Mental Game Set To An 11

Hello, and happy belated new year! I totally started this post like two weeks ago and never finished it. Nevertheless, I am so so happy that we have a brand shiny new year in front of us. Not that 2016 was terrible, but given the chance to live it again, I will reply with a polite “No, thank you.” So let’s raise a LaCroix flavor of your choice to 2017, may it only kick our collective butts a little bit. Enough to foster positive change, but not so much that we decide to hibernate for the rest of the year.

Speaking of kicking butt, my butt is so sore. The other day our workout was a series of tabada intervals that seemed pretty mild when I read them, but quickly found how in CrossFit, looks can be deceiving:

Strength:

  • 3×10 dumbbell rows (I worked up to 25 lbs)

Workout:

Tabada intervals for each exercise (8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)

  • Sit-ups
  • Ring rows
  • Shoulder press (weight your choice, I used 12lbs)
  • Jumping lunges

I feel like I’ve started coming down with a cold, so I went into class thinking I’ll just take it easy and scale down as needed. But once I got warmed up, I realized it was one of those rare days where my mental game totally exceeded my physical ability. Which is always super, super awesome and fun! I still checked in with my body and form to prevent injury, but during the intervals I was obsessed with getting one more rep than last round. Yeah, that didn’t happen. But you know you gotta have goals. During the shoulder press and jumping lunges, my muscles all out failed. My brain was trying to hard to nudge me into another rep, and my body was frozen.

I ended up with 280 reps total. I have no idea what that score means exactly. I guess the next time we do this workout I’ll get to compare results?

Meanwhile, I’m still plugging away on my Whole30. 15 days down, and halfway there! I’m focusing on just taking it one day/one meal at a time. I prep tomorrow’s food the night before while I’m making dinner, and that routine seems to be working well. Except when I forget and I end up bringing a grocery bag of random cans and containers to work for lunch/pre-workout snack.


Note the can of my beloved puréed sweet potatoes. Not puréed pumpkin. The other morning I forgot to check the label on the can I grabbed from the pantry on my way whisking out the door. It was pumpkin. Not sweet potatoes. I ended up eating straight-up pumpkin purée on the way to yoga. I only buy cans of pumpkin to make pumpkin pie, which in my opinion is the only edible form of pumpkin. But I never got around to making the pie over the holidays, and the can of pumpkin got mixed in with my stash of sweet potatoes. So I found myself in a position where I have yoga in an hour, I’m driving there straight from work, and I am legit steamed-fish-and-broccoli hungry. So one can of pumpkin puree, down the hatch. It was reminiscent of that time when I was a kid and I hated green beans, but my mom made me eat them anyway. So much gagging. And now I’m an adult, and am willingly putting food I don’t like down. Still gagging. I have matured so much.

Go make it a great day!

 

Dreams of Festivus

We are t-minus two weeks left for the year, and over at my house we have our sights set on a January Whole30. That’s right, this time around everyone in the family is on board!

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I am also simultaneously planning out what Christmas cookies we’re going to make. Because, duh, January Whole30. (In case you’re curious, it’s snowballs, those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kisses, homemade fudge, and a glorious family recipe called “Swedish Jam Shortbread” which is basically crack.)

I’m half-serious about extending my Whole30 out to a Whole60 or Whole90. One thing that I noticed after my last round in September is that my sugar cravings still aren’t really in check, and I still am struggling with putting together easy go-to foods for crazy mornings and busy days. Planning and preparation just aren’t second-nature to me yet, and although I am an ace at the rules and knowing what foods are in and out, I just go to convenience foods because I never think ahead about what I need for tomorrow/that busy Saturday full of errands/that offsite work meeting. I think having my family on board this time will help, since all of the shopping and cooking won’t be solely on me. But I do think I could use a little extra time to develop the good habits for batch cooking and planning ahead for meals that I haven’t been really able to lock down yet.

Meanwhile, I’ve had to scale back my appearances at the gym lately. For some reason, my whole body has decided to rebel against any type of comfortable locomotion. It started about a month ago when I came down with the “Winter Crud.” You know, it’s when that sniffly/crummy/run-down-itis bug makes its rounds. As soon as I was coming out of that, I twisted my ankle pretty hard. So there was another week off from the gym. Then I started coming back from that, but it’s been rather hit-or-miss. Thanks to the shorter days, I’ve been having a difficult time motivating myself to make the 6am classes, and if I put off the workouts to the evening classes there always seems to be some unforeseen circumstance that gets in my way. Rather than beat myself up, I’m just acknowledging that it’s winter, it’s the holidays, and if I want to hermit down for a few weeks and chill, that’s fine. The gym will still be there tomorrow. So will my stretchy pants, so it’s all good.

