will be a long drive home!

My goal for tomorrow is to run farther/longer than I did last weekend. I bought an arm band for my phone, so I'm going to test out using it instead of my shuffle. I like the idea of using a running app, but I don't know if I will like it or not. Stay tuned.

The regional competitions of the CrossFit games have started and one of them is within walking distance of my apartment. I'm hoping to hook up with some old friends and stop in, but we will see.

Have a great weekend! Hugs!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Checking In

Things are crazy right now and they are about to get crazier (mostly at work). But I woke up this morning with some anxiety and I realized that I needed to blog to give myself a reality check.

After I checked in last week I got sick. It was terrible and I was whiny. I did make it to Newsies on Tuesday night with BFF which was fun. But in addition to being under the weather Wednesday-Saturday, the literal weather was also rainy and gloomy, plus I had bad news from friends all around me and my empathy meter was off the charts. It was ugly, people.

So on Saturday, I drug myself out of bed and decided to run to the Katy Trail. It is a pedestrian/bike trail that runs through Dallas. I have driven past it, but I have never actually used it. It is about 3/4 of a mile from my apartment. During that first 3/4 of a mile, I almost talked myself out of it 137 times. But I was glad I didn't. Here is a picture of the trail...

I will say that I was slightly annoyed that the darn thing was all uphill for me. But I just went until I felt like I couldn't go anymore, then turned around. I ran about 2.5 miles total that day which is the longest practice run I have had in years then walked another mile and half or so. Now I have something to measure against. Weather permitting, I will do it again this Saturday.

My favorite thing on the Trail was a unicyclist. Awesome. As I was walking home, I ran into a traditional Indian wedding procession. I should have taken a picture, but they were at the hotel entrance looking beautiful and I had just finished my run. I didn't linger.

Saturday during the day, BFF & I hung out with her uncle, aunt and little cousin around Dallas. Then the rest of the weekend was for rest. I made it to CrossFit on Monday and Tuesday and really felt like I was getting back to feeling 100%. I gained a little "comfort food" weight last week and I'm working to get rid of it.

Tuesday night was my monthly Girls Dinner and we had a blast as always.

Check out Debster's blue hair! It is super awesome.

I suppose the biggest news of the week is that we bought tickets to the Olympics. BFF and I, along with a couple of other ladies, are headed to Rio next summer. I think now that we have actually purchased tickets, it feels more real. Although I think it will feel more official when we have our plane tickets. If by any chance any of you have any connections in Rio, I'm looking for a reputable handler or tour guide. There are several on-line, but I would like to have one that is more personally recommended.

Now for the grumble, grumble. When I signed up for CrossFit, I knew that for a while I could only go on Monday & Tuesday. I didn't want to wait until late July when I would be able to start going 3x per week regularly. But that doesn't mean that I couldn't go 3x a week now if my schedule permitted. This morning there is no reason I couldn't go to CrossFit. In fact, it made the most sense because I'm going to a concert tonight and I have a work lunch. It was my only shot today at working out and I chose not to get out of bed. Boooooo!

That is the kind of behavior that I let slip in when I don't make time to blog and put my actions in writing to hold myself accountable. I knew that if I didn't check in, that today could have been one justified bad action after another. Now that I have reset, I know that I will have a great day.

Plus I get to go see NKOTB tonight! That is New Kids on the Block for the 80s kids, like me. It should be a fun night out.

Talk to you soon!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Fun with the 'Rents

Another amazing weekend in the books! I think it has been almost a week since I checked in. Crazy!!

Mom and dad drove in on Tuesday evening. I went ahead and went to work on Wednesday to let them chill out a bit and "move in" to my place. They had been at my brother's house for 3 1/2 weeks so I was worried they would be travel fatigued, but they are troopers and were ready for a few days in Dallas!

Wednesday night we cooked an awesome Home Chef meal when I got home for work. I don't really remember, but I'm guessing we watched a baseball game. My poor mom. She is not a baseball fan, but I'm pretty sure we watched the Rangers almost every day. Too bad we aren't good. That would help.

