I was born in 1978. This may come to a surprise to some people, like the student who recently said, "You're 30???" (No, I'm not) Or the people who guess my age as mid-20s. Or the woman who asked me if I was a student. Or the many servers who ask to see my ID. Yes, I'm 33. 

Jimmy Carter was president the year I was born.
I remember the Tigers winning the World Series in 1984. 
I remember talking about Tiananmen Square in the 5th grade. 
I was devastated when River Phoenix died (don't even get me started on Jeff Buckley).
"Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica was my class song (seriously, they expect me to go to a reunion after that?)
In my first election, I voted for Bill Clinton (I wish I could vote for him again). 
I didn't have email until college (and honestly, I don't think I used much email in college). 

But apparently, I don't look 33.
So what, exactly, does 33 look like? 

I looked through some pictures from 10 years ago, when I was 23, and even though I was kind of a train wreck at that point in my life, I looked all right. But I look younger now. A lot younger. I feel better. I may still party like a rock star once in a while, but I know better than to do it more than I should. (And I know that I should have the right people around when I do it). I have a better idea of what I want in life. I don't know exactly what I that is, but I'm getting there. I also know that if I keep doing what I'm doing, 43 is going to look Amazing.

In my world, this is what 33 looks like, and I am totally, completely happy with it.


Why Are We Here?

A few weeks ago, a friend gave me this magnet:
I was reminded of this while browsing through some pictures of me from a workout last week. And while there were some awesome and mostly terrible shots because SOMEONE looooves to take terrible pictures of me during my workouts, this one stood out to me as a moment captured in time.

This was during the Dirty Thirty. I'm standing there, scratching my head, thinking about how I don't want to do anymore wall balls. I didn't include all of the pictures of the ball actually at the line, or me in a squat position. I finished them, of course. I always do.

I feel like I don't have as many of these moments as I used to. Those moments where you look around during a workout and wonder, "Why am I here?" I've been having those before the workout. It's the holidays. It's the end of the school term. I'm tired. And I've been in kind of a nasty mood. BUT I still go. 

Tuesday I was in a foul mood. And I was tired. And I had rowing and push-ups ahead of me. But I showed up, did my strength work. Then we did the workout. And I did amazing. Who knew? My friend talks about the rush of endorphins we get sometimes after a hard workout. I felt that on Tuesday. I can do so many push-ups! I was so happy. Somebody take my phone away before I start telling people how I feel! 

And I wouldn't have felt that way had I not shown up.

This is a tough time of year. Winter here is grey and it is not good for me. And this is just the beginning. I won't feel awesome every day I show up. But even feeling it once in a while is better than nothing.

Are wall balls a metaphor for my life? It depends on the day. They hit me in the face sometimes. I often don't make it up to the line. I get reps taken away. But I also have to remind myself that I've gotten better over the past couple years and I'll continue to get better. There has got to be a better metaphor out there...

Edited to add that it is clear we need a CrossFit metaphor contest. Post your best to comments.


No Curves

I hope that someday we live in a world where women are actually treated as equals. This is not a post about feminism. This is a post about fitness and misconceptions.

While grading papers today, I came across another person (a woman this time) who said something along the lines of women should do resistance training and men should do weight training. I had to step away from it because I was so angry (Ironically, I was also sitting in a Starbucks right across from a Gold's Gym). I will grade this paper and I will be fair. I will also make it clear that women should train the same as men. We might not use the same weights ...actually, there are some women using the same weights as men in our box. But we do the same work the best of our ability, just like men.

I've seen a few CrossFits offer women-only classes. I don't like it. CrossFit is not Curves. We all show up and do the same workout, scaled to our ability. That's CrossFit.

I distinctly remember the first time I did overhead squats at CrossFit. It was a weekday night and I was the only female there. Also there that night was an athlete who has gone to the CrossFit Games, an athlete who is now a coach, and another strong male athlete. And me. And guess what happened when I tried to do an overhead squat with some weight? I fell. On my ass. And I almost started crying. But I got up and kept practicing. And I kept showing up and practicing. And I've gotten stronger. Doing the same workout as stronger younger guys is pretty effing empowering.

Women in CrossFit get stronger.
They don't get bulky.
They can still have curves without going to Curves.
So can we all put away our 8 pound weights and start doing something worthwhile?


Moving from Goals to Achievements

I've used this blog to document my goals and achievements in the past. And I've done a lot in the past couple years (considering where I started, especially). I can RX

  • Cindy
  • Helen
  • Fight Gone Bad
  • Annie (duh)
  • Fran (barely)
My 5K time has drastically improved and I can run a 10K like it's nothing. I need to remind myself that I have done a lot and I have come far, because honestly, it often feels like I'm not making progress.