Speaking of the upcoming Festivus, who else has got their merry jingle elf hat on?

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My holiday goals include watching “Elf” at least 11 times, and any night I don’t have something going on we spend it in front of the tree in the living room, fire ablaze in the fireplace (preferably), and “nice toddies” all around. “Nice toddies” are what we call hot toddies without the booze. Which is basically just lemon tea with honey.

Maybe I should order the new Whole30 Cookbook. Does anyone have that yet, is it any good? I still haven’t made it through all of the recipes in the original Whole30 book, so I have been holding off on getting the Cookbook for now.

Okay, that’s all my rambles for now. Go make it a great day!

Monday Mindfulness: Be Here Now

Back in 2010, when I was still racing bicycles competitively, I attended a cycling workshop hosted by professional cyclist Giana Roberge. During one of the clinics, we were working on some pretty intense drills to work on building our stamina during power moves such as time trials and climbing, where you need to be throttling it at your absolute max for a long time. To red-line your power output like that is just as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. The entire time you are fighting with your brain to keep mashing the pedals, while your whole body seems to be screaming that you need to stop. One of the things Giana suggested to help keep us motivated during this time was to identify a manta or phrase that we could repeat to ourselves during the effort that was inspiring and could distract us and keep us focused to push our limits. Her suggested phrase was, “be here now.” All that exists in this moment, right now, is for the pedal to get one more powerful turn, for my lungs to get in one more good suck of air, for me to pull myself out of the saddle just one more time. Do not think about the discomfort, about how I could be just sitting at home watching Netflix right now, or what I plan on doing when I get home, or anything that could distract me from giving it my all right now. Be here now, in this moment, giving it everything, because that is all that matters.

Six years later, and I am still repeating that phrase to myself, although it’s morphed to take on new meanings and manifestations since being on the bike. I say it to myself before I go into an important meeting, to focus on the content I have prepared and to not guess or predict what my client’s reactions will be. I say it to myself in between reading my toddler bedtime stories and tucking her into bed, so I can savor the short moment of one of the “good parts” of parenthood and not rush off to continue my own activities for the evening. Most recently, I say it to myself when I start planning to-do lists and big, overachieving projects I know I don’t really have the time or energy to initiate let alone actually complete.

Often I have felt in a goal-achieving funk. In the past couple years I’ve had to deal with a lot of Life Stuff that has taken up a good chunk of my time I used to spend working on my hobbies and goals. I feel like I haven’t had the focus or energy to put into the big, hairy goals I want to make happen next in my life. The other day I was looking for a book when I stumbled across some of my old planners from several years ago. Out of curiosity, I opened a couple to see what my long-term goals were back in the day. Out of habit, I always jot down my current 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals in the back pages of my planner, just for inspiration and visualization on days when I feel a little demotivated. Imagine my surprise when I realized that almost every 1- or 5- year goal I had written down – run a marathon, complete my family (2 kids!), work as a professional consultant, live in a big city, buy a “forever” home – I’ve done. These things just seemed to happen in my life at the time that seemed right, there was no “project plan” or obvious hard work or muscling it up that occurred to manifest these things. At some point I realized it was something I wanted to do, I wrote it down, and just kept working hard on the stuff I knew how to do. And magic happened, and I didn’t even realize it, because I was so focused on my plans for the future; I almost missed the “now.”

That’s not to say I didn’t work or plan for these things. But from the moment I dreamed up a goal, I had absolutely no plan or idea how I would make it work. It’s just something I knew I wanted. Then when time was right and opportunities presented themselves, I figured it out. But all the while, I was still planning and organizing the future, without stopping to look at the current. I forgot to “be here now.” And it stressed me out, making me feel like I cannot get it together and I did not have enough focus to make things happen. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I just was too focused on making it happen rather than allowing it to happen, trusting that if I continued to work and act in a way that made me the person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to experience would come along shortly. Time and again, things have worked out for me when I least expected them to, and I can trust in that pattern.

Life has taken me on some really crazy detours, but they have always brought me around to the place I’m meant to be in the end. I’m starting to let go of my control-freak nature and just allow and trust things to go where they need to go as long as I’m doing what I feel like I need to do. Some would say this is sort of “let go and let God sort it out” sort of thinking. I see it as reducing the amount of crap I keep thinking about that I can’t control anyway, which frees up some brain space for just the crap that is in this moment. To “be here now” and let go of all of the stress, worries, and fears that Later might bring. Letting go of that control is sort of scary at first, like I’m just going to tailspin into the Land of No Forward Progress and Complacency, as if that’s a real thing. But the opposite is true. When I can truly let go and enjoy the moment, I feel as if the possibilities are endless. I have the capacity to do anything, without all of the weight of worry and control on my back. To “be here now” is such a feeling of freedom in this moment.