Thursday we ran some errands then spent the afternoon at the outlets. I tried not to buy a ton of stuff I didn't need. I did buy 4 pairs of cute but comfortable shoes from Clark's. I wish I would have taken pictures, they are all adorable. I also got a shirt to wear with a new necklace I bought in Vegas. I'm planning to wear tomorrow so I will try and remember to take a picture!

After shopping we went home and cooked another Home Chef meal. BFF joined us and it was delightful. I think there might have been drinking involved as well. :)

Friday we got up early and went to Canton Trade Days. It is this big kind of flea market/craft show/booth boutique dealio that happens once a month for four days. It is amazing. My favorite purchase was a Mexican pottery vase but I also got some fun shirts. The best says "I would rather be someone's shot of whiskey than everyone's cup of tea." After driving back to Dallas and resting a bit, we went to my favorite restaurant HG Sply Co. Love that place.

Saturday I got up early and drove to Coppell to meet Godmother and Godson4 for a 5K. They did great! I was able to run the whole thing. I realized this morning that I hadn't run a full 5K (I had done run/walks but didn't run the whole thing) for two years. It wasn't my best time by any stretch, but I kept a 13:25 mile pace which is better than I have been doing in my two mile runs. My goal would be to finish a 5K with 12 minute miles. It is doable but it will be work. I never got better that 12:30 miles at my best and that was with a walk/run.

After the race, I met up with the parents and went to the Farmers Market. We bought lots of yummy stuff for Sunday dinner. Then we had some grilled cheese and hung out in Bishop Arts.

We rested a bit in the afternoon then met up with BFF for church. My parents aren't Catholic, but I did like that they got to see my beautiful church and meet our deacon who I swear could be my dad's brother. After we went to Meso Maya for some dinner and drinks.

Unfortunately for my mom, I'm pretty sure we watched a baseball game after. :-) Go Rangers.

Sunday was a day of cooking, packing, cleaning and all that stuff. This morning came bright (actually very dark) and early with me off to CrossFit and Mom & Dad off for Florida.

At CrossFit, we did a 400m time trial. Breaking News: I'm still slow. Then we did 3 rounds of 1:00 each: ring rows, wall balls, push presses, kettlebell swings, and rest.

The best news (way to bury the lead, Beth Ann) is that I lost a couple of tenths of a pound during all this. That is amazing! Plus, I have a bunch of great leftovers for the week, so I'm good to go.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life is Good

I think I'm coming to terms with the fact my life won't ever be completely routine. I just like doing stuff. So I'm going to have to figure out how to make it all work.And by work, I mean having all this fun and enjoying life while not regaining tons of weight or allowing myself to live in an overall unhealthy way.

When last I left you I was working for the weekend. I did end up going to Jazzercise Thursday night and I have to say that after that, my soreness melted away.

Friday afternoon, BFF & I headed off to WinStar Casino in Oklahoma for the Pitbull concert. Cori was having good luck at the slots, but it was zapping me big time. Anyway, there was a lot of day drinking, flashing lights and jingle jangles until it was time for the show. As always, the dude put on a performance...

Mr. Worldwide

BFF & I ready for the show...
We danced and danced. It was awesome! After the show we stayed at the casino hotel. The next morning we ate breakfast and did a little more gambling. I'm happy to say that I hit the mid-sized jackpot on the last game I was playing and ended the weekend pretty close to net zero. That is a WIN in my book!!

Saturday afternoon we drove home and stopped for pedicures. Rough life. We went straight to church after. I have to say that I'm absolutely loving my new church. The message this weekend was that we are all God's children and all good people of the world can get to heaven. I love that inclusiveness.

Anyway, after church, I cooked for us from my Home Chef delivery. It was French-cut chicken breasts with a Caprese type salad and spinach. It was delicious!! We also watched the Frank Sinatra documentary on HBO. Dude was totally hot.

I got up yesterday morning for CrossFit. It was rough. I don't usually have an issue with muscle cramping, but my upper quads/hips were cramping so badly that I was having trouble with the WOD. But I got most of it in. Lots more burpees.

I went again today.