So I've listed goals on this blog and in the box, thinking that it will help me reach those goals. I want:

  • Handstand push-ups
  • A 125 lb. clean
  • 24 inch box jumps
  • More pull-ups in a row

But what have I done to reach those goals? Not a lot. Do I practice 24" box jumps? I thought about it today, then I didn't. A couple weeks ago, I finally set a PR of 115 for my clean, then mentally checked out when I added 2 more pounds. Come on! That's just dumb! 

So here's the plan. I want to work on my pull-ups and box jumps. These are two moves I can practice before or after a WOD. I just need to push myself (and if someone wants to yell at me while I'm doing it, that will help). I will start with these two moves, then get over my HSPU fear. I have the strength. I just don't have the form.

I've started coaching. So far, it's been fine. No big disasters. Small, manageable classes (mostly people I know and a couple new faces). We've done moves I know well. But I want to become a really good coach. So I'm going to watch videos. I'm going to pay more attention to the other coaches. I'm going to do better. Our athletes are awesome and they deserve it.

Better coaching. Better crossfitting. And lose 10 pounds (more running + veggies). These are my goals. I'm going to get them this time.



Soooooo.....after a lovely (cold) weekend in Portland and a loooong week of waiting for test results, I can now say that I am a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Yay! This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I love writing and I teach writing, so it made sense to me to teach CrossFit since, well, I love CrossFit. So here is a recap of the past week or so.

The Cert
I sat down for the Cert and looked through my binder and notes. Some of us noticed a short guy in a red sweatshirt and a knit cap walking around up front. Then the whispering started. Was that ... could it be...Heck yeah! Chris Spealler was our instructor! Awesome! He's like, as CrossFit as you can get! 

Our first day was filled with lots of basic CrossFit info and reviewing the 9 basic movements of CrossFit. We ended the day with Fran. Spealler joked at the beginning that we were going to do it right then (like 9am day one) and actually, by the end of that day, I wish we had done it earlier. I was pretty tired and hungry but still determined to RX it. And much to my dismay, I was the last person in my heat to finish and EVERYONE watched me do my pull-ups. They even no-repped me a few times! I got a 6 second PR and finished in 9:01. Fran is not my friend.  And, honestly, it kinda looks like Fran punched me in the face a little.
He's a little stronger than me, but I'm catching up!
Day 2 featured more skills practice, a lecture on nutrition (interesting after being immersed in the Whole 30), and a fun workout involving running, double unders, and kb swings. After lots of fun stuff, we took the test. Full disclosure: I didn't really study for the test. I should have. But I didn't. And yes, I passed. But I've also been doing CrossFit for over 2 years. Still, it was stressful. All of the trainers at the Cert were awesome. I came back energized and all full of CrossFit love. I come in on Monday for some Mobility work and to cheer on my friends through Nancy. And then...

I got sick.

I never get sick. Stupid cold. I tried working out on Tuesday - double unders and power cleans. Awesome! Not so much! I was exhausted through the whole thing and couldn't get my hips to work. Ugh. I had to take 2 rest days in a row this week! Today I'm feeling a little better and I am going to go in. I know I have other hobbies, but I miss my friends. One of the factors that could have caused this setback:

My Poor Eating Habits
Fine. I did the Whole 30. Then I eased back into my life. Then I just went off the deep end. Dessert every night! And a glass of wine! Moderation? What does that mean?

To give you an example, after day one of the Cert, I went back to my hotel and ate at the restaurant. I don't just get one bad thing. I get:

  • A burger (with bacon and a fried egg - but no cheese!)
  • A glass of wine
  • AND A piece of pie WITH ice cream

Why? Why do I do this? Why can't I get one bad thing? Why do I have to do it all? Yes, I was so hungry after that long day, but I didn't need to do this. And I've started to get take-out more and more, which I know I don't need to do (given, my take out is better than fast food, but still).

So I've decided to do a Whole 10. I need smaller goals and some sense of direction. I need to remind myself that I can control myself. Today is day 2. I can totally make it, because honestly, I need to

Do Better
I haven't made any real progress since Spring. Yes, I've set PRs on some benchmarks lately, but they aren't big PRs (a few seconds here and there). I know I can lift more and run faster. I need to have a period of gains and in order to do that, I need to take this stuff seriously. So I need to dial in my eating, focus on form, and take rest days. Lead by example. That's my goal.


Do Better

It doesn’t get any easier.
You wouldn’t want it to either.
-Greg Glassman

Image stolen from the internets :)
I also wish I looked like this in my short shorts. I do not.

This weekend, I'm going to get my CrossFit Level One Certification in Portland. I've wanted to do this for a long time. When I saw it posted a couple months ago, I figured I'd never really be able to afford it anyway, so I might as well do it now. There's always an excuse not to, so I signed up. I like teaching. I teach writing and sometimes it's amazing. I love CrossFit, so I figure why not teach that, too? I'm also looking forward to spending a weekend immersed in it. I could use a refresher at this point.