A Day in the Life

I’ve seen these posts from other blogs, and I love them. I can’t remember if I’ve done one of these “day in the life” posts before, so here you go! Edit: yes, I did a Day in the Life post a couple years ago. Time flies!

5:00 – alarm goes off. I scroll through social media for a good 20 minutes until I feel like I’m ready to get out of bed.

5:20 – shower and dress for work

5:45 – head downstairs to meditate and write an entry in my gratitude journal. Because I totally do this every day. And by “every day” I mean once in a while when I remember that I want to meditate and journal every day. And today I nailed it.

6:10 – start breakfast. Squish wakes up and keeps me company. We eat breakfast together

6:30 – I clean up breakfast and do the dishes from last night. We play Lego trucks for a bit.

6:45 – pack my stuff for work

7:00 – time to commute to Silicon Valley!

7:20 – Starbucks stop

8:10 – pull into the parking lot, and there’s an open charging station, yay!

8:45 – coffee #2

10:00 – unplug my fully-charged car and park closer to the building

11:00 – meetings meetings meetings

12:00 – more meetings, but they catered in Greek food for lunch! I ate this x2


2:30 – la Croix break!


4:00 – heading into my last meeting of the day. I won’t make it home in time to pick up Squish from preschool, so I text Hulk to save me.

4:40 – fly out of the office to try and get home in time for CrossFit

6:00 – get home, change, slam down food, jump back in the car and head to the gym

6:30 – CROSSFIT YAY!


7:30 – peel myself off the ground and head home

7:50 – arrive at home. Hulk made the kids popcorn and they’re watching a movie. I join them for a bit; it’s the first time I’ve seen Buttercup today

8:15 – I jump in the shower while Hulk wrangles the kids to bed

8:30 – doing some housework crosses my mind, but I’m too tired to peel myself off the couch. Dishes can wait, I suppose. Hulk and I catch up on our days.

9:00: I’m done. Good night!
Go make it a great day!

Cool Mom

Since I dropped 10 lbs on my Whole30, I treated myself to a new pair of pants that fit me yesterday. Look at me dipping my toe into the distressed jeans look. I’m not a regular mom, I’m like a cool mom.

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Also, yesterday was Dairy Reintro day, which I celebrated with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (full-fat milk, duh. Go big or go home).

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I also had a kale salad with feta cheese and mashed potatoes with butter in my lunch. The potatoes are poking out from under the massive pile of BBQ pulled pork my hot bar box was rocking. Plus roasted veggies and garilic mushrooms. I may have had to close my eyes and put down my fork a couple of times in this meal just to truly savor the awesomeness. Once again, hats off to you Whole Foods hot bar.

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Of course, after all of the dairy it was probably not the best day to go skinny jeans shopping. Bloat-city, man. So dairy reintro was a success in that now I’m sure I will start billowing like a balloon after consuming a latte. Knowledge is power, my friends. I might take a couple days then try a dairy day that doesn’t include 12 oz of milk in one sitting, just butter and cheese. I can survive without milk, but it would be nice to be able to cook Home Chef meals with the butter and the cream in the sauce on occasion if I can determine it doesn’t affect me that much.

On the lighter side of life, is it too early to request a Mother’s Day gift?

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Photo cred to @cely524

Darn skippy, kids. I’m a gosh darn genius.

Go make it a great day!

But First, Coffee

Just so you know, I now offer a free service. 


According to my sister, I have a superhuman ability to find a quality Starbucks or coffee shop anywhere. I don’t care where you are; I will find coffee for you. It’s my gift to humanity.
Saturday we took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park to meet up Amanda and her husband for a day of gettin’ our learn on. Squish was super interested in the exhibits (especially the Earthquake interactive display) until he discovered that there were interactive iPads with games on them at every turn. Then he just played games instead of, like, looking at the exhibits. At least I think he’s learning.


Buttercup was a lot more interested than I thought she would be. We made it in time to see them feed the Penguins, and she sat still in my lap through the entire presentation, watching them gobble fish from the biologist (Squish was long gone into iPad Land at that point). Then we checked out the huge aquarium and she was just mesmerized with the giant reef exhibit.


Then Sunday I went to CrossFit. Yay! At our gym Sundays are for hero WODs, so the suck factor is always at full-throttle.

“Donny”

For time, sets of 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps:

  • Deadlift (men=100kg, women=70kg)
  • Burpees

I scaled the weight on the deadlifts down to 50kg (110 lbs) because I recall 70 is my 10-rep max, and this workout requires, like, 90 reps. So, nope.