Today, we did 5 sets of 5 lunges on each leg. I started to add weight to the barbell but realized that I was breaking form. So I ended up dropping the weight for the last two rounds. I'm determined to ramp up the weights properly.

The WOD: 16:00 AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
  • 400m Run
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings (25#)
  • 20 Push Ups
I know I have talked to death about what a slow runner I am. It is just how it is. But the more I work at it, the less slow I get. Today was a little tough. The guys run literally twice as fast as I do, so they were lapping me like crazy. But I just kept focusing on moving. I ran the whole way...no walking. I did my KB swings, I did the push ups...no knees, I pushed my body up off the ground every single time. I know that I'm working as hard as I can. ME. That is what matters and when I'm done, I feel amazing. I don't care that they got in 4 rounds or whatever...I did two full rounds and another run. And I worked hard the whole damn time. Next time, I will do a little better. One workout at at time.

Today my parents are driving to Texas from Kentucky. They will be in sometime this evening and will be visiting through Monday. We always have a great time and I look forward to it! But things will be hectic. Again...no routine. That's okay. I'm running a 5K on Saturday and I will be back to CrossFit on Monday.

Saw this on somebody's wall today and loved it...


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life is Happening

I came in early this morning just so I would have a few minutes to check-in. My life is a whirlwind right now. In a good way though!

First and foremost, I re-joined CrossFit. They opened a new box just blocks from home, so I felt like it was a sign. They had an open house last Saturday, I went and signed up on the spot. It is expensive, so I might have to drop yoga, but I'm going to wait a month to decide. Even though I could only go twice this week, I wanted to start right away and went Monday and Tuesday mornings at 6am.

Monday was a lot of rowing, back squats, burpees and kettlebell swings. My legs were jello! But I made myself get up the next day and get right back at it. Day #2 was running, presses, pull ups (I did ring rows instead) and wall balls. After class, my upper body joined my lower body in Painville.

Today is the first day I can walk normally since. Ha! As one of my employees said, I'm now "functionally sore". I'm planning to run today, but if the weather is any indication, I will need to stay inside. I hate the treadmill so we will see how much actual running occurs. As long as I'm doing something! I will go back to CrossFit on Monday. Hopefully I won't leave quite so sore this time...

This picture is a very good example of me not getting to pose in a flattering manner like my selfies. :-) It's okay though. I honestly am feeling really good about myself these days.

Next subject is work. I just hired a new person directly from college. She is super smart and catches on fast, so I know she will be fantastic. But she is very green and it takes a lot of my time to train. No question though that I would prefer to spend time up front to train a great employee. It is an investment that pays off. But that is another reason I don't have any extra time.

And finally, today is the day that the lottery for tickets to the 2016 Olympics starts. BFF, our friend KJ and possibly one other person will be coming with me to Rio this time. For those of you that don't know, I went on my dream vacation to the 2012 London Olympics and had the most amazing time of my life. I convinced BFF (who has never traveled internationally except for Canada which obviously doesn't count) to go with me and KJ wanted to tag along. Planning an Olympic trip is complex when you are doing it on your own and have a limited income, but it is almost like a hobby for me. I couldn't be more excited!!

The fill did its job. I can still eat most everything, but I'm satisfied with a little less. I still have to make good choices. I haven't lost any pounds, but I do think I'm retaining water in my poor sore muscles. :) I feel sure as I get back into intense workouts and continue eating my healthy Home Chef meals, the weight loss will come.

Hope you all are doing well and I promise I will be back more consistently when things settle just a bit.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Getting Back to It

My little vacation break is over and it is time to get back to bidness. I will talk a little more about that tomorrow, but for today I will just tell you about my Vegas getaway!

Thursday evening, I had dinner with a couple of work friends and kicked off the Drinking Weekend Extravaganza. We went to the Grilled Cheese Company yet AGAIN. Hopefully I won't be back super soon. That place is lethal. In a super mega yummy way!

Friday morning, BFF & I got up bright and early to head to the airport. As you may or may not know, I have a phobia of flying. In my head, I understand that it is the safest way to travel, but my body seems to disagree. So, I had some eggs with a side of bourbon. No worries after that!