I've not been the best CrossFitter lately. I show up; my attendance is spectacular! I do the workouts. But that's all. I don't think a 20 second PR on Helen is anything to get too excited about, especially when my pull-ups are horrible. Just horrible! I did PR on Fight Gone Bad last week, but I also had about 5 people yelling at me the whole time. I also set a PR on Grace, but I still haven't tried to RX it. 

It doesn't get easier. I really want to get stronger. I want to get faster. I also still want to have my wine and ice cream. So what has to give? I haven't had a period of gains in a long time - really since the spring. The cert is coming at a good time. I know how to reign in my eating. I've done that and I know I can do it if I want to. Even last night I could have picked up some take out after a late WOD, but I didn't. I made my own food. So what do I need to do to improve?

  • Work on Mobility. Ugh! My shoulders are so tight lately. So tight. If they felt like real shoulders again, I might be able to kip better, or get under the bar better, or be more active overhead. We depend on our shoulders for so much!
  • Hold on to the bar! My hands keep ripping when I do too many pull-ups. My grip is seriously limiting my workouts. I need to sand my hands and toughen up. And I need to practice my pull-ups. I can only seem to do 5 in a row at this point, and that really isn't going to get me anywhere.
  • Clean heavier! I like to think I'm good at cleans, but I've been stuck on the same weight since April. I can finally lift 110, but once I knock it up to 115, my mind is out of it. I should be able to do 125. I can do do 125. It's all mental at this point. 

So that's enough to work on. Basically, I need to snap out of it. I'm stuck and I need to do better. That is all.


Deep Thoughts

"When it's dark enough, you can see the stars."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Especially if you're in the third round of Fight Gone Bad and the wall ball hits you in the face.

I dread tomorrow.


Be Fierce

This is my new mantra.

I could have used it a few hours ago, when I tried to RX Angie. My hand tore and I couldn't finish my pull-ups. Bummer. 75 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit ups, and 100 squats in 22:27. Disappointed? Yes. But I remember the pain from the last time I tore my hands big time. It's not worth it. I need to learn how to take care of my hands.

In other news, I did finally beat my Annie time at 6:28. All double unders were unbroken except the round of 30. Lots of sit ups in 2 days.

All undone by ice cream.


The Case for Mobility WODs

How many couch stretches would I have to do to get to this level?


This is Where I Try Not to Tell People How to Run Their Lives

I did not intend for this blog post to be about nutrition. This blog post was supposed to be a testament to CrossFit, and to how I manage not to run for 2 months, and I can go out and run 6 miles with no problems. I hate running but somehow, I manage to get through it. CrossFit is the reason for that. But this post isn't about that.

I try not to tell people how to run their lives. I'm not the best person to do that. BUT when I hear someone tell a group of people misleading information about nutrition - and not just people, but athletes - I have to speak up.

So I did this really great run this morning out at a winery. It's a run for women. We go out for an hour and run, then come back and have mimosas and waffles. Nice. They had a speaker from a popular fitness place in Eugene to talk about nutrition. She answered a few questions and I had to start writing down what she was saying. It was the complete opposite of what I heard at the Whole 30 seminar last week.

Q: What's a good recovery meal?
A: Grilled PB&J with chocolate chips
Q: What's a good snack?
A: String cheese
Q: What's a good pre-run snack?
A: Juice/bananas/yogurt

Other foods she recommended: 
Pancakes with cottage cheese
Tortillas with Peanut Butter
English Muffin with Jam

My awesome friend wanted to ask her about paleo, but I said no, wait. I want to see if she mentions vegetables. And finally FINALLY she said something about carbs coming in the form of fruits and vegetables. 

Look, I tried to be polite (not mean). I may have rolled my eyes. I may have gasped. As one friend said, I looked like I was twitching. I waited until she was wrapping up, and I raised my hand (see, polite), and said, "If you want to eat bagels and oatmeal and cereal, that's fine. But you can get your carbs from veggies and you should get them from veggies."

This is what I wanted to say:

FDA Official: "Just Eat A Goddamn Vegetable"

But I was polite. I want that to be noted. Me. Polite. Nice. 

We also got free 2 week passes to this popular fitness place. Anyone up for getting kicked out of a gym?


The Final Cost

I have been tracking my food spending this month to see if healthy eating really costs more. When I started, I had a conservative estimate of $500 that I spent on food the month before, including going out and eating. So here is the final total. 