I started out trying to pace at sets of 5 deadlifts, which worked out okay for approximately 2 minutes. I hit the “pain cave” hard and fast, and it was one of those workouts where I about started crying because when I go that hard I get super emotional (It’s no wonder that they call it “barbell therapy”!), but I didn’t cry, my hands didn’t rip, and I was done in 17:11.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Reading About It Is the Same as Doing It, Right?

Hello, and Happy Friday!

It’s been a week since I visited the gym, and I’m starting to have those weird, jumpy energy bursts that indicate it’s really time to blow some steam off at the gym. I didn’t intend on skipping so many days, and I took Olive on a hike Tuesday morning, but I’m starting to feel that pent-up-energy feeling when it’s been too long since I’ve really worked out. I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep so I’ve been skipping the morning classes, and we’ve had a lot of last-minute plans in the evenings so I haven’t been hitting up the evening classes. I miss my CrossFit! But I’ve slept in for two mornings in a row now, and we have no plans the next few nights (fingers crossed!) so I think I’ll be able to pick up our regularly scheduled body-pummeling soon.

In the meantime, reading about fitness is the same as doing it, right?

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I’ve had this book on my Amazon book wish list for a while, and just found out the library has a copy! I’m only about three chapters into it, and my mind is already exploding with the awesomeness. I’ll probably end up buying a copy when I have to return this one to the library, I want to make so many notes in it. Tons of great info about what the body does when it’s exercising, what types of exercise inflict certain system responses, and how your body fuels itself for efforts. Brain. Full.

And even if I’m chilling out this week, my Jawbone app gave me this notification the other day:

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I’ve taken 5 million steps with my Jawbone this year. That sounds like a lot.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Cravings, Sleep, and Stress

Hello, all of you awesome and rad people.

So, today I am dragging and so, so crave-y (I’ve had to pull my hand back from the candy jar a couple of times already, reminding myself that although I’m not on a Whole30, I’m on a Whole30 Reset and candy still isn’t a good idea right now). And I think I know the culprit: Hello, Life Stress! Things have been really hectic this week, and I’m not sleeping enough and the gym visits have taken a back seat to the bigger priorities of survival.

Fortunately, as I was dreaming of “I should bake all the Christmas cookies this year! Maybe tonight!” I was able to recognize that I am under-slept and haven’t had all of the time I need to recharge myself lately. It reminded me of this PaleoFX presentation called “Stress and Cravings: Why Changing Your Food Isn’t Enough” (yes, presented by my current girl crush Melissa Hartwig) about the cycle of stress > eat sugar > more stress > eat more sugar. My cravings aren’t because my body is deprived of sugar or because I even really want it, but because I’m tired and frazzled and looking for a quick fix of happy. And as I recall, giving into my cravings has rarely if ever worked out for me.

So the game plan is to make sure I’m still eating enough healthy food, reach out to friends and family for support as needed, and seize any opportunity I can to take a break, whether it’s take a short walk and listen to some music, curl up with the kids on the couch and watch a movie together, or forget about finishing the dinner dishes and go to bed with a book and a cup of tea instead. In fact, I’m really letting go of a lot of housework because I just don’t have the space for it right now (this is SO not the time to drop by if dust bunnies and food dried and stuck to various pieces of furniture gross you out). I’ll keep everyone fed and dressed, but beyond that the new motto is “messy but happy.” Because sanity > washing windows.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Day 1 of Food Freedom

#allthepeanutbutter. That is all.

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So today I’m reintroducing some foods from the forbidden Legume group, in particular peanuts and hummus. I’ve never been a big bean eater, so I’m not worrying about the magical fruit for now, sticking with things I do enjoy eating to check and see how the fit in with my newfound awesomeness.

I’m also really, really trying hard to eat breakfast even on early mornings. My latest find is “stuff in a jar,” where I dump frozen veggies, olive oil, and whatever cooked meat I have left in the fridge in a mason jar and eat it in the car on my commute. The mason jar is way more manageable for car-eating than a plastic container since it fits in my cup holder! #winning

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Yesterday it was California Blend and pulled pork. This morning it was carrots, guacamole, and sliced chicken apple sausage. Breakfast power!

Side note, we did NOT share a bottle of wine last night. By the time the kids were in bed and house prepped for tomorrow, I was perfectly content to celebrate my success by breaking out a new-to-me flavor of La Croix (orange!) and hanging out with Hulk on the couch while watching the aquarium and catching up on our days. Maybe this weekend? The beauty is that the decision can always be made again tomorrow!

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!