We got to Vegas relatively early and checked in. Our lunch was just so eventful that I can't even remember where we ate. Wherever it was, afterward we went to a Stripper 101 class. Now this was just F-U-N!! First we learned a chair (lap) dance and if I had a boyfriend, I would totally rock his world with that. Then we learned a quick pole dance. I have to say that I was way more talented with the chair. Although I was able to jump up and spin around on the pole. 74 bruises later, that was done.

But we had our very own stripper licenses!

We picked our own names. Do I seem like a Willow?

Anyway, after that, we gambled a little, snacked a little, shopped a little, etc. etc. etc. We had reservations for three for dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, but our friend was late flying in. Luckily since there were only two of us, they seated us on the patio and it was the most gorgeous night! We sat for a long time while we watched the Bellagio Fountains and the passersby.

It was an early night because BFF had a meeting the next morning. After she was up and gone, I leisurely got up and made my way downstairs for breakfast. I ate eggs benedict for the first time, which seems odd, but it always looked so gross to me with all that yellow sauce. Turns out, it is quite delicious. Then I made my way to the spa...

When choosing my spa visit, I was pragmatic. I needed to take up several hours while BFF and the others were in their meeting. I started pricing services along the strip and then looked into the spas off-strip. I will say that I think you need to decide why you are going to a spa before you make an appointment. I would rather pay for services than atmosphere. I would gladly give up the opulence and grand feel of the strip spas for cheaper services (provided they are good.)

After a search, I settled on this place. It was located in a strip mall on the backside of the strip. Not within walking distance, but a reasonable cab ride. (If you schedule it right, they also offer free shuttle service, but my appointment was too early to get a ride to the spa.) The place itself is not fancy, but it is functional. They had me change into a robe and gave me a locker in the restroom. My first service was a scrub followed by a wrap. I had never done this before and thought I would hate it, but was willing to give it a try. I'm so glad because it was awesome!!

After the wrap was done, she had me take a shower in the restroom to rinse off all of the gook. That shower was fantastic. I could have stood in there all day. But alas, it was time for my massage. I may have never gotten a wrap, but I definitely know about massages. I almost never get them at the spa because I find them ineffective and overpriced. I have a couple of therapists that I go to in the area that are reasonable and actually very helpful. I had set my expectations low. But it wasn't necessary! It was the best spa massage I think I have ever had. Score!

After the massage, I only waited a few minutes in the lounge for my facial person. I have had a few facials in my life and this one was what I expected. Nothing earth shattering, but good and relaxing. If I went back, I would do it again.

I was there for over three hours and spent just a little more than I would have on a massage in one of the big spas. Totally worth is in my opinion! Especially with the free shuttle back to my hotel.

Not too long after I got freshened up, BFF's meeting was over. We went with our friend Jazz to Caesar's for a drink. After we went to see Elton John. The ticket was expensive, but the concert was great! Probably one of my top five ever. We had so much fun!!

 After Elton, we made our way over to Mesa Grill and had a delicious dinner.

The next day, BFF, Jazz & I went to Hash House a Go Go for breakfast. I didn't realize it was a Man vs. Food joint. The portions were HUGE. The food was okay, but nothing too exciting. BFF did have a guy ask for her number, so that was interesting!!

After breakfast, Jazz stayed behind because her flight was that afternoon. BFF & I went downtown and ran out of gambling money quickly. We headed back to the strip and piddled around watching people and looking at the things. We had dinner at Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan which was AMAZING and then finished with a drink at Scarpetta (which is my most favorite restaurant...if you are there, order the gallardo drink. Delish!)

Monday, after another balcony meal at Mon Ami Gabi, we went to the Bellagio. I actually won a little bit for once at the casino. I'm sure I will spend it (and more!) when we go to WinStar in a couple of weeks. After, it was time to head home and back to reality. We did have a final dinner with some of the girls we knew (I had to have my bourbon, you know.)

And now I'm home. No more day drinking!

I'm ready for some routine! But less than two weeks and my parents will be in town and we are going on a quick roadtrip next weekend. Honestly though, I wouldn't have things any other way!