Costco 10/1

  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Salad Mix
  • Probably something else I can't remember
Total: $15.00

Market of Choice 10/3

  • Steak
  • Mineral Water (x2)
  • Dates (bulk)
  • Honeycrisp Apples (a few)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lemons
  • Walnuts (bulk)
  • Eggs
  • Yams (x2)

Total: $29.83

Trader Joe's 10/5

  • Ground Turkey
  • Bell Pepper
  • Dates
  • Applesauce
  • Raisins

Total: $13.62

Trader Joe's 10/9

  • Dates
  • Lemons

Total: $4.18

Market of Choice

  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Larabar (x2)
  • Carrots (1 lb.)
  • Salsa
  • Eggs
  • Coconut Milk (x2)
  • Steak

Total: $24.19

Awesome dinner at Lou's: $5
Coffee through October: I'm guessing $20. It's been a rough month.

Whole 30 Grand Total: $450.01

So yes, I saved money this month. And yes, it was exhausting cooking for myself ALL THE TIME!! I am proud of myself for eating all my food (meaning I didn't end up tossing a lot of it). I still have a lot of fish that I don't know what to do with. I miss going out. I know if I spent more time planning, I'd spend less. I'm not a robot. BUT I ate clean all month and I spent $50 less. So there. I proved my point.


Then We Came to the End

Yesterday I attended the Whole 9 Foundations workshop. I learned all sorts of good stuff. I finally learned why grains are bad (they contain phytic acid, which prevents minerals from other foods from absorbing into your body, right?) I learned that milk is the ideal food for a rapidly growing baby mammal (good thing I don't drink a lot of milk). I also learned that I will do the Whole 30 differently when I do it again in January.

I may have a tendency to get obsessive about certain things (LOST, baseball, my eyebrows). So when I'm part of a very strict program where I have to think about what I'm eating ALL THE TIME, I may get a little, uh, obsessive. Or paranoid. Or resentful of people enjoying food I can't eat. Or all of the above.

I have not eaten a lot of processed foods in the last month. I've pretty much only eaten what I've bought (I can't trust anyone!). So when my travelling companion, who is like the most awesome person ever, offered me plantain chips from Trader Joe's and showed me the ingredients, including sunflower oil, which was verified by other people sitting there, I ate some. And I felt bad about it. Then, a couple hours later in the workshop, our fearless leader lumped sunflower oils in with other vegetable oils in the 'avoid' list. OK, it said 'minimal' or something. I get scared. I scribble on the back of some paper, "Did you just sabotage me with the plantain chips?" I worry. Day 27 and I have failed. 

But I didn't fail. We asked at the break. And I think Melissa, who runs the Whole 30, was a little freaked out with our obsessiveness. I'm fine. And so are the people who've had salsa with citric acid. Geez. She doesn't want us to be hermits for a month (like me). Deep breath. I'm fine.

So many people are fine. Seriously, this Whole 30 thing has brought together so many people at our box. I hope to post their awesome stories of success soon, because, unfortunately, I don't know how much I'll have to report about myself. 


  • OK, I think my skin is a little clearer.
  • I was told that I look thinner (although I don't feel thinner)
  • I proved to myself that I can make my own food for a month.
  • I did not cave and get take out or have a drink.
  • I saved money (I'll share more this week)

Not Quite Negatives, but Certainly Not Positive:

  • I've seriously sucked at workouts lately. We had one this morning that I should have flown through. I felt really out of shape and irritated with myself.
  • I haven't changed certain habits (I'll plow through a bunch of dates in no time)
  • I don't really feel any different.

And maybe that's because of a few factors. I didn't eat terrible before. I haven't eaten a lot of processed foods in the past couple years, so I may not need to reset so much. I have been stressed out big time lately. I didn't really follow the guidelines as much as I should have. In that regard, I mean eating pre- and post-WOD and having enough veggies or protein at each meal. I will change a lot of things next time I do Whole 30.

And holy cow, after we hit the road after the workshop yesterday, I felt my blood sugar drop (I realized I hadn't eaten in a while) and I made my wonderful travelling companion pull over so I could eat. We avoided a pretty ugly situation. A lady's gotta eat.

Going Forward, For Us All
There is some fear among the Whole 30ers, who will wake up Wednesday morning free to eat whatever we want. We fear we might fall back into old habits pretty quickly. Here are my thoughts.

We don't always have to say no, but we don't always have to say yes. If you're faced with something that you know has been a food reward in the past, know that you've lived without it for 30 days. You don't have to live without it forever. Why do you want it this time? 

More to come later in the week.


The Variable

In science and in life (and in LOST), we know that we deal with constants

I love you, Penny!
and we have variables.

In the Whole 30, my constant has been food. I control it. I fix it. I know what I'm eating and why. So when we had a little Whole 30 meeting yesterday and everyone was talking about how great they felt and the PRs they were setting, I felt bad. I don't feel any different. I'm not setting PRs. Why isn't this working?

I started thinking about when you want something so bad (I want to change. I want to set PRs. I want to lose weight) .... if you want it too bad, it's just not going to happen (this tends to happen in other parts of my life).

But then I started looking at the bigger picture. I'm stressed out right now. While my living situation is helpful and fairly pleasant, I need to find my own place. It's super stressful.

But I know the situation will change. I know things will be fine. But I'm reassessing my last week of the Whole 30.

  • Say yes to social invites! My friend invited me to see the Blue Man Group tomorrow night. Normally, I'd be pretty indifferent, but I'm saying yes. It will be fun. I will enjoy it.
  • Relax. This is more difficult than it should be for me. Take time to relax. Find ways to unwind, no matter what (gah! I'm terrible at relaxing!)
  • Try not to eat so much fruit. What does this have to do with anything? It's more sugar than I should be eating. I need more detox.
  • Don't work out so much. If I'm working out 5 days a week and not improving, maybe I should just calm down.
And honestly, the play-offs aren't helping. The 9th inning of the game yesterday was SUPER stressful. And now the Yankees have tied it up again. 

Deep breaths.


I've Lost Track of the Days

I do know that we have a week and a half to go, and I will finish this no matter what. I'm not having epiphanies like some people. I'm not feeling all shiny and new like some people. But I am recognizing habits and tendencies, which is where I will gain the most benefit from this program.

First, I started teaching this week. When I teach, I know I'll be gone all day. I pack accordingly. I've been great on these days. It's the days that I don't teach, where I go to the office for my other job, that I've gotten lazy. Either I don't think about lunch in time or I know that I can go home at lunch, so I've ended up not packing anything. This is bad. Plan ahead. Be prepared.

Second, I'm stressed out. I haven't been sleeping well this week. I have bags under my eyes right now, even though I did get plenty of sleep last night. I'm in a temporary living situation that is great, but with each day I realize I need to figure out my new living situation. This has become a problem. I'd love to live on my own. Truthfully, I can't really afford it right now. I may have a lead on a potential roommate, but I'm still not sure. Finding a decent rental in Eugene is proving to be ridiculous. I need to find the right space for me and my dog, and I need to find it soon. It's very much on my mind.

So the positive from the stress is that I'm not reaching for ice cream or wine. BUT I also went to CrossFit 5 times this week. Is it healthy for me to do that? Sure it's exercise, but maybe too much. Am I just replacing one habit with another? Escaping from reality at the gym? It wouldn't be the first time.

AND, the Tigers game last night was postponed. Come on! They can build a huge crazy expensive stadium in New York and not put a retractable roof on it? Stupid Yankees! The great Verlander vs. Sabathia match-up everyone was waiting for lasted one whole inning. Grrr!

So the positives. I continue to make my own food, which is good for me. Jen gave us this recipe for Sausage ... holy cow it's good! I made it last weekend and just made another batch this morning. It's delicious and I know what went into it because I made it. And it has to be easy if I made it.

I need to eat more veggies. I know this. I picked some up today. I will do better. My most consistent form of veggies has come from the salsa I put on my eggs. But I bought leafy stuff and I will eat it.

My biggest weakness, besides the veggies, is when I do a really hard workout and then I have to go to the store hungry. This is when I would go get take out. I have not done that yet. I've been good. I've made my own food. After the 30 days, I'll remember that I did this and I will try not to stop at Ron's Island Grill so often. I will try.

Shopping (a short list this week):
Market of Choice (9/28 - post-workout)

  • Acorn Squash
  • Dates (bulk)
  • Apples (honeycrisp x 3)
  • Salad mix (bulk)
  • Organic baby carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Ground Beef

Total: $15.45

Trader Joe's (10/1)

  • Frozen Berries
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Ground Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Canned pumpkin (x2)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Avocados (x2)

Total: $26.14

Coffee throughout the week: probably about $8

Whole 30 total: $338.19

And yes, this is just for one person. And I am spending considerably less than last month. BUT I miss going out. I really, really do. I would love to have an evening out with friends and good food. I've had some interesting conversations with friends about my fear of not being fun if I'm not drinking. (I could do a whole post about this) I know I don't have to go out as much as I did before, and I don't have to get take out as much as I did before. I know this Whole 30 thing is hardcore. I know it's good to sit with whatever feelings I have that would make me want to eat ice cream, or have a glass of wine. I will take this with me going forward.


The Halfway Point (almost)

How I Feel: It changes day to day. I felt great coming into Crossfit on Monday. I had spent the day in English Department meetings and I hadn't thought about teaching in months and I was truly excited about it. I felt happy Tuesday morning. I just ... felt happy. I love looking at this when I'm wandering around during a break at work:

I was walking around the other day and saw that and smiled because it was a beautiful day. Other days I'm not so great. Like today, I don't know. It rained, which is good. But I'm feeling kind of bummed out right now. Don't know why. I've also felt super-awkward in social situations lately. Not totally new, but kind of annoying.

Also for the first time I started maybe possibly potentially feeling leaner. I don't know. Not today. Today I made this for 'brunch'
That's pretty starchy for me. Sweet potatoes and bananas? Geez! I've been full all day. (Yes, that's the Tigers game in the background. Yes, the playoffs start next weekend. Yes, the Tigers need to make it past the first round if I want to have a beer and cheer them on. Yes, I think they will make it.)

What I Fear: My biggest accomplishment in all of this is that I'm making my own food and not getting take out. I love Ron's Island Grill and a good Yumm bowl. The Whole 30 is hardcore. I'm not going out to eat at all this month (until I have to travel in a couple weeks). I don't trust anyone! I'm not afraid of binging when we're done, but I am worried that I'll go back to old habits. How long does it take to get over being lazy?

Challenges Ahead: I start teaching on Tuesday, which means I'll be gone all day (Tuesdays and Thursdays) between 7:30 and 4 and attempting to Crossfit straight from teaching (and driving). Which means I need to be a super planner. I boiled some eggs tonight. I don't have a ton of 'snacking' veggies in the fridge, so that may be a problem. But I need to be ready for snack, lunch, and pre-workout snack. Can't Crossfit on an empty stomach.

Crossfit Thoughts: I worked out 5 days in a row this past week. Maybe that's overkill. Whatev. I can handle it. And on my fifth day, I PRed on my clean and jerk. FINALLY! I've been trying to get 110lbs. overhead since April. I was sore most of the week from excessive front squats on Monday. Also got a rope climb for the first time but that was more skill-oriented. Not ready to attribute anything to change in eating. Feel some more PRs coming on soon.

This seemed to be the week that people ate everything in front of me - cookies, ice cream, whatever. That ice cream sounded good. No real cravings to report. My mind is set on finishing this.

Here are my grocery trips for the week:
Market of Choice (9/18)

  • Almond Butter
  • Eggs
  • Salsa
  • Steak
  • Ground Beef

Total: $18.25

Trader Joe's (9/21)

  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Salad Mix
  • Kale (yuck. I'm done with kale)
  • Spinach
  • Apples (4)
  • Bananas (3)

Total: $11.59

Trader Joe's (9/23)

  • Eggs
  • Cantaloupe (yum. I love cantaloupe)
  • Avocados (2)
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Salad Mix
  • Bell Peppers (organic)

Total: $14.83

Market of Choice (9/25)

  • Steak
  • Almond Butter
  • Cumin (bulk)
  • Salsa
  • Canned Organic Pumpkin (2)
  • Ground Turkey
  • Ground Ginger (bulk)
  • Eggs
  • Apples (4)
  • Onion Powder (bulk)
  • Oregano (bulk)
  • Crushed Red Pepper (bulk)
  • Poultry Seasoning (bulk)
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Coconut Milk (2)
  • Walnuts (bulk)

Total: $41.08
Coffee throughout week: $6.50
Dinner at Gabe's/Crystal's: $5.00

Whole 30 Total: $288.60
And I think I'm done for a while as far as groceries go. I'm going to use what I have and make it through the week, at least. I still have frozen chicken and fish I need to use. I'm tired of salad. I need a break from that. I also have access to fresh veggies that I need to take advantage of. Obviously, with all the spices purchased, I'm following a recipe. Time to be more adventurous, especially if I'm going to carry this forward on day 31.


Sit With It

Currently, I'm sitting outside on a lovely Sunday afternoon. It's quiet. My dog is sniffing around the yard. The sun is out. It is, indeed, lovely. Normally, to make it more lovely, I'd have a glass of wine. Or some cheese and crackers. Or something classy (like me :p). But not today. I have water. I know I have food to cook tonight. I'm fine just sitting here, enjoying the day.

A wise woman I work out with did the Whole 30 for three months. She says one of the most significant effects it had on her was denying what she wanted. Most of us just eat what we want. We understand that bad choices will effect us later on, but we still eat what we want to eat. We have a bowl of ice cream, or popcorn, or protein shakes, or a glass of wine. But we don't need them.

I think a lot of Americans still have the kid mentality "I want, I want, I want" and then they get it. They have a hard day at work and think, 'A big plate of pasta would make me feel better.' It doesn't. Not really. 'Maybe this sugary coffee drink would do the trick.' No, not really. The problems will still be there.

The Whole 30 makes you sit with it. There have been a few times this week when I have felt stressed or sad or lonely and I wanted to eat or drink something, but I haven't. I would sit with it. And it's not easy to really feel those feelings.

I also had a couple times last week where I did eat when I wasn't hungry anymore. I was eating healthy, but I wanted to keep eating. The difference was that I knew what I was doing. I was hyper-aware of it. I'm hoping this will fade (the eating, not the awareness).

I was asked in a meeting today, by people who are older than me, how I'm so calm and collected and grown up at 33.


(Um, I had to?) So obviously these people don't know me that well. But I felt I could connect it with this because I'm not (always) quick to react emotionally. I'm learning to think about it. Process it. Then react.

Food is something that can buffer all of that. It takes us out of the emotion just for a while. It helps us feel something else. It prevents us from processing what we need to process.

We're all doing this for different reasons. I realized yesterday that at the end of the 30 days, I'll be in my purest form. I won't have any alcohol, sugar, or junk. I also haven't been on any medication for a while. Who you see in a few weeks is who I really am. I don't want to make more out of this than it is, but I'm kind of excited to see who we all are in a few weeks.


The Cost, Part Two

We are currently on Day 6 of the Whole 30. It's fine. It's a lot of thinking and a lot of deciding and a lot of mindfulness. It's good for us. Here's my grocery rundown, followed by my thoughts on this week.

Trader Joe's (9/13)

  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Ground Turkey
  • Strawberries (1 lb)
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Organic Applesauce - Unsweetened
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Organic Gala Apples (3)

Total: $18.33
Notes from Trader Joe's: I like these Persian Cucumbers. They're super crunchy. But I probably don't need to buy them for the next few weeks due to gardens exploding around me. The bell peppers ... Well, when I cut one open, it didn't look quite right inside and I'm picky about how my food looks. The other one was fine. 

Market of Choice (9/15)

  • Steak
  • Nutmeg (from bulk)
  • Salad Mix ("bulk" produce?)
  • Raisins (bulk)
  • Eggs

Total: $10.45
Notes from MoC. This wasn't really a 'planned' trip. Thursday was rough. My stomach wasn't really feeling well pre-workout and I was just plain irritated post-workout ... and hungry. Regarding the salad mix from Market of Choice, I ended up tossing some of the salad I got from Costco. I just can't eat that much. I would rather buy the amount I need and not throw some out than buy more than I need and feel bad for not eating it. Give me a break here. I can only eat so much salad.

Coffee from Espresso stand (9/16): $2

WinCo (9/17)

  • Organic Salad Mix
  • Frozen Blueberries (not organic ... grrr!)
  • Brazil Nuts (bulk, .23 lb.)
  • Dates (bulk, .23 lb.) 
  • Kiwi x3
  • Walnuts (bulk)
  • Carrots, organic (1 lb)

Total: $11.09
Notes from WinCo: Wow,  there is some bad hair in this place. Like, tight curly nastiness. Also noticed people buying cans of Hormel Chili and felt bad. Considering its location, not really worth the trip for me. I forgot about the almond butter because I didn't make a list. Managed to find a few organic veggies, but not enough to make it worthwhile. Also, dog food cost the same as in Target. 

So after I went to WinCo, I was hungry and getting cranky and I was all the way across town. I considered going to the Saturday Market, which probably would have made me crankier. I wanted to get some steak to make for lunch and dinner. Maybe some more apples and broccoli. I was getting in a mood. Instead of going a little out of the way to Market of Choice, where I know I would have been able to get steak and whatever, I went to Trader Joe's.

Trade Joe's (9/17)

  • Frozen Blueberries (organic, wish I would have waited)
  • Chicken (ugh, shoot, this was just bad planning)
  • Apples (gala, organic, x3)
  • Cut Organic Broccoli (my splurge)
  • 3lb Bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes

Total: $17.95
Notes on Trader Joe's: At WinCo, people move out of the way. At Trader Joe's (at least today), they wanted to stand in front of the food I wanted and look at every single little detail. Ugh, hippies. The only good thing about this trip was that it was at about the start of the game so it wasn't as busy as it would have been. I couldn't find a cut of steak that I wanted, I'm not a big fan of pork, so I had to go with chicken. I should have taken some of my frozen chicken out of the freezer yesterday, but I didn't. Planning!! Also, I didn't get the almond butter there because it said it was made in a plant that also processed soy. I'm just going to pretend that I'm allergic this month. It's a cleanse. It also means I'm almost out of almond butter. I may have to run to MoC later. It goes quick.

Total for this week: $59.82
Whole 30 Total: $186.35

Thoughts on Shopping: I need a list. I need to think about what I'm going to eat in the next few days. I knew this going in and this has been a weakness thus far. One step at a time. I'm making my own food. I'm saying no to things I would normally take. I'm trying. I'm learning. On the plus side, I'm eating all my food (except salad mix). This is big for me. My laziness sometimes results in waste, and I shouldn't do that. I know better. 
Thoughts on My Life: So my big obstacle for the week is that I had to move out of my place mid week. This made for some interesting challenges. My kitchen was the last room to move. I had to make myself breakfast the morning I had to be out. I had to determine what pans and dishes I would need. When I was finished cleaning Thursday morning, it was around noon and I really wanted to go to Cafe Yumm and get a Yumm bowl. But I knew I had leftovers that I could heat up, and that's what I did. This week has been about choices. 
Thoughts on How I Feel: Fine. I'm OK ... today. Thursday (day 4) was bad. My stomach was not happy. I had trouble sleeping earlier in the week, but I attribute that to stress. Some people have had similar reactions. Some people feel great! Wonderful! PRing all over the place! I know I'll get there. We all will. That's why this is a 30 day program. Feeling a little down today, but that's OK. It happens.
Thoughts Going Forward: Yes, now that I'm slightly stable (well, I'll have to move again soon), I'll have more of an opportunity to plan ahead (I didn't even have internet in the house before, so that will help enormously with planning). 

It looks like people are eating some good food out there. I will not post pictures of mine because it doesn't look like food porn. Honestly, just making my own food and not grabbing a Luna bar is progress. It's big progress.


The Cost, Part One

If you know me, you know I generally have no problem telling other people how to run their lives. As I get older, I get more honest. It is time to be honest with myself.

I said I would document how much I spend on food this month. I wanted to do this because so many people say that eating healthy is too expensive. To have this mean anything, I had to look at how much I’ve spent on food this past month so I could compare. It’s time to put things into perspective.
  •        I shop at Market of Choice. I’ve tried going to Safeway, but organic fruit costs less at MoC and I trust the meat at MoC.
  •        I’m on my own now and still getting used to being completely on my own, i.e., buying food and necessities.
  •         It was my birthday this month. Lots of celebrating.
  •         I went out a lot this­ month – probably more than usual.
  •         But no excuses, right?

So after adding up my grocery and dining out expenses, including random trips to MoC, drinks, ice cream, protein bars, lunch, whatever, I came up with the rough estimate of: $500.

Which seems like a lot. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. (Maybe I should keep track of these things) I could tell you the exact percentage of my paycheck that entails, but I do leave some things private. I don’t like that total (and honestly, it’s probably more), and I’d like to decrease it by 20%. It’s about $16.66 a day to feed me, drinks included. I can do better.

So I had my first Whole 30 shopping trip yesterday. I probably didn’t go out armed with as much of a plan as everyone else, but I did have an idea of what I wanted to get. The first stop is a place I haven’t been to in years.

Yesterday, I went to Costco. I am not interested in 99% of what is in Costco. But I was curious to see if I could find anything on my shopping list – I did! (and it helps to have a friend who has a Costco membership who’s also doing the Whole 30)

Organic Tomato Paste – Ingredients – organic tomatoes. Bingo! 12 pack split with superfriend. Cost =$3
Avocadoes – A big bag of them for $7.99. They’re not ripe yet, but they will be someday!
A big bag of fish (Mahi Mahi to be exact) - $16.99. I’m not sure what to do with them, but they’re frozen and individually wrapped. I know I’m supposed to eat them.
A big bag of almonds - $9.79. 3#, I think. I divided them up into Ziploc bags when I got home.
A big bag of garlic – split with superfriend. $2.40. If anyone wants to make out soon, you might want to take a rain check. I have a lot of garlic!
A big bag of lemons – split with superfriend. $3. Again, not quite sure what I’m doing with all these lemons.
A big container of salad mix - $3.99. I know for sure that this costs more at MoC, and the one I got is still organic – good! I need to eat all this. I’m bad at eating my greens.
A lot of chicken - $21.92. OK, this was my big find of the day. Costco has big packs of Foster Farms chicken that has 2 breasts per pouch and like, 6 pouches … for $21.92. I cooked up a couple pouches last night and put the rest in my freezer. This was a good deal.
Total Costco (food) expenditures: $69.08.

So I’ll be using a lot of lemons, garlic, avocadoes, and chicken in the next week. I had to get something to go with all that, so onto Market of Choice, where I can feel all uppity. Here’s what I got:
  •         Apples
  •         Almond butter
  •        Coconut Aminos (in lieu of Soy Sauce, will be trying these tonight)
  •        Sardines
  •        Kale
  •        Yams
  •       Bananas (3, they were on sale)
  •       Flaked coconut (from bulk section)
  •        Pistachios (from bulk section) (I ate some today, not all, which is a step in the right direction)
  •        Peaches
  •        Broccoli
  •        Sunflower seeds (bulk section)
  •        Bell Pepper
  •        Small steak
  •        Eggs (dozen)
  •        Balsamic Vinegar
  •        Coconut oil
  •       Red Curry Paste
  •        Coconut Milk (x2)

For a grand total of: $57.45
Total for the day: $126.53

Not bad for one day. I got a lot of the oils/condiments/weird stuff I’ll be using the whole month. I’ll need to go back in a few days and get some more produce. But I’m feeling good about this. I’m also open to suggestions for other places to try (WinCo, Albertsons) … whatever has the best deal for the best quality. Unless a fruit or vegetable has a strong peel, I’ll probably want to get it organic. But I probably won’t want another big shopping trip until payday at the end of the month. It takes a lot to feed this shrinking girl.